I kid, they are an easy target. Facebook is rolling out its satire tag in an effort to help users distinguish real news from satirical headlines. Next, they should roll out the dead horse tag for CNN.
The social network is testing the new feature to provide context for oblivious readers. If you didn’t know The Onion was satirical, congrats, you’ve been educated. Facebook is hoping that people will stop believing headlines from The Onion and other satirical news outlets. No offense Facebook, but The Onion hits closer to home in their satire than regular news outlets do with ‘real’ news.
“We are running a small test which shows the text ‘[Satire]’ in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”
For now, the tag is in testing mode. People that have spotted the tag say it isn’t applied widely yet. The Onion has a sister site that spoofs Buzzfeed called Clickhole. So far, no satirical tag has been applied to that site.
The Onion has proved to be extremely gifted at getting their articles picked up by the mainstream media. There is a site devoted to places that run with The Onion as fact. Be sure to check out Literally Unbelievable for humorous responses across the web. Not exactly the most safe-for-work destination, but it will leave you dumbfounded, in a weeping for humanity way.
So far, there is no word on if this test will become a feature. Personally, I will miss the laughter of people treating The Onion as legitimate headlines. And if Facebook screwed up the tagging and hit Fox News with a satire tag, that would win the Internet. Just to watch the channel go nuclear would be amazing.
I’m serious on the dead horse tag for CNN. It gets absurd at times.