Within the past few weeks, Facebook has been rolling out a new feature that tags links from The Onion with a “[Satire]” warning, effectively killing the whole point of the website and making Facebook a safer place for dumb people everywhere. The “satire” tag doesn’t show up when it’s originally posted to Facebook but instead after users click through to the site then return to Facebook, where a list of three “related articles” appear. Probably the strangest part of the implementation is that it’s limited to the “related articles” section only, and other satire sites such as Onion’s Buzzfeed parody Clickhole are currently exempt from getting the “satire” tag. Ars Technica recently reached out to Facebook for some clarification, and here’s what they had to say:
“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. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”
Ars Technica goes on to say that Facebook did not give them a list of the other sites assigned to the “satire” tag or any idea of whether it would begin to appear in other places on Facebook. Hopefully Facebook comes to its senses and doesn’t let the internet’s most gullible readers weaken one of the best things about The Onion, which is exposing said gullible readers through their hilarious outrage over fake stories.
In related news, check out The Onion’s fascinating report from last month titled “Area Facebook User Is Incredibly Stupid.”