Facebook Plans 'Satire' Button To Help Identify Joke Articles

If you're tired of having to explain over and over to clueless relatives things like "no, President Obama didn't really run over Jimmy Carter last night, that's a piece from The Onion. It's a satire site," there's hope. Facebook is reportedly testing a "satire" button to clarify what's real and fake news.

Mashable reports Mark Zuckerberg's famous repository for pointless complaints about Red Lobster is testing a "satire" button, which would help people discern real news from stuff like this.

"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," a Facebook representative told Mashable.

An image captured by Ars Technica shows articles in the "related stories" field on Facebook's News Feed marked with a small, bracketed "[Satire]" tag. Oddly, the tags appear only after users click an article from a satirical website, and then return to their News Feed afterward, according to Ars Technica. The tests have reportedly been going on for a month, and a variety of satirical sites are included in the program.

We can poke lots of fun at people getting duped by Onion articles, but all of us have at least once fallen into the trap of not recognizing an article is "satire." Especially from a lot of the Onion copycat sites, where the stories are less comedic send-ups and more straight up fake news stories written under the banner of "satire" which aren't all that funny. (Humor is highly subjective, of course.)

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This sad thing about this is that it may put the best website ever in the history of all time (besides Catster, obviously) out of business. Without angry people reacting to fake news, what will become of Literally Unbelievable? Although, this probably won't have any impact. I doubt the kind of people who post long angry rants about articles from The Onion actually know what satire is. I don't mean they lack a sense of humor or they don't find that type of thing funny. I mean they probably have no clue what satire means. They will probably think it just means "extra super important news article that desperately needs my take on it." Trust me. A satire button is not going to help this guy.

Image via Shutterstock.