Facebook creates tag for satirical news content
Social networking sites are the perfect place to share news articles – with millions of people scanning through sites such as Facebook and Twitter in search of their daily entertainment.
But because of the ability to log on and share real-time information, it is also a breeding ground for false news stories.
In fact, made-up events are so common on the microblogging site Twitter that Sheffield University is currently working on a way to detect these hoaxes.
The thing with false news stories, however, is that the facts come out shortly after and the story is proven incorrect and not given any further attention.
But what would happen if there was a genre of journalism that was so cunningly deceptive that it appears, at least on a surface level, to be entirely accurate and hence slip through the cracks?
Yes – satire.
Satirical sites are devoted to parodying current news stories – the most notorious of all being America’s The Onion.
While these news stories are created for humour (and of course to critique the very foundations of our modern-day society), search engines cannot always pick up on satire, and apparently, quite a few readers cannot as well.
To avoid the confusion of the gullible, Facebook is planning to add a new tag to all satire content to make it more obvious.
“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 representative told Mashable.
“This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”
Facebook has been testing the tag for a few months, and should come into effect sometime shortly.
For those of you thinking this is ridiculous, the site Literally Unbelievable shows some Facebook users who fell for The Onion’s jokes.
Posted by Dylan Brown