Facebook Knows You're Dumb, Adds "Satire" Tag to Onion Articles

It can be tough distinguishing real from fake on the Internet, but if you're an idiot it's pretty much impossible. For instance, is Busch Garden's new 9,600-mile-long roller coaster an obvious, ridiculous joke or something that exists in reality?

Facebook Knows You're Dumb, Adds "Satire" Tag to Onion Articles

If that last one had you stumped, you'll be happy learn that Facebook has begun marking articles from The Onion with the title tag "[Satire]," ensuring you'll never again get tripped up by puzzlers like "Enraged 500-Foot-Tall Bin Laden Rises From Sea."

Facebook Knows You're Dumb, Adds "Satire" Tag to Onion Articles

In a statement to Ars Technica, a Facebook spokesperson explained the move was a "small test" in response to "feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others." For now, the tag only appears in the site's "Related Articles" tab, but Facebook wouldn't say if they had plans to display the disclaimer elsewhere in the future.

Facebook Knows You're Dumb, Adds "Satire" Tag to Onion Articles

For some, of course, duping friends online is half the fun of The Onion. Since 2011, the blog Literally Unbelievable has been collecting the Internet's hilarious and unhinged reactions to the satire site, a practice potentially threatened by Facebook's move. But the blog's clever and handsome creator* assures Gawker that a disclaimer is unlikely to make a difference, saying, "people are hella dumb."

In tests, Gawker found that The Onion, ClickHole and The Daily Currant were given the "[Satire]" tag, but not articles from The Borowitz Report, Duffel Blog, Freewood Post, National Report, Empire News, News Nerd or World News Daily Report. Unfortunately, many of these sites are just the kind of humorless, bad faith "satire" publications that actually could use a disclaimer, as Antiviral has repeatedly shown.

*Full disclosure: this clever and handsome person is me

[ Images via Shutterstock/Literally Unbelievable]


Antiviral is a new blog devoted to debunking fake news, online hoaxes and viral garbage. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and send your tips to hudson.hongo@gawker.com.