Print 12 comment(s) - last by jdre.. on Sep 8 at 2:23 PM

Feature is currently experimental, does not modify user attached or reading list content

Ars Technica spotted an interesting update to Facebook, Inc.'s (FB) ubiquitous, titular social network.  When posting articles from comedy/spoof websites such as The Onion or Cracked to one's News Feed, the auto-generated "related articles" now carry the disclaimer "[Satire]" in front of the title as a disclaimer for pieces that are purposefully inaccurate for the sake of comedy.
Some sites, including the Buzzfeed spoof Clickhole were curiously immune to the auto-tagging.
Responding to the initial post on the find, a Facebook spokesperson says:
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.
While this may seem obnoxious, it should be noted that the tag is not added to the article titles in your read-later lists or to articles attached to posts by you or your friends.  This tagging only applies to the content Facebook generates.

Facebook Satire tags
An example of the new tags [Image Source: Ars Technica]

Tweaking the feed is a sensitive topic in light of Facebook's highly controversial psychology experiment, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that studied the effects of tweaking 1 in 2,500 users (0.04 percent of total users') feeds with either positive or negative misinformation.  The strategy provoked an apology last month from Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.  The researcher involved, Adam D. I. Kramer, also issued a quasi-apology:


But in Facebook's defense on the new satire tags, good satire often closely mirrors reality, albeit in a tongue in cheek manner.  All things considered, Facebook's tags really aren't that different from the  "/sarcasm" tags internet posters frequently put, to clarify their intentions.
Labeling statements -- or articles -- as sarcastic/satirical may take away part of the fun. Many find humor in seeing confused individuals mistake such statements for truth. On the other hand, many seem to feel that it's better to be clear and forthright in the ambiguous world of internet text as the humor gained from misunderstandings is outweighed by the inevitable hurt feelings.  
Facebook's satire tags are an interesting addition, but certainly aren't a new development in the world of internet posting.

Source: Ars Technica

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Not at all necessary
By jdre on 8/18/2014 11:45:14 AM , Rating: 4
Wow. This must mean Facebook's active users have drifted into the very tech-unsavvy.

Anyone with a hint of literacy and sense can usually spot a satirical new story - or at least begin to question if it is one. The massive "the onion news network" watermark is an easy clue that somehow some people seem to miss, or not know the meaning of.

So Facebook's user base is essentially aging boomers confused by the interwebs, and various uninformed idiots who can't tell if news is real or fake.

RE: Not at all necessary
By jdre on 8/18/2014 11:59:37 AM , Rating: 3
Just look at the example photo: the tag already exists. Each of these are tagged with a "source" - the onion, the onion, clickhole.

If I read a shocking article by the fine journalistic team at "ClickHole" and believed it, or failed to take the extra step in googling "ClickHole" to determine whether or not it was a legitimate and long-trusted name in news... that's my fault.

Frankly, following up on a seemingly unbelievable story is good practice, and would be more correct more often than the imperfect "[Satire]" label.

You can't stupid-proof the internet.

RE: Not at all necessary
By daboom06 on 8/18/2014 12:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
i'm an elitist. i would prefer everyone to be taught to be smart rather than everyone made unable to do dumb things. but that is going to take a long time, so in the mean time, put the labels on things so that your average idiot can't get confused. they're like training wheels to free thought.

RE: Not at all necessary
By jdre on 9/8/2014 2:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, and largely agree. But -

Someone dumb enough to believe a ClickHole article is also likely dumb enough to not google the definition of "satire," and will still be just as confused. :P

RE: Not at all necessary
By hughlle on 8/18/2014 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
One of the results of selling out. Now they've got shareholders to keep happy, look forward to many more stupid gimmicks.

RE: Not at all necessary
By jdre on 9/8/2014 2:23:02 PM , Rating: 2

FaceBook Nuked the fridge finally?
By Mitch101 on 8/18/2014 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
Facebook messenger Think twice

By RapidDissent on 8/18/2014 11:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
How about you remove the satirical "articles" from the related feed altogether??

Is the article feed for news or entertainment? It can't be both.

Script replaces human
By karimtemple on 8/18/2014 4:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
lmao. I hope the next development is "New Facebook AI detects ironic comments, inserts tags for irony, sarcasm."

To be fair, we have been asking for years for someone to invent a Sarcasm Font. :-p

Likebook tags
By Richard_Burn on 8/18/2014 5:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
I guess they have to mark the satire for the numskulls using Facebook. The old "It must be true, I read it on Facebook" syndrome. Satire should never have to be tagged.

A more appropriate tag
By EricMartello on 8/19/2014 2:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
So the lefty propaganda mills that attempt to spew their actual views as "satire" or "comedy" to make their bullsh1t more palatable now get a little notation...but satire is probably not the best tag for thinly veiled liberal disinformation


A bit more fitting...and why are they singling out the onion and a few others? NYTimes needs one of these tags beside just about all of their headlines...but I'm sure all of the enlightened ones are getting their news from the daily show.

By BaronMatrix on 8/20/2014 7:33:06 PM , Rating: 1
Everytime I click a link the "related links" are always the opposite...

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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