Facebook Planning to Add ‘Satire’ Tag to News Feeds

Facebook announced Monday that it was testing a new method to tag newsfeed articles as "satire" when the posts' content are more tongue-in-cheek rather than straight-up reportage, reports

The "satire" tag will show up in front of links to articles containing satirical content, including fake news reports such as the ones that The Onion publishes.

In the past, satirical articles posted in the social network website have created confusion and incited angry reactions from Facebook users. BBC reports that Facebook is launching this new feature as a response to user feedback.

"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," said a Facebook spokesman in a statement. "This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units."

Although the Facebook representative would not elaborate further, according to the NY Post, it is apparent that this feature is being rolled out to answer issues stemming from satirical news that have confused not only Facebook users but also well-known publications.

Two years ago, an article from The Onion published an article on their website, saying that Kim Jong Un was named "sexiest man alive". According to NPR, the article was then picked up by the Chinese newspaper People's Daily and published word for word.

The Washington Post was also fooled by satirical site The Daily Currant into reporting another fake news article about Sarah Palin joining the ranks of the Al-Jazeera news network.

It is not yet clear, however, whether Facebook plans on making this feature a permanent part of their newsfeed, reports BBC, or which satirical websites will have their articles tagged as "satire".

Jason Mick of Daily Tech comments that Facebook's move to tag satirical articles "may take away part of the fun."

He adds that "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."

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