Facebook has officially debuted a "satire" tag to clearly mark fictitious headlines that show up in your feed, and people are reacting as if the harlequin personification of fun itself has been taken out behind the shed and beaten to death with rakes.
This tag's raised all kinds of philosophical questions, such as "Where does our responsibility as a society to protect people from their own stupidity end and their responsibility to not believe that Kim Jong-un was voted sexiest man alive begin?" And "Won't spelling things out in small words make people even dumber?" Or even "Doesn't labeling satire defeat the purpose of satire?"
We feel that the satire tag is not only necessary but a potential boon for all mankind. Because ...
#4. The Onion Isn't the Only Place That Runs Fake News
There are entire websites devoted to making fun of people who mistake articles by The Onion and Clickhole for unvarnished pieces of actual journalism, and rightfully so. If your immediate reaction to an article about the supernatural powers of Adam Sandler is to reach for the share button with grim, stone-faced purpose, you deserve to be laughed at.
To be fair, every trailer for a Sandler movie is predicting a horrible tragedy.
Did you hear? They finally identified Jack the Ripper! At last, Scotland Yard can close that file and move on to other murders, and it's all thanks to ... uh, a shaky, non-peer-reviewed study by a man trying to promote his book in The Daily Mail. But hey, with a headline like that, who cares about the details?
The answer is: us. As our forever-part series has proved, we care a lot about those details, because while "Jack the Ripper Case Solved" looks pretty cool in big letters, it doesn't really mean much if it, you know, didn't actually happen. Same goes for the following ...
#5. Tony Soprano's Creator Didn't Say He's Alive
Hey, remember back in 2007 when we assumed people would eventually get bored of talking about the non-ending to The Sopranos, in which Tony Soprano maybe died and maybe didn't? And remember when they never actually stopped?
"*hrump* Looks like Big Pussy is still around too." -George R.R. Martin
Hey there, Internet person about to click "post" -- did you know that just because you're extremely passionate about a cause, it doesn't mean it can't be, well, super dumb? After all, even your uncle who thinks Barack Obama is a crab-monster from Alpha Centauri is convinced he's on the side of righteousness. Luckily, we've put together a short questionnaire to help you figure out where your post stands. It shouldn't take much time!
Question 1: Does Your Cause Require an Elaborate Conspiracy Theory to Be True?
If you answered yes, it's probably bullshit.
For instance, let's say there's a movement called #GamerGate, about irate gamers protesting the lack of ethics in gaming journalism. OK, sounds like a good, simple cause. Now, let's say the specific ethical breach that enraged them is about a feminist indie game designer who a bunch of gamers already hated supposedly gaining control of the gaming media through her vagina -- all of this based on the conjectures of a guy on YouTube who also seems to think government scientists are involved. As in, apparently there's a secret DARPA project to brainwash gamers into, uh, being more tolerant of women. The bastards.
All that's missing is a nonsensical insert of Ron P- wait, no, there he is.
The latest thrilling launch in Apple's line of products you can't actually use unless you own their other products is a sexy new smartwatch. The Internet's still busy debating whether this is the flop that will finally signal Apple's downfall or a golden monorail to a bold new tech era.
We don't want any part in that debate. But we have noticed something weird: so far, the Apple Watch seems tailor-made for old people.
#4. Old People Love Wearing Gadgets
Some of you saw Apple's watch and immediately wondered, "Who the hell buys watches anymore?" Right now it's basically three groups of people: James Bond, those middle-aged men who fancy looking like a potbellied him, and people old enough to remember when folks wore watches.
Tribune Media Services
Smartwatches are your grandparents' hoverboards.