So when Facebook announced its plans to stamp a satire tag on every fake story shared by its users, tons of people -- including The Onion itself -- responded with a critical mass of self-congratulating derision. But the thing is, comedy sites like The Onion and Clickhole aren't the only places on the Internet that run fake news stories. There is an entire industry devoted to churning out legitimate-sounding headlines under well-hidden satire disclaimers, apparently operating under the assumption that "satire" and "lying" share an identical definition.
For example, right after the news of Paul Walker's death last November, one of the most popular links circulating was a report from the not-obviously-untrustworthy Media Mass claiming the whole thing was a hoax, complete with fake quotes from Walker's representatives insisting that the actor was totally fine. There were no jokes or absurd claims of alien abduction to indicate that the report was 100 percent untrue, unless you happened to click around the website long enough to notice that, according to Media Mass, there appears to be a bizarre epidemic of celebrity dogs with the same name needing surgery.