In a bid to eliminate confusion, Facebook tests satire tag in its news feeds.
In a move to prevent users from confusing parody news articles and actual news in their news feeds, Facebook announced on August 18, 2014 that it is testing a ‘satire’ tag that will accompany parody news articles.
This feature is being introduced after Facebook received feedback from users. Quite often, satirical stories have sparked confusion and angry comments from social media users who are unaware of the news’ satirical nature.
This feature on Facebook will help users to distinguish real news from satire. In a statement, a spokesman from Facebook said, “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.”
The Onion and The Daily Mash are two popular satire websites in the US and the UK. These websites post satirical news stories that mimic current world news which is what creates the whole confusion. People unfamiliar with these websites are often tricked into believing the news.
A recent example of a satire article that sparked controversy is – “Tips for being an unarmed black teen” – the title of an article on The Onion which was a satirical piece on the recent US shooting of a black teenager. This article provoked a few angry responses from Facebook users.
Facebook has recently been at the receiving end of criticism for manipulating the news feeds of almost 700,000 users for an emotional experiment.