People aren't taking Facebook very seriously of late, thanks to their plan to root out the unserious articles in people's news feeds. As Bustle reported Monday, Facebook is now putting "satire" tags on joke articles, many of them from The Onion, America's most trusted source for fake, absurdist news. And on Tuesday, The Onion responded to Facebook spoiling their jokes in really the only way they know how: with a pointed bit of satire directed at all the foolhardy Facebook users who allowed — forced, perhaps? — this to happen.
In actuality, Facebook's new system at least allows you to be duped when you click a link that's just appeared in your feed, but once you've clicked through the jig is up. Though it doesn't take too heady a political observer to guess that no, Joe Biden didn't just get his marijuana grow light delivered to the White House, under his name or anyone else's (rest assured, the staff of The Onion are probably pulling for Biden 2016).
But all the same, people fall for this stuff — I personally can't recall how many people on Facebook I've seen lose their heads about some crazy event in the news which obviously never, ever happened.
Anyway, The Onion's response Tuesday morning is pretty straightforward and on-point. The title? "Area Facebook User Incredibly Stupid."
... “I like looking at things on Facebook, but I don’t understand a lot. Help, please.” At press time, someone had reportedly fixed everything for the goddamn imbecile.
Harsh, guys. But maybe not wrong? I've been trying to remember if I ever got fooled this way, but I honestly can't say I have. It feels in some ways similar to those people who don't actually read the articles behind links before commenting on them. You've definitely seen this before, whether you know it or not, as it seems to be depressingly common — last April Fool's Day, NPR hilariously hammered this point home by circulating a hoax article through social media and letting the replies, many of them oh-so-serious and outraged, flood in.
But, maybe it's for the best? As easy as it is these days for news to blow up through social media, and for people to get their social media activism on, there's no harm in keeping things entirely above board to avoid embarrassing or dangerous rumors spreading. After all, if not, how would anyone know that George Clooney doesn't actually hang out with the decayed corpses of the Rat Pack? I mean, unless they thought about it for two or three seconds — sorry, sorry, I know. Got to be more understanding.