Facebook helps readers tell truth from fiction

A man walks past a logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, Sweden
A man walks past a logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, Sweden

Facebook said on Monday that it is testing a way to let members know when articles posted to the social network are tongue-in-cheek instead of hand-on-heart.

Evidently, users of the world's leading social network need a bit of help when it comes to discerning truth from fiction in the form of satire crafted to pushed boundaries of credulity.

Facebook told AFP they are testing a "satire" tag to go in front of links to satirical articles that pop up in news feeds at the service.

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

Website literallyunbelievable.org lists a cornucopia of seemingly serious responses at Facebook to blatantly satirical stories, including pieces from The Onion, which specializes in the fake news genre.


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Citation: Facebook helps readers tell truth from fiction (2014, August 18) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-facebook-readers-truth-fiction.html
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Aug 18, 2014
We should have had this before the war into Iraq. Can't depend on the news media any more.

Aug 19, 2014
Facebook told AFP they are testing a "satire" tag to go in front of links to satirical articles that pop up in news feeds at the service
I find it quite sad that this would be necessary... it only highlights the fact that FB users tend to be UNINFORMED as well as dumb enough to believe anything posted without research!

What about taking a few seconds to google or search for supporting evidence?
what about finding the reality by looking up the source as well as the reason for the post... it's not like FB is moderated by people who make sure that posts are accurate and contain facts!
there is NO real moderation! its a SOCIAL site, not a NEWS OUTLET or SCIENCE OUTLET... sheesh!

Aug 19, 2014
it only highlights the fact that FB users tend to be UNINFORMED as well as dumb enough to believe anything posted without research!

It's facebook. What did you expect? It's not like anyone was of the opinion that such platforms are congregations of the intellectual elite.

And I don't think the 'satire' tag will help. Especially for people who intentionally post satire in order to provoke those who don't understand it into a dumb reaction (which is the whole point of satire - because otherwise some people never realize how dumb they really are).

Aug 19, 2014
...it's also a good reminder that the masses are easily led. Demagogues will watch this story and rejoyce.

Don't think for a second that 'modern' humans (in any nation) are more proof against the type of PR bullshit that led to two world wars

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