Facebook testing a “Satire” tag on shared links – no, this isn’t a joke

Facebook, Websites

Facebook doesn’t think its users are too bright. At least, that’d be a reasonable conclusion to draw following the news that the company is testing a “[Satire]” tag that would be automatically displayed on articles from the likes of The Onion.

Screenshot from Ars
Screenshot from Ars

As Ars Technica reports, at the moment the tag is only appearing for a small number of users. Facebook told them the following:

“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. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”

Tntentions are perhaps earnest – not wanting users to be fooled by Onion articles (I mean, who wouldn’t be fooled by “GlaxoSmithKline Releases New Drug To Treat People Who Just Feel Sort Of Weird Sometimes“? But I can’t help but wonder if this is the start of a slippery slope?

In addition to forcing Facebook to categorise every website in the world (what if it forgot to flag up, say, The Daily Mash?), why not introduce other labels? How about an “[Excellent]” tag on links to TechDigest, or “[Bollocks]” on any link to the Daily Mail website?

James O’Malley
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