Friday, February 21, 2014

Real or Satire

God help us all - there is now a site people can go to which will check whether a story they've come across online is real or satire.  Whatever happened to the idea of simply engaging you critical faculties?  It should be obvious whether a story is true or not.  Indeed, the simplest way to tell is by looking at the site you found it on - if it isn't a reputable news source like the BBC, CNN or a serious newspaper, then it is probably bollocks.  The subject matter is probably a big clue, as well: anything about David Cameron appearing in porn films, the Queen being a nymphomaniac or Prince Charles being a serial killer are most probably satire.

I became aware of this site as a result of seeing it as a referrer in my server logs.  Incredibly, it has a database of sites it thinks are satire sites, including The Sleaze.  It ascertains their satirical status by such methods as reading their slogans, straplines and sub-titles.  In addition to this extensive examination of mastheads, it also checks their 'About' pages for clues!  Surely just a quick look at the stories these sites carry is the biggest clue as to their status?  I really do find it most depressing that there are people out there incapable of doing these things for themselves, is this what we've come to?  A world where having the words 'Political satire, news parody and surreal humour' prominently displayed at the top of each page, next to the site name, plus the words 'UK satire and humour' as part of the article's browser display title, isn't sufficient warning to people that what they are reading is a pack of lies.  I despair.



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