Deadpan links to satire sites considered harmful October 23, 2012 1:35 PM   Subscribe

The politics threads contain lots of comments that are single links to news articles. Also people post links to satirical sites like The Onion, which is fine by me. It seems to have become a thing to post the latter links as if they were real, though, with no prefatory "Satire:" or "Onion:" or what have you. I personally find this irritating, so I was wondering what the community consensus was.

Of course you know as soon as you follow the link that it's fake (or as soon as you hover over it, in most instances), so it's not like I really fear that people are being actively misled, but when your eye scans down a big list of single-link comments containing headlines, the fact that 10% of them are fake is a bit of a speed bump.

(Here's the latest example, but there have been dozens of them, as I'm sure everybody who's been following those threads can confirm.)

I realize that part of the power of satire comes from its deadpan nature, but this doesn't feel like a good place for that to me. So I am curious if others feel the same way! Obviously if most people think it is fine, then it is no problem and I will continue to put up with it.
posted by dfan to Etiquette/Policy at 1:35 PM (47 comments total)

Nope, I think that's the nature of satire. And I say that as someone who, when I was a wee lil Mefite, fell for one of those whitehouse.org links.
posted by muddgirl at 1:36 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is a sucker born every minute. I don't think we should get involved in eugenics.
posted by m@f at 1:39 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never click the links, so I don't have this problem.
posted by ryanrs at 1:41 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no interest in being warned when satire is approaching.

The following or preceding material was spoken in earnest.
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be sure, the Vanity Fair thing on Willard, despite being labelled as "humor", is pretty po-faced all the way through. It seems a bit below VF's standards. And plays right into the Republicans' "Obama's supporters are desperate now" storyline.
posted by chavenet at 1:45 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Generally they're the conversational equivalent of rick-rolling and really not all that entertaining, but honestly I don't see them going away.

For every person who sees a good bit in the Onion and wants to point people at it, there seems to be another who wants to claim some penumbra credit by posting the clever headline as their own.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:45 PM on October 23, 2012


Mostly my feeling is people shouldn't be actively malicious about it; I don't think there's a reasonable expectation that people would or should explicitly disclaim satire as satire, much as I can appreciate your annoyance at deadpan heds, but certainly I'd take issue with someone e.g. posting not-obviously-fake fake news to the front page or as an askme answer or just routinely, aggressively doing that as a major part of their site activity.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:46 PM on October 23, 2012


but honestly I don't see them going away

Remember when people used to make every letter a different link?
posted by ryanrs at 1:48 PM on October 23, 2012


those were dark times indeed.
posted by elizardbits at 1:50 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Area man wishes satire was "not confusingly similar to real life"
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:50 PM on October 23, 2012 [43 favorites]


I'm about to tell a joke. It's really funny, so I think you'll like it. Are you ready?
posted by Egg Shen at 1:53 PM on October 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Borowitz has amused me lately.
posted by exogenous at 1:54 PM on October 23, 2012


Just remember, folks: The failure mode of 'asshole' is 'clever.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:55 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It has never bothered me once. The only thing that bugs me with blind links is those stunt-posts where somebody spells an entire sentence made out of individual-letter links. That makes me want to blow up the universe.
posted by facetious at 2:07 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are merely bad if they have title text. If they are blind, forget it.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:10 PM on October 23, 2012


What's funny is that just before reading this, I saw in another thread "Wall Street Journal: A Perfectly Plausible President" and thought that it was a joke when it wasn't.

Maybe the borderline not-jokes should be labelled too.

(That was a borderline joke.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:11 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only thing that bugs me with blind links is those stunt-posts where somebody spells an entire sentence made out of individual-letter links

What I like is when each letter links to a YouTube video and because I have the inline player turned on, it's instead like T◘h◘i◘s◘ i◘s◘ r◘e◘a◘l◘l◘y◘ h◘a◘r◘d◘ t◘o◘ r◘e◘a◘d◘.◘
posted by shakespeherian at 2:15 PM on October 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Area man wishes satire was "not confusingly similar to real life"

I'm trying to click it but the link not working help!
posted by mannequito at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2012


I don't mind it!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:36 PM on October 23, 2012


Area man wishes satire was "not confusingly similar to real life"

Yes, I do so wish.
posted by Area Man at 2:42 PM on October 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


shakespeherian: "The only thing that bugs me with blind links is those stunt-posts where somebody spells an entire sentence made out of individual-letter links

What I like is when each letter links to a YouTube video and because I have the inline player turned on, it's instead like T◘h◘i◘s◘ i◘s◘ r◘e◘a◘l◘l◘y◘ h◘a◘r◘d◘ t◘o◘ r◘e◘a◘d◘.◘
"

One of those was posted last week and I nearly made a polite and formal "YOU KNOW WE CAN'T READ YOUR FUCKIN' POST, RIGHT?!" meta, but decided it wasn't worth the ensuing aggravation.
posted by zarq at 2:46 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just don't follow the links on the posts where every letter is a different link. If the prime intent behind your post is to get everyone to read the links, then doing this is counter productive.

Satire - I'm for it. I think we're a relatively discerning bunch here and don't need the warning tag.
posted by arcticseal at 3:03 PM on October 23, 2012




...when your eye scans down a big list of single-link comments containing headlines, the fact that 10% of them are fake is a bit of a speed bump.

If you are "scanning down" headlines (not even stories), you probably need a speed bump.
posted by DU at 3:34 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Area man: Satire "confusingly similar to real life"

Sorry, this (former) copy editor couldn't help fiddling with that to make it better fit industry style.

also with fewer words you can use a larger font size and still fit your layout

you know, for that lucrative print paper you've got going

...and now we get to why I'm a "former" copy editor

posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:44 PM on October 23, 2012 [13 favorites]

the man of twists and turns: The Onion headlines usually give it away.
theonion.com provides context in this case, but links to YouTube videos do not. Maybe adding a parameter in the URL to the video would work?
posted by chinesefood at 3:47 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like when people post a lot of links to news sites and satire in politics threads.
posted by Miko at 3:53 PM on October 23, 2012


22134 damages culture for the benefit of the humorless and the dull! Vote against 22134!
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on October 23, 2012


I was wondering what the community consensus was.

We like links. Beyond that, I'm not sure there is one. Actually, I'm not even sure there's a consensus that we like links.
posted by box at 4:04 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to rant in an FPP for oh, 10 or 11 paragraphs before the [more inside]. Y'all don't really need a link, right?
posted by zarq at 4:11 PM on October 23, 2012


We like links. Beyond that, I'm not sure there is one. Actually, I'm not even sure there's a consensus that we like links.

I disagree.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:23 PM on October 23, 2012


Okay, okay, I acknowledge your disagreement, but let's work toward consensus.

Surely, we can all agree that Metafilter is a site with a clean, soothing white background.
posted by box at 4:31 PM on October 23, 2012


Borowitz has amused me lately.

You didn't write "Satire:" in front of that, but I still get your joke. Andy Borowitz has never amused anyone anywhere, ever.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2012


Obama Takes Out Romney With Mid-Debate Drone Attack

Yes, obvious satire. Mitt Romney is white.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:25 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, people click on links without hovering to check where they're going? Did I just learn The Internet back when everyone still cared about malware and not opening attachments?
posted by klangklangston at 7:35 PM on October 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think it's a shame if people need to be told that something is satirical, and I think that if they do then they need the practice of learning to be better at spotting it.
posted by Decani at 7:38 PM on October 23, 2012


Use the status bar, Luke.
posted by odinsdream at 8:50 PM on October 23, 2012


I think it's a shame if people need to be told that something is satirical, and I think that if they do then they need the practice of learning to be better at spotting it.

I agree.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:33 PM on October 23, 2012


Remember when people used to make every letter a different link?

Heh heh! Yup, I remember those days! Why, heck, it seems like only last week!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:31 PM on October 23, 2012


Everyone (pretty much) realizes they're reading The Onion once they click on a link and get to theonion.com (and I personally hover over everything). The main thing I don't like is looking at a wall of one-link-headline comments of varying levels of plausibility (and you have to admit, some of the actual news this election cycle has been Onion-worthy) and having to hover over each one to know whether the headline is "real".

But The MeFites have spoken, and their decision is clear! So carry on.
posted by dfan at 5:15 AM on October 24, 2012


Satire: Area Man Unsure of How Long to Hover Over Link on Smartphone to See Where it Will Lead Him
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:33 AM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just tack on an onion at the end. ((()))
posted by Kabanos at 6:46 AM on October 24, 2012


I think the teal problem in politics threads is that we need a mark for ridiculous things the GOP have said that *should* be from the Onion but aren't. They've just declared rape to be Gods will again, BTW.
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone (pretty much) realizes they're reading The Onion once they click on a link

The worse problem is when you click on a link, start laughing at the crazy satire and then realize no, it's the actual news.
posted by Miko at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the debate thread linked in the OP here, I confess to having committed the crime addressed here. I just want to clarify - for those who missed the debates - that CNN did not, in fact, report that Hologram Tupac would be moderating the debates. This was reported by SkyNews. I apologize for misleading you guys.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:25 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure Mitt is more orange than white as of late. Unevenly orange. You'd think such a wealthy guy could afford the best spray tans, but, no.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:02 AM on October 25, 2012


I think the teal problem in politics threads is that we need a mark for ridiculous things the GOP have said that *should* be from the Onion but aren't. They've just declared rape to be Gods will again, BTW.

On that note I am not 100% that this really is the GOP Rape Advisory Chart.
posted by Artw at 12:02 AM on October 25, 2012


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