Facebook is trying to save gullible users some embarrassment by placing the word “Satire” in front of the headline for any satire news site they link to in their “Related articles” section on Facebook.
Related articles pop up after someone clicks on a headline for another related story in their news feed. Because these headlines are almost always news related, people are believing the stories are true, without noticing they link to a satire news site such as The Onion or Daily Currant.
Here is a satire story shared displayed in the news stream (thanks Simon Heseltine for sharing it!)
And here is how the satire links appear once you have clicked on the original shared story:
This will definitely have an impact on traffic from Facebook from satire sites. Often people click on the link when they read a crazy headline, without realizing the link goes to a satire site, especially for satire sites that aren’t as well known as the Onion.
According to Ars Technica, the test has been ongoing for about a month, but doesn’t seem to appear on all satire news stories at this time. And they do not mark any shared stories as satire, only the automatically generated ones that Facebook displays after someone clicks a link.
Facebook confirmed to Ars Technica that they are currently running it as a test.
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
Now if only Twitter would do the same by marking a link as Satire when someone shares something believing it to be true.
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