With each passing day, Facebook is becoming more like an overbearing parent: it controls what we see on our newsfeed, pries into our love lives, reads our messages, and now it’s telling us when to laugh. Well, kinda. To help us poor humanoids it’s generously added a [satire] tag in front of posts that are… well, satire.
To be fair this might be a liiiiittle bit harsh, as it’s apparently come about due to the volume of satire on the internet getting a bit much for some of us; Facebook say it’s in reaction to user feedback asking for the internet to basically trick them less.
The tag will come before satirical articles in the news feed, most of which will probably come from a preapproved list of known satire sites, like the Onion. Maybe they’re trying to redeem themselves after recent ruckus about manipulating users’ feed, but have taken it a little far. Maybe it’s meant to be ironic.
Some people are pretty happy about it, suggesting that the hoax-news industry is getting a bit big for its boots anyway; some have marked it as the death of internet satire. Others are worried that it takes another element away from us having to do any kind of real brain leg work, and arguably it’s true. I just kinda want to know how Facebook are planning on keeping on top of what’s satire – a satire-checker maybe?
The new feature is in the test stages at the moment – it’ll be interesting to see if it’s as popular as Twitter’s recent changes to the favourite function (read: will cause mass rage) – but there doesn’t seem to be any indication of whether the tag will be permanent.
What do you think, is the new tag creating more transparency, or just a way of melting our mind-computers?
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