Heeding the call of confused aunts everywhere, Facebook is testing a new feature that will append a “Satire” tag to satirical news articles, automatically rendering them very, very funny. “We received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement explaining the decision, citing all the people who will now be able to share in the laughter, now that they’ve been told explicitly that this is what they’re meant to be doing.
As first reported by Ars Technica (via Mashable), Facebook has been testing out the use of the “[Satire]” tag for over a month of corporate-approved mirth, though its implementation is often as subtle as the humor that will soon no longer prove an issue to its users. The tags won’t appear until after a user has already visited a satirical news article and stared at it in baffled silence, composing an outraged response in their head, then returned to their Facebook news feed. There they’ll find the site has generated several “related” articles with their headlines preceded by “[Satire],” alerting them to the fact that they’ve just been amused. At this point, chuckling finally ensues.
It’s unknown as yet when or even if the “[Satire]” feature will be implemented more widely, so that all Facebook users might be able to recognize that being called incredibly stupid is just a joke, rather than take it as a genuinely irate indictment of the way the Internet has demolished the human capacity for critical thinking—or even just for waiting a goddamn minute before blindly regurgitating something onto your digital Wailing Wall for everyone to see and shriek about—in such a way that we should consider just dismantling the entire thing and returning to an agrarian society, where we’d only have to talk to each other about the weather or if our livestock gets sick. But in the meantime, at least some of them have a little fun-times button.
If the initiative proves successful, publications such as The Daily Currant and National Report—which specialize in a unique form of “satire” that isn’t meant to be either funny or insightful—may be appended with a “[Stop Reading The Internet]” tag.