Menlo Park, CA — What some are calling a “harmless prank” is being taken very seriously by the Fox News Channel. On Sunday, the links on Facebook which display related articles by Fox News were showing ‘satire’ tags beside them. No one is sure if this is permanent, temporary or a mistake, but lawyers of Fox are not taking the issue lightly.
“This is a programmer or someone at Facebook, a comedian,” Paul Horner, a lawyer for Fox News told reporters. “If these tags are not removed in 48 hours Facebook will have a multimillion dollar lawsuit on their hands.”
You will notice that the ‘satire’ tag only appears in the “related articles” box under the posted link. The related articles box shows up in the Facebook News Feed if you actually click the link to visit the article, according to Facebook spokesman Jack Phillips.
“At this time we’re looking into the matter which Fox News claims to be happening,” Phillips said. “When you post a news article on Facebook we don’t judge what you post, just as we don’t make judgment about whether your status updates are true or false. Here at Facebook, an article from The Epoch Times has just as much relevance as an article from CNN, we don’t judge. Though it is important to have this ‘satire’ tag, for the slower users of Facebook. Individuals who are quick to share links, without questioning the factual basis behind them. We can’t make people less stupid, but we can help some of them seem more intelligent than they actually are.”
73-year-old Caitlin Dewey told reporters she relies on Fox News to keep her informed. “If Facebook continues labeling the best news source in the world as ‘satire’, how am I going to get my daily info about Benghazi or Obama being a gay Muslim?” Dewey said. “I used to read the Washington Post but I found it too preachy and up its own ass with messages. I like Fox News because it helps me channel all my hate, anger and racist feelings into something much worse.”
An anonymous source at Facebook spoke to MSNBC about the ‘satire’ tags. “We contacted top executives at Fox News about remedying this situation. We told them we could remove the ‘satire’ tags but something would have to replace it. We offered them a variety of tags to choose from such as ‘fantasy’, ‘delusional’, ‘echo chamber’, ‘fanatical right’ and ‘Bible thumper’ but they didn’t respond, so we went with ‘satire’ as default.”
Political fact-checking website, Politifact, found that Fox News only tells the truth 18 percent of the time. And out of that 18 percent, only 8 percent of what they said was completely “True.” The other 10 percent was rated as “Mostly True.”
Facebook began testing the ‘satire’ tag last month with humor websites such as The Onion. Facebook said that it is adding the ‘satire’ tags because of feedback it received from users wanting a way to “distinguish not-real news or articles that are heavy on the propaganda.”
Facebook has setup a 24-hour hotline to answer any questions or comments about the new ‘satire’ tag and can be reached at (785) 273-0325.