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“We’re always looking at our headlines and thinking, ‘Could someone actually believe this? “And if it does [seem believable], then we haven’t done our job properly.”The founder of National Report, Allen Montgomery (a pseudonym), has claimed in interview that his efforts are an attempt to highlight the spread of misinformation.
“National Report is often the first place people actually realise how easily they themselves are manipulated,” he said to the marketing website late last year, “and we hope that makes them better consumers of content.” It’s hard to know how disingenuous his claims are, but one thing is clear: as a strategy for bringing in traffic and advertising revenue, making up fake news is a winner.
Christie, now a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, was claimed to have become agitated when asked about flibanserin, the experimental drug intended to boost the female sex drive.“The men of today already have enough trouble satisfying women as it is,” ran the quote. They just haven’t realised it yet.” More than 240,000 people registered their interest in the story on Facebook. It may never have occurred to them that it might be satire, but it was.
“Who are they going to turn to to quench that thirst? Weak satire, but satire nonetheless., proclaims itself as “the first hybrid news/satire platform on the web”.
“It’s not clear which websites are crimes against journalism and which ones are crimes against comedy.
Some hide behind satire or parody, but it’s not clear because it’s not funny.” And as Rafferty points out, the aim of satire shouldn’t be about fooling people; it should be about making them laugh.
Snopes.com’s workload has been increasing as websites such as intentionally blur the lines between news, satire, entertainment and downright falsehood.“We live in a world where people say outrageous things.Some of the things you hope aren’t true actually turn out to be true.But when a fake news story with a believable headline takes people in, the resulting confusion isn’t particularly funny.At best, it prompts a raised eyebrow and a weary sigh. That’s the question now being asked of websites such as National Report.“There’s a spectrum of misinformation out there,” says Adrienne La France, the senior editor of The Atlantic and a former author of Gawker’s myth-debunking blog, Antiviral.
So you can understand why people believe things that in retrospect are clearly untrue – and I think part of that is to do with assimilating to this new, real-time news environment.”A new British news site, , is devoted exclusively to the bizarre-but-true.