Founded in 1988, The Onion is a parody news organization that publishes fake articles like “Busch Gardens Unveils New 9,600-Mile-Long Endurance Coaster” and “LensCrafters, Pearle Vision Agree To Prisoner Exchange.” The Onion’s websites hit around 11 million total unique visitors per month and a lot of the traffic is driven by Facebook. Many gullible Facebook users believe that the headlines for these articles are true so the social network company is testing out a ‘[Satire]’ tag in front of links to satirical content.
Facebook said that it is adding the [Satire] tags because of feedback that it received from users wanting a way to “distinguish satirical articles from others.”
If the [Satire] tag helps people realize that The Onion articles are satire, then it will give the blog LiterallyUnbelievable.org less to write about. LiterallyUnbelievable takes screenshots of an article from The Onion posted to Facebook along with angry comments from people that were fooled by the headline.
The “related articles” selected for each story are based on an algorithm. The Boston Globe recently criticized the algorithm for displaying inappropriate related articles about First Lady Michelle Obama after content was posted related to her encounter with a 10-year-old girl whose father lost his job. The three related articles were either mostly false or filled with inappropriate commentary. “If you are spreading false information, you have a serious problem on your hands. They shouldn’t be recommending stories until they have got it figured out,” said Emily Bell, director of Columbia Journalism School’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, in an interview with the Boston Globe.
Facebook spokesman Jessie Baker said that the news feed units were designed to surface popular links that are shared on Facebook, but the company does not make any judgment about whether the links are true or false “just as we don’t make any judgment about whether the content of your status updates are true or false.”
Coming to terms with a post-nuclear war world may not seem a likely topic for a comedy. However, in Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed cold war film “Dr. Strangelove,” this theme serves as vehicle not only for comedy, but also for political critique.
Now the university is hoping to capitalize on this type of satire to discuss political topics with it’s new film series, “Fade to Black.”
The semester-long series features five American-made films themed around political satire and dark humor. The series is offered as a one-credit class and is open to all majors. It is also open and free for the public.
Communications professor Lindsay Hoffman created the series, calling it the first of its kind. So far, she said the series has been very well received by students.
“My objective is just to get students interested and engaged and thinking about things that they maybe wouldn’t ordinarily,” said Hoffman.
Students are thinking ahead as well. Buckle, who is not officially enrolled in the course, already said she would register for next year’s series.
The films in the series are “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” “Wag the Dog,” “Do the Right Thing” and “Thank You for Smoking.”
Hoffman said these particular films were chosen for their “iconic representation of dark political humor.” The theme of dark political humor was chosen to lighten up issues.
The next film in the Fade To Black series is “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” the film will begin rolling Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall.
School Dress Codes. One of the most enforced school policies of all time. Everyone has an opinion about what is too short, what is too long, what is too low, what is too high, what is too tight, and what is too loose. According to schools, middle school girls are all indecent. Because of this, there are very specific rules about what us girls can and cannot wear. “Skirts, dresses and shorts cannot be more than 2 inches above the knee.” So we can only wear long shorts? Is it just me or does that sound like an oxymoron? Wouldn’t long shorts be pants?
Would I be punished for wearing my pants above my waist? What if I want to wear my pants around my chest? That’s a nerd style. Nerds are usually pretty smart. Are the schools now frowning upon smart people doing well in school? What about Steve Erkel? Would he be punished for wearing his pants too high? “All tops should cover the top of shoulders and cover the entire body.” It’s a good thing they don’t allow us to show our shoulders. Shoulder showing could really get crazy. I mean, us kids get so turned on by shoulders, who knows what would happen if we all walked around with bare shoulders all day. Also, since when does a shirt cover your entire body? I have never seen a head to toe shirt, unless you include burkas and those ghost Halloween costumes made from cheap sheets. I’ve been violating the dress code for two years, wearing shirts that only cover my torso, without even knowing it. How silly of me! I should have realized our public schools run by the United States government that believes in Separation of Church and State would want us to wear burkas to school.
Unfortunately, many of the dress code policies described above are violated daily. Enforcing the dress code is so difficult. Students will never listen! That why the debate whether or not school uniforms are better for students is so popular. School uniforms would solve all dress code issues. Issues such as letting students express themselves and be individuals. Wouldn’t society run much more smoothly if we turned all small children into robots? Dress them all alike. Same shirts. Same pants. Right down to the same underwear, socks, and shoes. While we’re at it, might as well dye all their hair the same color and give them all the same color contacts.