Yes, I Was Fooled Again.

It’s not exactly a major point: item #4 in this post mocked an essay on an obscure website. The thing was called “Why White People Owning Dogs is Racist.”

I just added this to the post:

RETRACTED: The article discussed is from a hoax site…Reader Isaac led me to the other two articles on the site, which are clearly  jokes. Nowhere on the site is it stated that it is a hoax site or that it engages in satire. The dogs post is not obvious satire; it’s not funny, and it’s no more ridiculous than a lot of genuine Black Lives Matter nonsense,  the things Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says every other day, or the typical PETA press release.

I resent being tricked like that, as I’ve written before. The Onion is a satire site, and says so up front. So is the Babylon Bee. There was nothing anywhere on the page I read on the United Wildlife Union website to suggest that the post, ridiculous as it is, was intended as satire….not with the crazy stuff I read every day. Poe’s Law is real.

Here is, in part, what I wrote about a similar unethical site:

… They masquerade as satire sites, but are intentionally poor ones. Their stories are not clever or sufficiently well-made to signal their allegedly humorous nature, and the disclaimers are hidden, perhaps a click away, or at the bottom of a screen, where the site-owners know many readers will never look.

…You know how I feel about web hoaxes (if not, you can catch up here, here and here). Undercover “satire” sites…are prime offenders, and the remedy for must be cultural, not legal.  In other words, we have to just hate them to pieces, and hope they slink away. There is no fail-safe way to distinguish between true satire, in which the objective of a faux news story is to amuse, and a hoax, in which the real objective is to trick as many people as possible into accepting the story as fact, so others can say, “What a gullible idiot you are!”

Well, I hate them to pieces.

That’s something, I guess.

3 thoughts on “Yes, I Was Fooled Again.

  1. Even Jove Nods.
    You issued a correction ASAP.
    Also a genuine apology.

    While perfection is to be striven for, all that is within human power is to do as you have done.

    All I can do is recognise that – and try to follow your example.

    Sometimes it does no harm to state the obvious like this, and may even lower your blood pressure, knowing some good came of it.

  2. Their stories are not clever or . . . well-made

    …Two things to look for that signal hoaxes. The people who read these sites regularly are envious of cleverness, and despising of well constructed sentences. This is their kind of “news.”

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