Hillsborough — Jason Arsenault, a 28-year-old web application developer based out of Hillsborough, N.B. has created an app that exists solely to distinguish whether an article found on the Internet is real, or if it is satire.
“I just can’t stand satire stories,” explained Arsenault. “And I think a lot of people feel the same way. They’re just pointless drivel if you ask me.”
The application is designed to allow users to avoid the embarrassment of thinking a fake news story is actually real. Popular news shows like CBC’s This is That or American-based The Onion use real-looking headlines in an attempt to poke fun at a current event, or simply to fool people into thinking the article is true.
“It’s not even real writing,” continued an angered Arsenault. “It’s completely talentless; a trained monkey could do it, I swear. All you have to do is come up with some silly headline that sounds kind of real, throw a few paragraphs together about this ridiculous subject matter, add a few quotes from an outraged citizen, add another quote from someone else who has an opposing view, end it with a clever little quip of some sort, and voila! You have a stupid satire article that everyone hates. It’s that easy.”
Rebecca Kern, a local satire enthusiast, had a different take on the matter. “Real news gets so depressing. I think it’s great having these humorous little articles circulating. It takes real talent for writers to connect with people this way. And not knowing whether or not it’s real is part of the fun, too.”
Arsenault’s app, FAKEAPP, can be purchased from the iTunes store for $29.99.