SPECIAL REPORT: 10 tips for spotting satire

SPECIAL REPORT: 10 tips for spotting satire

Atlantic Canada — According to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, “satire” is defined as: “the use of ridicule, etc., to expose folly or vice or to lampoon an individual.” While this should be straightforward, many Manatee readers still seem to be confusing satire with “fake news,” even believing the two very different terms to be synonymous.

Facebook has confounded the matter, now offering its more obtuse users step-by-step instructions on how to spot fake news. Thus, we here at The Manatee believe it necessary to offer our own helpful tips on ways you can spot satire and avoid looking like a complete idiot next time you angrily share a story on social media.

  1. If an article is from a website that is covered in disclaimers openly disclosing it as satirical in nature, chances are, it’s satire.
  2. If the website in question features a cute little cartoon animal wearing a hat as a mascot, there is a high likelihood that it’s mocking real news, and is satire.
  3. If an article quotes real politicians but uses outlandish statements that no reasonable person could believe the politician would have said, the writer may have been making fun of said politician(s). This is probably satire.
  4. If the article is from a website called The Onion, the probability is high that it’s satirical.
  5. If the publication takes a real, timely news event and twists it to make it humorous, this too is satire.
  6. If the article quotes an inanimate object or an animal as if it were a human being — well, only a moron wouldn’t get that it’s satire.
  7. If an article says a government press conference took place somewhere it normally wouldn’t, such as Tim Hortons or the Fredericton Regent Mall, there is a very high likelihood that it falls within the realm of satire.
  8. If the image associated with the article is a bad Photoshop that makes someone or something look ridiculous, then contrary to popular belief, it is likely satire.
  9. If the headline uses curse words for comedic emphasis and effect, it’s probably satire.
  10. If your great-aunt shared it on Facebook and was upset, it is, without a doubt, satire.

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