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Facebook to tag satire articles to stop users falling for jokes

Social networking site aims to stop its users falling victim to satirical news websites

Facebook to tag satire articles to stop users falling for jokes
The onion website recently published a story about a 9,600 mile long rollercoaster which may people believed to be true.

Facebook is testing a new feature intended to stop users accidentally falling victim to joke stories, online sources have reported.

Satirical websites such as the Onion in the US and the Daily Mash in the UK have often left people believing outrageous stories. Recently the Onion published a story about a 9,600 mile long rollercoaster, leading people to post comments wondering about how to take toilet breaks whilst on it. 

"We are running a small test which shows the text '[Satire]' in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed," a Facebook spokesperson told Ars Technica. "This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units."

Facebook said that the test had been happening for over a month and did not say whether the tag would be used on content from different websites other than the Onion, according to the statement.

If any of the users that are selected for the trial click through to a piece from the Onion and then go back to Facebook, the related stories that show beneath the link when users return will then feature a tag marking it out as satire.

So many people have fallen victim to these satire news articles that there is now a dedicated website called "Literally Unbelievable" which captures users misinformed comments.  

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