Save Satire: Stop Punishing Satire Websites

Save Satire: Stop Punishing Satire Websites

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Eric Silverman started this petition to Facebook and

Recently, Snopes has started 'fact-checking' well-known, easily identifiable satire websites such as The Onion and The Babylon Bee, labeling them as 'false' so that they may be treated identically to 'fake news' and propaganda websites. Snopes has 'protected' us by 'fact-checking' satirical headlines including: "CNN Purchases an Industrial Sized Washing Machine to Spin News", "Federal Judge Orders Chris Tomlin to Stop Adding Choruses to Perfectly Good Hymns" and "Elevation Church Debuts a Water Slide Baptismal."

This would be funny and worthy of satire itself, but due to the desire to prevent 'fake news' social media sites like Facebook can employ punitive measures to censor, demonetize, and otherwise punish sites who are deemed to publish 'false' information according to 'fact-checkers' like Snopes. Since such websites rely on social media to get clicks and shares, such treatment is an existential threat to them. The Babylon Bee has even hired a lawyer to protect themselves from this strange treatment.

By treating satire websites identically with 'fake news' and political propaganda sites, Facebook and Snopes are acting foolishly and unethically. They are unnecessarily damaging the quality of social media content. Satire is something that makes social media fun. Destroying it undermines the enjoyment of social media.  

Please tell Snopes and Facebook to stop harassing satire websites and to let them make us laugh (or at least try to make us laugh). 

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