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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

There's now a special tag for that

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Po-faced Facebook will slap "satire" tags on links shared by its users – to help users distinguish parody pieces from the real news.

Flagging up links to send-up sites on Facebook's News Feed will remain an experiment for now, though. The tag only appears in a user's News Feed after they have clicked on, for example, an Onion link via the desktop version of Facebook.

Related articles from the parody site then appear below that story with the word "Satire" wrapped in parenthesis in front of the headline.

As noted by Ars Technica, the Onion's "Police officer Doesn't See A Difference Between Black, Light-Skinned Black Suspects" piece becomes "[Satire] Police officer Doesn't See A Difference Between Black, Light-Skinned Black Suspects".

Facebook confessed in a statement that some of its users were a bit thick:

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. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.

Google similarly frets about users mistaking an Onion article for a real story. All such links come with Satire warnings on Google News.

Thank goodness you can rely on The Register for real news. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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