- Satirical news site The Onion is ruthlessly roasting Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- Over the last two days its published around a dozen articles, taking aim at everything from tech addiction to the 34-year-old CEO’s baby daughter.
- The Onion’s editor-in-chief told Business Insider the attack is because of how Facebook has “betrayed the trust of billions of people” and is cutting off publishers’ web traffic.
The Onion is in the business of making jokes about pretty much anything in the news. But this week, the satirical news site appears to have trained its fire on one particular target: Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Over the last two days, The Onion has published around a dozen articles ridiculing the social network and its founder, and it says there’s more on the way.
Why? The Onion’s editor-in-chief Chad Nackers told Business Insider that the comedy onslaught is because Zuckerberg has “repeatedly betrayed the trust of billions of people,” and because Facebook is choking off traffic to The Onion’s website.
“We have 6,572,949 followers on Facebook who receive an ever-decreasing amount of the content we publish on the network,” Nackers said, calling Facebook an “unwanted interloper” between the publisher and its audience.
In other words, The Onion is on a mission.
A multi-day lampooning
One of the first in the barrage on Thursday poked fun of the 34-year-old CEO: Mark Zuckerberg Insists Anyone With Same Skewed Values And Unrelenting Thirst For Power Could Have Made Same Mistakes.
The Onion’s parody news article quoted a would-be Zuckergerg:
“‘I know I screwed up, and I understand why you’re all upset, but if you were a morally corrupt megalomaniac hell-bent on manipulating society to your twisted whims, you would have done the exact same thing,’ said Zuckerberg, suggesting that people should put themselves in the shoes of a self-absorbed arsehole with a warped perception of humanity who justified the exploitation of personal connections as a means of amassing unfettered influence and profits to truly comprehend why he made every completely fucked-up decision.”
Another Onion article skewered Facebook’s arguably cringey “Here Together” campaign: Facebook Users Ashamed Of Criticising Company After Seeing Heartwarming ‘Here Together’ Ad Campaign.
After that came a flurry of more jabs at the Facebook CEO.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) June 14, 2018
"I was a high-level employee at Facebook for five years, and during that time, I was responsible for burying thousands of news reports about Mark Zuckerberg’s human zoo." https://t.co/Ksgv7iPoAJ pic.twitter.com/lbKZZLiN8P
— The Onion (@TheOnion) June 14, 2018
A particularly dark op-ed pretended to be Mark Zuckerberg’s baby daughter, telling him: “Daddy, I Don’t Want To Live In The World Your Website Has Created.”
Facebook has been a semi-frequent target of The Onion and its sister sites like Clickhole in the past – but never so frequently.
The Onion’s criticism of Facebook could be about two different things:
So what’s The Onion playing at? Nackers was highly critical of Facebook in his statement, calling it “an unwanted interloper between The Onion and our audience. He cited how the publication’s Facebook fans “receive an ever-decreasing amount of the content we publish on the network” – That’s most likely a reference to Facebook’s News Feed, which only shows a publisher’s posts to a certain number of that publisher’s followers. Companies can pay Facebook to “promote” their posts so that they reach a larger number of their followers.
But it’s possible that The Onion is also complaining about recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, which have deprioritized news articles in favour of other types of Facebook posts. And given that The Onion’s satirical articles are in a sense a form of “fake news,” the company’s content may be getting penalised more severely than that of other publishers.
“We are strong proponents of the First Amendment, and the fuel of a functioning democracy is the free flow of information. Facebook, the world’s largest sieve of personal data, has become an unwanted interloper between The Onion and our audience,” the editor said.
“We have 6,572,949 followers on Facebook who receive an ever-decreasing amount of the content we publish on the network. Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly betrayed the trust of billions of people. What you’ve seen over the last 48 hours is only the tip of the iceberg.”
The Onion’s anti-Facebook crusade is also branching out into multi-media. On Twitter it shared audio that purports to be Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues making fun of a teenager’s coming-out message on the social network.
Leaked Audio: Mark Zuckerberg And Facebook Employees Make Fun Of Teenager’s Private Coming Out Message pic.twitter.com/5r3mwRaD9I
— The Onion (@TheOnion) June 15, 2018
And it shared a video too: 6-Year-Old Explains How Messed Up It Is That Her Entire Life Has Been Put On Facebook.
Facebook, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not respond to a request for comment.
Here’s the complete list:
- $US30 Million Donation From Chan-Zuckerberg Charity To Help Kids Learn To Read Returned
- ‘You’re Deleting Your Account? We’ll Be Sad To See You Go,’ Says Facebook Prompt Showing User Photo Of Own Dead Body
- Daddy, I Don’t Want To Live In The World Your Website Has Created
- Mark Zuckerberg Defends Decision To Fly Confederate Flag At Facebook Headquarters
- 6-Year-Old Explains How Messed Up It Is That Her Entire Life Has Been Put On Facebook
- Creepy Weirdo Still Stalking You On Facebook
- Mark Zuckerberg Recalls Coming Up With Idea For Facebook After Seeing Dopamine-Addicted Lab Rat Starve To Death
- As A Facebook Employee, I Was Ordered To Bury Thousands Of Stories About Mark Zuckerberg’s Human Zoo
- Facebook Users Ashamed Of Criticising Company After Seeing Heartwarming ‘Here Together’ Ad Campaign
- Mark Zuckerberg Insists Anyone With Same Skewed Values And Unrelenting Thirst For Power Could Have Made Same Mistakes
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