Bogus stories about paid protesters and presidential endorsements made by the Vatican, among many other clickable tales, were not uncommon in the run-up to the general election this year, spreading like wildfire through social media. In the media's soul-searching following the election, unsubstantiated stories and their purveyors were singled out, dissected and lumped together under the umbrella of "fake news."
Now, some of the more artistic and comedic creators among the pure click-baiters are speaking out against the "fake" label and calling for a more nuanced approach. Many say they aren't doing fake news — they're doing satire, NBC News reported.
"We get our news from Facebook, but we don't fact-check what we're reading, we don't look into what we're reading," said John Egan, who runs The Burrard Street Journal out of Vancouver, Canada, and has published stories with headlines like "President Obama Confirms He Will Refuse to Leave Office if Trump Is Elected."
Egan said his content is entirely satirical, but he is aware some people will share a story after reading only the headline.