The Power of Satire and Conspiracies

From the beginning of the election campaign up until today, the internet has been flooded with keyboard warriors and “I told you so” revelers. Unaware of the grace that should follow a victory, many of us have come from all corners of the world to converge online and continue the bitter bashing and outlandish behavior that I assumed was part of the “change” everyone has been yapping about.

So may people have shared links, statistics, assumptions and outlandish theories based on their personal “research” and opinions; From Miriam Defensor Santiago dropping out of the presidential race, the Pope praising Duterte, the Pan-Philippine High-speed Railway project of Binay, Leni Robredo’s statements on Resignation, the Mar Roxas “Kamen Rider” and Samurai incident at the Toei filming grounds, Grace Poe’s Year of the Monkey presidential bid and a slew of other out of context, fun-poking and fake interviews.

While the publishers, posters and trolls spew out a deluge of anal-vomit, quite an alarming number of people scoop it up with their cups made of misplaced righteousness and “headline-based intellectuality” – simply because the sensationalism of it all is too good to pass-up and too complicated to ever be less than accurate.

Although I salute the creativity and entertaining nature of satire sites like ADOBO CHRONICLES, THE PHILIPPINE CHRONICLE, THE PHILIPPINE TREND and all sites like these, I can’t help but feel alarmed at the failure of the masses to understand what “Satire” means. All the while actively Clicking, Sharing, Passing-off as fact and then commenting in ALL CAPS with such passion you’ll never see on a regular day.

The power of satire and conspiracies is found not in the ignorance of the people but rather in their utter laziness. We are a mass of minds that like to be there to build pillars, join in the gleeful beginning of something new but only a few remain to see these things through.

Relate that idea to the concept of Satire News (refer to the mock percentages below):

  • Assuming 100% of voting masses read the fake headline
  • 75% will read the article’s 1st sentence or paragraph
  • 60% will jump to the “juicy parts” based on the appealing keywords
  • 30% will read the whole article
  • and only 4% will research what “Satire” means.

Even fewer will remember the words “fake”, “parody”, “hoax” and the fine print on sites that say they shouldn’t be taken seriously.

More often than not what happens next after reading the satire is the formulation of conspiracy theories, the immediate feeling of being offended, the share-crazy actions brought about by a misplaced responsibility that “I need to spread the word! People HAVE to know!”

In fact, how many of you readers will have gone to the “About Us” page of these websites to check on their legitimacy? Follow this link and then tell me how you missed this

For those of you who prefer not to click on the link (you lazy bastards) here is an excerpt:

Everything you read on this site is based on fact, except for the lies.

So to my fellow Filipinos, before you mouth-off, take offense, become the hawkers of news and the defenders of the truth, be wary of the truth you fight for because a lot of the creators of these things you so love to share are in it for the internet traffic, the “AdSense” (research THAT), the ridicule and the LULz.

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