Understanding Parody and Making Sense of Fake News

Why do people get parody and satire confused? Oftentimes it’s because they are not mutually exclusive. People tend to think of them as two separate entities, but the best parody usually arises from a blending of parody and satire. Parody, Hutcheon tells us, is where a text or some other source material is taken and then exaggerated for comical effect. It is also usually negative, since it is mockery of something that used to be serious. (Although, interestingly enough, parody can be a way to show appreciation through mockery!) Satire on the other hand is a harsh criticism of something in society, usually politics, with an aim of making the issue better through critiquing it.
This is interesting when we tie parody and satire back into what we read about fake news. Usually fake news was reserved mainly for comics like Colbert or the writers at the Onion, making up false news stories was purely out of humor — but now it is done out of malice. People are writing fake news like pro-trump stories and anti-hillary stories to feed misinformation to the public. In the NPR article we find out that Facebook has an algorithm that will feed you stories based on what you are already clicking on. So if you click on stories that are more rightwing than leftwing, you will get more rightwing propaganda delivered to you. We also find out that people believe fake news if it is beholden to their beliefs. So if someone who is pro-trump reads something pro-trump, they are more likely to buy into the fake news since they are emotionally attached to it.


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