Quantcast
Latest Stories

Literally Unbelievable: When satire happens to dense people

By

You couldn’t blame me for the panic I felt when  I came across a breaking news report on TV following a sudden school day cancellation, which featured a grave anchor announcing the arrival of a massive meteor that was about to enter our atmosphere and cause worldwide havoc in a few hours.

It was a good thing that I checked the channel (HBO) and the TV guide—it turned out to be a disaster B movie whose format mimicked real-time news feeds, and did it so well that it had me fooled, along with a friend’s aunt who started packing and calling her relatives, screaming for them to evacuate immediately (true story).

My only consolation then was that it was the ‘90s, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook did not exist yet for me to play prophet of doom and demonstrate to friends and strangers how gullible I was.

Omnipresent

The omnipresent Internet, combined with a steady influx of smartphones, has led to the uprising of citizen journalism, whose instantaneity is both celebrated and maligned.  After all, not everyone who aspires to break news on social media platforms are armed with the necessary ethics to go with it.   Thanks to unsavory and unreliable sources, hoaxes are constantly perpetrated, unwittingly or deliberately.

Of course, not all faux news pieces floating on the Internet are meant to mislead, but rather to poke fun at a particular situation or hot topic,  or to make one think and laugh at the same time—like a cartoon, but with more words and less squiggles.

Because of the democratic nature of the Internet, where it allows anyone to have access to it, regardless of understanding or a higher brain function—it’s so easy, cats do it all the time (see YouTube for proof)—a lot of people with hysterical blindness for satire tend to take these tongue-in-cheek pieces too seriously, often with funny results (funny when it’s not you), and hilarious enough to merit its own blog.

“Literally Unbelievable” is a collection of everything from Facebook reactions gone wrong to headlines from The Onion, an American satirical newspaper and website.  Reactions often range from disbelief to righteous anger or best yet, an all caps rant about the utter stupidity of the persons involved in the piece.

These reactions end up being funnier than the original satire piece, while some feel that the collective gullibility of people on the ’net is cause for alarm, as more and more people take the word on the web as truth without bothering to verify or even consult another site to be sure.

Visit Literally Unbelievable at http://literallyunbelievable.org for a laugh or two, and let it serve as a cautionary tale the next time you want to re-post that dodgy news article you just read.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Internet , Lifestyle , Literally Unbelievable , Social Networking , Technology



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Suspected militant, son killed in Thailand’s south
  • Iran mother spares life of son’s killer after campaign
  • Japan to hunt fewer whales in Pacific this season
  • Deal brings no immediate change to eastern Ukraine
  • China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
    Marketplace