In case you haven’t noticed, the Internet in 2015 is a bottomless hole of bullshit. Like that cheating wife on Snapchat the other day, which is maybe the fakest shit I’ve ever seen. And that drug dealer who operates on credit (lol.. SRSLY… has no one watched The Wire?)?
Who knows what’s real and what’s fake anymore? Who cares? Cleverly masked “news” that’s really fiction under the guise of “news” is perceived as just that — it pops up on your Facebook Newsfeed, people have instant knee-jerk reaction, are generally entertained, then move on. It’s the circle of viral content, to the dismay of actual journalists everywhere. It’s a reminder that at the end of the day, a lot of the viral garbage that we perceive as “news” isn’t really news — it’s just entertainment as a digital spectacle.
The latest thing to dupe millions of people on Facebook is a fake news story from “NBC News” about Yelp suing the creators of South Park for $10 million after last week’s hilarious takedown mocking obnoxious Yelp restaurant reviewers. Maybe it’s popped up on your Facebook newsfeed today! It has on mine multiple times! And quite a few BroBible readers have sent this to our tip line today to post about. It comes from a site called NBC.com.co, a site that has nothing to do with the NBC News you’re thinking about.
If you actually take the time to read it and not just act outraged in the comments section on Facebook, you’ll realize that it’s actually some pretty brilliant fiction/satire. Like this statement from Yelp:
“Our company, along with its millions of users, take Yelp very seriously. The South Park episode was in extremely bad taste and not funny whatsoever. To say our critics are out there trying to get free food and using racist slurs on little Mexican children is beyond ridiculous. To compare the users of Yelp to terrorists is not only cruel, but the definition of libel and slander. I believe any reasonable court in America will agree with the lawsuit and rule in our favor.”
Even better is the HILARIOUS “statement” from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker about the “lawsuit”:
“We’ve taken a hard look at the information presented to us, and after reviewing it, we have given Yelp and their lawsuit only one star. Their lawyers delivered us legal documents in a very unprofessional manner; not bothering to smile or even a quick handshake. The writing on the envelope was barely legible and in two different colors. It is our personal opinion that Yelp could do a much better job by not suing us for ten million dollars.”
That’s a power quote right there. Too bad Matt Stone and Trey Parker didn’t actually say it.
And then, long past the time most readers stop reading, it gets into my favorite part: Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin. Praise Fappy!
“Before being listed on Yelp we had no problem going around the country speaking to elementary school children about the dangers and consequences of masturbation. Now, with our poor reviews on Yelp, people are beginning to question our morals and ethics, like that is so important. Just because I have been arrested three times for public masturbation and each case was pardoned by the Governor, doesn’t mean our federal funding and government support had anything to do with it. With the assumptions made by Yelp reviewers, they are causing deadly self-rape addictions in this country to continue and in the end it is Big Masturbation that wins. Such a shame.”
This satirical article comes from “NBC President” Paul Horner, the fake news mastermind behind a fake interview with Banksy, a hoax story about teen gamer who was sentenced to 25 years for a Battlefield 4 swatting, a fake news story about gay-to-straight programs in Arizona, fake The Big Lebowski 2 rumors, and — hey! — More Banksy/Fappy the Dolphin! The footer of the South Park NBC.COM.CO website leaves his signature:
Anyway, the whole thing just shows how easy it is to gamify the “news” these days. The recipe is pretty simple: Take something with mass appeal (South Park), apply a little mass audience outrage (i.e.: a company like Yelp suing South Park for $10 million because they mad), put it on a WordPress website with a URL that masquerades as a legit news source, throw it on a couple of big Facebook pages where it instantaneously gets shared, bombard the website with traffic, then profit off of alllllll those 300×250 and 728 x 90 banner ads fulfilled from various programmatic exchanges. $$$$$
The only thing that’s real any more is Fappy the Dolphin. All hail Fappy!