The term ‘fake news’ has been everywhere – especially on, well, the news. While platforms like Facebook are being forced to take steps to prevent the spread of false information, this does not prevent lazy people from being tricked by satire organizations like ‘The Onion.’
‘The Onion’ is a satirical ‘news outlet’ that was created by Scott Dikkers in the late 1980s. In a speech at Marquette University in his home state of Wisconsin, Dikkers clarified that satire and fake news are completely different. “It’s satire. It’s totally different from fake news, and it bothers me when those fake news organizations are basically out there printing lies or propaganda label themselves satire.” Fake or not the following list of people who allowed themselves to be duped by ‘The Onion’ shows just how little research people do when it comes to their news sources. “If ‘The Onion’ ever wrote a story that fooled people, that was an accident, and that was because they didn’t know better,” Dikkers said. Scroll down to see the stories that people somehow bought and don’t forget to upvote your favs!
How does did a small-town satire newspaper grow into an online media presence that caused the lawyer of the U.S president to write an angry letter telling them to remove one of their fake articles? The company was founded by a group of University of Wisconsin students Tim Keck, Christopher Johnson, Scot Dikkers and Peter Haise 1988. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from”, said former President Sean Mills in an interview with Wikinews; “and, when I recently asked (co-founder) Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me…literally that his uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.”
When The Onion was in its early days it was just a popular publication among the universities in the area, primarily made-up of cartoons by Dikkers. They remained a small print publication until 1996 when one of their articles titled “Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia” began circulating around the internet but without any attribution. Thus The Onion’s official website the onion.com was born (largely so they could get Internet credit for their work).
In 1996 the owners of the publication got their first taste of celebrity when Janet Jackson threatened them with a lawsuit for an article titled “Dying Boy Gets Wish: To Pork Janet Jackson.” This could have been the end for the satire rag but as we know they have gone on to receive plenty more threats.
The Onion website won its first Webby Award for “humor” in 1999 and in fall of 2000 the company had grown large enough to move its offices from Madison, Wisconsin to the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, NYC. The company has continued to evolve and now is full on production company with video content.
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