Satire news websites, The Chaser and The shovel went viral on social media after publishing articles mocking Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerburg’s, opinion on the regulation of speech on social media.
According to The Guardian Zuckerberg told Fox News on Thursday that the company should step away from regulating online speech.
He is quoted as saying, “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”
“Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that,” Zuckerburg continued.
To mock Zuckerburgs opinion the following satirical (and obviously untrue) articles were published. The Chaser’s headline read, “‘Social media should not fact check posts,’ says child molester Mark Zuckerberg,” and The Shovel’s headline read, “Mark Zuckerburg, Dead at 36, says Social Media Sites Should Not Fact Check Posts.”
— The Shovel (@TheShovel) May 28, 2020
Both posts went viral on social media with people wondering if Zuckerburg had actually died.
The Chaser website actually crashed from all the traffic caused by the headline.
For those asking why our website is down, it’s had 9 million requests in the last 24 hours, which is about 8.9 million more than it normally deals with. Rest assured we’ll be deploying emergency bluetack and paperclips as soon as we’re done with the Friday beers.
— 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙲𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚛 (@chaser) May 29, 2020
According to The Guardian, Charles Firth, the managing editor of The Chaser’s online site said the post had been viewed by over 1 million people in less than 12 hours.
People quickly took to Twitter with their reactions.
Spent five minutes trying to laugh quietly at this at work
— Ailias (@LoL_Ailias) May 28, 2020
I heard he was dead! No need to fact check.
— Frances A Paterson (@Hyndlandlass) May 28, 2020
I didn’t want to laugh at this. But I’m currently giggling to myself 5 mins later….. pic.twitter.com/q4wIt1zz62
— miss_bluebird (@eyes_like_mine) May 28, 2020
Funny as heck, but also agreed. Really, it’s a cultural shift that needs to happen where people need to fact check for themselves. That kind of education is the only proper solution. Every media giant is vulnerable at point of staff, so it’s best to teach people to fish.
— Robert Cummings (@SquaredApe) May 28, 2020
He was such a champion for free speech and accountability.
— Sir Thunderbird (@SteveVicMorrow) May 28, 2020
Can that which was never alive truly have died?
— Mr Haus (@mark_hauser86) May 28, 2020