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June 2, 2011

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The Onion, Facebook and Literally

Literally Unbelievable

Scoroncocolo, Scoroncocolo Tech Pages, Google  Results For Osama bin Laden DeadThe Onion and Facebook make a pretty good comical team. Add Hudson Hongo's new Website Literally Unbelievable to the mix and it gets even better.

the onion logo

Planned Parenthood recently opened an 8 billion dollar "Abortionplex"

Never doubt the power of satire.

Everyone knows that The Onion is a satirical news outlet that publishes fake news stories. These stories are always very well written and are usually outrageous and often hilariously entertaining.

Just last Friday, May 20, 2011, the Tumblr site Literally Unbelievable - Stories from The Onion as interpreted by Facebook was born. The idea for the site came to its creator, 24-year-old Hudson Hongo, when he began noticing how many people on Facebook were taking seriously and posting links on Facebook to ridiculous stories like the one on The Onion Website entitled Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex. Mr. Hongo found it both amazing and amusing that so many Facebook-users were gullible enough to believe that story and other stories like it were true. Never mind that the story about the fake Abortionplex is in poor taste. I'd be the first to agree with that. But, that so many people could fall for what was so obviously meant to be satire seemed to Hudson Hongo to be Literally Unbelievable.

According to the fake story, The Onion claims that Planned Parenthood recently opened an 8 billion dollar "Abortionplex" in Topeka, Kansas. According to the obviously satirical story, the bogus 900,000 square-foot, U.S government funded, facility can supposedly perform one abortion every three seconds, or a million abortions per month! Here is the abortionplex story on The Onion that has caused so much consternation on Facebook.

Since the site, Literally Unbelievable went up last Friday many other articles from The Onion that have fooled a lot of people on Facebook have shown up on Hudson Hongo's pages. Is President Obama really giving every man, woman and child in America a free parrot? Well, of course he is. But, isn't that a terrible waste of tax-payers's money? Of course it would be and it would be insanely silly, too, if it were true, which of course it isn't.

So before you find something on the Net that you can't wait to share with your friends on Facebook because it is so preposterous, so outrageous, that it gets your blood boiling, be careful that story didn't originate on The Onion, because if it did it's fake, satirical news. And don't treat that story like it's real and share it on Facebook or you might wind up on Literally Unbelievable and that could be embarrassing.

"The Onion" Has Also Punked Major Media Outlets

the onion logo

The Onion Is a Comical Fake News Source

Back in November of last year Fox Nation re-posted the first few paragraphs of an article featured on The Onion entitled “Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail” and failed to mention that the piece was meant to be a joke. Whether Fox Nation re-posted this story without a disclaimer accidentally because they were fooled into thinking it was real, or they did it just as a prank, or because of something more sinister, is something we'll probably never know.

Fox isn’t the only news service to be punked by The Onion. Even the Gray Lady has had problems with The Onion. Just last month The New York Times printed an article about the teen magazine Tiger Beat that featured a picture of President Obama on the cover of one of Tiger Beat's editions when in fact the cover was a spoof created by The Onion.

Back in July of last year a video by The Onion showing "Rep. John Haller" reading plans for the implementation of martial law in the U. S. caused a great number of people to take the satirical video seriously. Thousands of concerned people posted a link to the video on their Facebook pages. By the way, there is no member of the U.S. House of Representatives known as Rep. John Haller. It was all a hoax instigated by The Onion.

In the summer of 2009, two legitimate Bangladeshi newspapers were fooled into believing a story published by The Onion was real news. The Onion published a story that had Niel Armstrong admitting that the 1969 NASA mission to the moon was a fake. The Daily Manab Zamin and the New Nation picked up the story off of The Onion's Website and ran with it believing The Onion to be a legitimate news site, comparable to CNN, the AP or BBC.

A few years back, China's state-run newspaper, the Beijing Evening News, came across a story on The Onion Website entitled Congress Threatens to Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol is Built and they wrote their own story about the piece in The Onion and printed it on page one. The Beijing Evening News wrote "If a new building with more bathrooms and better parking wasn't erected, then U.S. lawmakers were prepared to pack up and move to Memphis, or Charlotte, N.C".

Never doubt the power of satire.

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