A fake article circulating claims that Facebook users posing with guns are having their names submitted to Homeland Security. This story is satire.
This satirical commentary comes from satire website Empire News. The fictional piece of writing claims that Mark Zuckerberg has verified that the names of Facebook users who posed with guns in pictures were being turned over to the Department of Homeland Security. Included in the write-up are several false quotes attributed to Mark Zuckerberg, senator Ted Cruz, and a Homeland Security director.
While it may not be wise to display weaponry in social media accounts for a number of reasons, this story is satirical and entirely fictional. Most readers will recognize this as satire, though some will undoubtedly see the headline and believe this is a sign of degrading constitutional rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
There have been some criticisms of Facebook in relation to privacy issues and exposure of member information. However, these concerns are minor in comparison to what is being claimed in this satirical column.
There is a disclaimer posted on the Empire News website that identifies it as a satire site. This information can be found at the bottom of every Empire News page on a link labelled ‘About / Disclaimer’.
A profusion of false news under the guise of satire has been published online in the last two years. On occasion, these fake news stories go viral when users mistakenly believe the stories to be true and share the headlines via social media. Oftentimes, it appears that headlines are merely glanced and passed along while the story goes unread. The end result can be a mass of deceived people and a satire site that reaps profits through an influx of traffic. Knowing a profit can be made, and in efforts to increase traffic, the fake news released by satire sites has become increasingly less humorous and prone to fear mongering and/or trolling hot button issues to make it appear more realistic.
For more information on the growing field of satire news, see this Washington Post interview with a successful writer from Empire News.
Facebook is not submitting the names of users posing with gun in their picture to Homeland Security. The piece of writing which claims this comes from satire site Empire News.