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Between websites with disclaimers, made-up author names and mocking subsections, satirical articles can usually be spotted from a mile away.
But when Facebook pages share these stories with no context or disclaimer, many users end up commenting and sharing the content as if it’s real news, without reading the story or seeing the "this is satire" banner some websites employ.
The headline: "Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Nationwide Motorcycle Ban."
No, Ocasio-Cortez is not coming for motorcyclists. The story, and quotes within, are made up.
The post, which has nearly 700 comments and over 6,200 shares, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The website that posted the story, Taters Gonna Tate, describes itself as a subsidiary of America’s Last Line of Defense network of satire sites.
On its About Me page, the website says:
"Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical."
Still, the Facebook post garnered comments that thought it was real: "Just think. She’s going to have a Great Pension for the rest of her life & Medical. For being STUPID." Also: "Back off!!! A good majority of motorcyclists are retired veterans. She is NOT going to be able to do it."
This satirical article is just that — satire. We rate it Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 28, 2019
PolitiFact, No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez probably didn't say that, March 27, 2019
Tatersgonnatate.com, Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Nationwide Motorcycle Ban, Accessed July 24, 2019
Snopes, Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Propose a Nationwide Motorcycle Ban?, April 8, 2019
TheDrive.com, No, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Not Trying to Ban Motorcycles, April 9, 2019
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