Facebook updates from people who don't know The Onion is a humor site

"Literally Unbelievable" reposts Facebook updates from people who think Onion stories are real ("Government Official Who Makes Perfectly Valid, Well-Reasoned Point Against Israel Forced to Resign" "disgusting! and you call it land of freedom and democracy!").

"Literally Unbelievable"


  1. If you never underestimate people’s capacity for idiocy, you’ll never be disappointed.

    1. I frequently underestimate peoples capacity for idiocy and as a result I’m frequently entertained by it.

  2. I love the Onion. I don’t know why I stopped reading it…

    Some of their stories really are believable enough to be real. Those are usually the best. I remember the one they did for 9/11. Classic.

    1. nauseous |ˈnô sh É™s; – zh É™s; -Ä“É™s|
      1 affected with nausea; inclined to vomit : a rancid, cloying odor that made him nauseous.
      2 causing nausea; offensive to the taste or smell : the smell was nauseous.
      • disgusting, repellent, or offensive : this nauseous account of a court case.


  3. This underscores the fact that some folks a) have no sense of humor and can neither recognize nor cope with satire and b) rarely read past the headline, especially if the subject matter opposes their personal views. These are the people who profess to know all they need to know about everything, which is to say, practically nothing about anything. In other words, Fox News fans.

    1. “I was literally dead…” is one of my favourites.

      To which I always reply: “You literally don’t know the meaning of the word ‘literally’.”

    1. there is one where someone points out that it is fake and the original poster still argues that even if it is fake it’s wrong.

  4. To probably misquote Albert Einstein “Both the Universe and human stupidity appear to be infinite, but I’m not entirely sure about the Universe”.

  5. In the nearby city of London, Ontario, there was a debate several years ago about homophobic violence and bullying in the high schools and what to do about it. A public forum was held and a religious group opposed to anything gay handed out an information package about the dangers of homosexuality. It included a reprint of an article from The Onion which showed a teacher instructing students how to be gay as clear evidence of a gay conspiracy. Much ridicule followed.

    1. @libraryboi: Yeah, a lot of Christian fundamentalists have used Onion articles as “proof” of their positions in the past. I recollect that there were so many fundamentalists organizations linking to one particular article about “gay recruiting” that the Onion replaced it with one making fun of fundamentalists.
      Given the nature of the outrage documented in this site, I’m guessing Christian organizations must have linked to the abortion article to get so many clueless, outraged readers.

  6. Teaching critical thinking skills at school just gets in the way of standardized test preparation.

  7. 1. “Making fun of Born Again Christians is like hunting dairy cattle with a high powered rifle and scope.” P.J. Rourke (i think??)
    2. sigh, kansas is in the midwest, the bible belt is everything and including south of tennessee but not or perhaps including florida and in some cases virginia. The true test is to leave any sufficiently massive object alone in public view for a sufficient time. If it has spontaneously generated a non-demoninational protestant christian church then it is probably in the bible belt. Objects may include cars, boxes, old comic book shops, abandoned military bases, empty walmarts, mailboxes, etc.

    1. The abandoned gas station across the street from my apartment hasn’t become a church yet, but that’s probably only because every wing of Christianity anyone has ever heard of already has one or two churches within a few blocks of here.

    2. Dude you are funny. Any comment on roadside memorials? I don’t have the skills. Cheers!

  8. ‘Blog posts that don’t realise that ‘Literally Unbelievable’ is a site full of fake facebook posts’
    It’s Hudson Hongo who writes for McSweeney’s, among other things. I’m of the opinion that it’s an elaborate recursive joke, and the posts are no more real than your average Failbook post. Doesn’t mean there aren’t people that stupid, but I don’t thing any of those are legit.

    1. “I don’t thing any of those are legit.”
      Hmmm, that would be… rather pointless. Since there are people who think Onion articles are real (and get upset about them), if this was fake, it could have been a lot more interesting than it is.

      1. Oh, as I said, there’s no doubt that there ARE people that gullible (my mother, easily. She believes David Icke, for a start), but it just strikes me that, given his other work, it’s more likely to be made up, in order to trick people into going, ‘Hah! Look how stupid THEY are!’ Which is considerably funnier than laughing at people who think the Onion is real, even.
        However, if it is a fake, it’s Poe’s Law in full effect, so it’s elegantly done. And if it’s real, look! Idiots! Hah!
        Win win, innit?

  9. What if it’s a “webpage inception” where we don’t realize it is mocking sites that are literally unbelievable?

  10. That is one of my #1 grammar peeves. It seems to have become a norm, though. I see that Arikol found that it has oozed into the dictionary. Pretty sad that language gets “dumbed down” to the common usage.

    1. I see that Arikol found that it has oozed into the dictionary. Pretty sad that language gets “dumbed down” to the common usage.

      The use of “nauseous” to mean “afflicted with nausea” as well as “inducing nausea” dates to the 17th century. The single-usage argument dates only to 1949, in a letter to the editor of the Saturday Review. (—Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, 1994.) If anything, that usage has oozed out of the dictionary.

    2. jere7my@28 is correct about nauseous vs. nauseated.

      You can read the Merriam-Webster DEU entry for yourself here.

      Be sure to note their conclusion.

  11. not dumbed down, language changes, evolves. Languages that do not change are referred to as dead languages (Latin, ancient Sumerian, etc.)

    Words that are commonly used tend to change their meaning.

    1. Words change their meanings because ignorant people, who don’t know what they mean, use them incorrectly, then their dumb friends use them, and finally word nerds give up on correcting them, and add them new meaning to the dictionary.

  12. Irony is watching a thread whose point is to laugh at idiots as it quickly crumbles into an idiotic argument.

  13. Sufficiently advanced satire is indistinguishable from reality.

    Thankfully, these days, sufficiently advanced politics is indistinguishable from satire.

  14. The best Onion piece ever was a teaser on page 1:

    Headline: “Cat shits outside the box”…with a photo of a cat, litter box and stray turd laying on the floor.

    damn cats need to be responsible!!!

  15. That first outraged poster sounded pretty mad at first but then seemed to offer a recommendation to “go to the plex”. So is she mad as hell or making a cool one-liner for a fictitious baby terminating mall? I’m confused.

  16. as we speak, somewhere there’s a cavalcade of winnebagos, signs ready, desperately trying to find the abortionplex.

  17. The left wing version of this would be people who think Landover Baptist is real, and rail against fundamentalists based on stories that show up there. Landover hides their satire warning a bit further into their site than the Onion does.

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. When there are actual flat-earthers out there, you really have to write well to distinguish your satire from the real thing.

    2. The big difference is that when I’ve read left-wingers/liberals/progressives who thought Landover Baptist was real, it wasn’t moral outrage they expressed but a shocked disbelief that fundies could be ”that” stupid.

  18. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the one about the government official speaking out against Israel getting fired was real. Sounds about right.

    I have a feeling these are all faked responses to fake stories, though I don’t doubt many idiots out there would be fooled.

  19. Years ago would print out the onion and convince people that it was real news. Pretty easy back then. Folks belive crazy things.

  20. @GilbertWham I just checked the first entry shown on Openbook. The entries are quite real.

  21. Dr Zaius (the greatest Simian thinker of all-time) said it best: ” His (Man’s) wisdom must walk hand-in-hand with his idiocy.”

  22. Fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

    Favorite comment:

    “Check this. While U get Ur ABORTION, U can dorp off the “KIDS” (that U did’nt KILL), and then go adopt a Dog, well, They are Family too…Right ?”

  23. Not that I want to defend stupidity or bigotry in any way, but we all know that one of the main reasons that less tech-savvy people often think the Onion articles are real, is because a lot of the time the Onion articles simply aren’t actually FUNNY in any way. Seems to me they prefer volume over quality when they churn out their humor product.

    1. So you have to be tech savvy to spot satire? What about a good liberal arts education?

      1. Yeah, I think satire (even bad satire) is something that tends to be more apparent to literate people with average to high intelligence who are not autistic.

  24. pretty great. I’ve enjoyed coming across these types of links with comments for years, and now they’re all in one place for easy perusal!

    as they say, “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

  25. Those big chains always move in and run the Mom & Pops out of business. There goes my livelihood, taking my vegan mcnugget outlet down the pipes with it.

  26. Look. . .I wasn’t born yesterday, but I get tricked by ‘net ‘/sarcasm}’ on occasion

    goes with the territory.

    but thanks to social networking and various reasons for the huddled masses yearning for TMZ

    suckers get sucked in. Educate the overly credible. . .and let us move on, shall we?

    1. It is not that they are tricked, not at all. It is the reflexive righteous indignation that’s so awesomely funny. It is like what you just did there, but turned up to eleven.

  27. Even if you think nauseous is different than nauseated, the facebook comment works. After reading this, she became so insufferable that she caused nausea in others!

  28. I am not that surprised. I do not find the articles in “The Onion” funny. A few make me smile but the rest have no humor.

    If the article did not make the reader laugh, then it would be easy to expect the article to be serious.


  29. Weak-minded Faux News viewers are conditioned to discontinue critical thinking as they become brainwashed to support the agenda. You can spot them in a crowd. Simply ring a bell and watch for the drool.

  30. Rather similar to your own comment stream on the story about dancing at the Jefferson Monument.

  31. What I find most perplexing — or egregious, depending on mood — is NOT that some people, sometimes, mistake satire for seriousness; this, as a prior poster pointed out, happens to nearly everyone who travels the Internets. What only happens to people whom I would term not “idiots” but rather “overly righteous” is that their emotional state leaps directly from calm to UTTERLY INDIGNANT HOLY ZEUS. Unless you, personally, witness a baby being impaled on a spike, there is vanishingly little justification for this sort of emotion-jump; instead, the correct answer is “distress, followed by moves to confirm or deny the facts which have generated your distraught state.”

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