Apparently people on Facebook don't know what the Onion is or can't bother to look past a headline to realize the story they're outraged about is satire. BBC News reports that now Facebook is testing a "satire" tag to alert users to calm down — Michael Bay didn't actually show the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ "hyper-realistic CGI genitals" (check it out via Literally Unbelievable, which records Facebook users' dumb responses to Onion stories).
Meanwhile at Twitter, as the Atlantic explains, you may soon see tweets from users you don't follow, as the service is testing a new timeline that displays tweets from friend-followed accounts or a tweet favorited by someone you follow.
Facebook tells the BBC that it's trying out the "satire" tag because it has "received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others." The company is starting with a small test that shows "[Satire]" in front of recommended stories by sites like the Onion, Daily Currant, and others.
There's no list of which websites will be tagged or if this will be a permanent feature for all Facebook users, but Consumerist reports that people are already seeing it.
Naturally, the Onion has responded to the news with a post titled "Area Facebook User Incredibly Stupid."
The Twitter timeline change is also only affecting a small group of users, but if it rolls out site-wide, it's could completely alter the service. Of course, tech journalists were among the first to notice, when ReadWrite spotted this tweet about a BuzzFeed story coming up in one user's feed with a prompt to follow Buzzfeed. Twitter already drops ads into our timelines, but they are clearly labeled as a "promoted" tweet.
The Atlantic thinks this test is such a fundamental change to Twitter's product that, if it actually happens, "Twitter will no longer exist" as we know it. The shift could be part of Twitter's user growth strategy. In its second-quarter earnings statement, the company said its timelines were viewed 173 billion times by users vs. 157 billion in the first quarter and its stock shot up 35%, as reported by the San Francisco Business Times.