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Mar 27 / King Kaufman

April Fools’ Day reminder: No satire allowed on B/R

As I was discussing with my friends Kanye West and Justin Bieber yesterday*, Monday is April Fools’ Day, and that means it’s time for this reminder:

Satire is forbidden at Bleacher Report, and we define satire as things that are not true presented as if they were true.

We don’t ban satire because we are humorless misanthropes. Many of us are humorless misanthropes, but that’s not why we do it. We ban satire because search engines can’t tell the difference between actual and satirical news stories, and neither can humans who only read a headline before sharing a story on social media.

A website that runs nothing but satire can get around this problem with a clear label. When a story from the Onion shows up in Google search results, the site itself is labeled as satire, like this:


Onion search result


But there’s no good way for a non-satire site to label the occasional satire piece to keep searchers from being fooled into thinking the story’s real. There’s no better way to lose readers for good than to trick them into clicking on stories that are not what they appear to be.

So yes, you have a hilarious April Fools story ready to go. It’ll absolutely kill. And Bleacher Report’s going to miss out on it. We’ll sacrifice those yuks to safeguard our credibility.

But all is not lost! It’s possible to be funny online without resorting to fake news. It just takes some creativity and original thinking. No foolin’.

* * *

* April Fool! Kanye and Justin are not my friends. We had a big fight last week. 

Photo of a fool by Richard Kelland / Flickr Creative Commons

  • Chris Hansen Hansen

    There is little room in sports for humor as it is. Besides the occasional pie in the face during post game interviews, sports are serious business. My pride is on the line here each and every time my home team takes the field. So, I expect my news to be delivered in the same fashion.

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