- Ta-Nehisi Coates dismantles Mitch McConnell’s anti-reparations argument Wednesday 7:52 PM
- Whoopi Goldberg stirs debate over her opinion regarding Bella Thorne’s nudes Wednesday 7:04 PM
- Joe Biden really, really hates raves Wednesday 6:02 PM
- RIP to the Twitter geotagging feature that no one actually used Wednesday 5:14 PM
- Facebook contractors reveal the horrors of moderating graphic content Wednesday 4:42 PM
- Prosecutor almost directly quoted Bible in trial against man who helped migrants Wednesday 4:05 PM
- TikTok’s time warp videos get it twisted Wednesday 4:03 PM
- Is a ‘Stranger Things’ and Fortnite crossover event going to happen? Wednesday 3:55 PM
- YouTube reportedly thinking about moving all kids content off the main site Wednesday 3:50 PM
- AOC calls out Democrats for tone-deaf Beyoncé tweet Wednesday 3:15 PM
- Democrat candidates come out as ‘wife guys’ Wednesday 2:45 PM
- Poll of best Batman actors fails to include Adam West, and fans are not happy Wednesday 2:25 PM
- ‘Pose’ producer Janet Mock lands historic Netflix deal Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Teen confesses to killing her best friend on video to get $9 million from a stranger online Wednesday 1:28 PM
- Democrats vote to block transgender troop ban Wednesday 12:17 PM
Meet Mediamass, a so-called satire site that spreads any lie it can.
James Gandolfini, the actor and Sopranos star, is dead at the age of 51. You may have read this yesterday. You may also have read that he wasn’t dead, that this news was nothing more than an Internet rumor.
The stories claiming it was a hoax, though, were part of a hoax.
The group responsible for this idiocy is Mediamass, a so-called satire site that runs on the premise that good satire is just making shit up.
Gandolfini died from a heart attack in Italy on Wednesday. That same day, Mediamass wrote that rumors of his death “earlier in the week” were “just a hoax,” implying, of course, that Gandolfini was very much alive. There were no rumors that he’d died earlier in the week—just actual stories that accurately and factually reported his death.
[I]t will not only mock the procuders [sic] (mainstream media, journalists) as it is common when questioning and criticizing mass media, but also the consumers as one cannot exist without the other. Sensationalism, lack of verification of information, ethics and standards issues are only symptoms of the actual social and economic order. This is particularly obvious when observing the role of social networking sites in spreading rumours.
Get it, sheeple? By believing in what Mediamass reports, you’re simply part of their grand satirical experiment. They are mocking you because you (by believing them) are part of the problem.
Forgetting, for a second, the childish, self-righteous arrogance inherent in the concept, it’s not an entirely bad idea. There are ways to effectively satirize a spectacle and its audience all at the same time—see the famous example of Andy Kaufman and his wrestling career. And surely the media is always ripe for a good smackdown.
But while good satire doesn’t have to be funny, it does have to be smart. Mediamass is neither.
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.