Fake news, the issue du jour, doesn’t have to be if people would read beyond the headline.
So says Ken Kilpatrick, a marketing agency owner and writer of satire, who has proof in the comments section for his own writing.
Kilpatrick, editor-in-chief of www.realclearsatire.com, wrote a blog titled “Clinton: Trump will be a great president.”
Kilpatrick slips into satire from the opening sentence, yet readers apparently do not bother to read past the headline to realize the story is a parody written as humor and commentary.
Indeed, Kilpatrick in the blog even “quotes” Hillary Clinton in addressing the surge of fake news and the sharing of fake news via social media and blogs.
“Most people who see this article are going to flap their gums after reading only the headline,” Clinton “said” in the blog. “They’re too lazy to read the article and will trust the headline to tell the whole story. Half of those idiots will forward it to all their friends on social media, expecting them to do the reading.”
According to Kilpatrick, in two days, the blog attracted more than 1,000 hits on www.realclearsatire.com, and its Facebook page received approximately 570 emoticon hits, 320 comments and 90 shares.
“Most commenters jumped in after reading only the headline, displaying their ignorance of the blog they either praised or condemned,” said Kilpatrick, president and CEO of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations, with offices in Pottstown and King of Prussia.
“People who comment on and share blogs they haven’t completely read are creating a market for those who create fake news,” he said. “They are as guilty for spreading false information as those who intend harm.”
“The internet is too vast to legislate out fake news, as Germany is trying to do,” Kilpatrick said. “The key to stopping fake news is to read past the headline. In so doing, angry voters might discover quality satire that can help lighten them up.”