Spread vs Satire

The current political climate is scary, and classic news reporting makes things seem grim. With headlines like “Proof of Russian collusion found” and “ School shooting takes 10 lives”, it’s becoming harder and harder to find a silver lining to things. If you go online, it is clear that many people find solace in political satire, with comedians like John Olivers and Trevor Noah having millions of subscribers. In this kind of political climate, satire is a double-edged sword: One can laugh along with it, a small beacon of humour in an otherwise grim world, but it can also be used as a crude one-liner to attack well-constructed ideas and spread disinformation. What distinguishes between satire and blatant fake news? And who is to decide when a piece of satire finally crosses the line?

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