We are head over heels in love with sarcasm. It’s entertaining. Good social commentary. And it’s something we don’t feel guilty forwarding to all our friends in the middle of the day. Satirical news, in particular, holds a very special place in our hearts because it helps us discuss important topics by considering different perspectives. Here’s the thing, though: not everything that glitters is gold, and not everything that reads like satire is actually satire.
Extremely popular ‘No Onion’ sub-publication documents some of the most “mind-blowingly funny” headlines for true stories that wouldn’t feel out of place on the landing page of satirical news site ‘The Owen’. Of course, some of them may seem unbelievable at first glance, but we promise you, they are legitimate. In many respects, this is very unfortunate for humanity and our faith in it. Other headlines, however, show just how straightforward. weird Planet Earth can get life.
Scroll down and feast your eyes on the most impressive weird news headlines. Upvote the ones that surprised you the most, and let us know what you thought of them in the comments, Panda.
Again, just to reiterate: the headlines are absolutely real. So be sure to share them with your friends — we’re pretty sure they need a break from school and work. Oh, and if you’d like to see the original articles in their entirety, we’ve included links to them below each image.
KristenBellTattoos.com Reached out to one of the moderators who help run r/nottheonion, redditor u/IndigoSoln, to discuss the news. We also reached. Lisa McClendon, William Allen White Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications and the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas to get his take on clickbait headlines and what constitutes good journalism. You’ll find our interviews with both the moderator and Professor McClendon below, Pandas, so be sure to read on.
Redditor u/IndigoSoln, one of the moderators of r/nottheonion, was kind enough to share his thoughts on the nature of modern news, the subreddit, and himself. He told Bor Panda that he wasn’t personally involved in the sub when it was founded in 2008, but he feels that a lot has changed since then. Some of it is pretty obvious. Some – not so much.
“Much growth occurred when sub was one of the ‘default’ subreddits that all users were automatically subscribed to upon joining. This continued into 2017 with the rollout of more discovery-based onboarding. However, Until then, we’re firmly in a depressing new era of onion satire,” Maude said.
“The election and administration of Donald Trump, a walking SNL piece and ‘failed business mogul’ persona, was the point that things started to go off the rails. There was rarely a day when someone was weird and funny. Don’t be surprised. The stunt you’d never imagine is actually happening. The president serving fast food to a championship sports team? Using a Sharpie to correct a weather map? How about that? Crazy world?”
People resonate with content shared on a subreddit for a number of reasons. Some enjoy it because, at some point in their lives, they may have realized that reality really was stranger than fiction. “For some people, you just need to put that madness on paper to really realize it. Are you seeing it? [crap]?’ Kind of for those with darker complexions. [sense of] Humor, it helps them to laugh at situations and cope with helplessness,” Maud explained.
“This increase in relevance and politicization of the most influential posts has come with a few challenges. With the polarization of opinion comes an insatiable itch to argue and debate every angle with extreme bias in the comments. Given the seriousness of things, politics with humor subpolitics vs. comedy sub with humor. Things have gotten so bitter that we’ve resorted to only allowing select posts on Donald Trump because we’re having a tough day. was warranted when they were allowed to grow, reach r/all, and bring people from the front page of Reddit looking for an argument.”
The moderator said the sub is an interesting place “where we get called Nazis and the flavor of the day is ‘liberal’/’republican’ on both sides trying to keep the peace and maintain a somewhat respectful atmosphere.”
According to moderator u/IndigoSoln, the reason clickbait is so widespread is that news consumption has “dramatically moved away from trusted sources like newspapers and toward less well-known sources, like Facebook. Book pages, random clueless influencers, and other people who crave it. Sacrificing your integrity for a little more attention. From there, it’s like ‘do or die.'” He added: “Fortunately for us, the onion belongs to the entire article and not just the fluff title.”
According to the mood, good news is less interesting than bad news because the former usually means that, well, nothing really happened today. “There’s a reason why filler pieces are often good news. There’s nothing to gain from that news except status quo. What people are really interested in is change and how it’s relevant,” he said.
Meanwhile, University of Kansas professor McLendon gave Bor Panda his take on it: “I think people are attracted to the unusual, and often the unusual is negative. Writing about the plane that doesn’t crash’ because airplanes don’t usually crash, so when one does it’s newsworthy.”
As for the reason clickbait is so widespread, it’s because it works. Clickbait headlines are used because Internet users click on them. “I’ve seen changes, though, as people catch on. The headlines — less from legitimate news outlets and more from ‘content’ sites — but when you read the article, you realize it’s absolutely unbelievable. No. People like to be informed, and they like to be surprised, so we’ll probably always have some sort of clickbait,” the professor opined with Board Panda.
Professor McClendon was also kind enough to share his views on what is at the core of quality journalism and what those in the profession can do to improve the quality of their work.
“Correct information is at the heart of quality journalism. Legitimate news organizations find out what’s going on, check the facts, get multiple sources, and present the news to their audience in a clear, informative way. But there is always room for improvement,” he said.
“Big picture, journalism can often be improved by making sure that sources from all sides of an event are represented. For example, too much political coverage is on one side versus those on the other side. Decisions that are influenced by omission. Small picture, good editing is always important. Clarity and precision help readers understand and enhance the credibility of journalists.”
About 21.8 million people are members of the r/nottheonion subreddit. This is a testament to the quality of the community, the moderators, and the topic they focus on. Their content is a mix of good humor, social commentary, and sheer weirdness. A somewhat winning combination on the internet, we feel.
The sub has been operational since late October 2008, and will celebrate its 14th anniversary in just over a month’s time. While everyone is welcome to become a member, if you’re really planning to post any Bizar-o World/Totally-Not-The-Onion-y headlines there, there are a few rules you should be aware of. It has to be. They help maintain a high quality of content and keep the community healthy.
The moderators of r/nottheonion ask community members not to change any of the headlines they share. “The title of your submission should exactly match the title of the article. Copy and paste from the article, excluding any subheadings, bylines, or other information,” he writes.
“Both the title and body of your article will sound like something The Onion would write. This can be highly subjective—there is no one-size-fits-all guide to what fits. The Onion is at the discretion of the moderators.” can rule over posts instead of,” the mod team points out, adding that there’s a bit of subjectivity involved here as well. In short, the headline should sound like what you’re looking for. Onion (Or just subtle Babylon fly (if you’re on the other end of the political spectrum).
Obviously, the headlines you share should be from news articles. So blog or social media posts won’t cut it here. You should also aim to use original and reliable sources. Nothing older than two weeks from the publication date should be shared on the sub. Meanwhile, try to avoid tabloid news.
Outlets like The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, and others tend to overhype certain stories and sometimes rely on the rumor mill and speculation. There are a lot of talented, hard-working journalists out there. But their stories have the form of tabloids. Naturally, this bleeds over into their headlines.
Take care to check if the headline you are sharing is actually true and not sarcastic. Some reputable news sites actually have their own satirical sections: for example, Fiction Borowitz reports on The New Yorker. (As a side note, Pandas, if you haven’t already, check out BR; it’s great stuff…as is The New Yorker as a whole.)
Author, editor, and journalist Erin Shirinfrom London, told Board Panda exactly how to make a headline stand out from the crowd during a recent interview.
“Work out what people want to know most in the article, and then write a headline that suggests they’ll learn if they click on it—but make sure the payoff is as good as Headline commitments have been made,” he told us.
“Clickbait works because people are eager to learn about ‘a weird trick doctors don’t want you to know!’ feel,” media expert Aryan explained to BoardPanda that clickbait works as long as the content in the article is worthy of the audience’s attention.
She added that bad news stories are usually more dramatic than good news, which means more entertainment is needed, even if the subject makes you sad.
“This instinct for drama, not sympathy, shows humanity in its best light,” said the author. “They [the readers] “I want to be angry about what happened because it’s dramatic and funny and scary, but it’s also a warning about what can happen to them if they’re not careful,” she noted of the bad events. Essays about are similar to car accidents.
Los Angeles-based media and entertainment expert Mike Sington recently spoke with KristenBellTattoos.com about why people tune in to negative news more than positive news. He also expressed his thoughts on why internet users love to express their hatred on social media.
“People enjoy being part of a group that can post things on social media, and hate. Plus do it from the comfort of your home, behind a screen, anonymously. Can go,” he said.
“Positive, wholesome news is hard to come by,” Hollywood’s ultimate insider told us.
For example, one thing that many people enjoy (even if some of them won’t admit it) is watching public figures and celebrities fall from grace. These are the people that Internet users look up to. Some of them even put him on a pedestal.
“So when they fall from grace and mess up, there’s almost a sense of relief. It can be pleasant for some people because celebrity becomes more relatable. People realize that celebrity is Things can go wrong in life, so they’re not really. Different from themselves,” he said.