Websites I wished I created

A wall clock once sold at cafepress.com

I would bet that there are a lot of people who wished they created a website called Faux News. “Faux”, being French for “Fake” (as in “faux fur”), but could be pronounced by un-knowing English speakers as “Fox”. A stroke of genius.

There are actually four sites that I am aware of with the same name:

  • fauxnews.com, fauxnews.org. The “.com” website is a single-page website which has retouched photos intended to parody the political news of the day. There are no articles or text on the site. The “.org” website has “fact-free” satirical news articles and some graphics, but is extremely limited in its output.
  • The same can be said for a third site I found, fauxnews.info, which is not much more than a barely-set-up website with test postings and test graphics. The latter one is registered to an owner in Utah; the first two are registered to an owner in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • There is a fourth domain, fauxnews.net, which just generates a blank page. A whois lookup suggests that it is owned and operated by InFaux Holdings of New Jersey.
    At first glance, you could be excused for thinking there was going to be a fivefold increase in taxation in 2013.

    Most of these websites are registered with GoDaddy and are all subject to a legal dispute, according to publically-available registrar information. The content in these sites is pretty much frozen from update, which is sad. There is so much possibility here. It isn’t just making fun of the gaffes of Fox hosts or presenting bizarre bar graphs (much like the real ones on Fox, famous for its mislabelled axes, pie charts that add to more than 100%, bar graphs that don’t start from 0, and other liberties taken with graphs that cause misleading impressions to be made.But Faux News won’t go away, now morphing to a Facebook group, and in at least one subreddit. I have a problem with it in that its full capability is not exploited; most of the humour is juvenile and from a YouTube Faux News video, the delivery could be better. I can say the same for a podcast by this name, which is less satire and more juvenile banter. When it is good, its satire amounts to goofy character sketches. Maybe they are poking fun at some particular interviewer or host, but it is unclear. But that isn’t satire. I can appreciate that satire is

    Honestly, could you have made this bar graph up as a joke?

    sometimes difficult to write. At the “easiest” level, it still requires research, since satire becomes more effective according to how much you know about the topic. But for Fox News parodies, you have to realize that most of this stuff writes itself.

    Faux News can claim some kind of connection to the fact that the online world is rife with “information” on every nutty idea that exists. I am not sure if I need to accuse Fox news of passing on information “because it exists”, since I would accuse them of far worse: of being the ones to creatively conjure up information into existence. In less polite circles, we would call that “bullshitting”. Whether it is misleading with bar graphs, or presenting impossible pie charts, it would appear as if NewsCorp will stop at nothing to present its own view of the world, without much regard for the truth.