There are many sites stored in our ‘other bookmarks’ folder that couldn’t all be described as essential tools for our job and many fall into the category of satirical news website, the king of which is undoubtedly The Onion. This week’s Weekly Web Highlight takes its cues from the aforementioned internet institution but the content contained within it isn’t strictly satire. Ladies and gentlemen we give you The On1on.
As often happens in the case of The Onion, gullible visitors can mistake what is presented as actual news content, such is the attention to newswriting conventions and the deft appropriation of that medium’s style. However, with The On1on, the articles are not the product of furtive imaginations and are in fact actual reported stories from news sources collated by users of the Reddit sub-board r/nottheonion.
Essentially, The On1on is an aggregator pulling factual content from around the web (proffered by Reddit users) the subject matter of which is so bizarre, inane or downright odd that it could well have been produced by the humourists from the site that inspired the creation of this site.
If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the front page featuring genuine stories of questionable newsworthiness from reputable sources such as ”School in Essex bans triangular shaped flapjacks after pupil is hurt” (The Independent) and presenting headline gems including “Chris Christie Undecided on Pseudo-’Therapy’ Practices that Electrocute Gay Children” (Alternet)
Whilst the content contained within does indeed raise a titter, it is, as creators and MIT Media Lab students Dan Schultz and Matt Stempeck point out, quite depressing to learn that the stories are all completely real and this is what passes for news in the modern age. That said, we challenge you to pay a visit to the site and not crack a quizzical smile.