UnNews:Op-Ed: Wait, I could be making money off this?

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31 December 2016

ATLANTA, Georgia -- I've been in this business for a long time. Probably too long actually. Been a decade this year, in fact. And this whole time? I've been doing it for free.

People will believe anything they read, especially if it is shared by a friend or family member.

I didn't know I could get paid to propagate bogus claims through fake news articles. Thought it was only something I could do for fun. But this year shows me how wrong I've been. Thanks to social media sites - namely Facebook - duping the public has never been easier. All it takes is one story about a lottery winner shitting on their bosses desk[1] and boom, the majority of people will lap it up like a cat to water. See, it turns out, most people are stupid. They want to live their lives in a state of panicked conformity. They want to believe things that fit their preconceived notions of the world, and they want others to do the same.

Say something like "These Illegal Critters Threaten To Destroy America" and the terrified masses will buy it. Why? Because they have it in their feeble minds that America is under attack at all times, that the next 9/11 can happen any second. Xenophobia is at the core of so many. People are easily manipulated.

And it's all just clickbait.

Is this even the smallpox virus? Hell, you don't know!

Say I was to write a news article with the aforementioned title "These Illegal Critters Threaten To Destroy America" and have it be about smallpox, how many people would read it? Probably not many. If they did, they'd notice the body of the article is about the dangers the smallpox virus once posed. But how many of the few who read it would know smallpox has been eradicated for decades? Shove in a picture of the smallpox virus under a microscope and maybe another of an actual smallpox victim and blam! Fear levels will be drummed up enough that even the most rational among us would be grabbing for a surgical mask[2] and a bottle of antiseptic.

It'd be so easy. And the kicker? I could get paid to do just that.

Think about it, I know the formula to hoax people. And there's a huge demand for it[3]. An article about smallpox? Heh. I could throw in words like "pandemic" and have people on every continent soiling their pants.[4]

And thanks to how advertisers pay by view and click rather than by actual content, I could be raking in the cash. Just rolling in green. Who cares about the consequences? Mass panic? Pssh! Let someone else worry about that. I would be getting rich without gainful, meaningful employment. That's capitalism, baby!

So what's stopping me? I'll tell you what is:[5] I have standards.

Protip: A well-thrown rock can penetrate through even the strongest of defenses.

I'm not about to devolve to the level of a hack writer to drum up fears and insecurities in people just because I could make money from it. No. That's morally and ethically corrupt. I'd have to be a repugnant bastard with terrible hair to do that kind of thing. My morals and hair are all too excellent for me to stoop to such a low level.

That's why I refuse to write a fake story about a smallpox outbreak. But it would be my journalistic duty to write a comprehensive report on it should one ever happen. That's why I'm at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta right now, actually - to secure one of the few specimens of the smallpox virus still left on earth.

I will write a news report about a smallpox pandemic and it's gonna be true, dammit![6]


  1. Which is probably illegal. Don't do that, you piece of shit. Gracefully put in your two-weeks notice and don't go bragging about winning to anyone. Doing that will only land you in a heap of trouble.
  2. Maybe that cute giggling Japanese girl with one on knows something you don't!
  3. Proven by the fact 62 million people voted for a racist orange in 2016, and that was just in the United States
  4. George Orwell would call this "newspeak", but who cares about some dead guy who tried to warn everyone to avoid such manipulation tactics? The only 1984 that matters is the 1984 Midland and West Sperm Bank Explosion of '62.
  5. Hammertime?
  6. These armed guards can be taken out just by rolling a ball of yarn in front of them, just like a cat!