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Talk:Poe's Law

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This article is, among others, randomly included on the Main Page.
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This article was identified as a possible duplicate of List of Poe's Law examples, but it was decided to keep the articles separate.

Another example: "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast[edit]

When WotW was broadcast on radio on Oct 30 1938, many listeners thought a real alien invasion was happening, despite many details of the script being changed "to tone down the realism".

Actually, it seems a few credulous listeners got overly excited, and the news media played it up. This sorta thing happens all the time. [MrG / Greg Goebel] — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Occam's Razor as applied to Poe's Law?[edit]

I have made an observation - unfortunately because I glanced at the comments section at the bottom of a news article and promptly started smashing my head against my desk.

The observation is that there are a lot of stupid comments which are so stupid that Poe's Law applies. It was then noted that the poster behind these comments was the same person - and they had a habit of prolific Poe's Law-ing - leading me to conclude their belief was sincere (which made it all the funnier)

This led me to wonder: does it make fewer assumptions to suggest that genuine parodists of any sort of ingenuity are fairly rare, especially when compared to the number of ignorant people. There hence, Occam's Razor comes into play - suggesting that many (most?) candidates for Poe's Law are in fact sincere?

NB: This is a depressing thought — Unsigned, by: Cprobertson1 / talk / contribs

Parody and extremism[edit]

"Without a clear indication of the author's intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism."

Usually laws belong to some branch of knowledge. I suppose this one might be more a rule of thumb than a law. I do wonder if Poe's Law is self referential. The quote leads one to suppose things that make us laugh are likely to be extreme. I hate when that happens.Ariel31459 (talk) 03:42, 23 September 2019 (UTC)


The little diagram at the top right is too small to read easily at least on my screen. Is there anything that can usefully be done without ruining the page layout? --Annanoon (talk) 11:21, 1 July 2021 (UTC)

Cultural influences[edit]

I suspect Poe's Law is more of a thing in the USA than elsewhere in the Anglosphere. Americans do sarcasm etc, but not to the same extent, and I find some of them are a lot less able to spot sarcasm and satire. I think there are various reasons for this, but US culture is more literalist. I would put this down to the USA's puritan heritage and also the high immigrant population (since sarcasm is harder in a second language).

I definitely see a lot less of this on American TV than British. I find it annoying we have to flag things up as satire sometimes because that wrecks it...

Elsewhere there are other cultures which are less attuned to it. I find places which have been under a dictatorship of some kind struggle to pick it up.

So, I'm afraid to say, in my experience the Poe's Law pyramid could do with a fuzzy section around it.-Albannach (talk) 09:33, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

i'd its difficult to spot satire or sarcasm if its online full stop. if its text based, with nothing to indicate intent, who can tell if an ridiculously over the top screed is obvious satire or deadly earnest? if you know whose behind something, you might know they are doing a bit. they are just another racist if you dont. qanon is obviously satire, but the whole storming the capitol thing, thats a bit much even for jeremy beadle. alex jones was genuine, now hes in court he's satirical.
the internet is global. once upon a time, comedians knew who their audience were - they were physically in the theatre with them or they tuned in to channel 4 late friday night to catch your act. everyone is their audience now. the whole world can suddenly 'tune in' when a poorly word tweet goes viral. your new audience dont know you or your history. they wont know its a bit. they'll see just another cunt. often hateful shit used to satire of hateful shit is indistinguishable from not just earnestly hateful shit, but hateful shit using satire to say hateful shit. or people know its satire, but they will it is genuine to be outraged. it really is all identical to each other.
you introduce tv shows before they air, and put them on certain channels or time slots, so you know to some degree what you are getting. dedicated comedy websites usually let us in on the gag. they are not usually spur of the moment stuff either. facebook posts get shared with gran and there is no watershed to stop the kiddies viewing it. twitter isnt a smokey club full of hipsters who all know they being ironically racist. think before posting. dont expect work with disney after doing dead baby jokes after a fire in a creche.
social media and the internet generally. you are not in control of who your content reaches, unexpectedly reaching an audience where it wont fly, and no one is in control of a twitter storm. until it blows out that outrage isnt satire.
and satire is hard. satire done poorly really is just hateful shit, and its all too often done so so poorly. satire isnt just being sarccy but is usually what passes as satire. sarccy is the default 'tone' of the internet everything on it is shit satire. even if it only explicitly framed as satire when a post doesnt go as planned. trolling is satire to trolls no matter how lazily offensive it is to everyone else. i remember when vandalising conservapedia was 'satire'. it wasnt, it was a justification for being a dick.
thats the problem with satire. if its not taken as satire, there is a good chance it was just really shit satire, or it was put out there by a prick. maybe both. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:44, 4 August 2021 (UTC)
sticking to the poes law, since this is for that article and i kinda just went off on shitty internet satire which might not be particular relevant. that triangle thing is most definitely a us thing. i dont see it as obviously canadian or antipodean and certsainlt not the uk to be often confused over religious vs satire of religious. overt religious expression is by default suspect. crazy fire and brimstone parodies are obviously parody because that just isnt religion in the uk (northern irish protestants can get a bit, lets say loud). it would be poor satire as it would be so far from most peoples experiences of effete cofe vicars. in the us every town as church that is its own unique denomination competing with others in the surrounding area, preachers are the radio and tv as larger than life salesmen racking in millions. its impossible to parody them because they are already a parody of themselves. they do a good show of the preacher caricature you get a jet. satire is hard to actually to do when its impossible to go to far with it. its not satire if its an accurate impression. there are so many of of too, saying all sorts of crazy shit you cant out crazy them. your satire of em is already going to really dumb and obvious, really broad, already verging on ridiculous to even keep up with the real deal. you cant satire them they've embraced the ridiculousness of their shite and honed it over their careers for obscene and conspicuous wealth. if the satire is spotted its because the real deal are better showmen always performing, and the satirist is just a hack doing a bit.
im not aware of much satire of fundamentalist islam that wasnt obvious and shit. not the stuff aimed at non muslims at any rate. non muslim audiences are not so intimate with whats being satirised so its usually broadstrokes resulting in lazy racism
i suspect more overtop satires of judaism and rabbis is not so likely to be mistake either for real thing either, running the risk of antisemitism, or just pushing lazy stereotypes with jackie mason types kvetching uncontrollable. i am of more works with a jewish creator that have clear jewish flavour to them (not really up on muslim cinema and 'christian' films are absolute wank and omg hollywood and jews is real) to think there is scope to be foold by more nuanced satire, not satirising extreme religious jewish folk, but more middle of road, metropolitan jewish comminities.
dunno if being fooled fooled by satires of cultures i am not directly apart of or have much intimate contact with and created by those within those cultures really counts.
on reflection, its not just us thing either, just a specific part of it AMassiveGay (talk) 13:32, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

Should the Babylon Bee be included in the "See also" section[edit]

Seeing that The Onion is included, I wasn't sure if another satire site (Babylon bee) should also be included in the "See Also" section. --Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 18:05, 25 September 2023 (UTC)