The Washington Post

The Onion launched a parody site called Clickhole, and not everyone got the joke. (What happened next will not surprise you.)

Last week The Onion launched a much-discussed clickbait parody site called Clickhole, dedicated to the gleeful skewering of all things viral and vapid. The express purpose of Clickhole is to satirize sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed, which, in turn, frequently read like parodies of traditional news.

What you end up with, then, is a parody of a parody: A thing so inherently ridiculous, so exaggeratedly stupid, that no one could ever mistake it for fact. Right? (Gulp.)

Admittedly, people mistaking Onion Things for Real Things is nothing new: There’s an entire Tumblr devoted to shaming such illiterates, and in its three years of existence, it has never wanted for new subjects. But taking a Clickhole story literally requires a further suspension of disbelief: In order to take a headline like “10 Hilarious Chairs That Think They’re People” seriously, you have to truly believe that Internet media knows no lows.

And judging by @Clickhole’s @-replies, a lot of people feel that way — for better or worse.

“Can Somebody Tell Me What Monsanto Is So I Can Hate It?”

“Woman Takes One Photo of Herself Every Day For A Week”

“It’s Time to Stop Saying ‘Buxom Wench'”

“10 Messy Animals Who Need a Bath”

“We Took an Israeli Child And A Palestinian Child And Put Them Together In The Same Room. And We’re Going to Keep Them.”

“How Many Off These Noir Films Have You Seen?”

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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Caitlin Dewey · June 24, 2014

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