Faking News might have the best tag line ever for a satirical website: “Where the truth doesn’t hide; where the truth doesn’t hurt.” Pretty poignant, given the fact that they shed light on some topics that the mainstream media wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. The other striking part about Faking News is that it is very steeped in Indian and Muslim culture in the UK, so a lot of what is said “high brow” for people not in the know. They even have a section for Cricket, which is rather comical.
The website also caters to Indian and Arabic languages, which is rather uncommon. It’s ironic, considering the amount of satire posited towards Indian and Muslim figures, who are traditionally not known for their sense of humor. Other headlines include “Indian Man Engaged in Frequent Road Rage Incidents to Represent India in Boxing and Wrestling Events at Rio Olympics,” and “Kindergartner cited for road rage after beating up other participants on the track.”
Why They Matter
Because their content doesn’t cater to such a widespread audience (not many people will know who certain Indian or Arabic people are), this makes it one of the stronger “niche” satire magazines. It caters to a community of people who aren’t reflected in mainstream media and who aren’t usually poked fun at by other magazines. This is their community satirizing people within their own community, which makes the publication stronger.
Faking News started out in India, and immediately raised a few eyebrows with articles like “Men who shout into their phones in theaters have smaller penises,” which was taken as fact and naturally many people responded. Since then, their status as a satire magazine has been better advertised, leaving fewer ripples in their wake. They were acquired by First Post, an Indian UK organization, in 2013, and have grown exponentially since then.
They also have a massive Facebook following, with over 1 million subscribers, and their Tweets are quite popular as well. Across India, the Middle East, and Europe, they are known for being The Onion of Indian culture, and in the U.S. they are becoming quite popular with the Indian immigrants. It’s also a great resource for people who want a well rounded view of the world, rather than just the European or American take on events; what they say at Faking News is relevant to current topics across the globe.
Naturally, they don’t have the reach of Private Eye or The Onion, but they continue to grow. They also take community contributions, which means that many people can be featured with their own satire articles. This is a huge win for the Indian and Arabic communities that want to consume this sort of content, and you can also gain access to First Post and Tech 2 – sister sites under First Post’s umbrella. Just don’t assume that Tech 2 is a tech satire site – it’s a real, factual site.