Princess Marzipan wrote:But what's unbelievable about that particular story? The way you just told it, it sounds believable enough to me.
Form and presentation do factor very highly into decisions, and tend to act as a shortcut for determining legitimacy. If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck... In this case, it looks like a newspaper and reads like a newspaper. I'm really not willing to write people off as idiots for falling for a very well executed prank. Hopefully that's not what you were implying...
Especially once it leaves the Onion.
Some time ago a lot of meta-news sites (news.google.com, e.g.) carried over the onion article about how Neil Armstrong was finally convinced that he didn't go to the moon. It proliferated across relatively legit news sites until a lot of people actually read the full article and saw the source and it was shortly pulled. All it takes to deceive a lot of people is to deceive a select few.
And, so, yes, the sort of stories the Onion runs could
be a bad thing, but the good far outweighs imo.