Monday, March 30, 2015 at 9:43 AM

This is not an April Fool joke

We're coming up on that awful day on the web when anything you read might be a joke. The jokes are never funny, usually they say something bad about someone the author doesn't like. Haha just a joke.

It's pretty horrible for a reader. All this week, every article with a seemingly sensational headline, will have to be checked to see if it might be a joke. Here's the first one I was bit by today.

BGR: Meerkat is dying – and it’s taking U.S. tech journalism with it.

Is it real? I think it is. There don't seem to be any obvious lies in the piece. But the conclusion is way over the top. Nothing is dying, that's pure hype. And if US tech journalism is dying, it's been happening for a long time, Meerkat could hardly be the cause.

I don't think it's funny, I don't think news orgs should play this game. It's as if a bank decided one day, as a joke, to take all the money from your account and give it to someone else. Haha it's a joke.

Imagine going to GMail on April 1, and finding someone else's email there instead of yours.

The press only has one product, facts. They twist things, every day, to make the news seem more interesting or important than it is, but one day of the year, this Wednesday, they outright lie. Not in every piece, so you have to always be on the alert. It's as if an airline deliberately crashed a random plane into a mountain as a joke. The goal of a news organization is to inform. On April 1, they crash instead.

If you're a news organization, on March 30, preparing your annual joke, how about do everyone a favor, skip it this year.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:07 AM

By Dave Winer, Monday, March 30, 2015 at 9:43 AM. It's even worse than it appears.