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I agree there is a fine line to tread and, specifically on the Internet, this is how Poe's Law came to exist. It's easier to guess a comedian's intent from their body language, and the less context you have, the harder it becomes to guess the intent, and Internet provides the least amount of context.

This is also why Orson Wells'1938 Alien Invasion radio broadcast worked as well as it did, without a clear hint that this was acting, there was no other context for listeners to infer the subterfuge.

So I 100% believe that Internet practical jokes need a disclaimer, if only because it makes them into an actual criticism and not just a useless provocation the author would just feed on the confusion it causes.
This entry was edited (8 months ago)
Yes, there is value in edginess and mild confusion. The Blue Check Homes is a perfect example of that. The top of the website can easily be confused with a real website welling this kind of services earnestly. The disclaimer only shows at the very bottom, so it can be missed by people just skimming the surface or trusting a link preview without clicking.

In this case however, I wouldn't blame the author when the confusion isn't resolved by the disclaimer because the reader never reached it. Additionally, the joke isn't about someone specific and more importantly it isn't about a marginalized group so even at face value it is still is punching up.
I wonder if the joke has backfired and the owner of the blue home website is now inundated with fake requests. I have to admit I was tempted to sign up the Trumps and Zuckbergs of this world.