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Poe's Law protester satire

No, an anti-vax protester didn’t create a sign saying he knows more than “the scietists”

A photo of a man holding a sign with an ironic misspelling at an anti-vaccine protest has gone viral, but he’s not actually an anti-vaccination protester. Let’s take a look at the facts.

A man at a protest holding a cardboard sign with the words “I know more than the scietists” written in black marker. The word “scientists” is misspelled.
The sign he is holding doesn’t contain a sincere message.
He is a counter-protester who created the sign — which includes “I demand my right to be ignarant [sic] & selfish” on the other side — to satirically oppose an anti-vaccine demonstration outside of a Toronto hospital on Sept. 13.

NewsLit takeaway

Satire is notoriously difficult to recognize online. In fact, as this TruthorFiction.com fact-check about the “scietists” counter-protester points out, it’s an example of an internet axiom called Poe’s Law which holds that “a parody of something extreme can be mistaken for the real thing, and if a real thing sounds extreme enough, it can be mistaken for a parody.” Also, while this sign is authentic, it’s good to keep in mind that protest signs are easy targets for photo manipulation that misrepresents a group or cause.

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