While many who shared a satirical article about Saudi Arabia beheading its first robot citizen did so knowing full well it was just that – satire – many users took the headline at face value in a demonstration that, as a whole, we’re still rather terrible at determining between truth and lies in cyberspace.
A few weeks ago, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to its first ever robot citizen, a humanoid named Sophia. In fact “she” made the announcement herself during the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Saudi Arabia, saying she’s “honored and proud.”
However, satirical website Duffel Blog soon published an article claiming Saudi Arabia subsequently ended up beheading the robot. Those who glanced at the headline and lacked the critical faculties to determine that the story may be somewhat tongue and cheek have been sharing the story online while denouncing the country.
Those who actually read the article will have likely soon grasped that the tale wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.
The Duffel Blog has the banner claiming it to be the “military’s most trusted news source” but a glance at the disclaimer soon exposes that as false. The disclaimer reads –
We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization.
No, Saudi Arabia hasn’t beheaded it is first robot citizen. It’s a satirical story.