A useful law to be aware of is Poe’s Law, which states that any attempt to satirize an extreme viewpoint will inevitably be mistaken by somebody as actually representing that viewpoint. It makes figuring out satire on the Internet difficult, and taking insane sites seriously nearly impossible.
And, of course, nowhere else other than the internet can you find more blisteringly insane opinions about politics. One particularly infamous political hotbed is Free Republic, a news aggregation site so conservative it’s currently the only thing that can arouse Ann Coulter.
The history of Free Republic brings new meaning to the word “tortured”. It’s had more purges than the brutal Communist dictatorship of Buliemia. As users have expressed intolerable, vile beliefs, like thinking Rudy Guliani would make a good president, they’ve been booted from the site, because nothing is more American than making people you don’t like go away to never be seen again.
Over time, it has, in theory, become a hotbed of the most extreme conservatives on the Internet, the kind of people who cry and masturbate to Glenn Beck crying and surreptitiously masturbating on air.
Or is it? The more you read the statements of Freepers (nickname of the denizens of FreeRepublic) the more you’ve got to wonder if they haven’t realized they had a huge audience of liberals engaging in some internet atrocity tourism, and are just playing to the crowds.
I went through some recent comments on some of Free Republic’s articles — three of them, to be exact — and I pulled four comments from each of them. After much analyzation, I’m pretty sure Free Republic is the greatest prank ever played on the internet. For example (and I assure you, every single quote here is real):