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 It's not news, it's Fark!

Created by Drew Curtis in 1999, Fark.com is a community news aggregator with irreverant humor. Fark was inspired by Curtis' love for bizarre, unusual, or just plain stupid news stories. Before user-driven content was really the "in" thing, Fark was already allowing website viewers to nominate such articles for consideration.

Typically, a motivated "farker" will find an odd story somewhere online, think of a witty "headline" to list beside the link, and add one of a list of predefined "tags" that tell the reader what to expect. Only the best postings make it to the main page, while lists of all submissions can be viewed by subscribing to the $5-per-month TotalFark. Consequently, having one's headline "greenlit" is a sign of prestige among the farking community. Once a headline is posted, comments can be viewed and made, blog-style, by clicking on the number to the right of the posted headline.

Like everything else that's lasted this long, it's undergone a number of changes and evolutions, including the addition of daily (or semi-daily, or bi-daily) Photoshop contests, an "UltraFark" e-mail address, and (of course) Wil Wheaton. It's a hotbed of Memetic Mutation, and quite a few of the Internet's most memorable memes were, if not born, proliferated. It is one of the top 100 most visited English websites. That's some serious proliferation.

If you're considering farking for yourself, there are a few things you should remember: Fark is one of the more intelligent and wittier communities online, but it's not nearly as nice as TV Tropes. You'll probably get Trolled, and flame wars break out almost hourly. A little research, thick skin, capitalization, and punctuation will go a long way if you plan on jumping in the deep end of the pool.

Or, you know, you can just make oblique references to things like "extensible markup language".

Penis.

Tropes used in Fark include:


  • Allegedly Free Site: TotalFark costs $5 a month; many such users look down upon "liters".
  • Ascended Meme: The catch-quotes at the top of the page as of the 2011 redesign. Examples include "Pricipal caught sayof" and "You'll get over it."
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: TotalFark subscriptions enable viewers to peruse headlines not approved for posting on the main page... even though most of them aren't that great.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, do NOT submit multiple newsflashes for a story about Phil Spector.
    • Farkers do not approve of Alternative Medicine or Anti-vaccination. They have a special hatred for Jenny McCarthy, even though they drool over her tits.
      • Circumcision threads tend to get pretty heated as well.
        • They are a cut above the rest, yes.
  • Catch Phrase: Too many to list, but including "Duke sucks," "You'll get over it," and "Still no cure for cancer."
  • Dead Baby Comedy: Nothing is sacred there. (Except Fark itself, and the founder, mods, and policies thereof. Step on those toes, and you'll find yourself on the wrong end of all manner of dickery.)
  • Don't Explain the Joke: "Oh, it's funny because Drew went to Kentucky, and thus hates Duke and repeatedly says the phrase whenever they lose."
  • EVERYBODY PANIC!
  • Flame Bait: The administrators (who approve the headlines) are mostly conservative. The readers are mostly liberal. What happens is exactly what you'd suspect.
    • As of the most recent reset the admins and the readers are now both mostly liberal (except for Drew himself that is).
  • Here Comes the Science!: Ben Affleck did an ad in the UK that featured the line, "Here comes the SCIENCE!" Fark got hold of it and a meme was born and that meme grew up and became a marine biologist Trope Namer.
  • Human Interest Story: Usually accompanied by a "Sappy" tag and a headline mentioning how dusty it is in here.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Comment threads often turn into one o' these.
  • LOLcats: Especially on Caturday.
  • Memetic Mutation: In addition to memes harvested from the web as a whole, the on-site Photoshop contests allow viewers to watch memes mutate visually from day to day.
    • NIXON, YOU DOLT!
    • I work for Fark, so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies ...
    • This entry is so obvious that Ric Romero reported it
    • RON PAUL does not approve of this foolishness.
    • Your dog wants steak.
  • Mood Whiplash: The comments from users vary wildly from sympathetic to acerbic, no matter the topic.
  • Not Safe for Work: Links posted by some users are damaging to sanity.
  • Only in Florida: See Acceptable Targets.
  • Ruined FOREVER: The reaction to a major site redesign in 2007, prompting an irritated admin to declare "You'll get over it."
    • Turns into a Brick Joke as of the 2011 redesign, where users were allowed to preview the new site. This preview included a link back to the old style, titled "I'll get over it later."
  • Sarcasm Failure: Frequently accompanied by the "Newsflash" or "Sad" tags, momentous or solemn events are not posted with snark, but with simple, serious listings.
    • Not always true (about the news flashes, at least)
    • ...but most obituary threads fill up with "wrong" RIP wishes...including at least one for Abe Vigoda.
  • Sarcasm Mode: "Ugly-ass" [whatevers] as code for pictures of Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • Schmuck Bait: Lampshaded whenever a hot actress in very little clothing is featured. After that fact is stated, most headlines go off into Cloudcuckooland, surmising that the Farker has already clicked the link. Sometimes, this backfires: "and let this be a lesson to you to read the entire headline before clicking!"
  • Scoonthorpe Problem: The fark filters have become in-jokes themselves.
  • Shout-Out: At least one headline a day will be a not-so-hidden reference to *something*. More commonly, multiple ones will be.
  • Sophisticated As Hell: The site, its founder, and most of the clientele.
    • A brilliant example, from an October 2011 political thread:

 "Or do you think that killing Glass-Steagall and instituting Graham-Leach-Bailey sprung fully-formed from some legislator's head like f*cking Pallas Athena?"

  • Spell My Name with an "S" / Gannon Banned: Averted; the Hive Mind over that way doesn't much care if you call them "farkers" or "Farkers."
    • On the other hand, the Grammar Nazis will hammer poorly spelled headlines.
  • Toilet Humor: The built-in filter replaces "first comment" with "weeners," and "first post" with "boobies" for instance.
  • Troll: Notable for its collection of very bizarre trolls. One speaks in barely-understandable Engrish while yelling "LAUGHTER O EL", another makes over-the-top conservative rants filled with hidden references pertaining to a random theme (girl bands, Star Trek episodes, etc.), yet another posts nothing but the word "APPROVES", followed by a link to a Shock Site that would make the Goatse guy blush. One more spends an entire day every few weeks writing a topic-specific limerick in every comments thread slated for the main front page. Another goes into every gun thread and tells the thread exactly how he plans to troll the thread and still gets bites.
    • And then, of course, there's Bevets, who goes into every thread tangentially related to evolution, posts a ton of pro-creationism quotes, and leaves. Though, thanks to Poe's Law, it's not known whether he's a troll or an actual proponent of what he espouses. Some even question whether he's a human or just a quote mine-spewing bot.
    • Several Trolls have become memetic with some of their defenses..."I need to be at the gym in 26 minutes", "I'm traveling", "I've got a GED in law", etc.
    • And then there's everyone's favorite Marine Core soldier. Semper fib.
    • Drew and the other moderators have been known to troll the entire site from time to time. During the SOPA/PIPA debates, the moderators stated that Fark was going to "white out" in support of the bills. After much flamming by the farkers, the sight posted a video calling SOPA wrong and evil. Thats some world class trolling
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The community might kill over bacon and beer. Well, bacon, anyway. They'll definitely kill over beer.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: At least one approved article each day will be of this kind.
  • Wil Wheaton: Dude's got his own tag, too. Fortunately, he's saner than Florida.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: Even farkers love cute ugly-ass fuzzies.

Notes

  1. Context: A headline submitted quotes Michael Savage as saying he didn't know of any American President who had resigned the Presidency. Cue epic facepalm...then the Phrase Catching troll replies, "Fail? You guys better have another example than LBJ or Washington." Cue new meme.
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