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It's like an age-old Japanese koan, except neither age-old nor Japanese: If you publish a blog that's mostly humor, but Google News doesn't label you as satire, are you actually funny?

Today's existential crisis at Gawker HQ (OK, fine, one of today's existential crisis at Gawker HQ) is brought on by Gelf magazine, which has published a shockingly and impressively detailed exegesis on why, when, and how news sources tracked by the Google News robots are labeled as satire by the ever-expanding news aggregator.

Other sites, even those that print no satire at all, have been labeled as such. Recently, left-leaning political blog Daily Kos was also labeled and delabeled satire. And while the penis-joke-friendly Washington insider blog Wonkette is currently listed as satire, its equally snarky (and less newsy) sister publication Gawker is not.

We think Gelf means this as a compliment, that we've avoided the scarlet S. And we're trying hard to take it that way, too. Because it's impossible that we're just not funny.


Does Google News Have a Sense of Humor? [Gelf magazine]