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Global Satire

Effective satire can shake power and can speak truth to power, and in some countries, humor is one of the remaining avenues through which those things are possible. Here are five stories on how online satirical outlets around the world develop their shows and sites under difficult national conditions and repressive, authoritarian governments.

“I wouldn’t say we give hope with humor. That’s a stretch. But at least we’re helping bridge a gap with the censorship that’s happening on TV and radio.”
Its Facebook chatbot asks angry readers what insults they want to level at the publication, then ends up looping them into a conversation. It’s also building a network of satire writers by training members of its community, who then train others.
“The other day there was big news in Bosnia. They said a Hooters had opened up in Sarajevo…But we didn’t even get the chance to mock the sexist business model of the place — first we had to correct the facts. Which is, that it wasn’t a real Hooters at all.”
“At the start, we understand the intention of the show, and that’s to promote good governance and social justice in Kenya. So before each season begins, we have a list of issues that we feel are major things that we should address or highlight.”
“On the one hand, we know that quite a few government ministers actually watch our stuff….So these dudes, they do watch it, to get a sense of what young people are thinking.”