Onion News Reports On Google Opt-Out Village


Onion News Network Precisely On Target

I’ve long had a thing for The Onion, the most reliable source of consistently high quality, insightful, clever, funny satire in text form. I hadn’t paid much attention, however, to the Onion News Network, their mock emulation of CNN and similar television news shows.

Today, however, I happened onto their report about Google’s “Opt-Out Village,” which is ostensibly Google’s heavy-handed alternative for those individuals who are reluctant to allow Google “access to their most private thoughts and feelings.”

The satire itself is marvelous. Onion writers have created a scenario that is outlandish in scale but precisely congruent in shape with the sort of solution Google might present to those with privacy complaints which challenge Google’s wisdom and omnipotence.

Opt-out Village mirrors, for example, Google’s strategy in scanning and indexing entire libraries of books to be served up online for Google’s benefit, offering authors and copyright holders a methodology to opt-out that some have described as arduous, obscure, and unfair. Regardless of ones feelings toward copyright protection, Google, or privacy concerns, the satire is devastating and hilarious.

I am most impressed, however, with the verisimilitude achieved by the CNN-inspired Onion News Network presentation, including the dead-on opening graphics that spin into view. (See image atop this post)

The clip features an anchor broadcasting from a set with the requisite background of  video screens, a graphic beneath identifying the news category, and, of course, an Onion New Network logo hogging the lower right corner.


The anchor hands off the story to a “Tech Trends” correspondent who looks, in personal appearance and dress, like a tech correspondent.


Note the plethora of tech-news graphics and nifty details such as the crawl beneath the main screen.

The Tech Trends correspondent does his story from a setting that one could easily believe is Google headquarters and interviews an individual one could easily believe is a Director at Google.


Much of the story is conveyed by comic book graphics reminiscent of those used by Google to introduce their Chrome browser.

Comics graphic for Opt-Out Village

Comics graphic for Opt-Out Village

Comics graphic for Google Chrome browser introduction

Comics graphic for Google Chrome browser introduction

During the entire presentation, with the exception of perhaps a couple of moments, the actors stay in character, the tone is consistent, and the narrative flows in  linear fashion. The result?

The Onion News Network
makes the willing suspension of disbelief easy

Revenue-producing Commercial Or Satiric Opportunity?

The clip is preceded by a five second Coke commercial. If one wishes to see another clip or a re-run of this clip, a 30 second Coke commercial is to be endured. This is not part of the Onion satire, although I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be the topic of their next ONN report.

Onion News Network – Google Opt-Out Village Report

Google Opt Out Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village


Credit Due Department: I discovered the Onion News Network story about Google’s Opt-Out Village from  a post at Contentious.com.   Contentious.com, in turn, was alerted to this feature by West Seattle Blog.

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