The Onion
The Onion famously courts controversy with its satirical news stories.Onion Inc.

Facebook is introducing a new feature that hopes to stop users mistaking satirical news stories from websites such as The Onion and Daily Mash for real ones.

The fake news stories from satircal websites will now be tagged as "[Satire]" in users' news feeds during a trial period. It is not known whether the feature will be rolled our permanently across the site.

The move aims to prevent users being fooled by satirical stories and believing they are legitimate.

Facebook says that they have received feedback "that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others."

"We are running a small test which shows the text '[Satire]' in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed", a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.

Fooling the public

Sites like the Onion in the US and the Daily Mash in the UK publish satirical stories that mimic the mainstream news agenda.

Satirical stories have provoked confusion and angry comments from some social media users in the past, and in some cases they have even fooled the national media.

An article titled, "Tips for being an unarmed black teen", published in response to the recent police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, provoked some angry responses from Facebook users.

Last year, the Washington Post was fooled into mistakenly reporting that former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was set to join the al-Jazeera news network. In fact, the story was 'reported' by satirical news website, Daily Currant.

In 2012, a Chinese newspaper was ridiculed for reporting an Onion article that jokingly named North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "the sexiest man alive".