Content providers who publish April Fools posts were understandably shocked to learn that Facebook will now be treating their generally sarcastic annual jokes the same way they treat fake news.

“Fake news is a huge problem,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a press conference this morning, “and so-called April Fools celebrations are just cover for this practice. We say no more!”

In an effort to curb the spate of completely made-up stories cramming people’s newsfeeds which helped turn the tide in the last US Federal Election, Facebook went on the offensive a few months ago (and a few months after such an offensive was needed).  This involved blocking stories reported as fake and entire sites that were responsible for several fake news stories.

Zuckerberg didn’t specify what algorythms would be employed to curb the impact of “fake April 1st news” as Facebook has taken to calling it, or if they would be reporting transgressors to authorities as they had talked about doing in the past.

US President Donald Trump weighed in with an early morning tweet:

While it remains unclear if this new decision by Facebook would only be applied to US-based accounts or to all of Facebook, organizations representing media around the globe came out with a strong statement of opposition. Except for media in Spain, they seemed a little preoccupied with something.

It remains unclear if April Fools media pranksters will be able to weather the storm. In addition to Facebook’s decision, they are also facing an uphill legal battle against parody sites like The Onion, Breitbart and Info Wars (and their Canadian counterparts The Beaverton and The Rebel). In a class action suit filed last month, these outlets claimed that running BS content is something they do 365 days a year and therefore sites who partake in the practice on April 1st owe them royalties.

At this point, you’re probably guessing that what you are reading is not true (and maybe a little too meta for this early on a Saturday). Fake news, the actual kind, is a blight on web journalism and Facebook is right to try and fight it, as long as they remember that opinion backed up by facts is not fake. April Fools jokes are a cherished part of our culture and something that are part of our culture and something FTB partakes in once a year.

So, without further adieu, I’ll let Fake Twitter Trump let you know officially what you’ve all guessed:

* Please note that as far as Forget the Box knows, there is no US Military action planned against Spain

In what is being described as an about-face unprecedented in the United States, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the man who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allowing businesses to persecute against members of the LGBT community, announced this morning that he is, in fact, a gay man.

“I have a confession to make,” the embattled governor said in an early morning press conference, “I’m gay. I have always been. I prefer the company of men. And this bill, which I signed into law, is an attack not only on people who have done nothing wrong, but it’s an attack on me, too.”

Pence did not stop there. He went on to insist that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he signed, is grounds to boycott the entire State of Indiana.

“It’s horrible,” he said, “I can’t go anywhere without the fear of being discriminated against, just because of something I can’t change. That’s why I’m joining the boycott against this state. I won’t be buying anything in Indiana or attending any events here until this thing is off the books.”

While this certainly raises questions about Pence’s ability to govern a state he refuses to shop in, the bigger question, which some reporters did ask, is why he signed the law in the first place. Pence was unapologetic.

“I may be gay, but I’m also a politician,” he said, “a politician in Indiana. I want the basic dignities and rights that should be afforded to any human being, sure, but I also want to be re-elected.”

When reached for comment, Pence’s wife Karen was blunt if dismissive: “It took you guys this long to figure it out, wow.”

This has now caused some people to wonder if he will, in fact, be accepted in the boycott movement, inspired by the bill he signed. When reached for comment, LGBT activist and science fiction legend George Takei, one of the main people advocating for a boycott of the State of Indiana, had this to say:

“Who are you? How did you get this number? Mike Pence is gay? Yeah, right, nice April Fools joke. It’s 4:30 in the morning here in California. Good night!”

“Yes, he’s right,” Pence said, confirming Takei’s suspicions, “it is an April Fool’s joke. I’m not gay or boycotting Indiana. I’m just an asshole.”

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois surprised reporters this morning when she announced that the Quebec election, originally slated for next Monday, would be postponed until August the 27th.

“With students from Ontario trying to steal our democracy by registering to vote,” Marois explained, “I cannot afford to let this election go forward on the originally planned date.”

Marois cited her earlier decision to go back on a promise of fixed election dates constitutional justification for this move. The Directeur général des élections du Québec confirmed that the elections had, in fact, been postponed, adding that April 7th will remain an advanced polling date in selected ridings. The DGEQ assured voters that any correlation between PQ strongholds and ridings allowed to vote on the original date was purely coincidental.

The Journal de Montreal, who seemed to have been tipped off in advance, are praising Marois for this move in an editorial which argues that with a much longer election cycle, Quebec is getting much more democracy. But not everyone is happy.

Liberal leader Phillipe Couillard said that he was deeply concerned that the premier would use such tactics. He added that at least it would give Quebeckers time to see what happens when Marois and her husband appear before the Charbonneau commission.

CAQ leader Francois Legeault, on the other hand, applauded the premier’s move.

“Madame Marois,” he said, echoing his recent debate performance, “Madame Marois has shown us that we don’t need the bureaucracy of an election date to practice democracy in Quebec. I welcome these extra months to connect with voters.”

Green leader Alex Tyrrell, while shocked at the announcement, wondered if this would finally show Quebeckers that the big parties did not have the people’s interests at heart. Former candidate Anarchopanda, meanwhile, started laughing uncontrollably and still hasn’t stopped.

It was Quebec Solidaire’s Francoise David, though, who made the most astute observation. After her initial surprise, she said:

“Oh, I get it, very funny. Poisson d’Avril!”

For those who don’t speak French, that means April Fools!

It's the future, get used to it!

As Editor-in-Chief of Forget The Box, I have the distinct pleasure of making a very special announcement: FTB is moving away from the online playground and changing to an all-print format effective almost immediately (we’re giving you the rest of the day to accept the change). But fear not, loyal readers, you can still get your daily dose of news, current events, arts, show reviews and lifestyle reporting, you’re just going to have to do a bit of legwork to acquire it.

Since our beginning, we have always been a media organization that prides itself on bucking trends and paving new frontiers and this move is in perfect keeping with that approach. Everyone is moving most of their operations online these days, sacrificing valuable print distribution routes and opening up prime spots and opportunities for upstart publications like ours.

We’re not hoping on any bandwagon here, we’re building the wagon from scratch based on the model that sustained so many media entities for years, nay decades. This is the future, people, a bright and sunny future (bright and sunny also because there will be less trees, thanks to us).

“Fine, I get it, I can still read FTB,” you say, “but what about the videos?” Well, thanks to our new partnership deal with Blockbuster, the receipt you get from purchasing FTB Magazine (hey, don’t shoot us, even The New York Times is charging now) will get a discount on rentals of Disney films at any Blockbuster location in the greater Montreal area.

Speaking of the greater Montreal area, well, that’s the only place you can get FTB for the next little while. In fact, you can only get it in the Plateau, but if you live in the Plateau you already know that there’s no reason to leave the Plateau anyways. Well, maybe for a job or friends, but there are jobs in the Plateau and friends who live south of Sherbrooke or west of du Parc, seriously people: can you really trust them?

So you can now find us at all the hip spots like Pharmaprix, Subway and American Apparel. If you’re smart, you’ll know where to find us and if you’re smart, you’ll predict my next line: