Cards Against Humanity has acquired ClickHole and given it back to its staff

The act of internet-related altruism we need this week.

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Cards Against Humanity, the kickstarter tabletop game that turned into a genuine business (and loves a good capitalism-ridiculing prank) has bought parody website ClickHole from its corporate overlords and returned it to the company’s employees to do with it as they see fit, according to BuzzFeed News.

Yes, that’s a long opening sentence, but then, ClickHole is the sort of website that runs stories headlined “6 Creatures Of Myth And Folklore That Are Squatting In My Garage Ranked By How Much Of Hassle They’re Being.” It’s Cracked meets The Onion. Which makes sense, because it was started by The Onion way back in those simpler, pre-fake-news times we call 2014, when it was easier to tell fact from farce and clickbait headlines were ripe for ridicule not the norm.

Room to do what they do best — Cards Against Humanity cofounder Max Temkin tells Buzzfeed News his company is providing the ClickHole team with funding, but that it’s otherwise going to be hands-off. “We just want to give them a chance to do their thing,” Temkin says, adding that the newfound freedom and cash injection will allow ClickHole to add additional staff. “Our goal is to take some of the pressure off of them so they can shake some of these managerial shakes ups they’ve had and just focus on making amazing comedy.”

It’s changed hands a few times — In 2016, ClickHole became part of Univision when it acquired The Onion. Then it got bundled with titles like Jezebel and Deadspin, sold to a private equity firm called Great Hill Partners, and lumped under the G/O Media banner. Pretty much every title G/O Media owns has laid into their new parent company, and senior ClickHole staffers were fired in the ensuing clashes.

ClickHole and parody websites like it are the epitome of fake news, which is precisely why it’s essential they continue to exist in an era where the media are consistently being attacked and undermined from the top and consolidation threatens the ability of mainstream outlets to speak truth to power. Also, they’re downright hilarious, and we could all use a laugh in the face of the 2020 election, climate change, coronavirus, “sexy” phone funerals, and Jack Dorsey’s taste in trousers.