Infobox Website
name = Fark.com

caption = Screenshot of the "Fark.com" page, newly redesigned on April 25, 2007, with the top link representing the most recently “greenlighted” item.
url = http://www.fark.com/
commercial = Yes
type = News Aggregator
registration = Required to post (free)
owner = Drew Curtis
launch date = 1999
current status = Active
Fark.com is a community website created by Drew Curtis that allows users to comment on a daily batch of news articles and other items from various websites. It is one of the top 100 English language websites, [ [http://vator.tv/user/show/Drew-Curtis Drew Curtis] on Vator TV] receiving over 2,500 submissions a day and over 5 million unique visitors per month.Marcotte, John. “ [http://www.badmouth.net/interview-farks-drew-curtis/ interview: fark’s drew curtis] .” " [http://www.badmouth.net/ badmouth.net] ." December 16, 2003. Retrieved on June 8, 2006.] It is frequently used as a humorous source on CNN, Fox News, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and many radio stations. [ [http://img.fark.com/media/03_15_07%20Lynn%20Cullen%20Show%20Hr%202.mp3 Fark.com:] Lynn Cullen Show] Takahashi, Dean. " [http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_7861525?nclick_check=1 Takahashi: Three who had the right idea at the right time] ." "San Jose Mercury News." January 2, 2008. Retrieved on January 14, 2008.] [ [http://www.digitalmagazine.com.au/2007/08/19/is-fox-farking-with-fark/ Is Fox farking with Fark?] ] It is generally seen as the destination for strange news stories and snarky commentary. [ [http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/fark.com Alexa.com rank for Fark] 1,933] [ [http://www.smileypete.com/Articles-c-2008-03-31-75227.113117_What_the_FARK.html Smiley Pete:] What the Fark?]

Links are submitted by Fark members, which administrators can approve for posting on either the main page or one of the subsidiary tab pages ("greenlit") . All links, approved or not, have associated threads where users can comment on the link. Fark moderators police the discussion threads to delete forbidden content. [ [http://www.fark.com/farq/posting.shtml Fark.com] Posting Rules] Greenlit links can generate upwards of 300,000 page views in one month for the recipient, [http://www.viperchill.com/definitive-guide-to-fark/ Viperchill.com] Definitive Guide to Fark and Getting Mass Traffic] such an enormous amount of traffic that smaller websites are often "farked," meaning that their servers have crashed.


Curtis states that the word "fark" originated either from a chat room euphemism for the word "fuck" or from a drunken misspelling, although he tells people it's the former because it's a "better story that way."" [http://www.fark.com/farq/about.shtml#About_Fark Fark.com FAQ] ." "Fark.com." Retrieved on January 14, 2008.] . He registered Fark.com in September 1997, when a friend mentioned that all the four letter domain names were disappearing" [http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/02/panel_of_web_co.html Guy Kawasaki: Panel of Web Community Founders: Utter Defiance of the "Venture Capital" Model] Video @ 8:35] . Originally, Fark contained no content except for an image of a squirrel with large testicles.

Since 1993, Curtis had frequently read morning news stories and exchanged them with friends.cite news
last = Sloan
first = Paul
title = Blogging for Dollars
publisher = Business 2.0 / CNN Money
date = October 2nd, 2006
url = http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/09/01/8384325/
accessdate = 2008-06-06
] Although this would later become the inspiration for Fark, Curtis toyed with the idea of starting an online curry recipe database. In 1999, eighteen months after registering the domain name, he launched Fark as a way to share interesting news postings with his friends rather than sending them numerous emails. The first story posted was an article about a fighter pilot who crashed while attempting to moon another fighter pilot.

In Fark's first year, it received 50,000 page views, and 1 million the year after. As of June 2008, the site had more than 450,000 registered users. [http://insidethesites.com/2008/06/26/interview-with-farkcoms-founder-drew-curtis/ Interview with Drew Curtis] Inside the Sites]

Fark, the Business

In spite of its laid back culture, Fark is considerably more profitable than most of its rivals. [http://www.mathewingram.com/work/2006/08/22/forget-digg-what-about-fark/ Matt Ingram: Forget Digg, what about Fark?] "Nevertheless, the Business 2.0 piece is worth reading if only for one reason — to realize how staggeringly successful Fark.com is. Plenty of attention gets paid to Kevin Rose and Digg (and rightly so) and to other sites like del.icio.us, and even to political blogs like DailyKos and Instapundit, but not much gets written about the site Drew Curtis put together in 1999 and still more or less runs singlehandedly from Lexington, Kentucky (a location that could explain why he gets so little attention from the Web cognoscenti; ever been to Mike’s house for a party, Drew?)"] [ [http://valleywag.com/tech/deals/how-much-is-digg-worth-320552.php Valleywag:] How Much is Digg Worth] The site earns revenue from advertising and membership to its TotalFark program.cite news
last =
first =
title = Fark.com: Making Money Off of Goofy News
publisher = NPR
date = May 7th, 2007
url = http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10009173
accessdate = 2008-06-06
] It was the first indie blog to earn one million dollars a year in profit and its classifieds section alone generates as much as $40,000 per year. Technology writer Mathew Ingram described Fark.com as "staggeringly successful" and noted the disparity between Fark's revenue and the amount of press given to sites like Digg. Fark has also spoken about its steady, above average CPMs.

Although Fark is a million dollar business, Drew takes a yearly salary of $60,000. The rest of the money goes to the site's legal 'war chest' and to pay other expenses. Additionally, Fark has been known to turn down advertising that interrupts the user experience such as pop ups or ads with sound. According to Drew Curtis, in 2002 he rejected a "six figure" advertising deal that he felt would have "made the site suck".

Future Plans

In fall of 2008, Curtis plans to launch Farkit.com, a pure news aggregator. Curtis states that the site will be based more heavily on user submission and voting rather than administrative selection. Curtis has also mentioned plans to start a travel site based on the data compiled by Total Farkers.



Submitters can give stories several different tags such as "stupid," "interesting," "obvious," or "dumbass." Tags that say “photoshop,” “audioedit” or “videoedit” are used for threads where digital content is edited for a humorous or artistic effect. In addition, the newsflash tag is used for news which is a matter of important breaking news, and an email is sent to the administrators notifying them that someone has submitted a “Newsflash.” Members are told to use this tag very sparingly and only for matters of extremely important breaking news. (In fact, members who submit “Newsflash” tags for subjects obviously not worthy of the tag — e.g. celebrity news or political commentary — can be suspended for a period of time).

So many headlines were contributed about the state of Florida that a "Florida" tag was created. [ [http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/aug/09/na-florida-seen-as-fiesta-of-weirdness/ Florida Seen As 'Fiesta of Weirdness'] on Tampa Bay Online] [ [http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/03/Floridian/Gathering_to_embrace_.shtml Floridian: Gathering to embrace the power of the Fark Side] on tampabay.com] Similarly, articles discussing Wil Wheaton — a Farker himself — are given the “Wheaton” tag and articles discussing Christopher Walken are occasionally given the “Walken” tag, though Walken has never participated on Fark.

On August 19, 2008, Fark introduced the new "fail" tag, for submitted articles where the subject does something ignorant or when a major gaffe occurs. [http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=3813171]

Photoshop Contests

Fark.com also features regular “Photoshop contests” where users use a graphical editing program (such as Adobe Photoshop, from which the contest draws its name) to manipulate an image provided by the creator of the contest. The image is usually manipulated for humorous effect, but can also be edited to create an aesthetically-pleasing image or to showcase a poster's image manipulation skill.

Fark and Something Awful have a friendly rivalry which culminated in a Photoshop contest between the two sites, judged by celebrity Wil Wheaton. Something Awful went on to win. [ [http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/sa-vs-fark-4.php SA vs. Fark Photoshop Contest] The SA vs. FARK winners are announced: SA WINS!!]

Total Fark

On February 4, 2002, Fark.com founder Drew Curtis introduced TotalFark.com as a subscription service, charging US$5 per month, a fee which has remained unchanged. It has an estimated 8,000-10,000 subscribers, which generate $120,000 per year. Subscribers, known collectively as TotalFarkers or TFers, have the privilege of seeing and commenting on all links submitted by Fark.com users, as opposed to only those approved for inclusion on Fark.com's main page. In a typical 24-hour period, TotalFark's main page includes 2,600 links with associated comment threads, whereas Fark's main page includes only 60 to 80 links from among this number. TotalFarkers also have the ability to add users to their ignore list and to give TotalFark subscriptions for non-subscribing Fark users.


In 2006, Curtis launched Foobies [ [http://www.foobies.com/archives/ Foobies.com] Archives] as a NSFW (not safe for work) offshoot of Fark. [ [http://mashable.com/2007/12/07/fark-trademark-nsfw/ Can Fark Trademark NSFW?] Mashable Social Networking News, December 7, 2007] Curtis sells NSFW links through Foobies at a price of $400. [ [http://www.calacanis.com/2004/08/02/fark-com-sells-their-editorial-and-the-loyalty-of-their-users/#c3594703 Fark.com sells their editorial and the loyalty of their users] Comment#7 by Drew Curtis] [ [http://www.fark.com/farq/about.shtml#What_is_Foobies.3F Fark.com Frequently Asked Questions] What is Foobies?]



On April 25, 2007, a new design for the website was published. The new design was received with some controversy due to a number of issues, including a change in layout and a seemingly indifferent attitude by site moderators to user impact or feedback. The launch was announced with the simple Fark caption "Fark site redesign is now live. Hope nothing breaks, we're all out drinking." [ [http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=2762299#c29867598 FARK PSA] "Fark site..."] Longtime site administrator Jeff responded to user complaints by saying that they would "get over it"“ [http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=2762299#c29867598 Fark site redesign is now live. Hope nothing breaks, we're all out drinking] .” "Fark." April 25, 2007 Retrieved on April 26, 2007.] , a statement meant to defend designer Mike's hard work and effort“ [http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=2765382 Fark redesign notes and updates from Drew] .” "Fark." April 26, 2007 Retrieved on May 4, 2007.] . After complaints towards his comment, he subsequently issued an apology via Curtis and took an extended break from website administration. During the days following the redesign, the site layout was fine-tuned based on suggestions.

Political Bias

To dispute claims of political bias, Curtis has stated that rather than trying to keep it in the middle, admins enjoy running both far-left and far-right articles. The top four hated “groups” on Fark.com are (in no particular order) PETA, Catholic priests, the French, and Duke University, according to Curtis. [Why, Joel. “ [http://www.newmoanyeah.com/2003-features/120103_interview_with_drew_curtis.php?content=2003&section=features&title=120103_interview_with_drew_curtis&vo=83 Interview with Drew Curtis, FARKin' Genius] .” " [http://www.newmoanyeah.com/ Newmoanyeah] ." December 1, 2003. Retrieved June 8, 2006.]

Preferential Placement

Fark has been accused of selling preferential placement of story links on the main page. The accusation stemmed from an exchange between Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis and third party sales employee Gogi Gupta, where Gupta claimed Calacanis could buy an editorial on Fark for $300 to $400. [http://www.calacanis.com/2004/08/02/fark-com-sells-their-editorial-and-the-loyalty-of-their-users/ Fark.com sells their editorial and the loyalty of their users] calcanis.com, August 2, 2004] Curtis dismissed the incident as the result of an overenthusiastic salesperson, and subsequently fired Gupta. Terdiman, Daniel [http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2004/08/64472 Fark Sells Out. France Surrenders] Wired.com, August 6, 2004] Gupta worked for a company called Gupta Media and according to Curtis did not have the authority to speak for the company. [http://www.calacanis.com/2004/08/02/fark-com-sells-their-editorial-and-the-loyalty-of-their-users/#c3594703 Drew Curtis comment on Calacanis.com] Posted at 4:40PM on Oct 29th 2005] Curtis stated that the issue could have been resolved through direct conversation with Calacanis and himself and that Calacanis' post was purposefully aimed at creating a "dramatic incident."

Fark does sell paid placement for pornography as an attempt to enforce its ban on hardcore pornography. By selling links, the company claims it can avoid a bait and switch where the content of a submitted link is changed after being greenlighted.

Other Projects

Fark TV

In January 2007, Fark launched Fark TV. [ [http://www.superdeluxe.com/sd/artist/fark_tv/ FARK TV] on SuperDeluxe.com] cite web

last = Jardin
first = Xeni
title = Fark Fark TV debuts. Meth, asscracks, anthills, good times.
accessdate = 2008-06-19
] The first video was a spoof ad for a mock product called "Meth Coffee." In May 2008, Turner Broadcasting announced that it would be folding SuperDeluxe — Fark TV's host site — into the Adult Swim brand, and laying off most of the staff, effectively canceling Fark TV. [ [http://www.tilzy.tv/news/2008/5/TBS-Super-Deluxe-Fold-Into-Adult-Swim.htm News - Tilzy.TV] ]

Fark Book

In 2007, Curtis penned "It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News", a critical look at the Mass Media industry and the go-to stories used when there is a lack of hard news to report. [cite book |last=Curtis|first=Drew |title=It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News |publisher= Gotham Books |date=2007 |isbn=978159240366] It peaked at #12 on Amazon.com's non-fiction bestseller list [ [http://www.leighbureau.com/speaker.asp?id=405 Bio:] Drew Curtis for Leigh Speakers Bureau] and was reviewed positively by Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Chez Pazienza — a CNN producer. [ [http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512xyOBU1zL._SL500_AA240_.jpgCover of "It's Not News, It's Fark"] UK edition] [ [http://www.fark.com/2007/book/ Fark.com] INNIF page]

In Pop Culture

As the site has gained in popularity, Fark has appeared numerous times in pop culture. Fark was referenced on the game show "Jeopardy!", with a category titled "Fark.com Headlines." [http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2171 Jeopardy Archive] Show #5331, November 12, 2007] Curtis went to the same high school as bestselling author Tucker Max and will reportedly have a cameo appearance in Max's upcoming movie "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". [ [http://messageboard.tuckermax.com/showthread.php?t=21393 TuckerMax.com] Sunday Update#1] Curtis and Fark were once featured on the cover of "Business 2.0" magazine as part of the feature story about successful websites. [ [http://www.jamesgross.com/business-20-cover-story/ Blog post with scans of Business 2.0 cover] August 23, 2006]

Notable Farkers

Besides Curtis, several well known people have Fark accounts, including:
* Science fiction writer Mike Brotherton
* Fox News anchor Alan Colmes [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,214667,00.html Alan's Favorite Web Links] on FoxNews.com, April 2, 2007.]
* Author James Lileks (using the Fark handle "Lileks") [ [http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=3020679 Video tour of preparations for the Minnesota State Fair, hosted by Farker James Lileks] August 23, 2007.]
* Sports commentator and owner of "Sports By Brooks" website Brooks Melchior. [ [http://cgi.fark.com/cgi/fark/users.pl?login=Brooks FARK.com: User profiles: view (Brooks) ] ] (Also on the Fark Top 100 Submitters list.) [http://www.fark.com/TopSubmitters.html FARK.com: Top 100 Submitters ] ]
* Science fiction writer Lawrence Person [ [http://cgi.fark.com/cgi/fark/users.pl?login=LawrencePerson User Profile (Lawrence Person)] ] (Also on the Fark Top 100 Submitters list.)
* "Mythbusters" co-host Adam Savage [ [http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamthebestartist/1140636894/] , screencapture of Savage's favorite sites, July 20, 2008.]
* Science fiction writer John Scalzi ("I have a TotalFark account") [ [http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/?p=872 Fark Heatsink Entry] June 12, 2008.]
* Actor Wil Wheaton [ [http://www.wilwheaton.net/2002/01/wil_and_fark_sitting_in_a_tree.php Wil and Fark Sitting in a Tree] on wilwheaton.com, January 26, 2002.]
* Actress April Winchell [ [http://www.fark.com/ Fark.com] Under "Site friends"]

See also

*Drew Curtis
*Photoshop contest


External links

* [http://www.fark.com/ Official Website] ( [http://www.fark.com/fark.rss RSS] )
* [http://www.farktography.net/ Farktography] — Site for Fark photography (NOT Photoshop) contests.
* [http://www.mutantdog.com/fark/stats/index.php Fark Photoshop Scrutinizer] — Fark photoshop contest results and statistics.
* [http://grampyshouse.net/cliches/index.htm Grampy's Cliché City] , a comprehensive Fark.com photoshop cliché reference.
* [http://www.superdeluxe.com/] Hosting site for FarkTV

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