Saturday, December 14, 2013

On Hating Buzzworthy

An ongoing list of envy masquerading as principle vis-a-vis two of today’s most important websites

1. “Upworthy—even smarmier than BuzzFeed.” —Nick Denton, Gawker

2. “Sites like Upworthy cater to the basest and most recklessly childish of human instincts.” —Jack Flanagan, Daily Beast

3. “The hammer of [Upworthy’s] unrelenting moralism starts to feel not so much as if it is breaking barriers as it is cracking your skull.” —Hamish McKenzie, PandoDaily

4. “Upworthy is the worst site on the Internet. Their mission statement is smug, backpatting, faux-activist horseshit. Their headlines are the purest, crack-cocaine of clickbait. And when you do click, the content they’ve dredged up from YouTube never, ever pays off.” —Bob Powers, HappyPlace

5. “Whatever the intentions of the Upworthy and BuzzFeed creators, the consequences for real, honest and complex ideas, causes and people are the same: they get ignored or drowned out in a sea of bullshit.” —Ryan Holiday, Betabeat

6. “There’s something about the Upworthy headline idiom ... saccharine to the point of grossness.” —Lexi Nisita, Refinery29

7. “The traffic-getting half of BuzzFeed.com ... is manipulative and gross.” —Choire Sicha, The Awl

8. Viral stories and photos produced by publishers like BuzzFeed and Upworthy are “junk-food stories with LOLcat art.” —Anonymous insider

9. “For the most part, Upworthy makes itself appear like it is targeting people who are either downright ignorant or in need of a lot of emotional masturbation.” —Ryan Phung

10. “Perhaps the most cynical place on the web.” —Nick Kolakowski, Slashdot

11. “Pioneered by BuzzFeed, and possibly perfected by Upworthy, clickbait is a modern-day media scourge, as unbecoming as it is irresistible.” —Brian Morrissey, Digiday