At this point, if you spend any amount of time on the Internet, you have undoubtedly come across your fair share of clickbait headlines. You know the type – the ones that go something like, “Awe-inspiring blah blah blah the government doesn’t want you to see” or “Blah blah blah, you won’t believe what happens next.” They’re everywhere these days. The theory is that after reading these kinds of fantastical headlines, you’ll have to click just to satisfy your curiosity.
Upworthy isn’t the only offender out there, but it’s arguably the most well known for its over-the-top headline structure. Sure, they’re spreading uplifting and inspiring messages and trying to make the Internet a more positive place, but does that justify the use of such deliberately manipulative headlines? Nine times out of ten the “mind-blowing” picture, video, article, or whatever hardly lives up to its lofty header.
If you’re getting fed up with all these hyped-up, over-exaggerated titles from the likes of Upworthy, ViralNova, Buzzfeed, and the like, then this snarky new Chrome extension called Downworthy might be just what you need. Once installed, the add-on sniffs out words and phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines and replaces them with slightly more realistic (and cynical) ones. For example:
- “Literally” becomes “Figuratively”
- “Will Blow Your Mind” becomes “Might Perhaps Mildly Entertain You For a Moment”
- “One Weird Trick” becomes “One Piece of Completely Anecdotal Horseshit”
- “Go Viral” becomes “Be Overused So Much That You’ll Silently Pray for the Sweet Release of Death to Make it Stop”
- “Can’t Even Handle” becomes “Can Totally Handle Without Any Significant Issue”
- “Incredible” becomes “Painfully Ordinary”
- “You Won’t Believe” becomes “In All Likelihood, You’ll Believe”
- “Restored My Faith In Humanity” becomes “Affected Me In No Meaningful Way Whatsoever”
… and so on. You can check out the still-growing list of hilarious substitutions here. If you’re event the least bit cynical, we highly recommend installing the add on and browsing through the viral clickbait site du-jour. You’re sure to have a good laugh.