U.S.—A new study of online traffic reached an alarming conclusion: the majority of traffic these days comes from angering readers and getting them to click and share a story out of hate. This could have terrible implications for online news, as terrible as the cheesy and unfunny 1987 movie The Princess Bride.
“The objective now is not to inform or entertain, but to outrage,” explained researcher Linda Benson. What gets a story the most traffic now is making people hate an article so much they feel compelled to share it with other people to show how bad it was. This is probably similar to how after The Princess Bride rightly flopped in theaters, it was shared on VHS by people baffled that anyone would make such a cheap-looking, terribly written film.
This new trend in writing news simply to outrage people could have deleterious effects on people’s mental health, as bad as having to listen to Andre the Giant attempt to act. Plus, informative content in news is now as sparse as Cary Elwes's mustache, leaving articles that are as poorly thought out as names like “Humperdinck” and “Buttercup.”
As for how to undo this trend in news, researchers didn’t have any answers. They also didn’t have any answer to the question, “Isn’t it true that everyone who claims to enjoy The Princess Bride is an annoying idiot with the maturity of a child?” ...most likely because that goes without saying.
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