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  • 01.27.14

Install This Anti-Upworthy Plug-In. What Happens Next Will Make Your Face Melt And Your Kidneys Burst

On the Internet, positive hyperbole used as click-bait has become a scourge. OK, maybe not a scourge. Maybe a passing annoyance. When presented with “The Most Mind Blowing Picture You’ll See Today” or “This Epic Story Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity,” the theory is we just have to peek, though lately, with the stunning, you-won’t-believe-what-happens-next, outrageousness spiraling out of control, many readers are as likely to roll their eyes as to be amazed.

While Upworthy is by no means the only offender (ahem, maybe we’ve even been guilty on occasion), the site is particularly well-known for its over the top headline structures. Sure, they’re spreading optimism and love, but is that really an excuse for shamelessly manipulative packaging? If you think not, then a new Chrome plug-in called “Downworthy” will give your day a whopping dose of reality.

Through the filter, “One Weird Trick” becomes “One Piece of Completely Anecdotal Horseshit” and “Will Blow Your Mind” becomes “Might Perhaps Mildly Entertain You For a Moment,” “Literally” becomes “Figuratively,” and
“Go Viral” becomes “Be Overused So Much That You’ll Silently Pray for the Sweet Release of Death to Make it Stop.”

Isn’t it refreshing to feel uninspired?


The tool was created by coder Alison Gianotto, (@Snipeyhead), who describes her mission:

“These articles are, in general, not nearly as bad as their titles–but the titles have become SO overblown, they’re meaningless and annoying. But people still click, so the trend continues. Consider this me doing my part to stop the insanity.”

Check out more headline substitutions on her site and above.JM