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Downworthy — A Browser Plugin That Strips the Hyperbole from Ridiculous ‘Click-Bait’ Headlines

downworthy plugin
Photo: Downworthy

We were looking around the Internet for something to clarify what those annoying, highly-clicked headlines we see everywhere really meant; you won’t believe what we found. OMG.

Downworthy, a browser plugin for Chrome, makes a bold promise: that it “replaces hyberbolic headlines from bombastic viral websites with a slightly more realistic version.” Think of it as the anti-Upworthy.

In other words, it trims down those over-the-top headlines some websites use to tempt readers into clicking into something far more believable and not as grating for those people (like us!) who spend a good portion of their days on the Internet.

How? Phrase replacement, mostly.

For example, if a headline uses the eye-catching phrase “Will Blow Your Mind,” Downworthy will replace it with “Might Perhaps Mildly Entertain You For a Moment.” The over-used phrase “You Won’t Believe” turns into the much more realistic “In All Likelihood, You’ll Believe.”

It’ll be interesting to see just how popular the plugin becomes, as people seem to love those viral headlines. Then again, there is a growing backlash (if you couldn’t already guess) aimed at sites that rely on them. There’s even a parody headline generator.

Where do you stand in the argument? Are you pro-hyperbolic headlines, or do you cringe whenever you see them?

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