CNN cribs Upworthy-style headline for child stabbing tweet


…thereby reducing Upworthy’s utility from 0.01 to zero.

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The only reason this hasn’t happened earlier is that CNN is so behind the times and out of touch with reality they hadn’t heard of clickbaiting until now.


Despite the fact that I think they are bastards for turning tragedy into clickbait marketing, I still find myself fighting the urge to follow the link…


Will no commenter reveal the mystery and save us from having to click? I guess the task falls to me…

The headline: “Police: Girl, 14, stabs sister 40 times because she felt unappreciated”. The little sister was 11 and later died. The 14-year-old called 911 and initially tried to lie about an attacker barging into the home. The girls lived at home with their mother.


I see this as just going full-circle – CNN’s been using the “stay tuned” method for news reporting on TV for ages. Well, not just CNN. Tune into almost any news broadcast and they typically talk about a story 3 or 4 times before they actually report on it. Wasn’t there a boingboing post about just that?

I’ll have more details after this commercial break. And coming up next, what’s up with this banana? The truth may surprise you.


I’ll question calling out Upworthy for the clickbait type headline. This style has been used by ad people and spammers for a long time.
The Upworthy titles do often use a variation of this but I’ve found them more clever that “this one wierd trick”

Simpsons mocked this years ago with Kent Brockman teasing the news. “One of these top soda will kill you. Tune in at 11 to find out which one!”

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The clickbaityness doesn’t surprise me or even particularly bother me, since news headlines sent out as tweets are, like headlines themselves, intended to be “clickbaity” enough to get you to read the article in the first place.

What bugs me is “the reason why will shock you.” No, CNN. The fact that it happened at all is the “shocking” part. Feeling unappreciated is just one of several non-shocking reasons why a teenager might lash out. If she stabbed her sister once to see if she’d deflate and fly around the room like an untied balloon, and 39 times more in order to make a more pleasing symmetrical pattern of cuts, maybe that reason would be shocking.

But as it is, violent teenage sororicide, regardless of motive, is shocking.

What a weird thing for me to get all pedantic about.


They had one job.


Downworthy (a chrome extension) can help deflate the hyperbole -

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You won’t BELIEVE how this programmer fixed the ENTIRE internet with this one weird trick!


As if there are reasons why that won’t shock you.

“…Meh, everybody knew little Susie REALLY had it coming to her for quite a while now…”

Isn’t the whole point of these ‘shocking’ type headlines, is that they allow the editors to not go into any details?

Isn’t the whole point of twitter is to cut out the insignificant details?

“What this tweet says will shock you! Hold on, there’s still more space to tweet? Shocking!”

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