I'm not the only one who has noticed that the long-time mainpage authors seem to be trolling lately. Today has been pretty egregious.

  • Madeline Davies wants to heckle Philamena, calls Matthew McConaughey a cock, and treats a Daily Mail article attacking a lesbian as reliable.
  • Kate Dries wants to talk about whore pills as a follow up to last week's Lindy trolls the MRAs.
  • She also posted about a woman who went missing after an online date, implying foul play, and when it was pointed out that the woman was found safe yesterday, she updated the article to say that the woman was found and foul play didn't seem to be involved but omitted the word "safe;" the headline merely changed to add [updated].
  • And she also called people "angry fans" in a headline on an article discussing a recent safety issue in a movie that could involve criminal negligence, in which a woman died rescuing someone; anyone who considers this a worthwhile topic is an angry fan.
  • Noted girl who gets the most controversial/interesting assignments by her editor buddy, Tracie Egan Morrissey, wrote about the apparent 12 Years a Slave drama in less detail than was covered last night on Gawker, and which gave zero new information despite a headline that implied that yes! We now have proof of the dispute! Newp.
  • Callie Beusman's blurb implies that this photo of Jennifer Lawrence "stealing" Lupita's Oscar is "drama" cause yeah, there's no joking around in that photo at all.

So, what the fuck, Jez? Well, I'll tell you.

As Kyosuke noted last night, hate is more profitable than love. (Sadly, I was already aware of that.) The problem is the Recruits program. The problem is Kyosuke and Ubertrout. The problem is the measurement of success: not quality journalism or content; statistics that go up if everyone thinks you're an ass.

If you look at the examples above, what we have are:

  • Deliberately angering the commentariat. Result: increased commenting as people complain about the post, which means increased page hits.
  • Potentially angering the commentariat but also angering MRA trolls. Result: increased commenting, increased trolling in comments to increase commenting, conversion of new users who want to comment now.
  • Clickbait that implies something bad by omitting facts available the previous day. When corrected on that, changing the article to still omit important facts plus an updated headline. Result: readers were clickbaited into reading and assumed the worse, increased commenting to slut-shame/stop slut-shaming the assumed victim, a headline update that makes people who read it earlier come back.
  • Clickbaity title that doesn't apply to the article but is sensationalist. Result: increased clicks.
  • Implies new information less vague that previously available content on a topic that people have already shown interest in. Result: increased clicks. If she updates the article to include actual allegations, then the title is updated, people who read it will come back, so increased clicks.
  • Clickbaity blurb with interesting photo. Result: increased clicks.

These are attempts to raise stats through offensiveness, bad journalism, and invented controversy. The Recruits program has the long-time mainpage authors nervous that they will be out-statted by recruits, by people who didn't earn that job like they did, by amateurs.

I started reading the mainpage again when they hired BRIMSG and some of the newer authors are writing really good content. This is what we need to be clicking on. This is what we need to be commenting on. Don't give into the hate. To quote my round-winning CAH play: Mainpage. It's a trap!

Support quality content. Comment on the good stuff, not the bad.