Junk News Goes Mainstream at Boston.com

So today on the front page of Boston.com, near the top, is a story titled, Lefties are apparently having better sex. The prominent placement of the story made me think we might have something here. Having worked at Boston.com for quite a long time (1997 – 2006) and also being left-handed, I thought it would be worthwhile to click on the story to learn more. Boy, was I wrong.


The story cites an online, unscientific survey conducted by a sex toy manufacturer who just happens to be peddling a sex toy “that claims to ‘give the North paws a little taste of the South paw sex drive’ by stimulating a right-hander’s underused right-side of the brain by clenching a vibrating ball in their left hand.”


My, how the mighty have fallen.  I’d rather read a National Enquirer story than this drivel. At least you know where you stand with the National Enquirer. With Boston.com, I’m just not sure anymore. After all, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt used by the site. It’s part of a recent pattern. Call it the Upworthification of mainstream news.

Pageviews are like crack, I know from personal experience. It’s addictive to see those numbers go up. You start looking at them every day. Then every hour. Than a few times an hour.  But the eyeballs-equals-dollars formula was proven to be a failure a decade and a half ago. Besides, it’s one thing to whore yourself out with “cutest puppy dog” or “Halloween baby” photo galleries to get the numbers to go up. But to post fake news?

Next time I’m thinking of clicking on Boston.com link bait, I won’t. Moreover, I’ll probably miss real stories just because I have reason to doubt their truthfulness. Truthiness just isn’t enough to hang my hat on.

Finally, I curse Upworthy and the countless misleading, hyperbolic headlines it has spawned in its wake.

That is all. </rant>