What This Unstoppable Pianist Did Is Genius.
November 19, 2013 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Before You Say You've Never Discriminated Against Someone, Listen To The Second Sentence From An Introverted Single Dad. You Will Punch Your Monitor When You See What A Homeless Upworthy Generator Delighted The Internet With. Starts around 1:54. Gets mindblowing around 2:15.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER (74 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wouldn't believe it if I didn't want to.
posted by philip-random at 6:11 PM on November 19, 2013


Missing the hectoring popup that implies you don't like motherhood, kittens or apple pie if you don't click 'Yes' or something.
posted by wotsac at 6:15 PM on November 19, 2013 [37 favorites]


Think You're Not A Misogynist? Maybe You Should Listen To This Transgender Kindergartener.
posted by solarion at 6:15 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:16 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The twitter account upworthit Does a pretty good job of this too

"@UpWorthIt: Watch This Brave Dude Struggle To Keep It Together While He Confronts The Man Who Called Him Brosef."
posted by mulligan at 6:17 PM on November 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


God, I hate Upworthy.

I mean, it posts all sorts of things that I really like, but their house style and that stupid pop-up make me want to frantically hit 'back' every time I accidentally click an Upworthy link.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:18 PM on November 19, 2013 [28 favorites]


I Thought It Was A Silent Genocide. But Then I Saw This Ridiculous Music Video.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 6:21 PM on November 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I think I'm doing enough but I fall short. I regret that I have but a single (+1|thumbs up|retweet|kony 2012) to give.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:22 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


PITCH FUCKING PERFECT
posted by ook at 6:22 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watch An Iconoclastic Animal Rights Activist Become A Role Model With Six Words.

Guessing they're "Some animals more equal than others."
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:23 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just got this headline: "Try Not To Dig Your Fingernails Into Your Desk When You Hear These Twelve Words."

That is fifteen words

I demand reparations
posted by ook at 6:24 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


So amazing.

PLUS: I have to know The 9 Reasons We Can't Say No to Numbered Lists.
posted by tula at 6:26 PM on November 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


You'll never believe these 5 things Obama doesn't want you to know about Metafilter
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:28 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I Wish I Was More Depressed By What An Autistic Mommy Blogger Publicized, But I'm Not.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:30 PM on November 19, 2013


It hurts because it's true.
posted by edheil at 6:36 PM on November 19, 2013


So, Upworthy is a site devoted to videos of sobbing women?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:38 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Atlantic: Upworthy: I Thought This Website Was Crazy, but What Happened Next Changed Everything - "The Internet's latest viral wizard matches smart technology and lily-white earnestness to market "stuff that matters" online, and the Gates Foundation is buying."
Forbes: With 30M Uniques Under Its Belt, Upworthy Is Ready To Monetize
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:53 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Now we just need a Congressman who stands up for what we believe. Forward this or you are the problem.
posted by surplus at 7:00 PM on November 19, 2013


What This Website Wrought On The Internet Will Leave You Speechless.

I just picked up the pieces of of my laptop after punching it.
posted by the jam at 7:01 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some Call It The Key To Happiness. They Call It A Killer Of Children.
posted by rtha at 7:01 PM on November 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's rather stunning when the parody is just as...well, let's just say I expect video to be shot to match these headlines.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:06 PM on November 19, 2013


I hate hate HATE when a headline tells me how I'm supposed to feel about a video or story. To the point that I can't even come up with some clever in-the-same-vein snarky comment for this thread, I just have to express how much I hate it. If it says "check out this video," I'm fine with it. If it says "this three-year-old speaking up for social justice is the most adorable thing you will see all week," I become primed out of sheer contrariness to go into übercynic mode and try to find the very slightest hint of an excuse to argue that the three-year-old is worse than a Nazi war criminal.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:22 PM on November 19, 2013 [29 favorites]


Things that matter. Pass 'em on.
posted by NedKoppel at 7:33 PM on November 19, 2013


ook: "Just got this headline: "Try Not To Dig Your Fingernails Into Your Desk When You Hear These Twelve Words."

That is fifteen words

I demand reparations
"

I should probably not mention the song that is just six words long, then, huh?
posted by symbioid at 7:45 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Think Babies Can't Be Homophobic? Maybe You Should Listen To This Autistic Former Drug Addict.

Brilliant.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:46 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Video won't play for me.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 7:47 PM on November 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've been hating on Upworthy for a long time now and an LJ friend and I have been commiserating over virtual beers on this issue. Today I have seen more Upworthy hate from the general public than I've ever seen. I'm not complaining, but I wonder what made it go so viral, clearly it was a well crafted headline to get us to all get downworthy on upworthy, no?

Honestly, I feel the same way about Upworthy that I do about Sheriff John Bunnell, you know that cocky piece of shit who used to always be on COPS, then started narrating about"That's one dumb crook who won't ever unzip his pants near an electric power plant again, dummy."

This sort of know-it-all-better-than-you attitude, plus this "I'm not gonna tell you! I'm not gonna tell you!" juvenile bullshit and GOD I WANT TO PUNCH UPWORTHY IN THE DICK SO MUCH.

After reposting a Tumblr that I saw on my FB feed about it, I publicly declared a guaranteed defriending anytime I see an Upworthy post or ViralNova or other similar bullshit from anyone. Period. Nobody should ever fucking post that shit, and I'll put up with your lazy dumb political beliefs now and then, but if you dare try to perpetrate UPCrimes on my feed, I ain't having it, no way, no how!
posted by symbioid at 7:50 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I Was Intrigued By This Upworthy Parody. But This Parody Twitter Feed Melted My Heart--To The Soul.
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 8:03 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Think Things Are Better Than They Used To Be? Maybe You Should Listen To This Nostalgic Millennial.
posted by treepour at 8:07 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You Can't Imagine The Brain-exploding One Word This Disabled Beauty Queen Found.
Starts around 1:54. Gets mindblowing around 2:15."

...is this about the Carrie remake or
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:20 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:23 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.

Hey, this Millenial ain't any happier about it than you are, bub.

Plus, based on my Facebook wall, peoples' sweet but dim aunts are the biggest Upworthy offenders, anyway
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:26 PM on November 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Since we're in confiding mode, I'll note that the phrase "mommy blogger" is like chewing on aluminum foil.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:29 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is one weird trick, alright.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:30 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


You will be astounded when you learn what symbioid did after he posted on metafilter and went on over to facebook and saw an Upworthy post!

"NO NO YOU WON'T BECAUSE I ALREADY TOLD YOU!"

(Yes, I had my first official Upworthy defriending shortly after posting that I was going to).
posted by symbioid at 8:41 PM on November 19, 2013


Upworthy is "Jesus and kittens love you" fwd-mails for twentysomething liberals.

the link at the bottom to Rather deserves more attention on account of it's legitimately valuable.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:43 PM on November 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


To the point that I can't even come up with some clever in-the-same-vein snarky comment for this thread,

Oh, I finally came up with one:

"Try Not To Dig Your Fingernails Into Your Desk At This Website's Blatant Attempt To Emotionally Manipulate You!"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:03 PM on November 19, 2013 [5 favorites]



I hate hate HATE when a headline tells me how I'm supposed to feel about a video or story.


For reals. Unless the person is standing next to me insisting that I click on it, I won't do it.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:04 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.

And here I was thinking that Upworthy is just what all those people who used to ask why there was never any good news on the tv wanted.
posted by kenko at 9:10 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


rtha: Some Call It The Key To Happiness. They Call It A Killer Of Children.

Happy fun ball!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.

I prefer to think of it as the Ebaums World or Wimp of "feel good" stuff, packaged with banner ad-like teaser text: they re-appropriate content and re-package it with vauge clickbait descriptions. Millenials have nothing to do with this.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I Wish I Was More Revolted By What A Nostalgic Holocaust Survivor Documented, But I'm Not."

whaaaat.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:38 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I discriminate against Upworthy. Brutally.
posted by Decani at 11:26 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


88 Brands of Stupid: Is One of Them Yours?
posted by Pudhoho at 12:24 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Does your karma lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?
posted by Pudhoho at 12:25 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like this style of titling is everywhere now. MPR, The New Yorker, all up and down my tlist.

Make it stop!!
posted by koucha at 1:43 AM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry, I still prefer Would I Say That? over this.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:35 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was all set for the feels but it wouldn't play under Chrome (adblock?) so I hit the site in Safari, reloaded a few times and then I got it.
posted by jquinby at 4:25 AM on November 20, 2013


Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.

Really, about the self-satisfied, who are of all ages.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:31 AM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


You Died At Some Point And Are Now Living In Hell
There Is Also No Heaven
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:55 AM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah that's silly, Millennials are, on the whole, way too crafty for this to work. This is for the cheesy dorks in my generation.

I hate Upworthy, but in that Atlantic article above the founder does actually do a pretty good job of explaining why it's not for me...

"As for his critics, Pariser said that a handful of journalists with Twitter bullhorns shouldn't get to out-vote 50 million (and growing) monthly unique visitors. "I'm not going to pay too much attention to some snarky New Yorkers who see [our headlines] too many times in their feed," he said. "Part of the ambition is to build something that isn't a niche product. And for folks building great content that is more for a specific NYC elite audience, the sensibility is not going to mesh."

I guess this is a good point. If it works it works, and my hatred of it's style doesn't change the fact that this might make more non-digitally-savvy people watch something other than TMZ or Fox News, as long as the videos themselves aren't false who cares how sanctimonious or manipulative the framing is? Maybe that's just a lie and it's actually all venal Ebaumsworlding purely, but heck it's worth a shot (and at least it's better than Buzzfeed's apolitical pop theft which makes them no better than the Daily Mail ofttimes).

So I guess like, "Fuck You Upworthy, and Good Luck."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:04 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doesn't stop this generator from being brilliant tho. My favorite so far:

"You Should Really Think About Watching The Tearjerking Short Film This Disgraced Holocaust Survivor Found."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:07 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is literally the first time I've ever heard of Upworthy.

I hate you. All of you. Every single one of you. Because my perception of the world has just gotten that little bit worse. Because in this little way you have made me suffer like you do.
posted by ardgedee at 5:09 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


snarky New Yorkers

Sorry, I'm a midwesterner, born, raised, and current. OK, maybe that's why I couldn't come up with the snark as quick as "New Yorkers" in Pariser's imagined geographic divide, but my hate for those types of articles is no less.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:09 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Luckily, the video won't play in Firefox for me.

And, yeah, never heard of Upworthy before this.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:15 AM on November 20, 2013


i was just stewing over shitty upworthy headlines when i clicked on metafilter. i get annoyed because i WANT to like their content - i enjoy watching kids make instruments out of cardboard boxes and whatever, but the whole "you'll never believe how these kids found joy!" bs just pisses me right the fuck off. just fucking tell me what you're video is about and i'll probably watch it. i even tried following upworthy spoilers on twitter for a while but they're not nearly as good as huffpo spoilers.

also, things like, "Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials." and "I'm not going to pay too much attention to some snarky New Yorkers" says more about the people saying it than it does about the groups who either do or do not like upworthy.
posted by nadawi at 5:57 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Unless it's obviously kittens, I need about 3 people I trust to recommend a video before I will give it my attention. There needs to be a real reason that a short text paragraph doesn't do it justice. I think this has to do with being on the internet a lot around 1999, when mystery meat links usually led to Goatse or a video where a skeleton pops up and screams at you unexpectedly.

This is the reason I hate SLYT videos on MeFi that don't have an adequate description. You have to at least give me some indication that it's not gonna take me to Tubgirl or Rick Astley. I have the same issues with link shorteners. Basically I have spent 20 years training myself to not click on Upworthy links without even realizing it.
posted by almostmanda at 6:08 AM on November 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


Upworthy is like the perfect distillation of what's awful about Millenials.

Also, this is pretty amusing given that 90% of Upworthy links I see on Facebook are posted by aging relatives who haven't developed a good radar for linkbait. But hey--two things existing at the same time means one must have caused the other, right?
posted by almostmanda at 6:10 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm with DevilsAdvocate. Wisconsin born and raised, and I'll be damned if I let that shit cross my eyes. This so called "Anti-New-York" snark is bullshit.

And it's not just "simple folk" beguiled by feeling-goodness. At least one person I know is somewhat sophisticated (she used to use "talkers" back in the day). There are quite a few people who do this sort of thing who aren't as sophisticated, but to use one of those requires a certain level of effort that most modern web users don't take on. This is why it's especially frustrating for me. YOU SHOULDN'T BE SO STUPID!

This is starting to hit Idiocracy levels of idiocy.

I hope Upworthy fails fast and hard, far faster and harder than the owner can make a mint selling to someone else, or going public or something. Just another internet has been. Because if this is the future?

I want off the ride.

I see I didn't link this Tumblr rant about Upworthy. It's pretty good, I think.

Oh, and XKCD has a comic parodying Upworthy style cliffhanger headlines with historical events.
posted by symbioid at 6:43 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the Atlantic article:
What's more, when readers find themselves hating a headline picked by a testing audience and shared by 10 million people, whose tastes are we really objecting to—Upworthy's or ours?
I Thought Ten Million Upworthy Fans Could Be Wrong, But Then I Heard A Word From The CEO
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:07 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


As for his critics, Pariser said that a handful of journalists with Twitter bullhorns shouldn't get to out-vote 50 million (and growing) monthly unique visitors. "I'm not going to pay too much attention to some snarky New Yorkers who see [our headlines] too many times in their feed," he said. "Part of the ambition is to build something that isn't a niche product. And for folks building great content that is more for a specific NYC elite audience, the sensibility is not going to mesh."

Elites - n. - New York content producers with bad wages and some followers on Twitter
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:09 AM on November 20, 2013


After reading and laughing at this thread for some time, plus all the parodies.... I switched over to my FB and what pops up? "Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod". Bwahaha ... And it's not a parody. Well, every headline on that site is like a self-parody, I guess.

What makes it confusing is that if they would just dial down the hype, some of the videos are meaningful, culturally important and worth seeing. Like others said, it just feels wrong to be told what to feel in advance; it's like a huge street sign with blinking lights, pointing the way to an emotional reaction that you ought to have.
posted by TreeHugger at 7:27 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


What makes it confusing is that if they would just dial down the hype, some of the videos are meaningful, culturally important and worth seeing.

I suspect it's the hype that gets them seen. People may have hated Mr. Whipple, but, my god, could the man sell toilet paper.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:14 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not quite sure why, but this is reminiscent of the SkyMall catalog.
Also: Iguana! You will never BELIEVE what I saw yesterday!
posted by joecacti at 9:11 AM on November 20, 2013


Why If Your Heart Doesn't Palpitate At The Sight Of This Sobbing Child You Might Be The Spawn Of Hannibal Lector.
posted by Twang at 9:24 AM on November 20, 2013


"Before You Say Things Are Better Than They Used To Be, Listen To These Five Nouns From A Child Star."

This generator is perfect.
posted by rmless at 9:33 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The worst part about Upworthy -- other than that they, y'know, exist -- is that the other viral-meme factories have started picking up on their breathless uninformative headline style. I guess they get more clickthroughs if they make you curious about what they're linking to than if they just come right out and tell you.

Jesus. I'm scrolling through Facebook and just now realizing that the meme factory stuff outnumbers the real content like two to one. amazingoasis, uproxx, distractify, thndr.it, sobadsogood, buzzfeed, viralnova, themetapicture, 123inspiration, upworthy, memecdn, and a bunch of soft-focus inspirational photos on imgur.

Might be I'm overdue for some defriendings.
posted by ook at 9:34 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm having a shitty day and I got this that made me laugh out loud:

Think Babies Can't Be Racist? Maybe You Should Listen To This Legendary Stand-up Comedian.
posted by not that girl at 11:16 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


What Happens When One Trailblazing Trailblazer Stands Up For The People Who Can't
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:13 PM on November 20, 2013


For all the ways "porn" gets overused on the internet -- design porn, food porn, etc -- nothing reminds me of really bad pornography as much as Upworthy headlines; the strident insistence on a single interpretation of emotional affect feels just as bludgeoning whether it's "These Schoolgirls Need Big Cocks For Their Naughty Desires" or "This Teacher Will Inspire You With Only Four Musical Notes".
posted by Greg Nog at 5:51 PM on November 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


You Won't Believe What This One Former Cheerleader Did to Save Dallas

She's Still Picking Her Jaw Up Off The Floor
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:38 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is it that is so enraging about this stuff? I have to think it's a classic concept, is it "pandering?" It's some kind of condescension where their target audience is, what, a jaded hermit with insatiable curiosity?

There is now a pandemic of these sites, even now crossing over into Christian territory and of course myriad upworthy clones. I wonder if you actually read all their crap whether they're each putting these extreme headlines on the exact same stories. If so, it would be interesting to put the stories together with every single headline up top.
posted by rhizome at 1:17 AM on November 21, 2013


What This Gay Former Klansman Did Is Genius.

So amazing.



OK, I would probably watch that one.

I detest Upworthy for many of the reasons listed above, but another one that just occurred to me is that the vague taglines also sound a lot like the ones that are used to bait people into clicking on actual viruses, trojans, malware, spyware, spamware, and other cooties.

I have received messages from friends whose accounts had been hacked, offering videos generally promising more lurid content but the wording, and the appeal to curiosity, was absolutely same - You won't BELIEVE what she did! *click* MALWARE HAS BEEN DETECTED!

Since for a while I was the admin of a group that warned people about that particular variety of shenanigans, my bullshit detector has been calibrated toward that kind of language. If everyone is using the tactics of scammers, spammers, and virus-mongers, then people will become habituated to those links being harmless.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:45 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, a lot of the videos are from ages ago.

I mean:


If You Can Watch This And Not Feel Revolted, Then You're Made Of Stone.


I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.



Yeah, whatever, Two Girls One Cup happened like six years ago.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:55 PM on November 21, 2013


« Older Homeless in Paradise   |   The Inherent Awkwardness Of Cuddling Some Random... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments