If Daily Mail readers wrote the headlines
Friday, April 04, 2014 - 07:55 AM
Web designer Richard Westenra has created an ingenious browser plugin that swaps out the headlines from the British tabloid The Daily Mail with user comments about them.
It's fascinating to watch the transformation. It's kind of like watching The Daily Mail's id emerge, not that it's exactly known for restraint in the first place. Were it not for how vicious the language is, the commenter headlines would feel almost Upworthy-like in their sensationalism. Here are just a couple with the original headline on the left and the commenter generated headline on the right. See if you can spot the difference:
This plugin is definitely funny, but there's something illuminating about it too. In the first place, they don't feel too dissimilar from one another. Second, it strikes not only at the information that The Daily Mail would like to convey to readers, but also what readers choose to focus on. Generally they are fixated on personal attacks - if it's a celebrity, they comment on appearance, a politician they comment on scandal. I just wish I could see some version of this for every website, because it is so revealing of The Daily Mail's commenters.