Make annoying viral headlines less 'unbelievable' with Chrome app Downworthy

Sick of the hyperbolic headlines seen on so-called viral content sites? Well, you won’t believe this browser plugin that changes these headlines and what happens next will shock you.


We’re just being facetious, but there’s a Google Chrome plugin you would really want around when your friends are going nuts on social networking websites, sharing half-interesting articles with annoying catchy headlines. The plugin is called Downworthy and is a clear riff on the names of one of the leading sharing services Upworthy.


In the past few months, multiple websites have cropped up with stories that contain almost link bait-like headlines that try to rouse interest and have people sharing stories on their social networking accounts. Headlines like “This boy stopped going to school. What he did next will shock you” have now become common place. The makers of this extension then tried to make the experience of reading these articles a funny one.

Sample these

Sample these

The extension’s description says that it replaces hyperbolic headlines in these articles with a version that reflects the story more realistically. For example, 'literally' becomes 'figuratively', the commonly used 'will blow your mind' becomes 'might perhaps mildly entertain you for a moment,' and 'incredible' becomes 'painfully ordinary'. The guys who made Downworthy sure seem to have a sense of humour because they’ve also replaced 'Go viral' with 'Be overused so much that you’ll silently pray for sweet release of death to make it stop' and 'You won’t believe' becomes 'In all likelihood, you’ll believe'.


“These articles are, in general, not nearly as bad as their titles,” the makers clarify. “But the titles have become SO overblown, they're meaningless and annoying. But people still click, so the trend continues. Consider this me doing my part to stop the insanity.” The extension is only available for Google Chrome right now but a Firefox version is also in the works.

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