Best Clickbait Strategy

City Paper

In February, VICE published a dreary photo gallery called “Baltimore is a Paradise.” The intro hit all the tired notes: “HBO drama,” “post-industrial,” “eclipsed by” New York and D.C. The piece flew around Baltimore on Facebook; local writers called it “absurd” and “shameless steaming shit.” It seems to happen like clockwork: An out-of-town writer covers Baltimore, and we get in a collective snit. Writers don’t necessarily have to rely on clichés like crabs, so-called hons, or our impressive rat population; they can just misrepresent our ideal perception of ourselves in the most trivial manner. Either way, we Baltimoreans will go nuts and hate-forward it on social media, giving the publisher exactly what they want: an asston of clicks.

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