If The New York Times posted crappy clickbait articles

Here’s a fun design experiment: Transposing a shitty clickbait article into The New York Times. It turns out, you’ll totally believe what happens next. It looks really weird.

W/r/t specifics: I used the contents of the article “Why 1999 Was The Greatest Year In Music,” which, to give you a sense of its quality — besides the fact that 1999 was one of the worst years for music in the history of the world and everyone knows this — it features a correction at the bottom of the article indicating that some of the songs didn’t even come out in 1999. I removed a few images and GIFs to fix some glitches, but everything else is pretty much as-is.

What does this prove? Nothing you probably didn’t already know. But, as this is the sort of lucrative viral content that allows many media outlets to stay afloat (this site included!) and pay for some of their (supposedly, allegedly) high-quality writing that ultimately nobody will read either because they don’t have the patience or because they’ll never even be made aware of its existence as it’s all actively hidden by mysterious social media algorithms that seem to favor garbage, and as the Times is starting to publish directly inside one of those aforementioned garbage-favoring social media site starting on Wednesday, it’s not difficult to imagine that, in the not too distant future, the paper of record might actually resemble some version of this clickbait mock-up (unless, who knows, maybe the sun will explode before then and kill us all in a blazing, painless fire?).

Gaze long into the clickbait abyss.