A popular satire website has announced that it will stop publishing articles and direct their focus solely on writing catchy titles.
Matt Saincome, founder and editor at the popular satire website, The Hard Times, has just announced that his company will no longer include articles to accompany their headlines. In a public statement he said:
“Research has shown that only a small percentage of our audience actually read the articles, while almost everyone polled claimed they still regularly consume our headlines. To adapt to our evolving audience we have decided to drop the clutter and focus our attention on writing the very best satirical headlines that the internet has to offer.”
In the past decade there has been a significant decrease in the quality of satirical writing. Many popular websites seem to have been producing funny ideas for articles, but then embedding the entire joke in the headline, and then creating corresponding content that has begun to feel increasingly like an afterthought. This begs the question of whether it was the low quality that lowered readership, or it was increasing intellectual apathy that lowered readership and allowed writers to become lazy.
“We simply cannot compete with memes,” Saincome said in a separate statement. “Our demographic studies indicate that our audience is unwilling to fully unpack larger ideas, and instead prefers to consume soundbites. Unfortunately the decrease in web traffic has put us in a difficult position of having to sell t-shirts and coffee mugs to keep the site online. As our income has decreased we have been forced to hire lesser quality writers, many of whom are now being paid in Oxycontin pills that my partner Bill Conway appropriates from his mom. However we are still killing it in social media, so there is no plan to call it quits at this time.”
Traditionally social media is used to drive readers to a website, where subscriptions or advertisements generate income. It is unclear how The Hard Drive plans to support itself by giving away the entire joke in the title, which costs users nothing to read in social media.
One commenter on Facebook responded to the announcement by saying, “Clickbait headlines with absolutely no substance to support them – so I guess that satire sites have now become exactly the same as the rest of the media.”
Head writer Ed Saincome was contacted for a statement, but then spent an hour and a half talking about video games and trying to sell me an official The Hard Times hand towel.
“No matter what happens I can assure you that The Hard Times plans to stick to its punk rock ethos through a commitment to repetition, cliche and shoddy merchandise,” tweeted Bill Conway.
Despite cancelling future articles, Matt Saincome has promised that the company will continue to reshare its seven most popular pieces in social media on a weekly basis.
The algorithms running The Onion have refused to comment.