These days, nothing is more firmly enshrined in the clickbait repertoire than the article rattling off the 20 most miserable, dysfunctional, poor, crime-ridden, and awful (and you won't believe
No. 16!) things in America. To accomplish this, clickbait providers pull together some statistics, plug them into a compiling program, and have their content spit out for them. Add a few images from Google maps, and you're off and running — pissing off countless people throughout the country with your listicle's narrow view of their township or city.
Call it a diss-ticle. And the bizarre thing is that the people being offended simply have to see it for themselves, thereby adding to the web traffic that makes these lists so clicked upon, if not popular. (Or is that the same thing in WorldWideWebistan?)
One of these lists seems to have appeared within the last few days, naming Roseville as one of the worst 10 small towns in the country
. (Small town? We call them "communities" here in metro Detroit, but how would the people at roadsnacks.net know that?) It calls Roseville "pretty much one of the worst places you can live outside of a larger city center." It goes on to say:
It’s not particularly dangerous here from a violent standpoint (though it gets really scary quickly as you head south). But property crimes here are some of the highest of any city its size. When you’re within city limits, you have a 1 in 20 chance of being robbed every year, according to FBI data.
So much for that. But what did you expect from the people who brought you such fine listicles as "The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Delaware
" and "The 10 Most Ghetto Cities in Florida
." They say that they're just providing infotainment, but also declare: "We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature. So we know what we’re talking about."
At least one Facebook commenter from the Village of Roses disagrees: "If you live in Roseville Michigan your chance of being robbed is not one in twenty. Most of the property crimes occur at a couple of shopping centers. If you are Wal Mart your chance of someone trying to steal from you is 1 out of 1. I like the conclusion you jumped to, but the data has a lot more to say than what you interpreted."
Care to add your voice to that chorus? Do so at your peril. Every time you click on something like this, you're simply asking for more.