9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Our thoughts about the famous Cracked.com.

9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby Tesseracts » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:30 am

Explained.

This is basically an ad for working for Cracked. They claim to do everything they can to be welcoming to new writers.
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby ghijkmnop » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:48 am

Redacted
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby cmsellers » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:57 am

I was surprised that nobody commented on this all day, but I suppose it's because it's for the same reason I didn't: Thanksgiving.

I have to say that the comments are (as usual) amazing and on point. I'm surprised that that the top two comments haven't been deleted yet, since they both seem designed to piss off Wong.

Just in case
9-things-top-comments.png
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby NathanLoiselle » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:58 am

I dunno. I found the titles to each section to be compelling and insightful. Are we sure that this was a Cracked article?
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby DoglovingJim » Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:01 pm

My commenting has seem to have been playing up for a couple of weeks now (this article reminded me of the issue), the majority just doesn't seem to post. (this happening to anyone else?)
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Edgar Cabrera wrote:HOLY SHIT GUYS, IT'S DOGLOVINGJIM!!! HE'S HERE!!!

skoobadive wrote:It's the legendary DoglovingJim! Ohboy, this must be the greatest day of my life!

Cracked.com wrote:Initially, his interest in animals was "primarily a sexual attraction," but as he grew older, he also "developed the emotional attraction." We guess we could call what Jim does ... dog-lovin'
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby LegionofShrooms » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:08 pm

You know, I actually have to admit. I went into this article fully prepared to tear the ever-loving hell out of it. Between the suggestion of the content based on the title and the fact that it was from David Wong who-while I'll admit he does have some talent as a writer-has come across as almost obnoxiously preachy and ill-tempered to me in a lot of both his articles and dealings with various people on the internet, I'll be honest, I had (perhaps a little unfairly) already decided I would hate this article before I'd ever seen it. But... Well, in some ways it actually exceeded my expectations, and I'm probably in the minority that I found a few of the top comments a bit mean spirited (Sorry TIGII, but that dig about coming just for the comments was too far for me, as I do genuinely enjoy some of the content on Cracked, and painting them all as just springboards for the comments seemed a bit vindictive).

As far as point nine (the adverts) go, maybe it's because I was aware that they were a third party issue due to the sheer impracticality of being able to specifically control that facet (mostly because I've had to deal with the administrative side of websites before), but I never really complained about them for that reason.

For similar reasons, as frustrating as point four is (technical issues), I also at least have a passing familiarity with how difficult it is to keep a site with as many moving parts as Cracked flowing perfectly smoothly at all times, which is why I also have never complained as much. Sure, I might point out if something's not working, but unless I have a concrete idea on how to fix a technical issue, I'm not liable to bitch because, well, frankly a single wrong character in a line of code can fuck things up in some really unexpected ways.

That said, the part involving AuntieMeme's columns does seem like a bit of dodging as I'm fairly certain I've seen them give guest slideshows from other sites their own name. That said, I can understand why it's not exactly at the top of their priority list, but it can be a bit irksome.

Now on number two, I've got a bit of a split mind. I don't mind someone covering something again as long as they have something new and interesting to bring to the table. Their experience articles on prostitution for example have been rather interesting and insightful, despite us having a good half dozen of those. However, a few of their topics *cough*GamersGate*cough* *cough*WhyMarvelSucks*cough* have done little to offer any new content, different viewpoints or frankly, even much comedy. It just comes off as beating a dead horse because it's a popular/hot button issue (whether this is the case or not is up for debate, but it's easy to see how it can get taken that way), and you can't really blame people for getting sick of that, especially if it's not done well.

Now as far as number six (asking for new writers to join), number five (old writers leaving) and number four (video content getting dropped), I can't really find much fault in any of those practices. You need content to survive, and offering the opportunity for inexperienced individuals to get a foot in the door and gain publicity on a level that they would not have been able to on their own can hardly be demonized. Hell, I've flirted with the idea of writing for them a few times myself, and I believe I could get my content published if I tried, but I'm honestly tentative given the current polarizing nature of the site.

As far as five and four go, well yeah, people have lives beyond Cracked most of the time. It's hardly surprising that they either move on to other things or get sucked back into the real world, and video content is the type of thing you can only keep going if 1) the reception is worth the effort and money spent and 2) there is enough money and people to work on said content in the first place, so it's understanding that they have to pick and choose.

Number one (why do you bother) is frankly bordering on sarcasm/satire at that point and seems to be an excuse for a bit of self-congratulation (or to be fair, it could be offering accolades to all those he works with that help keep things running, and some of the readers themselves).

Now. For the volatile points in the article.

Number eight (the titles). I'm not saying the titles have to perfectly match every time. I understand that sometimes people are being more than a little pedantic about the titles, even if it's for comedic effect, and I understand as someone that's agonized over titles myself that it's not always an easy process. But with that said-the underlying issue isn't that some of the titles aren't 100% accurate. No, the issue is that some of the titles don't reflect even the slightest resemblance to the article they're portraying, be it shoehorning in a political issue that isn't actually in the article, or about why such and such sucks when that's not even what the content is about. I'm sorry Wong, you're cherry picking instances that you linked in that section. Hyperbole and minor inaccuracies is one thing. Blatant misdirection and straight up lying is another.

This is by no means helped when a completely accurate title that generates interest is changed three times in the course of a day, often each time to a less accurate, more insipid one.

Now. Number seven (political soapboxing). This one's a bit of a tricky subject, but I'll take a crack(ed) at it anyways. In some regards, I do agree with parts of this topic. It is near impossible to avoid all political content, and I do agree that it's better to take a stand than to be a passive individual (Even if I think the statement about what you don't say being a statement is bollocks. The whole point of not saying something is that you didn't f***ing say it. You can't infer someone's intentions very well from non-information). Hell, some of the issues that they've pushed I even quite agree with, and was happy to see given some light (rights for sex workers, the prevalence of sexual slavery even in more stable countries, abuse victims, gay rights, etc).

But the problem isn't that they have a political agenda. It's how some of them-and I should emphasize this is a rather specific group of a few writers-carry out that political agenda. They're just. So. Damned. Hamfisted. It's not like they're just bringing an issue to light, arguing their side and letting you draw your own conclusions. No. They beat you over the god damn head with it. A lot of those articles seem to talk down to their reader base (or at least, the ones that don't agree with the point they're pushing). It's like if you don't agree with every point they bring up exactly how they bring it up, even if you have a counterargument based in logic, reason and-God forbid-facts, you're still a sexist racist homophobic transphobic misogynist piece of patriarchal scum that's literally worse than Hitler, Stalin and an M Night Shamalyn film combined.

It's the difference between artfully having a theme run through a film in a way that is well done, clever and gets the message across versus making it Anvilicious to the point that you're pretty much just taking your agenda and smacking us in the face with it so hard that it makes the content devoid of all enjoyment, regardless of what issue you're trying to talk about. Look Cracked. Agendas are like a penis. You can have one. Sometimes you can even show it to others. But most people don't like being smacked in the face with one without their consent, and especially not when it's done when it's done clumsily, far too hard and in a way that ruins the entire mood of the moment. Please don't smack me in the face with your penis agenda if it's not going to be in a way that I'm likely to find enjoyable.

For a case in point. I loathe Donald Trump. Like... Every time I see him on an article about his bid for presidency, I want to punch him in the dick. In fact, I advocated punching him in the dick on a recent article I submitted. But even I find ATB's articles about why he's literally going to turn this country into Nazi Germany to be just so damned painful. When a person that agrees with your point can't even enjoy your content because of how unabashedly biased, how awkwardly written, how completely nonsensical and riddled with logical fallacies, and how utterly devoid of humor and quality it is (that last one's kinda important for a comedy website), you're doing it wrong.

/rant

Anyways, taken at face value, this article seems to be (particularly taken from the nature of the section names) both a chance to try and do damage control and to maybe take a few potshots at the readers who constantly do these types of things. That said, I think they could have done it far worse, particularly given that it's David "Diplomacy" Wong doing the damage control.

Do I think it has flaws? Yes. Do I think that a couple of the article sections and the way they tried to rationalize certain issues without actually addressing them is bullshit? Yes. But it does raise some valid points as well, and for that I find myself pleasantly surprised that it was of a higher caliber than it might have been.

All told, while the site does have a lot to offer, I'm a bit saddened by their inability to see past certain issues via rationalization. I'm not talking about issues with site mechanics, but rather tone and tactics consciously employed by the employees of said site. Because Cracked does have some amazing talent, and inspiring articles, and has exposed me to a lot of things that have made me think and rethink about certain issues. But it's just become so toxic in certain regards that it's driven me away from doing certain things I might otherwise have considered (reading all of their articles each day resulting in more revenue for them, joining the forums to associate with various members that I'll probably never meet now, writing articles and getting to see my name published on Cracked, etc). I just don't know if some aspects of the site are worth associating with anymore, even if I continue to stick around for other ones, and especially when I can find a lot of the best of that community here on TCS.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go write some comedy articles for you fine folks.
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Last edited by LegionofShrooms on Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:18 am

Look, I only read one sentence of Shroom's rant but I'll say this. If they're going to post other sites, "guests", photoplasties than at least post the one called "Ten Women You Can't Believe They Photographed Naked". That way #1 can be your mom.
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby Knicholas » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm

I read through that article at the time. I really did not have much of an issue with it. Mostly it comes down to a business that is delivering content and does it imperfectly.

The exception was the piece on "'political content". It struck me as mealy-mouthed. I don't really care if Cracked has political content. I don't care writers have opinions. I avoid writers I find tiresome, like Rowntree. If the article is entertaining, then great--even if I disagree, it is a good read.

But using the excuse "But it's all political" strikes me as the lame response you would expect from a silly college newspaper. No. Don't absolve yourself, just admit it. You are pushing a point of view. There are a lot of content-providers out there who start as entertaining, but become tiresome when they take this approach--Slate, Mother Jones, the Raw Story. There are a lot who do not--BBC. Some major newspapers. Just be honest about it.
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby Masonator » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:18 pm

Knicholas wrote:I read through that article at the time. I really did not have much of an issue with it. Mostly it comes down to a business that is delivering content and does it imperfectly.

The exception was the piece on "'political content". It struck me as mealy-mouthed. I don't really care if Cracked has political content. I don't care writers have opinions. I avoid writers I find tiresome, like Rowntree. If the article is entertaining, then great--even if I disagree, it is a good read.

But using the excuse "But it's all political" strikes me as the lame response you would expect from a silly college newspaper. No. Don't absolve yourself, just admit it. You are pushing a point of view. There are a lot of content-providers out there who start as entertaining, but become tiresome when they take this approach--Slate, Mother Jones, the Raw Story. There are a lot who do not--BBC. Some major newspapers. Just be honest about it.


That whole "it's all political" excuse was especially disingenuous, given that he knows by "political" articles, critics of Cracked are talking about heavy handed opinion pieces on controversial, hot button issues (and yes, even if the opinion is one the reader shares, some of these opinion pieces are still heavily criticized because of the us v. them mentality that is the antithesis of sparking a healthy discussion). It's the exact sort of reason I find militant atheists insufferable despite identifying as atheist. So no, just because I share a certain viewpoint does not necessarily mean I would not find an otherwise political piece to be political. No one likes a loud mouthed asshole becoming the mouthpiece for their side, just ask moderate Republicans what they think of Donald Trump. Then ask the moderate Democrat readers of Cracked what they think of ATB's opinion pieces on Trump.

Wong seems to implicitly recognize that he actually knows what Cracked critics are referring to when they criticize 'political pieces' as he calls them by noting in the first sentence of that section that Cracked articles have been talking about feminism since early 2008. But why focus on that particular subject as an example if 'everything is political' as Wong suggests? Also, the particular article he was referencing was a bit on stereotypes in pop culture rather than the heavy handed opinion pieces that are the real subject of criticism. Most importantly, to say that this is the first instance this issue was discussed ignores the main complaint of the increase in volume of these heavy handed opinion pieces.

That was my only real complaint, other than the misleading title articles excuse being the biggest dodge ever, though it's not like I expected him to say, "Yeah, we change the title to try to generate more clicks for ad revenue, we just make the title more and more incendiary throughout the day."
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Re: 9 Things Readers Hate About Cracked (Explained)

Postby Knicholas » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:56 pm

That whole "it's all political" excuse was especially disingenuous


Thank you! "Disingenuous"--that's exactly the word I was looking for. It's been bugging me all day.

Personally I am kind of fond of Title Guy as an entity, in the same way my wife's irrational and insane fear of mice is kind of endearing.
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