A step-by-step guide to online "journalism" in 2019:
1) Scour Twitter and find a handful of people who are angry about a dumb, inane thing no one else cares about. Let's refer to this "dumb, inane thing no one else cares about" as "FU," because, well, fuck you.
2) Create an article. Put no thought or legitimate commentary into it. Simply embed the angry tweets from Step 1. Give the article a needlessly incendiary clickbait title, i.e., "People are Outraged over FU, and You Should Be Too" or "Backlash Mounts Against FU, is it deserved?"
3) Publish it.
4) Receive hundreds of thousands (or millions) of pageviews by falsely presenting a few meaningless tweets from a bunch of fucking nobodies as a legitimate historical trend or cultural movement.
5) The millions of readers who see your article are now depressed and/or outraged, as they falsely believe that FU has become a "thing" in our culture and they can't believe that society would stoop so low as to make a big deal out of such an unimportant, irrelevant thing.
6) Some are angry enough that they take to Twitter and Facebook to express how stupid and depressing it all is.
7) Swoop in and scoop up another handful of angry Tweets. Oh boy, another "news" story! Rinse and repeat.
8) Congratulations, you went to school for four years (and likely took on a ton of debt) all so you could just sit online all day, reposting the ramblings of a bunch of anonymous shitbags. This is what your profession is slowly becoming: a bullhorn for thoughtless babyragers.
9) Think about it: You gave up years of your life to study a craft that is now having you sit idly by while you spread uninformed and useless ideas written by people who didn't study anything, likely didn't even think very deeply about anything...
10) ...and the result is a slew of false, outrageous narratives that help no one and hurt, whether directly or indirectly, almost everyone.
11) Tweets are not news. They are not a trend. They are not a story. Do not quote tweets in an article unless it is highly authoritative and relevant. I've made a pledge to unfollow/block news sources from my newsfeeds from now on that do this.
12) So far, this week, I've blocked/unfollowed: @CNN, @YahooNews, @BBC, @newyorkpost, @HuffPost, @FoxNews. I recommend others do the same.
And to the news outlets: do some actual journalism. Please. Have some respect for your readers. And have some respect for yourselves.
You can follow @IAmMarkManson.