The 5 funniest moments from David Carr’s talk with Upworthy founder Eli Pariser

David Carr’s hilarious bluntness was on full display at one of SXSW’s most engaging conversations. The New York Times’ famed media columnist took the stage with Eli Pariser, the founder of the viral video juggernaut that is Upworthy. In a talk titled “Do Algorithms Dream of Viral Content,” Carr grilled Pariser over the secret behind Upworthy’s tremendous popularity, and how the changes to Facebook’s algorithm had affected it. It was a riveting conversation as Carr didn’t mince words about what he thought of Upworthy’s link baiting headlines, with Pariser gamely making the case for interesting headlines being the gateway to getting people to digest important information.

With Carr in an especially off-the-cuff mood, the session had plenty of hilarious moments, here are five of the best (warning: NSFW language)

David Carr and Eli Pariser at SXSW

Carr admits digital ignorance:

In his very first question, Carr was blunt about how little he knew, “What the fuck is an algorithm?” he said. “What does one feed it? How do you take care of it?”

The top result for “Two lesbians”

Pariser told the story of how one of the first viral hits on his website was a video of an impassioned defense of gay marriage by a teenage boy who had been raised by two moms. Pariser said the key to the video’s success was the headline they gave it, which was “Two lesbians had a baby, and this is what they got.” As an added measure of the video’s huge popularity, Pariser said at one point it was the number two result if you googled the terms “Two Lesbians.” Even with the Safe Search off.

The real value of Twitter

Carr put Twitter into perspective, saying it wasn’t as valuable when it came to sharing content as “The Facebook.”

“Saying, ‘I’m big on Twitter’ is kind of like the rock band equivalent of saying ‘We’re big in Japan,” said Carr. “I mean…it’s not nothing”

Pariser’s robot vibe

“The thought experiment I try to run is to try to see the world like an algorithm sees it,” said Pariser, talking about how he gets Upworthy content higher up the news feed. Carr immediately quipped, “You do tend to get on a bit of a robot vibe every now and then.”

The Facebook button

Pariser said he refused to believe Facebook was especially targeting Upworthy articles and downgrading them in the news feed, saying it was too simplistic an idea. As he started saying, “There’s a tendency to imagine engineers press a knob over at Facebook…”

Carr happily completed the sentence with “…called Let’s Fuck Upworthy!” to the raucous laughter of the audience. “I believe its called the Upworthy Fuck-o-lator

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