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Movoto calls Buffalo ‘sinful’: Who’s Movoto?

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Using local data to create rankings for the seven deadly sins, national real estate site Movoto compiled a list of the 10 most sinful cities in the U.S.

Buffalo placed eighth on the list, proving a little more austere than Miami, Fla., but a touch more sultry than Detroit, Mich., and Las Vegas, Nev. Wait, the Queen City is more sinful than Sin City? Huh? This makes no sense.

Movoto’s procedure for determining levels of sinfulness was quite simple; author Randy Nelson explains the breakdown:

**Strip clubs per capita (Lust) via Yelp
**Cosmetic surgeons per capita (Pride) via Yelp
**Violent crime per year per 1,000 residents (Wrath) via the FBI
**Theft per year per 1,000 residents (Envy) via FBI
**Percentage of disposable income given to charity each year (Greed) via Philanthropy.com
**Percentage of obese residents (Gluttony) via the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
**Percentage of physically inactive residents (Sloth) via the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Buffalo wasn’t highlighted as particularly bad in one of the seven categories—there just seems to be an even balance of “not good” in most of the seven. Balance is a virtue, right?

Not everyone approves of Movoto’s tactics for spreading its brand, however. Take a look at this snippet from Sacramento’s NewsReview.com:

Using questionable criteria and pseudo-scientific number crunching, the blog keeps churning out lists en masse—and then pesters news orgs across the nation for free press.

Listen, Movoto. We get it. You want clicks, and you’re wrangling BuzzFeed’s format to get them—when you’re not trying to appeal to millennials with posts dedicated to ninjas and The Legend of Zelda video games. But it’s too much, too fast. Give it a breather.

The popularity of lists sets a dangerous precedent—a prime opportunity for click-hording because of the public’s infatuation with rankings and sensationalist topics.

Some organizations take these lists seriously, others (presumably) ignore them, while others—like the Sacramento News Review site above—rebel and caution peers from blindly hopping on these quickly-crafted trends.

What’s wrong with this list in particular? First off, using a single statistic to determine an overall ranking for a general term seems like it’s cutting corners—especially in the cases of lust and pride. Do you really think the number of plastic surgeons in a given area is a sound measuring stick for excessive pride? 

(Header photo courtesy of Flickr / jo-h).

TAGGED: most sinful, movoto, real estate blog, sacramento news review, seven deadly sins

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