One of the worst parts of my job, right below sending emails and right above receiving them, is scouring the web for stock photos to accompany our posts. It’s perfectly bearable for stories involving celebrities and/or mass media products, which are generally well-represented in the stock databases. For broader culture essays and/or think pieces and/or humor pieces not pegged to a specific person or news item, I usually have no alternative but to enter some keyword—”toxic masculinity,” say, or “mutually assured destruction,” or “local milk people”—and comb through the zero to hundreds of loosely relevant images it yields. Perhaps on the tenth page I’ll find something usable; perhaps on the twentieth I’ll remember that we can also legally use screenshots of YouTube videos and go do that instead. The moral I’m working towards here is that stock photos suck and are bad and stink.
Some of them are pretty funny, on the other hand, and @darkstockphotos has the goods. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered any of these images in my searches, but then again we don’t publish many stories about people getting stabbed or setting fire to their laptops. Something to work on, I guess. Okay, here are the best so-called Dark Stock Photos: