A Scots council has taken the unusual step of ridiculing a "clickbait" article published in the largest selling English-language daily in the world.

The article, published by The Times Of India, ranked a Scottish city as the second most dangerous and unsafe city in Europe. 

The newspaper, which was founded in 1838, is the oldest English-language newspaper in India and the fourth-largest newspaper in India by circulation - with a daily circulation of over 1.8m copies. 

It also boasts 11 million followers on Facebook and 14.7 million on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In Monday’s edition of the newspaper, the Times of India ran an article entitled ‘The 10 most dangerous and unsafe cities in Europe’ in its travel section, which offers readers “a definitive guide to destinations, itineraries, things to do, restaurants, nightlife and more”.

READ MORE: Glasgow ranks above Barcelona in Time Out's best cities in world list

The article, which is captioned with a photo of the famous mural of Saint Mungo on Glasgow’s High Street, notes that Europe, while being considered a safe continent, “is not without risks”, as “certain European cities pose potential dangers, necessitating extra caution for safety”.

Addressing its readership, The Times of India writes that it has compiled the top 10 list “to ensure that you enjoy a hassle-free and safe Europe”.

Florence comes out top of the list as the most dangerous city in Europe, with the newspaper noting that, despite being “undoubtedly one of Europe's most sought-after destinations” and the city having “a relatively low violent crime rate”, those visiting the famous Italian city “are advised to remain vigilant, particularly against scams, pickpocketing, and credit card theft”.

Glasgow follows behind Florence in being ranked as the second most dangerous and unsafe city in Europe in the list.

Writing about Scotland’s largest city, The Times of India notes that despite Glasgow boasting a “rich blend of ancient charm and modern attractions”, and “a low crime rate”, the city’s “history of gang-related incidents” mean that visitors are “cautioned to maintain awareness”.

The Herald: Glasgow ranks as the second most dangerous and unsafe city in Europe in the list Glasgow ranks as the second most dangerous and unsafe city in Europe in the list

“In 2010, Glasgow had a murder rate of 5.1 per 100,000 people, constituting 20% of all crimes in Scotland that year”, the newspaper adds.

Joining Glasgow as the only other place in the UK to feature in the list is Belfast, with The Times of India ranking the city as the fourth most dangerous city in Europe due to its “moderate crime rate” that means visitors” are advised to exercise caution to avoid any potential trouble”.

Istanbul, Athens, Paris, Brussels, Bucharest, Porto and Amsterdam make up the list of Europe’s most dangerous cities, with tourists warned to exercise caution if visiting due to such crimes as pickpocketing, scams and fake taxis. 

Responding to the piece, Glasgow City Council suggested that any listicle that names Florence as the most dangerous city in Europe shouldn’t be regarded as anything other than “clickbait”. 

A council spokesman told The Herald: “Everyone knows why clickbait and listicles exist – but it’s hard to imagine many people losing sleep over a piece that takes as it’s starting point the slightly fanciful notion that Florence is the most dangerous place in Europe.

READ MORE: Glasgow soars up the rankings in latest World’s Best Cities Report

“One thing the article does get right is calling out Glasgow’s current crime rate as low – and significantly lower than a generation ago; even if that is at complete odds with the ranking.”   

In January, Glasgow was ranked above the likes of Barcelona and Sydney in Time Out's list of the 50 best cities in the world in 2024.

Glasgow was named 30th in the list, with Time Out noting that while "plenty of cities boast world-class food, beautiful scenery and popping nightlife", only one that is "full of Glaswegians”.

Meanwhile, October last year saw Glasgow power to its highest ever ranking in a new global cities report.

The annual World’s Best Cities Report by global place branding advisor Resonance Consultancy saw Scotland’s largest city soar up the rankings to 61st place from its 93rd position in 2022.

Resonance stated that Glasgow “powers to its global ranking on the strength of its education, including the planet’s eight most educated citizenry and its #36th ranked university” and that “start-ups hungry for cheap space and talent are drawn to the city’s working-class authenticity”.

It also praised Glasgow’s music scene and nightlife, which it listed as the world’s 42nd best, as well as its cultural offering, ranked as 72. It added: “People not already here are certainly noticing.”