You’ve probably heard about or fallen victim to click bait while traveling through the internet. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. For those who don’t know, click bait is when a page, article, post, or video’s sole purpose is to attract attention and views with tricks like flashy thumbnails and misleading titles. These pages and videos will usually come with ads that they get revenue for whenever someone views the content, and in turn, the ads are before the video or in the columns of the page taking your eyes away from what you came to the site to look at in the first place.. As annoying and petty as click bait may be, there are actually some benefits to having it around.
Firstly, it helps (some) helpful information catch your eye easier. As silly as that may sound, it’s true. For example, let’s say that you see an article titled “Six Foods That Could KILL Your Dog!” and it actually contained a list of foods that are harmful to your dog. Now, despite the minor fear mongering, wouldn’t you be glad that you clicked on it and found out how to keep your furry little friends safe?
Click bait that is good or effective can also increase the revenue for content creators, good or bad. If you think about any Youtubers or writers you follow online, they’ve more than likely had some content that used click bait to some capacity. And by simply enjoying their content, you’ve helped support them so you and others who follow them can continue to enjoy.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of negatives to click bait. Often times, brand names get harmed when they’re featured in an article title that is negatively misleading. A lot of people won’t read full articles, but rather believe they understand the gist of the article based solely on the title. A lot can be assumed from the title “Bank of America Involved in Money Laundering Scandal” even if the only way the bank was involved was that their services were used to do such actions without them knowing.
At the end of the day, it’s helpful to know when something is click bait and what the intentions are behind it. Too often does fake news, harmful information, and scam videos and ads get trafficked around the internet and cause way more harm than good.