The Clickbait Conundrum
Clickbait: (on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.
Think back to what was likely only about two seconds ago; you were quite happily scrolling Facebook when you spotted (granted only out of the corner of your post-censoring eye) the clickbait victim. Has this become enough of a problem to write an entire article about it I hear you ask? To which I answer yes. 2016 has been the year of the click bait. Some of us emerge like strong, practiced swimmers amongst the oceans of rubbish we must sift through to find the truth, whilst our subordinates drown in the waves, unable to differentiate between fact and fiction.
The most likely victims? The unassuming and vulnerable elderly relative. So do the right thing and allow them to enlist the help of this article to avoid all future embarrassments of the clickbait variety.
There are two types of clickbait: the underwhelming article hidden by the hyperbolic title and the downright factually incorrect article, both of which lead to a higher traffic for the undeserving site and, worse still, the ‘sharing’ of this post to what will likely be an audience of facepalming adults.
In order to push back against what is a very real problem in todays social media explosion, I will now provide a comprehensive guide as to how to avoid the dreaded clickbait.
1. Make sure the article comes from a reputable source. i.e. would you feel semi-confident showing the article to an expert in the topic you are reading about?
2. Does the article sound opinion oriented? If the answer is yes then don’t repost.
3. As a rule, If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Finally and MOST importantly please, PLEASE give the facts in the article a quick Google, it’ll save everyone else the hassle.
Contrary to popular belief this is not the plane of a traumatised anthropologist but an art piece displayed at the Faena Arts Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012 created by Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez.
Although this article is written in a semi-comedic fashion it is worth noting that the recent Presidential campaign (or at least its online presence) was rife with clickbait relating to both candidates. Misrepresenting information has dangerous implications for us all, especially when relating to mental and physical health as well as political posts. So, let us inform those close to us to remain wary of those on the internet and aware of their possibly nasty intentions – now how’s that for a bit of parental role reversal?