Clickbait And How To Identify It!

Clickbait is a bane. A bane to creativity and a bane to your personal time. The irony of writing about clickbait is not lost on us though. Rest assured we will give you the lowdown on this unscrupulous practise!

How many times have you been interested in a publications title only to find that the contents are nothing to do with it?  

Clickbait titles tend to inform you that something has happened and they also deal in definitives. Allow us to explain.

‘What you see here will shock you!’

Recognise this from many youtube videos and social media posts?

A clearly defined statement which tickles your curiosity.

Maybe you are slightly irritated, ready to prove the statement wrong?

Or, on the other hand you could be intrigued; what could possibly shock me? Well, it must be bad so lets see if the statement is correct… Click.

You see the way it works though.

Hence the clickbait.

Lets try another look at it.

Improve your life. Can this amount of people be wrong?’

So here we have a bait word, improve. From the first word in the sentence it suggests something is already wrong with the reader in some way. Compounding the feeling, the second part also questions your own wisdom and experience. Surely a large number of people doing something different to your own way might be onto something?

The dangerous part here is that the second part validates the first. By questioning yourself perhaps you can actually improve your life?

Clearly there is some truth to this when it comes to learning from your mistakes. This is not what the bait is about though.

What has actually happened is the statement has implanted doubt in your mind that your life is not going as well as it could be. That doubt will be the seed of the click.

A genuine link will normally say exactly what it needs to. For example:

‘Can Yoga improve your general health?’

A generalised question. This particular question seems to suggest that the link we load will be a discussion of points. This arms you with information before you even click. The click is not coming from kneejerk reaction.

No more Rick Rolls. Okay, maybe that is an impossible task. Should be less of them from now on though!

Full in depth paper

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