Clickbait Watch #11 🖱️

Samir Hussein / Getty Images

Samir Hussein / Getty Images

A reminder

Clickbait stories are meant to generate online clicks for the sole purpose of driving more traffic and hence generate more $$$ for an online publisher. This often means loud, extreme language used in the titles of stories. I guess not many people click on calm titles. 🤷

So what?

Clickbait leads to a rise in the volume and anxiety of your online news experience, or even misleading reporting. Each week we'll look at the most egregious clickbait titles, and after analyzing them, give them a less extreme title based on the actual information in the article.


CLICKBAIT #2:

Entertainment Weekly: Jordan Peele is as freaked out by that Jared and Ivanka photo as everyone else

News Bling’s Suggestion: Jared and Ivanka Photo Freaks Out Some Twitter Users, Jordan Peele joins in

Problem with title:  Some Twitter commenters are not “everyone else.” While many people might get freaked out by the picture, news articles, especially clickbait articles, too often use tweets or comments to imply a consensus. This creates urgency for you to click on it. When they imply consensus, it feels like you are missing a cultural wave, and you have to find out about it or be left behind. It might seem like poetic license to say “everyone else” in this case, but it's a slippery, misleading slope, especially considering only about 20% of Americans use Twitter in the first place, and many of those people are barely active. To say most people, let alone everyone, had an opinion about this photo, is a common clickbait move.

CLICKBAIT #1:

Fox News:
 Xbox deodorant and body wash let you smell like a gamer

News Bling’s Suggestion: Xbox creates a deodorant for gamers

Problem with title:  The article contradicts its title. The deodorant “won’t flaunt the pheromones of a sweaty, unwashed video game addict. Nope, this scent features ‘top notes of kaffir lime and winter lemon, aromatic herbal middle notes of mint and sage, and woody bottom notes of patchouli and clearwood,’ GameSpot reports.” So while it is a shocking idea that might get clicks, it’s an idea invented by the title, not by the facts.


It's a vicious cycle

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