Have you tried clicking on a certain topic online because it is headlined with a very interesting or intriguing topic and end up finding nonsense, irrelevant and generally useless info? Well, I have and honestly it has pissed me off a dozen times.
“Facebook has been secretly giving away money if you reach this much “Likes”.”
If you see this headline, what would your initial reaction be? The urge to want to find out what it is or what happens next is just too much to bear. We probably have the same reaction: Click immediately on the title. So ultimately, you are now disappointed.
What is Clickbait?
According to Google, clickbait is a type of content or article that is made sensational or provocative to attract people to visit a certain website. It is described through two effects: Overpromising and under-delivering.
They use words to play with our minds and emotions. They parade hyperbole expressions to emphasize the positive and the negative side of the story. That is because we are more reactive to a portrayed anger or an exaggerated optimism. Our minds start to tickle and draw us to a certain curiosity and impulse that cannot be defied in a matter of milliseconds that we decide to suddenly click.
While it is never wrong to sensationalize a certain topic, site or event (only to a certain point, mind you), it is entirely wrong to overstate a certain subject that it is in turn described totally out of its original definition or content. Therefore, it is just basically deception.
It’s alright to want to learn things by browsing online. It is in our nature to get curious so easily when things seem to be in range with our interest may it be social or private. We tend to find ourselves carelessly clicking on sites for the mere reason that it just looks interesting. Yes, anticipation and curiosity are to be blamed for making you click.
Citizens online or Netizens have now expressed negative reactions regarding this plague. Almost everyone is victimized by this scam that is spreading online.
Sure, we understand that these websites only want to earn and attract a multiplied number of visitors. Every host and site administrators would love to have that kind of publicity. But using this kind of trick does not actually build integrity and quality on the sites that they are promoting. They are just actually selling a “lie”.
Are “They” Doing Something About This?
Recently Google and Facebook are actually building an AI (Artificial Intelligence) program to recognize “Clickbaits”. Even other online giant companies have joined in the project like Microsoft and Amazon to contribute and efficiently develop a better program to detect annoying spams and the different types of misleading online content.
Facebook is being very vocal on its plans ridding of those notorious clickbaits spreading through its own platform. They have now collaborated and open-sourced their AI project in minimizing or filtering these spams. They are also investing greatly in improving its algorithm to identify a content that has quality and essentially informative article. It is intended to distinguish the relevance of the title and heading to its overall content.
Like Facebook, Google and Amazon have released their own AI technology to open-source as well so that everybody can contribute and to give haste to the current form of their advancement.
The Rewarding Side
Not everything about clickbait is bad. A marketing agency known as RXM Creative is doing an effort to utilize the same tactic but with a positive result. They use clickbait to redirect or link sites for or from charities so they could gain visitors that could potentially boost audiences and promote donations.
They have established a dedicated website for this cause and is now live. Just visit Clickbaitforgood.org. In fact, they have started posting some of their links via their Facebook and Twitter accounts from this site so that anyone can choose any clickbait to start sharing and help out to these involved charity institutes.
People have shared clickbait links to their social media accounts to draw more traffic to the charities. The agency even promised to not ever charge for their services. Now that sounds good for clickbait.
Everyone that has been cheated by clickbait is not to be blamed because they really are vulnerable to this sort of online tricks. Such provocative headlines that exceed the essence of any content should have been at least limited or controlled if cannot really be stopped. Compromising quality because of greed is not a very positive influence for the future of worldwide web. It is not a very good sign when the need to be a trend online outweighs the need for quality content.
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