ClickBait: You’re gonna believe what happens next!

Because it’s a rant.
A fucking rant, are you ready for it?

We’ve all seen those posts on FaceBook, proudly proclaiming “You won’t believe what happens next!”, those major sources of irritation.
These articles and videos always piss me off for three main reasons.

Firstly, they never accredit or verify sources, they take screen shots and videos from across the internet, slap it on their advert laden site and do everything they can to get you to look at it so they can earn some money.
Second, my friends aren’t saying to me “Oh you won’t believe it…” probably because it is never that fucking shocking, it’s a clickbait article and not the collective works of literary giants, the few times the content of an article has got me interested enough to look through I have rarely been surprised.
Thirdly, they don’t generate anything, they exist just to turn your momentary boredom into profit.

As someone who occasionally makes things and goes on to post those things online, I hate that some site is going to come along and steal my work in the name of making a quick profit.
At least if a site like Cracked do it, they’ll often make some effort to find the original source and give accreditation, which would allow interested parties to view more of my work.

I wish all my friends would stop sharing clickbait, I get it you’ve found something cool and you want to share it, but there’s three things I want you to consider.

1) If the link contains a youtube video, try sharing that video instead, this makes sure only the right person gets the view.
2) If the link contains some awesome geological or biological nuance we don’t see in our daily lives, there’s gonna be better articles out there with details and higher quality content.
3) If the link contains a story chances are it isn’t true, it may be funny but don’t for a second imagine it would be true because if it is you can generally track these things down.

What really irks me about clickbait is how legitimate news sources have occasionally taken the practise (I’m looking at you Daily Mail, yes I am calling you “news”) for themselves, posting articles with titles designed to inflame your curiosity.
Or they’re just stealing content and throwing a link to the original having reproduced everything, whether it be a Tumblr blog or posts to Reddit or even just copying Twitter hashtags, they’re no longer asking permission to use other peoples work instead just saying they should be happy with exposure.
When did this become respectable?

I’m not here to rant about anyone in particular, despite having named Daily Mail seeing as other online news sources are eager to replicate the Mails current popularity, it could easily be a race to the bottom of the barrel of journalistic integrity.

Really, I blame Social Media and their adoption of one-click sharing.
When you can paste a web address and have your social media choose what image and text to display for you, is it any wonder that sites use the most over hyped, hyperbolic titles they can in order to gain interest?
Well, apparently Facebook are going to try and stop giving prominence to clickbait links, but the information I see for this indicates it’s just an extension of their beloved weight system, it doesn’t consider the source of a site but how much time you spend on that link before you return to FB (this becomes useless when people right click and open in a new link, to give a site time to load while they continue browsing) and they’re seeing how much people interact (like/comment) on links, which is useless when you consider that people do not always like or comment on things they like, and that likes can just as easily be bought.

All in all it is nice that FB can admit that clickbait is a problem but they’re not really doing anything about it.
If you want to inject a little levity into clickbait while waiting for something that actually blows the mind, there is a Chrome plugin that will change the titles to something a little more manageable, why don’t you go take a look at that?

Well, I am tired and have dishes to do, but you’re not going to believe what happens next… I’m going to do the dishes…


I am Silent, part time programmer and full time narcissist, gamer, geek and man on a mission.

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