Clickbaiting

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Clickbait is a term where the title/thumbnail is intentionally inaccurate and misleading in order to incite clicks.

Common Types of Clickbaiting

  • Cliffhanger titles like "You won't believe..." or "Guess what happens next".
  • Articles that appears offers something that's too good to be true, like how to tell when a slot machine is about to hit jackpot.
  • Subjects of hate and envy, usually formatted like "(Insert high profile character or organization) hate/is dying to find out (Insert something vague)".
  • Titles that defy normality or popular notions, example: "Think Orange Juice is Good for You? Think Again!".
  • Countdown or Top # Lists.
  • Sensationalized titles that challenge your knowledge or daring you to click it.
  • Sexy images
  • Arrows and circles highlighting something.
  • A blurred section which is given a lot of focus.
  • A surprised reaction, usually with a wide open mouth.
  • Edited images that usually has something that is impossible in reality.

Why It's Rotten in General

  1. They are often times used to scam people for false answers.
  2. It's essentially a waste of the audience's time.
  3. The titles are often sensationalized and exaggerated, making the content hiding behind the title even more disappointing.
  4. The titles can clickbait people only to find something entirely different.
  5. This was a trend on YouTube where YouTubers would choose a portion of the animated previews to show content too good to be true, but their animated thumbnails update got rid of them, as, for now, uploaders can't control which frames the animated thumbnails show. Not to mention that YouTube doesn't do anything to stop clickbait titles and videos.
  6. This trend is killing many blog and news websites and making them unreliable because many websites still uses this tactic just to gain money from gullible viewers. Gawker, VICE, FANDOM, Polygon, and Buzzfeed are the largest offenders.
  7. Even good content is forced to use it in order to get noticed.

Reception

Despite being disliked for scamming, it has become a favorable trend on various publications and even on certain YouTube channels.

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