Thursday, November 19, 2015

Click-bait: The Easy Way to Get Hits

by Robert Vollman

We've all been there before. You're just surfing the web doing whatever it is that you are doing. It could be playing a game, checking a status on a social media site, watching videos, when all of a sudden you see a title of a news story that catches your attention. The story has a strange title to it, it sounds both bizarre yet interesting at the same time. You wonder what this story has to offer, but then once you click on it it is revealed as something that goes on to waste your time.


This what the internet calls "Click-bait" and it is one of the fastest ways for a news site, or just anyone in general, to get those easy hits. Much like what my opening paragraph stated, Click-bait is exactly what it is, it's something that catches your eye and causes you to go and check it out on the idea of shear curiosity. Once you see what the article actually is, it either delivers on a small portion of what the title promised, or it didn't showcase anything interesting at all. No matter what the end result is, the reader more or less ends up disappointed and the site that they found the story on gets the undeserved page hit.

The problem with Click-bait is that it is everywhere online and it knows no boundaries. It can be as simple as a little story on a random blog site to a YouTube video. Everyone wants to try and get noticed. With Click-bait this is possible. When looking around the web for Click- bait based examples, I came across this Click - bait headline generator in which people can simply find any type of title and slap it on the story that they want to be seen. If it'll get them some easy likes and tweets, it'll work.

So what does this mean for news sites that are to provide actual news? For us it means that you have to keep a watchful eye out for those stories that may seem to grab you but aren't telling any truth in the end. For the news sites themselves the method is a mean of survival that provides them with as many hits as they can get. In the end, it's something that everyone else has to watch out for. While this is a new interesting way to tell a story, it can also lead to a lot of deception. 

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