Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Don't Troll On Me

Edie Lotus

Trolling, transparency, headlines, anonymity, ethical values... Just some topics students read on for JOUR 3200 this week.

While reading Kira Goldenberg's Stop Trolling Your Readers I thought of the countless times I've personally felt reluctant to click an article because of the previous times where I've done the same just to be let down... It made me wonder... When are you selling your readers short? Misleading them in the headline just for the click?

I couldn't help but think of Harper's Bazar (a personal favorite fashion resource of mine) and the way they promote their articles on Twitter by attaching only half of the photo with the Tweet to promote users to click the link to see the entire photograph and the article attached with it. For me, the tactic of deliberately leaving half of an image out is a very deliberate, obvious, and annoying way of them to get me to click the link. Many magazines use social media as a resource to bring readers to their site and as Goldenberg said generate clicks and boost shares. I would argue, too often do the most credible and noteworthy of sources use over the top and offensive headlines or blatantly make their readers click to get to the bottom of things. Headlines and tweets should promote an article and let you know what it's about instead of tricking you into going to an article you would've otherwise been uninterested in.

In an article by The New Yorker, while writer Maria Konnikova toke a deeper look at How Headlines Change the Way We Think she found that more and more pieces are using headlines that bring in more readers and grab their attention but more often than not tend to be misleading. Readers then instead of feeling that an article provides them with more information and content, rather questions at which part did it answer what the headline promised? This question is what misdirected headlines lead to.

In a different article by Lene Bech Sillsen for CJR this idea of trollers on the internet and it's impact on news and readers we see more vital information. During Sillsen's piece University lecturer quotes "As news have gotten faster and reliant on sensational elements, there's also an uptick in trolling... the more you push clickablity, the more likely it is for trolls to harness." The piece goes on to discuss other issues that evolve from trolling like it's impact on women specifically by individual trollers to Twitter having to change it's policies. With trolling being such a sticky issue in the online realm, why are some journalists choosing to use it with their headlines?

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