If you’ve browsed any social media website, you have probably fallen victim to clicking on a catchy title – only to find out the title lead you on. This incredibly annoying and overrated practice is called “click bait” and people have started calling it out as digital media’s crap trap. Popular websites and companies like the Shade Room get caught up in these so called ‘traps’ to trick users into clicking on trashy articles to make it appear that the company has a massive audience. This in turn gives the companies higher valuations for sponsors and advertisers to buy into. With the rising concern following Fake News and it’s implications, more people are asking how to combat click bait.
We can’t blame the media companies for falling into this inherently depraved way to create media! It’s an easy practice to fall into: Churn and burn watered down content, give it a catchy title and scandalous image, and wait for the views to pour in.
We are the machines that created the monsters.
Media companies quickly realized that it’s expensive to create quality content for a society of people with an attention span equivalent to a goldfish. No views means no clicks, and no clicks means no money. So they resorted to web tricks and sticky headlines, and, sexy photos to draw in a mass audience.
These misleading articles worked wonders – traffic went up, but the revenue never seemed to fall in line with the stats. Even with the internet, the same rules of supply and demand apply. So many websites resorted to click bait to build an audience that the market for trashy news became oversaturated.
Thankfully, we might be seeing the last days of click bait. As users are getting tired of fake news antics, increasingly reporting misleading articles. As far as we concerned, we can’t wait to irrelevant content make it’s way off our social feeds. It’s time to make way for media with a purpose.
If you come across suspicious news, do your research! Exit the page immediately, and report the link.