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Clickbait is on the Rise?! The SHOCKING Truth!!!

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Clickbait is on the Rise?! The SHOCKING Truth!!!

Jaeden Amiri-Owens, Staff Writer

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Clickbait: it’s a term we’ve all heard, and most teens probably have a good understanding of what it is. For those who might not know, clickbait is when the title or thumbnail (the small image next to the title) of an article, video, or other media is designed to be outrageous enough or to cause certain emotions so that people will click the media to view it, hence the name clickbait: baiting for clicks.

This deceptive practice is usually found online, but the same technique can be found in physical media as well; it’s just usually not called clickbait, since clicking only applies to the internet.

“Yellow journalism,” perhaps a more familiar term, is the same idea as clickbait but it applies only to news media.

Recently, there has been a massive surge in clickbait all over the internet, and arguably outside of it. On platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and numerous other social media sites, there is a huge amount of clickbait. Many advertisements on the internet also utilizesome form of clickbait.

So why has this phenomenon arisen? Well, this is largely in part to the pay per view system that many advertisers use. What this means is that every time a user views (or clicks on) an ad that is being shown on a piece of media, the owners of the media get paid a small amount. More views mean more potential payments to the owners of the media, so they try and get as many views as possible.

People may also use clickbait for attention, often out of a desire for internet fame, and clickbaiting can often be a relatively quick path to success. There are many prime examples of this on YouTube, where channels who produce low effort content can get millions of views due to attention-grabbing titles and thumbnails.

The last main reason that people use clickbait is when they have an agenda, often political in nature. Misleading and deceptive titles or media as a whole can be used to push certain ideas or influence people to feel a certain way.

Clickbait has many negative effects. The first is that it promotes low-effort media that is not very enjoyable or entertaining but has an intriguing title.

Perhaps a bigger threat is when clickbait is used in serious media instead of entertainment media. This often refers to articles but it can also refer to stories or other media that is meant to cause some sort of reaction. This kind of clickbait is particularly dangerous because many people do not bother to research further and their perceptions may be warped by misleading and sensational titles, cutlines, and media.

So how can we combat clickbait? Well, the simplest way is to just not fall for it. Don’t click on or give views to those who are obviously baiting for them. But this is not always possible, and it can be hard to distinguish genuinely interesting or informative news from clickbait.

A much more important way to fight clickbait is to not take stories at face value. If you see something that interests you, research further! Often a simple google search will reveal when something is misleading you.

It is unlikely that clickbait is going away any time soon, but we can all exercise critical thinking and learn how to not be tricked by deception and lies.

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Clickbait is on the Rise?! The SHOCKING Truth!!!