Clickbait. The bane of our online lives. What did Supreme Court Judge Stewart say about porn? I know it when I see it. Clickbait, like porn, is difficult to define and may very well be indefinable. Its purpose is to elicit a response which leads an online user to click on a title of dubious veracity. An article or post no reasonable person would waste time reading if the content was known beforehand. The line between an editorial and clickbait has blurred.
The problem now is that when an online user is seeking informative content it is buried in a labyrinth of spammy titles. Legitimate news agencies have traded editorial standards for eyeballs and clicks. The demotion of facts is dangerous and will lead to a dumbing down of the public. Clickbait is destroying real journalism.
Serious news now feels compelled to use deceptive tactics to get eyeballs on content because the public is so susceptible to clickbait. This is happening because it works. “They” only do it because it makes money. The only way to stop it is if “they” quit making money. Can we be a little more selective? Is it possible we can not be so easy? What if we only returned to websites that had quality content with little or no clickbait? We can make the world a better place by avoiding websites that are clickbait.