Advertising is a tricky business because frankly we no longer care enough to pay attention. We change channels during ad-breaks on TV, walk serenely past posters, bin flyers, and now have a total patience span of five seconds until the skip button lets us get to the content we wanted in the first place. Advertising may be a necessary evil in order to support aforementioned content financially, but an evil it can be. Despite a few shining examples of advertising becoming artistic, poignant, memetic, and positively enjoyable, at large we find the industry to be irritating at least, infuriating or insulting at worst.
Increasingly we have seen the rise of the new and particularly annoying form of advertising, article titles phrased ambiguously and enticingly to persuade us into digging deeper to learn more. Oh sure, any good title should coax the reader onwards to dig deeper, but they should at least tell you more of what you’re getting into, and that isn’t the worst of clickbait’s underhanded tricks.
Often an article will bury the point in slideshows and through page after page of banality and meaningless content, plaster every page with more adverts and spring load them with pop-ups and videos screaming their products loud and proud for all to hear whether you want to or not. It’s a cheap way of driving up site engagement and reaping more money per click, and increasing your hits per view to drive your site further and further up search engine result lists.
It’s almost enough to drive someone to start a Facebook page, Twitter account, hashtag, ground-roots campaign, that sort of thing.
If you’re sick to death of seeing titles like:
- “Local Millionaires Want This Product Banned”
- “He ate one food every day, now she looks like this!”
- “New study finds you’ve been eating cucumbers all wrong”
… then there’s a Facebook page you’ll want added to your feed.
Stop Clickbait is a group on a noble quest to stamp out the style made popular by Buzzfeed and Upworthy through passive aggressive tactics. There’s a daily wave of articles with the bait completely unravelled by a succinct and concise post. No need to click, no need to take the bait, and by denying the website the traffic you would have brought then you diminish the power the tactic has.
Because tragically clickbait works, and has been doing for years. Sometimes it’s just too tempting, the subject hits close enough to home or lures us in with our interests, and yes some of these articles contain some truly fascinating information! But don’t you wish they’d just tell you what you want to know and let you decide how deeply to read?
In this age where false news is an ever mounting problem, people dwelling in their own echo-chamber and seizing upon any headline that supports their world view without thorough exploration, calm and rational debate and scrutiny, does clickbait help us by forcing us to probe deeper? Or does it sensationalise ignorance, inflating the influence of websites spreading misinformation?
This page is doing wonderful things, putting in the hard work so you don’t have to. And as their cause has brought them success they have spread their sphere to cover specific categories, all of which can be found on their website where you can also find their other social media pages, support their cause, and collect a few free downloads that help spread awareness.