Hi Oxygen.ie readers, we need to talk about ‘clickbait’ articles that are plaguing the internet. Clickbait is a term that some media savvy people have used to describe the types of articles that Buzzfeed, DailyEdge.ie, or any other vapid entertainment website that are currently popular at the moment, use to garner the attention of unsuspecting victims customers to click on their website in order to find out more about a sensationalist headline.
Due to the way we consume our news these days, journalists (content creators: journalism actually requires research into stories, these people just steal from Reddit and create catchy headlines) are now essentially people who can write a headline that can strike a chord with the liberal minded internet user of today.
There are many ways to attract the attention of those who graze daily on the internet in an attempt to gain some substance. Generally, the most effective way to do this is to generate outrage. One popular way of doing this is to commercialise on the movements in gender equality and the rights of homosexuals. These two movements have been at the forefront in the last decade and it is a great thing to see because society is moving towards (at times it might feel slowly moving towards) a more equal society, one that is void of prejudice.
However, this is opening the door for the liberal media (yes, sometimes we can’t always attack conservative thinking, when you point the finger there are three more pointing back at you. Alert the The Guardian Newspaper, an Arts student has gone rogue.) to poke and prod at items and create indignation where there is none to be found.
A great example of this can be seen with The Guardian and the new Batffleck film, Gone Girl. The Guardian ran an article condemning the film for being misogynistic because (minor plot giveaway) one character uses a false rape allegation to get out of a difficult situation. The Guardian in an effort to drum up controversy completely forgets that they are looking at a fictionalised portrayal of a psychopath. The false allegation is neither condoned by any character in the film nor accepted as the norm. This did not deter The Guardian from giving out about the film using a false allegation as a plot device. Where was the similar outrage when Quentin Tarantino made it the norm to cut the ears off police officers when Reservoir Dogs came out?
It is possible that The Guardian might have known that this would be a great issue to pursue despite the lacking of substance behind their argument, purely for the fact that it would get people clicking on their website. This desired result paid off as it became a heated debate in the comments section.
Indignation, moral outrage and human decency are being exploited by entertainment sites in order to get clicks to justify their sponsorship and existence. The next time you click on a sensationalist headline, just remember that you are contributing to that site’s ability to keep on doing it. If you have been mislead by a site and a large number of occasions, black list that site so they cannot do it again to you (except Oxygen.ie of course, this misleading headline was to prove a point). If a site tells you, “You won’t believe what happened after…”, or, “This is the only thing you need to see today”, you can be assured that this article will be a load crap and that their sponsor for said article will be making a good return on their investment.
Do not be trigger happy with the mouse pad and stop funding sensationalist journalism.