Understanding Clickbait

“Discover 10 Techniques to Reduce Homework Time by Half—You’ll Be Shocked by Number 7!”

“Master the Foolproof Method to Persuade Any Caregiver to Allow You to Stay Up Past Bedtime.”

“Get a Free Ice Cream Cone with Just a Single Click.”

If you spend a significant amount of time online, you will eventually come across headlines like these. They may pique your curiosity and promise information that appears too good to be true. However, exercise caution before clicking! These articles are most likely clickbait.

What exactly is clickbait? It refers to a misleading headline that entices readers by appealing to their emotions or curiosity. Upon clicking, you will quickly realize that the article does not deliver on its claims. It might contain information that is only loosely related to the headline. Even worse, it could be filled with misinformation from unreliable sources.

Why do websites publish clickbait? It is an attempt to generate revenue from advertisers. The more visitors a website attracts, the more money it can make from advertisements. This incentivizes websites to drive more traffic. While this is not always a negative thing, many people diligently create high-quality content for their websites in hopes of attracting more visitors.

However, websites that publish clickbait prioritize clicks over content quality. Sensational headlines are crafted to deceive readers into clicking. Once they have directed people to their site, whether they stay or return is of no concern to them. This is why clickbait articles are often unreliable and poorly written.

Furthermore, clickbait contributes to the spread of fake news. When individuals come across an exciting or intriguing headline, they are likely to share it on social media. Some may not even read the article and unknowingly spread misinformation. This allows clickbait to travel far and wide, disseminating false information.

How can you avoid falling for clickbait online? Always think before you click. Does the article seem too good to be true? If so, it probably is. It is also wise to refrain from clicking on headlines designed to shock you. By avoiding titles that appeal to your emotions, you will save yourself a significant amount of time.

Additionally, it is crucial to hover over any link before clicking on it. This allows you to preview the destination of the link. While much of clickbait is harmless, certain headlines may lead you to dangerous websites. Never click on a suspicious link.

Lastly, educate your friends and family members about how to avoid clickbait. Anyone can be deceived by these articles, including adults. Share the knowledge you have gained from today’s Wonder to help others steer clear of sensational headlines. Also, remember that many social media platforms offer the option to report fake news.

Have you ever been tempted by clickbait? Most people have fallen into its trap at some point. After all, that is precisely what these headlines are designed to do! Remember to think before you click, and you will be less likely to encounter annoying clickbait articles in the future.

Give It a Try

Continue learning with the assistance of an adult and the activities provided below!

  • Have you ever encountered clickbait online? Ask an adult to assist you in exploring the internet today. Look for more information on a subject that interests you or simply browse through social media. Can you identify any articles that appear to be clickbait? What leads you to believe so? Discuss your observations with the person assisting you.
  • Do you know how to avoid false information and stay safe online? Visit Interland and attempt to cross the Reality River. How did you fare? Did any of the correct answers surprise you? Have a conversation with a friend or family member about this game. Afterwards, continue playing the other Interland games to further develop your skills in being an internet-savvy individual.
  • There is one aspect that clickbait websites excel at – creating captivating headlines, which may be the most crucial part of an article. This is particularly true in the online world, where people are presented with an endless array of articles to choose from. Learn the art of crafting the perfect headline. Then, write your own news story based on an event from your own life or the world around you. Be sure to create a compelling headline that will capture the attention of readers! Share your article and headline with a friend or family member once you have finished.

References

  • https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/thenow/what-is-clickbait/1/ (accessed 28 Aug. 2020)
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/11/clickbait-what-is/382545/ (accessed 28 Aug. 2020)
  • http://www.theonlinemom.com/avoid-clickbait-trap/ (accessed 28 Aug. 2020)
  • https://www.pabusinesssupport.co.uk/how-to-avoid-clickbait/ (accessed 28 Aug. 2020)

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