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The Clickbait Hall of Shame
#1
Aaaah, clickbait. We've all seen it many times before: there's an enticing-looking headline - and possibly an enticing-looking image - and then, it takes us to a mundane article which just leaves us disappointed. I'm sure it's happened to all of us before (and I've fallen for it more times than I would like to admit :( ) - but, to make ourselves feel better about it, we can post them in this thread to shame the news sites that misled us like this :P

I'll start with a headline I saw on BBC News this morning. I don't normally associate them with clickbait (in fact, they usually have the opposite problem: dull-as-dishwater headlines which don't get people interested in the subject at hand!). However, they're certainly not immune, as the following example shows: 

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(Click to enlarge)

When you go to the article, it'll tell you what this "lifesaving food" is. So, what is it? Some kind of miracle mushroom that wards off cancer? Or perhaps a Brain Berry that protects the mind against Alzheimer's and dementia? Nope, it was just....fibre. Yeah, there was a study about how fibre reduces the risk of heart disease, in addition to its well-known benefits to digestion. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with a descriptive headline that still engages people - but, instead, the BBC decided to cover this story the way that BuzzFeed would cover it :facepalm: .

(For the record, I didn't even look at "Five surprising things that affect weight": you can if you want, but it's probably a waste of your time, because that headline is obvious clickbait as well. I'm guessing someone at the BBC is too bored or disgruntled to do their job properly today :-/ ?)

So, have you seen any bad examples yourself that you'd like to share?
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#2
Every single article in the last five years or so.

As if the writers didn't have confidence on the autorithy of their work...

I love the many that use words like "this", "best" and "ten". Freaking waste of server space.
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#3
Well, things have been becoming more 'clickbaity' lately, but I think we need to draw the line before we start calling everything 'clickbait'. After all, we still want news services to use engaging headlines: if they used dull headlines, nobody would be interested in their articles. 

Essentially, a good headline needs to be engaging and accurate. Clickbait headlines are engaging but not accurate - because the information contained in the headline is either misleading, incomplete, or just not there at all. If we start classing everything that makes any attempt to engage readers as 'clickbait', then we'll end up with headlines which are accurate but not engaging, which isn't a solution to the 'clickbait' problem: it's just the opposite side of the same coin. 

Anyway, another example from BBC News: 

"The one thing that makes you 30 times more likely to laugh"

Once again, it's a headline straight out of BuzzFeed. I foolishly clicked on it, so that you don't have to - and I found that the "one thing" is....being with others.

Yeah, the point of the article is "Being with others makes you 30 times more likely to laugh" - and, honestly, who cares? In fact, I'm not even convinced that it's true: I suspect I'm actually less likely to laugh when I'm around other people, because I often hold in my laughter if I'm not sure that it's a socially acceptable thing for me to be laughing at (whereas, on my own, I have no reason to do this). But, that's just anecdotal, and maybe it's just me being weird :P .
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#4
I remember back in the day in my Political science classes students and teachers would be gushing over how the BBC must be neutral because they were state funded and thus didn't need to worry about making a profit... I had my doubts after all it would make it more likely to toe the goverment's line when news media should be holding the government accountable (Means actual going to a ton of old archives facts checking on all sides even if you agree with a stance), and calling BS even if its a politician you like (oh what a sweet summer child I was..). But if the BBC is doing click bate too, I wish I could see their faces now.

I also remember the old gem "If a head line asks a question, the answer is most likely "no"".
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#5
Yeah, BBC News is one of the better ones, but they're certainly not perfect. (The right always seems to accuse the BBC of having a left-wing bias, and the left always accuses the BBC of having a right-wing bias - but, in reality, I think BBC News's bias is more "pro-establishment" than anything else, which makes sense considering they're state-funded)

And, yeah, then there's Betteridge's Law about questions in headlines being answered with the word 'no' :P . While it's not always true by any means, it does seem it's true more often than not!
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#6
Here's another case of Betteridge's Law:

Netflix: Is streaming killing the cinema industry?

It's a 4:32 video, rather than an article. However, I'm going to save you four and a half minutes by telling you that the answer is 'No' :P .

In fairness, it does show (or reference) a fair amount of data which shows that Netflix is having little to no impact on cinemas - and this data looks legit to me. However, the manner in which it's presented is certainly clickbaity.
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