A deliberately ambiguous headline has been dangled in front of an inquisitive audience in a desperate attempt to draw more readers to a news website. The key to the alluring entrée was to give just enough information to pique the interest of the regular followers of the news service, without actually providing key information about the story.
The method behind the lure, known within the industry as “Clickbait”, is believed to be in wide use across multiple media platforms, as ageing business models continue to grapple with the post-print reality, and a whole new generation that expects to access their news for free. While the information hidden within the article in question was not particularly ground-breaking, that didn’t stop the media outlet from referring to it across the headline and social media caption as “spectacular”, “unbelievable”, “astonishing” and “remarkable”.
Despite falling for the same trap on multiple occasion in this week alone, one local reader said he felt duped, and slightly less of a person for falling for the bait. Refusing to give his name, the anonymous man said, “I just feel dirty every time, but I can’t help it. I just keep clicking away at this shit. I don’t even watch MAFS, but I still click on that tabloid stuff that teases inside information about the vapid morons that are on that show. I need help.”