Do you know what is clickbait? Here is how you can find out

The headline is an example of a clickbait headline that make our student Lea Harča angry, however, this article won’t be misleading, here you can find out some of the techniques for this sensationalistic approach to journalism 

Football player, Luka Modrić is famous among football fans all over the world. His football skills attract fans to the stadium, but he also gets a lot of media attention. A lot of people like to talk about his moves on the field, but also about his personal life off the field.

But in fact, many articles about Modrić don’t bring any important information, but readers click on them because they are tricked by headlines like this: ˝EVERYONE IN REAL IS SHOCK BY MODRIĆ’S LOOK: fitness coach got an assignment he didn’t expect”. This bomb of a headline was published on NET.HR portal (July 15, 2017). Maybe only his biggest fans weren’t disappointed when they read that the article is about Modrić losing 2 kilograms. Because that was the most important information behind this headline.

Illustration source – Guardio

A similar method of deceiving the audience by using exaggeration and expressions like shocking, dramatic, you won’t believe,…, is obvious in the next headline: ˝Student left his apartment window open for 5 months, he was shocked when he saw the apartment˝. The article was published on 7 September 2020 on the portal INDEX.HR. It seems to me that nothing is shocking in finding pigeons poop after what he has done and I don’t see why this deserved to be article material. Especially not with such a headline that uses the word shocking.

These headlines were used to show what kind of headlines are clickbait. Their goal is to lure the audience to click on them. The more click, the better the price is for advertising space in media. Online media mostly survives from selling their advertising space because reading is in most cases free for the readers. Because of that, the phenomena of clickbait headlines are spreading and there are more and more headlines trying to get our click. Thereby they are counting on curious readers, but also on the readers whose media literacy is not on very high level and they are not aware of the deceiving techniques used by clickbait creators. So here are some other techniques.

Illustration source – The Daily Star

Although some headlines don’t use exaggerated expressions like the ones mentioned above, they can also be clickbait. For example, this is the one ˝Products is withdrawn from sale because it contains plastic: Don’t consume it.˝ The article was published on 4 November 2020 on POSLOVNI.HR portal. That article is clickbait because it leaves out the key information. Some of the similar headlines that are trying to hide key information can be recognized by a phrase here is how. Just like this article under the headline ˝Are you interested in who blocked you on Facebook? Here is how you will find out˝, published 25 January 2020 on VRISAK portal.

Some use numbers to hide the information. Here is one example: ˝Severina is celebrating her special day: She posted a new photo, and everyone immediately commented on one thing˝. The article was published on VEČERNJI.HR portal 2 September 2020. That one important thing was her dress, which as her fans noticed, she has worn already a few times. 

The important thing is also our time, that is why we suggest you to look at the Facebook page HEJT ZA KLIKBEJT for more clickbait examples. If you become skilled in recognizing of those headlines you will spend less of your time in the future on the opening of those deceiving headlines. /Lea Harča, 8. b; photo source- the Internet/

The original article is published in the school online digital newspaper KLINČEK

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