How Headlines Can Be Misleading

Have you clicked a link before because the title sounded very interesting and you couldn’t help yourself?

  • Click-bait Misleading headlines that are compulsive to click

Click bait frequently involves using suggestive imagery or sensationalism to get users to click ‘just to find out’ what exactly is going on with that image they just saw.

Click-bait is typically used by marketers who will do anything they can to get you to their website. This method comes at your cost, as you likely don’t want to see what they’re actually linking too.

clickbait

It’s not all bad. kinda.

 Beloved news brand BuzzFeed is known to use click-bait-y titles quite often and if it gets them in the doors and there’s some decent content it’s worth it right? Maybe.

buzfed

It’s not necessarily evil to make an attractive headline for an otherwise fairly mundane stuff like a homemade dinner recipe. That’s empowering to some degree, and maybe even a positive thing. The headline ’27 tweets that won’t be funny’ is a different story. Sort of.

On some level, if you click on that you don’t mind wasting a little time and it’s probably gonna be a little funny. Okay, that’s not so bad.

Unlike BuzzFeeds harmless hyping, CNN’s website has been reported to have had a less attractive click-baitage on their mobile home page. The clickbait can seem out-of-place and can clash with the trust-ability of the brand.

mobile cnn

It’s a trend and will go away hopefully

It may have been an effective way to get users to your website for a while, but it’s been normalized now. It’s no longer as compelling to click on these links as we can generalize they’re most likely not really what we’re looking for anyway. Watch out for click-bait-y links as they can potentially lead you to malicious websites.

Misleading headlines may exist forever, and in some cases they can be a nice thing – turning a boring, but important topic into something inviting and encouraging curiosity. Just be aware of these tactics while browsing and you’ll be better of for it.

 

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