Have you been falling prey to this terrible internet ploy to gain your personal information? There is a terrible thing on the internet right now and you are likely to have been affected. Whether we like it or not we are prone to fall for this trickery being practiced on the innocent participants of the internet.
OK scary intro paragraph done. You have indeed fallen prey to what I want to talk about by simply clicking this article. It is not as terrible as I made it out to be, however it is not fully innocent either. Facebook in particular is full of “Click Bait“. Articles that simply want you to open them. The title and intro are full of subject matter that makes you want to open the link but no substance, promising that if you just click the link you will be “in the know” or get to see something you have always wanted to see.
These articles are actually formulated by trending search results on the internet. Meaning that if a lot of people are searching for “Taylor Swift” and maybe “Apple” on Google, then lots of Click Bait articles will be either written by hand or in some cases even computer generated and posted to social media like Facebook.
Oh no REALLY! Who got into a FIGHT on the RED CARPET! MUST CLICK!!! (Oh wait just another example of Click Bait, I hope you didn’t try to click that image)
SO what do Click Bait articles want from us? Well have you ever tried to read the articles? I know from te many times I have gotten sucked in that it almost impossible to even read the articles or complete the quiz to figure out which Eight is Enough character I would be… The sites that host these “articles” and quizzes are so loaded with advertisements it is incredibly frustrating! I mean I came to this article to find out who got in a fight and all I get is an Advertisement for facial cream!!! Worse yet Google, Amazon and other websites are spying on you and will give you targeted advertising. So remember that time you searched to see if anyone makes “electric monkey trimmers” as a joke well forever more now you get targeted advertising for Laser Hair removal clinics (insert *GASP* here).
OK there could be worse things than advertisements right? Well yes unfortunately. These sites get money from advertisers for every unique visitor they get, but this amount is very small per visitor. They want hundreds of thousands if not millions and billions of views/unique visitors to their crappy articles. Also they overload the pages with a lot of advertising space and many times even advertisements that take over the face of the page. They are also gathering information about you when you visit the page. Nothing major, but over time they can start to build a profile on what you click on and are interested in seeing. Also since they sell that much advertising real estate on their pages they don’t pay that close attention to the advertisers they sell space to and sometimes those advertisers get infected by Malware advertisements that can infect your computer/mobile device/tablet (an no your are no immune just because you have a MAC).
What can you do to stop this madness? Stop clicking on Click Bait articles. I know it is hard and they are so tempting but eventually if enough people stop falling prey to these formulated articles they will fade. I know Facebook is trying to weed them out too, but they need our help. Stop reposting dumb articles. I know it is hard not to post the results of the latest “Which Teletubby would you be?” quiz, but DO RESIST!
Only you can prevent Forest Fir… Oops I mean Only You can prevent Click Bait only you!