Ok, I’ve fucking had it.
I’m done. Finito. Not doing it anymore.
I shall NOT TOLERATE ANOTHER SINGLE FUCKING CLICKBAIT POST EVER AGAIN.
From now on, anytime I see another STUPID, ASININE, HEART-TUGGING turd on my feed, scorn and shaming will be the order of the day. At minimum, by way of a direct link to this article. It’s my hope that they get a glimpse of just how badly they are being played by the Upworthys, Buzzfeeds, and other online dreck purveyors of the world.
You know what I’m talking about. Those mindless, wit-sucking, IDIOTIC sites that pander to the utter stupidity of click-happy rubes.
No more. Not on my watch. The madness stops NOW.
So without further ado, let me introduce to you my reasons for declaring war against this shit:
1. They are fucking stupid. That’s right. Totally fucking stupid. Most of the stuff being shared is insipidly dumb and one-dimensional. They are solely intended to yank at your heartstrings, get you all touched and emotional (What, are you that much of a sap that you fall for anything even remotely dramatic, happy or sad? Snap out of it!) so you go to a stupid web page. Most of the stupid videos are dumb, rehashed CRAP that have been on Youtube for fuck-knows-how-long. Stop already. Just… STOP.
2. They cater to the dumbest/lowest common denominator of humanity. And worse, use it to make you mindless fuel for the sleaziest side of the consumerist online marketing machine. What, don’t you think you’re being cookied by these happy-looking, dumbass sites? Just so they can show you more ads everywhere else you go? And why do they want your email so bad? Why do they insist, even demand that you like them and follow them on twitter? Why do they want to assimilate you so badly into their evil Borg?? (Resistance is NOT futile).
Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t I doing the same thing right here? Well… not quite. First of all, I’m not interested in just consuming mass quantities of audience. Just look at my likes and Twitter followers if you don’t believe me. Those numbers have been more or less the same all year. Quality over quantity, baby.
Second of all, I’m not in this to just go mindlessly “viral” and get people to just share meaningless, stupid shit that has no redeeming value. I like to think that the stuff I’m sharing has some substance and/or wit. That hopefully will at least get people to THINK about particularly important issues. Stick around long enough, you’ll see the difference vs the dreck-shillers. I post what actually interests me, and think is worthy of discussion and debate. And I patronize and promote other sites that do the same thing as much as possible.
3. These idiotic sites don’t give a shit about you or anything else, other than money. These sites are not interested in making a social impact, spreading valid information, challenging bullshit with FACTS, educating people on particular important issues, or even entertaining them in any real, quality way. They are only interested in one thing:
How many boners can they get to like and share the fuck out of a stupid cat video that they deemed “up-worthy” today? Or how many suckers can they get to a stupid-ass ad-laden page with a video of some old lady giving a blind homeless guy a place to sleep? Awww….
For fuck’s sake, get a clue, and stop being a goddamn number!
4. The titles are so formulaic and sucker-grabbing, they make me want to scream. Oh, and they have a sleazy-ass secret agenda behind them. Sorry, hate to break this to you. But if you haven’t yet figured out the fucking formula for clickbait titles yet, you may require remedial online classes.
Really? Do you need examples?
“This video made me cry, but what happened at 3:24 just ripped my heart out!”
“What happened to this kid was AMAZING! But what happened at 1:56 BLEW MY MIND!”
“The Top 14 reasons why you should date a nerd! And you’ll LOVE number 11!”
Get it? See the pattern yet?? Do I need to whip out the fucking flash cards???
So why do you think they use these MORONIC titles that follow these FUCKING ANNOYING formulas? It’s simple. Because they work, obviously. They want you, aka “targeted sucker”, to not only click, but to stick around for a certain amount of time. At least before you click away either in total disgust, or because your attention span can only hold out for so long (whichever comes first).
See, they know you’re eventually going to get sick of all the ads, the email opt-in boxes, the annoying pop-ups, the share us/follow us/like us boxes and so on. So the time you do stay on the site is of the essence.
And why is that? Why do they want you to stick around a certain amount of time?
Because the goal is to keep their “bounce rates” as low as possible with Google. See any time someone clicks away from a page in less than 30 seconds, that’s considered a “bounce”. And almighty Google, in all their infinite wisdom of all that is good on the internet, hates high bounce rates. This hurts these shitty, annoying, crappy content websites’ relevance in Google’s search engine. They don’t want that.
So they play you. Like a pawn-shop fiddle. Just to keep those nasty bounces from happening as much as possible.
Also, they know that people who stay on the site for a certain amount of time, and click on x number of posts, will EVENTUALLY click on one of their ads peddling some annoying CPA promotion, diet program, stupid mobile app, or whatever the fuck else they are peddling. At the very least, they might get a .15 Adsense click out of you (multiply .15 x 18 gazillion other rubes, it’s almost real money).
To them, you’re just someone who if they get you to their sites enough times, you will eventually give them what they want: an ad click; your email; your FB like or whatever else they can get out of you. Just so they can peddle more crap to you later. Nice huh?
And yes, I know my site has ads. But how much do you think I’m making from them? I can assure you, that the revenue barely covers my hosting bill, and about 1/50th of the value of my billable time that I put into this thing. And you know what? That’s ok with me. I do fine on my real work. Money is not why I’m running this site.
5. This fucking stupid, rehashed, and more than likely STAGED (see below) shit actually makes the GOOD stuff on the net harder and harder to find! That’s right, it seems like every greedy Mark Zuckerberg/Rupert Murdoch-wannabe-asshole on the planet has jumped on the spew/share-the-same-mindless-viral bullshit-ad nauseum bandwagon. My feeds get sludged up with so much of this lowbrow dreck, that I find myself reaching for a goddamn bottle of DRANO!
I for one, am annoyed beyond recognition. Because whenever I’m looking for just one thing that I consider to be entertaining, informative, insightful and/or somewhat smart, I have to weed through 30 or 40 complete, steaming, reeking turds of content in order to get to it. It’s caused me to completely stop visiting sites regularly (Huffington Post anyone? Slate and Salon, you’re next!). Let’s not even mention that the quality and substance of the writing have gotten incredibly bad. As in REALLY, really bad.
6. The insane level of shit content has almost completely rendered YouTube useless for casual surfing or viewing. It’s virtually impossible to find anything even remotely good, interesting, or smart on YT anymore, unless I know exactly what I’m looking for. Nice work, assholes.
BONUS REASON!! #7. Most of these dumb-ass heart-tugging or “funny” videos that you’re getting suckered to watch, are FUCKING FAKE AND/OR STAGED! HELLO??? What, don’t you think it was at least somewhat convenient that some dolt had his iphone out and recording long enough before catching that one dude giving his shirt to some homeless guy, who doesn’t even know what the fuck is going on? Just a tad of a coincidence??
Doesn’t it strike you even the least bit odd that that hopped-up German guy in a speedo didn’t already know that the pool was fucking FROZEN before diving in? Come on…
It costs these bozos NOTHING to go and shoot video with a goddamn Gopro or smartphone. They can shoot 100 of these cheesefests in a fucking day.And you can bet that every minute of them will sludge up the bandwidth pipes and our feeds.
Really? Is that what you want?
Ever notice how you can actually hear the people talking, even though they are 50 feet away from what’s filming them on a busy street?? What? One of them isn’t wearing a mic? Do you really need more than this for proof? Because if you do, sorry, there is no hope.
So, how do we fight this shit? How do we end the insanity before it renders the internet a mindless pit of ignorance and stupidity?
1. Raise the fucking BAR on what you click on. If you see a post that has an idiotic, formulaic title like what I’ve just explained to you here, DO NOT CLICK IT, and sure as hell DO NOT SHARE IT!
2. WARN the people on your FB and Twitter feeds that are propagating the swill, and tell them to STOP. Fucking shame them if you have to. Explain to them why it’s just BAD. Hell, send them to this post if you have to, I’ll do the heavy lifting. You’re welcome.
3. BOYCOTT THE PIECE OF SHIT SITES WHO PROMOTE THIS BILE. Absolutely, show no mercy. You will never catch me dead on any of these dreck sites. EVER. I don’t even care if they post one thing out of 100 that’s good. I’ll find it somewhere else.
Anything that you can find on shitpools like Upworthy, you can almost always find somewhere else, including Youtube. Don’t give them your clicks, or your attention.
And most importantly…
4. Patronize the good sites, and share the GOOD STUFF! Find something that you really liked? Something that taught you something? That opened your eyes? That doesn’t cater to your vulnerable emotions and turns you into a trained seal? That doesn’t take you to a site riddled with ads and popups? GREAT! Share it, the RIGHT WAY.
I’ll take it a step futher. I’m starting a new listing here of the most egregious clickbait sites. Find one that’s worthy of the list? Post on the comments. Consider this post to be the clickbait HALL OF SHAME until at least something better comes along.
Hey, at least the Onion came up with a great way to shit on this concept, and make it fun for all of us. If you haven’t checked their new site, Clickhole.Com, do it NOW! Just click below!
So you see? You learned something today, and you were probably even more entertained than you were watching that stupid dogs vs. cats video collage for the 14th time.
Again, you’re welcome.