Clickbait…Silly Headlines that have Consequences of Clicking

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Let’s face it, Facebook is filled with crazy time consuming crap that for some reason finds many of us just clicking away for hours at a time. I realized I spend an average of 3 hours every Saturday and Sunday morning just clicking away on crazy animal videos (Vox), people bashing site (Passenger Shaming), taking silly tests (What Disney character am I?), or fact checking fake news (Fox News) while sipping my coffee.

What I also noticed as of late is while clicking away, my email box is filling up with endless advertising and spam. Now I need another hour to clean out my inbox. It’s called clickbait folks, and there are consequences to each and every click beyond just having to read endless advertising…it impacts your email as well.

Some of the silliest sites that love to trap you into clickbait include; Faves, Rare America, Buzzfeed, Nameless Network, Tip Hero, Super News TV, MagiQuiz, and the list goes on and on. But the most ridiculous part of all of this is the titles and images used that entices us just enough to click. Here are the top ten that I had to see to believe from this week.

 “A Lot of Commercial Pilots Don’t actually Know How to Fly Planes, FAA Says”
 “Gang of 100 Feral Chickens Terrorizing Town”
 “Beagles Are 97% Accurate in Sniffing out Cancer in Blood, Per New Study”
 “Man Invents Special Glasses That Let Short People See over Tall Friends.”

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 “Elton John Reveals Richard Gere And Sylvester Stallone Fought Over Princess Diana”
 “Construction Worker Shoots Self with Nail Gun, Tries to Pull Nail Out with Pliers”
 “Man Hiding Drugs in His Butt Accidentally Shoots Himself in Testicles”
 “Bride Puts Dad’s Ashes in Nails So He Can ‘Walk her’ Down the Aisle “
 “3 Men Arrested For Sexually Assaulting 9 Horses, a Cow, and Goat and Dogs”
 “Homeowner Slammed as Racist For Hanging Halloween Decoration”

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Let’s get back to the clickbait issue. Many of these sites that you click on have what is called “harvesting programs” that can identify your information, including your email. There are several tricks to the trade, but another really common one, you actually give your email when taking a test or click “link to Facebook” in order to get into an article or video. Once you do this, it’s all over.

The best advice I could find is to create and use a disposable email address. Once you get up to 999 spam emails, close it and create a new one. Now I can go through my regular email, spam free, but still enjoy taking a test to determine what Avenger character I am most like. Important stuff here for sure!

What’s your favorite clickbait site? Share your comments below.

 

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