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Clickbait: Agony & ecstasy of random clicking

Clickbait is the link on the websites, which will attract the attention of the visitors and encourages them to click on the link. These links contain a hyperbolic promise, surprise, and so on. These kinds of links are everywhere and the intent is to have page views and earn money by pop-up ads etc.

Now one can ask questions on the legitimacy of Clickbait. As content on the internet stands today, your mind and your capacity are the rock of Gibraltar and once that boundary is breached there is hardly any censorship on the content. Hence, if you are a person with weak minds and the least control over tempting news you may fall prey to this Clickbait at any moment.

Let us take a step back and see what kind of tempting lines may allure you to cross the line of control. Some of the popular and tempting lines are :

“10 reasons why top Bollywood celebrities love this car”

“5 tricks that will help you to make money in 7 days”

“This is how you can earn 50000 during lockdowns”

“Top 5 hacks to lose weight in 7 days”

All the above lines are compelling enough to induce a visitor to click on these links and 8 out of 10 people will do the same.

These click baits are innocuous links to garner page views, but there are times, clicking on these links will take you somewhere and you will find your self two-steps away from applying for a loan or winning a lottery. In some cases clicking on the links will land you on a page that will throw 20 pop-up ads in 3 seconds and clicking on any of the Pop-up ads will multiply your agony. You will find yourself in the middle of a maze and now World wide web (WWW) appears to be a cob-web in front of your eyes.

Though this practice of grabbing attention can be traced to the practice of putting up eye-popping headlines, taglines, etc. by newspapers and Journals, and TV news channels.

In the case of those mediums, the damage will be limited to your time and curiosity but a clickbait link can run riot and turn your leisure-driven curiosity into serious disturbances even financial damages in some cases.

Clickbait may put you into the middle of malicious links, this process is known as clickjacking, a guided and widely used arrow from a hacker’s quiver. You will be vulnerable to attack by ransomware, viruses, or Trojans.

Majority of the traffic that Clickbait typically rides on the people’s insecurities like body weight, height, skin complexion, the greed of earning an instant fortune. The motive is to dangling a carrot at the end of the hook to hunt down innocent minds from the ocean called WWW.

Let me help you with some ways to identify clickbait link, which may save some of your time and energy :

- Is it suggesting some quick-fire ways to reach one's long-cherished goal?

- Is it talking about secret and surprising news that was hitherto unknown?

- Is it uncovering secrets about a celebrity's lifestyle?

Though the above lists are not exhaustive, at best it is indicative.

Now, the question is - will there be ways to control these practices by some kind of moderation for online content. If not moderation, some kind of labeling would be helpful.

Let good sense prevail! Amen!

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