If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you’ve likely seen articles and images with headlines like the examples above. They’re just a small sampling of what’s known as clickbait.
Clickbait is a sensationalized headline that encourages you to click a link to an article, image, or video. Instead of presenting objective facts, clickbait headlines often appeal to your emotions and curiosity. Once you click, the website hosting the link earns revenue from advertisers, but the actual content is usually of questionable quality and accuracy. Websites use clickbait to draw in as many clicks as possible, thus increasing their ad revenue.
While sensational headlines and content have been used since the 19th century, they've become widespread in the digital world. Although it’s based on an old idea, clickbait still serves the same purpose as its ancestor: to get your attention by whatever means necessary.
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