There are a remarkable number of scams, fake news and even old out of date news items on the internet these days. Some are just plain silly while others are propaganda based by political and extremist groups. Many scams and fake news items however are all about making money.
Clickbait websites are just one of many scams, and in all fairness, they do it in such a very clever way.
The missing persons scam does tend to be popular, and also a hard one to tell from a real genuine missing person or a simple case of the site owner trying to attract visitors to their website to gain commision on every person who clicks on their advert filled site. Hence the term clickbait.
Please share and help to find this little sweet looking girl of just 9 years old - big dramatic headlines it will say. The police need your help, (and other dramatic attention grabbing headlines), can also be found on those so-called online news sites.
It could be a real news item but I bet anything that you like that when you click on the website to read the details it will say ‘child found safe and well’. It always does- nine times out of ten times, but the site editor/owner does not mind that one bit.
As far as they are concerned it makes no difference if it’s a fake news item or not. No need to take the appeal down they think to themselves. Let them keep sharing this out of date, or possible ‘scam news item’ for as long as possible so that more and more visitors can keep clicking away on the site and keep revenue coming in. That’s how clickbait sites work. The thing is, would you contact an online newspaper to say your child is missing or would you contact the police?
Clickbait sites totally rely on idle minded people who see the shock horror headline and will automatically make comments, abusive ones in the case of some one commiting a murder, and then share a link to the item in question but without ever bothering to check if the news item is real or not.
A clear case in point is when someone will share a link and say how shocked they are at finding out some well known celebrity has died but yet again they fail to read the details and check the date of the article. Often this situation results in sharing an article that is often 2,3 or even 5 years out of date. But that is more than fine as far as the clickbait site owner is concerned. Some will make the effort and click on the site and make them money without any effort at all on their part.
In the world of martial arts this is also common practice. A fake news headline saying that some martial arts girl beats up a nasty thug often gets a reaction, and the sharing of such a news item, even though it could be a local martial arts club putting out such a fake story to attract new members.
The list of clever scams is endless with new methods being thought up on a never ending daily basis. The true hard part of course is knowing if what you share is real or not.
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