Clickbait: fishing for ad revenue in the worst way possible

 Clickbaiting: a form of Internet devilry that preys on curiosity and the human need for closure to any story, no matter how small — even headline sized.
In an Internet full to the brim of things to despise, clickbait headlines are near the top, right next to people who #hashtag #every #word #they #write and the shared smirk of people who know what “Netflix and chill” actually means.

Clickbait headlines insist that when you’ve found out how this one disabled teenager took back the streets or how one weird trick drives all the doctors wild, you will have had your mind blown out your ears. The bait is entertainment, the promise that clicking that link will open a vault to your wildest dreams, where kids make other kids cry by helping each other play basketball or whatever.

The catch is that once the link is clicked and the article loads, you’re served up the advertising that comes with it. Since that money has already been made, there’s no real reason to follow through on the promise of fabulous entertainment, or necessarily even deliver something related to the link. Most of the time, you get a dud story that barely reflects the headline. Just look at some of the headlines that have most recently cheesed us off:

Pregnant TV Host Shuts Down Body-Shamers In The Best Way

It happens that a television host has had her off-duty pictures posted online, and being that we’re steadily approaching the moment in our horror film where we discover that humans were the monsters all along, commenters tear into her for how her body looks as a pregnant woman.

You won’t believe how she gets these body-shamers back: she says she’s fed up, and then tells them to “get stuffed.”

Wow. Did anybody get the number of the truck that just pulled the rug out from under us? We’re on her side, so good for her, but that’s hardly the comeback we expected (a pregnant lady driving from one commenter’s house to the next, beating them up hockey-fight style, which is the best way to shut down virtually anyone).

Picture

Like this, but with a “baby on board” sticker.
His Football Team Kept A Secret From The Coach For Weeks. When He Says THIS… Now We’re Crying Too…

High school football players helped a developmentally disabled team member score a touchdown by running the ball to a single yard from the goal line, purposefully blowing the play, and helping their friend cross the line on the next play.

We’re not made of stone, so we can agree that’s a nice thing to do for a kid who may not get that experience on his own. But if you watch the video (which is pretty smarmy about the whole thing itself) you’ll find that there’s no great conspiracy that went on for weeks, no amazing plan that had to be meticulously enacted. Nobody hid cyanide pills in their wisdom teeth just in case coach found out. And the “when he says THIS” that puts these sentimental editors to tears?

Not much. Kid says it was awesome. Everybody pack up your tears and go home.

Her Dad Left When She Was a Baby… Decades Later, She Never Expected THIS to Happen

You can probably guess that this is a story about a woman meeting her father for the first time, which is true. The story gets questionable around “never expected this to happen.” She does meet her dad, though it’s on a television show specifically devoting an episode to reconnecting family members, so, you know, she probably suspected. But that’s not really the hook the headline is talking about.

If you scan down the article, you’ll read that you need to watch the video to 3 minutes, 8 seconds, when the pair make a shocking, incredible discovery: they both live in Florida. Amazing! What are the odds, right?

That would be 1 in 50, Mr. Garbage Headline. The odds of two Americans living in the same state are one in fifty. They don’t get down to brass tacks and discover that they’re living in the same town, or even on the panhandle, just that they share the same patch of geography (which measures nearly 66,000 square miles, thank you Google Search).

A Politician Tries To Purchase A Bike. The Reason Why Will Make You Cry

​This never happened (well, not yet, but we are coming up on an election year), but it looks like it could be real, doesn’t it? We created this nonsense using a clickbait headline generator, which we discovered while researching this post. You now have the power to create your own absolute trash. Be sure to use your new ability only in the name of stupid evil, because there is literally no other application for these headlines.

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