As we scour the conservative side of the internet and receive tips from readers for stories that we should post on the site, there’s a very annoying trend I’ve seen that really only comes from the right. I’m sure there are liberal blogs that do the same, but the few I visit don’t tend to demonstrate it.
The trend is to use “click-bait” headlines. You’ll see it even on many respected sites (no, we’re not naming names) and while it’s totally understandable for these sites to choose to do so, it’s a surefire way to prevent me from reading it.
It’s like crying wolf. If you’ve explored conservative sites or seen links on social media that try to pull you in, you’ve probably experienced the same thing. They use headlines that tell just enough to make you interested, then they use a click-compelling hook to seal the deal.
For example, they’ll add a few words to the end that have been demonstrated to get more people to click through such as:
- This Could Chance Everything!
- They Don’t Want You To See This!
- What Happened Next Was SHOCKING!
- This is a Real Game Changer!
- This is Going to be HUGE!
- They Didn’t See THAT Coming!
Then, of course, there’s our favorite. “BREAKING!”
The goal of making profit with a website is about as American as an online business can get, but the noise created by false claims needs to stop. Too many times, reading a story that “COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING” turns out to be something that won’t change much at all. Stories that are labeled “BREAKING” often turn out to link to other stories posted the day before. What these publications label as “SHOCKING” often turns out to be mildly amusing at best.
Sorry for the rant. Perhaps its the words of my old high school journalism teacher that’s been ringing in my ears for the past few decades: “Never overstate the importance of a topic.” Tabloid journalism should be relegated to liberals. When patriots use bait to pull us in to stories that aren’t that important, they’re wasting our time.