Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 – Many websites use articles known as “click bait”, which often contain useless or false information, but attract viewers based on their flashy titles.
By Isaac Myers ’18
Have you ever read an article and wondered: was that even news?
Most likely you have due to the increasing Internet nonsense sites that portray false or useless information.
Do we really need to know who are the 20 worst aging actors in Hollywood are? Which celebrities got fat? Or if celebrity X dumped celebrity Y?
Sites such as Popsugar.com, Digitalspy.com, and Usmagazine.com are examples of those responsible.
This expanding dilemma may not seem to be much of a problem, but imagine the Internet in 10 or 20 years. The number of these unruly spam sites may have complete control over the Internet.
How would you know what to believe?
A repeat incident of the radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” would not be a pleasurable experience to anyone.
Ad blockers can help, but it cannot stop the publication of click bait and sensationalized gossip disguised as legitimate content.
Due to the huge number of people who choose to get their share of news on their phone, the state of printed journalism is dying.
I will admit that journalism on the Internet does provide great information and makes it easily accessible, but the nonsense of going through ads and spam sites do not outweigh the pleasure of reading a good article.
In printed journalism, the article is right there in front of you. No hoops to jump through, and no distracting, flashy ads to drag you in. No getting sidetracked, no hypnotism.
The ads are becoming so abundant, it seems they are becoming a species of their own.
The problem is that they work. People wouldn’t continue to produce the garbage if people didn’t click on it.
We are part of the problem.
Whether you get your news from a piece of paper, or from your cellular device, the articles give out the same satisfying information. It is just a matter of if you want it straightforward, from a complicated Internet site.
Journalism is a great and necessary way to convey information, it is just that some ways are better than others.