Friday, August 11, 2017

"What Does Your Name Mean in SpanglishdeshiChinoIndoLahsoApso?" and Other Clickbait Cons.

by Angela K. Durden
Technology inventor protecting creator's copyrights. Business writer, novelist, songwriter, and Citizen Journalist.

There was a time when I never once thought about reading user agreements and Terms of Service before I happily and merrily and oh-so-innocently clicked on links that by their very titles promised to entertain or inform.

Those times didn't last too long though as I learn fast. In other words, once bitten I became twice shy and as flashing ads blasted across my screen obliterating the very thing I came to see, or as I read the story associated with the headline only to find it was nonsense, yes, only then did I began to read the words in that little link that says


and which, upon clicking, leads one to massive amounts of mice-type legal disclaimers that crosses your eyes and allows them to own you and your children and your house and car, to dictate any future lunch dates with your spouse, and to take with your full knowledge all the data about your account including your personal contact information, your friends' personal contact information, and use it as they wish including selling it. 99.999999% of us blindly put a check in the box that we agree and that is when we

All get screwed, blued, and tattooed.

Granted, in some instance there is nothing you can do about it. For instance, I am not giving up my iPhone and no, it isn't because I must have my precious Facebook handy at all times.

And yes, I read the entire legal disclaimers and terms of service Apple and AT&T provided. At least they did provide ways to opt out of certain features of which I did just so.

Because of its good design, my iPhone has made me money. And neither Apple nor my carrier AT&T spams me. They do their job and, as far as I'm concerned, we're good to go. But that is not the case when it comes to Internet advertising.

According to Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker, the Internet is consumed with "eyeballs", metrics such as daily active users and monthly active users. None of these properties care if you are either entertained or informed, and in fact they actively seek to blur the boundary between entertainment, opinion and fact, never mind intentionally dishonest or outrageous content. Why? Because doing so drives daily active users.
That's right, boys and girls, ladies and germs: Click Count is King and Eyeballs are the Court Jester. One way those are served is by —

The Inflammatory Headline 

I love a good headline. Regular readers of my columns know I work hard to entertain them in that small space. It takes a lot of work. I often come up with what I think is a great headline that will tie in with what I write, only to change it before publishing because the article body ended up providing a much better option. 

It is my hope that when you finish reading my articles you neither feel cheated or lied to in the promise the headline has made. 

If only Facebook and others felt the same.

Contrary to what Facebook, Google, carriers, OS, and all these others say about feeling the great weight of responsibility to make sure fake news is stopped, to otherwise halt clickbait, and put the double hexawhammajamma on known email spam servers, these tech giants actually make money from allowing all that to pass through the you, the consumer, the users.

They do not care one whit that the headlines lead you to a page that is full of bots trying to invade your computer. All they want is to keep their active user count up so they can get that penny from you clicking lying headlines and "Can You Pass This Test" links that lead you to "What Does Your Name Mean in SpanglishdeshiChinoIndoLahsoApso?" where you give up yourself and your friends for a little bit of fun.

Notice how we don't ask you to do that? Hmmmm? That's right. Because we aren't evil.

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