A LITTLE OFF THE TOP

DAN JACKSON

Clickbait is killing you people. You know why? Because you keep taking the bait.

For those of you out of the know, clickbait are those neat little “unsolicited” stories, or tabs or text links or thumbnails, found on our ever-loving internet and most especially on social media sites.

Sometimes on Facebook or Instagram, you can tell when someone’s been a victim. I particularly love it when some super straight, deacon on Sunday, old white guy turns up as someone who “likes” one of these “stories.”

Usually in these, an image of some rather young, Lolita-like, model is represented as a news story, with the headline, “You Aren’t Going to Believe What this High School Girl Did on Prom Night.” 

I can’t tell you what happens next, because even I am not stupid enough to click on a link like that. But wow, some of you are.

If I were a creator of such stupid brilliance, I would sell your name and whatever other information gleamed from your click to criminals, um, I mean companies who could use your specific information to target you for other money-making scams.

Seriously, if you’re on Facebook and you click on something like this, you are open to all types of shenanigans. Facebook is not afraid to share your information. It’s what they do. It’s why it’s free.

Stay away from clickbait on your social media sites people. It’s bad. Very bad.

On news sites and hence also on social media sites, clickbait is the story headlines that are just a bit too good to be true. If I’m gonna get plugged by one, it’s by one of these.

Yahoo’s generic homepage is famous for them. Second from the top this morning is, “Ending of ‘The Matrix’ Trilogy Finally Explained.

Say what? Who is explaining this and why wait until now? I must find out.

Or how about this one? Ranking The Greatest Guitar Players Ever 1-30. Where does Eddie Van Halen rank? What about Pete Townshend? What about Jimmy Page?

If Yngwie Malmsteen is in the top five I’m outta here.

See, they get you right where they want you.

Most of these are of course ad based. They are either going to spam the fool out of ya or you’re going to be rerouted to a site where your clicks are recorded and thus generate various payments through nefarious internet “advertising companies.”

The last and most deadly to us are “news spin” sites. So many of us, on the left as well as on the right, are being whipped around politically by these news stories preying on your fears.

Come on people. Don’t give in to the clickbait. 

Sadly our President is happy to utilize clickbait to stir up his followers. Just last week he sent out doctored video of Nancy Pelosi. His purpose? 

To deceive you into believing she was intoxicated while speaking.

Mrs. Pelosi is a tea-totaller. Yet some of you believed it.

Is this how you want to live your life? Do you wish to be whipped around by the winds of deception?

Come on people. Don’t be baited.

If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.

 

DAN JACKSON is a self-employed Paris businessman. His email address is danjackson@alittleoff.net.

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