10 Sure Signs You’ve Fallen For Click Bait

Joshua Lockhart 24-06-2014

With the recent release of The Onion’s new satirical publication, Clickhole Don't Tear Up On Clickbait -- Cull It With ClickHole From The Onion [Weird & Wonderful Web] You will have clicked on clickbait at some point, whether or not you're aware of having done so. The practice has recently evolved into something much more insidious and annoying. Enter ClickHole. Read More , the social webs have finally taken a good look in the mirror. Is Internet society mindlessly clicking and sharing interest-piquing articles for the sake of clicking and sharing them? You betcha it is.


Rather than letting you fall victim to the horrors of articles that are just content for the purpose of selling ad space, MakeUseOf wants you to know when you’re being conned into reading something that just… isn’t that great. Or is pure fluff. Or is just simply words to fill space. (Like this article!)

Below are our ten signs that you’ve fallen for click bait.

10. You Clicked on This Article


Come on, dude. You clicked this article without even thinking. You probably click all kinds of articles. You’re a click-addict. It’s okay, though. We’re going to get you out of it. Well, we probably won’t, but we’ll make you think for at least a minute we will.

(Note how ridiculously simple that paragraph was? It was really short, too. That’s the problem with click bait articles. They don’t have any meat.)


9. The Article Was Already On Reddit — In OC Form


If you’re a regular Redditor 10 Reasons Why You Need the Reddit Enhancement Suite The Reddit Enhancement Suite is available on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Think you can live without it? Here are some of the most game-changing features that will convince you to install it pronto. Read More (and a lot of our staff members are), you’ll notice that some of the top posts have comments that are literary comic genius. Unfortunately, many click bait sites think so, too. So they will copy a lot of the content either word for word or in spirit. This leads us to our next point…

8. It Wasn’t On Reddit, And It Still Isn’t Original


On click bait articles, you’re going to see quite a few clichés and tropes and repetitive content. Most of the stuff will have been written before on either another click bait site or totally ripped from an existing reputable source.


Sometimes — as in the case of Reddit — click bait posts revolving completely around images directly copy the images from another post. Something like 10 Pictures of the Cutest Puppies You’ll See Today may be totally lifted from Reddit’s top 10 r/Aww posts. It sucks.

7. The Attempt At Humor Is Ridiculously Hopeless


Yep. These articles will try to pack in jokes that seemingly cater to the plebeians of the Internet. They aren’t funny. They never will be funny. Actually, they would be funny to one person: your grandmother. She also would likely forward them to you via mail after printing them off her Apple II "Haunted Empire" Author Yukari Iwatani Kane: Apple Isn't Doomed Yukari Iwatani Kane doesn't hate Apple – and doesn't think her book says Apple is doomed. Read More home computer.

6. Large Pictures Make Up Most Of The Article



Seriously, the word counts on these pieces are minimal. They stuff loads of big pictures in the article to make it seem like you are reading something big and stuff. But you aren’t. They just stretch out four-sentence paragraphs as much as they can, and you read them thinking it’s actually literature. NO. STOP.

5. You Can’t Tell The Ads From Links To Other Articles


Look all over the page. Is that a link to an article? No. It’s an ad. Actually no, it’s an article! Woops. Wait. It’s a link to an article on another click bait site… which is in turn bringing in more ad revenue. Ugh.

4. It’s A Countdown



You’ve seen it here… We’ve almost counted down to ten… and there’s not much content in this piece, is there?

3. The Author Gets Lazy Towards The End


He really does.

2. You Say “So True” To At Least One Section Of The Article


Just look back over this piece. Even though you don’t want to, you’re going to end up saying, “Well. Yeah. He’s right here. Sigh.”

1. You End Up Sharing It For Whatever Reason

Yeah. Some of you will share this. Some of you will share this thing before you even finish it. Some of you will comment saying, “Lame article,” and that’s another sign you’re on click bait. Heck. You may have read it because someone else shared it.

You poor, poor soul. Sorry…

Image Credits: protofluxPascal, Eva Blue, Robert-Couse Baker, Matthew Exley, Rodrigo Baptista, Classic Film, Steven Depolo, takomabiblot



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  1. Billy thrappington
    August 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Blimey I only came here because. .......... oh all life is pointless........ bang!

    On the upside my clickbait addiction has really calmed down the porn addiction!

  2. F. Johnson
    June 26, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Dear Mr. Lockhart, you are what people in a generation even older than mine used to call a gentleman. I'd be proud to be your grandmother right now.

  3. Paul in NJ
    June 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Methinks F. Johnson doth protest too much. It's a vapid humor article, after all; no need to go all gung-ho politically correct on the writer. Oh, bloody hell, now I'm click bait!

  4. F. Johnson
    June 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Being old enough to be your grandmother (and having fallen for this article's click bait) I will do the grandmotherly thing and tell you that you have misbehaved. Stereotyping people based on age, gender, or anything else is wrong. This includes grandmothers. We don't all send unfunny jokes to our loved ones via the Internet, or use outdated computers. Maybe some grandmothers are new to computers and the Internet. But some of us have been using them for decades. We're a mix, just like all the other demographic groups. Oh, and by the way, stereotyping people based on age, gender, etc. is not only wrong--it also represents an antiquated worldview. If anyone is out of touch here it would not be grandmothers. It would be a young man who thinks it's acceptable to disparage fellow humans based on gender and age.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      June 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Ms. Johnson - consider this a wake-up call to myself.

      Never meant to offend! I'll take your words to heart for my future articles.

  5. John
    June 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Well, self examination isn't everyone's strong suit, I guess, but it's still important to try.

  6. Jeroen Heijster
    June 25, 2014 at 8:41 am

    "Will blow your mind"
    "You won't believe what happens next"

    Just what makeuseof does a lot.

  7. Zaedalus
    June 25, 2014 at 5:27 am

    The best click baits can feature this
    Yep your gonna have to click it.