Social Networking


Every time you see an article on social media, your finger starts to itch and you really want to click it. Well, 90% of the time*, it’s bait and the article is complete bullshit or not what it claimed to be and the link is nothing more than just an advertising platform. Well, here’s Gingell’s guide to spotting clickbait. If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then it’s clickbait.

  1. Does the title use exaggerated phrasing like, “the tweet that broke the internet”?
  2. Does it use buzz/polarizing words like “unbelievable” or “shocking” or “Trump” or “Obama”?
  3. Does it seem oddly familiar? Like, does it mention your work by name or something you like?
  4. Does it lead you to believe there’s more by using more exaggerated phrases like, “You won’t believe what happens next”?
  5. Does it promise a heartwarming story?
  6. Does it promise self improvement?
  7. Does it contain anything from your profile description?
  8. Does it use a phrase like, “only 1 out of 10 get this right”?
  9. Does it warn you of impending doom?
  10. Does it give you one item from a list of many items?
  11. Does it tell you to click?


    Sharebait is a different animal. These compel you to like, comment on, and/or share them. Note that a like and a comment are as good as a share and good comments or bad, there’s no difference. Even those comments calling all the other commenters idiots counts. Many of the above also qualify as sharebait and, as with above, if the answer is “yes”, it’s sharebait.

    1. Does it use the phrase, “share if you agree”, or something similar?
    2. Does it use a phrase like, “only 1 out of 10 get this right”?
    3. Does it invite you to choose from two or more options?
    4. Does it show a picture of starving children, animals in distress, or other shocking pictures?
    5. Does it challenge you? E.g. “I bet you can’t think of a name that doesn’t start with Z” or “what’s 2+2+2+2*0+2”? (It’s 8, but the way.)

    *figure made up
    **this article is clickbait without the ads