How to Stop Being Duped by BuzzFeed, Upworthy, & Other Headline Clickbaiters

You've got to be sick of it by now. Those meaningless and unsatisfying articles, lists, and videos you were duped into clicking on because their headline made them impossible to resist.

"This is the group of people who suffer persecution more than any other... it will surprise you."

The answer is girls, and unfortunately, not all that surprising.

"You won't believe what scientists have discovered now. Hint: You're going to be happy about it."

Man, what is it?!? A cure for cancer? Unlimited energy supply? The fountain of youth? No, it's a four-minute workout.

The Rise of Clickbait Headlines

Websites like BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Mamamia, and Upworthy rely heavily on clickbait, and they've all but perfected the formula for getting you to click through to articles that will undoubtedly leave you disappointed.

The formula is simple: take something benign (group of people, scientists), add a cultural cue (persecution, happiness), and throw in a touch of the unknown (it will surprise you, you won't believe).

This tried and true technique has led to unbelievable success for the "publications" that employ it.

Why Clickbait Headlines Are So Successful

Diving a little deeper, John Kerswell of Message and Muse playfully breaks down the six reasons why clickbait is so successful.

1. Fear or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

2. Guilt (Something You Should or Shouldn't Be Doing)

3. Love (Something You Love or Makes You Feel Good)

4. Pride (Questioning Pride, or Things You Ought to Know)

5. Greed (Promise of Saving Money or Getting Something for Nothing)

6. Belonging (The Feeling That We're Not Alone in the World)

Armed with this knowledge, we can try to resist taking the bait, but even the best of us are undone by curiosity. Knowing that we'll likely be disappointed isn't necessarily enough to get us to stop clicking through, but at least that moment of disappointment can be a little less painful.

You Won't Believe How Easy It Is to Defeat Clickbait Using This One Simple Trick

Yea okay, that was my cheap ploy at getting you to read further, but I won't hold you hostage to my headline. The simple trick? Spoilers.

I hate spoilers, especially when it's a movie or TV show. If I miss Game of Thrones on Sunday night, I'll actively avoid social media on Monday until I can catch up. However, one instance of spoilers I actually enjoy are the ones that spoil clickbait.

These social media accounts take a stand against clickbait by feeding your curiosity without the need to actually read the content put forward.

#1. Clickbait Spoilers (Facebook)

Like Clickbait Spoilers on Facebook to spoil the hottest clickbait trends from around the Web.

#2. HuffPo Spoilers (Twitter)

Follow HuffPo Spoilers on Twitter so you'll never actually have to read Huffington Post.

#3. Mamamia Spoilers (Twitter)

Follow Mamamia Spoilers on Twitter and "Mamamia" won't even make sense anymore.

#4. Upworthy Spoiler (Twitter)

Follow Upworthy Spoilers on Twitter and never watch another stupid video again.

Following or liking these accounts will allow you to feed your curiosity without actually wasting your time on useless information.

Oh my god, why don't these animals want to be on this list? Because they're going extinct, got it. On with the rest of my day.

The four sources above are great, but if you find others to add to list, let us know in the comments below.

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