Avoiding Clickbait: A How-to Guide

If you used the internet at all in the ‘10s it’s probably happened to you: you saw a headline so outrageous and intriguing you just HAD to click it, even though you hate the site and the article was crap anyway. Maybe the title made you angry or just looked neat. So even though the actual content of the site sucks, the title always grabs you. That’s called clickbait. We’ve all dealt with it and it sucks. But as long as sites keep getting hits for doing it there’s no way to avoid it, bad sites just keep getting free publicity and clicks.

But if you’re sick of participating in this system and don’t want to give free views to crappy sites anymore, you’re in luck! There’s an easy way to view these articles without giving these jerks any clicks. That way bad content creators don’t profit off you.

1. Find the link to the article you want to read, right-click and select “Copy Link Address”

2. Go to an archival site such as Archive.Today or DoNotLink

3. Paste the URL into the bar.

Bam! You’re done. Now you don’t have to give bad or toxic sites any validation AND you can find out why this rapping baby is making rednecks so angry.

Picking on nerds for being nerds is not justice

Nor will it ever be.

Calls to “bring back bullying” or insulting, stereotype-filled articles about how “Gamers are dead” do nothing to help the victims of online harassment - they only create more victims, and further marginalize a group of people already highly marginalized by society. 

I’ve met far too many people afraid to go outside and afraid of other people in my years in anime fandom, and talked to far more on 4chan because these people are often too shy to have an identity to begin with. 

To see major websites exacerbate that - and worse, to see them do so in the name of fighting harassment - reveals said websites’ writers and management for being the cynical scumbags they are.  Though I don’t know what you’d expect from the sort of people for whom “Neuroatypical” is an insult.

What annoys me about the U.S. media? Generally the pompous liberals. I suppose they’re useful, but they’re such losers, with their endless hand-wringing. They don’t know how to fight.

Nick Denton @ Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media - Magazine - The Atlantic

Yeah, liberal media sucks, that’s why he employs people like race relations and disability expert Traicy Traicee Traicey Tracy Egan Morrisey, right? Now that surely is proper and non pompous, and it certainly doesn’t involve something totally non pompous and trivial like banning users for misspelling their name. No, sir… that is proper journalism.

Watch on

Felix Salmon of Reuters interviews Gawker’s Nick Denton

As Readers Flee, Gawker Backtracks on Big Redesign - Nicholas Jackson - Technology - The Atlantic

I just made the screen capture above and, indeed, it confirms what The Atlantic stated: Gawker seems to have backtracked, in the past 24 hours, from the “One Main Story” design. From the post at The Atlantic:

“The 2011 template represents the most significant change in the Gawker model since the launch of Gizmodo and Gawker in 2002,” Denton wrote. "One could go further: it represents an evolution of the very blog form that has transformed online media over the last eight years.“ But is that what Gawker’s readers want?

I don’t think so. And the early numbers seem to back me up. Denton, an obsessive believer in analytics – he is known for the giant screen in Gawker’s office that displays the number of visitors each story has at any given moment – knows this. That’s why he’s sort of given up already, though I suspect it will be a while before he admits it.

More at the link above and it is a fascinating analysis of the new design, plus the reasons why it might have been changed already (it conflicts with Denton’s goal of 510 million page views per month).