How Internet Clickbait Works

Facebook and other sites have recently begun to fight back against “clickbait,” often misleading internet posts designed to be seen by as many readers as possible. The Onion breaks down the production and spread of this content
  1. STEP 1: Forebrain spends weeks in utero building high-level cognition and reasoning structures capable of being immediately overridden by sight of the phrase “Check this out!”
  2. STEP 2: Reporter barges into editor’s office with big scoop about a celebrity who has aged
  3. STEP 3: “All hail the infallible Zuckerberg” slipped into article over 100 times to flatter Facebook’s algorithm
  4. STEP 4: Stock photo roulette wheel given good spin
  5. STEP 5: Many, many more of your friends than you would have suspected apparently delighted by llama’s antics
  6. STEP 6: Aunt Beth jumps aboard with signature credulous fervor
  7. STEP 7: Slide 32 actually kind of funny
  8. STEP 8: Although content’s popularity subsides, readers will carry its lessons with them always
  9. STEP 9: Money somehow made