Know how to spot clickbait

Clickbait blockersThis items becomes You from Clickbaiting to free

A small tool that can be integrated into your browser will detect the clickbaiting that is annoying you.

Everyone who is on the social networks will know them: annoying sensational headlines like "This video moved me to tears" or "The most common reason for affairs will surprise you". There is hardly ever anything really exciting and substantial behind it. The headings only serve to lure as many users as possible to your own page and thereby generate more advertising revenue.

Martin Potthast was so annoyed by this so-called clickbaiting that he is now taking action against it himself.

"What annoys me is that it's disguised advertising."

The media computer scientist is developing a clickbait filter together with his colleagues from the Bauhaus University Weimar. In a pilot study, the scientists used test persons to investigate what clickbait actually is. With the support of a 50,000 euro cash injection from Google's "Digital News Initiative", Martin and his colleagues want to develop a filter prototype in the next few months.

Clickbaiting is likely to increase

All of this wasted time clicking on disguised advertisements is likely to increase in the future. Because clickbaiting is increasing. Also from reputable media. The team is now working to ensure that the tool recognizes the distinction between advertising copy and smart content. The fear is that creative journalists could be affected. Those who, for example, put a joke in the headline and could therefore be sorted out by the new tool.

A week-long tweet collection is used as a fund for further development. This is to quantify the style. To carry out this quantification, for example, legibility formulas and procedures are used that can assess whether a message is positive or negative.

Clickbait has the potential to become the new spam

It is unlikely that annoyed users will solve the problem by themselves and that the clickbait providers stop this form of advertising. Spam also annoys the whole world and yet it still exists. 80 to 90 percent of all emails sent are spam and the only thing that protects us is a spam filter.

"With bad luck, clickbait can also become the new social media spam."

The new filter should be ready by the end of the year at the earliest.