What the Tech? Clickbait - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Clickbait

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Facebook is cracking down on click­bait, those articles with shocking headlines created to gain traffic to their websites. Companies often use clickbait to earn money made by website clicks. To get the web traffic news articles and quizzes tempt Facebook and internet users to click.

Clickbait often has the words "Shocking", "You Won't Believe..." or another intriguing headline.

It can travel like wildfire across social media sites, especially on Facebook simply by any of your friends clicking on the article they've found somewhere else. Some clickbait sites have tricked Facebook into believing a user has 'liked' the page when they've only read the article.

Once that happens, the link shows up on your other friends' Facebook page which is then 'liked' or 'shared'.

Clickbait has also been used to spread malware to unsuspecting Facebook users. In those incidents the click leads to a website instructing the user to download software to watch a video or to read the article. When someone downloads the file it infects the computer with malware or a virus.

Facebook said in August it had developed an algorithm to filter out articles and links most likely to be clickbait, manually classifying links using the most frequently used words and headlines such as "Shocking" and "You Won't Believe".

So before you 'see what 80s child actors look like now' or taking a quiz to see which animal you are, you may want to think twice, as clickbait affects not just you but all of your friends on Facebook.

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