Clickbait Seems to Have Evolved But It’s Not As Bad As People Think


UPDATE: 6/10/2017: I cleaned this post up a bit because it was very messy. My perspective hasn’t changed, nothing’s really changed.


Yes, this post is kind of in response to Prattle’s post on “clickbait”. And I am going to “prattle” on about how I disagree with the logic she presented. I still like her. Maybe even sexually but I wanna get to the point.

Clickbait Origins

“Clickbait” started around 5-6 years ago, hard to recall. I think it initially became a “thing” on a Pewdiepie video and it was probably done jokingly. But the internet decided to alienate it in a way that it just was a negative thing. Nobody liked it. Clickbait was just putting a picture or a title that wasn’t relevant to the video.

But clickbait seemed to have dyed down over the years or it’s just evolved into a meme. Prime examples: (Gone Sexual) or (Gone Bad).

What is clickbait now?

But I could be wrong because Prattle talked about this idea that clickbait, nowadays, is more like an exaggerated title and that’s it.
I actually have an example of a post from my own blog titled: “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya│The Worst Anime Ever

And the reason I made this post was because people threw around the words “I hate this anime” like it was normal and I get that people do that. But they obviously don’t really mean it. So I thought about what anime I strongly disliked and I dislike a lot of anime but I don’t hate any anime because I recognize the work was put into them. But Melancholy was an anime I couldn’t respect for a few reasons I talked about in the post and it was the only anime I’ve seen that I felt like it intended to disrespect the audience and anime in general. Hence, I thought it was “the worst anime ever” and that title was the first thing I wrote because it came from the heart.

But the internet originally made ‘clickbait’ what it was BEFORE and the internet seems to have decided that this is what it is NOW. So, I guess it is clickbait. But then I have to make the argument that clickbait isn’t bad at all. Which is eating me inside because clickbait automatically translates to cancer in my brain but fuck it.

Reasons to title this way:

We make these kinds of titles because it is the most efficient way and doesn’t sound.. weird. Like, if I titled my post ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya│What I think Is The Worst Anime Ever‘. Took me 3 minutes to make that sound as good as possible but it sounds like i’m trying to cater to people who don’t like the sound of “objective statements” and if I was a viewer of a post titled like this. I would be offended because it sounds like it’s treating me like i’m an idiot. Like I DON’T know that this is a subjective perspective of one person. When objectively, it IS a subjective perspective of one person. There should NEVER be a point where someone has to start off a video or post stating: “this is just my opinion and is completely subjective.” Because that is the silliest thing ever. I would click out of that post/video ASAP.

So, that’s one of the reasons why me and a few others would title posts like that. It’s to not insult the viewers. If viewers do come in and even think that said person might be stating something “objectively”, I think you wouldn’t last long on the internet. Same goes for people who do think their stating something objectively, their probably even stupider though.

Another reason is because it’s generally the first thing that comes to mind. I mean, I do watch the anime youtubers who have a passion for their work and actually a lot of them are very passionate. Even the ones I don’t like. Except The Pedantic Romantic, that guy clearly would do anything else if it meant better pay.. He’s just not a respectful youtuber but that’s a whole different rant. And when you create this post the first thing that should come to your mind is the title. Because the title is just a summary of what you feel, in this case. Which is why I am always confident in my work because the title is ALWAYS first to me. If it is not, then you may want to question how much you wanna talk about the subject at hand.

And the final reason really just comes down to confidence. You sound confident, you sound convincing and ultimately that is the goal. To convince others of your opinion the best way that you can. It’s not about having different opinions, it’s about presenting your opinion and having people relate to it. To those who don’t relate with it, obviously can disagree and there’s nothing stopping anyone from changing their minds on the subject.

Reasons why it’s bad to see it as “clickbait”

Which brings back to the negativity that comes with the idea that these videos are ‘clickbait’.
For one, if you automatically label something as ‘clickbait’ you probably don’t watch what could be a good video.
Secondly, this just spreads negativity. Because clickbait is a fucking bad word on the internet. If you are labeled with clickbait it’s horrendous. It FEELS horrendous because people just look at the video negatively and don’t listen to the content at hand. It’s pretty much guaranteed to cause a few downvotes and negative comments.
Thirdly, and this is probably the worst one: it causes fear. I would think why a lot of people who fear going creating content and sharing their views on the internet and a lot is caused by anxiety, i’m sure. But the idea that people can label certain content they make as “clickbait”, I can see how terrifying that would be.

The final reason and this is one that came to mind when Prattle responded to me and stated the following: “I want people to frame their headlines more appropriately – hit the breaks a little bit on the superlatives and reachy exaggerations to provide a more accurate description of what’s actually happening. If you truly believe an anime is “the best” then you’re more than welcome to feel that way and express that, just try to frame that in a way that’s true to you rather than a title that reads like an objective piece.”

PRATTLE! HUNNY! Like I said, I LIKE you. I really do. But you have to know that is pure bullshit. What you are saying is: we HAVE to title our content in a way that appeases your standards and that we have limited say in how we title our content. Because as I’ve expressed, title comes from the passion we have for creating content. And is generally the first thing we write. The truth is: there is no “Reaching” there is no “exaggeration” this is just how we genuinely feel on the subject. But the hardest part is that we have no say if it’s “clickbait” or not. The viewers who think much like yourself are the only ones who have a say in it. We, the creators, don’t. That’s not right! That’s horrifying!

It’s horrifying that we can state truthfully how we feel and other people will misunderstand and therefore alienate it in a negative way. So, I just don’t agree with this way of thinking at all. It just brings a shitload of negativity, it doesn’t help in any way shape or form and it causes fear.

That’s all I have to say on the subject. I plead that you give this more thought. I’m gonna go watch Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise playthroughs now to make me happy as I rest. Thank you for reading.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. prattle says:

    “The more people see things in this light, really, the more negativity it brings forth”

    Seriously I really don’t see “the negativity” that my belief holds even after reading over your blog and comments a few times.

    To recap:

    *I’m not telling creators how they /have/ to express themselves in their headlines (they can literally use whatever wording they want). I do suggest to dial back on the superlatives, because it’s easy to over promise with them (which is legitimately valid advice for a content creator).

    *My suggestion to frame your headline in a subjective fashion is actually correct (because they are indeed subjective for the vast majority of them, obviously there’s exceptions ). If you didn’t, prior to viewers having context, your headline would read like an objective claim.

    So again, tell me what’s so “negative” about seeing things this way. If what you’re referring to with the quote in question here so happens to be what I consitute as clickbait, then by all means correct me (I won’t be addressing that here as I already elaborated on that in my own blog/comment section). Otherwise I would love to hear plainly why you think my belief brings negativity when it literally doesn’t limit the creator’s expression, and is actually more appropriately correct in terms of labeling in regards to the content.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. prattle says:

      P.S. I have no clue why this didn’t post in our already established comment thread. I think I need sleep lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. theanimeprince says:

        np I’ll respond in a moment.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. theanimeprince says:

      The post has an entire paragraph dedicated to why this belief is negative.. It’s a pretty big part of the post. I don’t know how you intend to keep arguing without attempting to deny any of my statements and just re-state your own.

      The only new thing you brought up was in this paragraph: “My suggestion to frame your headline in a subjective fashion is actually correct (because they are indeed subjective for the vast majority of them, obviously there’s exceptions ). If you didn’t, prior to viewers having context, your headline would read like an objective claim.”

      To which, I’d have to refer to reason #1 of “why we title it this way” where I talk about this specific scenario. Going in thinking that title is, in any way, “objective” is silly. Because you should assume it is subjective as that’s the only way you can and should take it. And making a title that’s inefficiently telling you that it’s just my opinion is insulting to the viewer’s intelligence.

      The subjectivity of the content, even in the title, should never be in question. If the viewer doesn’t automatically assume it’s subjective, they really do have to go back to school.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. prattle says:

        I guess I’ll have to re-read your blog again then.

        On my new part:

        Regardless of how silly it is, there are people who still take it as objective and get upset over it (this is why a lot of listicles and other common content claiming “to be the best” or any variation of such sometimes come with disclaimers. A good anime example of this in the community would be Digi’s Top 20 of 2016).

        So sure, people “should know” but not everyone does, and it doesn’t hurt to formulate your headline to take that into consideration so you can navigate any potential misunderstandings or disappointments.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. theanimeprince says:

        But it does. Like I said, it insults the intelligence of viewers. Any misunderstandings isn’t on the fault of the creator because all we did was present said content in the truest and most accurate way we can and generally speaking the audience we already produced over time stay because they recognize what should be obvious.

        To those who hate choose to hate on the video for the specific reasoning that it “sounds objective” isn’t a justified reason to hate the videos and spread the idea that it’s ‘clickbait’ because by definition, that though process is completely WRONG. I apologize that THIS may insult your intelligence but I feel the need to bring up the definition of the word “Objective”.

        Objective: facts that are not influenced by a person’s feelings or opinions

        A video like “top 20 of 2016” (which was a terrible list btw) doesn’t fall in that category. And the argument that you present here, makes me feel like I can’t depend on humanity to google “objective” and if that is the case, then we might as well jam a knife through our throats because that is the saddest thing…

        ~~~~~~~~ (pretty squiggly thing again)
        Prattle. Look. I get the attraction of “Fancy words” but listicles… Is just lists. I don’t know created the word “listicles” but fucking hell, it was just someone thinking of a longform way of saying “lists” while also having testicles in the brain. There’s no reason to say listicles. There’s not a single sentence that is better off with the extra “icle” you are just creating more work for yourself. It’s not even an attractive word, if I immediately associate it with testicles!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. prattle says:

        Not necessarily. This statement is completely an assumption whether the viewer will be insulted or not. I’m not exactly sure why you’re telling me they will be like it’s that cut and dry or guaranteed because it isn’t. Maybe they’ll be insulted, maybe they won’t be, but no one can just sit here and say which way for sure.

        To the rest of the response up to the squiggly:

        A) Nobody is saying it’s justified

        B) Nobody is saying that a headline is clickbait purely on this specific reasoning (it sounding objective).

        So sure, that thought process is wrong and all, but who’s saying this? Literally this isn’t anyone who’s present in this conversation’s argument or claims…

        Btw, I listed Digi’s video for its use of disclaimer, not particularly to show off an objective title, but yeah it does fall in that category nonetheless. “Top” is interchangeable with “best”, so this would be no different than if he said “The Best 20 anime of 2016”. That headline comes off as if it’s definitive, and doesn’t have a single shred of subjectivity to it by itself. If you can’t see how that headline sounds objective alone, then I really can’t elaborate any further.


        Listicles aren’t a fancy word…It’s actually a pretty common name for that form of content…but sure?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. theanimeprince says:

        It’s not an assumption. I would be treating my viewers like they don’t know the definition of fucking objectivity. Not only that but by forcing myself to do titles in the fashion you want me to, I’m not being true to myself. It’s not whether they would feel insulted or not because, again, this isn’t something that people should be thinking about in the first place. It’s the most insignificant thing.

        And yeah, I know you used Digis video because of the disclaimer. But all that tells me is that he wasn’t confident that he could put the video up without it. Digi has a few videos that clearly shows how much his confidence in how people view his work wavers because of how much shit he got on his SAO videos.

        Yes, the title sounds definitive because why should it sound like anything else? If it’s not definitive, it’s a little hard to grasp whether you truly think what the titles says. But the whole point is: it doesn’t matter if it “sounds objective” because by the dictionaries laws, what I am considering to call the holy bible at this point, it’s not an objective statement! And you know Digi knew that completely which is why he doesn’t feel the need to change it to cater to anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. theanimeprince says:

        P.S. Nobody fucking uses the word listicles. You also technically used the term wrong in your context but I was more horrified at the fact you used it when its probably the most useless word in existence.


      6. prattle says:

        It’s an assumption in so far if they would feel insulted or not, that’s all I’m referring to with that statement. As far as how you feel you would be personally treating your audience, then don’t take my suggestion. It’s literally that simple. If you want to continue to write headlines that read in an objective fashion because that’s being true to yourself, then go for it. Just let the potential downsides of that action be known. Again, I’m not forcing anyone to do anything here. I made a suggestion that’s completely valid to circumvent a common problem in our community. It’s up to you if you actually value that or not and follow through on it.

        What the video should also be telling you is that there’s still a great deal of people who have yet to grasp objectivity/subjectivity as it applies to this medium – to the point where a disclaimer is actually useful. It’s sad, but you need to recognize that not everyone is informed. There are people who still take objective titles at face value and react as such.

        Obviously because it’s not actually the best/top/greatest/ultimate or whatever definitive superlative you want to use.

        A piece of content that says in the headline:

        “Top 10 best action anime of 2017”

        Isn’t actually the best.

        “Love Tyrant is the greatest comedy of all time”

        Isn’t actually true.

        “Sakura Quest Is A Masterpiece”

        Again, not true.

        All of the above you see here are just opinion pieces, but their headlines don’t read as such and that’s ultimately the issue here. People are taking their subjective content and slapping an objective headline on it and calling it a day. Sure there’s reason to do it, but it’s physically incorrect, and as it’s already proven in the community, problematic to do so.

        So I’m just going to end my responses to this exchange with this:

        If you want to write objective headlines, do it. You think Re:Creators is the best anime to ever grace this planet.?Then write that as your headline, but be prepared for the backlash because you’re setting yourself up by really overselling your title and stirring the part of our community who is less informed subjectivity.

        If you want to take my advice to dance around potentially overselling your title and thus, disappointing viewers if you don’t deliver, then do that too. Either way I said my piece here. It was nice arguing with you Jester ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      7. theanimeprince says:

        Calling it a “proven problem within the community” without any piece to back it is narrow- minded. If people take it at face value, I’d have to assume they are below the age of 11 because that’s the only way I could see that being humanly possible. Disclaimers, in this case, aren’t useful because it’s just rehashing information that is already there.

        Your advice is not good advice and that’s the problem at hand. You try tell me that my belief has downside when I’ve already brought up why those downsides are invalidated while you’ve never managed to scratch the downsides of your belief.

        So yeah, I would have to refuse creating mediocre work for the sake of appealing to, what is now clear to me the minor audience.

        Thank you for the argument, glad to have talked about this with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. prattle says:

    “PRATTLE! HUNNY! Like I said, I LIKE you. I really do. ”

    Awww, I like you too Jester!

    “What you are saying is: we HAVE to title our content in a way that appeases your standards and that we have limited say in how we title our content.”

    I’m not saying you “have” to do anything, I’m simply stating what I would like to personally see more of. No one is twisting your arm or putting a gun to your head. You’re free to continue to label titles as you please. Further more, I’m not hampering anyone’s passion or expression with my desire. Like I said in the quoted part, you can feel any way about an anime if you honestly want and still express that in a headline that’s framed in a non-objective fashion (because otherwise it would read incorrect in a vacuum).

    “The truth is: there is no “Reaching” there is no “exaggeration” this is just how we genuinely feel on the subject. ”

    I would love to believe this 100% of the time, but that’s simply not the case. There are plenty of headlines that purposefully exaggerate/ reach for attention.


    Honestly I would address more of this article, but I pretty much said my piece in my blog’s comment section/ the blog itself. I think most of our contention comes down to a fundamental difference in what click-bait is, and that’s fine. All in all this was a nice read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theanimeprince says:

      I get that it’s your “belief” and you can use that argument all you want. But I’m not questioning the fact that you believe it, i’m questioning the belief.

      And I’ve gone over this: the more people see things in this light, really, the more negativity it brings forth.

      And this has nothing to do with reading it in “a vacuum”. If you’re reading things in a vacuum, write what you think is wrong on a piece of paper, vacuum it with an actual vacuum and call it a day because honestly that word used in that way sounds about as dumb as the situation I just described.

      Like, I use pretentious words but vacuum is just a fancy way of saying “empty space”.

      I’m sorry, tangent done. I just hate that word. It has no purpose.

      Anyway, you’re assessment of that titles aren’t written with a clear rush of passion 100% of the time is true.. But it’s also so obvious. Every coin has two sides. Not everyone does this with motivation. That’s why I brought up Pedantic Romantic . If you just so much as looked as his recent videos just from the titles: 100% it’s clear he isn’t passionate about what he’s doing.

      But who would you say is similar to Pedantic Romantic in that they have no passion? Digibro clearly puts in a lot of work, taking years of his time to put together these well- layed out scripts and shares his opinion on LITERALLY everything he does because he’s passionate not only about what he does but is passionate about getting his voice heard. And he’s expressed that in numeral videos,

      Gigguk, a guy who did anime youtube for years then had to get a “real” job because he couldn’t afford doing youtube content. And he had a pretty well- paying job. More than he gets from Youtube now, really. But he quit that job, came back and still probably makes slightly less but still does it because he’s passionate about making people laugh with his content and making them feel better.

      RC Anime is a punk bitch motherfucker and for that reason, he’s good enough.

      Super Eyepatch Wolf- I have to admit, i’m probably the only person who doesn’t like his content and for various reasons. But I have to respect the shit ton of work he clearly puts out every video. He’s easily the most ‘quality’ anime youtuber right now and questioning his passion is insulting.
      Misty/Chronexia.. I can’t say I watch a lot of his videos but his top 10s are kind of his identity and makes them in good quality as well. Btw, his “top 10 best betrayals anime ever” was on your examples list but.. People wanted that video anyways. He ran a poll and people selected that one. So, really. No love lost there.

      Yes, there’s people that will title things in a form that seems like it’s ‘clickbait’ but how many really? Because if they do, they clearly aren’t very popular because I just listed pretty much all of the big anime youtubers that people watch. And you know why those people aren’t popular? Because they don’t have a passion for the videos they make. Hence, there’s nothing to be worried about. The other side of the coin is the minority.

      ~~~~~~~ (pretty squiggly thing to separate the counter- argument from the final notes and to also make it look pretty)

      I’m a little surprise you claim to have “addressed” most of my post.. But you haven’t. Because my post addresses your post, it’s a direct counter- argument to the subject backed evidence. Honestly, all you’re doing is stating what is obvious and saying that it’s “just a belief”. I mean, you’re right that nobody is pointing a gun at me but as I’ve expressed it’s not about whether this is subjective to everyone’s different views or not, i’m QUESTIONING the view. I’m pointing out where it’s flawed and the negativity it spreads because this is an actual common way of thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

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