Imagine a very boring day. You don’t want to watch a movie or read a novel or do anything else. Dawdling on various sites, you end up looking YouTube’s trending videos. If you haven’t changed your country’s location, I assure you complete entertainment. The content might not entertain you, the titles of the videos surely will. If you click on any one of them, you will get bunch of other videos in the suggestion with equally amusing titles. You will forget that you were bored a couple of minutes ago. You will have your laugh, and scroll to some other content. But, you are not watching it and I am not watching it, then why are these videos trending? Simply because, most of the people in Nepal watch it.
We are familiar with the click baits and false contents. Many people, who are new to media sharing sites, are not. They click on any catchy titles and thumbnails, and these false content creators keep on getting views. The trending page is full of senseless videos like a man milking an ox, woman talking to tigers or videos with thumbnails full of cleavages for perverts. There are good subject matters, but they get overshadowed by these unnecessary videos. This is the reason, why we don’t watch Nepali content anymore. We don’t watch it on YouTube, on television, in movie theatres or anywhere else. They promise many things, and deliver none.
People get click baited worldwide and YouTube is not the only place where it happens. Fake news can lead to real money. Absurd posts are seen on various sites which are written like factual articles. Just some clicks on these links, and huge amount of money is waiting for these fake news purveyors. Paris Wade and Ben Goldman, the two men behind the fake news site LibertyWriters.com, said that they made up to $40,000 per month in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Unlike any form of digital marketing, the purpose of these click baits is not to sell any product or service, or to push you an opinion or view, their sole purpose is to generate page views, which translates into big bucks for the bait creators and malware for our electronic devices.
In the context of Nepal, the trend of translation of fake news to money has not established yet. Mainly because Nepali websites are not popular yet. So, the most popular means of earning views is Facebook or YouTube. But, Facebook has started talking actions against click baits. Facebook is now going to start penalizing click bait articles on people’s news feed. Joining Facebook is Google, who have promised more relevant search engines whose results are spam-free and as useful as possible. Anyway, the point is not why people in Nepal are not earning money from click baits, the point is why we are being click baited. Is it because we are ignorant? Or, is it because we are curious? Actually, it is because we are ignorant and curious at the same time. We want to know what the full story behind that intriguing title is although we know that it is useless. The baits play with our emotions or our curious nature. And, we end up falling for them.
Curiosity is fine, but we need to be more careful. Why should others make easy money because of our stupidity? To be honest, most of the times, that is the case. Nevertheless, the bottom line is, be cautious. Henceforth every time you see a link leading to ‘you won’t believe what happened next…’ or ‘these pictures atre the reason that…’ or ‘gorule tin litre dudh diyepachi sabaijana achamma ma, hernuhos pura video’ or anything similar, just give a thought before clicking.