For some time now, there has become something of a sport out of the mockery and ridicule of mainstream leftist blogs across the internet. People have found that they can get lots of attention online, lots of likes and RTs, by making posts on social media making fun of articles on these awful sites. This was popularized during the heyday of GamerGate, though it originated many years ago on places like 4chan’s /v/ board.
— That L△ughing Pooka (@TheQuQu) March 23, 2017
The nonsense and misinformation coming from these sites absolutely must be countered if we are to ever heal the divisions in the gaming community. Though I think that some of the arguments used against these articles, such as any variation on “this article is stupid,” aren’t very strong, that is not what I wish to talk about in this post.
What I want to bring up is the way that some who play this game have gotten lazy, and how their laziness has actually hindered the end goal of it. What I’ve noticed is that many who take part in this game have stopped using archive links, and instead simply either screencap the article or even quote tweet it. Because of this laziness, social media posts mocking these articles have the unintended effect of driving traffic to the sites that they hate so much.
See, the people who work for clickbait blogs like Kotaku do not care that most of the internet thinks that they’re complete morons. They already have what is one of the worst jobs on the planet, worse than shoveling animal dung or working at Walmart, so they do not care about your personal opinion of them. These people are already complete losers who are just doing this for a paycheck, so they have nowhere left to fall.
Granted, there are plenty of good blogs across the internet, that are not owned by large for-profit corporations, that provide quality content that is interesting to read and actually informative. There are also blogs that provide content that is quite humorous, often of a satirical nature. So I don’t mean to say that all bloggers are losers, but there does exist a subset of them which care about traffic numbers above all else, and the quality of their content reflects such.
See, the goal of these clickbait blogs is to amass as much traffic as they possibly can, not just for ad revenue but also to gain third party investments. They do not care how long the users stay on their site, because just loading the page and clicking away still adds to their traffic numbers. It doesn’t matter to them if anyone actually reads the articles that they fart out, because they’ve already got you once you load the page.
So when you quote tweet Twitter posts that contain links to these sites, you are still driving traffic to them, even though you’re criticizing their articles. I’m convinced that Twitter introduced the quote tweeting feature in response to the use of archive links to deny clickbait sites traffic. They knew that their users sharing archive links was hurting their profits, so they incentivized people to be too lazy to bother with them.
Even if you just screencap parts of the article to mock, there will still be people who want to check out the full post, either because want to see the context or because they want to verify that it’s real. With how many fake screencaps there are out there of Kotaku articles, it’s completely understandable for someone to type the headline into a Google search and click on it. But this is still driving traffic to these blogs, so when you screencap an article, you also need to include the archive link with said screencap, so that other users can verify that it’s real.
Sure, all of this is harder to do than simply clicking a couple buttons, but it’s important that we take the time to do this properly. If you don’t like clickbait articles that spread misinformation, then you should be giving the sites that post them as little traffic as possible. Your goal should basically be to destroy these sites by denying them traffic, so that they cannot earn enough money to continue on.
The business model of these sites is basically to make you angry by either lying to you or calling you entitled or a misogynist or whatever other nonsense they come up with. Before we can fix the larger issues within gaming, this entire business model of misinforming the public needs to be destroyed. And the only way we can do that is by denying them our business and encouraging others to do likewise.