This One Comic Is Going To Forever Change How You Look At Clickbait

A headline is supposed to be a succinct summary of an article. Clickbait, on the other hand, is like the headline’s slimy, used-car salesman cousin. It’s vague, intriguing, hyped up, and created with only one purpose in mind: to make you click on that link. Over the past couple of years, lazy bloggers have more or less standardized the jargon, so pretty much any headline starting with “this” or “these” or a number, like “6 Ways The Grocery Store Is Ripping You Off” and “This hilarious cat will make you bawl your eyes out” is clickbait.

This insightful xkcd turned the eye of history on clickbait, and came up with 14 headlines that you won’t believe.

headlines

Some of these are really obvious, but if you’re stuck on what the headlines are about:

  • 1905: Einstein’s publishing of his Theory of Special Relativity
  • 1912: The Titanic sinking
  • 1920: Prohibition coinciding with women getting the right to vote
  • 1928: The discovery of penicillin
  • 1929: The start of the Great Depression
  • 1945: The end of World War 2
  • 1948: The Soviet occupation of East Germany
  • 1955: The discovery of the polio vaccine
  • 1957: The launch of the first man-made satellite
  • 1968: MLK’s and RFK‘s assassinations
  • 1969: The first moon landing
  • 1986: The Challenger exploding
  • 1989: The Berlin Wall being torn down
  • 1990: Basically every one of Buzzfeed’s headlines clickbaits

The hovering title text is about Einstein’s publishing of the Theory of General Relativity.

From xkcd

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