“It’s Not Like I Want You Look at These 17 Hilarious Pictures of Taylor Swift Eating Pancakes or Anything…,” one article title reads.
“Take This Quiz to Find Out What Brand of Dish Soap You Should Use — Or Don’t; You’re Probably Too Stupid Anyway”, reads another.
It’s the year 2017, and the internet is flooded with overused memes and countless different outlets each competing for the attention of the ever-shortening attention span of web surfers. Websites such as Upworthy and 9GAG compete with clickbait articles, each striving to go “viral” with more sensationalist thumbnails and enticing headlines than the next. But even in this most insipid market, there is room for innovation.
“Traditional clickbait focuses on articles with alluring titles, almost begging to be clicked,” Buzzfeed editor Meghan Rotisser told Anime Maru. “Our research shows that users react more positively when headlines are cold or even hostile.”
Initial Buzzfeed testing with clicktsundere articles was first met with mixed reactions. Readers were often confused as to why the articles were always so harsh to them, wondering if it was perhaps something they did. Surprisingly, readers only seemed to be drawn more to each article as they continued to be persistently abusive.
The findings seem paradoxical — why would readers seek out articles that seem so aloof to them?
“I guess readers are attracted to a strong-willed article, that deep down inside has an endearing side.”
“They’re just so enticing,” commented one avid reader. “Clickbait these days always seem desperate for attention, but I can tell when certain articles are just trying to hide their true feelings.” He then returned to clicking on a headline berating him for not knowing how to make $297 per hour with one simple trick.
At press time, Buzzfeed’s latest article “Stupid Reader, It’s Not Like I’m Showing You This Inspirational Story of a Kid Who Dresses Up as a Firetruck Because We Desperately Need Your Traffic and Advertising Revenue to Survive or Anything! Don’t Get the Wrong Idea, Baka!” was trending with 2.8 million shares in just over 3 hours.