Thought Catalog
March 8, 2014

Study Shows Racists Are More Likely To Read Clickbait

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You’re on Facebook. You’re scrolling through statuses, liking some and dismissing others. You might expand a picture or two to see just how fat Molly has gotten. Suddenly, a headline catches your eye. Something about it is just off. Maybe a brave mom is letting her son play with dolls, or perhaps you won’t believe how shockingly racist a picture of a cheeseburger is, or maybe it’s just a dog wearing sunglasses. Either way, you have to click. You have to figure out just who the hell put those sunglasses on that dog. So you open up the new Internet Explorer in Metro mode and you take a look.

Guess what? You’ve been clickbaited. The article you are reading is neither informative nor particularly interesting, and in most cases, it’s not even original content. You’ve been duped into clicking on something so that somebody could put advertisements in front of your face. You’re looking at clickbait, or if you’re using an award winning Microsoft Surface tablet, touchbait.

Clickbait is easy to recognize. You’ll notice that often, there’s nothing really being said in the article, and there’s very little editoreal oversite, if theirs any at all. It’s almost like they found a headline that they were sure people would click on, spell checked it, and then blindly freewrote for two or three minutes until they could send the thing off and get their freelancing check. Producing clickbait takes even less effort than setting up an email account with the new Outlook, part of Office 365, available now on the Microsoft store.

While the concept of clickbaiting is hardly a secret, and certainly nothing new, a new study I have conducted has shown a direct correlation between someone’s susceptibility to clickbait and their likelihood of being a secret racist. Yup, that’s right. If you’re one of the people that clicks on and shares clickbait, you’re likely to be a racist. The relationship between to two is almost as seamless as the new Microsoft Skydrive, a brilliant storage solution that lets you access your files from anywhere.

When someone has an almost subconscious reaction to a headline and instinctively clicks on it without giving it thought beforehand, they are operating on emotion. They’re not thinking things through. While this is relatively harmless in terms of browsing the web (without using Microsoft Defender, provided free with Windows 8.1), it’s indicative of the way someone behaves towards others.

You see, racists also operate on visceral reactions and knee-jerk emotional responses. The impulse someone has to click on a baiting headline is the same impulse racists have to use the n-word whenever someone reminds them about Obamacare. They see something they recognize as faulty, and they react. Much like how Microsoft Word’s new proofreading engine can correct common grammar mistakes on the fly. But unlike this useful and perfectly designed feature, clickbait readers and racists don’t learn–whereas the new Word proofreading system sends feedback to developers so that it can constantly improve.

But how do we know that this correlation isn’t just a coincidence?

Isn’t it possible that our sample size wasn’t big enough, or that everyone is more likely to click on clickbait? While it is true that there could have been an error in the way the data was collected, the fault certainly wouldn’t fall on Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet application I used to compare my results. The versatility and scope of Excel is unmatched, and with promocode RACIST it can now be downloaded from the Microsoft store for a fraction of its normal retail price. I would highly recommend the new Office 365 Cloud based system, because according to another study I’m conducting right now, you’re less likely to be racist if you purchase it. Try it out today, I think it’s great. TC mark