The classic clickbait cliché runs something like this: “23 couples you have to see – I can’t believe number 17”.

The purpose is to have you at least click once to stat the process, hopefully you’ll click to 17 and if you get through them all you’ve been suckered. The website wins and you’ve been suckered.

Of course, venerable media institutions like the once-great Herald would never stoop to such low levels as to have a celebrity-driven headline.

Never.

What they do is more insidious. Yes, they might get the clicks but they sell their soul in the process and destroy their credibility.

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the US Supreme Court has exposed this at its worst and it highlights the slippery slope so many media organisations now ride.

What’s it mean? It means Brett Kavanaugh said “Certain women should be struck regularly, like [gongs]” to complete the Noel Coward quote.This is the headline:

 

 

 

 

Not great. But he was a teenager at the time.

There’s another problem. But you have to click the story to find out what it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh! So it wasn’t Kavanaugh who said it. It was his friend. That’s quite a difference, doncha think?

If you read the story you would know this, of course. But you have to fall for the clickbait. The fact wasn’t lost one some readers. This commenter saw the contradiction between the headline and the story:

 

 

 

Fair point. A point missed by this commenter:

 

 

 

 

Mark Judge isn’t nominated for the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is.

In the coming days or weeks the allegations against Kavanaugh will likely be investigated or he will withdraw his nomination. There are three options from here: (a) Either he or (b) his accuser is lying, or (c) there will be insufficient evidence to provide an investigative outcome. At this stage, it is wise to search for evidence and withhold judgment.

And avoid clickbait. Especially when it is hidden as real news.