Clickbait

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This post is a continuation of ‘A Cause For Concern‘, you may want to read that post (in all it’s messy glory) first. If you want to save yourself some time, one of things that was tackled in the post was how artists are quite savvy when it comes to capturing audiences and keeping those audiences focused only on them or on things they can benefit from.

What this post is about is how music blogs/websites have responded to it, and how that has manifested in them generating a whole ton of ‘news’ to make up for traffic they have lost over the years. Of course, it should go without saying my angle on this comes from the world of Electronic/Dance Music and that should be kept in mind when reading.

Reality of Dance Music News –
Artist has music being released.
Some remix might be out soon.
Festival with 200 acts, only two you are interested in.
This club night looks ok.
DJs gonna DJ.
Death of anybody you ever liked or any club that was any good. 🙁

Which is kind of dry and boring, isn’t? This is nothing you can’t get from following an artist you like or a venue you already visit. Maybe a few of these things you might share on facebook but, nobody is going to give you a precious like for sharing a release date, are they? How we all crave those delicious facebook likes… Mmmmmm.

What we actually get –
Some asshole tweeted at another asshole. #beef
Music being regularly attributed to the wrong artist because popular artist played the music.
Asshole who we all know can’t DJ continues to not be able to DJ.
YOU WONT BELIEVE WHO THREW A CAKE AT SOMEBODY!
Daft Punk farted. #Exclusive
Somebody died, *crying emoji*. Check out dis playlist on Spotify m8s!

The majority of this is all clickbait bullshit. It’s the kind of thing that was once relegated to throwaway tweets, facebook discussions and forums not so long ago. I’m going to highlight three of the most prominent types of clickbait and then attempt to round that off with some meaningful final paragraphs. Who knows how that will turn out? I haven’t even decided myself…

Excited? Lets begin!

Scandal.

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This is Ruby Rose. I had to do a bit of research on her, I had no idea who she was. She is an Australian Model, Actress and now, rather controversially, a DJ.

For whatever reason, for TWO MONTHS (and counting) this piece of ‘news’ was promoted at me via facebook. Somebody is actually paying real money for me to see this. Worryingly, when I investigated the post, the ‘news’ turned out to be SIX MONTHS old. You can watch the video below and don’t bother deciding for yourself, I’m gonna sort that for you. 😉

Given that after six months the website in question still can’t resolve whether she’s a faker or not and so desperately needs to gauge opinions on it, I’ve decided to step-in and hold my own trial that will be judged by the Cobra Commander and features some of best expert witnesses you could ever dream of…

Fedora Guy in the courtroom, holla!
Danny Dyer!!!
The mysterious Roberto Rouge….

Robbie Savage. King of 320 Bang0r tips! OMG!
Kris Akabusi! Awoooga!

OK. That didn’t work out as planned or I’m making a point about the futility of ‘news’ which offers people the invitation to ‘make up their own mind’ about it. The truth is this ‘news’ is designed to incite. It’s a celebrity who hasn’t ‘earned’ the right DJ, it’s a bonus that she happens to be Female as that will attract a certain toxic crowd. The Daily Mail actually covered this, you need to go sit in a corner and think about what you did if you have anything in common with that publication.

In her defence, she can do the pointy-finger thing… which is like 50% of the job these days….

ruby-rose-dj

ruby-rose

capture

pointy

Whatever next? Some ‘news’ on how Ruby Rose is the rudest DJ of all time because she points…?

You can have that one for free clickbaitpals xoxox
You can have that one for free clickbaitpals xoxox

Misinformation.

porter

Porter Robinson is a popular EDM artist. People think I have some sort of opinion on him, I really don’t. He’s a prime target for Dance Music websites to rinse clicks from. This is because his fan-base are quite young/impressionable/excitable. This ‘news’ above is a good example, if you are a fan I can imagine hearing this ‘crazy edit’ is probably some seriously off-the-chain exciting shit. I say this with no sarcasm, we’ve all been 14yrs old and we’ve all been hyped on artists we like.

If you were to have clicked the link, you would have been immediately hit with the first lie. It’s a re-creation done by a fan. If you were to check the source of this information, Reddit…. then you’ll discover it’s a badly researched lie. It took me all of 2 minutes and the power of being able to read words to find out….

capture2

This sort of activity happens far too often these days, you can forgive the occasional thing being posted with incorrect information… but, this is just a trap and it’s a trap that comes off as you not giving a shit about your own audience. It creates distrust, do this enough times and people will stop reading your site. Why are sites are doing this? It’s because artists have a much tighter grip on their content then ever before, especially the ones who have disciplined managements. Leaks were once really common in dance music and here is a earth-shattering bit of information… not all of those were actually ‘leaks’ (people sometimes told me to call something a leak because it generated buzz, not naming names though because I’d like more ‘leaks’… 😛) and now websites generate their own leaks, which aren’t actually a leak of anything.

The site in question (I’ve done alright not to call these people out, how I’ve matured) actually removed this ‘news’ after a few people reported back to them about it’s low-quality. Which meant I considered finding another bit similar to this on the same website to replace it (instead, it’s enhanced my point). Low and behold they actually delivered yesterday with the fake Daft Punk track that everybody couldn’t post fast enough.

What was interesting about this and everybody else who posted it was they didn’t delete the item once it was confirmed to be fake… they didn’t even change their headlines. They all did the most curious thing, kept the headline and the body of text and added really tiny disclaimers at the bottom of their posts….

P.S – Soz, not real. Don’t care

The clip of Denzel Washington that is currently being shared around is going to make this final point for me. It’s far more eloquent than how I would have put it…..

 

Drama

In general I have a real dislike for tweets being ‘news’. It’s really fucking lazy stuff. What this has done to twitter though…. it’s just made it boring. Artists live in fear that any sort of opinion they might have on anything might be picked up and twisted for some godawful item. Not liking the new Bruno Mars album or something, it’s hardly a crime, nor is it news.

If you want entire feeds of people saying, “well, this is kinda nice” over and over, fine. You want to believe you can capture somebodies true opinion from 140 characters? Don’t think that an artist being unable to express themselves is a bad thing either? You’re an idiot. Enjoy blandsville!

There is nothing ‘epic’ about grown-adults talking trash on each other either. It’s amusing, in a juvenile way… but, if I don’t catch it on twitter as it’s happening and am never aware of it, I’ll live. Deadmau5 doesn’t rate something (again) is not news. It’s tabloid crap. Surely something more worthy can be posted instead? Maybe the label he does has released some music or something, I dunno?

In summary…
This is a post that has had way too many revisions. It was simply meant to be a humorous attack on clickbait and what certain sites are doing these days in a desperate attempt to ensnare visitors. The problem is, when I began to ‘research’ it properly, I ended up feeling totally overwhelmed by the amount of it out there and I didn’t find that particularly funny. I also came to the realisation that I fall for a considerable amount of this stuff and should probably stop reacting to it. If I see something which I know is going to rage me, I should avoid it entirely. I think if you are reading this, there is a chance you might be guilty of the same sort of thing. I really believe that ignorance being bliss might be the way to go with all of it.

This year has been one of people assuming the worst possible things can’t happen and then, they happen. I think the internet constantly distracting us with nonsense has played a big part in that. I believe the worst possible things are happening to the types of music I like right now and that’s because of cynical activities by artists and the equally cynical activities by the people who write about them. It’s not the only reason. I just feel it’s a bit part of the problem. You only need to look at the all the ‘Best Of 2016’ music lists that are hitting right now, how quite a few people feel this has been a really poor year for music and the apparent ‘death of the album’ to realise that something just isn’t right at the moment.

Maybe it’s an idea to go back to basics a little? Write about music you like, post news that might be dry… but, is also informative. If you like somebody that is not that popular, don’t be concerned about those precious facebook likes, have some confidence in your own tastes and if nobody likes it, who cares? If you are somebody who finds all the clickbait ‘fine’/’harmless’ and, at the same time, are moaning about the quality of music we have right now, you really are wanting to have your cake and eat it.

I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but, people whining about the quality of music and doing nothing? It’s sort of infuriating. Lots of people seem to be fully aware of the problems that are going on but don’t want to ‘rock the boat’, they just want to been seen as acknowledging it. If you do nothing, you are culpable and all it looks like is that you are simply acknowledging the problem so you can say, “I told you so” when the shit hits the fan.

Sort of thing certain people are itching to tweet in 2017… why? 

It’s also depressing to see my own social media feeds, lots of people saying pretty much the same things, smart and talented people in some cases…. just ignoring each other because they don’t 100% agree entirely or, because there is some sort of ego at play, nobody likes that their opinion isn’t an unique one for some reason and I don’t really get that. Put that dumb shit to one side and start thrashing it out with one another, you may just surprise yourselves? Isn’t that what social media is for? Discussion? Have people forgotten that?

OK. I hate this post now. At least the Ruby Rose thing was sorta funny, I guess?

xoxox.

4 Comments

  1. Even the previously much revered Stoney Roads, who was one of my treasure boxes of sweetness when I was younger, is severely tainted in these practices. I understand the m’dudes have gotta eat, but what money could they possibly make from me clicking on a shit link, being asked to join the newsletter then closing the tab straight away.

    • I wanted to keep naming ‘names’ out but, I respect what you say about Stoney Roads… even though I’ll always have a bit of love for Ubbs and co.

      What you describe is something that needs to be heard a little more by the dudes who are responsible. I think it’s because they can get carried away with idea of ‘clicks’ without realising it’s real people.

      I also think most people just tend to stop going to a site when it starts doing things they dislike.

      They need to hear, “Bruh, I clicked it.. but, I closed the tab afterwards.. lame”. Or something, I guess?

      Once upon a time there was an era where blogs/music sites pulled the strings a little and that had it’s downsides… readers tended to end up more satisfied though. I personally think a balance can be found on that end… it’s just nobody is really considering it as a possibility for some reason. 🙁

  2. Oh my god that Denzel video is off handedly pretty powerful, its great to see popular people having a head on their shoulders. Well Sebs Im so happy you are back! I found you back when I was in high school in 2011 with my friend and DJ partner and your news and musical findings have brought me many hours and days of good tunes. With life happening around me and the extreme popularization of EDM I have grown a bit farther away from the electronic music culture but I have been loving your longer articles about the industry just to get my fix of what is happening on a larger scope that I normally aren’t able to view. Keep up the great work, all hail our lord and savior Siriusmo!

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