Stop Saying “They Make Money When You Click on Their Headlines”
We all have our stance on what exactly is going on in the world right now.
I see nothing but a political clown show unfolding in the U.S. But you might look at it differently. And that’s fine with me.
I am probably in the minority in how I see things unfolding, though I know I’m not alone.
Who Makes Money When You Click on Their Headlines?
But all this business about who makes money when we click on their headlines… that has to stop. Especially since we’re talking about an equal opportunity playground.
Even I make money when you click on my headlines. I don’t make a killing, but I have my own small corner of the web that makes this possible.
So, fundamentally it doesn’t matter whether you lean right or lean left or think these are separate doors that lead to the same zoo.
We all make money when our headlines are clicked on. Period. That’s what it means to be in the internet era. Wake up and smell the coffee.
Your favorite YouTube personalities make money when you click on their videos.
Your favorite Medium writers make money when you click on their articles.
Your favorite author who says “they make money when you click on their headlines” makes money when you click on hers. She makes even more when you buy her book.
News sites, or for that matter, any niche site serving any audience, if they have ads, sponsors, or affiliates, make money when you go to their website.
Don’t you think this is the least bit hypocritical?
Don’t be Too Quick to Jump to “Conspiracy”
We talk about this as if conspiracy is the problem. When the very definition of conspiracy is:
A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
I’m serious. Go look it up. And don’t come back and tell me this has never happened over the course of history. Because historical documents say otherwise.
A conspiracy is not some made-up theory about something that is radically different from mainstream narrative. That goes directly against its definition. It’s a secret plan to do something harmful. So, chances are you don’t even know about it (especially if you aren’t a part of it), and if you do learn about it, it will probably be after the fact!
Dissenting Views are Not the Problem
The left makes money when you click on their headlines.
The right makes money when you click on their headlines.
Yet you talk about it as though this is what funds their entire operation. I don’t know how much you know about ad revenue but try writing Medium articles for a few months. Or try throwing some ads on your blog. Maybe start a YouTube channel and grow it to 1,000 subscribers. And see if it so much as funds 1% of a political campaign.
The problem is not that there are dissenting views. This is healthy. Why do we continue to quote Socrates through the millennia if open, philosophical discussions about life and reality were valueless?
You can’t say that left attacks right without saying that right attacks left. And depending on which side the writer, journalist, personality, or media company lands on, they’re going to be attacking the other side. Making them look bad. Making them look as though they are the enemy.
Critical Thinking is a Survival Skill
These days, I often find myself saying:
Critical thinking is a survival skill.
Even as applied to getting drawn in by scandalous clickbait, the same applies.
Just because someone holds an opposing view to you doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t think critically, can’t discern reality from falsehood, or that they haven’t done their homework. That’s a leap of faith if there ever was one.
And maybe, just maybe, the reason they see things differently has nothing to do with the fact that they’ve been brainwashed, have bought into some catchy tagline, or they’ve started valuing charisma over character.
You can dig up dirt on anyone if you try hard enough. And even if you can’t, you can create plausible sounding stories. And as far as I’m concerned, there has always been an element to that in politics.
People interpret things how they want to interpret things. I have seen this happen from the pulpit on more than one occasion.
That’s what it means to be a free thinker. You think for yourself. Taking no side is willful intellectual laziness, or ignorance, neither of which are much of a choice right now.
People make money when they click on headlines, period. Welcome to the internet.