On April 1st, Roundcheck monitored how online news websites make use of clickbait to draw traffic and the public to false content.
A clickbait also called yellow journalism is a sensationalized or misleading headline written to attract clicks on a piece of content.
News platforms make use of this type of headline to drive page views on their websites. This practice can be traced to the nineteenth century
Roundcheck discovered different claims made by blog sites and made verifications to ascertain the credibility of the information posted.
Weetalknaija.com.ng claimed that Fifa has canceled Nigeria vs Ghana match.
The headline was titled “ BREAKING!!! Jubilation As FIFA Cancels Nigeria vs Ghana Match “
Verdict: Recall that the Super Eagles of Nigeria crashed out of the race to qualify for the World Cup later this year after drawing 1-1 with Ghana and losing on aggregate. Roundcheck checked the Federation of International football, FIFA, website, and social media accounts, and no information regarding the cancellation of that match was posted.
Roundcheck also discovered that the claim was made deliberately to attract more views to the website as the content seen after accessing the website link reads “You have been pranked! Happy April Fool’s Day Buddy”
This claim that Fifa has canceled Nigeria vs Ghana match is FALSE.
Ireporteronline.com.ng claimed that Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has tendered his resignation, finally declares for Presidency, and said Buhari has failed the Nation.
The headline reads: Osinbajo Tenders Resignation Finally Declares For Presidency, Says Buhari Has Failed The Nation.
Verdict: Recently, there have been controversies surrounding the political future of Yemi Osinbajo. Roundcheck discovered that different groups: The Osinbajo Think Tank (TOTT), Osinbajo Support Groups/Professional Bodies, the New Tribe, Businessmen for Osinbajo have encouraged the vice president to declare interest to contest for president in the 2023 general elections. However, Further check revealed that Yemi Osinbajo is yet to disclose his intentions to vie for that position.
On Feb 7, Professor Yemi Osinbajo denied plans to declare his presidential ambition. On March 8, it was reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will officially communicate his stance on the 2023 presidential election.
Roundcheck accessed the website link and noticed that the writer deliberately used clickbait to attract more views to false content.
Roundcheck checked the Twitter account of Prof Yemi Osinbajo and discovered that his header image still carries the Vice President title.
Also, his last tweet was on March 29.
After Roundcheck findings the claim made by ireportonline.com.ng is FALSE.
Media organization decry the use of clickbait
Mr. Lekan Otufodurin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network (MCDN), told Roundcheck that readers lose trust in organizations that lure them to read stories with misleading or false headlines.
Media Career Development Network (MCDN) is a registered not-for-profit and non-political organization that promotes excellence in media practice in Nigeria, organizes media training, and provides mentoring support for journalists and media professionals.
Mr. Otufodunrin noted that Headlines are supposed to be a true reflection of the content and clickbait should not be used especially when there is no substance in the story.
“Clickbait should not be used especially when there is no substance in the story. Readers lose trust in organizations that lure them to read stories with misleading or false headlines. Headlines are supposed to be a true reflection of the content. Media platforms that use clickbait do it to lure readers and get more impressions. Unfortunately what readers get is not what is in the headlines.”
“ Clickbait is deceptive. It affects the credibility of the media and makes readers doubt even credible ones. Organizations that indulge in it lose out eventually as readers get to know and avoid them or they double-check their stories elsewhere” he said
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