At this point, it is not necessary to explain that the technique of clickbait is about getting clicks through tabloid headlines and fake news they are what the name suggests, fake news. However, between one phenomenon and another, the misleading headlines what, with a ambiguous wording, seem to hint at a fact that the content of the news they precede denies.
One of the most notorious and flagrant cases is the one that has been starring for a long time Gol Journal, a theoretically sports digital media that repeatedly throws headlines online cut by the same pattern: the phrase “‘Has died'” or similar followed by the name of one or more famous people. Some headings that lead to errors, misinformation and … a lot of clicks.
Headlines that lead to error, misinformation and … to many clicks: ‘Diario Gol’ has had a growth of more than 8,000% since March
It is enough to use the commands of the Google search engine to see the dimension of the practice. We type
site:diariogol.com "ha muerto" and along several pages of results we can see all the content of this type that the sports medium has published over the last few months.
Some headlines imply that the death of a person who is not quoted has been mourned by the famous character (s) mentioned. However, other even more ambiguous headlines lead to the belief that the aforementioned personality has passed away. And it has been seen live and direct.
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The alleged death of María Teresa Campos
This Wednesday, the television program MYHYV de Cuatro started with its presenter, Toñi Moreno, crying. With an evident state of nervousness, the driver apologized to the audience and assured a few seconds ago that I had read information, it said, that was not yet verified.
“We contrast it, right? It is Teresa Campos. I hope it is not true”She said about the one who was her television mentor while the cameras focused on her.
Moreno was being the victim of a publication of Gol Journal, published a day before, which was illustrated with a photograph of the veteran professional and had the headline: “‘He has just died’. María Teresa Campos and Spain in mourning”. Although the information alluded to the death of the journalist Pepe Oneto, the headline and the image lead to misunderstandings if the news was not read.
A Cuatro presenter began her program crying after having read, a few seconds before starting, a headline from ‘Diario Gol’ that seemed to signal the death of her friend and partner María Teresa Campos
The presenter returned to ensure that messages of condolences were reaching her cell phone for the alleged death of María Teresa Campos, but she had not died. Campos entered the program by phone to scoff at the information: “I am not dead, I am alive, but they will kill me with dislikes”.
The shocking moment starring Toñi Moreno and the viralization of the news have made the alleged deceased have decided to take legal measures against the medium, as reported in the program Everything is a lie of four. Not because it is false news as such, because he thinks it is not, but because of the more than obvious ambiguous wording of the headline.
However, it is not the first time that a misleading headline of ‘Diario Gol’ has caused such a stir and raised doubts about the possible death of a famous person. Already in summer, a news titled “‘Appears dead’ Jordi Cruz, Pepe Rodríguez and MasterChef dismayed” caused it to be thought that the young Catalan chef had died, an end that has been denied since Damn Bulo.
The fact of the matter: visits
The objective of this practice carried out on a recurring basis by ‘Diario Gol’ is not to misinform or mislead directly, but to draw the attention of users to get visits. Specially for get traffic using Discover, Google’s mobile content recommender, which feeds in a different way than the Mountain View search engine.
The theory of the tool used in millions of mobile phones is that original content is rewarded, showing it to users based on their interests, search or preferences. However, that it is original content does not mean that it is quality or accurate content. And it is not difficult find in social networks to users unhappy with the type of content that comes to them through Discover.
Diario Gol has become the third sports newspaper in Spain by visit and, according to themselves, they are “the most widely read exclusive sports portal on the internet” in the country
Either way, Gol Journal has become the third most important sports newspaper in Spain in terms of visits, only surpassed by Brand Y Ace. “Thanks in part to this type of misleading content,” he says. The world, which takes as a reference the Comscore index for the month of August. The publication controlled by the ED Group, in addition, has experienced a growth of more than 8,000% since March. They themselves claim to be “the most widely read exclusive sports portal on the Internet in Spain”.
Since Genbeta we have contacted Google to offer us an assessment on this matter and, for the moment, we have only received in response the actions that they claim to carry out to combat disinformation.