I thought long and hard before posting this, the subject of this article is something that’s been bugging a few people within airsoft for quite some time. Even approaching this post is a little risky so I’ll word it as best as I can, and if anyone’s offended by the content, by all means post it everywhere you can. After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity… Is there?
So what’s this post about? Well it has nothing to do with the title. Well, in a way it does… but not in the way you think. This post is about Clickbait, that manipulative little tool that’s used by everyone from gossip magazines to certain unscrupulous airsoft content providers.
Before you think I’m going to be naming names, I’m not. This isn’t me sitting on the fence, it’s a reality check for those who do it. A chance to hopefully read through and get an idea of how it’s perceived by the community, what you then do is completely up to you. You’ll see some random images on this blog, do t read too much into them or who they are… they’re generally just
So, clickbait. A legitimate marketing strategy or a cheap trick? Well it’s both. The key part of the clickbait strategy is to stoke the curiosity of the intended viewer by introducing a question or statement that incites a response or demands fulfilment from the viewer. A good example would be…
“Why Women Shouldn’t Play Airsoft”… 😮
See what I did there? It’s a statement that’s so bold, that the reader is compelled to find out the reasoning for the statement. Imagine if you will, reading that and finding out that the article has little to do with the title. Well by that point it’s another view, another little tick in the box and the channel grows.
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity”
Once the message is out, it grows. Infecting everything it touches, the message grows louder and louder. Some people will share without even reading the subtext, furious and bewildered they’ll promote the message further. And all this time, the message grows.
So is clickbait ever justified? Well if you ask me, then yeah… why not. If used correctly and respectfully it is a legitimate marketing tool, as long as it’s not at anyone’s expense I can’t see it causing much harm… A few confused readers maybe, but those clicks still count nonetheless.
I worked a while back for a business where the message was “Sale Ends Sunday”, that message was repeated 47 weeks of the year… It worked too!
The issues I see with click-baiting are when it’s misleading the audience significantly from the premise of the initial post. Telling people they’re going to see something and then showing them something else, it’s dishonest and says a fair amount about your character that you’re willing to lie to those who follow your content.
The other, possibly bigger problem is when one of the key elements of your marketing is an unwilling participant in your material. The key examples I’ll use are where players are “outed” as cheats or targeted otherwise, my reasoning for this is as follows.
Within law (or at least within the EU) there is a legal right to what is referred to as “A right to reply” this is defined as the following:
Article 1 of a 2004 Council of Europe recommendation defined a right of reply as: offering a possibility to react to any information in the media presenting inaccurate facts … which affect … personal rights.
So by posting up your edited version of the events without context you’re denying the accused their right to represent themselves fairly, you might think that they don’t have that right… But the law says otherwise.
I’ve yet to see a defamation case mentioned regarding airsoft cheaters but with the rise of “professional airsofters” who represent brands and gain either financially or through sponsorship it’s only a matter of time before someone’s jimmies are rustled to a degree where they demand satisfaction.
So to wrap up, will we see an end to click bait? Not a fucking chance. It’s too effective a tool to be cast aside. I do think however that given what’s happening more and more recently that we might see a little more thought put into teasers and links. I’d certainly hope so, as much as I like a bit of drama it’s not good for the community and detracts our focus from positive engagement and doing what we enjoy… Unless dramas your thing, in which case… clickbait away!
As for women in airsoft, It’s an irrelevant question to pose and the answer should be obvious to anyone who has a sister, daughter or indeed… Mother.