Plain Talk: The history of clickbait


MINOT, N.D. — You’ve all heard the term “clickbait” before, uttered derisively, and not always deservedly, toward online content designed to prioritize earning a click or view or listen, over everything else, including the truth.

But how did things get this way? What’s the history of clickbait?

Ben Smith, one of the founders of a new news venture called Semafor, joined this episode of Plain Talk to talk about it. He’s a pioneer of early blogging, a veteran of Politico and The New York Times, and he was the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, a position from which he made the decision to publish the now-infamous Steele Dossier.

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