NY Mag is on a lecturing campaign today. It provides an allegedly “Extremely Helpful List of Fake and Misleading News Sites to Watch Out For“.
It’s criteria is False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources.
It listed 130 or so websites, some of which I agree with, including all of the totally fake sites. However, the bulk of the sites on its warning list contained no reason for their inclusion.
The irony is NY Mag goes after “Clickbait-y” articles, but if it went after websites that relied on “Clickbait-y” ads to stay in business, it would have to list itself.
Clickbait Ads on NY Mag
I captured that today straight off the NY Mag page bitching about clickbait among other things (see link at top).
I do not allow garbage ads like the above on my site. If one comes up, I remove it as soon as I see it or I am notified.
Note that ads are regional. An offensive ad can easily pop up elsewhere, especially overseas, and I may not even know.
I suspect I am losing ad revenue, at least over the short haul. But I do not care.
Those who want to see the incomplete list of NY Mag offenders, one can do so at Zimdars’s list.
Be warned: Zimdars’s list is expansive in scope, and stretches beyond the bootleg sites (many of them headquartered in Macedonia) that write fake news for the sole reason of selling advertisements. Right-wing sources and conspiracy theorists like Breitbart and Infowars appear alongside pure (but often misinterpreted) satire like the Onion and The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report. “Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, but I’m including them because they should be considered in conjunction with other news/info sources due to their tendency to rely on clickbait headlines,” Zimdars notes. You should read it closely, feel free to disagree, and, in the spirit of media literacy, do your own research.
I believe readers may find more helpful a list of websites with poor advertising practices. Then again, such a list would be massive. It would include clickbait sponsors such as NY Mag.
Yet, for all its blatant hypocrisy, Bloomberg and CNBC are among the biggest offenders of media comeuppance.
In particular, I am sick of all the auto-play videos on Bloomberg, CNBC, and elsewhere.
If someone would come up with a plug-in that immediately killed autoplay, replacing the space with a big X I would install it in a hurry. Meanwhile, I strive hard to not link to sites that have autoplay on.
If I link to Bloomberg, it is only because I could not find the story elsewhere. Alternatively, I want to ridicule Bloomberg. And the Bloomberg Econoday “robot” as I label him, is an easy target.
My friend Steve Keen posts on Forbes. We sometimes agree on things and sometimes disagree, but he always presents a case.
I seldom bother reading Keen anymore. Forbes itself is the reason.
Forbes offered this clickbait.
Forbes also has an initial “quote of the day” with a delay.
Forbes and numerous other sites frequently break up articles so they require multiple clicks. This is far different than a home page that provides multiple articles with lead-in snips such as the Financial Times or MishTalk.
Just now, as I was reading one of Keen’s Latest Article on Forbes, an autoplay pop-up ad came up. I cannot tolerate this behavior. I do not read Forbes.
Real Clear Politics
Real Clear Politics frequently has extremely annoying 30-second ads that one has to bypass to get to their site.
30 seconds guys? Really?
Link Pet Peeve
My pet peeve, to which Bloomberg is the top offender, is writing articles without linking to the source.
For example, take Bloomberg Econoday and read any article related to an economic report.
Econoday never links to its reference. For example PPI and CPI come straight from a BLS report. No Link. Econoday’s Philadelphia Fed and Empire Fed regional analysis comes from the Fed. No Link.
Econoday never links to its news source. Bloomberg seldom, if ever, links to anyone but itself. It’s not just Bloomberg, MarketWatch does the same. The practice is universal and disgusting.
In contrast, I am meticulous about links. I am not perfect; I occasionally miss a link, but if so, it’s by accident, not design.
Flash Blocker Irony
Many people have installed flash-blockers and pop-up blockers. The news outlets and magazines are upset.
The irony is magazines brought these conditions on themselves with disgusting clickbait ads, autoplay feeds of all sorts, piss poor link references, popups, etc.
Then they wonder why readership is down and ad revenue is shrinking and people go to alternative sites.
NY Mag Irony
To top off the irony, NY Mag points a finger at a list of False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources without even bothering to say why sites are on its list.
Question and Suggestion for NY Mag
Question for NY Mag: Why are garbage sites like My Daily Viral, Bustie and other suspect sites listed in your ads, not on your list of sites to stay away from?
Suggestion: NY Mag, before bitching about others, with no reasons given, I suggest you look at your own clickbait ads as a very good starting point for sites to stay away from!
Mike “Mish” Shedlock