Clickhole.com is a satirical “news” outlet that publishes daily content ranging from articles to quizzes on seemingly crude and unimportant matters. These images are representative examples of the content one would find there:
It is difficult to believe that this vile stream of content has a purpose more significant to make people laugh, but through these messages, clickhole.com is able to parody online outlets such as Buzzfeed and Upworthy that rely on clickbait to make a living. Clickhole does this by hyperbolizing the various techniques clickbaiters use to attract attention to themselves.
One of these techniques is the classic list. Whether it is “10 things you can do RIGHT NOW to lose weight” or “15 things you didn’t know you could do with an eraser,” lists tend to be attractive because the audience expects to gain multiple pieces of insight in a short period of time that they believe will change their lifestyle. Once the unsuspecting internet surfer clicks on the article and glances at the list, they realize there is nothing there for them to take in. But it does not matter for the creators of the advertisement-infested article, they make money whether the user likes the content or not. Articles like these are hyperbolized to cause internet users to ask themselves, “Who would click on this garbage?” and to discourage them from falling in the clickbait trap.
Another technique used by many companies to attract attention to their content is wholesomeness, or in other words, the “aww factor.” Clickhole satirizes this technique by beginning with a sarcastic phrase (“Absolutely Heartwarming” or “True Love” in the examples above) hinting at wholesomeness only to destroy that feeling with gore within the same sentence. This allows internet users to see how easily their emotions can be played and teaches them to avoid falling for this trickery.
Clickhole has the underlying theme of combating clickbait, but each article also has its own message, usually being that society pays too much attention to meaningless things such as royal families and celebrities and scandals that will be forgotten in a day or two. Despite being a load of fun to play around on and laugh at, clickhole.com was created for a purpose: to educate internet users the ways companies will use them to gain revenue and to waste their time. Unfortunately, Clickhole was bought by Cards Against Humanity and will no longer continue to produce new content as of just one week ago, but I believe that its message will continue to live on.