I often see friends post articles about some crazy stuff they read and get all riled up about it. Half of the time those articles are just bait. They're fake! They're just there to bring in lots of views so their owners can make a quick buck. I can tell you how to tell them apart in three easy steps so you can say "gr8 b8 m8" and click away, not wasting your time and possibly even embarrassing yourself or misleading your loved ones into those evil articles. Lucky for you it's pretty easy!
1. Author Name: Trustworthy articles always have the author's name attached to it and sometimes even a profile photo with a quick bio after the article ends telling you more about themselves. Of course, these can also be fictional authors but bait websites don't usually go this far. Half of the time bait websites don't even have author names or post date, they just skip right into the bullshi - I mean the article. But when they do post author info, they prefer to write as "admin". No names. No bio. No photo. Just "admin".
2. ADS EVERYWHERE!: Here's an easier way to tell a bait website. A huge ad block between the title and the body of the article. How rude is that? But you'll see more blatant ads than that plastered all over the page as you scroll down, even in the middle of the article. And here's a funny thing about those ads, they're almost always text based adSense ads, awkwardly camouflaging themselves into the article to make you think they're actually part of the article itself enticing you to click them for more enlightenment on whatever cancerous lies the article was about. And if they're not entirely text based it's those little thumbnails with ridiculous photos of other articles on their websites. Like for example, some lady with silver mud on random parts of her face and underneath a text that reads "Avoid Botox - Try this instead!". Or what about those article titles that end with "You'll never guess what happened next!" You've seen those around, right? They're so annoying...
3. Bait Source: This is about source citation and how it's used in article websites. A professional website, when writing an article based on someone else's original content article they'll provide a link, or source cite to that other professional website's article, like the New York Times for example. A bait website will source cite another bait website's article on the same story, which in turn source cites to another bait article, and this usually just keeps on going in a loop. These websites actually pay each other to do this kind of citation and sometimes they're even run by the same people.
And now you know. You've become a smarter person capable of thwarting evil bait articles wherever you find them. And the smarter, more inquisitive you become the more power you'll have to protect the ones you love from the evil, time-wasting BS articles that plague the intrawebz nowadays.
From now on... they're going to need a bigger bait to catch you.