It is now possible to troll your own audience. What’s more, some editors are apparently doing it purposefully and the Columbia Journalism Review doesn’t like it. I guess I don’t either, even though I didn’t know it was happening.
This is going to require a bit of explanation.
If you are a denizen of Twitter or Facebook, you have no doubt noticed that certain stories get shared a lot. Sometimes it’s not that they are important or even something the sharer much cares about. It has to do with the headline.
At first, savvy online outfits sought to create what even more savvy observers called “the curiosity gap.” This is a headline that doesn’t tell you all you need to know. In fact, it is designed to make you curious about what follows rather than tell you what follows. Here’s an example from the geniuses at Upworthy. By ending with “I think we know where this is going,” editors are baiting you. … You mean you don’t know where they are going? Don’t you want to look?
Now comes “hate-sharing.” This is a type of Internet headline designed to make you mad – and thus more likely to share it on your social media feeds precisely to say how mad it makes you.