Headlines ahead of the facts

It is amusing and annoying that internet news coverage seems to be driven by creating the most sensational headlines to serve as “link-bait.” It hardly seems to matter what the content underneath that link is. Someone out there is being paid to find the most enticing phrase of 15 words or less that will get you to point your browser there.

This article from Time is a case in point, proving that even supposedly more respectable providers feel the need to compete with Buzzfeed and Upworthy. The article claims “everything you know about breakfast is wrong” and then goes on to describe how two studies described in recent journal articles prove nothing of the kind, certainly nothing that warrants the mega-sensational headline.

I am inclined to think of Nassim Taleb’s proposed newspaper format: it would contain lots of pages when there is actually relevant news and be empty when there is not (which would be most of the time). We are moving ever further from that ideal.

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