On August 26, the Sydney Daily Telegraph ran the following piece of clickbait :
The original video and story was faked by German broadcaster RTL as "an experiment aimed at showing how quickly misinformation and conspiracy theories can race across the planet," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
RTL ran the fake Michael Jackson video on YouTube for only 24 hours, and thank to clickbait media junkies like the Daily Telegraph, amassed more than 880,000 views before they pulled it down.
The Daily Telegraph story remains online, with no correction or updates explaining it had been suckered into a "misinformation experiment."
"We wanted to show how easily users can be manipulated on the internet with hoax videos," spokeswoman Heike Schultz of Cologne-based RTL told The Associated Press.
"Therefore, we created this video of Michael Jackson being alive, even though everybody knows by now that he is dead - and the response was breathtaking."
This is exactly the kind of celebrity story twaddle that Rupert Murdoch is expecting people to pay to read online by this time next year.
UPDATE : Looks like 'Hoax Or Real?' is going to become a standard Daily Telegraph clickbait feature.
Today's effort :
Pravda has plenty of these type of stories, but I get the feeling Daily Telegraph editors already know that.
UPDATE : Half a day as a feature story on the front page of the Daily Telegraph site (is nothing else happening in Sydney, or the world?), and the 'alien baby' story has only pulled a thin 4 comments. Didn't turn out to be quite the clickbait, or commentbait, it was expected to be, not even making the Daily Telegraph's Top Ten Stories list.