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Headlines and article titles. Do they dictate content or reflect it.

Updated on July 12, 2013

Assume each one of us is a drop of water

We make up a lot of water
We make up a lot of water | Source

Article Titles and lead ins are getting fraudulent.

Titles of informational pieces should give us a clue as to content. Titles and then the first paragraphs stuffed with keywords that are in the title are common. But what is also common is the second paragraph that states something outrageous and the rest of the article is just bogus.

It is my premise that it is a massive fraud being perpetrated through the internet. It is all about page views baby!

In simple terms most fraud is an intentional misrepresentation made for the purpose of getting you to act to your detriment for the benefit of the misrepresentor. Pretty simple really.

Well the public's time is valuable to them. Giving time up to do something is detrimental. Getting people to visit a page based on a false title or headline benefits the advertisers on that page. When the tag line has nothing to do with the content of the article that is a fraud.

This is happening millions of times a day. And making publishers and advertisers millions.

Can I believe in what you say, is the absolute truth.

Decency is lost on the internet

But it can still reside in you!


Some people pay absolutely no mind to if what they do is right or wrong. Some people just work away and do whatever it takes to make a buck. Most writers are really no different -- or are they? Or should they be?

We have to, at some point in our lives make a big decision and stick to it. That decision is whether or not to lead a moral life or just one for profit.

Extreme scenario:


A man hears that arsenic is in his water. He looks it up and finds your article with a header saying "arsenic is the silent killer". He reads it. And your article does not really say that. But does lay out the dangers of arsenic poisoning to a large degree. So he stops drinking water and gets very ill because of dehydration and resulting damage.

Now most of us know that arsenic in very small trace amounts is all around us. It is not toxic or poisonous in these amounts. Yes you are not liable for the man's illness. But are you responsible?


I say you are. And I hope you made your 5 cents off of his visit to your page.


Is there arsenic in this rose.

Yep
Yep | Source

Just like arsenic small amount of mislabeling will not kill us.

But I suggest it has gotten to toxic labels on the net.

Are you part of the poisoning of our society. Do you add to the confusions that cost millions of hours per day? Or are you part of a solution to self regulate what you write and how you write it?

I unfollow someone if I think they engage in this regularly and I steer away from sites that do it with ease.

I hope this article was on topic and brings some awareness to some people.


Clear thought

Do you write catchy titles that are misleading

See results

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, buddy, I don't think I do, but now you have me thinking about it, which may have been the whole purpose of this fine article. Great thoughts here and valid points all writers should think about.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Me too Bill. I guess we all want to pretend just a little that we have a "scoop". Perhaps we watched Clark Kent and Lois too much as kids!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      I think catchy titles are everything - that - and pretty girls, lol.

      I often think the most important part of what I do - what I write on my page is the title - it is the attention grabber but as you know with my style of writing Sir Eric I try not to give away too much because I often have a twist or a surprise waiting for my readers.

      I guess you notice you're always the first one I read in the day after my night shift sleep - everything else has to wait - and you are my go to guy - thank you as always for inspiring me and taking me places - is there any other writer like you at the Hub - well yes there is - dat guy from lake erie time canada 11:33am - us superstar bros got to stick together - you dig? lol

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow -- Colin, this is so cool. I almost put in another paragraph just about your style in here. I was going to call it creative with a twist -- don't give it away!. Now I will. Which of your fine examples should I use. Oh boy now I get to research more of your really cool stuff at epigramman.hubpages.com

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Well Sir Eric in a shameless attempt at self-promotion , lol, my new one - The Man who couldn't stop singing opera - is an excellent example.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sir Colin I hope you are not speaking of the man who broke hearts with his performances found here: https://hubpages.com/literature/The-man-who-couldn...

      My that would be shameful indeed!

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I regard integrity highly, and sometimes a bit of awareness can help all of us be more thoughtful with our words and actions. Good points here, thank you for sharing! ~Lurana

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      All I can do is try. Darn it I fall short. But that skinned knee don't mean a thing.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      My lovely, Sir Eric,

      I think you've got some people shaking in their hub boots... lol! 'Do I'? Ha ha... but, in all fairness, if we have to stop and think about if we could, in some way be guilty of such... then we really aren't guilty, are we? Furthermore, I know exactly what you're saying and there certainly are people that do this and they do it very intentionally and have no qualms about doing it! We all have only so much time to give and I really find it offensive and selfish of others to purposely waste the time of others for their own gain. I, for one, am glad you wrote this!

      Happy Monday!

      Cat

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Cat. I had to do a gut check while writing it. I plead guilty your honor with an explanation of stupidity not criminal intent.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Eric! Ha ha... you are guilty of nothing but being awesome, honest and sweet! I happen to think you're pretty swell :D

      (For what it's worth... I always cross my fingers and cringe when I push the Publish button... ha ha)

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I hate it when I am looking for information and get trapped by a misleading headline. Supposed "news" sites do it all the time. It just wastes my time. So, I get what you are saying here and quite agree.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I reckon the cure starts with all of us. And maybe the first step is to be discerning for ourselves.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eric - A much needed and appreciated reminder that integrity and honesty and correct representation do matter and they should be our goals, always. Well done. Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Theresa

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Eric, don't know how I missed this one, but better late than never. I don't always know what your hub will be about from your title, but once you start reading it is always relevant. Myself, I hope my titles always reflect the content of the hub. I never ever bother to research keywords or hot titles, I just aim to write interesting and funny or uplifting hubs. Sometimes HP tells me I have to change my title because it's already taken, then I try to use something equally relevant. I agree that doing otherwise is the equivalent of cheating in an exam. Good points here, voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I am being constantly amazed by two factors writing on line. 1. So many folks write a bunch of crap that will cater to others looking for crap. And those probably make the money. 2. There are great things going with wonderful people doing them. Thank you Lord for making flowers, rain and great writers.

      While I am certain that I do not yet qualify for the elite such as you. At least on this day I shall rejoice in knowing them.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      An important caution and reminder that the truth matters and a good read the second time around. :) Hope all is well. Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi honey bunny, I hope you are doing as great as I am ----- though my four year old has decided for this week that I am a toy. We just crawled around the office and then entire house inside cardboard boxes. I am tooooo old for this stuff ;-) I am thinking of your lovely new leaves and that crazy scent of mold that comes with spring in your area. Blessings and butterflies from us Dierkers to you.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Oh my, Eric! I am too old for crawling around on the floor, too. But what can you do, you have an adorable four year old. :) The flowering trees and bushes are gorgeous and they have just started dropping buds and the green leaves are springing forth, soon the "moldy " smell will accompany them. The crazy pollen is about to descend, but it won't last too long. We are enjoying our spring as I am sure you are enjoying yours. :) Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      In the depth of my despair I have friends like you, who lighten my load and bring a fresh morning dew. Thanks Theresa for your

      Spring sunshine.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is good info that writers should use as their golden rule of writing. If your article doesn't answer your title why bother. Most of my articles are DIY or recipes so I really don't have this problem.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Suzzy you certainly do not have a problem -- I do, I gain weight just reading your hubs: https://skyaboveus.com/camping/Family-Campfire-Coo...

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks a lot Ericdierker for your support.

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