Adventures in Apple clickbait

Headline tip No. 1: The "nasty surprise"

From Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly:

  • Mar. 10, 2015: Apple iOS 8.2 Has Two Nasty Surprises
  • Oct. 2, 2015 Apple iOS 9.0.2 Release Has A Nasty Surprise
  • Oct. 9, 2015: Apple iOS 9.0.2 Has Three New Nasty Surprises
  • Oct. 19, 2015: Apple iOS 9.0.2 Has Three More Nasty Surprises
  • Jan. 20, 2016: Apple iOS 9.2.1 Has A Nasty Surprise
  • Mar. 23, 2016: Apple iOS 9.3 Has A Nasty Surprise
  • Apr. 14, 2016: Apple iOS 9.3.1 Has A Nasty Surprise
  • May 16, 2016: Apple iOS 9.3.2 Has A Nasty Surprise

I don't mean to pick on Gordon Kelly, whose knack for catchy headlines has already caught my eye twice today. We all have verbal ticks. The first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem.

Thanks to reader Jamie McDaniel for the tip.


  1. David Emery said:
    Right up there with “3 easy tricks to lose weight”…

    May 26, 2016
  2. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    Gordon Kelly wants attention. Well, now he’s got it.

    So did Rocco Pendola. Rocco who? Exactly.

    … and don’t get me started on Ewan Spence.

    May 26, 2016
  3. John Blackburn said:
    Forbes has been junk for years.

    May 26, 2016
  4. Tom Sidla said:
    Forbes won’t let me in ’cause I have a content blocker. If they weren’t so clickbait-y, I’d whitelist them and proceed in. Instead, I just don’t go there.

    May 26, 2016
  5. Jonathan Mackenzie said:
    Thank you PED for drawing attention to this problem which I think many readers spot often. It is maddening, but what can you do? Point it out on Forbes where Gordon will get the last word and you will have simply provided another click? That’s worse than doing nothing.

    It’s cathartic to see this behavior exposed every now and then.

    And I know you value understatement, but a verbal tick is using “umm” too often. These headlines (and the underlying articles) are part of a cynical and all too common media strategy. But sadly, it works or it wouldn’t have grown to be so pervasive.

    May 26, 2016
  6. Robert Buchholz said:
    PED, the success or failure of business models such as yours will determine whether or not we are condemned to a future punctuated by clickbait. The ascendance of those who troll for clicks is depressing enough, but worse is the retreat of writers of substance and publishers with pride in their product because they don’t see a path to financial sustainability.

    May 26, 2016

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