For Medium to take such a black and white stance on clickbait seems sort of ignorant. Clickbait is what built Medium into what it is today. I agree that blatant clickbait needs to die a quick death, but to make believe that ALL content that entices readers to click is bad and doesn’t follow through on their promise is wrong.
Excellent point. Recently, I wrote about how my mom survived a bout of covid thanks to the fact that we happened to have a pulse oximeter at home. Those are gadgets that hardly anyone thinks to buy, but with covid, it's extremely important to have one, mostly because of the fact that covid can cause a potentially fatal condition called silent hypoxia; a pulse oximeter can show you when you're dangerously hypoxic and need an ER.
In my article, I shared my family's story, alongside links to outside sources (for added reading value) regarding oxygen levels and other known covid risks. I wasn't over-reaching; "buy a pulse oximeter, and if it shows that your oxygen isn't in the safe range, know that you need to go to the ER — EVEN IF you don't *feel* like you're struggling to breathe" is quite literally literally life-saving advice.
My headline and subtitle were straightforward. I even named the gadget itself right in the subtitle, so that people would see the life-saving info right up front.
Would a headline like "The Gadget That Saved My Mother's Life" entice clicks? Sure. But 1) it's totally not an overreach, and 2) THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT, because my objective was to share a life-saving lesson that my family learned amidst this pandemic — one that anybody can empower themselves by.... but they can do that only if they have access to the information.
Medium chose not to distribute it.
Was the writing shitty? I didn't think so, but maybe. However, I strongly suspect that the title and the subtitle made the curators unduly suspicious and not even give the article a chance.
I'm glad Medium's trying to cut down on clickbait, but I completely agree with you: not everything that entices us to click is garbage. Some of it has every right to be titled the way it is.