7 YouTubers Who Took Clickbait WAY Too Far

3 January 2018, 15:30 | Updated: 13 April 2018, 17:27

Clickbait YouTubers
Clickbait YouTubers. Picture: Other

By Josh Lee

The things YouTubers will do for views.

In a world where everyone's fighting for those sweet clicks (us included!), jazzing up headlines with a little extra drama has become a content creator's lifeblood - and a content consumers biggest pet-peeve. But while a little clickbait never hurt anyone, there are some YouTubers who have taken the concept and really run with it. So while Jake Paul recovers from his most recent clickbait backlash (which featured a somewhat sexually inappropriate thumbnail of him and Erika Costell), let's take a look at some of the most brazen Clickbait titles in YouTube history.

But before we get started we need to define what clickbait is

Purists will tell you that it's only clickbait when the title is completely unrelated to the content, but I beg to differ. Anything that distorts the viewer's expectation of what they are about to watch is clickbait. Is all clickbait bad? No. But when clickbait really toys with a viewer's emotions or wildly exxagerates what the video's payoff actually is, it's really quite cheeky.

1. When Caspar Lee clickbaited HIV

Caspar Lee HIV
Picture: YouTube

Back in late 2016, Caspar posted what should have been (and in many ways still is) an insightful and educational video on HIV. The problem? His thumbnail, featuring a pensive-looking Caspar and the words "living with HIV", kind of implied that Caspar himself was HIV positive. While you could argue that the clickbait would lead to more people gaining an awareness of HIV, you can't escape the fact that whatever helps Caspar's view count also helps Caspar. And intentions aside, you shouldn't really imply that you have HIV when you don't.

2. When Zoella pretended she was going to tell you about losing her virginity

Zoella My First Time
Picture: YouTube

The year is 2013. Zoella uploads a video entitled "My First Time," and the internet swiftly goes bananas. However, things aren't all they seem.

This video may very well have broken the internet, had the contents had anything to do with the headline. You may argue that the video, which consisted of Zoella talking about her first time experiencing certain things doing various activities, was in fact related to the headline. But let's be real for a second - if you call something "My First Time," the world is clicking to read about something naughty.

3. When Jake Paul said he "actually got married"

Jake Paul Marrying Erika Costell
Picture: YouTube

Jake Paul and on-screen girlfriend Erika Costell racked up 25 million views when they "got married" in Las Vegas back in June 2017. But they didn't get married, did they? It was all fake, wasn't it? And not only was the wedding a total crock, it transpired that their entire relationship was, in fact, a sham. Colour us shocked.

4. When Hailey Sani pretended she almost died in a plane crash

Hailey Sani
Picture: YouTube

Arguably one of the most important click-baits in YouTube history, Hailey Sani's ridiculously overdramatic recounting of a near-fatal plane experience helped kick off the STORYTIME clickbait meme that dominated the latter half of 2016.

In fairness to Hailey, only the bravest of fliers would have been able to stomach the intense turbulence that she experienced while flying through a lightening storm. But here's the thing: IT'S NOT ALMOST DYING IN A PLANE CRASH IF THE PLANE DOESN'T CRASH. The actual headline should have been "I Flew Through A Storm And It Was Scary AF" - but that just wouldn't get the clicks.

5. When PewDiePie Said He Was Going To Delete His YouTube channel

Picture: YouTube

PewDiePie managed to fool the entire media industry when he pledged to delete his YouTube channel as soon as it hit 50 million subscribers back in 2016. But when he reached the mile stone and uploaded a video entitled "deleting my channel," the world soon discovered that it was one big, extended click baiting exercise. Sure, Felix deleted his YouTube channel - but it was his little used, "Jack septiceye2."

How Felix laughed, having hoodwinked the whole world. But had he really deleted his channel (or even just taken a year off), he would have been able to avoid the avalanche of controversies that hit him in 2017. Just saying.

6. When Tana Mongeau Said She Smoked Weed With Selena Gomez

Tana Mongeau weed
Tana Mongeau weed. Picture: YouTube

Tana is famed for her brazen click-baiting, but this particular Storytime vlog really takes the biscuit. Not only did Tana NOT smoke weed with Selena Gomez, she says in the video that she doesn't smoke weed at all (which is great for her but also not true). The title actually came from merging two separate parts of the video, in which she talks about not smoking weed and meeting Selena at a festival in the past. THAT'S NOW HOW TITLES WORK, TANA.

7. When Touchdalight pretended to pimp out his teenage sister

1 KILL = REMOVE 1 CLOTHING WITH MY LITTLE SISTER!! (Fortnite Battle Royale Gameplay)
1 KILL = REMOVE 1 CLOTHING WITH MY LITTLE SISTER!! (Fortnite Battle Royale Gameplay). Picture: YouTube

In 2018 British YouTuber "touchdalight" was deservedly dragged on social media after using a title for a video that implied he was going to make his extremely underage sister take off clothes on camera while playing fortnight. Of course, the video had almost nothing to do with that creepy title, but the backlash meant that he was forced to remove the video from YouTube all the same.