The Clickbait, Callouts and Content in 2019 panel took place in Panel Room A on Saturday at Summer in the City 2019. It featured Callum Markie, Nina Laurel, Jacob White, Carmie Sellitto, and Ricky Dillon. It was moderated by TenEighty’s Mar Beveridge.
After introductions, Mar asked the panel if clickbait is necessary in order to be successful, to which Carmie replied: “Obviously, yeah. I wouldn’t be where I was if I didn’t do clickbait, so big up clickbait.”
Callum presented an alternative view and said he doesn’t think it’s necessary, but he definitely does it and “it makes life a lot easier”.
Ricky added he does it “once every four or five videos”, and believes it isn’t necessary but okay to do.
Mar followed up on this by asking if clickbait was being used more now compared to recent years. Nina said clickbait makes “such a big difference to the performance of the video. If it’s not clickable then the video won’t perform as well.”
“I think maybe last year it reached a peak where everyone was clickbaiting, but I know that YouTube have changed their algorithm now where it’s based around watch time, which is kind of taking people away from clickbait and focussing more on different content,” Jacob said. “Clickbaiting can only get you a certain number of views now.”
When asked about where clickbaiting goes too far, Carmie replied: “I think if you’re not hurting anyone, then it’s fine.”
Callum added that he doesn’t think it can go too far, saying, “I don’t think it’s that bad.”
Jacob said: “I think if you clickbait too much, you’re misleading your audience so eventually, they’re just not going to watch your videos because they don’t trust you.
“If you start clickbaiting, the first couple of videos, you’ll get views, but eventually people are going to realise that that’s your thing and they’re not going to watch your videos. You lose trust with your audience.”
The discussion then moved onto callout culture, with Mar asking how the panellists feel when they’ve been called out. “I like [drama and commentary channels],” Ricky replied. “I watch them.” Callum said he likes the drama, adding that he has called people out before.
Mar then asked about how the panellists feel when a video calling them out has become successful, to which Carmie said: “I just see clout and views, and my name is out there, so like, sick.”
It was later asked where the line should be drawn in terms of apologising and removing a video, to which Ricky replied that “it depends what it is”, adding that if a creator’s audience is upset then they should apologise.
“I feel like if you offend people then you should say sorry. Actually, no, I don’t. It depends what it’s about,” said Carmie. “I feel like if it’s actually offensive-offensive then yeah, make an apology video and mean it, but if you’re making a joke about something about you or a friend then it’s not deep.”
Callum commented that people apologise for a lot less now. He said people should apologise if they did something horrible, but added that “I would never apologise for clickbait”.
When asked about how callout culture has changed over time, Callum said it’s now “a mix of more people realising that drama gets views and it’s also more people messing up because they get desperate”.
The panel later moved on to audience questions, with most of them being directed at Carmie.
One audience member asked if he would ever do the Stripping with My Thirteen-Year-Old Sister video again, to which Carmie replied: “Yeah, but she’d be 14 now.”
Another member asked if Carmie have a responsibility to his young audience, citing video titles such as Stripping with My Thirteen-Year-Old Sister and I Spent 24 Hours In Bleach And This Happened….
“All I’m going to say on that is I didn’t choose my audience and if they want to watch me, they can watch me,” he replied, to applause from the crowd.
A member of the audience later asked about the difference between clickbait and lying, to which Ricky said: “As long as the video relates to the title in some way, clickbait’s fine.”
Callum added: “I think clickbait is over-exaggerating, and lying is just straight-up lying.
“So if you over-exaggerate a title to something that’s more applicable, then that’s fine,” he added, saying that “if what you’re titling the video is slightly happening” then that’s fine as well.
The final question related to whether the panellists felt afraid to make a video or clickbait a video because of callout culture or clickbait.
Ricky replied by saying that he sometimes changes the titles of his videos, with Callum agreeing and saying that “I think it’s a good thing”, adding that “it allows people to think a little bit more about what they do before they actually do it”.
Jordan said: “I’ve been in situations where I’ve made a video, and I can either go down the route of clickbaiting it and getting more views, but it being a bit of a dick move, or I go with a more safe title, which is not going to get as many views.”
When asked how he makes that choice, he added: “It kind of depends. If I’m feeling like a nice person that day. What actually helps is watching TED Talks and being a nice person.”
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