A recent post from popular Internet website the Oatmeal is burning up newsfeeds today showcasing a colorful and educational glimpse into the life of a lesser-known sea creature called a mantis shrimp. Pretty much everyone can agree that it is a fantastic and beautifully rendered piece of sciency art. But there’s just one catch. There’s no such thing as a mantis shrimp and the entire story is a lie, according to mythbursting site Snopes.com.
According to Snopes’ Senior Internetologist Ray Buntman, the Oatmeal even created a trumped-up wikipedia entry for the crank crustacean. Why would they do this, you may ask. “The answer is simple,” Buntman explains “The article is a prime example of a website gone out of control in a cynical and dangerous ploy for clicks. They get paid for literally every click, so they will do anything to get the clicks and get on your Facebook feed to get thousands and thousands of more clicks.”
While it may seem harmless and innocent, there is a dark underside of Internet link phishing and the global security implications may never be fully understood. As long as there are completely amoral money-hungry websites like the Oatmeal out there, my advice to you is clicker beware.