The art of the Clickbait headline and shoddy journalism.

I woke up this morning to a tweet directing me to an article written by Stan Collymore regarding Mesut Özil, basically giving his opinion on the players recent comments about how he’ll happily sign an extension with Arsenal, but only as long as Arsène Wenger stays. There was only one problem with this, the quotes Collymore referred to didn’t exist.

Stan had done what I’ve witnessed plenty of football fans (Arsenal and otherwise) do this last week when German outlet Kicker first published their interview with Özil. They read the headlines and sunk into the hype surrounding them without reading the actual interview itself. He had either naively fallen victim to the art of the Clickbait headline or was just too lazy to check otherwise.

Let’s just backtrack a little to the interview. I’ve gone over it both in German and it’s translation (thanks to all who took the time to translate) and I’m still a little fuzzy on the part where the German playmaker says he’ll extend at Arsenal if Wenger does but otherwise no, I mean I literally can’t find it however hard I look.

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I found the part in the interview where Özil says he wants to extend and the club & fans know that. I found the part where he discusses his admiration, respect, loyalty and faith in Wenger just as he has shown in his players. I found the part where he states Wenger was a massive factor in him joining and of course he’d like to know if he’s sticking around and if not, who was replacing him (even Tony Adams, Mr. Arsenal who signed every contract without reading it wanted to know who was replacing Graham and then Rioch. Naturally).

So what has happened between Kicker publishing the interview and the world of “Football Twitter” getting hold of it? It appears that shoddy British journalism has played a massive part, taking two separate answers Özil gave and meshing them together to make one fabricated quote, on top of that you’ve got lazy Twitter users who are reading these Clickbait headlines and just rolling with it, either because they can’t be bothered to read the actual article or because they’ve got an agenda.

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This is another issue with journalists trying to gain clicks and views. They don’t care how it affects a person so long as they get the attention. I’ve seen people who were in awe of Mesut for years, now due to the fact they dislike or have an agenda against Wenger and because Özil supports the Manager he plays for (and they believe the made up stories) wanting him to leave, slagging him off and giving him dogs abuse.

This morning Stan Collymore, whether intentionally or not, wrote an article based on fabricated quotes surmised by Clickbait headlines and fuelled an already intense flame. I just hope those intelligent football fans out there are able to sift the rubbish from the truth in this day and age of decaying Media.

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