Why we fall for ‘Don’t Click This’

A recent spam attack on Twitter was entirely based around spreading a link with the words ‘Don’t click this’ – which of course, plenty of people did.

It led quite a lot of people to ask why anyone would click on a link which says ‘Don’t Click This’.

And that reminded me of a programme by Derren Brown on this very subject, with his usual mix of psychology, illusion and trickery.

Annoying Channel 4 in it’s infinite wisdom has disabled embedding of the very clip I wanted to share.

So ‘Don’t Click’ this link to view a video Channel 4 would rather people didn’t see, spread, share and use to promote the television series they paid to commission. Sadly the whole show isn’t available, including the later demonstrations with adults, and more explanation of how exactly he puts the ideas into the subject’s head in the most suggestive way.

I’m sure there are more clinical examples in the psychology field – which reminds me why Rich Millington recommended some psychology reading and blogs in his Online Community Building Manifesto.

So make sure you don’t subscribe to my RSS feed, don’t recommend this post via Stumbleupon, Digg, or Delicious, and don’t retweet it!