A meme/comic depicting an example and reference of rage bait.

Rage Bait

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Updated Aug 30, 2023 at 12:53PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 29, 2023 at 11:43AM EDT by Brandon.

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About

Rage Bait or Ragebait, also known as Rage Baiting or Outrage Bait, is a slang term for content that is explicitly made for the purpose of causing anger in others online. Though it originally started as an offshoot of flaming and trolling, with the increased monetization of the internet and take culture, the practice of rage baiting has turned into a strategy for generating impressions through angering people into engagement. While similar to engagement bait, rage bait is specifically created to elicit visceral reactions from people to consequentially boost content or interest in something through outrage.

Origin

The act of purposely trying to make people mad existed before the internet and persisted into its infancy. In the 1990s, flamebait was a prevailing term, but it quickly fell out of style. Before Trollface existed in 2008 and before griefing helped create rage quitting, rage bait was the primary way that people would try to get others to be mad online.

One of the earliest examples is a post on YTMND by the user Vyldan[1] that he titled "Downvote Bait." The sole purpose of the post, which was created on March 18th, 2006, was to use "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas as the background music to mock a review he got saying that his post using Arial font was given a downvote simply for using Arial (shown below).


Today Name Now * Your excuse - probably the fact that I used the inaccurate Arial font. That deserves a 1.

Rage bait continued to exist under the guise of other terms until December 20th, 2009, when Urban Dictionary user E. Nygma[2] wrote the definition for it, stating that it is "saying something that will obviously piss someone off just to get the reaction," which closely aligns rage bait with other common forms of engagement bait and general acts of trolling (shown below).


rage baited Saying something that will obviously piss someone off just to get the reaction. Me: Brittany Murphy will be forgotten just like any other celebrity in Hollywood. Move on Girl: You're heartless. You don't even know her. Me: You just got rage baited. by E. Nygma December 20, 2009 y f

Spread

In the mid-2010s rage bait was often used as a part of clickbait online in which the underlying idea was to do whatever it took to get as many views as possible, typically by evoking strong reactions toward content.

One component of clickbait, the YouTube Storytime Clickbait, would often have a video that involved raging or trying to get others angry so they would watch the video. On April 17th, 2017, Twitter user @GeneralAlpacaYT[3] made a meme using that format and a Casey Neistat video about a woman screaming on a plane (shown below).


"Woman sneezes on plane* Youtuber: SHE SCREAMED THE ENTIRE FLIGHT CaseyNeistat 2.9M views CaseyNeistat 13:16

Rage bait became a prominent part of content creation and monetization in the late 2010s, with many content creators and outlets using it as a way to ensure clicks and impressions on content for the express purpose of ad revenue. Because of this, controversial or dissenting opinions posted online are sometimes pre-warned as not being rage bait, as seen in the video uploaded by Twitter user @JoeBuddenPod[4] in which rage baiting is discussed as something that should be avoided (shown below).


Various Examples


Anonymous Get baited 140 KB JPG 08/02/23(Wed)17:13:04 No.74248281 >be me yesterday >think it would be funny to post some ragebait where I larp as one of those 'Irish-Americans' who hate the English for no reason >post it on r/greentext for even more funnies >the self-proclaimed intellectuals of Reddit actually fall for it despite it being obvious bait How are you people this stupid Be like Bill. Bill reads a ragebait article on the internet. Bill checks the original source. Bill knows that half-elves and half-orcs won't be removed from D&D. Bill goes outside to touch grass. Be like Bill. Holy! This is why western society is literally burning to the ground! WAOW! Obvious Ragebait/ Satire.jpg erere Le 19 n ahl Jherarar Redditor that Takes Outrage Bait Easily Starterpack Gal, I hope this is satire E Sabn Hed ahas aga by Caut Real Saram > Ir damb sub Sae Many Subs to these: - r/quityourbullshit - r/iamatotalpieceofshit - most subreddits /w "cringe" in title - most gaming subreddits Invelibly Obviaus Sative NR National Review O @NRO Charcoal Face Masks Deemed an Example of 'Racism' and 'Blackface' bit.ly/2EkzwEU via @KatTimpf A Beof Sveder many panly Ihar ogo more concerned about Traduzir Tweet Solly thas think this woke teens than actual vo way tobe sure, Some peade lterally sexism, racism, Igbtphobia, etc. 4 Eangued mt wwy ponts Ihour ayo What? This is very obuiy ojone. Do prode thine this is raul? 1 crdshedr Same ponty 38 mutsoyo 4 Poe's law weans p shadd trant all satine os roul. falls for journalism like this The Twitter User Starter Pack UHter D------ many ponts Thur ayo "Stupid" is ableist and "Spooktober" is racist wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of t wall of text wall of text wall of text OMFF rait belicue this is veal. I hope its sative but real :4と probehl. falls for satire easily (the comment section of rage bait basically) Lof text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text wall of text E SPINNERELLA She-Ra On Netflix Is WOKE Garbage 281K views · 2 years ago Completely detached from reality KAPWING TheQuartering O 41909412 LGBT flags in pfp This outta give em something to talk about. She-Ra ended up exactly how w unironically believes a lot of people call [common meme word] (i.e. spooky) racist/ableist/sexist/etc. 9:03 watches reactionary rage bait like this this is an attempt to induce rage STAR WARS FANS WHEN THEY SEE OBVIOUS RAGE BAIT: This is outrageous, it's unfair. STAR WARS ENJOYERS WHEN THEY SEE OBVIOUS RAGE BAIT: This is where the fun begins.

Search Interest

External References

[1] YTMND – Downvote Bait

[2] Urban Dictionary – E. Nygma

[3] Twitter – GeneralAlpacaYT

[4] X – @JoeBuddenPod

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