In his well-known essay On Bullshit, Harry Frankfurt defines bullshit as speech that is designed to impress but lacks a direct concern for the truth. Under such a definition, a large portion of what we read online today is likely to be bullshit.
Some types of bullshit are political in nature, such as the misleading claim that only 16 mass shootings took place under President Bush’s tenure, compared to a whopping 162 under President Obama. Such claims are valued for their persuasiveness in making a point, rather than for their connection to reality. Other bullshit, such as clickbait, is motivated by the commercial mandates of the digital age, in which companies endlessly chase more page views, likes, followers, subscribers and customers.