When Elle magazine US tweeted about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West parting ways, tweeps had no idea that the publication was pushing a political agenda.
Unsuspecting readers clicked on the accompanying link, only to be redirected to website register to vote ahead of the US midterm elections on 6 November.
Because we’re already smart enough to participate in it, and don’t need a pandering click-bait headline to “trick” us into it.— AC Slayer 🔪🔪🔪 (@amber_lcarter) October 18, 2018
Okay. That's not ethical or appropriate. I'm all for get out the vote efforts, but this is misleading and fuels the "fake news" fire...— 🖐Just Jake🤚 (@JustJake_91) October 18, 2018
Aren’t there better ways to encourage people to vote instead of lying about a marriage as clickbait? Cheap and shameless.— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) October 19, 2018
Once word spread on the Twitter streets, the publication was slammed for using clickbait to get readers to vote, accused of sharing fake news and branded unethical.
Elle US has since issued an apology claiming that their "passion for voter registration" clouded their judgement.
We made a bad joke. Our passion for voter registration clouded our judgement and we are sincerely sorry. https://t.co/cYGGrpfBCz— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) October 18, 2018
But some users felt their explanation was factually incorrect, and accused them of using Kanye because of his relationship with US President Donald Trump.
While others wanted to know why they still haven't deleted the tweet and replaced it with a "real article, informing people about why it's important to vote.
So delete that fake news click bait. We're constantly accused of fake news and you really made a giant error in judgment. Perhaps even journalistic malpractice. I'm ashamed of you.— Alexandra Whitney (@iskandrah) October 19, 2018
I think you should delete the article and make a new article on why it’s important to vote.— Jaida ☁️💡 (@Sweetener_AG4) October 18, 2018