Clickbait is a driving factor of entertainment, news and social media for our generation and honestly is a very smart and powerful feature if used properly. However, clickbait is becoming too common and repetitive nowadays and many of us would prefer the option to minimize or flat out remove clickbait from our lives. While it may be difficult to ignore all forms of clickbait in our society nowadays, we believe we can provide a solution that will help avoid what is slowly becoming the norm of our society.

What it does

We are building a google chrome extension that censors clickbait titles based on crowd sourced information. A user is able to right click any link that they may deem to be clickbait and report it as such. Using MySQL’s database technologies as well as Algolia’s advanced search technologies, we use this crowd sourced data to efficiently filter out clickbait titles. A user is also able to use our extension to actively block clickbait titles by sending us all URL’s of the website they are currently on. These URL’s are processed on Algolia’s fast server and we send them back a list of URL’s deemed as clickbait by our algorithms. These URL titles will then be hidden from the user, but a user will still be able to access these URL’s as they please.

How we built it

To build the basic framework of the chrome extension, we used HTML. More advanced code like blocking certain clickbait titles or sending the database a list of URL’s was done using JavaScript. To hold the data before it is periodically moved to our Algolia database, we used MySQL and JavaScript. Finally, the read and manipulate data on Algolia’s advanced servers, we used Python for connecting our MySQL database to our Algolia server and JavaScript to access and update data on their server.

Challenges we ran into

One of the bigger challenges we ran into was working with the Algolia API. None of our team members have worked with it before and its heavy reliance on JavaScript made it a bit more challenging, since none of us have had much experience with it before.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully managed to use Algolia’s API, JavaScript, Python and MySQL as a team. All of us stayed up the full 24 hours and managed to create a product that worked relatively well. Other than that, we are also proud of successfully completing DurHack 2018 and other than just blocking clickbait titles, we were able to hide YouTube video thumbnails as well.

What we learned

We increased our ability to use JavaScript and Python and it was the first time most of use worked on the same program, so we also learned how to do modular programming and work interdependently. We also got familiar with creating chrome extensions and working with Algolia's API.

What's next for Don't ClickIt

We created the program by having certain sites such as YouTube in mind, so our program can be scaled to work more efficiently and better on different websites where clickbait is very common, such as Facebook or Twitter. We can optimize our use of Algolia and their unique API as well as improve our usage of MySQL.

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