FoundedJune 12, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-06-12)[1]
PurposeTo parody content shared on media sites.[2]
FieldsSatire, clickbait, surreal humor
Official language
OwnerCards Against Humanity LLC
Key people
Bruce, editor in chief[3]
5 members

ClickHole is a satirical website (formerly owned by The Onion) that parodies clickbait websites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy. It was launched on June 12, 2014,[4][5][6][7] in conjunction with The Onion's decision to stop its print edition and shift its focus exclusively to the internet.[8] According to ClickHole's senior editor, Jermaine Affonso, the website is "The Onion's response to click-bait content" and serves as "a parody of online media".[9] Critics noted that, on a deeper level, ClickHole illustrates the shallow nature of social media content and media sites' desperation to share such content.[10][9]

On February 3, 2020, the website was acquired by the team behind Cards Against Humanity. After the purchase, the website's employees became its majority owners, and retain complete creative control.[11] As a result of the purchase, the website went on hiatus from February 3, 2020 to May 20, 2020.


ClickHole aims to mock content posted on media sites, using satire, and tries to make its content shareable. According to its website, ClickHole wants "to make sure that all of [its] content panders to and misleads [its] readers just enough to make it go viral".[12] In most of its posts, ClickHole tries to convey an underlying message, usually poking fun at social media users or societal behaviors.[1][6]

The website aims to publish content frequently, setting a target of 7–10 new posts daily.[9]


ClickHole publishes content in the form of articles, videos, quizzes, blogs, slideshows, and features.[13]

Since being founded in June 2014, ClickHole has published parodies of nostalgic content, advice, motivational quotes, sport analysis, life hacks, fashion, and think-pieces (all of which mimic the style and tone of content posted by media sites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy).[14][10] Another popular feature is "oral histories" of TV shows, websites, and other usually very recent pop culture phenomena.[15]

The ClickHole team meets frequently to brainstorm about new ideas and topics that can be written about. The team uses social media feeds as inspiration for topics to satirize, based on the clickbait that is shared most often.[10] ClickHole ensures that its employees put detail into how each topic should be addressed from a satirical point of view, so that its ideas are conveyed successfully. It also was revealed that the team is still at a stage where it is experimenting with ideas to see what is best received by its audience.[16]

Content posted on ClickHole also is shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.[12]

In February 2015, ClickHole began posting interactive fiction adventure games called ClickVentures.[17]

On February 23, 2017, ClickHole temporarily changed its name to Cruft. The change was unexplained, and the name was changed back the following day.[18]

On May 17, 2017, ClickHole was changed to PatriotHole, declaring itself to be "the only viral media site brave enough to SCREAM about REAL Americans" and "the internet’s last stand against the tyranny of the Leftist Media."[19] As PatriotHole, the site's journalistic style shifted to resemble fringe right wing news websites such as Breitbart and InfoWars.[20][18] The site's logo was changed from an orange spiral pattern to a white eagle with orange lines spanning between its wings. Two days later, the site changed back to normal, although PatriotHole was spun off into its own section.[21]

On August 29, 2017, PatriotHole introduced Doug Baxter as the host of its eponymous web video series which premiered on September 6, 2017.[22] The show features Baxter as a parody of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, parodying Jones's views on subjects like Hillary Clinton,[23] globalists,[24] 9/11 conspiracy theories,[25] and products sold through the InfoWars website.[26]

On May 9, 2018, ClickHole launched a new liberal-themed site called ResistanceHole, which has a similar theme to PatriotHole but targets liberal news media in its satire, and 'attacks' figures like Donald Trump and Mike Pence (as opposed to PatriotHole, which targets ones like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders).[27]

From January 31, 2022 through February 3, 2022, the website rebranded itself as KidHole and removed all of its previous content to replace it with more childish articles.[28]


Within the first week of release, some readers criticized ClickHole for what they saw as a lack of originality. It was accused of using Upworthy, The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed for inspiration for its headlines, slideshows, and quizzes respectively.[1] One hundred days after its launch, Fast Company praised the site, saying it was "earning praise from just about every corner of the Internet",[29] with 36% web traffic generated via sharing on Facebook. The format established by ClickHole is being emulated by some campus satirical newspapers, such as The Michigan Every Three Weekly[30] and The Georgetown Heckler with their spin-off.[citation needed]

Various writers predicted that the website will be a long-term success because its content has consistently been creative and targets a wide audience.[1] They assumed this to be the case as long as ClickHole's audience understand that the website parodies clickbait, and is not clickbait in itself.[10] Sam Parker of The Guardian said it was unclear whether ClickHole is "a satire of clickbait, or good satire done as clickbait".[1]

Many users of social media have taken ClickHole articles to be literally true (especially those addressing controversial topics), and have expressed their anger and confusion online.[31]

Celebrity recognition

Actor and director George Takei mentioned the website on his official Facebook account after the ClickHole team published an article dedicated to him ("10 Things We Hope George Takei Likes Enough To Share This List") and repeatedly tried to contact him through social media.[16][32] In another instance, the Facebook account of Robert Downey, Jr. posted a link to the article "What Robert Downey Jr. Would Look Like Today," which had the satirical premise of the actor having died several years ago and stating, "I always try to defy expectations."[33][34]

Writer and comedian B. J. Novak tweeted in March 2018 that the writers at ClickHole "are doing brilliant work."[35]

After falling for a fake quote attributed to him on ClickHole, Anderson Cooper dedicated the "Ridiculist" segment of the May 20, 2015, episode of Anderson Cooper 360° to the website.[36]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Parker, Sam (August 14, 2014). "Can The Onion's Clickhole learn from the viral-hungry websites it targets?". The Guardian. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Ingram, Mathew (June 12, 2014). "It's getting harder to tell what's satire these days, and The Onion's new site Clickhole isn't helping". Gigaom. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Notopoulos, Katie (February 3, 2020). "Cards Against Humanity Bought Clickhole". BuzzFeed News.
  4. ^ Oremus, Will (June 12, 2014). "Area Humor Site Discovers Clickbait", Slate. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Crouch, Ian (June 20, 2014). "Sucked into the ClickHole", The New Yorker, Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Zinoman, Jason (July 15, 2014). "The Latest News That Isn't John Oliver and Clickhole Take Fake News in Opposite Directions". New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  7. ^ Dewey, Caitlin (June 24, 2014). "The Onion Launched a Parody Site called Clickhole, and Not Everyone Got the Joke; What Happened Next Will Not Surprise You", Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Bellware, Kim (April 30, 2014). "The Onion Is Tired Of Click Bait, And What They're Doing Next Will Explain Everything". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Soren, Emma. "Inside 'The Onion's New Click-Bait Parody,". Splitsider. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d Oremus, Will (June 19, 2014). "Area Humor Site Discovers Clickbait". Slate. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Cards Against Humanity Bought Clickhole". BuzzFeed News.
  12. ^ a b "What is ClickHole?". ClickHole. June 12, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  13. ^ Etherington, Darrell (June 12, 2014). "The Onion's ClickHole Opens Its Traffic-Baiting Maw". Techcrunch. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  14. ^ Gallagher, Brenden (July 1, 2014). "A Look Back at ClickHole's First Month". Complex. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Oral History – ClickHole – Because all content deserves to go viral". Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Gayomali, Chris. "THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF CLICKHOLE: HOW CREATIVITY (AND GEORGE TAKEI) KEEP THE ONION-Y SITE SIZZLING". Fast Company. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  17. ^ Muncy, Julie (March 26, 2016). "How ClickHole Crafts the Web's Most Hilarious Adventure Games". Wired.
  18. ^ a b Tiffany, Kaitlyn (May 17, 2017). "ClickHole becomes PatriotHole to parody howling right-wing blogs". The Verge. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  19. ^ "What Is ClickHole?". June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on November 1, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  20. ^ Firozi, Paulina (May 17, 2017). "The Onion's Clickhole rebrands as PatriotHole to parody conservative sites". Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  21. ^ "ClickHole And PatriotHole Are Teaming Up To Profit Off A Fracturing America". May 19, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  22. ^ "Watch 'PatriotHole' Starting 9.6.17" – via
  23. ^ "SHADOW MONEY: The Clinton Foundation Has Spent Billions Of Dollars To Discover A Way For WOMEN To Have Sex With EACH OTHER". ClickHole. September 20, 2017.
  24. ^ "RED ALERT: GLOBALIST BILLIONAIRES Have Arranged A SECRET MEETING In Davos Where They're ALL HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME!". ClickHole. October 5, 2017.
  25. ^ "DOUG BAXTER REVEALS THE TRUTH ABOUT 9/11". ClickHole. September 11, 2017.
  26. ^ "PatriotHole Exclusive: Protect Yourself At Your Most Vulnerable With PatriotHole Toilet Armor". ClickHole. September 14, 2017.
  27. ^ "ClickHole Joins the Fight Against Drumpf with the Launch of ResistanceHole". Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  28. ^ Clark, Anne Victoria (2022). "KidHole Is Over, But Also, Long Live KidHole". Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  29. ^ Gayomali, Chris. "THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF CLICKHOLE: HOW CREATIVITY (AND GEORGE TAKEI) KEEP THE ONION-Y SITE SIZZLING". Fast Company. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  30. ^ Flynn, Michael (February 11, 2015). "Unable to reach wider audience, Every Three Weekly featured in The Michigan Daily". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  31. ^ Dewey, Caitlin (June 24, 2014). "The Onion launched a parody site called Clickhole, and not everyone got the joke. (What happened next will not surprise you.)". Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  32. ^ "10 Things We Hope George Takei Likes Enough To Share This List". Lifestyle. September 16, 2014.
  33. ^ "I always try to defy expectations. -Robert Downey Jr". Facebook. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  34. ^ "What Robert Downey Jr. Would Look Like Today". Lifestyle. January 12, 2015.
  35. ^ "BJ Novak on Twitter". Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "Anderson Cooper fooled by satire site". CNN. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.

Further reading