Netflix’s tense mystery miniseries ‘Clickbait’ takes viewers down a rabbit hole of online social profiles and the dark impulses the apparent anonymity of the internet brings out in people. The show’s central mystery starts as a kidnapping but soon devolves into a murky and layered crime that seems to take place as much online as it does in the real world. A video of the kidnapped victim, Nick Brewer, soon surfaces, with the man holding a placard saying, “At 5 million views, I die.” A strange and mysterious figure named Simon Burton seems to have a hand in the kidnapping, but does he actually kill Nick as the video claims? And why does Simon spend all day speaking into his computer? Let’s take a look at this enigmatic character. SPOILERS AHEAD.
What is Simon Burton’s Job?
Simon Burton spends his days at work staring at seemingly random photos and video clips and reacting to them with words like “delete” and “ignore.” In his brief initial conversation with the police, we find that he is, in fact, a content moderator. Therefore, he is actually looking at content and verifying whether it is suitable for whichever platform it is on or not. We also see him mark a particular video clip as “pervert,” which likely means that it is rejected. The company that Simon works for is called Klonis, but more importantly, it is his internet-focused job that seems to hint at the man’s technical prowess that comes into play when Nick’s video goes viral.
Did Simon Burton Kill Nick Brewer?
Simon Burton, to avenge his sister Sarah’s suicide which he believes is caused by Nick’s callous behavior with her, kidnaps Nick and holds him hostage in a van. There, he films a video of Nick holding placards that say that he is an abuser of women and has also murdered a woman (which refers to Sarah). One of the placards also says, “At 5 million views, I die,” which becomes one of the show’s central conundrums as the video goes viral largely because of this ominous promise.
When the authorities try to take the video down, they realize that the website is hosted in Macedonia, where they do not have any jurisdictions, making it impossible to take the video down that keeps ticking closer and closer to Nick’s apparent murder. This kind of tech wizardry of making the video untraceable and unblockable can likely be attributed to Simon’s job and seeming affinity for technology (he also spies on his sister through a hidden camera).
When the police finally apprehend Simon, he confesses to kidnapping Nick but shockingly claims not to have murdered him. Even though the authorities refuse to believe him, in the end, Simon is proved right as Nick is found to have been murdered by his colleague Dawn’s husband, Ed. Simon says that he eventually realized that Nick wasn’t the one that was in contact with his sister, and therefore let him go. It is unknown exactly when Simon changes his mind and decides not to kill Nick, but we do see him repeatedly doubting his actions as Nick pleads with him and says that his identity has been stolen and that he (Nick) was not the person controlling the profile that drove Simon’s sister Sarah to suicide.