Sunday, March 05, 2017

Fake News, Fake Views

The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and other opposition media sites appear to be buying a significant percentage of their site traffic from China in order to preserve an appearance of relevance.
These dramatic increases in traffic have significantly bumped each site's Alexa ranking by as much as 38%, a key metric used in website valuation. Of note, experienced a similar boost, and others may have as well.

Not to overstate the obvious, but considering China's ban on the New York Times, one might conclude that this massive increase which now accounts for nearly half of all website traffic is some type of high volume traffic generating bot server unimpeded by China's restrictive firewall, synthetically inflating visitor counts for affected sites.

All three news outlets spent much of 2016 trying to influence the election in favor of Hillary Clinton with biased coverage and regular hit pieces against Donald Trump. Since winning the election, President Trump has declared war on much of the mainstream media - branding it the "opposition party," while remaining under heavily biased attack. China is no fan of the US President either; between the threat of tariffs and Trump's disregard for the long held "One China" policy over Taiwanese recognition, China has both economic and political reasons to try and mitigate the US President's tough talk.
 Alexa is easily manipulated. Bot servers aren't necessary. With the help of a handful of Dread Ilk, I goosed the US rank of VP 25,000 spots and put it into the top 5,000 back in 2014. It's readily apparent that the Fake News is desperate to maintain the illusion of their importance, which is why they have now resorted to reporting Fake Views.

To put into perspective how obviously fake their increase in traffic has been, the New York Times's percentage of total site traffic from China has gone from 5.1 to 49.2 percent in just two months. That's amazing, considering that the Carlos Slim blog has been blocked in China since 2012. In like manner, the Washington Post's Chinese traffic has risen from 2.9 to 58.7 percent, and the Guardian's from zero to 57 percent in the same two-month period.

The SJW Narrative is all lies, all the way down. Never, ever, accept anything they tell you at face value. As per the 3rd Law of SJW, when they said to "question everything", they were projecting.

UPDATE: Busted! This is the New York Times's Alexa rating over the last year. Apparently someone thought better of artificially inflating their traffic with fake views from China. The very same pattern can be seen with the other opposition media sites outed by Zerohedge.

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Blogger Shimshon March 05, 2017 6:07 AM  

I thought it was turtles all the way down.

Blogger Daisy Palmer March 05, 2017 6:23 AM  

Carlos Slim's fortune plunged by 4.7 billions since Trump won. How long is he going to be able to keep his little charade of a blog?

Anonymous Philipp March 05, 2017 6:33 AM  

Good news! Another sign how scared they are. People are noticing that they are fake news and stop reading and subscribing.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable March 05, 2017 6:34 AM  

Bloomberg says closer to $16 billion poorer.

Anonymous Looking Glass March 05, 2017 6:36 AM  

@2 Since the value of the real estate that the NYT owns has risen, it should be a roughly revenue neutral, if not profitable, venture. On the assumption they get rid of dead weight. So, a while.

Listening to Stefan, I had forgotten about the Left's reaction to the "Because you'd be in jail" line. Their response wasn't that it was wrong, but that jailing your opponents is "Banana Republic" stuff. It's ALWAYS projection with these folks. Always. Clearly they were covering for what they wanted to do.

Anonymous Anonymous March 05, 2017 6:48 AM  

OT: Berkeley antifa riots, assaults elderly Trump supporters.

Anonymous Rocklea March 05, 2017 6:56 AM  

If reading these sites has the same affects on the new chinese readers as it has on native born americans, they will all be wearing MAGA hats soon.

Anonymous Looking Glass March 05, 2017 7:03 AM  

@6 We also got a nice improvement in Situational Preparation from the Pro-Trumps. For the guy's good setup. (A good run at a sporting goods store is useful.) I really like the quick adaptation for some sort of baseball helmet. Enjoy the loop of breaking a dowel over an Antifa's head.

@7 Well, the Chinese know the use of a good wall.

Anonymous Jack March 05, 2017 7:15 AM  

I live in China. Can confirm: 1. NY Times is inaccessible here without a VPN, and anyone accessing it that way wouldn't show up as Chinese traffic anyway; 2. There are neither enough Chinese who read English nor enough Chinese who give a rat's ass about the NYT to account for such a traffic spike; 3. NYT is fake news.

You don't need to live in China to confirm number 3, but I confirm it anyway.

Blogger Lazarus March 05, 2017 7:20 AM  

I hope they are not charging advertisers based on these fake ratings. Might be a lawsuit thingy.

Anonymous Rocklea March 05, 2017 7:28 AM  

Fake ratings are the future for fake news. The Bernie Made-off advertising agency guarantees results if you get in on the ground floor. ROI's will be huge for the early birds.

Blogger Wanda Sherratt March 05, 2017 7:31 AM  

So while denouncing Trump for working with the Red Menace, the media are fraternizing with the Yellow Peril!

Anonymous CNN March 05, 2017 7:49 AM  

so lets be clear, today, 3/5 Vd is finally admitting that he has manipulated web ratings on have denied this in the past .. so are you lying now or lying then...? and if you could do it then, are you doing it now ? and what other places (amazon) are you done/doing this.?

Blogger Cinco March 05, 2017 7:50 AM  

My heavens, first the GOP in bed with the Russians now the Media is in bed with the Chinese... We need an investigation!!!

Blogger WrenchTurner March 05, 2017 7:56 AM  

Vox you put out so much content on a daily basis I check the site every couple of hours.

Blogger Mark March 05, 2017 7:57 AM  

This is the ol' Crockett charge writ large for media. I saw Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen run off a whole tribe of Cherokees just by working the perimeter of their camp hooting and hollering and making crazy like they had a thousand troops. Impressive! . . . But FAKE!!

Blogger Kristian Nevantausta March 05, 2017 8:12 AM  

HOLY SHIT FUCKING BUSTED! Are you seeing what I am now seeing behind these links?

That article is month old, updated two weeks ago and stuff has happened sonce! Alexa ranking of all three sites mentioned (found BBC too having the same pattern)goes sky high just as the Zerohedge article shows. Now the viewership has dropped to the level SAME LEVEL AS BEFORE THE SPIKE! And views from China have disappeared! Zerohedge updated the article week after saying that viewership by country isn't visible anymore, well now it fucking is again and the Chinese views have disappeared EXACTLY during the time it wasn't publicly available.

Blogger Mark March 05, 2017 8:16 AM  

The China Syndrome!

Anonymous BBGKB March 05, 2017 8:57 AM  

My heavens, first the GOP in bed with the Russians now the Media is in bed with the Chinese... We need an investigation!!!

The left & the cucks are behind the Home Depot dumpsters with Mexicans.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 05, 2017 9:06 AM  

It's funny the Chinese are willing to work people to death and run over children without a twinge of conscience, but even they won't subject their people to the Carlos Slim blog.

Anonymous kfg March 05, 2017 9:20 AM  

"Enjoy the loop of breaking a dowel over an Antifa's head."

A dowel is a poor choice for that reason. Note that from a legal standpoint it leaves you holding a more lethal weapon. A tool handle costs more, but that's because it has to be made with the grain aligned so it won't break.

Nothing like a good piece of hickory.

As per Kratman, grease the end of it so that it can't be grabbed easily:

Blogger Resident Moron™ March 05, 2017 9:45 AM  

Do you have, or can you get, the same figures for The Intercept. Because thise are some smug self righteous arseholes, and Id dearly love to put some ouncture wounds in their teflon self regard.

Blogger VD March 05, 2017 10:08 AM  

The Intercept is not guilty of any similar wrongdoing. See here.

Anonymous VFM #6306 March 05, 2017 10:43 AM  

Country-data for those sites now blocked at Alexa.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents March 05, 2017 10:48 AM  

What Scalizfied manboob at the Carlos Slim blog thought that manipulating Alexa in the short term would mean anything to anyone in the long run? These people are rather pathetic to me.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 05, 2017 11:02 AM  

Daisy Palmer wrote:
Carlos Slim's fortune plunged by 4.7 billions since Trump won. How long is he going to be able to keep his little charade of a blog?

Indefinitely, or at least as long as the deep-states pays him to keep it. I remember thinking what a crazy-assed business decision it was on the part of Bezos to buy a collapsing coprolite tower like the Washington Post. Turns out the CIA - funded by the Repuke cuckservile pedobears in congress (the "opposition" party) - paid him twice the selling price with tax monies collected from all the chumps out there well before the God-Emperor's ascension. The six media giants are all connected with the great counterfeiting machine, so all Slim has to do is drive through Aunt Janet's trash-for-cash discount window if he needs fake-money to keep his fake-news blog afloat.

I remember VD posted a story a couple of years back about how NSAbook generated fake views in order to charge more for advertising. They are people for whom lying comes more naturally than breathing does.

Anonymous Be the first to know! CNN Fake News March 05, 2017 11:07 AM  

CNN Fake News is now Fake Commenting on VP. Fake News at 11!

Will the CNN Fake Commenter post any Fake Comments concerning CNN Fake News consumer perception recently polling more negatively than the lowly MSNBC?

Anonymous EH March 05, 2017 11:19 AM  

Suddenly juicing your numbers like that is obvious to everybody, very dumb. Dumber than plausible, even - a steady ramp-up in traffic would be the obvious way to make the numbers look good, and you'd want to not change the geographic pattern and other statistics believable as well. It seems very odd that BBC, the Guardian, the Washington Post and the New York times would be so publicly, culpably, sue-ably stupid in exactly the same way, at exactly the same time in what looks like the same amount and pattern.

Now maybe they all had the same contractor who screwed things up for all of them in the same way. But at least as plausible is that this is actually a frame job, the news outlets are being set up to look like frauds. (Yes, people can be framed for things they actually did. It's one of the most frequent types of frame.)

For somebody who has a botnet for other purposes, such an operation would cost practically nothing. Whoever it was, well done.

Anonymous FKA Max March 05, 2017 12:24 PM  

Thanks for sharing and investigating this!

I noticed this a few months ago -- and was surprised and confused by it, since last I remembered the NY Times was mostly blocked in China -- but did not follow up on it.

This is a significant story, in my opinion, and needs to get out there.

I saw, that Youtuber Thunderf00t used Alexa data trying to prove that the NY Times was not failing in his following video (4 min. mark). I think somebody needs to let him know about this... I don't have Twitter, etc.:

Trumps UNHINGED press conference

Blogger Kristian Nevantausta March 05, 2017 12:36 PM  

Thunderf00t's data doesn't match with the curve presented in Alexa at the moment. It's like a chunk of it has been completely cut off from the beginning of January.

Blogger Michael Maier March 05, 2017 12:44 PM  

Isn't the whole internet economy bullshit anyway?

The NYT has gotten untold clicks from me for 20 years, but I've never bought anything from an ad I saw there.

Blogger Michael Maier March 05, 2017 12:45 PM  

To clarify: Bullshit from the perspective of any company ADVERTISING on the NYT site, not BS from the NYT's perspective.

Blogger William Meisheid March 05, 2017 1:10 PM  

Apparently someone thought better of artificially inflating their traffic with fake views from China.
Or, the money began to run out as they were outed so they have a double whammy. They are lower than when it started so they are losing regular viewers at a significant rate that the fake traffic can no longer cover.

Anonymous Tipsy March 05, 2017 1:16 PM  

Potemkin Billage

Blogger VD March 05, 2017 1:37 PM  

Now that is good, Tipsy. Well done.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey March 05, 2017 2:18 PM  

So the NYT, WaPo, and the Guardian engaged in a blatant fraud against both the public and their advertisers? I'm not surprised by this (though I would have been even 5 years ago). What does surprise me is that they engaged in a scam that could be, not only easily discovered by any reasonably intelligent person with an internet connection and a little curiosity, but proven beyond a reasonable doubt by that same person, without ever leaving their couch.

The question is, why such a ludicrously transparent scheme? Stupidity? Or chutzpah? The fact that they didn't bother to obscure the Alexa ratings by country until after the fraud was discovered would seem to indicate the former (isn't Alexa, like WaPo, a Bezos/ Amazon company?).

Or perhaps they figured it didn't matter, because no one in the legacy media would publish the story, and no law enforcement agency would take any interest in it. If so, they might be right. So far, I've only seen this story in Zero Hedge, Daily Stormer, and here.

Blogger Resident Moron™ March 05, 2017 2:55 PM  

VD wrote:The Intercept is not guilty of any similar wrongdoing. See here.


Well, thanks anyway.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 05, 2017 3:16 PM  

… isn't Alexa, like WaPo, a Bezos/ Amazon company?

Just try, if you can, to imagine the profound depth of my shock and at this outrageous fraud!

Blogger Doc Rampage March 05, 2017 5:28 PM  

Francis Parker Yockey wrote:Or perhaps they figured it didn't matter, because no one in the legacy media would publish the story, and no law enforcement agency would take any interest in it. If so, they might be right.

You don't need law enforcement for civil suits. If you wanted to make a big deal about this, you could email all of the advertisers to inform them that they were being cheated. Surely some of them would sue.

Anonymous Post Alley Sock Puppet March 05, 2017 6:19 PM  

Inflating the numbers is necessary so everyone playing the advertising game continues to keep paying to play it.

What better way than to hire a botnet to keep pumping those numbers so the smaller players don't make so much of a big stink that they drive off the larger players that keep the whole dishonest enterprise going?

Check out this bit from Krebs on Security for one example of the concept already in action:

Krebs on Security --
"Report: 3-5M USD in ad fraud daily from 'Methbot'":

An excerpt from the article:
"Experts say the scam relies on a vast network of cloaked Internet addresses, rented data centers, phony Web sites and fake users made to look like real people watching short ad segments online."

So there you go: they actually need the advertising fraud in order to stay in business, so they won't be too particular about whether it's coming from inside the business or outside it.

In fact, if it's coming from outside the business, that simply lends itself to more plausible deniability.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey March 05, 2017 6:33 PM  

@Doc Rampage
"You don't need law enforcement for civil suits... Surely some of them would sue."

True. Perhaps poor wording on my part-- should have said "the judicial system." It seems rather unlikely that the advertisers are in on the scam. The culprits still would have to be either not very bright, or very confident in their ability to shut down any problems if their scheme was revealed.

Anonymous Anonymous March 05, 2017 8:13 PM  

Zerohedge reports that Alexa is now hiding the country by country data for these newspaper websites.

Blogger Tom K. March 05, 2017 8:26 PM  


I went to Alexia direct from the website using the Alexia widget on my browser and saw the screen Vox posted.

Ten minutes later, I entered "" into Alexia's searchbar and loaded TOTALLY DIFFERENT numbers for the site's popularity!

I don't know how to post my screenshot into my comments so I'll just report the numbers. It's AMAZING the difference!

Global Rank: 30,484
Rank in U.S.: 10,761(NOT 26!!!!)

In what I assume is the axis measuring unique daily visitors it shows LESS than a paltry 30,000 unique visitors a day!

DAMN! That's a SLAM!

Makes me think I'm reading it wrong, the difference is so dramatic!

Blogger Tom Kratman March 06, 2017 11:00 AM  


I used that gif for a column, thanks. Do we know where the event took place?

Blogger John Regan March 06, 2017 1:18 PM  

Translation: it's going away.

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