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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No one wants Fake News

The media appears to have finally converged itself into a corner:
The mass migration of advertising to U.S. technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has hammered revenues while more than half the world’s population now has access to news via an internet connection.

But will people actually pay for news?

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report that most people would not pay for online news and that there had been only a small increase in the proportion of people willing to do so in the last six years.

Even among those who do pay, there is “subscription fatigue” - many are tired of being asked to pay for so many different subscriptions. Many will opt for films or music rather than pay for news. So some media companies will fail.

“Much of the population is perfectly happy with the news that they can access for free and even amongst those who are willing to pay, the majority are only willing to sign up for one subscription,” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute, said by telephone.

“A lot of the public is really alienated from a lot of the journalism that they see - they don’t find it particularly trustworthy, they don’t find it particularly relevant and they don’t find it leaves them in a better place.”
Why would anyone pay to be told what isn't true? The advertising model propped up the mainstream media and allowed it to fold, spindle, and otherwise mutilate the truth because there was no direct link between the news consumer and the news provider. Now that Google and Facebook have broken the advertising model, and Amazon has taught people to go direct to the source, the ABCNNBCBS cabal is discovering that they don't actually have any real fans.

People will pay for quality content. People will pay for truthful content. Unauthorized is proof of that. But they won't pay to be insulted, mocked, despised, and deceived.

"If they want to convince people to pay for their journalism then they must convince people that the journalism they publish has value for them, for the public."

Good luck with that.

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65 Comments:

Blogger Lushtree June 12, 2019 11:50 AM  

"Why would anyone pay to be told what isn't true?"

Maybe most people will not pay for fake news, but I think that is actually the modern scientific community's business model.

Blogger Gregory the Great June 12, 2019 11:50 AM  

"The success of Unauthorized.tv being a perfect example for this". Rasmus Kleis Nielsen added, but this went unreported.

Blogger Joel Oafsteen June 12, 2019 11:52 AM  

Infowars and Drudge Report are all that's necessary. The rest is just chaff.

Blogger Arthur Isaac June 12, 2019 11:52 AM  

Not going to pay for Red Shield news or any of their many affiliates.

Blogger Noah B. June 12, 2019 11:59 AM  

Soon all the news channels will be indistinguishable from the Home Shopping Network.

Blogger Joel Oafsteen June 12, 2019 12:03 PM  

Isn't all news based out of Tel Aviv anyway?

Blogger Ron June 12, 2019 12:04 PM  

Unauthorized News.

Blogger Nostromo June 12, 2019 12:12 PM  

Drudge will be de-platformed. Not paid opposition, hence, untrustworthy to the cabal. And so the media becomes an even bigger echo chamber of leftist scolds, scolding each other. God's punishment for the wicked is often diabolical. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Blogger Silent Draco June 12, 2019 12:12 PM  

No ads, just subscribers. Give the subscribers what they Want and need. What a concept.

Blogger VD June 12, 2019 12:14 PM  

Unauthorized News.

Give us about a year....

Blogger Longtime Lurker June 12, 2019 12:14 PM  

ABCNNBCBS.

One Voice. Nobody listens.

Except Democrats and Leftists.

Which gives ABCNNBCBS false hope.

Suckers.

Blogger wahsatchmo June 12, 2019 12:14 PM  

One of my clients is a local newspaper publisher. Their advertising business has been getting killed over the past five to ten years. Local reporting sells papers well in the cities filled with retirees, but newspaper advertising in the bigger cities is becoming nonexistent. They've switched their online publications to a paywall subscription with some measured success. But without the advertising dollars, it's a totally different business.

Their billboards are still doing well though, and their sign printing business is improving. Big physical ads still have an impact.

Blogger Damelon Brinn June 12, 2019 12:22 PM  

The MSM aggressively push their product into your face for free 24/7, not only through their own outlets but on social media and by their followers re-posting it elsewhere. You have to pay NOT to receive it, by avoiding mainstream outlets and using alternative, sometimes for-pay, sources of information. Even if they weren't lying all the time, that's no way to indicate your product has value.

I read that the Democrats are pushing a bill to give Big Media an anti-trust exemption that would help them in a battle against Big Social. Unless I misunderstand something, they're going on the offensive against the companies that amplify their message and help them to control the narrative. Interesting.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 12, 2019 12:32 PM  

Why would anyone pay to be told what isn't true?

This question hasn't remotely begun to permeate to the level of "higher" ed, has it? That's a place where people pay good money (or more often are on a Pell Grant, not to mention a full "diversity-inclusive" scholarship covered by moron alumni) to be told fiction AND fantasy.

TV (or anything video) news is the perfect medium for an Idiocracy. The problem is that the dominant species of people in any Idiocracy don't actually produce anything of honest value, so their patronage, such as it is, remains irrelevant.

You can't fool all the people all the time, and once your message gets so far off Sanity Island that it's all Insanity Sea in every direction, your audience increasingly realizes YOU'RE the clowns who belong in straight jackets. This is the problem of ABCNNBCBS (and Fox, NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, etc.), they're navigating life from a map of reality so warped that even 10-year-olds point and laugh.

Restating this, when you can no longer tell the different between so-called News and The Onion, the value of the former is less than zero.

Blogger Barbarossa June 12, 2019 12:40 PM  

@14 Even worse for them, it's that the Onion and Babylon Bee actually offer a more insightful take on current events...and they make you laugh.

Blogger James Dixon June 12, 2019 12:47 PM  

> People will pay for quality content. People will pay for truthful content. Unauthorized is proof of that. But they won't pay to be insulted, mocked, despised, and deceived.

Exactly. But even if I'm willing to pay, their idea of a reasonable price and mine are probably far apart. I'd be willing to pay $10-$25/year for an honest, reliable news feed, not $10-$25/month.

Blogger LZ June 12, 2019 12:50 PM  

The cable companies should up their funding for C-SPAN and have it do a public news feed (full reproduction rights for bloggers, etc.). They could destroy legacy media once and for all.

Blogger Dave June 12, 2019 12:54 PM  

eff Drudge

Use Infogalactic News if for no other reason the witty headlines and Whatfinger News for volume.

Blogger Doktor Jeep June 12, 2019 12:55 PM  

Well as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Blogger Johnny June 12, 2019 1:07 PM  

Along with not telling the truth we now have social ethics that prohibit telling the truth. Like, is it really a good idea to import the followers of Islam from Somalia?

Blogger kurt9 June 12, 2019 1:09 PM  

People will pay for good investment news. That's why Barron's, WSJ, and MarketWatch can successfully charge for premium content. People are not going to pay for any other kind of news, especially when it is all made up crap from leftist weenies.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 12, 2019 1:13 PM  

Per an earlier blog post, the very existence of a time when "the news" was honest is apocryphal and likely fiction itself. [AKA all history is bunk, including the myths that pass as the History of the American Revolution.]

The News has always Told People What They Want To Hear; the problem with today is that America is now two very different populations, those populations exist in almost entirely different (perceived) universes and The News caters to the one sailing blithely toward a Jim Jones People's Temple endgame.

Blogger Ferdinand June 12, 2019 1:21 PM  

If they get into real danger of mass failure, governments will bail them out. They need the legacy media to shill for them and control the narrative. Maybe they will make a giant public print and internet media "service" like the BBC is with TV, and just try to censor or discredit the rest.

Blogger James Pyrich June 12, 2019 1:26 PM  

@11 to wit: https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/980271401138520064

Blogger James Pyrich June 12, 2019 1:28 PM  

What makes the irony of their subscription model even richer is that they are asking for money from the kinds of people who want everything for free.

Blogger Nate73 June 12, 2019 1:32 PM  

How did amazon teach people to go to the source? I didn't understand that.

Someone pointed out that the journo that wrote the NYT story was mad as a hornet in a different article about all the ad revenue people get on youtube for using their articles. But... listening to someone's opinion on the news is about as valuable as the news itself is it not?

Blogger James Dixon June 12, 2019 1:38 PM  

> People will pay for good investment news.

Yes. Unfortunately Vox's frequently stated "No one knows anything" applies tenfold in the investment arena. Seeking Alpha is a good place for free info. The Motley Fool used to be good, but has gone commercial and fallen off quite a bit.

> ...the very existence of a time when "the news" was honest is apocryphal and likely fiction itself.

At one time they didn't try to hide their biases and claim impartiality. Hard to believe, I know.

> But... listening to someone's opinion on the news is about as valuable as the news itself is it not?

Depending on the person, possibly more valuable.

Blogger RobbertonBobberton June 12, 2019 1:41 PM  

Even if they're replaced with something that actually reports the truth, or at least what they discover to be true, they would definitely need a replacement for the label "journalist." After the last few decades most people are right to treat them with scorn and contempt, believing nothing out of their mouths or anything they've written. It would be fun, I think, to replace it with something distinguishing, something along the lines of "Inquisitor," "interrogator," or even "agent."

Blogger dc.sunsets June 12, 2019 1:49 PM  

At one time they didn't try to hide their biases and claim impartiality. Hard to believe, I know.

When someone has to tell you (over and over) how honest they are, you know what's going on....

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 12, 2019 2:22 PM  

I can't imagine what things will look like in 20 years when most of the Boomers are gone. Other than entirely different than now.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 12, 2019 2:34 PM  

Subscriber to David the Good's channel, happy with that.

Blogger Ron June 12, 2019 2:51 PM  

True. Who would have imagined a president Trump twenty some years ago?
Oh wait, The Simpson's did in 2000.

Blogger Mark V June 12, 2019 3:35 PM  

The advertising model resulted in the cancer that is click-bait and the new virtue signalling religion of the elite atheists has resulted in journalists being replaced by activists.

Blogger Balam June 12, 2019 3:49 PM  

Mark V wrote:The advertising model resulted in the cancer that is click-bait and the new virtue signalling religion of the elite atheists has resulted in journalists being replaced by activists.

And that's a good thing. Here's why.

Blogger Noah B. June 12, 2019 3:52 PM  

If they get into real danger of mass failure, governments will bail them out. They need the legacy media to shill for them and control the narrative.

Definitely. One way the government could provide a backdoor bailout is to give tax credits to businesses that advertise with the fake news. I bet they already have the bill written.

Blogger Zaklog the Great June 12, 2019 3:53 PM  

I watched your recent video in which you mentioned student debt. Wouldn’t student debt forgiveness effectively be punishing the people who were responsible & either didn’t borrow or paid back their loans? I mean, the money they were supposed to pay is going to come from somewhere, and if not from they debtors, it will, dispersed, be sucked up from the public at large.

Blogger cpenn June 12, 2019 3:58 PM  

One news station that seems to be mostly honest reporting is One America News. I subscribe to a tiny subscription service that includes them in their line up for a reasonable $8 a month. Otherwise I pick and choose info from the web and try to determine if it is real or not. Tedious work to know what is really going on.

Blogger tublecane June 12, 2019 4:05 PM  

The most common defense of the Dinosaur Media I hear is that they can fund professionals who work for extended periods on in-depth investigations. Whereas social media is all superficial and just people yelling into echo chambers, or whatever. And okay, maybe there's a one-in-a-hundred reporter like Seymour Hersh who does worthwhile stuff. Or one in a million like H.L. Mencken who will actually be read a century after he's dead.

Otherwise, you find out lots of giant stories are just informants handing everything to the reporter. Watergate, Edward Snowden, etc. The news outlets are the medium these people chose to get the story out. But they could just publish it themselves now. Or go through Wikileaks.

This informant model makes the MSM little better than gossip mongers in many cases. Throw in the advertisers and political slant, the MSM is basically three things: propaganda machine, special interest protector, and gossip rag. All three of which incentivize suppression of information.

Alternative means of publicizing information that might otherwise have been ignored or concealed alone justifies the extinction of Dinosaur Media.

Blogger Steve Samson June 12, 2019 4:31 PM  

That's the best thing I've read all day.

Blogger tublecane June 12, 2019 4:35 PM  

@14- People don't pay universities to tell them untruths. At least not like 90% of them. Having to listen to untruths is part of the bargain, but mostly the students are there to gain credentials. Or they're just biding time.

Blogger sammibandit June 12, 2019 4:44 PM  

@Zaklog, while that's true it's not savvy. Your argument is premised on college students being a cohort, a group of their own, of which former debt holders are a subset. None of the larger groups benefits much when there is a large portion of the group effectively adolescentized by debt slavery.

Blogger Wraithburn June 12, 2019 4:46 PM  

@36

I don't think so. If Visa forgave someone's credit card debt because they couldn't pay, you would not get all mad for the ones who did pay. It's between Visa and the debtor, not some uninvolved third party. Unless of course, you are trying to demand that the mercy they gave to one is required of another. That's silly on the face of it. We could even apply the Bible verse about the man paying workers a talent, and the ones who started at the beginning of the day complaining about his generosity to the late workers.

Same thing applies for the government which secured the student debt. The only difference here is that the gov nominally stands in place for the people. It's not *their* money, it's *our* money; how dare those bums not pay my taxes I already lost back to the government for them to squander on SJW projects in some other manner!

The money isn't there to get back from these people. Let it go, you weren't going to see your taxes come back if they paid the debts anyway.

Blogger VD June 12, 2019 5:06 PM  

Wouldn’t student debt forgiveness effectively be punishing the people who were responsible & either didn’t borrow or paid back their loans?

No. Not even a little bit. Why do you think a complete collapse of the economy will be to the benefit of people who didn't take out student loans?

Blogger Don't Call Me Len June 12, 2019 5:13 PM  

"Forgiving" student loans would be a far great benefit to the average American than say, bailing out Wall Street when their reckless betting goes bad.

Tax revenues haven't covered expenditures for quite some time, so it'd just be another trillion or so on top of the current $23 trillion debt, so why not? It would certainly be of far greater benefit to us than all the lucre poured down the endless pit of imperial occupations and wars for Israel.

Blogger Noah B. June 12, 2019 5:37 PM  

"Otherwise, you find out lots of giant stories are just informants handing everything to the reporter. Watergate, Edward Snowden, etc. The news outlets are the medium these people chose to get the story out. But they could just publish it themselves now. Or go through Wikileaks."

Those were the good old days. In the last several years the big media outlets have started to just pretend like they have secret sources and they write whatever the hell they want. Look at how much of what they've written about Trump has turned out to be completely fictitious.

Blogger Mark Stoval June 12, 2019 5:56 PM  

Here is of the the mainstream media's problems. They want to lie to promote their agenda but recall the USA is a mongrel collection of various nations(*), groups, ideologies, backgrounds and so on. I don't see how you can push a mythology that would appeal across the spectrum; and if you want to try you would need way smarter people than work for the media these days.

(*) Nation: People who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, religion, and history.

Blogger Gettimothy June 12, 2019 6:00 PM  

Blogs are Wanninski's margin; The tail of the normal distribution where the next differential of knowledge is posted for free.

The median "news" will be years behind the bloggers.

Also, check out https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com on the ebola outbreak.


Maunder Minimum, late planting in the heartland, jews importing congolese into Christiandom...

Fox and CNN are behind the curve.

Blogger Frank Lee June 12, 2019 6:35 PM  

The MSM can make money through advertising, even through lies. The problem is, they have to make entertaining content, even entertaining lies. And increasingly they can't manage to do that.

The reason they are desperate for subscriptions is to charge people for content (lies or not) that they simply don't want and won't read or watch. Netflix works, because it has just enough fun sci-fi and genre videos to get people to shell out a subscription. Then they can channel money made from Daredevil over to Obama to make documentaries that no one will see. Or to make some SJW series about a single mom who fights the patriarchy, which no one will watch.

Same with old school newspapers. Even back in the day, most people subscribed simply for the comics, sports and weather. They barely cared what the "real news" was, and usually flipped past it. Didn't really matter if it was lies or not, they weren't interested.

But increasingly, the New York Times and Washington Post have simply nothing to offer. They haven't even managed to come up with new cartoonists that anyone cares about. Or a good advice column, or anything. So increasingly, they are dependent on clickbait to keep their advertising up, but they don't want to go full out clickbait, because they still want people to pay for Opera reviews.

They're doomed.

Blogger Dan in Georgia June 12, 2019 6:36 PM  

Drudge is getting tedious. He’s kinda outed himself, so it’s all gay pride all the time now.

If you don’t want people to think you’re gay, don’t go to Lakers games with Ann Coulter.

Blogger Dan in Georgia June 12, 2019 6:50 PM  

Without the ability to bankrupt on student loan debt, college loans turn into indentured servitude. A lot like H1b visa holders who can’t quit their jobs or they get deported. And both situations make wages go down. How convenient for Big Tech.

Blogger wahr01 June 12, 2019 7:02 PM  

Plenty of people want fake news, so long as it caters to their confirmation bias and in so doing feeds their ego.

That's a vice that sells well.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine June 12, 2019 7:42 PM  

"Maybe most people will not pay for fake news, but I think that is actually the modern scientific community's business model."

Nah, they're mostly paid for by Govdaddy grants. The Fed collapses, they go goodbye. Their only fallback would be the university system that's failing just as fast.

"Wouldn’t student debt forgiveness effectively be punishing the people who were responsible & either didn’t borrow or paid back their loans?"

Only if "forgiveness" was Govdaddy paying off the bill instead of, you know, extending bankruptcy proceedings to give fraudulent university systems the shaft.

Blogger Edgar Abbey June 12, 2019 8:26 PM  

The new model is citizen reporting via social media. No one trusts the mainstream media. But people will watch a video or read a twitter thread from a citizen at the scene. Until that person gets banned.

Blogger JGP June 12, 2019 8:34 PM  

@23 @35 The Canadian government under Trudeau is already on the way. They have a $500 M fund to support "responsible" news sources i.e. those that don't criticize the Liberals or at least are on board with the SJW narrative.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 12, 2019 9:34 PM  

Zaklog the Great wrote:I mean, the money they were supposed to pay is going to come from somewhere, and if not from they debtors, it will, dispersed, be sucked up from the public at large.
That's really not how debt works. But if you want someone to pay for the load forgiveness, how about a tax on University endowments? Say 10% of the value of the endowment, every year until the debt generated by that institution is paid off. Simple, direct, punishes the exploiters, and great rhetoric.

Blogger SirHamster June 12, 2019 9:47 PM  

Zaklog the Great wrote:Wouldn’t student debt forgiveness effectively be punishing the people who were responsible & either didn’t borrow or paid back their loans?

Wouldn't setting slaves free punish the slaves who purchased their own freedom?

No, it wouldn't. It punishes the slave (debt) holder.

Maybe the slave (debt) holder tries to pass that on to someone else, but that's not a direct result of the jubilee.

Blogger Toris June 12, 2019 11:45 PM  

"Why would anyone pay to be told what isn't true?"

I guess 'unwittingly' is the key. Story of most peoples lives! Even before 'International Mind' forging of movies, tv shows, magazines, news, music, etc., people happily paid to read novels, articles and the like selected/incepted/funded by the same liberal internationalist 'world peace/world order' crew. Few years ago we should have had documentaries celebrating the 200th anniversary of all the Peace Societies and related kin, highlighting the phenomenal, largely unknown by masses, influence they have had on creating the international mind necessary for their wonderful utopia.

Blogger Zaklog the Great June 13, 2019 7:49 AM  

I admit, a lot of the things people are saying here in favor of that debt forgiveness sounds reasonable. I guess it just feels very strange to me. I could respond to a few specific points, but I think I'd be better just to sit and think about this one.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 13, 2019 9:10 AM  

@55 Taxing endowments is an excellent notion, with or without rationalizing it as covering student loan forgiveness.

Do social welfare programs "punish" those who make better choices (and are thus forced to pay for the welfare programs?) Are peaceful citizens victimized by crime twice, once by the the criminal and a second time by the prison system's cost to incarcerate him?

Those who expect justice and fairness in life chase pipe dreams.

As for college, those of us who paid out of pocket so our kids didn't graduate with loans paid the high costs driven by the mere availability of loans to others. We were already robbed at the point of sale. The price of a BA/BS went up 400% since my bachelor's degree, with all of that rise a function of credit creation and a social fad of willingness to borrow to the point of indentured servitude. Look at the *availability* of debt-driven spending...every industry deferentially favored by it has seen skyrocketing nominal prices (all things medical, M-I-C, welfare state admin, etc.)

It will all reverse together, but now that 3-month T-bill yields are (jaw-droppingly) in a daily and possibly weekly downtrend (again!??, even as stocks soar higher), that reversal apparently isn't near.

There's no reason, no rationality, no logic in human social behavior.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 13, 2019 9:27 AM  

I stand corrected. I could have acquired a state-school B.S. for perhaps $10k. The same B.S. now is probably about $100-120k.

Of course, back then you couldn't get a degree in Black Studies, Women's Studies, Queer Studies or a hobby like Photography. But then again, you could get a degree in English Lit or any of the music performance gigs.

A fool and his money are soon parted, but when money has been bastardized this thoroughly that aphorism becomes rather vague.

In a FIAT monetary regime debt ownership is the fastest, easiest way to obtain phenomenal wealth. It is a banker's wet dream, a system where he can create a product at zero cost, lend it and charge rent, in essentially infinite quantities. The only limit is how many rubes can be lined up to borrow, so laws were changed (or not enforced) to encourage borrowing on a scale never imagined prior to the 1970's.

The political system exists almost exclusively to provide a bottomless well of borrowing demand. The Democrat system is essentially creating a vast army of demand (HIV research, welfare, NGO programs, industrial supports, ag supports, basically turning every man, woman and child into a dependent client in one way or a dozen ways) and putting it all on the National MasterCard so that (((MasterCard))) gets to rake in the vigorish.

I struggle to stop caring about how high this insane system can rise.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd June 13, 2019 11:31 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:I struggle to stop caring about how high this insane system can rise.

We can't afford to assume it will continue, and we can't risk betting it will crash soon.

Blogger Balam June 13, 2019 11:51 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:dc.sunsets wrote:I struggle to stop caring about how high this insane system can rise.

We can't afford to assume it will continue, and we can't risk betting it will crash soon.


Think of it like a 'Shepard's Tone', a auditory illusion sound which continuously sounds like it's getting lower and lower but is really not getting lower.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=DfJa3IC1txI

The nature of the enemy is lies and illusion and all the talk about "We'll hit the bottom soon" or "I don't need to lift a finger the system can't keep falling off a cliff forever!" is inducing helplessness by taking advantage of our rational preference that things have real conclusions and endings and fallout. In earthy evil reality, like the Shepard's Tone, the sound keeps playing forever and we descend lower and lower towards Hell expecting to get there one day but instead progressing there endlessly wondering how it can keep getting worse. Until one day someone simply hits the stop button and then you realize that it was a binary state of on/off sane/insane good/evil.

In terms of student debt I personally have wailed that the debt is so high and how can it keep rising and students are surely going to hit the limit of how much they can be enslaved. Then it keeps getting wores through stories where roommates of students are charged with the debt and it follows them forever they won't have children because they owe so much and surely it will ruin the nation someday. And like the musical tone which dives forever it will one day just turn off. The debt jubilee is declared, the downtrodden are set free and everyone moves on with their lives.

Blogger Sam Drucker June 13, 2019 1:21 PM  

It is already state-run media. Now the state will simply step in and prop them up outright. What are Americans going to do about it?

Blogger Ominous Cowherd June 13, 2019 7:55 PM  

Balam wrote:The nature of the enemy is lies and illusion and all the talk about "We'll hit the bottom soon" or "I don't need to lift a finger the system can't keep falling off a cliff forever!" is inducing helplessness by taking advantage of our rational preference that things have real conclusions and endings and fallout.

We need to be prepared for a big kaboom, without taking any steps which will greatly harm us if the big kaboom is delayed. We can be working to depozz our family, friends and neighborhood at the same time.

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 14, 2019 3:56 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:We need to be prepared for a big kaboom, without taking any steps which will greatly harm us if the big kaboom is delayed.

Bingo. There are a number of ways to do so. The small but growing "homesteading" movement is one. People getting back to the simple life, working hard. It's encouraging.

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