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FAKE NEWSFLOW: Are The NY Times, Guardian, And WaPo Buying Clicks? China Jumps From Trickle To Half Of All Traffic In Two Months

Last week the Failing New York Times published an article crediting Donald Trump and the controversial election for “more subscribers in three months than all of 2015,” claiming the addition of 276,000 new “digital-only” customers. The beleaguered publication owned by Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim is doing so well in fact that they are vacating 8 floors of their New York headquarters to generate “significant rental revenue,” as well as pushing lame Twitter ads offering 40% off subscriptions which state things like “Truth. It’s vital to democracy” and “The best independent journalism.”

While subscriber count may have allegedly increased, website traffic really didn’t start picking up until the first week in December. The Washington Post and The Guardian (UK) saw similar traffic trends around the same time, in stark contrast to most of their peers. A quick before-and-after illustrates the dramatic pickup in visitors:

Rankings at the beginning of December, 2016:

DecrankingsFinal

Rankings as of February 8th, 2017:

comparisonFinal

Traffic begins to pick up significantly around the middle of December for all three. Here’s a look at the overall picture compared to various other news outlets:

overall1

That’s odd. Now let’s take a look at each outlet’s traffic by country for the NYT, which shows significant increases in visitors from China, jumping from 5.1% to 49.2% of all site traffic in two months:

NYTBlockedFinal

What’s most interesting is that The NY Times has been completely blocked in China since 2012, and just last month Apple was ordered to pull two NYT apps from the App store despite users being unable to view content since the original 2012 ban. Per the NY Times:

When the Chinese government began blocking the Times websites in 2012, it also prevented users with Times apps from downloading new content.

People seeking to bypass internet filters have traditionally used VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks) which tunnel through China’s highly restrictive firewall, however China has been cracking down on VPN use for several years.

Now let’s take a look at the Washington Post and The Guardian, which are not blocked in China – jumping from virtually no traffic to 58.9% and 57% of site-wide visitors respectively.

WaPoOverTimeFinal1

 

guardianstatsFinal1

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, BBC.com experienced a similar boost, and others may have as well.

Not to overstate the obvious, but considering the URL 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.

In fact, Chinese state-owned JAC Motor and Mexican auto manufacturer Giant Motors, co-owned by NYT owner Carlos Slim, are jointly investing over $200 Million dollars to build SUV’s in Hidalgo, Mexico after President Trump’s continued spats with Mexico over the proposed border wall, as well as the demand-killing tariffs he claims will pay for it. Amazon, which shares an owner with the Washington Post, was recently granted permission by China to begin forwarding freight from Chinese merchants selling on its site, and they have also been allowed to operate Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the highly restrictive country.

While not much else is known at this point, the list of entities with the capability of pushing half the traffic to several major websites from Chinese domains seems rather short.

UPDATE: A user on 8chan found this: http://adage.com/article/media/washington-post-continues-debut-ad-produc…

Related??

Update II 02/17/2017: Looks like Alexa removed the country-specific data for the affected sites:

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27 comments

  1. sarcrilege

    Desperate moves by desperately failing entities.

    So it’s a Buy then? /sarc

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  2. GH

    > from Chinese merchants selling on it’s site

    selling on its* site

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  3. zeropointnow

    Thx.

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  4. brad

    That link is posted on reddit and is getting all the traffic

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  5. traderconfessions
    traderconfessions

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-hotel-saudi-arabia-234878

    Guess just a coincidence they stayed at Trump’s Hotel. Right? Pay for play? No concern here?

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  6. zeropointnow

    Weak sauce @trader. It’s a Washington (American) firm which lobbies for a shit-ton of interests – including Saudi Arabia, staying at a Trump hotel. That article you linked is straight up propaganda.

    The Saudis have a ton of lobbyists in Washington – including JOHN AND TONY PODESTA who had unfettered access to the White House for years. I guess you’d prefer the direct Saudi injection vs. nebulous dots being connected about hotel rooms.

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/lobbying-hires/298975-saudi-arabia-hires-tenth-lobby-firm

    @brad, this article is my work.

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  7. traderconfessions
    traderconfessions

    ZERO.. total bullshit.. so this firm HAD to have the 30 vets and others stay at TRUMP rather than at many less expensive hotels in the area? Nebulous? Come on.. really? Saudis are footing the bill. Zero.. King of The Trump Cucks.. Pathetic.

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  8. Paul

    Isn’t this more a commentary on Alexa’s data than the NYT?

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  9. zeropointnow

    @trader, still weak sauce. What does Trump, a Billionaire, stand to make on these rooms? Hotels have notoriously low profit margins – like 15%. Take 30 vets X $300 rooms = $9,000

    15% to the President = $1350 x 3 nights = $4050, or roughly two minutes of a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs.

    I have emailed the parties quoted in that story of yours to see if all that’s true anyway, and I couldn’t find the DOJ filing it refers to. In the meantime, are you suggesting that our Billionaire president is now a Saudi shill over pocket change?

    @Paul – we don’t know what’s going on with Alexa. It’s either bad data for all the affected sites, or something fishy is going on.

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  10. traderconfessions

    ZERO… think Trump was a Saudi shill before this.. who do you think was buying those multi-million dollar coops in Trump Tower and other locations? Just a coincidence Saudi wasn’t one of the banned countries when EVERYONE knows they bankroll ISIS and were the home of 9/11 hijackers. The stay at Trump was a blatant attempt to curry favor.. there is no other explanation. Trump loves money above anything. Don’t assume his wealth insulates him from influence. You’re a smart guy.. open your eyes.

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  11. zeropointnow

    CONFESSIONS

    1) The USA has incredibly deep financial and political ties with Saudi Arabia, including the stability they provide to the petrodollar, which is very important to the US Dollar. Twitter’s largest shareholder is Prince Al-Waleed. He’s also Citigroup’s largest individual shareholder. The same Citigroup that picked Obama’s 2008 cabinet.

    So there are obviously a lot of reasons the USA has looked the other way on Saudi Arabia’s documented, systematic, and state-sponsored human rights abuses – for many years and many administrations. There are neocons on both sides of the aisle, which is what much of the Trump movement has been about stopping.

    2) If we think like lawyers (or so I’ve been told to do), the list of 7 countries was the most legally defensible method of enacting any travel restriction at all. Because that list was originally created by the Department of Homeland Security under Obama, it’s far easier to defend in front of the Supreme Court – which is where it’s headed next. To randomly add countries for which there is no official precedent (Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, etc.) would make it far more legally vulnerable.

    Wouldn’t a Saudi shill insist on toppling Assad for that big ass pipeline that just got canceled?

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  12. chuck bennett

    Saudi Arabia funded ISIS and we helped.

    Obama was a part of it. You wanna question Trump? The guy who is hated by the Saudis? And who hates them just as much? Let me know when he bowls down and kisses his hand (Obama style). Bitch please…

    can you be any more partisan ? I almost forgot for a willfully blind cunt

    Regards

    Chuck Bennett

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  13. david cabin

    Interesting stats. Where did you get them?

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  14. david cabin

    … or did you just make all those stats up? It would be odd if your story about Fake News were itself Fake News. But you’d never do something like that, right?

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  15. zeropointnow

    Everything in the post is publicly available. Go to Alexa and look at the stats yourself. Then plug the URL into the wayback machine.

    You can see today’s data here:

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nytimes.com

    And visit the wayback machine for historical rankings.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20161201070649/http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nytimes.com

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  16. david cabin

    I see. That *is* interesting! Thank you.

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  17. Tom

    I was very pleased to seek out this web-site.I needed to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I undoubtedly enjoying each little little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

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