The Phaserl



by Daniel Lang, The Daily Sheeple:

After the results of last year’s election came in, the hacks in the mainstream media struggled to find an explanation for how Trump could have been elected. They simply couldn’t fathom that voters would choose someone other than the establishment pick. In their angst, they threw up their hands and declared that the people had been bamboozled by “fake news,” a vague and poorly defined term that just so happened to include every news source that disagreed with them.

What followed was a veritable witch hunt against every alternative news source, and it culminated when Facebook developed an algorithm that would dampen the spread of fake news. Though the fake news witch hunt may have saved their egos, it appears to be hurting their bottom lines.

For instance, take a look at what happened to the Chicago Tribune after Facebook unleashed its fake news algorithm in December. Surely they thought that they were a legitimate source of news, but the algorithm begs to differ. The newspaper reports that despite the fact that their fanbase is growing on Facebook, the number of posts that are actually being read is plummeting.

In December of 2016, we had only 8 posts with 10,000 reach or less. In January of 2017, that had grown to 80. In February, 159. And in March, a ridiculous 242 posts were seen by fewer than 10,000 people. And while late 2016 saw record lows in that lowest quartile, that 242 is far above any prior month in our dataset. And we were seeing a steady decrease in that 25,001 to 50,000 quartile. That had gone from 248 in January 2016 to 141 in March 2017.

So as the number of posts with low readership drastically increased, the number of posts that performed well suddenly plummeted, and this all occurred immediately after Facebook implemented its new algorithm. This is what happens when you lead a crusade against something that is poorly defined and completely subjective. It doesn’t take long before you become the target of your own witch hunt.

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