Friday, February 7, 2014

Scam Traffic Boosting Website Pays You to Read Guardian
Questions Raised Over Digital Advertising Revenue “Click Fraud”

SwagBucks is a Los Angeles-based “online rewards” website, which allows its 4 million users to make money by earning virtual currency for watching videos, completing surveys or clicking links, then exchanging it for cash. It is a ruse used by other websites to boost their traffic; they offer ‘SwagBucks’ for users who click on their links, boosting performance related advertising revenue. One website that appears on SwagBucks is theGuardian.com. As you can see below, users are being offered the chance to “earn an easy 1 SwagBuck when you watch 2 videos or read articles” on the Guardian website.

Click on the offer and you told you will have “1 SwagBuck awarded when you watch 2 videos or read articles from our trusted partners”. The links from the “trusted partner” go to videos on the Guardian website.

Digital revenue for the Guardian was reported to be up 28.9% to £55.9 million last year. Guido wonders what the Guardian’s advertisers, who pay up depending on how many impressions its website receives, think about its traffic being inflated by users being paid to read its content…

*NB Nobody we contacted from the Guardian admitted having any knowledge of Swagbucks.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Psycho Huhne’s Lecture on Loyalty

It is worth savouring Chris Huhne’s lecture to the Tories in the Guardian this morning. “Whatever happened to loyalty?” he hectors, with a straight face telling us how the LibDems are saintly but the Tories are experts in betrayal. He would know, having betrayed his own wife, his children, his party and knifed rival after rival down the years. Huhne’s column is becoming increasingly unhinged…

Thursday, January 30, 2014

D-Noticed Issued on Naming Spies

A D-Notice yesterday went out warning editors against naming spooks:

LEGAL NOTICE: DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE: IDENTITIES OF PERSONS CONNECTED
WITH THE SECURITY SERVICES – NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Please see below DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE

Editorial Legal Services

DEFENCE ADVISORY NOTICE

Private and Confidential:  Not for publication, broadcast or use on social
media.

To all Editors,

There have been a number of cases over the last 2 days where editors have
attempted to establish a link between a person’s identity and his
membership of the security services.  Any such linkage is likely to cause
a significant increase in the threat to a person’s life and to that of his
family, major disruption to current security operations and a significant
cost in attempting to relocate households.

May I take this opportunity to remind editors that DA Notice 05 advises,

inter alia, that the following should not be published:

‘…..   (b) the identities, whereabouts and tasks of people who are or
have been employed by these services or engaged on such work, including
details of their families and home addresses, and any other information,
including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile
organizations to identify a target…..’

No responsible editor would want to name serving spies active in the field surely? It’s not like the authorities are looking for an excuse to go round smashing up journalists’ laptops. Oh…

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Facts are Sacred

…reports the Guardian this morning. Today, under cross examination, Dan Evans has confessed Coulson never actually used that word:

C.P. Scott would be turning in his grave…

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guardian Sells Autotrader Stake for $1 Billion
Moment of Tax Truth for Guardianistas

In 2011 this blog ran a Guy News investigation into the Guardian’s offshore tax dodge in the Caymans. We followed it up in 2012 and Guido personally asked Alan Rusbridger and GMG plc’s CEO to explain the continuing holding of assets offshore. No reply was forthcoming. In 2012 we checked to see if GMG was still using GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, the controversial tax-exempt corporation which it set-up in 2007.

Subsequently in 2008 The Guardian claimed GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, a GMG-owned company, would be transferred into their investment partner Apax’s offshore structures, normally when this happens there is a name change. The name is unchanged to this day, strongly suggesting the ownership was unchanged. At the very least Apax/Guardian will have saved themselves $5 the million in stamp duty which would otherwise be due to HMRC by doing the transaction offshore:

No pronouncement from Polly Toynbee as yet. Guido is consulting beancounters on further tax implications of the deal…

Further reading on the Guardian‘s tax hypocrisy:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Michael White on Guardian: “How Petty We Can Be”

Fearless exposer or political wrongdoing and campaigner on behalf of the public Michael White reckons revealing the cost of MPs’ vanity portraits is beneath a respectable publication:

Clearly he hasn’t seen the front page of his own paper this morning:

20140114-085130.jpg

How petty. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Simon Hoggart 1947 – 2014

Guido particularly enjoyed one of Hoggart’s last pieces about learning Tony Benn ‘loathed’ him:

“To be loathed by Tony Benn is something any political writer of my age would sell their grannies for. I feel humbled by his hatred. He got almost everything wrong – not least the cuckoo behaviour that helped usher in Margaret Thatcher’s long reign. Or take his trip to the Chinese embassy after Mao’s death, recorded in an earlier volume of his diaries. He says that he was “a great admirer of Mao … he made mistakes, because everybody does”. True enough. I certainly do. But my mistakes do not make me possibly the greatest mass killer in history. Here are the figures: Number of innocent people who died in the Great Leap Forward, through Mao’s policies for the countryside and from mass executions: between 40 and 65 million. Number of deaths caused by me: 0. But Benn greatly admired Mao.”

RIP.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guardian Take the Dubya Defence on Unpaid Interns

The Guardian have tried to respond to Guido’s revelation that the moralising paper were advertising for unpaid interns:

“Guardian News & Media advertises editorial experience opportunities twice a year. These opportunities range from a few days to a maximum of two weeks and are not internships.”

Just because it is only two weeks? They are still expecting people to work for free. It’s disingenuous hair-splitting at best and exploitation at worst.

Like Dubya saying water-boarding isn’t really torture. 

Guardian US Boss Out After a Year

CEO of Guardian US Michael Bloom has quit. He had only been in the job for just over a year but Guardian Media Group have today announced he “will leave the company to pursue other opportunities”. No replacement has been lined up so new deputy chief executive David Pemsel is brought in to cover. It’s only the US market after all. Axe-wielding GMG CEO Andrew Miller insists the company is “firing on all cylinders”. Well quite…

Guardian Advertises for Unpaid Interns
After Claiming Exploitation is “Ruining Journalism”

The Guardian has been a vocal campaigner in sticking up for unpaid interns. Their pages have played host to an endless list of articles making clear where the paper stands. “Join the fight against unpaid internships”, they have urged“We shouldn’t have to work for free”, argued another piece. One article described unpaid internships as “institutional exploitation”, another claimed they are “unfair and open to abuse by vested interests”. Earlier this year the Guardian ran a brave piece arguing “unpaid internships and a culture of privilege are ruining journalism”. Strong words.

Today the Guardian is advertising for a limited number of editorial experience internships for next year. Successful applicants will be “getting involved in editorial activities”, so there is no dispute that they will be doing real work. For which, so say the Guardian’s own comment pages again and again, they deserve a fair wage. So how much is the Guardian offering?

“These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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