Facebook’s Retreat from News and Algo Change Panics Buzzfeed

Facebook’s Adam Mosseri announced last Thursday that it is getting out of the news business and going back to connecting people with personal stuff:

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers…” 

Good for people who want to share pictures of their cats, bad for media organisations that have a business model based on cat GIFs. Twitter’s stock price rose 5% on the news that they will now be the main social news platform…

For Buzzfeed and other Facebook traffic driven organisations this is bad news, Buzzfeed gets some 23% of their traffic at the whim of Mark Zuckerberg. Unsurprisingly Buzzfeed bought adverts on Facebook on Friday pushing soon to be lost users to download their app. At one time Buzzfeed were spending millions on Facebook adverts, they may well have to do so again if their content is dropped from the Facebook feed. In the political sphere those sites that specialise in clickbaity headlines designed to go viral on Facebook may see a drop in traffic…

Approximately 7% of Guido’s traffic is referred from Facebook. Twitter on the other hand drives 23% of our traffic, just behind Google on 24%. The Spectator and Breitbart also rely on Facebook for some ~7% to 8% of their traffic. Skwawkbox and The Canary rely on Facebook respectively for a massive ~40% and ~48% of traffic…

N.B. Traffic data sourced from Similarweb.

Canary: We Misrepresented the Facts About Laura K

Press regulator Impress has ruled that The Canary misled its readers with its story claiming Laura Kuenssberg was “listed as a speaker at Tory conference”. The story was BS and part of the left’s sad attempts to smear Laura K as biased. A correction on The Canary’s website this afternoon admits:

In the headline of an article first published at noon on 27 September 2017 The Canary stated “We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference”. In fact, as the remainder of the article made clear, Laura Kuenssberg had only been invited to speak at a fringe event. In misrepresenting those facts and in failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy prior to publication, The Canary breached the IMPRESS Standards Code. An updated version of the article, that was released at 16:50 on 27 September 2017, also breached the Code because it did not correct this significant inaccuracy with due prominence.

They even tried to get away without giving their correction due prominence, before Impress called them out on it. Embarrassing… 

Impress Board Members Shared Tweets Trolling Laura K

State-backed press regulator Impress is currently investigating The Canary for spreading fake news about the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. Given they are endorsed by the government, surely we can trust Impress to carry out a fair and proper probe, right? Or not. It turns out two members of Impress‘ board have shared tweets from loony Corbynista accounts trolling Laura K. Press Gazette has found Impress board member Maire Davies sharing crackpot tweets calling Kuenssberg the BBC’s “chief propagandist”:

While fellow Impress board member Emma Jones tweeted out a far-left Counterfire article ranting about Laura’s supposed bias, and another cartoon with her wearing a “Vote Tory” sign.

Impress is the state-endorsed regulator backed by the government. Time and time again it has been revealed as a sham organisation made up of press-hating, party political cranks and oddballs. Total joke that the Tories haven’t done anything about this.

Corbyn Backing Digital Media’s Insurgency Falters

After the election there was a lot of reporting about how pro-Corbyn digital media was the key to his success as they provided millennials with alternative news sources and had replaced the tabloid Tory press. The BBC’s Media Editor Amol Rajan told us breathlessly “the balance of power was shifting”. Rajan was right that after the election was announced in May, traffic to the likes of the leading pro-Corbyn insurgent The Canary exploded. To Guido’s consternation it overtook us as the most popular British politics-focused digital media news source, with double the traffic order-order.com generated during the election…

Guido is pleased to say that as of last week Guido has reclaimed the crown worn under his hat for years. Our agenda setting stories about the likes of Clive Lewis and Jared O’Mara have proven once again that getting good exclusive stories makes you king. According to industry analysis over the last 28 days we have comfortably outstripped our rivals:

That is not to say that The Canary is not an impressive new rival and an ever improving product. The caricature of it as “fake news” is not fair, it has made mistakes in the past, though they are happening less frequently. When the old Dead Tree Press characterise The Canary it as “hyper-partisan” it seems a bit rich coming from the declining competition. All competition is good for the consumer and we are fiercely competitive…

Canary and Evolve Politics Embarrass Themselves Again

Tough day at The Canary: the Corbynista site’s latest Laura Kuenssberg bashing piece has provoked widespread ridicule. The site claimed: “We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference.” Except Laura K wasn’t listed as a speaker, she was merely ‘invited’ – and indeed she had declined the offer. Rather than put a call in to the BBC to check, the Canary published and let their misleading story go viral. Their comrades at Evolve Politics went with it as well. Amusingly, dozens of complaints have been received by the Impress regulator…

Some journalists are speaking at Tory conference though. Owen Jones, for example. He’s not only invited but is a confirmed speaker at two events. We need to talk about Owen Jones. He’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party Conference…

BBC Promoting Cranks and Conspiracy Theorists

Fun times at the BBC at the moment. Last month the News at Ten promoted the fake D-Notice fantasists Skwawkbox, giving them an audience they could only dream of. This week The Canary, which repeatedly peddles false conspiracy theories, were on Radio 4 on Monday and are on Question Time tomorrow. In the US the liberal media holds fake news sites to account, rightly calling out their BS. Over here the BBC promotes them, legitimises them and fails to tell viewers about their fake news…

Last night Newsnight aired a 13 minute video investigating whether Leave.EU “hypnotised” – Newsnight’s word – the British public into voting for Brexit. The package, complete with comically sinister music, was based on a conspiracy theory by a tin foil hatted journalist called Carole Cadwalladr that a shadowy American company working for Leave.EU stole the referendum. This is bonkers. Leave.EU weren’t even the official Leave campaign. The swivel-eyed Remain media can’t bring itself to believe people voted Leave of their own accord, they want to believe it was stolen. The Beeb is giving credence to a huge amount of nonsense at the moment…

Canary’s “Batsh*t” Conspiracy Theory About Sun’s Front Page

Here’s the pro-Corbyn Canary claiming that “This was what The Sun chose to put on its front page in the aftermath” of the Manchester Arena attack. As Dominic Ponsford, the editor of the Press Gazette, put it, this is “Batsh*t reporting”.

Anyone who had the slightest understanding would realise that this was put out before the tragic news from Manchester broke. The actual front page splash in The Sun’s second edition was

At best the Canary is batsh*t crazy or more likely deliberately misleading readers out of left-wing malice towards The Sun. One reader is the Labour MP Barry Sheerman:

In reality News UK gave £100,000 to a fund for Manchester victims and Sun readers have so far donated £60,000 to the fund. Barry Sheerman is an idiot.



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Quote of the Day

John McDonnell does a funny:

“I’m told there are a group of KGB colonels who are suing The Sun for associating themselves with us.”

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