Thursday, April 2, 2020


Have you ever taken the time to browse these stupid pro-Trump meme accounts on Instagram?

I'm looking at one now called @TrumpNation20.  It has a total of 1,200 posts and 42.8k followers. Some of the posts are pandering, with messages like 'If you're pro-life, give a follow.'  But then you have stuff like this:

That's bordering on out-right fakeness.  The quote isn't real. (If it were, there would be 10,000 Google results for it.)  And there's no real humor to it, either.  They're just claiming that a Congresswoman wants to do harm to Trump.  And then you've got responses from idiots like briannk3, who says "Threatening the President is a felony, I believe!" and marycrockettsleezer, who says "Isn't that a threat against the President? Thought you got thrown in JAIL for that."


Anyway...I'm curious who runs these various accounts.

The @TrumpNation20 account contains a discount link in its bio to the website, which apparently is a company in Raleigh, North Carolina that makes American hats.  I don't necessarily think the two are connected.  I mean, look at the rest of the bio for @TrumpNation20:
⚠️AOC doesn’t want you to follow us⚠️
Conservative 🐘
America First πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Pro-Life πŸ‘Ά
Pro-Gun πŸ”«
R.I.P @trumpnation2020 1-3 πŸ’”
"America First US"????   Would a person from Raleigh really write something that janky? 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

New York Times under attack!

A campaign is targeting the staffers of the New York Times:

This campaign will....unearth old tweets and try to embarrass the staffers?  Or something?  The memo is a little light on specifics.  I'm assuming such a "campaign" would look similar to what happened to Sarah Jeong last year. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Here's another plagiarism website:

A few days ago it published an article titled "There's Only One Surviving Blockbuster Left on Planet Earth"
The text was copied from a Gizmodo article from March 5, 2019, titled "There's Only One Surviving Blockbuster Left on Planet Earth"
I didn't see any ads on the DailyAmericanBuzz article, but there was this annoying "Mailchimp" pop-up:

When I tried clicking the "x", a new tab opened up.  The tab went to this URL...
Then it redirected here...
After I'd closed the new tab, I was able to click the "x" and close the Mailchimp pop-up.

I wonder if that's a genuine Mailchimp pop-up?  It seems kind of strange that Mailchimp would have a feature that makes a new tab open in your browser when you trying clicking the "x."

There are a handful of Reddit accounts posting links to
You can tell something is "off" with these accounts.  They'll post a bunch of links to legitimate news sites like and and, but then they'll sneak in a submission to a URL such as and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Maddux Mystery

I went to YouTube to look for footage of Greg Maddux's 76-pitch game against the Cubs from July 22, 1997.  Here's what I found, courtesy of the official MLB YouTube account:
First of all....What is this garbage?  The clip shows just nine pitches. NINE!  I want to see all 76 pitches.  Also, the description for the YouTube video says:
7/22/97: Greg Maddux throws a complete game with just 76 pitches against the Cubs, leading the Braves to a 3-2 victory
The final score of the game was 4-1.  You can see the box score at the end of the clip.  Clearly, whoever wrote the description is dumb.

Curiously, the TV announcer says Maddux threw 78 pitches.  I would guess the TV announcer lost track of the number of pitches, but I can't be sure without watching the full game.  (And why does the announcer say "one hit, no runs."  That's not correct.) has a clip of the game, but the description says Maddux threw 77 pitches: also says Maddux threw 77 pitches during the game:
And an AP write-up of the game says Maddux threw 78 pitches:
Will we every TRULY know how many pitches Greg Maddux threw during that game?  No, not until someone posts footage of the full game.

Friday, August 16, 2019 is another site that steals content. 

Here is an article from a few days ago titled "Disney CEO Confirms X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool Are Now All Part of Marvel Studios"

The text is copied from an article:

Oddly enough, I didn't see any ads on when I opened the article in an incognito window.  Although I did get a MailChimp pop-up saying "Subscribe to our mailing list."  That's unusual.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

WIRED on fake Macedonian news websites

This was a good read:

I was kinda surprised to find one of the websites mentioned in the article,, is still up and running.  I just...assumed it would have disappeared along with the political websites.

Commit to be Fit!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Varghese discusses YouTube moderation

Sanjana Varghese wrote an article for FFWD titled "YouTube’s Drive to Clean Up its Platform is Erasing Vital Evidence of Potential War Crimes"

I had trouble getting through this article.  I think that was because it contained quotes like this:
“As responses to various policy documents develop, we’re hopeful that we can at least get some pragmatic harm reduction measures in place, such as having clear pathways for civil society to audit and input into training data for algorithms.”
That's an academic quote, alright.  That's an academic quote. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Commenting before reading

Annie Reneau at Upworthy is dismayed.  

The Upworthy Facebook page shared a broken link for one of her stories, and the Facebook post got a ton of engagement:
Later in the weekend, however, another share of the article went up, this time with the correct headline, image, and share text. Still no link to the article, though. Anyone who clicked was taken straight to that same 404 error page. 
Guess how many shares and comments that post got before Upworthy got wind of the dead link and took it down.  
More than 2,000 comments. And thousands of shares to other people's Facebook feeds.
The incident does raise an interesting question:  What percentage of the people who comment on an article actually read it?  Is there a way to measure that percentage?