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If you hadn’t heard the news, Trudeau’s secret fling has secured a seven-figure NDA, Gerald Butts secretly called Rosemary Barton repeatedly before the English language debate, the CEO of SNC-Lavalin was tipped off by the government 36 hours before his arrest, and the security risk to the PM’s life was “contrived by PMO staffers.”
Wow. Shocking, I know. But also a pile of bullshit mixing together fake news and hearsay in the search for hits.
Sadly, the above pattern appears to be the norm for the Buffalo Chronicle, a Buffalo, New York, based website whose address appears fake, and whose likely fictitious “sources” remain anonymous and unverifiable.
So far many Canadians have found themselves caught in the middle, sharing the site’s content and in effect signal-boosting the website towards an Alexa ranking approaching the top 400,000, suggesting a small but still impactful influence.
With several of the outlet’s Canadian audience being sizable enough, multiple outlets have called out the organization including Canadaland, which criticized the organization as early as March and then again this month, and Buzzfeed which published in Mid-October.
Interestingly, while multiple private news organizations continue to call out the Buffalo Chronicle’s history of fictitious stories, the CBC’s news team has been largely mum with the only content on the Chronicle being months old, and from CBC’s flagship show, The National, rather than its multi-person fake news team.
While the multiple critiques from mostly private news organizations have been public, it seems the Buffalo Chronicle has no plans of changing its basic model.
This for the most is unsurprising.
According to Alexa rankings, the Buffalo Chronicle receives two-thirds of its traffic from Canada, making it far more a Canadian fake news site, than an American one. During our election, one Canadian politics story alone was shared more than 10,800 times and was pushed to more than 895,000 users. That’s a lot of people potentially disinformed, believing lies.
As Canadians continue to share the Chronicle‘s content, it seems at least one social media platform has had to get involved, as the site has now been suspended from Twitter. Facebook has still refused to remove the site’s content from its platform, although it did reach out to the government once the story began to spread.
While platform suspensions can curtail some traffic, it is likely that the Chronicle’s overall traffic will be reduced by only a small amount as Twitter only maintains one-tenth of the audience of other platform giants such as Facebook or Google.