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Admins: The "Forever Alone" view bump?

Last posted Feb 15, 2012 at 11:53PM EST. Added Feb 13, 2012 at 12:14AM EST
25 conversations with 14 participants

So, there seems to be a lot off butthurt over the fact that inexplicably the “Forever Alone” entry got about 1,000,000 views in the past week, pushing MLP out of the #1 spot. While I’m obviously not a big fan of MLP and the crap that’s been unleashed on this site in relation to it, I’ve never really much cared that it was the entry with the largest # of views, pictures, whatever. Honestly, I don’t think the ranking of entries in that manner really matters much, at least it certainly doesn’t to me, but there’s something that needs to be said nonetheless.

Public outcry by users notwithstanding, it does seem suspicious, and I think if at all possible, someone should look into it. Not because of popularity or prestige in themselves, but because it occurs to me that there may be legal ramifications to artificially-created pageviews, particularly as far as advertising income goes. Clicks per page is likely to be important in one way or another with respect to Cheezburger’s income, which makes this site possible.

So, are the admins looking into this, or do the powers that be already know what happened and have dealt with it privately?

Feb 13, 2012 at 12:14AM EST
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Hardcore Bronies:

Everyone else:

Although as Efrain pointed out, this could just be from valentine’s day (plus the very first link and image for Google searching “forever alone” comes up with the KYM page)

Last edited Feb 13, 2012 at 12:28AM EST
Feb 13, 2012 at 12:25AM EST
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Forever alone is a super popular rage face across Reddit, Funnyjunk, Facebook, 9gag, you name it.

It also accounts for over 2% of search queries to knowyourmeme, according to the Alexa rankings.

I would say its immense popularity lately is what has caused the viewcount to go up so high.

Also, anyone who is whining about viewcounts should just grow up.

Feb 13, 2012 at 12:48AM EST
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I honestly don’t really care if someone was doing some macro to spam-view the Forever Alone page. And what can we do to stop it? I’m not some awesome programmer guy, but I would assume it would be relatively difficult, if not impossible, to even begin to track down the person doing this. Most likely it’s some brony hater out in who-knows-where-ville going: “Hmm, Forever Alone has a lot it views, I’m going to be a jerk and spam views so it can be more popular than MLP. Gosh, I am so devious I could just kiss myself [which he does]” And the people bothered by this are overzealous MLP fans that are upset over the fandom not being 1st viewed on the site.
I’m not trying to put down MLP or any of the fans at all here, so don’t get the wrong idea--I watch and enjoy the show just like anyone else who does. That being said, being a MLP fan, I get ironic satisfaction knowing that there will always be someone out there to try to dissuade me in my personal interests, in which their futile tactics have no effect on me. Trying to show domination over a fanbase by hacking a site and gathering “views” is utterly pathetic, laughable even. Just another reason to assert myself in my personal interests and mentally put down the stupid people trying to tell me otherwise.
My opinion: don’t do anything (for now). Obviously, if this gets ludicrously out out hand, yeah sure, go ahead and “shave off” a few million views or whatever else you mods think is necessary. But at the moment, this isn’t really a big deal. This will eventually dim down and the Forever Alone rate will slowly lower itself back to second. In the meantime, just relax and let this blow over.

tl;dr

Feb 13, 2012 at 12:49AM EST
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Yeah, but it was a huge surge for such a small window of time.

According to one commenter, the views were 4,252,414 just four weeks ago; today, they stand at 5,567,073. That means that in about the last 5% of this entry’s existence, it’s racked up about 24% of its total views. That averages out to just under 47,000 hits per day. We all know that MLP:FIM is one of the most popular entries, and has remained steadily so since nearly day one, but it’s averaged 13,500 hits per day in its time.

We haven’t even hit Valentines Day yet, so I don’t think that’s the issue, either. The truth is, “Forever Alone” is more popular as a meme than it’s ever been, but guess what? So is MLP:FIM. Look at the graph:

(Hmm, okay, can’t embed the graph, here’s a link.)

If it was all about popularity, the only time “Forever Alone” has been appreciably more popular than MLP was last Valentines Day. I expect it to happen again this year, but it hasn’t happened yet, so there’s no obvious reason why “Forever Alone” should be trending like this. Somebody (or a group of somebodies) is tweaking the numbers.

Last edited Feb 13, 2012 at 01:11AM EST
Feb 13, 2012 at 01:05AM EST
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If the bronies really cared they F5 the ponies back into spot #1.

Feb 13, 2012 at 01:21AM EST

Focus on why Abra Brucker was concerned:

Not because of popularity or prestige in themselves, but because it occurs to me that there may be legal ramifications to artificially-created pageviews, particularly as far as advertising income goes. Clicks per page is likely to be important in one way or another with respect to Cheezburger’s income, which makes this site possible.

It has nothing to do with bronies, our butthurt, or who has the most legitimate views (because users frequenting the FiM page got that article to 1 million by refreshing in massive numbers before anyway.)

It’s about advertising.revenue. I don’t get the process, but if the site is losing money or not getting accurate numbers as to who’s using the site, that’s more problematic than anything else.


EDIT My bad. But when avatars and names change, I can’t remember who’s who!

VVVVV

Last edited Feb 13, 2012 at 01:59AM EST
Feb 13, 2012 at 01:44AM EST
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Okay, more perspective: The number of hits for “Forever Alone” in the last month is more than “Do a Barrel Roll” has totaled for all time, and the latter has been the #1 Google search term that brings up knowyourmeme.com since last November because of the Google Easter Egg. Don’t know if that’s relevant, but I thought I’d mention it.

Feb 13, 2012 at 01:47AM EST
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Verbose wrote:

Focus on why Abra was concerned:

“why Abra was concerned”
“why Abra”
“Abra”

This is why I keep getting left out of those “Family Photos”, isn’t it?

Feb 13, 2012 at 01:56AM EST
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People, this thread is about what could’ve caused such a sudden rise in views.

Not who’s butthurt or whether or not people care.


From what I noticed, a week or 2 ago I remember the views being at least a million less. I don’t care about the spot, but such a sudden rise does raise questions.

Last edited Feb 13, 2012 at 06:57AM EST
Feb 13, 2012 at 06:51AM EST
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How you could track down whoever is using a script to bump the page (although from Brucker’s graph it has been searched more then MLP in the past few days), I have no idea. It’s not like you could just ban a certain IP address from viewing the site, because if they’re smart enough to write a script, they’re smart enough to use a proxy.

Feb 13, 2012 at 07:32AM EST
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My thought was that even if it’s someone using a script through a proxy, there ought to be a pattern to the data in some manner. I mean, since we are tracking hits, we probably have some sort of history, right?

Feb 13, 2012 at 01:20PM EST
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Brucker wrote:

My thought was that even if it’s someone using a script through a proxy, there ought to be a pattern to the data in some manner. I mean, since we are tracking hits, we probably have some sort of history, right?

True. I’m not sure how specifically the admins would address this data, but tracking it is a good idea.
Maybe the best solution is that every unique IP address can only register a single view, and then renaming page views to viewers. This would accurately display how widespread a page’s audience is without giving room for script-bombing, because changing the IP address each time would be too much effort. This would also get rid of the competition to see which page has the most views, because users repeatedly visiting wouldn’t give a page more views.
Still, I’m not an admin, I’m not in any position to make these changes, I shouldn’t request the people who actually do work for this site to do things.

Feb 13, 2012 at 03:44PM EST
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Well, I’m not going to suggest limiting views by IP address, partially because that’s an unusual practice*, and partially because people legitimately visit pages multiple times per day. The pattern to look for would be unnaturally large surges in viewing rates, indicating perhaps that a person or group of persons was opening the page and rapidly refreshing over and over for no discernible purpose. I suspect that if the numbers were looked at, we’d see something like 30,000 hits between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. which would be telling.

However, you may have also hit on a solution to the problem in the long term. I’m sure those of us who think there’s something fishy going on assume that the intent of whoever did it was to push an entry ahead of MLP in apparent popularity. If the site listed the most popular memes without giving the numbers, then nobody would say, “Oh, that entry is just a million hits short of moving up the ladder? I think I could manage a script for that.” Or whatever.

  • You’re describing almost exactly something that was an issue at a job I had years ago where we wanted to track visits to certain sections of our website by visitor’s location, length of visit, and preferred language all at once; we were told by the company that did our tracking that nobody tracks at the level of detail we were asking, and while it would be conceivably possible, they would have to charge us about 100 times what they already were.
Feb 13, 2012 at 08:13PM EST
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So why dont we just do the same for the mlp page and end this?

Feb 14, 2012 at 03:04PM EST
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Hold on, I don’t understand why MLP is relevant here. MLP gets bumped from the top spot all the time, no one cares that much. From what I understand, the problem is that the Forever Alone page got over 1000000 views in the span of a week, which is unusual, even in early February when everyone is anticipating Valentine’s Day. So why mention MLP at all?

I highly doubt it was only to get MLP out of the top spot, because that happens all the time, and isn’t very remarkable.

Last edited Feb 14, 2012 at 03:26PM EST
Feb 14, 2012 at 03:25PM EST
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I talked to Don about this awhile ago, he said the view count is completely legit, most of it is from search traffic.

Feb 14, 2012 at 04:45PM EST
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@Philip:

MLP is relevant only insofar as it is likely the reason why it happened. While it sounds so petty, there are a lot of brony haters out there. On the other hand, you’re right that whether or not this has anything to do with MLP is not really important. If there is a problem (which Doc is now saying there is not, so I’m willing to drop it) then we care about how, when, and how much it happened, not really why.

Feb 14, 2012 at 06:02PM EST
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i myself am a most hardcore brony, and I’m not overreacting, but i see where there coming from. a lot of bronys view the number one spot as a sign of respect for a subculture so disrespected. bronies yearn for recognition. and they feel as the forever alone doesn’t need recognition. i think i, and all bronies with a brain, shouldn’t care. whether or not this was hacks, bronies don’t need this. MOST IMPORTANT POINT the world is plenty aware of our existence, lets not rub it in their face like idiots. i bet you the admins could clear this flaw in ten seconds flat any way.

Last edited Feb 14, 2012 at 10:10PM EST
Feb 14, 2012 at 10:08PM EST
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Trash Boat is (spoiler) W.W. wrote:

i myself am a most hardcore brony, and I’m not overreacting, but i see where there coming from. a lot of bronys view the number one spot as a sign of respect for a subculture so disrespected. bronies yearn for recognition. and they feel as the forever alone doesn’t need recognition. i think i, and all bronies with a brain, shouldn’t care. whether or not this was hacks, bronies don’t need this. MOST IMPORTANT POINT the world is plenty aware of our existence, lets not rub it in their face like idiots. i bet you the admins could clear this flaw in ten seconds flat any way.

This thread is not about MLP. It’s about potential damage to advertising revenue, although it now appears that there was a large element of legitimate traffic to that page.
Thanks for acknowledging the pointlessness of caring which page has the most views, though.

Feb 15, 2012 at 07:47AM EST
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Doc wrote:

I talked to Don about this awhile ago, he said the view count is completely legit, most of it is from search traffic.

In that case, I have no problem believing the number to be completely legit. It was surprising to see the sudden rise on the searches though.

Now that I think about it, the “I Took an Arrow in The Knee” entry has been around for about 2 months, and it has already accumulated almost 3’000’000 pageviews. So Forever Alone getting that many views is far from being impossible.

Do you think Forever Alone might’ve gotten so many pageviews now that numerous memes have been getting more and more attention on Facebook?

Last edited Feb 15, 2012 at 08:00AM EST
Feb 15, 2012 at 07:53AM EST
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Forever Alone is everywhere and here is the best place to find it. Bronies prefer to be on other sites like Equestria Daily, PonyChan, etc… They really have no reason to be on that entry everyday.

Feb 15, 2012 at 07:10PM EST
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Muumi wrote:

In that case, I have no problem believing the number to be completely legit. It was surprising to see the sudden rise on the searches though.

Now that I think about it, the “I Took an Arrow in The Knee” entry has been around for about 2 months, and it has already accumulated almost 3’000’000 pageviews. So Forever Alone getting that many views is far from being impossible.

Do you think Forever Alone might’ve gotten so many pageviews now that numerous memes have been getting more and more attention on Facebook?

That’s what I believe, yes.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable that it has become so popular lately, especially with the rise in popularity of rage comics, memegenerator esque memes, and the university memes on sites like facebook, reddit, or 9gag.

Feb 15, 2012 at 09:23PM EST
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Oh wow, forever alone searches have skyrocketed to 4 times that of MLP in this past week.
Mystery solved.

Feb 15, 2012 at 09:25PM EST
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MDFification wrote:

Oh wow, forever alone searches have skyrocketed to 4 times that of MLP in this past week.
Mystery solved.

Well, now that we have Valentines Day stats, I’m sure that’s what’s happening now. If you look at the graph I posted to above, you’ll see that last year this time, “forever alone” searches pretty much doubled what they had been one month before. I was more concerned with what may have been going on in January, since I could see no reason for it then.

Once again, I’m going to say that since Doc assures us that everything’s legit, I’m going to take his word for it and lock this thread, because I believe the point of this thread has been satisfied and further discussion has no point in this forum. I suggest anyone who thinks there’s more to be said take their comments to one of the entries or the MLP general thread.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:53PM EST
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Skeletor-sm

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