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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Funny Numbers: Avaaz cooks the books

In the run up to the Palestinian Arab UN stunt, an organization called Avaaz.org was all over the social media trying to get people to sign a petition in favor of statehood.

They claim to have over 1.1 million signatures on their petition. There is no way to verify that number because they do not seem to list the signers.

But they also claim that over a million people viewed their webpage calling for signatures. They even have a counter on the page that seems to increment every time someone views it.

Now, every time the page is loaded, a propaganda video is automatically played. That video is on YouTube.

And, according to YouTube, that video has been seen less than 35,000 times!

Which means that they are inflating the number of pageviews by a factor of 30!

Others have noticed this "astroturfing" by Avaaz as well, see this Jerusalem Post blog entry by Dr. Andre Oboler and the coverage by CiFWatch.