Where TRS got its money, eyeballs from?

In Uncategorized on 21/06/2016 at 6:11 am

Remember The Real S’porean and the husband-and-wife team behind it?

The couple behind socio-political website The Real Singapore (TRS) – a 26-year-old Singaporean man and a 22-year-old Australian woman – were on Tuesday (Apr 14) each charged with seven counts of sedition.

Yang Kaiheng and Ai Takagi allegedly published seditious articles on the websitebetween October 2013 and February 2015. One of these articles falsely claimed that an incident between police and some members of the public during a Thaipusam procession on Feb 3 had been sparked by a Filipino family’s complaint that the drums played during the procession upset their child. The contributor of the article posted on another website that the allegations made in the TRS piece were untrue.



She’s in prison and he’s likely to join her despite spending a fortune on legal fees. Those owners of other sites that couldn’t make the money the couple did should feel that life is fair after all. But then they think of Sun Ho’s recent success in downloads of her latest song,, and they’ll get worked up again on the unfairness of life.

This extract in a recent piece in FT on advertising fraud:

fraudsters have found ways to fake the online behaviour of a human being to give the impression they have visited a website and seen or clicked on an ad. Advertisers pay for these ‘views’ even though they are not seen by the real people they are intended to reach.

reminded me of an allegation about TRS.

Note I’m not alleging that the husband and wife team behind TRS were fraudsters. I’m just rumour mongering; repeating an allegation that established sites whispered when TRS burst on the scene with readership numbers that were out of this world. An allegation that I think is credible.

Bots, not eyeballs, were reading the articles and clicking on the ads, was the allegation.

More clicks on the ads means more ads. And the money comes in: no questions asked by the software of the ad-sellers and brokers, and advertisers, The heavy site traffic was taken as evidence by the software of the advertisers, and ad-sellers and brokers that the clicks were genuine.

As supporting evidence they pointed out that TRS’s readers were posting very few comments. Based on TRS’s viewership numbers (very high) and readers’ postings (almost zero) and on the ratio of readers’ posts to views from sites like TRE and TOC, something was very wrong they argued.

And they had a point even if there was no hard evidence for the allegation.

  1. how much do you want to bet that the website’s main editors are based overseas ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: