FPS Russia vs. Russia Today
FPS Russia is a guy in Georgia named Kyle who shoots things with automatic weapons in his back yard and then blows them up. Meanwhile, he talks about it in English with a fake Russian accent and refers to himself as “Dmitri.”
Russia Today is an official state-funded propaganda television network which employs hundreds of people and spends hundreds of millions of Russian tax dollars on production and advertising. They talk with weird, stilted accents in English, too.
Both FPSR and RT have YouTube channels to display their handiwork. Comparing their performance is interesting.
FPSR has over 17 million views of its channel and ranks #135 in the category. RT has less than 9 million and ranks #331.
However, RT does whip FPSR handily when it comes to total views of its videos on YouTube. RT claims over 530 million views, while FPSR has less than half as many, “only” 232 million.
Why does RT do so much better than FPSR in just this one category?
We believe there is a simple two-part answer to that question.
First, RT spends a massive amount of money to artificially drive its YouTube videos into Google search results so that they will be thrust into the faces of Google users worldwide, want them or not. A Google “view” only requires that you turn a video on, not that you watch it to the end. Playing this kind of game with Google is big business, and runs on the golden rule: Whoever has the gold, make the rules.
Then, we can’t prove it but we believe RT likely spends a massive amount of time and effort gaming the system in an even more corrupt manner. It probably has a whole legion of minions in Russia whose full-time job is to program computers to click RT videos at random, driving up their view counts so it can brag about them and generate more publicity. Or, who knows, maybe the Kremlin’s hackers have even come up with a computer program that will do this automatically.
Because the viewing of RT videos isn’t genuine, interest in RT on Twitter is very much lower (and even at that, it’s also probably very much inflated by illicit means). People aren’t talking about RT, its “news” stories aren’t repeated across the globe and its editorial stance isn’t noticed. That’s not really very surprising since most people in the world couldn’t care less about Russia, and in fact RT even stopped referring to itself as “Russia Today” and adopted “RT” as its actual name for that very reason, so it could seem less parochial and therefore try to attract a wider audience. And in order to have video content that can be driven high enough into the search engines to generate a large number of views, RT has to cover a great deal of material that goes far beyond Russia, and indeed has nothing to do with it.
The Democratist blog notes that while RT brags its video views exceed those of the BBC and CNN, the latter has five million Twitter followers and the former has one million, while RT isn’t even close to 50,000 even though it churns out Twitter messages at just as furious a rate. In Democratist’s words: “Rather odd no?” It’s only odd until you understand that the world is fascinated by the BBC’s and CNN’s news coverage, while it couldn’t care less about the gibberish and junk broadcast on RT by the ragtag crew of freaks and losers it has collected under the “journalist” rubric. One can’t point to a single international news event where RT has played a leading role, and that’s because its coverage of Russia is so stilted. Russia is a country of bad news, and RT can’t report bad news about Russia. So the things its says about Russia are flat, stale, boring and of of no real interest to anyone.