Debunked: Google shares raw traffic stats with #MPAA about file sharing sites

Mick West

Staff member
WikiLeak repeated a tweet claiming that a document from the Sony leak shows Google is sharing raw traffic stats with the MPAA on a monthly basis.

The original tweet, number 589833217361977345, was deleted, screenshot below.

The linked report: Traffic Report Full 4-18-2011.pdf

This is an MPAA document, titled: "Referral Traffic Report | Google". On first glance you might think the report comes from Google, due to the Google logo on the front page.

However the report is not by Google it is about Google. There is nothing at all in the report that states data was given to the MPAA by Google (other than the normal use of searching Google), and there is no data in the report that is not available by normal means.

In fact, the report makes quite clear where it gets the data from:
External Quote:

A preliminary review of 21 websites was conducted to assess the degree to which users are finding MPAA member content through direct referrals and Google referrals. The data was collected through keyword searches on Google, as well as an analysis of estimated traffic patterns for specific domains using Clickstream and referral analytics.
The tables that are found in the report:

These tables are in fact just direct screen grabs from Compete Pro, a traffic analysis service that anyone can pay for. Example:

Wikileaks was quick to correct this error (actually as I was writing this post)

But with the 2 million followers of Wikileaks, it's possible that the damage was done, and a new bit of bunk was born. The original tweet was retweeted around a hundred times before Wikileaks deleted it. Hopefully this post can act as a preemptive debunking of possible bunk spreading.


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