Washington's NFL team is known for its controversial nickname and love of fuzzy math. That continued with a hilarious claim that 58 MILLION PEOPLE clicked on a random story on their website about Jon Gruden teaching local high school coaches.
[Washington's NFL team] broke down the report by individual events. Their report noted that there were 58.1 million "unique visitors" to stories about a clinic for high school coaches that featured ESPN analyst Jon Gruden.
A spokeswoman for Meltwater said the number provided by the group is "impressions" and counts anytime a person is exposed to a news story about the event, including social media posts.
Let's be clear here: "Unique visitors" and "impressions" are not the same, not even close. Visitors imply how many people actually click on an article. If 58.1 million people actually clicked on this Jon Gruden story, it was bigger than BuzzFeed's viral hit "The Dress" (38.7 million) and more popular than the first day of traffic for Vanity Fair after its Caitlyn Jenner exclusive (9 million, according to Fortune).
It's not just bad math to say this Gruden story got 58.1 million visitors, it's HILARIOUSLY impossible. We reached out to the organization, but have not had our message returned.
Here's what we THINK they're doing.
Impressions are essentially any time someone has seen something about a story. Perhaps they didn't click, but they saw the headline on a tweet or on a Facebook post. The team has 1.8 million likes on Facebook and 452,000 followers on Twitter. For every time the team tweeted this story, the team counts 452,000 people as having seen it, as if every Facebook post is actually being consumed by 1.8 million people.
The reality is that most "impressions" are roughly 10 percent of the possible audience. Taking this into account, the organization would have needed to tweet this story 34,000 times and posted it on Facebook 308 times in order to hit 58.1 million impressions.
Perhaps an NFL team found a wormhole that caused the entire population of Italy to click on a story about Jon Gruden, but probably not.
SB Nation presents: Washington is in one of the most awful games