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How a 12-year-old tiger maul story made Friday’s SFGate Most Read list

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blogger Jim Romenesko asks how it could be and gets the answer from deputy metro editor Trapper Byrne (it’s after the jump). Meanwhile, odder still is that at the Mercury News an ordinary hockey game story from 2010 has been “on top, or in the top 5” of most viewed stories at Mercurynews.com for months, Romenesko says, and nobody, including the staff, can figure out why.

Now about that Chronicle tiger mauling piece, here’s what deputy ME Trapper Byrne says:

What I’m told is that Yahoo had a story somewhere about the dangers of amusement parks. (“It’s summer, be careful you don’t die” — one of those.) To illustrate the perils, they linked to the 1998 tiger mauling at a Vallejo animal park. So many people clicked on the link that it drove the story into the “Most Read” box on the SFGate main page, which is completely automated and outside the control of human beings. The Gate editor tried to compensate by changing the headline to make clear that the story was 14 years old, but I doubt it did much to ease readers’ puzzlement.


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