If you head to donaldjtrump.com, the website of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, you’ll be greeted at the very top with a ticker of donors. Irma from California donated $25, Frank from Alabama ponied up $35.
The thing about tickers is that we assume that they operate in real time — stock tickers, cable-news scrolls, and the like.
This is not the case with Donald Trump.
As first pointed out by Jack Danger, the scroll at the top of Trump’s page is running off a static XML file. It is not showing, in any approximate way, donations as they trickle in.
Of course, different sites use different systems in order to lessen server load. It is possible the site is dynamically generating a new XML file of recent donors at a regular interval — except that the Trump file was last modified nine days ago, making this possibility unlikely.
So if you thought, “Wow, everyone else is donating now, too,” and were convinced to donate to Trump after you saw the ticker, 1) you got played, and 2) c’mon, dude.