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Monday, May 21, 2018

Jason Babin duped by Bleacher Report trade suggestion

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason Babin was duped on Wednesday by a trade suggestion from the sports website “Bleacher Report,” and began to wonder if he was traded to the Ravens like the article suggested.

The Eagles are on a bye week and made a big move on Tuesday when they fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Michael Vick’s starting job is in question, and it appears that everyone associated with the organization is on alert — including Babin.

Babin retweeted a tweet and asked if the trade was real:

The problem is this wasn’t a trade report coming from Jay Glazer or Adam Schefter, or even some Philadelphia media outlet; this was just the writing of a fan operating as a “featured columnist” for Bleacher Report.

The trade suggestion came from an article titled “5 Realistic Moves That Philadelphia Eagles Could Make at NFL Trade Deadline.”

If you were lucky enough to come across the article — formatted as a slideshow so Bleacher Report can get five clicks/pageviews for every user who comes across it — you would have seen that the article was not rooted in fact.

The article suggested the following moves:

Darryl Tapp to Buffalo for OT/G Chad Rinehart
Chris Polk to the Green Bay Packers for a Sixth Round Draft Pick
Cullen Jenkins to the Atlanta Falcons for a Third Round Pick
Phillip Hunt to the New York Jets for a Fifth Round Draft Pick

If you happened to get to slide six of seven, you would have seen: “Jason Babin to the Baltimore Ravens for a Third or Fourth Round Draft Pick.”

That’s when we get to the problem of user confusion. See, your average Internet user cannot distinguish between fact and fiction, report and speculation, news and fodder, and reliable sites vs. unreliable ones. Google doesn’t help matters by placing these stories at the top of search results. And Babin’s laziness — and I get it, he’s a professional football player, not an expert on sports on the Internet — contributes to the problem.

What was just written as a traffic-raking gimmick article gets confused for a real trade report, leaving Babin wondering. That’s the Internet for you.

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