Take a trip over to DonaldJTrump.com, and you’ll be greeted by the nice, prominent donation ticker you see above. The implication, of course, is that all these people have just added their name to Team Trump—and you should, too! Except that, at least according to the site’s source code, those “donations” you see scrolling on by actually just come from an old sample file on an infinite loop.
The curious little maybe-oversight was first discovered by Jack Danger on Twitter:
Basically, what’s happening here is that the widget at the top is downloading this XML file of 500 names—which would be fine if this file was being constantly updated with new donations. But according to the timestamp, the file it’s pulling names and numbers from hasn’t been updated since Sunday, October 9. What’s more, the fact that the file itself is called “sample donations” would seem to imply that the looping numbers aren’t even real at all.
To be sure, we took a look at the source code ourselves and—yep, that’s a 10-day-old sample file alright.
It’s entirely possible that whoever built the website simply forgot to switch out the sample file for a more regularly updated version. It’s also entirely possible that this donation ticker is nothing more than pure bullshit. We’ve reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, and will update if and when we receive a response.
In the meantime, remember—excluding Barron Trump and 400-pound basement dwellers—no one ever said doing the cyber would be easy.