Who are they and why are they copying MeFi? August 27, 2005 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Weird one:
Whilst googling for "MetaFilter Network LLC" [I was wondering how long Mefi had been so incorporated] I came across this page [google cache - they don't need the traffic.]
It appends a whole thread from ask.me on the end of their plain old links page of mortgage brokers - including the source code.
posted by dash_slot- to MetaFilter-Related at 11:16 AM (12 comments total)

Just looks like the CSS to me which is really nothing to worry about as this is relatively easy to get off of any website. As for the content, it looks like something went crawling, found a bunch of content related to what they're trying to sell and decided to sweep it all together. It looks absolutely horrible.
posted by purephase at 11:59 AM on August 27, 2005

posted by loquacious at 1:26 PM on August 27, 2005

bottom-feeders do this crap.

scripts harvest content from legit websites and post it for search engine bait. The ad revenues they generate from people trying to click their way to somewhere useful makes them $$$.

If their hosting is in the US (doubtful) a DMCA complaint would be in order. failing that, Matt can at least send DMCA notices to the search engines to get it delisted...
posted by login at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2005

It's search engine gaming. Someone copied a page of metafilter text, which looks like humans writing helpful information.

So they have their cheeseball adsense-scam/linkfarm site and it needs some content in order to fool the googlebot into thinking it's a real site and not just a phony shell, so they copy a mefi thread.

There are actually automated applications out there for search engine scammers where you enter in some RSS feeds and it pulls the text out, posts the copies to your site, and auto-inserts all your ads.

I've found three people running complete clones of my sites, covered in ads and linking to linkfarms in just the last month.

Oh, and I got the LLC setup a couple months back, but just changed the reference in the footer and the metafilter.net page about 2 weeks ago.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2005

Ok - thanks for the info.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:08 PM on August 27, 2005

I thought login was disabled.
posted by grateful at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2005

Why are you so worried about the source code? All you have to do to see it is "view source".

In this case, they actualy stripped off the HTML, but include the stylesheet info, which is actualy plain text but not displayed as such in modern browsers.

Also, I just realize that I never did the "HTML comment" thing to hide CSS from older browsers. Oh well.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2005

MetaFilter: Looks like humans writing helpful information.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:34 PM on August 27, 2005

Something like this happened at Everything2 a year or two ago. Someone culled the E2 database for writeups related to musicians, then used that text to push Amazon products. E2ers found out about the site, tracked down the owner, and raised so much hell that the owner apologized, took down the material, and donated all of his Amazon affiliate earnings to E2.

What really burned him was that he didn't bother to read the material he copied, so non-musical entries were mixed in with the text he wanted. For instance, the page on the band Rush also included a thorough history of Mega Man's robotic dog named Rush from the classic Mega Man series of video games.
posted by Servo5678 at 4:08 PM on August 27, 2005

>>I thought login was disabled.

No, I just changed my password ;-)
posted by login at 10:16 AM on August 28, 2005

There are hackers on the internet
posted by angry modem at 6:00 PM on August 28, 2005

naw, actually I purged the old login user from the db, and didn't put anything in place to block a new account being made with that username.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:59 PM on August 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

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