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Is Blog Plagiarism Growing--and are the Fakes Convincing?


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July 12, 2005

Is Blog Plagiarism Growing--and are the Fakes Convincing?

Heather Green

Fred Wilson is rightfully up in arms over having a recent posting scrapped by another blog, word for word, without attribution. Other bloggers, including Michael Parekh, say they have been victims of driveby scraping as well.

But doesn't it seem clear, when you compare the plagiarised postings to the original, that they are obvious fakes? Or maybe it just seems that way after you know they are fakes.

Amazingly, the fake postings leave in the links the original writers put in the post to some of their other musings. And as Parekh writes, one repurposed post even has a nonsensical headline: "Om Malik going to acquire Teleo."

Fred says these are being set up to make money off of advertising, such as adsense, but wouldn't you have to click on the ad for that to work?

10:45 AM

spam and other abuses

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Is Blog Plagiarism Growing--and are the Fakes Convincing?:

? ON BLOG PLAGIARISM SOLUTIONS from *michael parekh on IT*

WATCH THY NEIGHBOR VC Brad Feld posted on a new service called BuzzBoost launched by Feedburner that could exacerbate the blog plagiarism I posted on yesterday. While the service has obvious convenience features for bloggers managing multiple blogs, it... [Read More]

Tracked on July 12, 2005 11:18 AM

? Plagiarism Made Easier from Zoli's Blog

Blog Plagiarism is on the rise, and the bad guys who provide tools to autamate it have arrived. [Read More]

Tracked on July 12, 2005 06:04 PM

? ON BLOG PLAGIARISM SOFTWARE? from *michael parekh on IT*

SAY IT ISN'T SO... It looks like my paranoia about elaborate blog plagiarizing software yesterday was not misplaced. Zoli's Blog points out this ad for Blog-zilla and Ping-Kong web-based software that is designed to automate the tasks of harvesting con... [Read More]

Tracked on July 13, 2005 12:43 PM

? Plagiarism Made Easier - Or Not? (part 2.) from Zoli's Blog

Today the Blog-Zilla uncloaked itself, and I wonder if I have to eat my words. Is it a product to automate content-theft, or a decent publishing tool? [Read More]

Tracked on July 14, 2005 12:43 AM

? Robbing from Peter to Blog as Paul from The Broadside

With the rapid proliferation and ubiquity of weblogs written from many angles and perspectives, and with varying purposes (including vanity) there is bound to be plagiarism of both blog content and other “unsourced” content. The Internet m... [Read More]

Tracked on December 30, 2005 12:58 AM

It's "scraping", not "scrapping."

Posted by: governmentcheese at July 12, 2005 01:16 PM

Thanks....I am a bad speller. But I never imagined that my spelling would be one of the things that I get a lot of comments on in the fast and furious, live and let die blogosphere. Boy was I wrong.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 12, 2005 01:41 PM

don't worry heather.

i am constantly getting corrected on my spelling and grammar and everything else.

my view is the readers want to help me out and i appreciate it.

Posted by: fred at July 12, 2005 02:42 PM

You wrote: "wouldn't you have to click on the ad for that to work?"

No. This isn't necessary. In fact, a great proportion of the sites that use scraped RSS content aren't intended to be read by humans. Their target is the ranking algorithms of search engines. The method is: create a large number of sites with apparently "real" text that points to some site you're trying to publicize. If you can trick the search engines into believing that your fake sites are real, then the PageRank of your *real* site will increase dramatically. You then put ads on the real site while leaving all the fake sites apparently "ad-free" and "innocent."

I've discovered clusters of hundreds of "fake" blogs that all contain pointers to some other site that is trying to have its PageRank increased. The fakers use "real" RSS content in order to make it more difficult for them to be detected by search engines. This is quite a sophisticated business...

bob wyman

Posted by: Bob Wyman at July 12, 2005 04:00 PM

Bob,

Thanks very much for the insight and the explanation. This is exactly what I have been wondering about with these sites--how they work.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 12, 2005 05:16 PM

PageRank has nothing to do with content, it's actually a recursive link analysis. Basically the more sites you have linking to you the higher pagerank you have. The importance of PageRank in search engine algorthyms has diminished greatly over the past 2-3 years.

Posted by: graywolf at July 12, 2005 11:34 PM

If they are republishing your posts in toto without respecting the terms of your copyright or creative commons licence, you can stop them. A DMCA takedown notice to their ISP will work.

More here:

http://epeus.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_epeus_archive.html#111870370034217502

Posted by: Kevin Marks at July 13, 2005 01:35 AM

I was pretty mad when someone took this nonsense a step further and was posting ALL of my posts on their site. Luckily, the problem was picked up by the Inside Microsoft blog (http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2005/05/29/msn-spaces-stealing-other-blogs/) and Microsoft shut the offending site down within two weeks.

Posted by: dustin at July 14, 2005 01:06 AM

I noticed that multi-blogging software owned and managed by me (Blog-zilla) was mentioned on this page. I'll take the opportunity to clear up some erroneous statements based on rumors and misinformation.

I appreciate eveyone's interest and concern over Blog-zilla, however, I might recommend those interested, thoroughly read the description of Blog-zilla again (http://blog-zilla.com) and note the ANTI-SPAM notice "Spammers Beware" clearly published on the site.

In addition, please review our strict ANTI-PLAGIARISM, ANTI-DUPLICATION, ANTI-SCRAPE, ANTI-CONTENT STEALING policy. Blog-zilla is NOT a spam or thieving tool. Blog-zilla has ZERO cabability to "harvesting content from various sites"... that is absolutely the OPOSITE of Blog-zilla's phylosopy (and capability). Blog-zilla also can NOT be used to create wastelands of blog-farms. Blog-zilla can add an RSS feed to original content to enhance that content, but Blog-zill users can NOT post RSS only as a substitute for original content. There are systems out there that do all this "evil" stuff. Blog-zilla is not one of them.

Perhaps some people are jumping to incorrect conclusions without thoroughly understanding or perhaps some erroneous rumors are being posted here and there. No problem, I'll try to clear up all misconceptions here...

All Blog-zilla users go through a qualification survey to eliminate potential spammers. Blog-zilla takes only original content and personalizes that original content for target audiences. Much like a quality email management system personalizes each email to its targeted reader. Blog-zilla hates spammers. All users are also taught how to use the system for honest high quality content purposes. System abusers will be terminated if discovered abusing Blogizilla's capabilities. For those wondering how I know this, I'm Dan Hollings the creator and owner http://danhollings.com

I invite anyone interested in Blog-zilla's policy and philosophy to read the Blog-zilla license agreement and rules.

http://blog-zilla.com/blog-zilla_policy.html

Every user is screened, spammers are eliminated, and Blog-zilla users are taught proper blogging concepts. Original and authorized content only.

A few highlights of the Blog-zilla user policy:

*** You may not use Blog-zilla in any manner which jeopardizes it's functionality or reflects negatively upon it's reputation as a legitimate multi-blogging tool for ORIGINAL or AUTHORIZED content. If someone else holds the content copyright, do not use Blog-zilla to post or manipulate that content without permission.

*** Blog-zilla is not a content scraper, content duplicator, or content stealing system. If any attempt to use Blog-zilla as such is detected, you're history.

*** Blog-zilla may be used in conjunction with contextual ads (like Adsense), paid ads, banners, affiliate programs and other e-commerce endeavors, but only if you follow strictly the policies of the ad or affiliate provider.

*** Blog-zilla can be used to post RSS feeds to multiple blogs, but if you are not also posting other quality content, your account can be terminated.

If you would like to look at the quality of content Blog-zilla is capable of posting, go to:

100 Blogs by Blog-zilla Multi-blogger Dan Hollings

These are quality articles written to sincerely help their target audience:

http://blog-zilla.com/100_marketing_tip_blogs.html

TagCloud of 100 Blogs

Here we have a TagCloud summary of all 100 Blogs:

http://www.blog-zilla.com/tagcloud.html

More additional about Blog-zilla:

http://www.Blog-zilla.com

Blog-zilla in the news:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/7/prweb260055.php

Blog-zilla has a long waiting list currently and screening of subscribers has started. Screen consists of an indepth survey on what the potential subscriber plans to use Blog-zilla for and where their content is from. Next, if accepted, each subscriber goes into a trial period (cost is $1) and while users evaluate Blog-zilla, Blog-zilla evaluates the subscriber by monitoring their posts and observing their participation in weekly conference call training classes. The classes are key so as to teach people how to use Blog-zilla constructively and how be "good internet citizens" that is, how to give true value and quality targeted content to your audience.

Sorry for such a long post. I only want readers to know, Blog-zilla wears a white hat :-) Spammers, cheats and bottom feeders are NOT welcomed at Blog-zilla.com

Posted by: Dan Hollings at July 16, 2005 11:34 AM

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the clarification, though I don't think we wrote about Blog-Zilla here. We did get a trackback from Zoli's blog, who wrote about your site and then did another post and trackback when he thought he might have been mistaken in thinking that Blog-Zilla was involved in spam blogs. So, I do understand how you ended up here and thanks again for the company description.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 18, 2005 10:19 AM

On August 11, 2006, the criminal owner of the EssayRelief plagiarism ring tried to KILL a news reporter and cameraman who were investigating the crimes and fraud of his shady company in Pakistan:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=400292&in_page_id=1770

Posted by: Amy at August 17, 2006 03:31 PM


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