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LJ rewriting links

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Mar. 5th, 2010 | 11:37 pm

Picked up on this via ladyjestyr; LJ is - or was - rewriting outgoing links to run them through a third party ad site. This strips affiliate tags and in some cases just takes you to an entirely different site.

They're removing the code after it's been found out. In my experience: I went to one of the posts on the subject and saw that, when I clicked on their http://www.glutenfreebay.com/ link, I was redirected first through outboundclick.net and then, bizarrely, to ebay.com. I looked at the page HTML and found that yes, the href had been rewritten to take me to outboundclick.net, but when hovering over the link it had appeared to be straight to glutenfreebay.com.

Just as I was starting to write this post, and was going to C&P the rewritten href, I noticed that the code had changed. Now it's just what you'd expect. But I have a memory and there's enough confirmation out there already.

It's pretty shocking actually - secretly running all outbound links via an advertiser site to, at best, track all clicks (to sell obviously duh) and add affiliate links for themselves to make money on anything bought via shopping, and at worst send your visitors to an entirely different site. I'm a bit stunned really. It demonstrates that LJ believes that it has the right to fuck with the contents of your journal as and when it feels like it, without telling you.

It's entirely unforgivable - it could not possibly have happened by accident. I don't see why I should continue to use LJ when they're doing that sort of thing. There is absolutely nothing that the company could do which would make up for it, and in future, whenever I see reference to LJ, I will mention this.

edit: just to be clear, yeah, this feels pretty much like an "I'm leaving LJ" post. I don't see why I should use a blogging service that's going to secretly rewrite my posts.

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Comments {19}

(Deleted comment)

fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 5th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
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"oh sorry, we'll take the code out now it's been found, we're still cool right? right?"

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(Deleted comment)

fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
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"Next time you won't feel a thing." That sounds about right.

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lilyvalley

(no subject)

from: lilyvalley
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
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Wait, what? You want to disappear from my internets?

I'm sorry, that's just not allowed. Damn it, it's not.

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lilyvalley

(no subject)

from: lilyvalley
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
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In case you really do disappear from my internets, I don't want to miss the chance to say this:

You have no idea how influential you have been to me. Really. When I first starting posting on the internet, I was the typical ignorant, small-town American. You (and others) opened my eyes to the rest of the world. I have grown so much through reading your posts and interacting with you. I can never thank you enough for opening my eyes, and helping me see the world from a different perspective.

Thank you.

(OK, part of that is the beer talking, but I swear, it's only about 10% beer, and the rest is from my heart. There might actually be tears in my eyes, but that's almost 100% beer. I swear.)

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fridgemagnet

LJ rewriting links

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
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That's ridiculously nice of you to say.

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tim

(no subject)

from: kumokasumi
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
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I feel better about just failing to renew my paid account. I wondered if this was down the road after Six Apart sold 'em to the Russians...

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What's C&P ?

from: anonymous
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 12:40 pm (UTC)
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OK, guys. Help out a non-geek. I think it might be Cut & Paste, but what do I know ?

It's a good rule - which Fridge has followed with LJ - only to use abbreviations after naming them first. Please can we stick to the ordinary rules of written discourse.

OB

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fridgemagnet

Re: What's C&P ?

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
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Cut & Paste, yes, and it is standard!

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the wrong tune played til it sounded right

(no subject)

from: ladyjestyr
date: Mar. 6th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
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Were you interested in a Dreamwidth invite code at all? Or were you going to go back to independent blog software?

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fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 7th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for the offer, but I shall either use other software (I have all this server space sitting about) or - more likely - just not really write. I'm less interested in general journalling these days and all of the communities I was interested in have died anyway. LJ and DW seems to be mostly active for fandom these days and I'm not really a part of that.

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fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 8th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
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Actually, you know what, I've changed my mind :) If you have any spare I'd be interested.

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the wrong tune played til it sounded right

(no subject)

from: ladyjestyr
date: Mar. 8th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
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Sure thing. What email address would you like me to send it to?

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fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 8th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
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fridgemagnet@livejournal.com is fine

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the wrong tune played til it sounded right

(no subject)

from: ladyjestyr
date: Mar. 8th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
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Sent!

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fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 8th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
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ta! now I have to think of a username of course, which is the hard part

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The Princess of Id

(no subject)

from: danaseilhan
date: Mar. 20th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
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oh duh. Might as well use fridgemagnet, it's how we all know you.

I'm over there too, but hadn't thought of using it seriously. I might. I'm always torn between writing on my own server and writing where I can run into interesting people. After the shit in '04-'05 especially, it was touch and go. But if LJ is going to be pulling this shit, I won't be social-blogging here.

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fridgemagnet

(no subject)

from: fridgemagnet
date: Mar. 20th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
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I used another one, because I thought I might also want to link to it from other identities I have; I'll post it here if there's any chance that I might use it.

The thing is that I find I enjoy LJ less and less anyway, and it's only having friends here that keeps me about, and if I'm just going to read anyway there's not much reason to move. Apart from being run by nice people I'm not sure why I would go over there because, let's face it, Livejournal's platform is shit for blogging. It googles terribly as well - you might as well be shouting at the wall as far as search engines are concerned.

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