I started getting pingbacks from sites like Topsy a few months ago whenever I tweeted to promote a blog post I’d written on my mommy blog. I checked out Topsy and saw that it only showed a brief excerpt of my posts with a link back to my site along with all of their little bells and whistles that justify the site’s existence.
I thought that the pingbacks from Ubervu meant that they were the same sort of deal. I was wrong.
I don’t know what compelled me to click the link yesterday, but I went to see what Ubervu had to say about one of my posts yesterday…
And I found my post there in its entirety. With the entire comment feed as well.
The one thing I can say for them is that they’re taking me seriously about taking my content off their site as requested. I’d sent them an initial email yesterday about the problem, and they responded that they would remove me from their site, but I still found some of my pages there this morning, as recently as 5 minutes before starting this post. After a second email and some tweets back and forth, the posts were removed before I could go back for screenshots.
Their justification for this content theft is astounding.
So they think it’s cool to scrape your blog posts and your comments to build a conversation on their site. A conversation that started when you wrote a post, tweeted about it, and elicited comments from your own readers. A conversation which Ubervu thinks they can just swipe and continue over on their site.
I was told via email that there was some sort of glitch that made the full text of my post available on their site instead of just an excerpt. But the fact that my comments were there, too, really got me. And the comments were there intentionally.
I don’t spend my intellectual energy writing a compelling post that inspires people to comment just to let some automated content scraper come and take the conversation over onto their site.
I highly recommend you search their site for your blog listings. My search for [cutestkidever.org site:ubervu.com] returned 375 results, so their scraping was quite extensive. Then you can use Ubervu’s handy contact form to request removal of your site from their index. For good measure, you can tweet a warning about @Ubervu to your followers on Twitter so they can check it out for themselves and decide whether or not they want their scraped content to remain on the site.
Update: Scroll down to see Ubervu’s response from Dragos. I appreciate the quick response and the willingness to make things right.
Wow, I think a lot of us were naive with what Ubervu was up to. Thank you for getting the word out. I think more people need to know and stop them from this theft. With your assistance here I have been Tweeting up a storm to let bloggers beware of the tactics that Ubervu does.
Holly Renee says
What? That’s not cool at all. I’m glad you figured it out. Thanks for letting the rest of us know. That’s so uncool.
I shouldn’t be surprised that I got an Ubervu trackback on this post.
Glad I could help bring this to everyone’s attention.
Holly at Tropic of Mom says
TheAngelForever sent me…. Holy cow, the audacity!
Cat @ 3 Kids and Us says
That is not cool at all, I found 2,000 results for my blog and I’m not happy. Fortunately, the plus side to having a partial feed is they couldn’t swipe my entire post, only the first couple of sentences.
I had mistakenly thought that using the “Read More” button would protect me from such a thing, but I was wrong. A partial feed wouldn’t bother me so much… That’s what Topsy does, and people can click through to read the rest of it. It’s the comments that got me, and switching to a partial feed wouldn’t help that at all. Stealing my comment feed is unacceptable.
living with lindsay says
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. I just had to ask them to remove me from their index. I didn’t find any comments, but all of the Twitter reactions on my posts were there. Annoying.
I’m the cofounder of uberVU, I’m the one who e-mailed you today about the glitch in the system. We have removed your content as promised. We are also working on removing everyone else’s comments as we speak.
First of all, I want to apologize for this whole situation. We are a social media analytics startup, we build analytics. We do not want to take your community away from your site.
On the contrary, the purpose was to show you some interesting analytics about your content and your community that you could use to foster and grow your community – like Google Analytics but for social media.
Offending you defeats this whole purpose. That’s why we are now reviewing all our policies and de-indexing bloggers’ content from the site. We have a small team so this takes a bit of time but we’re getting there. You’ll probably still find some links to our site in Google, but we’re de-indexing the actual content from our site.
Again, I apologize for any trouble we may have caused and want to assure you we’re working on fixing this for everyone.
You have my contact details so please e-mail me if I can help in any other way.
i happened to see your tweet, and I was curious so I popped over, and I’m glad I did. Dang girl, you’re a real Sherlock Jones, and good too! You go girl, and that letter they sent you “glitch” my fanny! Give me a break! Do they really expect you to believe that one? That part where they say the purpose was to show you interesting analytics about your content… what I want to know is did you ask them too? Well, if you don’t mind I’d like to pass this on to a few people I know too! Unbelievable!
Night Owl Mama says
It never seizes to amaze me how this happens to so many I’m so terrified to go look and see if any of my content is there but curiosity has me clicking the link to have a look. Nothing like stealing a blogs thunder!
Alan Bleiweiss says
Thanks for blogging about this discovery. I just read the article and comments and saw that Dragos from UberVu commented, saying as a result of your article they’re taking action.
I then immediately went to my site because I had assumed the exact same thing you had previously and was NOT happy reading what they did. I’ve now clicked through a half dozen instances of their pingbacks on various articles from my site and there’s no content over there scraped from my site. I don’t know if it was never there or if it was removed as part of an en-masse effort related to how they responded to this article.
In any case, I really appreciate that you alerted us to this!
I am getting this kind of pingbacks and trackbacks at my blog too. Never know about this thing until I read your blog via @AlanBleiweiss tweet.
Thank you for your response, Dragos. Your quick response has been duly noted, and I appreciate the efforts you and your team are making to make this right.
Pleasure Piratess says
I’m am offended and disturbed that some companies feel it is okay to steal another persons work to promote their site. Why would anyone click a link anyway, when the who whole posts are right there? Obsurd!
I wanted to delete all my tweets permanently but I realized that my tweets are saved by UberVu and other sites along with the RT and replies that I got from others.
I want all of my tweets removed. How did you suggest I go about getting my tweets removed from Ubervu?