You may remember my recent case study on bad social media manners. Well, here is another one for you.
Earlier this week, as I was checking my daily Google Alerts emails, I noticed a title that looked strangely similar to the one I had used for one of my recent social media articles on Examiner.com.
I clicked the link and found out that a blogger had actually copied and pasted this article verbatim on his blog. No source was quoted. He had just included the signature I add at the bottom of each of my articles.
My first reaction was to leave a comment under the stolen content. I explained to the blogger that he could only quote an extract and would have to link to the rest of the story on Examiner.com.
Here is what happened in screenshots. Click each picture to see it in full size in a new tab.
(Yes, you read it right: Apparently, insults and derogatory comments are the new cool in social media marketing!)
Content scraping is a very common practice. So, how do you deal with it?
Here are a few things to do:
1) Save a screenshot of your stolen content on your computer.
2) Leave a comment under the article. Ask the blogger to take the page down.
3) If they do not respond, send them a polite reminder by email.
4) In case of total silence on their part, contact them on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Take screenshots of the conversation.
5) If the blogger becomes aggressive in any way, respond politely but remain firm.
6) Conduct a WHOIS Lookup search to find the blogger’s web hosting company. Contact the latter to let them know about the issue.
7) Protect your blog with the following tools:
- WP Site Protector – This plugin allows you to disable right clicks and text selection.
- RSS Footer – The plugin adds a line of content to the beginning or the end of all the articles in your feeds.
- Creative Commons licenses
- Copyscape – The website provides a free plagiarism checker for finding copies of your content online.
8) Make the issue public by sharing your experience on your blog.
Have you had to deal with content scrapers? If so, what did you do?