I thought Bloglovin’ was an unauthorized duplicator of this blog [PSA]

I discovered tonight that this entire blog has been sucked into BL, copied verbatim on their own site, with no link back to the source, no trackbacks, no notifications, nada.  I’m not a lawyer, and this entire post is (like everything else on here) my own opinion, but this seems incredibly shady and irresponsible to me.

Tonight, I sent a cheery cease & desist letter via email to Bloglovin’s support team.  I am posting it here, word-for-word as a PSA to all of my fellow bloggers who might have had their entire site lifted without their knowledge or consent.  (I can lift and reuse my own content 😉 😉  That last sentence is a joke!) ❤

Anyway, here’s the letter I sent…

***

To whom it may concern,

At no point have I EVER explicitly allowed https://thesilentwaveblog.wordpress.com to be hosted on your site.  While searching for, interestingly enough, PLAGIARISM of my blog, I came across your site.  Posts in their entirety, and the images I used, are contained on your site.  The “view original” button whisks one away to…

…yet another Bloglovin’ page!  As if you wrote my post yourselves.  Sure, my site is fully visible, but the URL says “frame.bloglovin…”, which is not MY domain.

I hereby issue a Cease and Desist order on ALL publishing of my posts IMMEDIATELY.  In addition, I hereby issue a Cease and Desist order of maintenance of the “The Silent Wave” blog entry ANYWHERE on your servers.  TL, DR?  Delete pronto!  The entire thing.

You will notice that I had to create an account just to “claim my blog” (although a simple click of the “claim this blog” button only took me to a page that told me how to publish a post with some whacky blog-claiming code in it)!  No, I’m drawing the line.  I’ve done enough work for one evening; it’s your turn.  After all, you started this; I didn’t.  Please delete that account, too, as I wish not to be associated with this site in any way; I never have, and I never will.

Thank you for your prompt attention and your immediate action.
~The Silent Wave AUTHOR/OWNER

***

Essentially, my lovelies, Bloglovin’ is slurping up the RSS feed that goes out with each blog post.  They will claim they are not “stealing” it, but if that’s the case, then they have a pretty creative, bendy definition!

Some facts:

  • I had hardly even heard of Bloglovin’ (thus what good do they do me?).  Until it came to my attention tonight that they had ripped off my entire blog.
  • I never set up an account with them (until tonight, in an attempt to “claim my blog”, which failed and now I’m trying to delete said account).
  • I never registered my blog with them.
  • I never gave permission for my blog to be included on that site (however, for the record, I am fully open to the duplication/sharing of content using the WP-based Reblogs and Press This! buttons, which track back to this site and automatically attribute proper credit, and in order to Reblog/Press This!, there is no advance permission needed–please, go ahead 🙂 )
  • There is no link from Bloglovin’ onto this site; “viewing the original” is not what it sounds like; it does not take the reader to this blog; it opens up a *carbon copy* (!) of this blog on their site.
  • In addition, there is a development initiative underway on Bloglovin’ that will soon (if they don’t already) allow Likes and Comments to be posted directly to their site.  If I understand correctly (and that’s a big IF, but given their ethical code thus far…), then I’m guessing Bloglovin’ won’t go to great lengths to sync those comments up with the blogs they’re lifting.
  • Their answer to everything is to email support@bloglovin.com, which I did the moment before I began writing this post, and thus, the outcome is unknown and yet to be seen.  I’ll keep y’all posted.

Chances are, that if you have a blog, Bloglovin’ has done the same thing to you, without your knowledge or consent, without even having created an account or having heard of them.

If you are OK with this, hell, I won’t judge!  Stuff like this is simply not a huge deal to some people, and that’s perfectly OK. 🙂

The reason I’m not OK with this has nothing to do with numeric stats.  It has everything to do with being able to interact with people directly, help people, share ideas and experiences back and forth, make friends, and generally be part of a gorgeous community.  If someone Likes or Comments on something on Bloglovin’ and that doesn’t get reflected here, then I’m never going to know that someone might have a question or need to reach out to someone and talk, or what-have-you.  Bloglovin’ was perfectly content pilfering content, without so much as letting me know.

I don’t rely on this blog for income (I pay nothing, and I make nothing), but I know that several of you likely do, and as I mentioned before, Bloglovin’ has probably allowed this to be done to you, too, which robs you of hits/views, stats, and other factors that might affect your site traffic and income.  The same probably holds true for social media buttons, especially if they point to crowdfunding sites; I do not know whether or not Bloglovin’ copies these over and if so, do they simply point to another copied-verbatim page on Bloglovin’s site, or do they actually point to Patreon, etc?

At the very least, even if you’re not looking to make any money off your blog and you’re not necessarily concerned with numbers/stats, but you would like to meet other people and have more discussions on your blog, Bloglovin’ can still hurt you.  If Google sees your blog post (on your blog) and the same post, word-for-word on Bloglovin’, then they will consider them duplicates and kick one out of the search rankings.  Unfortunately, chances are, the one that they kick out will likely be yours.  Bloglovin’ is a bigger, more monied site, and will “pull rank’ via its higher overall rankings.  When push comes to shove, Google and other search engines will choose Bloglovin’s version of your content over your original post.

I understand that this may be old news to some.  I remember a hubbub about it on Twitter a long time ago, but after checking and not seeing anything, I had forgotten about it.  I never did check back, until tonight.

But in case it is news to you, and this entity and its practices DO bother you like they do me, I wanted to ensure that you knew that this was going on, so that you have a heads up.  If you can, I encourage y’all to speak up, speak out, and take action as needed/as possible.

This has been my PSA for the day.

OK, now back to regularly-scheduled programming.  🙂

[UPDATE 10-09-2017: It turns out that this post was fueled largely by my own misconceptions.  The truth behind these was not obvious–the situation looks really bad, but actually it’s not–not that I’m using that as an excuse, but it certainly does explain things.  I’ve attempted to rectify my errors here.  My deepest apologies!]

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86 Comments

  1. That SUCKS! Totally unethical and just plain Scummy. Thanks for the warning.

    The WordPress folks probably DO care about stats and clicks, so would probably send their own Cease and Desist if they knew that WordPress.com blogs were being pirated whole-scale by Bloglovin – I’m sure the WordPress attorneys have some clout to get it removed.

    Those folks don’t like to read, so send a SHORT letter explaining what happened in as few words as possible.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Yep 👏🏼👏🏼 And word on the (blog) street is that they’ll never take it down. Apparently they flat-out refuse requests to do so, even from the blog authors themselves. I’m scared to sink deeper into the abyss by going through the steps to “claim” ,y blog, because you *know* there’s something in their TOS that would chain me further. Something to do with giving them total consent to do whatever they want, with no fear of recourse. I understand that they would need proof that my blog is actually mine, but they’re so shady in general anyway that I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d pull some horrid shenanigans. Ugh lol 😜💗☮️

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Just put a text-widget on the top right sidebar of my blog – with a link here.

    TITLE: Bloglovin Pirates WordPress.com Sites – YOURS maybe?
    TEXT: Do NOT support Bloglovin – they are STEALING entire sites without permission, attribution or backlinks. CLICK HERE to read it from one to whom it happened.
    xx,
    mgh

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Yeah!! I remember thinking that My Space would stick around a lot longer, but now everyone’s like, “who?” Lol 😂💙. The same thing happened to AOL (kind of), some older search engines, even some of the major web browsers. And I think Live Journal, too. I can only hope that BL flushes down the same toilet 😂😉😤💌💌

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to do the same with my work I think.
        I once had a guy reply to one of my blogs once saying something like “Thanks, man. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” I tried to reply to him to ask him what he meant but his blog site didn’t exist.
        I remember thinking, “ok, so he’s obviously looking for a homework or something and has found my.blog and nabbed it.”
        😡 grrrrr

        Liked by 2 people

  3. well first i expected to find a public url with your unattributed work on it– which i would agree is plagiarising and something you should be able to go after them for. so please dont assume prejudice on my part unless its in your favour.

    then i decided to check out the site. heres what i found SO FAR (and im still checking on this, please feel free to give me more information if you want to.)

    1. i dont think bloglovin did ANYTHING to target YOUR BLOG. this (probably) isnt the admins doing this– its a Site User (their audience) doing it. this will become relevant to other points.

    2. i am not certain that bloglovin HAS your files (any of your text) on their server. what they are doing (from a technical standpoint) is probably like when you put a youtube video “on your blog.” youre not actually hosting the video, youre putting it on the page and youtube is hosting it.

    to try out this theory, you could move a post to the trash, find out if it still loads, but if it remains in the rss feed after you trash it, then you know theyre getting it from the rss feed– i dont know if the rss will immediately reflect your edit or not. perhaps 5 minutes after– or 5 hours.

    if you delete a post (you can get it out of the trash after) and it disappears from bloglovin, you know theyre not hosting it– i believe you already know what a frame is, and the url suggests this is what it is.

    im not saying that its generally acceptable to use frames to remote-load a page on another site. this is generally frowned upon as a practice and i believe copyright applies under such use (but youd have to ask a lawyer to be sure.) so im not saying that necessarily makes it ok.

    but that brings me to this point, which i want you to consider carefully:

    “Essentially, my lovelies, Bloglovin’ is slurping up the RSS feed that goes out with each blog post.”

    thats the one.

    so far, i believe this is the very point of bloglovin:

    1. subscribe to rss feeds (that is the point of an rss feed.) bloglovin isnt doing it, someone who uses it as their rss reader is (most likely) the responsible party.

    using a website as an rss reader (albeit one designed in a way thats bound to get them into trouble– but its not necessarily malicious or “piracy” even if its technically infringing) is not uncommon–

    I USE MY OWN WORDPRESS ACCOUNT for that purpose. i use wordpress to watch *several websites* and not just wordpress blogs.

    if this is not really bloglovin copying your work–

    if this is really someone using bloglovin the same way i use wordpress– to watch rss feeds (which is why rss was invented)

    if this is just someone reading your blog essentially using a site as “yet another rss reader app”

    are you sure you really want to block them from doing that? “yes” is a fair answer if bloglovin *is indeed* copying and re-hosting your blog, but if its really just an rss feed (like the one wordpress gives me when i visit wordpress.com while logged in…)

    stuff to think about. also if im wrong, i do want details. im interested in facts, not only my assumptions so far.

    good luck ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome info, bro!! 😘💖. Thank you so much for digging so deeply into this! 👍👏.

      I’ll give you any info you’d like, my friend 😊. Ask me anything 💜.

      I think you’re spot-on about someone (in the audience) having added it 👏. And yeah, I think it’s based on RSS feed. The workaround for that, that I’ve found, is to go into WP Settings on the Dashboard, and select Reading from the menu and make sure to click on the radio button that says “Summary”, as opposed to the whole post. Of course, this might mess up some folks whose audiences are primarily RSS or newsletters, but that sounds like a minority of cases; for most people, barring BL removing the blog altogether, the WP Settings tweak will be doable.

      I’ve also seen some posts (via searching on Google) about how you can block BL from accessing your site, presumably without messing with the Reading settings on the Dashboard (although I don’t know that for sure), but I haven’t delved far enough into that topic to know how to do that, and it might take some HTML code-level tweaking, which personally scares the shit out of me lol 😉

      I’ll keep looking into this, too. I’m sure there are workable solutions 😁❤️💜

      The YouTube video example/analogy is very helpful 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just searched them and there are a lot of blog posts about them and they are NOT happy. Same stuff you have written. I have had emails from them but never signed up. I can’t find their facebook site.
    Why are there so many people out there that are willing to screw with our stuff!!!!!!! So wrong

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *if* what theyre doing is legit they still seem to be doing it in a way that is resulting in a lot of misunderstandings. not very good pr and probably a bad design, if their intent is to be an rss feed.

      the “reader” feature of wordpress.com works in a similar way, but im not sure most people know they can subscribe to any rss feed using wordpress, rather than only blogs. it is still possible for bloglovin to do the same thing in a shady or infringing way; regardless, theyre going to need better p.r. or better lawyers, or both. it all depends on how they do it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. also if you would like to curtail this immediately, you can switch your rss output from “full text” to “summary” at this url: [your blog url] /wp-admin/options-reading.php

    no one else will be able to get at those settings, but if i put my own url it lets me get at mine.

    switching from full text to summary means that rss does its job, they still have incentive to visit to your actual blog, and then its a lot more like your new blog where you are just using a portion of a post via the “reblog” feature. you can probably turn off rss entirely, but you probably dont want to. you can also set your site to “private” but i really dont recommend it as im sure its not what you want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. update: theyre certainly hosting something on their site. ive yet to find anything of yours there (a link would be useful. i know you dont want to give them traffic, but for purposes of letting people know whats happening, it would be useful. as it is im spending a lot of time trying to find something of yours on there.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. another update: i found your blog, but the only thing i found that was hosted on their side (or reframed) was the title of a post and a link back to your blog (here at wordpress.)

        id *really* like you to send me a url where theyve posted something of yours without a link back.

        in fact, what i found looked like it could be someone reblogging part of your post to tumblr, before that was loaded by bloglovin. im still on the fence here. my litmus for this is “are they doing something worse than the basic functionality of wordpress itself?” so far the answer is “perhaps” but not necessarily by a lot. still looking for the facts. its not that i dont believe you, but i really want to understand this for myself. i want it first-hand. as for them rehosting my content, i already license mine to allow anyone to do just that. id still like them to be accountable for what they do to other bloggers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hiya! OK, I’m on my laptop now (couldn’t access any Silent Wave posts on BL from my phone lol). Here’s one URL: http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5797841403&blog=18280795&group=0&frame=1&frame_type=search&search_term=%22the+silent+wave%22&feed_order=undefined&context=&context_ids=&click=0&user=0

          I don’t know if it’ll work for you, because I didn’t log out of WP, but I reckon it should work. (I deactivated the account I had previously set up on BL itself.)

          Yeah, this doesn’t look like it involves Tumblr. It’s this blog itself. Interestingly, when I access the page linked to in this comment, it looks *exactly* as though one were accessing this blog itself.
          And when I hover the mouse pointer over any of the links and look down below at the URL, it does indeed indicate my blog. And the links are indeed active. But when I click on one, it sends me to the right-looking page…except that the URL at the top of the browser still says “frame.bloglovin.com…(and something long after that)”. In other words, it hasn’t taken me to this blog itself; it still keeps me confined to BL’s site. When one is logged into BL, there’ll be a (fairly *faint*) little ‘x’ in the top-right corner, and *only* by clicking that will the user be taken to the actual blog site.

          :O ❤ ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          1. its loading that in a frame for sure– the “reader” and “write” links are available to me (mine, not yours.)

            if thats not clear, definitely visit my latest post– it will explain everything.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, Awww thank you so much for letting me know. I have started an account on there too, but still working on it..so it shocked me when I read your post. No worries, we are only human and we make sometimes make mistakes….: ) Thank you again……Sophie

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi Laina, 🙂 I am just glad that we now know what is going on 🙂 take care and keep posting those wonderful posts. I try to keep up but sometimes I miss a few….Huge hugs Sophie

            Like

    1. Thank you very much for your input, Tim 😊👏🏼. Ugh. I’m pretty sure it’s popular, although I can’t necessarily see why lol. Maybe I’m missing something and I’ll end up eating my words later lol. (*Wouldn’t be the first time.*). 😁💚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ive signed up with bloglovin and added my own wordpress blog (which is licensed for full reuse to anyone. its entirely in the public domain.)

    bloglovin appears to be an alternative to wordpress; it lets me post a blog, it lets me follow blogs (i follow blogspot blogs from here on wordpress) the real “problem” (or problem) here is that its publicly displaying content from lainas blog. theyre going to get in trouble for that eventually.

    when i visit my own wp blog from bloglovin (which i told it to follow) it simply loads it in a frame. in that event, (wordpress) likes and comments are available. however, outside the frame it is also possible to “love” the post or share it on bloglovin– this could certainly confuse viewers, plus im not sure this is the extent of the site functionality. what lainas taking issue with could be something else. at this point i would urge her to sign up and try it. im waiting to find out if bloglovin is more like wordpress, or more like funnyjunk (funnyjunk are absolutely guilty of what laina is talking about) http://theoatmeal.com/blog/funnyjunk

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Omg thank you for looking so deeply into this! Yeah, I think it *is* confusing. The whole thing (Bloglovin itself) is. Almost like it’s been built that way by design… 🤔. Their wording is also rather ambiguous and borderline fearmongering. Making people think they could lose their blog if they *don’t* sign up to claim their blog. I mean, why do these aggregation sites exist anyway? It’s not like the WP Reader sucks. People can even enter blogs from other domains, like Blogspot URLs to follow. I wonder (out loud, but mostly rhetorically) isn’t the WP Reader good enough? I mean, it’s not like users have to start a blog of their own in order to Like and comment on posts; WP used to require that, but changed it a few years back (?) to allow people to register without starting a blog. Gah. I’m rambling now, though lol. 😉😁❤️💓

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just discovered that they have done the same thing to me, and sent them an email about it. I checked out a link I had recently posted to this site, and at least that still came to this site and not to their frame, but I was displeased to see my content there with no credit given.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They appear to have my entire blog on there. I obviously did not explain myself very well in that previous comment. The bit about the link was that while viewing one of my posts in their frame I checked out a link in that post to one of your posts and at least that had not been tampered with – it still went to thesilentwaveblog and not to their frame.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh man, that sucks, my friend ❤ No problem about the explanation 🙂 I'm Awake "tonight" (it's 5am here) and although I don't feel tired, my brain isn't processing at 100% atm 😉 So it's probably not you; it's probably me lol 🙂 OK good, at least the external links point to the sites. I hope you are able to get something done about your blog! Good luck, bro ❤

          Like

        2. i dont normally tell people to visit my wordpress blog, but in this instance i have signed up with bloglovin and shown how it works from logged in (they havent copied your blog, they are loading it in a frame.) if you want to know more, i was pretty thorough.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “they havent copied your blog, they are loading it in a frame”

            That’s a really good observation! Thank you for this! 🙂

            I just wish they’d take the frames out, instead of racking up their own stats at the expense of those of the creators (for those who rely on stats), and do away with the Liking and Commenting on there and send the user directly to the blogs themselves; that way, the users can engage in more direct dialogue with the writers 😀 ❤

            Liked by 1 person

          2. the way a frame works is sort of like loading the actual wordpress page “in a new window” but then shoving the new window into the same page as the site that loaded it…

            so when bloglovin loads your site in a frame, your stats still go up, people can still like your post (in a way that it registers on wordpress) and the comments still go to your blog. HOWEVER– they ALSO have a “love” button (which is exactly what people are going to call it, even on a family blog…) and their own extra features around it, which could confuse users. but all the wp features are there and users can still interact directly with you. in a slightly more cluttered context.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. That really sucks! I googled to see if my blog was on Bloglovin and I couldn’t find anything, thankfully. We all work really hard on our blogs and it’s not fair that big companies steal our work. It takes away views from our blogs and if you get ad revenue, that goes down when views go down. It’s a lot like when artists’ work gets stolen and reposted on Tumblr or Instagram with no credit. Rule of thumb: Ask permission before sharing your friends’ blog posts or art and tell people you’ve shared it. Your blog is very well thought out and I enjoy reading it.

    I love when people share my blogs. It’s the best thing people can do for me, but I don’t want people reproducing the entire blog even with credit, just post a little excerpt and give them a link to the original if they want to see the whole post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂 Yeah, apparently they load the site, but in their frame (which is a small banner across the top), so that can cause some confusion for Bloglovin’ users. Readers might want to comment, ask questions, seek friendship, or otherwise interact, but if they do it on BL, I would never know. 😦 And my other main issue with them is that apparently, according to what I’ve read on other blog posts, BL indexes the post with Google, telling them that they’re the original author, which drives down page views. Gah. Settings > Reading and click the “Summary” button instead of the “Full Text” button, to give a snippet of the post and then hopefully the user will click on the link to read the rest. At least at that point, BL still has the blog and still gets the post (from what I hear, they will *not* remove blogs from their website), but they won’t get the full text. I hope. 😉 Now I just have to see if blog post snippets on BL open up into another BL “frame” window or if they take the reader directly to the original blog. Time will tell 😉 ❤

      Again, thanks a bunch for commenting and voicing your support ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I guess I just don’t understand why someone would do this….what is the rationale. I suppose we can demonstrate compassion towards someone like this, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand.
    P.S. I think you are wonderful (no lines, so sand were harmed in making that comment)

    Liked by 1 person

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