Mar. 4th, 2010

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  • 10:07 @infidelsarecool No media bias here, move along. #
  • 14:06 No offshore drilling until at least 2012. Yeah, and if Obama's re-elected, you know it'll be pushed back to 2016. bit.ly/bmVsaq #
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I'm sure someone will come up with a much more clever name for this that includes the word "Fail." Regardless, it definitely appears that LiveJournal has screwed the pooch yet again.

Links to about 150 e-commerce sites that users post to their LiveJournals are being redirected through a 3rd party website. These redirected links also open in a new window.

Among other things, this redirection strips any existing affiliate links and inserts a different affiliate link

Emphasis in original.  This doesn't affect me personally, but that doesn't matter.  As the saying goes, it's the principle of the thing.  Whether intentional or not, LJ is ripping off any user who posts links with affiliate data in their journals.  I'm about this close to washing my hands of LJ altogether.  Unfortunately, I doubt they'd refund my permanent account fee so I guess I'd just have to write it off.
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radarrider: (Default)
According to [livejournal.com profile] irishkate who commented on my last post, the code that does the redirect is being scrapped by LJ.  According to the linked post:

... the code was supposed to add "this link came via lj" affiliate info to non affiliated links -- which makes a lot more sense (and sounds thankfully less sinister) than hijacking people's links and taking them to advertisers, but didn't work as expected. It's still being scrapped.

That's all well and good but the fact remains that they used a very surreptitious method which uses obfuscated Javascript to fool people into thinking the link is exactly what it appears to be.  It does this by exploiting a standard browser feature where code can override what the browser normally displays in its statsbar when you hover over the link.

So maybe it wasn't nefarious in intent.  Nevertheless, as [livejournal.com profile] caffeinepuppy noted in this post:

...this a technique that would only be used by someone who wanted to hide the fact that they are manipulating outbound links.

Regardless of intent, this is the kind of thing you Just Do Not Do.  I have five Dreamwidth invite codes should you wish to come on over.

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