Now Media

Beware of cheap imitators

Glancing at John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review for Sunday, I came across one of his links to a post on Under Secretary Judith McHale’s speech at CNAS. As I read it, I thought the words sounded familiar, and for good reason. John linked to some blog that copies other people’s content to increase their links/visitors. I visited the blog so you don’t have to:

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They indiscriminately copied the beginning of this post. Possibly it was automated or likely they didn’t care that it began with “Below are…” when they had nothing “below.”

This isn’t the first time I’m been copied. GoogleAlerts has alerted me to several similar entries on “spam” blogs (is there another name for these?). The best one, however, was the verbatim copy of one of my posts (was it my op-ed?) by a Southeast Asian news website who put one of their own as the author.

There’s a lesson in here about the ease in which information can be reappropriated and used for alternative purposes.