LiveJournal Accused Of Redirecting Links, Swiping Affiliate Fees

from the trust-issues dept

You may or may not remember, many years ago, that one of the “tricks” used by adware was to hijack affiliate fees. Basically, the way it would work is that the adware would watch where you were clicking, and if the URL was for an online store that had an affiliate program or affiliate link, the adware would swap in its own adware account info, allowing the adware company to collect the affiliate fees rather than the company/individual who actually earned it. Sneaky.

However, now there are some claims that popular blog/community site LiveJournal is doing the same thing itself. Shawn Tutt points us to a story claiming that LiveJournal is redirecting outbound links from users such that they appear to strip any affiliate codes and add LiveJournal’s own affiliate codes to a long list of popular e-commerce sites. It’s hard to think of a better way to piss off a bunch of your own users than to replace their own affiliate codes with your own. Once people started complaining about this, it looks like LiveJournal stripped out the code. Still, it does raise some really big trust questions about LiveJournal, if it thought this was a good idea in the first place.

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Companies: livejournal

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Comments on “LiveJournal Accused Of Redirecting Links, Swiping Affiliate Fees”

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Luci says:


(Frickin’ hell!)

From the link provided in the article:

‘[info]marta has posted some information saying the code was supposed to add “this link came via lj” affiliate info to non affiliated links — the link would go to exactly the same place it was supposed to, but there would be information added saying that the link had come via LJ — 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.’

David Gerard (profile) says:

Amazon is Not Amused

Quote from thread:

“Amazon replied to me with a form letter. The summary is:
. Thanks for telling us.
2. Anybody who lost revenue (or believes they lost revenue) due to affiliate hijacking should let us know via the Associate Program contact form. We’ll fix it.
3. We Are Not Amused.
4. And for obvious business reasons, we can’t tell you exactly what we’re doing. But thanks for the tip-off, we’re probably doing something. Maybe.
hich is pretty much what I expected, although #2 was a bit of a nice surprise.”

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