I have a couple of Google Alerts set up to look for content online referring to myself, mainly just to see how people are using my content. I don’t have a problem with people using my content, and believe in the principles of Creative Commons, under which I licence my site. I just like to make sure I’m not being misrepresented somewhere.
In my latest alert email, I found my name mentioned on a page I’ve never seen or heard of before, so curiously I went for a link. It is not uncommon for sites to scrape data out of social media services such as Twitter, but generally attribute back to the original source, such as a tweet.
|Mind Blowing Collingwood|
If you look at the page, it strikes me that it scrapes information from the trending topics on Twitter, constructs a page out of the contents of a link it finds in a tweet, and then includes some tweets as “comments” against the article.
If you look at the “Updates” pane on the right, there are some truly bizarre article titles, such as “Mind Blowing Watching Teen Mom”, “A truly Innovative way to Glee tonight”, and “A Hard Time Halloween Party”. Don’t make a lot of sense, do they?
I certainly didn’t visit this page to “post a comment”, and it doesn’t even seem to be a tweet that I wrote! Sounds to me like the beginning of something with potential nefariousness! Looking through the source code of the page, there doesn’t seem to be anything nasty there yet.
But keep an eye out.