I came across a blog post today which sounded very familiar. Here is the post:


Why did the content sound familiar? Well, read from "The Answer" down. Doesn't it read exactly like my answer here?

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If you said yes, you'd be right! It is copied, word-for-word, but with no link or mention of where it came from.

I think this is a slightly different scenario than the cloning / scraping sites. They're just re-presenting the content. In this case the guy is clearly taking the content I posted in an answer and presenting it as if it were his own work. I only caught it because he included links to my blog posts that I had included in the original answer, and I received trackbacks. I was really disappointed to see my own writing appear without any attribution, mention of my name, link to StackOverflow, etc.

Now, I know that the SE network can't really prevent this dodgy behavior, and other than potentially diverting traffic from the site in the case where a search yields his site first, there really isn't any visible harm to SO.

But what is the official stance? Has this happened to other users? Can anything be done (other than contacting them and asking nicely to add attribution or remove the content)?


Oh yes, it has happened before:

  1. Whenever you find a new site that is using our data without proper attribution, check this meta question and make sure it’s listed.
  2. If you have contact information for the site that is inappropriately using our content, forward it to us at team@stackoverflow.com for action.
  3. If you’re feeling a bit miffed about the whole situation, don’t hesitate to forward a link to our attribution guidelines to the site operators, or their ISP, and briefly indicate specifically where they are not following them. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, and all that.
  4. If the site is wrapping the content in invasive ads that attempt to redirect the user or compromise their web experience in some way, I encourage you to report it at http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_badware/ ; I’m only adding this because it happened recently (!).

And if you find a site hosting posts from SE ranking higher in the results than the original page on Stack Exchange, please report them here. Especially if attribution is not given to the original.

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