Forced link added to my post that takes the reader to an absolutely irrelevant site

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#1
Could a mod or @chris please remove that "Shopping link added by SkimWords" that was added to the words "Intel LTE" on the penultimate line of my post right here? I can't seem to remove it, and the link is absolutely and utterly irrelevant to the subject at hand. It takes you to a page for buying laptops at MacMall/PC Mall, whereas the post was about the difference in performance of the two modem models found in the iPhone 7/7 Plus. I feel it reduces the quality of my post, and quality posts is something that I know the mods and system administrator have always appreciated here. If these forced links would actually link to relevant and/or helpful information, that'd be fine, but apparently, the software that's adding these links to our posts appears to be fairly dumb.

The second post on that thread by another user was also hit with a forced shopping link that, again, had absolutely nothing to do with his post.

Is this going to be happening often now?
 
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Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#2
In support of my "complaint" above, I share this private conversation with @Europa where she had the following to say about excessive or unneeded links in posts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 10.39.56 PM.png


I agreed with her and have since reduced the number of links I add to my posts.

Now these forced shopping links are doing exactly the opposite of what she recommended (and which I agreed with).

They draw the reader's attention away from the valid and relevant information (and relevant links) that I include in my posts.

Like she said in the last line, if people were interested in (x), they can find it on their own. Let's keep posts as high-quality as possible by not adding these links to irrelevant sites.
 
Jun 19, 2007
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Upper Marlboro, MD
#3
In support of my "complaint" above, I share this private conversation with @Europa where she had the following to say about excessive or unneeded links in posts:

View attachment 44950

I agreed with her and have since reduced the number of links I add to my posts.

Now these forced shopping links are doing exactly the opposite of what she recommended (and which I agreed with).

They draw the reader's attention away from the valid and relevant information (and relevant links) that I include in my posts.

Like she said in the last line, if people were interested in (x), they can find it on their own. Let's keep posts as high-quality as possible by not adding these links to irrelevant sites.
Chris obviously implemented this; it didn't just magically appear. Running a forum is a profit-seeikng operation. I just ignore the links if they don't interest me.

Remember that this forum belongs to Chris. We're just guests here.

What's so difficult about ignoring a link?
 
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Rafagon

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#4
Chris obviously implemented this; it didn't just magically appear. Running a forum is a profit-seeikng operation. I just ignore the links if they don't interest me.

Remember that this forum belongs to Chris. We're just guests here.

What's so difficult about ignoring a link?
You have made good points. However, it’s a non-issue at this point, as it seems someone removed the unnecessary and distracting link; thanks and kudos to whoever managed to accomplish that.

Or perhaps the links only stay active for a limited amount of time and then self-destruct? Who knows!

I noticed that the link to an irrelevant site was removed not just from my post, but also from the post that followed mine. That link, too, was completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

The thing with what you said about ignoring the link you’re not interested in is that you can't know if the links are going to be of interest until you click on them because the hyperlinked words may seem interesting, but then you click on the link and end up on a site that had absolutely nothing to do with the words that were hyperlinked! It’s misleading! In other words, you might think it’s interesting but then, surprise, you’re suddenly at Mac Mall/PC Mall looking at something that had nothing to do with the words that were force-hyperlinked.

I totally get that this is @chris ’s place. If he wants to change every font used everywhere on the forum to Comic Sans, then so be it, LOL! We have to accept it, obviously.

I just hope he can find software with a smarter algorithm than “SkimWords” to add somewhat more revelant links to users’ posts. For example, maybe my post about the iPhone 7’s two different modems could have had a link added that takes the user to a site where he/she can purchase—an iPhone 7. From the links that were added today, I felt that “SkimWords” may not be the wisest choice of forum patch to force-add links to people’s posts, but that’s just my $0.02, nothing more! :)
 
Jun 19, 2007
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#5
The thing with what you said about ignoring the link you’re not interested in is that you can't know if the links are going to be of interest until you click on them because the hyperlinked words may seem interesting, but then you click on the link and end up on a site that had absolutely nothing to do with the words that were hyperlinked!
Sometimes, hovering over a hyperlink will tell you what the link leads to, so that may help.
 

Europa

Moderator
Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
28,453
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Utah
#6
This isn't going to be removed. Website server space and maintenance aren't free. Some form of advertising is required to sustain the site. Modern content blockers have resulted in typical ads generating less revenue, so this form is a good alternative that allows the forum to stay up and running, reliable and secure.

Underline or bold links that you want to differentiate as intended links.
 

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#8
I wonder who in this forum has used the most server space over the past couple years? :D ;)
Server space filled with quality posts, of course!

And quality posts show up on Google results and bring new people to the forum!

And since many don't bother to sign up, they see ads... So I think your question should be, "Who in this forum has brought in the most revenue to this forum?" :cool::D
 

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#9
This isn't going to be removed. Website server space and maintenance aren't free. Some form of advertising is required to sustain the site. Modern content blockers have resulted in typical ads generating less revenue, so this form is a good alternative that allows the forum to stay up and running, reliable and secure.

Underline or bold links that you want to differentiate as intended links.
That’s a good tip. When one of my posts gets adulterated by the advertisement-adding bot, I can make my actual links stand out either via boldface or underlining. That way, people know what’s really linked by me and what was added by the bot. So if they don’t like the ad/website that was linked to by the bot in my post, they don’t think I did it and decide to give me a Dislike for “tricking them” into clicking on an ad. I’m not concerned about the regulars, they will automatically recognize the bot’s handiwork and not hold me responsible. Newbies or casual visitors, however, might not know any better.

Something I’ve seen elsewhere on the ‘net is that the bot makes its advertisement links double-underline and/or yellow so that the user automatically knows which links point to ads and which are genuine.

Not sure what caused it but the ones that caught my attention are, as I said, now gone.
 
Jun 19, 2007
33,493
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#10
When one of my posts gets adulterated by the advertisement-adding bot
From the eiC Terms of Service and Rules:

We reserve the rights to remove or modify any Content posted for any reason without explanation. Requests for Content to be removed or modified will be undertaken only at our discretion. We reserve the right to take action against any account with the Service at any time.

You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.

If you do not agree with these terms, please do not register or use this Service. If you wish to close your account, please contact us.


It seems pretty clear.
 

Rafagon

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#11
From the eiC Terms of Service and Rules:

We reserve the rights to remove or modify any Content posted for any reason without explanation. Requests for Content to be removed or modified will be undertaken only at our discretion. We reserve the right to take action against any account with the Service at any time.

You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.

If you do not agree with these terms, please do not register or use this Service. If you wish to close your account, please contact us.


It seems pretty clear.
That’s a good tip...I can make my actual links stand out either via boldface or underlining. That way, people know what’s really linked by me and what was added by the bot.
Thanks for going through the trouble of getting that for me, but I’ve already said I understand that and I will use Europa’s suggestions to emphasize genuine links.

Doesn’t mean I have to speak lovingly about it. :)
 
Jun 19, 2007
33,493
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#12
Thanks for going through the trouble of getting that for me, but I’ve already said I understand that and I will use Europa’s suggestions to emphasize genuine links.

Doesn’t mean I have to speak lovingly about it. :)
But now everyone can see the forum's legal stand on the subject.

I was just stating an official position for clarity.
 

Rafagon

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#13
We reserve the rights to remove or modify any Content posted for any reason without explanation. Requests for Content to be removed or modified will be undertaken only at our discretion. We reserve the right to take action against any account with the Service at any time.

You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.
But… a serious question. Hopefully you can help me with this one.

I am granting you with a non-exclusive, etc…, license to re-publish my Content? Does that include re-publishing my Content that has been “modified without explanation?”

If so, then a clause should probably added to the T&C explicitly stating as much.

Example:

So I can post that “I love the White Sox!”

You can change it to “I hate the White Sox!”

And then you can re-publish the second [modified] statement? And include my name, handle, and/or likeness along with the modified quote? Isn’t that slander or something like that?

That would be pretty lame.

Hope it never actually happens to me.
 
Jun 19, 2007
33,493
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Upper Marlboro, MD
#14
But… a serious question. Hopefully you can help me with this one.

I am granting you with a non-exclusive, etc…, license to re-publish my Content? Does that include re-publishing my Content that has been “modified without explanation?”

If so, then a clause should probably added to the T&C explicitly stating as much.

Example:

So I can post that “I love the White Sox!”

You can change it to “I hate the White Sox!”

And then you can re-publish the second [modified] statement? And include my name, handle, and/or likeness along with the modified quote? Isn’t that slander or something like that?

That would be pretty lame.

Hope it never actually happens to me.
Don't worry. I doubt much of your content would be republished anyway. :)
 

Europa

Moderator
Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
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#15
But… a serious question. Hopefully you can help me with this one.

I am granting you with a non-exclusive, etc…, license to re-publish my Content? Does that include re-publishing my Content that has been “modified without explanation?”

If so, then a clause should probably added to the T&C explicitly stating as much.

Example:

So I can post that “I love the White Sox!”

You can change it to “I hate the White Sox!”

And then you can re-publish the second [modified] statement? And include my name, handle, and/or likeness along with the modified quote? Isn’t that slander or something like that?

That would be pretty lame.

Hope it never actually happens to me.
No, replublishing does not include modifying without explanation.
 

chris

Administrator
Administrator
Jun 10, 2006
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#18
In order to facilitate the costs associated with this site, we regularly review various opportunities to generate revenue to help offset these costs. In this instance, we've tested and decided to discontinue the service which was adding links.
 

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#19
In order to facilitate the costs associated with this site, we regularly review various opportunities to generate revenue to help offset these costs. In this instance, we've tested and decided to discontinue the service which was adding links.
Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Er, I mean, okay, boss man, Roger that. Maybe an alternate service could provide more relevant links.