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Old 09-28-09, 01:39 PM   #1
tjwarren
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Please stop skimming links to "redirectingat.com"

I'm sorry, but using OnMouseDown to change a link as you click on it sets off red flags for me, it's something spammers and scammers do.

Please stop skimming links.
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Old 10-02-09, 03:03 AM   #2
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Jaa, I just noticed that all links are going through http://redirectingat.com/ What's up with that?
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Old 10-02-09, 04:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for bringing this up, I've been wondering about this myself. I've reported this post to the Admins and asked what's going on.

--Juha, a Forum Mod
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Old 10-02-09, 10:05 AM   #4
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And I'll address the question as well. I'll be talking to our tech people over the weekend, anyway, and that would be as good a tme as any.
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Old 10-02-09, 10:41 AM   #5
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This seems related:

http://www.eurogamer.net/forum_thread_posts.php?thread_id=145799



http://skimlinks.com/
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Old 10-02-09, 10:52 AM   #6
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'Earn money from your site's content easily and transparently' Nice! Not transparently enough though.....
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Old 10-06-09, 07:36 AM   #7
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I just checked, and it looks like the site is still skimming to redirectingat.com. Tom, were you able to find anything out?

My issue with it isn't necessarily that the site is redirecting links, it's that they're being sneaky about it. Non-savvy users have a hard enough time distinguishing legitimate traffic from illegitimate traffic ("oh noes! my computer is infected! I need to click here to scan!") Purposely making legitimate traffic LOOK illegitimate is a bad thing to do, since it then makes other illegitimate traffic look legitimate.

If the site needs the revenue, they should directly change the link: [URL="http://www.google.com"]http://www.google.com[/URL] => [URL="http://www.redirectingat.com"]http://www.google.com[/URL].

Changing the link itself maintains the user's expectations -- they can hover over the link and see where it goes, they can RightClick+Copy the link and see where it goes.

Changing the link dynamically when the user clicks on it is sleazy. When a user's click gets stolen it should be because malware is involved, not because the site is trying to quietly generate revenue.
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Old 10-08-09, 01:46 PM   #8
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Noticed some links today being skimmed as well. Not all of them, just a few.

Can Internet brands at least be up front about this? Its not mentions anywhere in the terms of use or privacy policy.
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Old 10-08-09, 04:36 PM   #9
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I'm old. Let me surf and fall apart quietly. I don't have 30 years of marriage to have some woman care about all that or a little dog to look at me funny. Yahoo and You Tube are already shredding my poor noggin this week.

Thank you, old F%rt and bike lover ME.
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Old 10-11-09, 02:34 PM   #10
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Now http://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/ is skimming links. WTF, IB?
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Old 10-11-09, 03:53 PM   #11
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What does this mean in laymans terms. This is causing me grief on this end,,,,,,,
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Old 10-11-09, 04:01 PM   #12
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I'm old. Let me surf and fall apart quietly. I don't have 30 years of marriage to have some woman care about all that or a little dog to look at me funny. Yahoo and You Tube are already shredding my poor noggin this week.

Thank you, old F%rt and bike lover ME.
+ 1 I dunno WTF they're talking about. Fer all I know
I've been 'skimming links' and don't even know it.
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Old 10-11-09, 06:02 PM   #13
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What does this mean in laymans terms. This is causing me grief on this end,,,,,,,
It means that instead of BF's server redirecting you directly, another site indirectly redirects you directly (sometimes they are bashful and it stops directly).

It may be like a new pacemaker for an old server but I won't directly compare, even after half a Compari.

Obviously, I still haven't comprehended it yet. Savvy?
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Old 10-11-09, 06:28 PM   #14
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any updates? it is still doing it.

my understanding is the redirecting link sees what links i click on. it then tells advertisers what and when i click on links and they target specific ads to me along with other marketing things.
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Old 10-12-09, 08:15 AM   #15
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What does this mean in laymans terms. This is causing me grief on this end,,,,,,,
It means that when someone posts a link to youtube, or google, or whatever, and then you click on that link, you're sent to "redirectingat.com", and not youtube or google or whatever. You CANNOT TELL that this will happen before you click on the link -- if you hover your mouse over the link, or rightclick+copy the link, you get the original link and not the redirectingat link.


Imagine you go to a mall. While you're standing in one store, you see a door to take you into another store. The door looks like a normal door. You can look through it into the other store. You see people walking in and out of the door. You have no reason to suspect that the door is anything but a normal door.

But there's a magic spell on the door. When you walk through the door, the door itself is magically changed into a transporter. Since you're already in the door, you get transported, zooming you across the world to somewhere you didn't want to be. You're only there for a second, and then you get pushed through another transporter on to the store you originally wanted to walk into.



That's what is happening. You're being shown a link that looks and acts just like a normal link. The actual act of clicking on the link CHANGES the link, taking you somewhere else. It's not where you wanted to go. And if the website you're taken to malfunctions you get stuck.


This is underhanded and it changes a users expectations about what "normal" behavior is when you click on a link.


Back to the transporter door -- say everyone starts using these transporting doors. They become common-place. You never really know when a door is a straight door and when one is a transporting door, and you don't really care -- they're stable enough that you generally get where you want to go.

So what's the big deal? You get where you wanted to go, right? Except sometimes, the middle part of the transport gets broken so you wind up stuck somewhere. You can get back to where you started, but you can't get to where you wanted to go.

And what's to stop someone from setting up a door that takes you somewhere bad? Somewhere where they pick your pocket before they send you on, or they install a tracking bug or microphone in your shoe. Maybe they just smack you in the face as you pass by, or infect you with a disease. Just because you decided to walk through a door. And there's no way to stop it -- you don't know before you walk through the door whether it's a transporter door or just a hole in the wall.
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Old 10-12-09, 08:21 AM   #16
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^^^^

Actually in Firefox if you right click and select 'Copy Link Location' and then paste it you get the full link. I broke up the sample below so it all shows.

http://redirectingat.com /?id=42X12 9555&ur l=http%3A%2F%2Fspread sheets. google.com%2Fccc%3F key%3Dr1L0 Oq9UPUwgq d6ZTw27piw
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Old 10-12-09, 08:44 AM   #17
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So what's the big deal? You get where you wanted to go, right? Except sometimes, the middle part of the transport gets broken so you wind up stuck somewhere. You can get back to where you started, but you can't get to where you wanted to go.

.
Exactly what happens to me more times than not - it never completes the "transaction." The drawn out way I finaly get around it is actually retyping the URL in the address box..... tedious at best.
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Old 10-12-09, 09:16 AM   #18
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Ziemas: I've just tested this. It looks like their link skimmer responds to OnMouseDown in general, and it doesn't rewrite the link again after the click completes. So, when you click your right mouse button, it changes the link (and so copy+paste does work, I was wrong about that). Additionally, since you've clicked, the link is now changed. So, right-click, click off the pop-up menu, hover over the link and you'll see the "redirectingat.com" address.


I'd still be a lot happier if the link was just rendered to "redirectingat.com" in the first place. Don't store it in the database that way, that makes no sense, but when the html is generated it should just set the link to "redirectingat" then. This keeps everything above board.
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Old 10-12-09, 09:40 AM   #19
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Ziemas: I've just tested this. It looks like their link skimmer responds to OnMouseDown in general, and it doesn't rewrite the link again after the click completes. So, when you click your right mouse button, it changes the link (and so copy+paste does work, I was wrong about that). Additionally, since you've clicked, the link is now changed. So, right-click, click off the pop-up menu, hover over the link and you'll see the "redirectingat.com" address.


I'd still be a lot happier if the link was just rendered to "redirectingat.com" in the first place. Don't store it in the database that way, that makes no sense, but when the html is generated it should just set the link to "redirectingat" then. This keeps everything above board.
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 11-10-09, 06:14 PM   #20
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I've just noticed that this is still happening. Do we have any feedback on this? Will this be fixed?
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Old 11-11-09, 01:19 AM   #21
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I've just noticed that this is still happening. Do we have any feedback on this? Will this be fixed?
I highly doubt it will. IB doesn't care what the users want. They've shown this to be true many times.
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Old 11-11-09, 05:06 AM   #22
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Maybe that's the reason why their current to registered user percentage has dropped in the past 12 months from around 13% to under 10% and declining daily.

They can't keep their customers. The site is pretty fragmented now, and needs revitalisation, and the "invisible" activity that goes on when loading pages and such is quite scary. Despite being a supporter of various things when Joe alone was running the show (ie, willing to accept the advertising), I've gone to Firefox with its ad-blocker and other add-ons to protect my computer.

I haven't been around on this site for nine months, but I sure ain't as enthusiastic as I hoped I would be.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:40 AM   #23
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Hi guys

Apologies , my bad! I thought we were not putting up these skimlinks until later in the month and I guess they got put on and nobody told me , I was going to give a heads up about it.

IB has started to use Skimlinks , which are basically a redirect script to better help us manage our affiliate links. It's no secret that IB has affiliate partners , there 's no sneakiness going on here. You may notice that whenever you click on an affiliate link for a split second you will be redirected to the skimlinks home page- ( while the software encrypts the affiliate code). As you know affiliate links are a source of monetization for our site, however we want them to have a minimum impact on the community, whose best interests is of equal importance to us. Skimlinks are minimally intrusive and I think the majority of regular users will not even notice they are there but please do make me aware of any other feedback/ complaints you have seen.

I am a little confused when you say they go to another site " redirectingrat.com" site. They should go to skimlinks.com but we will be changing it so that it goes to the BF home page instead. It will be less confusing this way.

Again , apologies about not giving you the heads up-

Please let me know if there is additional feedback from other users.
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Old 11-12-09, 03:14 AM   #24
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I see redirectingrat.com too.
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Old 11-12-09, 03:18 AM   #25
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Now it seems to be go.bikeforums.net.
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