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Fueling the resistance
Hijacking affiliate links 
4th-Mar-2010 02:32 pm - Hijacking affiliate links
Skittish Eclipse
I've been given a heads up that has done some excellent sleuthing and investigation into hijacked LJ affiliate links:

What is LJ doing to my links?
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 2
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 3

Expect this post to be update through the day as I find out more and come up with a good summary.

ETA: No good summary, but I feel like I should say code got taken down, etc etc, business as usual.
9th-Mar-2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Both what the script did do, and what it was meant to do I find unacceptably shady.

I understand that breaking people's links was unintentional, as (supposedly) was re-writing existing affiliate codes. Good. That LiveJournal was sloppy enough to push code which caused that to happen? Not so good, and lowers my trust in LiveJournal's technical competence.

That LiveJournal was intentionally re-writing links without affiliate codes to include LiveJournal's affiliate codes? Completely understandable. LiveJournal is a business, it's got to earn money to pay for servers, bandwidth, and salaries. When it's done to links posted/clicked-on by paid members, it seems a bit less nice, but but not wrong.

That LiveJournal was allowing a third party to see all that information about which links had been clicked by who, especially while trying to hide that they were doing so? Not okay.

That Livejournal attempted to do this covertly, with no announcement and with sneaky tricks to hide the fact that it was happening, and even dissembled about it in response to support requests? That makes me loose a lot of trust in LiveJournal. It's only through "luck" that this deployment was screwed up enough to be easily noticeable. There are many things that LiveJournal could be doing without users' knowledge and consent to convert it's users privacy, trust, and goodwill into income, and we can only trust that LiveJournal will avoid betraying that trust.

Added to other recent missteps, LiveJournal has lost my trust. I'll be voting with my wallet, and canceling my paid account.
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