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Why are links being added to my post?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I really don't appreciate links being added to things that I post by VigLink.  If I had wanted to advertise a product, I would have made my career in marketing.  The link implies that I am recommending the products being sold, when in fact I have never visited that site.  It makes me very angry.

post #2 of 21

Hi Gooseberry. Can you point me to the post you are referring to so I can check into it?

post #3 of 21

I created a user-account just to reply to this thread! I see the links in a LOT of the posts. For example, http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1371198/appointment-results-updates/280#post_17265655
in my browser has links for "doppler," "thing1" and "thing2." They are clearly not being put there by the original poster. 

 

Hope this helps.

post #4 of 21

I see them when I log out, but can't see them otherwise.  For Dopper, it is linking to price grabber, and for Thing 1 and Thing 2 there are links to ebay.

post #5 of 21

Thanks. I'm still looking into this. smile.gif

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

 

 

Can you see the screen shot (don't know how to make it bigger)?  A link has been added to the words "seat covers".  It's from a post on To-do lists for baby in the May 2013 due date club.  These links are all over the site now.  When you hover your mouse, they say, "Link added by VigLink."  The links take you to items for sale.  You cannot see them when you're logged in.  As I very rarely comment on here, I usually don't log in at all.  I assume that many frequent commenters don't visit the site without logging in, so they may have no idea how many links have been added to their posts.

 

I really have no interest in selling things.  I have a fairly strong mistrust and dislike of internet marketing, etc., and I will stop posting if my words are going to be used to market/sell products.

post #7 of 21

I was on MDC while not signed in and saw this in several places including this thread, where there are multiple commerical links when  that disappear once logged in greensad.gif
 

post #8 of 21

I just logged out to check this out. Its happening to my posts as well. Even ones that are a couple of months old and not active.. I really hope y'all can fix this soon because its not cool. I dont want to be endorsing products or websites especially when I don't even know I'm doing it! Thanks for your hard work!

post #9 of 21

I was just coming to ask about this. irked.gif

post #10 of 21

Thanks for reporting this. I had to check with our platform partner about the details. 

 

We are performing a test with these link insertions in members' posts only for logged-out visitors. The frequency of these links is currently very low, so it should impact very few user posts, overall. If it is decided that we will keep the linking in place we will update the Terms & Conditions agreement for all members to be aware of it and announce the update.

 

This linking system is affiliate revenue and may prove to be a worthwhile source of income to help keep Mothering running so we want to give it a chance. We'll weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision. smile.gif

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The frequency of these links is currently very low, so it should impact very few user posts

I'm not quite sure what you consider "very low".  There are six links in this thread alone, and it currently only has 11 posts in it.  That doesn't seem very low to me.

 

 

 

Quote:
If it is decided that we will keep the linking in place we will update the Terms & Conditions agreement for all members to be aware of it and announce the update.

I think its unethical of you not to update users right now.  Links are being added to people's posts and they are completely unaware of it because they are logged in.  You are using their content in a way that they are not currently informed about.  This to me seems similar to the reaction Mothering received when it was linking threads from Mothering.com to the Facebook page without informing the thread starter and others who posted in the thread.  (Maybe I can get a link added to the term "Facebook" without my knowledge or consent here...irked.gif)

 

If you do continue with the linking, I will not be posting any more, and I may cease visiting the site.  I continue to be disappointed with Mothering following the shift to all digital.  I understand the need for revenue, but more than once I've seen Mothering make choices that are questionable in the name of money.

post #12 of 21

I don't see anything unethical occurring, since our existing Terms of Service state that a member's posts may be used for advertising. My statement about updating the Terms were that if we decide to keep this specific affiliate linking type of advertising as a permanent feature we will place that information more specifically in the Terms and announce the update. 

post #13 of 21

Not cool. I am NOT okay with my words being used to advertise for products/places that I have no knowledge of. If that is what we can expect to continue to happen I will probably not be participating here much anymore.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

This may very well be covered in the Terms of Service agreement, but that doesn't make it completely above board.  These links are all over the site, and as they are new, most users do not know that their words are being linked to items for sale.  If they knew how their content was being used by the site, they may make different choices about how they use Mothering.  It just seems to me that it should be put out there for everyone to understand.  Some people won't care a bit.  I care very much.
 

post #15 of 21

I won't be visiting mothering.com anymore.  I will miss it, but not it's unethical behaviour.  It's a shame.  Mothering used to be my go to for almost everything.  It is a sad shell of it's former life :(
 

post #16 of 21

I agree with the folks above, this is not cool.

 

I had no idea that the links were being created, and I doubt most people do. I see them popping up in the threads I participate in and I barely post on this site.

post #17 of 21

Cynthia, I think that many member's understanding of the Terms of Service and use of posts as advertising is that our posts may be used to advertise mothering itself, or the specific products discussed within the post (such as if I write a post about X baby carriers, mothering could use this to promote this carrier).

 

These new links use the member's posts to promote materials that the writer has no knowledge or affiliation with. If I write that it's t-shirt weather outside, I am unknowingly creating links to t-shirts for sale online, while giving the appearance of having promoted/linked this myself. It's one thing for sidebar advertising to be based on post content, but crosses a line for me when we give the appearance of members promoting or endorsing products without their knowledge. 

post #18 of 21
I just wanted to add an opposing view. I saw the links for what they were and hoped it would bring in some extra money to support the site. Lots of sites use links like that. I personally would never think it meant the poster endorsed the product.

I really appreciate mothering.com and hope it is here for a long long time to come.
post #19 of 21

I miss the mag.

I miss the old mdc

I don't understand the social groups

I don't understand this mdc

post #20 of 21
I will also be no longer posting to or visiting mothering. It's a shame but this is very underhanded.
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