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Dear Pinterest, HubPages Stole My Work and Identity

By Edited Apr 13, 2016 4 9

Who On Earth is Pinning My Work?

This account is taking traffic away from my real one!

137 Pins from sousababy on HubPages
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel (formerly sousababy on Squidoo) / All rights reserved

My Pinterest

Traffic Was Low

So, I thought I'd Google "sousababy on HubPages." And lo and behold, someone has reached a new low.

In numerous articles of mine about Squidoo selling out to HubPages, I detail where federal and state laws have been broken. Within 24 hours of receiving my first email from HubPages, I filed an IC3 report.

I also wrote and open letter to Brian Britton, the general manager of Level 3 Communications - the ISP for HubPages. 

And just last week, I wrote an appeal to Larry Page, CEO of Google. I also addressed Paul Edmondson of HubPages, but he has blocked my ability to notify him via Google Plus.

The good news is that Consumer Affairs has taken my report, links, screenshot proof (and those of others) seriously. To date, my complaint has 3076 views and 15 people have "found it helpful." Some of the proof I've submitted has also been made publicly available.

The Gist

When I joined Squidoo, their terms of service[1] stated (see screenshot proof next):

First things first here: we don't ever sell your email address, and we don't ever spam. We're also committed to keeping your lenses [articles] and identity protected from others off the site who (who knows?) may try to spam you.

Like most sites, we do make surfer behavior available to ad serving services, so that the right ads can be served to the right people. We will NEVER, however, disclose personally identifying information, except as specifically authorized by you or in the good faith belief that such action is reasonably necessary to comply with the law, legal process, to enforce these Terms of Service, or under any of the other circumstances set forth in our privacy policy.

So, three outright lies out of eight that I documented were:

1) Selling our email addresses. How else could HubPages have sent me that first email?

2) Keeping our identities protected. I know some people scrambled to "fix" their Squidoo work to fit the HubPages template since they didn't want to "look bad" to the public. This is hardly what I'd call "keeping identities protected." And my profile photo is on HubPages without my permission.

3) We will NEVER disclose personally identifying info, except as authorized. I was never asked if HubPages could post my profile photo or what I wrote on my profile page. What about you?

Appalling Isn't It? January 3rd, 2015

My Identity and Work is STILL on HubPages

My Identity and Work on HubPages without my consent Jan. 3rd, 2015
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Squidoo Has Removed Their TOS

Other copies on the WayBackMachine are hacked

Squidoo's TOS Privacy Policy
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Oh I Know, I MUST Follow Some Link

and enter a 10-digit "verification code." But why?

Isn't it strange that anyone who was already on HubPages couldn't simply transfer their Squidoo work into their existing HubPages account?

After user information and content was sold and bought [both of which was illegal], writers were unable to access their work [to collect their deserved earnings] without first signing up for a HubPages account.

Author content that can NEVER be removed.

Yeah, it's written in their terms of use.[2] See screenshot next.

Highlighted in Orange is the Statement

You may not remove your Author Content from the Service

HubPages TOU which states "You may not remove your author content."
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Immediately I Recalled that TanoCalvenoa

Had deleted his work, but his profile transferred to HP

I had to wonder why my friend, TanoCalvenoa, who deleted all of his Squidoo work August 20th, 2014 received email notification from HubPages that his account information had been transferred.

TanoCalvenoa was assured that without any lenses [articles] that his account wouldn't be moved. I believe he was hoping to collect his final, deserved earnings from Squidoo by leaving his account online (without any articles).

Well, thanks to a HubPages forum thread[3] titled Worried by Search Results for "My Name" and "Hubpages," I think I know why.

When I Googled "TanoCalvenoa on HubPages" I found eight pages worth of returned hits. See screenshot next.

It Appears that TanoCalveno Commented

on these HubPages articles with a HubPages account

Sample of returned hits on Google under "tanocalvenoa on hubpages"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

So, to Anyone Following TanoCalvenoa

elsewhere online, it seems he endorses HubPages

And who is responsible for adding the "sign up and post using a HubPages account" line?

This sure looks like an unauthorized, illegal use of TanoCalvenoa's identity online to me.

Google Search Returned This Result When I

entered "sousababy on hubpages" (listed 8th on page 1)

Google Search returned 137 Pins by "sousababy on hubpages"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Advice on HubPages

It's funny, but someone on HubPages stated in the forum:

"I just did a search using my hubpages name and Hubpages (both in quotes) and got some worrying results.

She described her findings and then at the end asked:

"Is there anything I can do about this sort of rubbish? Will it harm my Hubs' standing in search results? As there are no links to my pages and hardly any of my content, I don't think I could do a DMCA?"

Another person chimed in and added:

"I also found two pages using my HP name not long ago and posted a forum thread here. A reply from a HubPages staff member informed that your name cannot be copyrighted.

Oh but isn't this great news?

Matthew Meyer (HubPages Staff) stated:

"If you find your original copyrighted images or text has been used without your permission, then a DMCA NOI may be appropriate.
You can find help filing one here if you decide to do so." [He added a link to How to File DMCA Complaints for Stolen Content].[3]

Screenshot Proof

Matthew Meyer encouraging a DMCA report
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Other People Chimed In

Another person in HubPages forum added:

"OMG, Alison. I just did it, put in my name and hubpages and got of bunch of jibbrish results, made up of pieces of my bio, hub titles, and hub pics (my own photos!). It looks awful. The good news is that the first search result is the direct link to my subdomain."

And then Barbara Kay (who is also "Intheknow") commented:

"I had the same thing happen, but my Hubpage account did come up first."

So, it would appear that if any text or photos are used in any of those Google entries, that a DMCA report would be appropriate. At least, that is what HubPages staff member Matthew Meyer has said.


I have to wonder how much Google will find these entries spammy - especially since photos and text used in them have violated copyright laws.

It would be in Pinterest's and Google's best interests to remove these pages entirely.

Thank you for reading and sharing my article with other online writers who may be affected.

Addendum January 4th, 2015 I Was Shocked

To See Naiza Oclares Work (she died August 20th, 2013)

5 Pins from naiza (who died Aug. 20th, 2013)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel


Jan 3, 2015 5:54pm
Good article. And it's true - I never consented to my user name to ever be on HubPages, and for there to be an appearance that I am or ever was a member of that website.
Jan 3, 2015 6:10pm
Yeah, and NOW I understand why the big push for everyone on Squidoo to "follow a link" and enter a 10-digit verification code. It wasn't so much for our content - as it was for our identity.

HubPages states,"You may not remove your Author Content from the Service."

Your situation proves it since you deleted all your Squidoo articles. Yet there are 8 pages worth with TanoCalveno in commentary and that spammy line "sign up and post using a HubPages account."

When you do the math, say 10 entries per page x 8 = around 80 times that spammy line might appear under your pen name. Multiply 80 per Squidoo writer (or anyone else for that matter, that just wanted to comment once) and you've got thousands and thousands of permanent links online with that statement.
Jan 3, 2015 6:27pm
I completely agree.
Jan 4, 2015 2:49pm
Oh my gosh will it ever end? It seems to go from bad to worse. I will admit I was one who was suckered in to the transfer. At least I wasn't the only one fooled. I've since deleted the articles but wish I had not gone there in the first place.

Thanks for doing such a great job informing us about this.
Jan 4, 2015 3:24pm
Well don't feel bad or that you were "suckered" Joanne. In order to obtain your final, deserved earnings, you HAD to go along with the transfer, right? Even though Corey Brown insisted that transfers were set to begin on Sept. 2nd. (They kept your work online, with their ads and products for purchase for the buying public until, at least, Sept. 2nd, 2014).

I tried and even videotaped my effort to delete my entire account on August 31st, 2014 before midnight. I even tried to edit out my text and photos - but I was completely unable to do so. No one had a choice, and if you relied on your Squidoo earnings to feed your family (like most do), you were forced into this illegal transaction (through no fault of your own).

And what about that timing - Friday around 5 pm last two weeks of August (and no email notice until the following week). Then, that deadline to delete your work AND HOLD YOU TO their "as usual payment policies" (which meant only Amazon and eBay earnings - you forfeited your ad pool revenue for the preceding 60-days).

Believe me Joanne, I've been bashed and bullied since day 1 over this (and it still continues to happen). But I firmly believe that we, as online writers, cannot allow people (even millionaires) to break federal and state laws. We cannot afford to have our online identities and content bought and sold WITHOUT our permission.

Lots of shills were involved in pressuring people to go along with this, so don't feel bad.

It means more than you know to have people like you come forth and comment. I feel this will be worth it all, in the end.

Take good care,
Jan 4, 2015 4:15pm
I'm so sorry you have been bashed and bulllied over this. It has taken a lot of courage to do as you have. As I said before, you have really helped a LOT of people, but I'm sure you knew it wasn't likely to go unnoticed by the shills and trolls.

I don't feel badly, but learned a valuable lesson. Got everything off the site and wouldn't dream of going back.

You are right about the timing. Remember too when Squidoo changed the minimum payout from $1 to $25 (I think..... don't remember exact amount) right before the announcement was made? It was only due to a big outcry that they changed it back to the old policy.

Anyway thanks for all you do. Many of us greatly appreciate it. :)
Jan 4, 2015 6:07pm
Thank you so much for your kind words Joanne, it keeps me going.

Jan 18, 2015 7:40am
Wow! So sorry. It's almost like you have to have a lawyer on retainer and research team to check if your other works might be used out there without you permission. Has there been any update on this situation since your last post Jan 4th???
Jan 18, 2015 9:58am
Actually yes, I have an update: http://www.infobarrel.com/A_Satirical_Examination_of_HubPages

Also, my IT guy set up certain "alerts" so I don't need a team. Classicalgeek has written an excellent article about how to do this: http://www.infobarrel.com/Dealing_with_Copied_Content
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  1. "Squidoo Terms of Service (TOS)." Internet Archive WayBackMachine. 3/01/2015 <Web >
  2. "HubPages Terms of Use." HubPages. 3/01/2015 <Web >
  3. "Worried by Search Results for "My Name" and "Hubpages"." HubPages Forum. 3/01/2015 <Web >

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