Why HubPages Will Fail and What Every Writer Online Needs to Know

Screenshot of My Stolen Identity, Photo and Work on HubPages
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Blecksy is My

Daughter's Article

Today, my daughter asked me more about how and why my work, photo, and old Squidoo pen name is showing up on HubPages. She's fairly young, so I tried my best to explain the situation.

When I showed her the profile page that HubPages put up of me (without my permission), it showcased an article that my daughter and I created on Squidoo.

Her reaction wasn't good, she cried out, "Blecksy, but that's my word Mommy!"

Then she asked me, "How do they make money from that Blecksy article on there?"

I told her, "Well, on that article (which was created on Squidoo), HubPages places advertisements in the sidebars. HubPages gets paid by advertisers to place them there. So, whenever people online read my (our) article the ads get viewed too."

I didn't get into CTR or Amazon modules, etc. All she needs to know is this: Without my permission, HubPages has taken my profile photo, my old pen name, and 293 of my articles and is collecting ad revenue, Amazon and eBay royalties from my work.

How This Affects You

And why the truth needs to be exposed

Out of the thousands of writers on Squidoo, there are bound to be some that were away from their computers for the last two weeks of August 2014. By percentages, some were probably deathly ill and may have even passed away in the meantime.

What about them? How many stolen identities are now on HubPages because of the deal that Seth Godin made with Paul Edmondson?

And if you think people were given ample notice and any kind of choice in the matter - you have been misled.

To recap:

If you opted out of the transfer to HubPages, you needed to delete your content by August 29th, 2014. By doing so, you forfeited your ad pool revenue for the previous pay period. The ONLY thing Squidoo was going to pay you was Amazon and eBay royalties.

And yet, Squidoo (Corey Brown) stated numerous times that "lenses would NOT transfer until September 2nd, 2014."

Guess who gets ALL the ad pool revenue for July and August? Squidoo does (did). How on earth is this fair?

Your work remains posted until September 2nd even if you opt out - but YOU LOSE your ad revenue by opting out of the transfer. WHAT?

Oh, but if you were fooled by the words "you'll be paid any attributable revenue" or "you'll be paid as usual" you are not alone. It was a play on words only. Corey Brown still meant "only Amazon and eBay royalties - Squidoo is keeping YOUR share of the ad pool."

How Can Another Platform Remove

the link to my latest work (here on InfoBarrel)?

My stolen profile on HubPages opened up (HubPages removed link to my latest work)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved
How the Squidoo/HubPages Deal Likely Went Down
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Why This Matters to You

If for some reason you are happily working away on another platform or your own blog and HubPages can simply remove the link to where your latest work can be found (and you can be contacted), this will negatively impact your ability to be accessible online to potential employers or writing opportunities.

HubPages has found a way to make it seem that I joined HubPages (which I did not) and for anyone viewing my work there (posted without my permission) a potential employer would probably think I'm not available for freelance work.

And here's the kicker: according to HubPages Terms of Use,[1] HubPages is allowed  

"a worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license, for as long as Your Hub is displayed on HubPages and for a commercially reasonable time..."

What?

Can someone please tell me what a "commercially reasonable time" is? 

How this might affect you is that even if you did transfer your work from Squidoo to HubPages, it means HubPages can keep your work online (collecting ad pool revenue and ?) until oh, I'll take a guess here, the Christmas season is over.

It Gets Worse

In the case where you want to delete your content on HubPages, did you know that HubPages states the following in their Terms of Use:

"In the event that the Agreement is terminated by You (pursuant to HubPages’ receipt of Your written termination notice) the entire amount of an Earned Balance in Your account will be permanently forfeit by You (and You hereby waive any claim relating to the dispute of such payment and disclaim any and all interest in such funds)."

Wonder what HubPage's "written termination notice" is all about? I do too. Apparently, whenever they do acknowledge receipt of it, you give up all the money you've earned. So, you can't just quit and get paid everything you earned.

Here's something else to keep in mind

"Your participation in the HubPages Earnings Program may be suspended or approval withheld until HubPages can validate that You have a valid account with approved payment mechanism. Payment mechanisms may be edited, added, or removed at any time, in HubPages sole discretion."

But What if You Never Joined HubPages?

Does this mean, that all these people who didn't transfer their work, who never pushed button or link on HubPages but have found out that their work is now on HubPages (like me) will, ah be forced to provide their payment information to HubPages?

Hmm, that sounds illegal to me.  Of course, much of this is illegal, which is why HubPages has been reported to the IC3.

More Proof

Today, I read an article titled Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages[2] and found more proof that this was indeed a sale of user information and content (without the permission of authors).

Addendum April 24th, 2015:

The author of the article referenced above confirmed that money was involved in this business transaction. S/he asked a high ranking staff member of HubPages. And the answer was "yes."

Note: I sense that the article I've referenced above may become inaccessible in the near future.

After reading through numerous comments on this person's article, I feel it wise that writers on HubPages be prepared for the worst.

Because if HubPages feels they are entitled to keep my profile photo and work on their site (earning revenue ONLY for them), imagine what will happen when people want to leave HubPages? And what will happen when all these profiles (that were never consented to) are found out by the authorities and collecting money ONLY for HubPages?

Oh and if you thought HubPages pays better than Squidoo, think again. Guess what else is stated in HubPages Terms of Use?

HubPages reserves the right to modify the Impression program and/or HubPages Earnings program, including without limitation the percentage share or payment structure, at any time in its sole discretion.

and 

By using the Impression services, You acknowledge and agree that HubPages will not be responsible for, and will not be obligated in any manner to repay You for, any lost earnings.

So, If You Are On HubPages Now

You may want to consider joining another writing platform or working on your own blog. I predict that within 6 months, HubPages will be penalized (by Google and/or legal authorities).

Obviously, I highly recommend InfoBarrel and here are a few articles that are a worthwhile read:

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing on InfoBarrel by classicalgeek (who is extremely helpful in the forum too).

InfoBarrel Success Story: VicDillinger who goes beyond the call of duty to help out in the forum. His writing is so engaging that even when I have a migraine, I must finish reading his work - it's that good.

Lastly, after only a month on InfoBarrel I wrote a charity article (it's just a comparison to Squidoo and not nearly as detailed as classicalgeek's info).