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Theories Why HubPages Unfeatured Former Squidoo Articles

By Edited Jan 29, 2015 2 4
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Credit: Kersten A. Riechers (daskerst on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Did It Feel Staged

to You Too?

Oh those Freudian slips are easy to spot once you've studied human nature in-depth.

I'm currently waiting for a lawyer associated with Consumer Affairs to advise me about the illegal sale and use of my user information, profile, identity, and content which is still posted on HubPages.
 
In the meantime, the shocking news that HubPages unfeatured hundreds of former Squidoo articles overnight had me perusing posts on their forum.
 
What became clear to me was the dynamic played out between Paul Edmondson and the HubPages forum "helper/expert" known as Marisa Wright.
 
I think their statements are intended to be contradictory right now.
 
I'll explain and provide screenshot proof and footnotes.
 
Note: Sources in my bibliography (at the bottom of the page) link up to the original sources.

Theory One

Could it be that the promotion of these now unfeatured Hubs (articles) on personal blogs and elsewhere online are the problem?
 
I imagine it would be hard for HubPages to publicly criticize what people do outside of HubPages. I know that Google promised (when Penguin 2.1 rolled out) to "look deeper" into identifying and punishing link schemes.[1]
 
I think if people "followed all the rules" on HubPages and then employed blackhat SEO tactics elsewhere that it would be difficult for Paul Edmondson et al. to announce it as a reason for content to be unfeatured.

Theory Two

HubPages was never interested in your content at all. Perhaps, all they wanted was your user information and perhaps your content for a short period of time.
 
Sound weird?
 
Not when I examined the HubPages Terms of Use under "6. PROPRIETARY RIGHTS; CONTENT OWNERSHIP" which states (in the middle of the second paragraph):
"You may remove Your Hub Content from the Service at your discretion. You may not remove your Author Content from the Service. HubPages may preserve and store Hub Content (including, for a commercially reasonable time, Hub Content you have removed from the Service) or Author Content..."

Just a Reminder

Squidoo's original Terms of Service stated:

"7. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS YOUR PRIVACY POLICY First things first here: we don't ever sell your email address..."[2]

Well, somehow HubPages acquired my email address from Squidoo without my permission - what about you?

Oh and did you notice this next oversight?

In a heated discussion on HubPages forum, Marisa Wright's last sentences in a post to Paul Edmondson state:

"You are in danger of losing all the best Squidoo content that you paid for, and being left with the dross..."[3]

Paul Edmondson slips here and forgets to deny paying for "the best Squidoo content."

Remember, the content belongs to the writers. It's against state law in California to purchase stolen property (content).[4]

Hmm, Paul didn't deny paying for content

Content that he and Seth never owned (that's illegal)

Oops "best Squidoo content that you paid for" comment
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

And Marisa Wright also states it elsewhere

When I found another article[5] linked to Want to Leave HubPages? How to Get All of Your Earnings,  I found her vehemently denying that I had any rights or control over my content (and yours). Part of her rant included this statement:

"She's one of the small group of writers who totally misunderstood their status at Squidoo and will never accept that Squidoo had the legal right to sell their business to HubPages, which included their articles."

Squidoo had a legal right?

To sell to HubPages "which included their articles"

Marisa Wright comment in Persona Paper article
Credit: RoseWrites

Oops, another Freudian slip

"After paying money for the Squidoo lenses"[16]

Barbara Kay is "Intheknow" on IB too
Credit: RoseWrites

This person is also "Intheknow" on InfoBarrel and left me a shill or troll-sounding comment on my article Want to Leave HubPages? How to Get All of Your Earnings.

Squidoo and HubPages had/have identical

statements in their Terms of Service/Terms of Use

I covered this in Can Squidoo-HubPages Do This? NO (Includes How To File an IC3) as well. 

Squidoo's TOS stated:

The content: who owns it?

As a Lensmaster (writer), you will be able to incorporate various forms of Content into your Lenses (articles). Squidoo does not claim ownership of the Content you place on your Lens (article). The Content will be owned by you or a third party from whom you got permission to post the content.
HubPages TOU states:
HubPages does not claim ownership of Your Hub Content or Author Content. Such content will be owned by You or a third party from whom You got permission to post the content.[6]
You cannot sell what doesn't belong to you in the first place.
 
Furthermore, if someone uses copyrighted work without first obtaining permission from the owner, a civil lawsuit can be filed in federal court. And - get this - if the person who has your work is attempting to (or is) making a profit from it [Paul Edmondson et al.], then the U.S. Attorney can/will get involved.[7]
 
Other former Squidoo writers and I have filed an IC3 report (which is free). I talk you through the form in HubPages is Publicly Posting My Content Without My Permission (Part 1).

HubPages will not file DMCA takedowns

even when huge portions of the site are plagiarized?

This baffled me at first.

As others can confirm, "Squidoo used to get involved if and when there is a mass takeover of a site's content."[8]

Why wouldn't HubPages do the same?

Possibly because they are also in on this scam.

I find it interesting that Marisa Wright stated: "Many spammers don't even know it's illegal.  There are companies selling software to scrape HubPages to gullible website owners."[9]

Screenshot

Marisa Wright knows of software to scrape HubPages content
Credit: RoseWrites

And what about those Hubber/Hub scores?

As I detailed in my Facts and Myths article, here is what I know to be true:

1) It is not related to writing or editing articles.

2) It has nothing to do with participating or commenting on HubPages.

3) Promoting your work doesn't affect it - nor does deleting links to your work elsewhere online.

Marisa Wright seems to know something about them though. In response to a forum thread, she stated:

"Since Hubber Score doesn't affect your Hubs in any way, you can't really call it a punishment. A big part of Hubber Score seems to be activity - commenting, forum posting etc.   I haven't written a single Hub in months,  but I'm on the forums all the time - and I guess that's the reason for my high score."[10]

Screenshot

Marisa Wright knows about Hubber scores
Credit: RoseWrites

Hmm, not writing on HubPages yet knows

Google can't remove a page from any website[11]

Google has NO authority
Credit: RoseWrites

So, WHO are those Hubber Scores for?

I'm wondering why none of my work[14] has become unfeatured and my Hubber Score is 91. Could it be that those who have bought software to scrape my work know?

Do these numbers change once people file DMCA take down notices? I've seen it written numerous times that HubPages content get plagiarized a lot. When I read that BritFlorida's work was unfeatured, I had to wonder. She stated:

"I've also noticed that there is much more plagiarism from HubPages. I spent the best part of a day filing DMCAs recently."[12]

And what about those articles that somehow became published? Are those for some "buyer" out there? Kylyssa stated:

"How do I actually unpublish a hub and what does the 'not published' red designation mean if it actually leaves the hub published?"[13]

Screenshots

BritFlorida's comment about filing more DMCAs on HubPages
Credit: RoseWrites
Comment about unpublished work being published on HubPages
Credit: RoseWrites

Theory Three

The deal is sealed. Your (our) author content, identity, email, user information and articles that are on HubPages have yet again been sold to some third party - and of course we would never know about it.

To completely frustrate you and cause you to quit, HubPages decided to pull the rug out from under your feet before the 4-month grace period that your lenses (articles) were supposed to be granted.

Why?

Because if you are angry at Paul Edmondson et al. and quit, you forfeit all of your earnings (including those Amazon and eBay sales). It's a bit like constructive dismissal.

And why, after Marissa Wright has been stating things like "It seems like Squids have been hit by the perfect storm" is she suddenly sympathetic to those with unfeatured work?

Possibly so you won't suspect she (or people she has connections to) might have any stake in your author content, user information, email, payment information and/or articles outside of HubPages.

Paul Edmondson et al. have worked quickly lately to wash their hands of this mess. It's fine if you are upset with him. But now, I believe that a third party has once again bought our identities, user information, and content.

I strongly believe that some people on HubPages (particularly in the forums and those working to bash my proof) were/are acting as shills. Which is also illegal.

Screenshot

Squids hit by the perfect storm
Credit: RoseWrites

When did this all happen?

When your stats were frozen for several (5 or 6 days?) is when I believe this happened. I feel that the confusion during this time has kept people focused on their views and earnings, of course. Unfortunately, I also read some complaints Amazon numbers don't match up.[15]

I found this statement particularly disturbing:

"..on Squidoo, you were simply using the main Squidoo account so reporting could just be passed straight through from Amazon.   On HubPages, you have your own sub-account which is not connected to Amazon in any way - HubPages has to allocate sales internally.."

Screenshot

HubPages allocates sales internally
Credit: RoseWrites

Remember, for most of you this is the truth

I wasn't given a choice
Credit: RoseWrites

Addendum December 6th, 2014

I found it interesting how quickly a forum regular (shill/employee?) of HubPages responded to and questioned someone for posting the reason that HubPages doesn't disable "copy and paste" to prevent articles from being scraped off the site.[17]

This strengthens my position and theory of why HubPages is making it far too easy for plagiarists to copy and profit from the work of authors.

I'm not buying the excuse that it "breaks" reader experience - are you? People can simply hit their Pin, G plus, Facebook or other social media share buttons.

Screenshot

Forum Post Quickly Deleted (Disabling Copy Paste - To Stop Hubs From Being Copied
Credit: RoseWrites

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

Online content creators are supplying scrapers
Credit: RoseWrites
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Comments

Dec 3, 2014 11:07pm
TanoCalvenoa
I find it interesting that Paul Edmondson is getting involved in the discussions, because he's likely incriminating himself (such as not denying that he bought content from Squidoo, even though the content very clearly was not Squidoo's to sell).
Dec 4, 2014 4:35am
RoseWrites
You know, in every post of his, I felt there were far too many words and not enough useful information (for Hubbers). Yes, he IS incriminating himself. Perhaps he's been far too comfortable for years getting away with this type of thing.

Obvious red flags are the fact that HubPages will not get involved when there is mass plagiarism of the site, the same shills showing up on forum posts (and on my articles), and those Hubber and Hub scores remaining unexplained.

Furthermore, the fact that HubPages is the one to allocate Amazon (and eBay?) sales internally is bothersome. I've received no payment whatsoever from HubPages for anything (and I'm sure dead authors' families, like Naiza Oclares, will never see a cent of the money her work has earned either).

My guess is HubPages will close suddenly and unexpectedly. The best course of action for other HubPage writers (whether part of the Squidoo transfer or not) is to file an IC3 and /or complaint with Consumer Affairs (both are FREE) so that the Terms of Use on HubPages is found unenforceable. That way, everyone can hopefully receive all of their earnings.

This case will prove to be crucial for online writers everywhere - we cannot afford to have our identity, user information, email, and content bought and sold without our permission.
Feb 8, 2015 5:28pm
javrsmith
The switch to HubPages has not been worth much to me. I'm going to move them out of there.
Feb 9, 2015 3:54pm
RoseWrites
Wise decision - esp. with what is going on there right now. Hope you are doing well on InfoBarrel and thanks for dropping by and commenting.
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Bibliography

  1. "Link schemes." Google Support: Webmaster Tools Help. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  2. "Squidoo Terms of Service." Internet Archive. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  3. "Why Did Hundreds of Hubs Become Unfeatured for Quality Today?." HubPages. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  4. "CAL. PEN CODE ยง 496: California Code - Section 496." FindLaw For Legal Professionals. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  5. Kasman "Is HubPages in trouble?." Persona Paper. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  6. "HUBPAGES TERMS OF USE." HubPages. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  7. Joe Burns "Copyright Questions and Answers." HTML Goodies. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  8. "Most of entire Hubpages site copied." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  9. "Moving Hubs." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  10. "Hubber score dropping like a rock!." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  11. "Confused by Google DMCA dashboard." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  12. "So many unfeatured hubs." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  13. "People Seeing and Commenting on "Not Published" Hubs." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  14. "sousababy ." HubPages. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  15. "Amazon numbers don't match up." HubPages Forum. 3/12/2014 <Web >
  16. "Is There Some Kind of Filter On Squidoo Lenses That Came Over?." HubPages Forum. 4/12/2014 <Web >
  17. "Disabling Copy Paste-To Stop Hubs From Being Copied." HubPages Forum. 6/12/2014 <Web >

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