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It's not a matter of if you will have your identity (and content) stolen, but when. In the war against scrapers and thieves online, I created a pictorial guide to help you report an impersonator on Pinterest. Since Google Plus has added "Pin it" buttons to photos, I feel that Pinterest has become one of the newest methods scrapers are using to outrank original authors.
If you are an Amazon associate, you have until August 31st, 2015 to declare that none of your sites are directed at children (under 13 years of age). Failure to complete this simple step means Amazon will withhold advertising fee payments. And on October 31st, 2015, Amazon will close the accounts of those who have not completed this online transaction. I took screenshots of each step (complete with simple instructions) so you will continue to receive your earnings from Amazon.
In a last ditch effort to find out how many lensmasters on Squidoo are allowing their content to be part of a deal that Seth Godin made with Paul Edmondson, Corey Brown posted a reminder. When I read it, I couldn't believe how many times he made reference to the transfer. In fact, the word "transfer" shows up 14 times in his post. We still do not know if writers will receive ALL of the payments owing to them or if our work will be earning income (for Squidoo) while it is online publicly until September 2nd, 2014.
Squidoo and HubPages had identical statements in their terms of service: they do not own the content. Yet, neither of them sought the permission of authors prior to selling user information, identities, or content. Many people felt pressured to transfer their work to HubPages. Others deleted their account/content and unwittingly forfeited their share of ad pool revenue or other "late payments." You may get some or all of your money back by filing an IC3 complaint.
The truth travels fast and far online. I was thrilled to learn that HubPages lost 1200 authors in one week. The main reason? The Edmondsons admitted to "editing" the content of abandoned (aka "inactive") accounts. Paul Edmondson confirmed: by posting your content on HubPages, you've granted them the right to modify your work (without your permission). I found out it would cost me a lot of money to see justice done. I asked for Amazon's help and now it's time for the Federal Trade Commission to step in.
As predicted, the tension between Hubbers and former Squids has writers scrambling to find the spam on HubPages. Many people still believe that Paul Edmondson was telling the whole truth when he stated that Google had put a manual action on a couple of subdomains for pure spam. I had a hunch the problem wasn't with the writers. And finally, I figured out where Google sees the spammiest line of all - thousands of times online. And no, the writers are not to blame.
Both Squidoo and HubPages broke the law when author content was sold and bought without the express permission of each content owner. I've written numerous articles detailing what was morally and ethically wrong throughout this business transaction. Today, I felt it was wise to focus solely on the legalities. I've provided proof that may also help you file a successful lawsuit.
Sooner than I predicted, HubPages is tanking fast. Why? Because Google knows about the unacceptable and stolen Squidoo content (and profiles). So does the IC3. Seth Godin and Paul Edmondson thought no one would notice. How arrogant. However, a few women writers brilliantly dissected this "deal" and now the truth is being exposed. If I were on HubPages, I'd be leaving sooner than later.
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, it did. After reading a HubPages forum thread about doing a Google search of your name and hubpages in quotes, I decided to do the same. Not only was I disturbed by the entries returned for my stolen identity and content, I was shocked by what turned up for my friend TanoCalvenoa (who deleted all of his Squidoo work August 20th, 2014). I think it's become crystal clear why HubPages will not let someone remove their author content.
If I had to pick one article that I wanted every writer online to read, this is the one. We need to be able to retain our rights online, on any platform. Content site owners need to be held accountable to their terms of service/use and adhere to both federal and state laws. HubPages and Squidoo cannot be allowed to proceed with their "deal" that has broken these rules and the law. Now is the time to take back what is legally ours - our content, identity, profile, and all of our earnings.
After wondering for months why my Pinterest traffic nosedived, I discovered that someone created a Pinterest account using my old Squidoo pen name. Not only is my work still being posted on HubPages without my permission, it appears that this new Pinterest account is sucking traffic away from my real Pinterest account. If your Pinterest traffic is drying up, you might want to follow the steps I've taken (detailed in my article).
I was shocked to find 10 emails from HubPages in my inbox on Saturday, September 13th, 2014. I refuse to open any of them. Apparently, HubPages has at least 100 of my articles posted publicly (with their ads) on their website. My content was moved to HubPages without my permission and now I am reporting HubPages to the IC3. If you wish to report HubPages or Squidoo, I take you through the form step-by-step.
Finally, it looks like small to medium-sized websites and individuals working on their own sites and blogs will reap the benefits of the latest Panda, Penguin, and Pirate updates. If you have been producing unique, high quality content for the online masses, you will see more traffic. Google will be downgrading and/or penalizing spammy sites, link violators, "fake votes" and copyright violators. HubPages and Squidoo domains, I'm sure, will be suffering.
If you were a writer (aka lensmaster) on the Squidoo writing platform, you may have been hesitant to have your content moved to HubPages. If you haven't clicked a link on HubPages yet, it's not too late to file DCMA complaints with Google. Squidoo has denied writers access to delete their content and their accounts since August 29th, 2014 even though Squidoo made it clear that content would not be moved (even without your consent) until September 2nd, 2014. You are entitled to your work, ad pool revenue, Amazon earnings, eBay earnings, and other late payments.
I was stunned by Corey Brown's post yesterday that only addressed these two scenarios: until lenses are deleted or transferred. The problem is that no one can access their content right now to delete it or even edit it. You can't even delete your entire account. The only option is to transfer to HubPages even though Squidoo states it's fine to move your content to another platform. Also, people are being denied ad pool revenue, even though lenses continue to be displayed online publicly.
Seth Godin illegally sold content that did not belong to him for an undisclosed sum to Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages. Stolen property [content] does not become legal to profit from - at any time. I never joined HubPages, yet 293 of my former Squidoo lenses (articles) are still posted on HubPages (with their ads) making money for someone other than me. I have filed an IC3 report. I wrote this to explain the situation to the Google Removals team and to the public. I hope other online writers will feel empowered to do the same.
In the most impromptu way, Seth Godin announced mid-August that HubPages would be "acquiring key content" from Squidoo. He forgot his own TOS though, that the content belongs to each individual writer (aka lensmaster). If he meant himself and other SquidTeam members, though, I guess he'd better start writing. Oh and it seems we won't get our share of the ad pool or small payments late - even if our lenses remain online until August 31st at midnight ET.
HubPages requires your updated tax information (including your SSN) before you receive payment. The first email former Squidoo writers received from HubPages perfectly fits the description of a phishing email. I followed Google protocol and reported it. Months later (and as more proof surfaces), I feel Google and PayPal are well within their rights to demand an investigation of HubPages and their questionable business practices.
If you are wondering what being "unfeatured for lack of engagement" really means on HubPages, I can bust some myths for you. Does the Hubber score (or Hub score) make you wonder too? Since I have never joined HubPages, I can spare you some work. I haven't tweaked any of my 293 articles on there since 2013 (those are posted without my permission). I haven't promoted any link with the Squidoo or HubPages domain in the URL. In this short article, I share my theory of what might be behind this mysterious number.