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Hyperlink Outrage
To my great dismay, the text of some of my LiveJournal entries have been invaded with hyperlinks that lead to various advertisements. Which transforms my writings into a platform from which to SELL SHIT.

What's even worse, those hyperlinks simply can not be deleted or erased. I tried to transfer the whole thing to my private domain, but those links just came along.

This is an absolute fucking OUTRAGE. I can't put words to the anger I feel toward these marketing assholes who find a way to stick their greedy hands into EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES.

I'm waiting for these creepy bastards to find a way to invade my photos. THAT will be the end of my relationship with Live Journal, that's for sure.

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There is only so much which can be tolerated...

Yet! LJ is not so bad.
I think I like it better again, now that it isn't EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE anymore.

Ha! The advertising cocksuckers even put a hyperlink in your reply to my post.

I've got a permanent account, so I can't threaten to cancel my subscription. I'm drifting into the TWILIGHT ZONE.

Let's see what LJ does in response to my angry complaint.

I don't see any advertising hyrperlink in ptepnguino's reply, or in the text of any of your recent entries. Did you find out how to remove them, or are you the only one who can see them? If only you see them, maybe somebody has hacked your your browser.

This article about hackers getting into mobile browsers for Android phones is disturbing. You rhyperlinks might be some variant of that.

It might not be an LJ-related problem. I have to delete three or four spam comments from old entries every week, and I've made two old entries that were getting lots of spam comments private, but I haven't experienced anything like your problem, nor have I heard of anyone else here having it.

No, I haven't removed them, but I did a screen grab, below.

You're probably right that it might not be an LJ problem, but what would be the point of links to ads that appear only in MY journal?

The gambling ad is obviously targeted to the post it appears in, which means the spammers' equipment has spotted the content, and assumes you are a likely customer. It probably costs them next to nothing to send the ad to the page each time you open it.

For decades, advertisers have been willing to spend money to print ads and send them via the fairly costly U.S. Postal Service, spending maybe ten or fifteen cents per envelope, each one of which would reach only one household. Spending next to nothing per view is a huge reduction in cost for them, even if you are the only person who sees it.

Good analysis. I suppose that given how inexpensive it is for those marketing geniuses to place the ads, the negative fallout and vulgarity from people like me is easily withstood, or I should say ignored.

I've got a complaint registered with LJ which may take a day or two to process. But wouldn't the tech guys there be able to block this sort of thing? And wouldn't they have an interest in doing so, since LJers might leave in protest?

The more I think about it, the more likely it seems that the spammers have compromised some application that you are running. It obviously senses page content, the way Google Ad Sense does, and chooses ads to deliver based on that content. If it is one of your applications delivering the spam, then it might be following you around the Internet and serving ads on other sites as well, but you would only be likely to notice those ads on sites that are normally ad-free. Everywhere else it would just blend in with the rest of the advertising.

Still, even if the spam is not originating at LJ, the LJ complaint could be fruitful, as they might have had other complaints and might have discovered by now which application or applications are being used by the spammers. Getting rid of it might be as easy as doing a clean install of the application.

I went to "add and remove programs," saw some goofball thing entitled "coupon clip," which I had NOT consciously installed. I deleted it, and lo and behold! The hyperlinks no longer appear.

Thanks for taking the time to analyze this thing. BEFORE the Live Journal tech team got to it!

Coupon clip must be a fairly new program of its type. No reports of it showed up when I searched for it on Google. Firewalls probably haven't learned to recognize it and block it yet— or else it got through by secretly hitching a ride with something you did download. Spammers are a sneaky lot.

You're right, it sneaked in during a download I made of some freeware. I wasn't paying close attention to all the steps that required "I agree" during the process. No question that was how I got it. At least they didn't hide the program, I was able to spot it on "add or remove programs."

I don't see any ad either.

Your entries are public, aren't they? If they are, I'd imagine that's how they're targeting you.

Ew. =(

Edit: I see you found the problem. I'm so glad. Good grief.

Edited at 2013-02-24 03:06 pm (UTC)

John, good to see you got that figured out! As an aside, have you considered using a browser other than Internet Explorer? There are some really effective ad blockers available for other browsers, most notably Firefox or Chrome. (I recommend Firefox -- can't trust Chrome because it's a Google product). This wouldn't protect you from the kind of sneakiness that caused this recent problem, but it would make your life online a lot more bearable. I've got my ad blocker so sharply honed that my online experience is quite literally almost 100% ad free, and it's beautiful.

(I'm an extremist in this regard, in that I block so much content that probably half of all websites I visit appear "broken" or are missing large pieces, but I don't mind. Better that than looking at ads.)

Yes, I've done that Firefox thing but the drawback is that I have a shitload of "favorites" on IE and getting those accessed on Firefox involves going through several steps. I'm too impatient for my own good, but at the same time I utterly LOATHE advertisements, and I go nutz waiting for shit to download on sites I access with IE. I remember the days when there was only radio, TV was coming out, and the telephone was a device that had a rotary dialer. How the FUCK did everyone manage to get by?

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