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Discussion Starter #1
I don't always log in when I'm in a hurry or don't think I have anything to post so see the HF site as outsiders do many times. I've noticed that my posts and others sometimes have been used to add links (bolded text) within the body of our posts that takes people to other sites, usually eBay, amazon, etc which are webpages for selling some product. This type of thing never happened with Larry, and I have to assume it is something that is now being done by our new owners...to increase ad revenue?? is the only thing I can think of. Also noticed that sometimes the title of a thread will appear with extra spaces between the words and if you click on that title when it appears that way, you will also find yourself transported to some other website destination.

Please comment on this. It seems deliberate. If you are doing this to those not logged in to the site thinking members won't care, I find it deceptive and as someone who's posts have already been altered to add links to things I never intended, well I'd like it to stop. That's effectively changing my words the way I look at it and I'd never waste someone time going to unintended sites or products. I get new ownership wanted to add advertising to the top and bottom of the pages and even mid-thread, but hijacking someone's post really takes it to a different level. For those members who log in all the time, visit as a guest and check out your own posts and those of others when you see bolded text or thread titles with extra spacing.
 

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It's not the site, it's you. No seriously. Try a different browser. There's a specific piece of spyware (the name escapes me at the moment) that does that to whatever site you're browsing. It's designed to pick up on keywords and link out. I'm on ChromeOS and thus Chrome most of the time and I rarely get that unless I'm on my PC at home. I've had it crop up before and go away after running a decent scan and clean of spyware and viruses.
 

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Like Terrormaster said, sounds like spyware. Check the extensions on your browser and see if there's any suspicious looking add-ons. If not, run a scanner like Spybot or Malware Bytes, that should clean it right up.
 

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I agree something happened with the site. I am on Chrome and when I log in all is fine. But if I swing by withOUT logging in (which I have a terrible time getting to work after the ownership change) I gets LOTS of ads and links. The same is true no matter what machine I am using at home (3 macbook pros or 2 ipads) or what browser.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The bold type links and the spaced thread title links ONLY appear when you are NOT logged on as a member. When I log on as a member, they aren't there. So don't think it's maleware. The ads appear to non-members as incentive to join the site (and provide your info). In fact I've seen text next to an ad saying some like "want advertisments to disappear?" and if you click on to it it asks you to join.

Like I said above, I get the idea/maybe need for ads. Causing people to go to places they click on thinking a member wanted them to see something when it's just an ad is at best deceptive. If I was a non-member it would discourage me from wanting to visit let alone join a site that plays those games. As a member I don't expect my published words to be altered unless they are violating the board rules.

For those of you who say maleware, have you gone here and not logged in and spent some time looking through the posts for bold type or mis-spaced thread titles and click on any you see?


Here's a post I made a little while ago showing examples of what I'm referring to: http://www.halloweenforum.com/general-halloween/147883-rogers-gardens-2016-a-9.html#post1948209 (and that bold type link there I am creating!).
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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i viewed the site while logged out and i didn't see anything displaying as a link that shouldn't be a link.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Appreciate the feedback dane82. So logged out, when you click on the Forum area, General Discussions, and it brings up the list of threads, do you see this at the top of the thread? If so, click on the text "General Halloween". What do you see then? Thanks.



 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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There might be a way to stop this.

Go to the "My Profile" link at the top right of the page. Click on the "About Me" tab.

You should see your basic information like date of birth, hobbies... and at the bottom of this list is "Insurance" and then two other little yellow pencils without any text next to them. Click the first one and you get two radio buttons - No and Yes and the question:

Relevant keywords are linked to targeted products. When you mouse over the link, additional product information is displayed.

Would you like to see these inserted links?
Click NO and then hit the save button. This will keep you from seeing the keyword advertising links.

Click the second edit pencil and you'll get a slightly different question set:

Relevant keywords are linked to targeted products. When you mouse over the link, additional product information is displayed.

Is it ok to show these links to other users when they're reading your posts?
Click NO again and save it. This should keep keyword links from showing up in your personal postings when others view them, even if you're logged out. But you may still see them in other posts of members that do not go through this adjustment and you happen to be logged out yourself so your preferences for not seeing the links can't be determined (guests will always see the advertising links I suspect).

Make sure that you hit the save buttons on both selections.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, Big Wow. so the site is using our posts to market to others. I appreciate the feedback and suggestion Frankie's Girl. I guess it's just not safe to click on anyone's bolded links then. This is a sad change to the site IMO and sounds like every member would have to do this to prevent others from unknowingly click on bolded text that isn't related to the post. Now with video advertisements too, I can see where this is all going.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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These are SEO keyword marketing links. It is pretty common on sites now, and while it can be a bit jarring at times, at least they do offer the option to opt out here (which is very much appreciated).
 

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It is pretty common on sites now, and while it can be a bit jarring at times, at least they do offer the option to opt out here (which is very much appreciated).
Yeah, unfortunately there isn't anything all that unusual about this. Might be new for this site in partiucular, but it's commonplace all over the internet. That's why I use an ad-blocker on my browser.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BTW I and assume other members don't have that option. Nice. So no opt out. Followed your steps and nothing listed after Occupation. See below. Maybe you moderators get that option but don't think we do. Really close to making a jump here. I sure do miss Larry.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, unfortunately there isn't anything all that unusual about this. Might be new for this site in partiucular, but it's commonplace all over the internet. That's why I use an ad-blocker on my browser.

You do know that there is a huge effort underway for sites to effectively disable all ad-blockers so hope you enjoy the result. And I don't mean that in a mean way just that you seem protected but not for long and mentioning ad-blockers won't make a difference. Ads you see and knowingly click on for more info or coupons is one thing, using this stealth "web technology" to generate click referrals to generate revenue at the expense of their customers/members' time and privacy is really another level and says a lot about how they value you.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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BTW I and assume other members don't have that option. Nice. So no opt out. Followed your steps and nothing listed after Occupation. See below. Maybe you moderators get that option but don't think we do. Really close to making a jump here. I sure do miss Larry.


Props to Codec101 for locating:

Looks like members should be going to the Settings link at the top, then look for the "Edit Profile" selection on the left, and scroll down to locate the two questions regarding the links showing for you and for others to turn them off.

:)
 

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You do know that there is a huge effort underway for sites to effectively disable all ad-blockers so hope you enjoy the result. And I don't mean that in a mean way just that you seem protected but not for long and mentioning ad-blockers won't make a difference. Ads you see and knowingly click on for more info or coupons is one thing, using this stealth "web technology" to generate click referrals to generate revenue at the expense of their customers/members' time and privacy is really another level and says a lot about how they value you.
lol I'm not worried about it, there's already alternatives to Ad-block and more sophisticated ways to get around ads if you really want to. It's like saying illegal downloading is going to get stopped, people are already 5 steps ahead of any attempts of stopping it.

And the issue you're having? I'm not having for whatever reason, so my blocker must be doing something . And Is it really so hard to just create an account/stay logged in if you come here so often? I don't know, I just don't see what the big deal is. This is going to be the case on nearly any other forum you go to.
 

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Hmm I haven't noticed them. I did go check my profiles settings and also have the options to turn inserted links off..

The screen shot posted above is of your "About Me", not of the profile settings page. Click "Settings" at the top of the page on the right when logged in, then scroll down, find and click "Edit Profile" on the left side. This will get you to the correct page and then you should be able to scroll down and see those two options, Show inserted links and Allow inserted links in my posts. Click both to "NO" and click "save changes."
 

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I also do not have the options mentioned. I'm not pleased about it. Hopefully the owners will change this.
 

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Far Away Eyes
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I wonder if the new owners will address this with the members and how we are affected? It certainly makes me feel uncomfortable. I understand the need to make money through advertising. I don't really understand this way of doing it.

If you "opt out" of the links, does that just mean from today forward?
 

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Hmm I haven't noticed them. I did go check my profiles settings and also have the options to turn inserted links off..

The screen shot posted above is of your "About Me", not of the profile settings page. Click "Settings" at the top of the page on the right when logged in, then scroll down, find and click "Edit Profile" on the left side. This will get you to the correct page and then you should be able to scroll down and see those two options, Show inserted links and Allow inserted links in my posts. Click both to "NO" and click "save changes."
Yep, I have them as well. This is what it looks like, if anyone is still having trouble finding it.
hfoptions.jpg
 
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