Digital Fingerprinting

As any blogger knows, spammers are quite happy to post to your blog to generate extra income for themselves. They care little whether your blog is something you do when you have nothing better to do, or whether it’s a labour of love with a large audience. All they want to do is to make money with the minimum of effort. Anti-spam measures like Bad Behaviour or Akismet or similar can help with the fight against that.
Another way they make their money is to scrape your RSS feed. I won’t explain this in detail because it’s explained much better on Lorelle’s article. Definitely worth a read.

So, what can we do? I have installed the WordPress plugin written by Maxpower – the Digital Fingerprint plugin. This is a very unobtrusive plugin that will only turn up on feeds. In short, unzip the plugin to your plugins directory, enable it on your WordPress dashboard and then add in some options including, of course, your unique digital fingerprint. Then wait for a week. Then check the installed searches to see where your feed articles turn up.

When it’s installed, you’ll see a small icon in your “write post” area alongside the formatting options: Fingerprint Button , clicking it will add in to your html code. As you’ll see from this post, it won’t show up in the post itself, but for anyone who subscribes to my feeds, it’ll show up there.

This isn’t designed to stop the scrapers, but it will make them easier to find.

Obligatory link list:

Digital Fingerprint plugin

Lorelle’s article on the plugin


Posted on 8 October, 2006, in Blogging/WordPress, Generalities, Site News. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It was amazing how quickly that I discovered that someone had scraped my content and passed it off as their own (articles by “Corey” in a subdirectory /corey as if I was a staff writer). I haven’t seen my compensation cheque, so I didn’t appreciate it. I also have installed ‘antileech’ as well and added their IP address to the garbled feed list. As soon as I did that, they took all the content off their site, leaving “404’s”. I didn’t have to get all “cease and decisty”, which was good. The less effort required the better, IMO.

    Don’t be surprised if Maxpower sends you a quick note for linking. Good people, they are.

    I’ve been running the plug in since I saw Lorelle’s article and its been running nicely in the background with no issues so far. I think that you made the right choice.

  2. Me too. I don’t think I’ve been scraped (I get very little traffic) but I believe in “better safe than sorry” 🙂

    I love that people are coding stuff like this and sharing with the world – I’d never be able to do this sort of thing on my own….

  3. All hail the WordPress Plugin development team! 😀

  4. Absolutely. The joy of “non-professionals” is that we get all the itches scratched for free!

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