Wednesday, April 6, 2022

I Have Been Bot Scraped Updated


Thank you, Ms. Leo, for informing me that my blog, yours, and several other Blogspot blogs that we follow are being bot scraped by the website, ToyNewz.com.

I tried to contact them to request that they cease scraping my copyrighted content, but their contact form appears to be an image (intentionally) that will not allow me to enter anything in the designated fields.

On the Privacy Policy page (they actually have one of these), I found an email address to contact the administrator of the site.

admin@ToyNewz.com


At 9:02 a.m. CST I sent the following email:

Dear Administrator of ToyNewz.com

I am the owner of the Black Doll Collecting Blog at Blogspot.com, (blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com). I was alerted by another Blogspot blogger that my content is on your website without my permission. This is a formal request for you to discontinue scraping my content immediately and to remove all existing content from your site of which I am the originator.

A search of your site for a particular phrase that is used in all my blog posts resulted in 12 pages of my content.

To prevent the need of escalating this to higher authorities, please remove my content from your site and discontinue scraping future content from my site immediately.

If my request to remove my content from your site and to discontinue scraping future content from my site is not honored within the next 24-48 hours, the escalation process will begin.

Administrator of Blackdollcollecing.blogspot.com

The email bounced back because the email address provided by the website is fake

Next, I attempted to report the site for copyright infringement to WordPress.com, but this site is not actually hosted by Wordpress.com it uses their free software. According to WordPress, “we have no control over self-hosted sites built using free WordPress software which may mention ‘Powered by WordPress.org’ or something similar.” 

WordPress suggested contacting the host of the site, which I first thought was Godaddy.com but later discovered that GoDaddy is just the registrar of the domain name, Toynewz. I searched the Whois website and found the following information to report abuse.

Registrar Abuse Contact Email:  abuse@godaddy.com

Registrar Abuse Contact Phone:   480-624-2505

I called the abuse GoDaddy.com contact number and explained the situation. I was told that Godaddy is the registrar of the domain name, ToyNewz.com. The actual host of the website is HEG US. My next step was to send an email to the Godaddy registrar abuse team along with screenshots to expedite the investigation. I was told that the abuse team would contact the host, HEG US, and take the necessary steps.

Before I wrote the suggested email, I looked up HEG US’s contact information in case I need to contact them directly.

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The following email was sent to abuse@godaddy.com

Dear Abuse@Godaddy.com

I sent the following email to Toynewz.com (a site you host) that is bot scraping my copyrighted material onto their website.

Dear Administrator of ToyNewz.com

(I copied the text from the email to Toynewz.com.)

The email bounced back because the email address provided by the website is fake.  I called the Godaddy abuse phone number and was informed to contact you by email with screenshots to report the issue.

In addition to the following screenshots, if you search the Toynewz.com website for the phrase “there are countless things to collect” the 12 pages mentioned previously of my content will result. Some of these are captured in the following screenshots followed by the original URLs from my blog.

My original content on the Toynewz site.

The above two blog posts can be found on my site, where they originated at the following URLs:

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/03/when-people-mock-adult-doll-collectors.html

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/04/beatrizs-eyes.html

 

Four more posts from my site.

These four posts can be found on my site where they originated at the following URLs:

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/03/her-ethnicity-is-unknown.html

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/03/you-can-be-anything-doctor-barbie.html

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/03/targets-christmas-sweater-ornaments.html

https://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2022/03/rainbow-high-pacific-coast-harper-dune.html

My Black Doll Collecting Blog blog is not the only doll blog affected by Toynewz’ bot scraping, but my blog is my major concern. I have posted this information on my blog in a blog post (which I am sure will also be posted on the bot’s website, proof that it is a bot site) to alert other Blogspot bloggers of the steps I have taken to have my content removed from the Toynewz site. My content and content from other doll sites can be found under the Categories / Top Doll Toys World News link on the Toynewz website as illustrated next.


Please let me know what else I need to do to have my content removed from this site and to prevent further bot scraping by this site.

Thank you in advance.

(My signature and link to this blog)

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I called HEG US (314) 882-9021 to report the Toynewz site. The call went to their voice mail. 

Update: Another blogger called the HEG US number. The phone was answered by a woman who said she no longer works for HEG US. I conducted additional research and discovered that Godaddy.com has owned HEG US since 2016! So Godaddy is the company to contact to complain if your content is being bot scraped by this culprit.

If you are a Blogspot doll blogger, go to Toynewz.com and search for the title of your blog to see if you’ve been bot scraped, too. If you are, blow up Godaddy's phone number and email to complain. Here they are again:

Registrar Abuse Contact Email:  abuse@godaddy.com

Registrar Abuse Contact Phone:   480-624-2505

Please let me know if you’ve taken other steps to have your content successfully removed from Toynewz.com or other sites.


dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

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13 comments:

lizziewriter said...

I'm so sorry and angry that you have to deal with such BS, and so grateful for your exhaustive and educational post. Dealing with such sh*t is draining and confusing. I plan to put a mention and a link about your story in a hobby newsletter, for this issue's IP spotlight, especially since we just learned a new term, "bot scraping." Now that we know it, we'll probably see examples within the week. As a token of our esteem and respect, may we point out this charming public domain image which you may find entertaining if not actually useful: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Warning_unauthorized_use_may_vaporize_you_(5277424033).jpg

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Thanks for your comment, lizziewriter. I wish we could vaporize these culprits. I am exhausted from my attempts to reach a resolution to this mess. I still await Godaddy’s reply to my email. Since I now know Godaddy owns Heg US, the solution of taking down this bot site should be simple.

It all “makes me wanna holler,” but I won’t throw up my hands.

dbg

Wendy Dirks said...

My blog posts have also been stolen from WordPress. Thank you for posting this. I live in England and am coping with a terminal illness so I don't have a lot of energy for this. I'm absolutely disgusted however. So frustrating!

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I am so sorry this is happening to you, Wendy. I am so sorry to hear about the terminal illness you are coping with. This is is the last thing you need to be bothered by.

It's is very frustrating. I've had a headache for two days caused by this.

Right now I am preparing to fill out the copyright infringement form at the link shared by Godaddy (I will share it later). It requires a lot of screenshots and other information, but I am determined to follow through in hopes of having this site taken down or at least my info removed from it. I'll post an update after I have followed the necessary steps.

dbg

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Hello again, Wendy and others who live in the UK affected by bot scraping:

If you are based in the UK, you can contact the UK ActionFraud and Cyber Crime unit, to report the theft of your copyrighted material, and any identity theft that has happened as a result of the cloning. They can be found at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud. It’s likely that the fraudster is living in a different country, but it’s important that the police are alerted to these crimes.

I found the above information by reading the article, "What to do if your blog or website has been cloned" at the following URL:
https://pigeonpairandme.com/what-to-do-if-your-blog-or-website-is-cloned.html#:~:text=Report%20the%20clone%20to%20their,they%20provided%20on%20the%20site.

dbg

april_n_paris said...

And yes, I too, have been bot scraped!!!
Thank you for your exhaustive report. I may also post something on my own site with a link back to your post as I do not have lots of time on my hand right now. However, I did begin to research what if anything we can do to protect ourselves. Much of what I found I could not really understand (lots of tech talk). But one thing I did was to turn the Captcha function back on. I had turned it off because a few folks complained how it complicated leaving comments. It doesn't solve the problem but they say it will complicate the process for certain bots. Thank you for the email and phone number of Godaddy. I will contact them to complain for what it's worth.
This is most frustrating.... We do all of this work for only the love of the hobby so it's doubly insulting, doubly disgusting that there are creeps out there who disrespect our blogs.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Hello April,

I'm sorry to hear that you, too, have been bot scraped by the culprit Toynewz.com

I received a reply from the abuse department at Godaddy.com. They informed me to contact abuse@heg.com since Heg.com is the web host for Toynewz.com. I feel as though I've been given the runaround since reportedly Godaddy owns Heg. I have emailed abuse@heg.com to report what Toynewz.com is doing. Here's hoping they will resolve the issue quickly. If not, the next step is to file a DMCA takedown notice, which I will do using the link at the following URL.

https://www.dmca.com/FAQ/What-is-a-DMCA-Takedown

dbg

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I wrote abuse@heg.com about this issue on the evening of 04/07/2022. I have not received a reply or acknowledgement of email receipt. As a result, I sent the following email to abuse@godaddy.com copyright team who investigated my claim and told me to email abuse@heg.com.
____
My content has been stolen, scraped by Toynewz.com. Godaddy.com owns Heg.com, the domain provider of Toynewz com.

I have, at your suggestion, emailed abuse@heg.com about this issue. I have not received a reply or an acknowledgement of that email.

When I enter Heg.com into my browser, I am directed to the GoDaddy.com website.

Why, then, can't GoDaddy.com force Toynewz.com to remove my content and discontinue the illegal scraping of future content from my blog at blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com?

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Hi Debbie,
Mr. BTEG googled something like "DMCA takedown godaddy" and found this page: https://www.godaddy.com/legal/agreements/trademark-copyright-infringement
In the section titled "B: Copyright Claims", there is a link to this form: https://supportcenter.godaddy.com/Infringement/Index?isc=
which Mr. BTEG filled out. He got an email reply acknowledging the complaint was received. We'll see what happens now.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Hi Barbie TEG,

Thank you for sharing the steps Mr. BTEG has taken. Please let me know their response and action taken, if any. I followed the same steps, received acknowledgment of my email from copyrightclaims@godaddy.com, then a subsequent email that I have copied below:
-----
We appreciate your patience in this matter. Unfortunately we are not able to assist you from this office regarding this claim.

You'll need to submit your copyright concern to abuse@heg.com as the content is not directly hosted by GoDaddy.


----
They claim the site is not directly hosted by Godaddy.com but Godaddy.com owns Heg.com or Heg US.com, whatever name the domain owner uses. I replied:

My content has been stolen, scraped by Toynewz.com. Godaddy.com owns Heg.com, the domain provider of Toynewz com.

I have, at your suggestion, emailed abuse@heg.com about this issue. I have not received a reply or an acknowledgment of that email.

When I enter Heg.com into my browser, I am directed to the GoDaddy.com website.

Why, then, can't GoDaddy.com force Toynewz.com to remove my content and discontinue the illegal scraping of future content from my blog at blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com?


------
I am still waiting for their reply. My next step is to file a DMCA takedown notice at the following URL.

https://www.dmca.com/FAQ/What-is-a-DMCA-Takedown

dbg

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

P.S. BTEG,

I've also heard nothing from abuse@heg.com.

If nothing is resolved by Monday, I'm filing the takedown notice.

(In the meantime, I've turned off RSS feeds to my blog).

dbg

Galacticatt said...

How bizarre and upsetting- I am so sorry that you have to deal with this :(
I wish I was something I could do to help

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Hello Galacticatt. Thank you so much for caring.

dbg