This week, we had a few Chronic Illness Bloggers (CIB) members (myself included) whose content was stolen and put on another website without our permission. I wish I could say this rarely happens, but that’s not the case. Earlier this year, the level of plagiarism was so bad that Health Nut News and Pain News Network published stories about how these unscrupulous websites are preying on the chronic illness community. If you’re not aware of this, please, please, please do yourself and your readers a favor and read these two articles, then I’ll share some tips on how you can do your part to combat this problem:

Health Nut News: Fake accounts are taking over Facebook and posting “articles” targeting the chronically ill

Pain News Network: Facebook pain groups attacked by spammers

A little background: Last year, there was an onslaught of people setting up fake health-related websites, and it continues today. Many of these sites are based in Pakistan and other foreign countries where U.S. copyright laws aren’t really a concern. What they do is find a news story or blog post from a legitimate site that has a catchy headline and seems to be pulling in good traffic, and then they copy and paste that story onto their website and present it as their own work. They then set up fake Facebook accounts and post these links in various Facebook groups with the intent of driving traffic to their sites. Most are trying to earn advertising revenue. Others have more nefarious intentions, placing malware and key-loggers (programs that track your keystrokes, so they can obtain your personal information) on visitors’ computers. I don’t have to tell you how destructive this can be for people who are sick and already living on limited incomes!

I am asking all CIB members to educate themselves on how to spot these spammy websites so that you’re not unknowingly driving traffic to their sites. You can do your part by learning how to recognize a plagiarized website and then NOT sharing it on your social media accounts. You can also help by reporting these types of posts to Facebook group moderators to let them know that they are promoting plagiarized content. (I will warn you that some Facebook group owners take this more seriously than others.)

Here are some clues for how to spot these sites:

  • Often the website domains will have an unusual ending (i.e. .co, .biz, .info, .xyz, .pw, .website, etc.), but this isn’t always the case.
  • When you click on the website, the so-called article was usually posted by “admin.”
  • You’ll notice that all of the headlines on the website are usually dramatic and interesting (i.e. “Naltrexone is a wonder drug for fibromyalgia patient,” “6 ways to end your fibromyalgia pain,” “I’m a doctor with fibromyalgia; here’s what I wish people understood about it,” etc.). They are deliberately stealing everyone’s best content because they know readers will click on it.
  • They almost always have a list of other articles in their sidebar, all with super interesting headlines to entice visitors to click.
  • The website in general looks amateur. There aren’t many photos. There’s usually no “about me” page or personal photos. The design is usually very basic and plain – no real header, no real menu, etc. It basically looks like a template.
  • The photos sometimes have another website’s watermark (i.e. website address) on them. That’s because they stole the original site’s artwork, too!
  • Sometimes they will even leave the original byline on the article – I have this happen frequently – so you may even recognize the name as one of your fellow CIB members.
  • There is no “contact us” page, or if there is, it just links to a generic form.
  • Please see the Health Nut News story for even more tips on how to spot these sites.

If you’re still not sure if an article is plagiarized or not, cut and paste the first sentence of the article into the Google search bar with quotation marks around it, and almost always the original article will pop up as one of the top search results. You can also Google search the headline in quotation marks, although I’ve found that some of the more willey sites will tweak the headline just slightly in order to throw off the Google search. You’ll usually find that the article came from a site you’re familiar with: the New York Times, Huff Post, MindBodyGreen, TheMighty.com, NationalPainReport.com, PainNewsNetwork.com, HealthLine.com, etc. – these are all websites commonly targeted by these spammy websites. Chronic illness bloggers are also being targeted.

To help in this effort, I am including a list of questionable sites at the end of this post. I pulled from three different sources to create this list, but this list is NOT all-inclusive. There’s no way to create an all-inclusive list because these people are literally creating new websites every single day!

I know it can be confusing trying to weed out these sites, so I would ask that CIB members err on the side of caution: If you suspect that an article could be plagiarized or that a site might not be legit, please refrain from sharing it with others. By sharing these sites, we are just lining the pockets of people who are deliberately targeting sick people because they know that we are desperate to find solutions for our illnesses.

Plus, what they’re doing is just plain wrong. We work hard on our blog posts – I know I spend hours on my posts, and I’m sure most of you do the same – so it’s not fair for these websites to profit off of our hard work. Let’s all support each other in this! Be mindful of what you’re sharing on your social media accounts, and if you see one of your fellow blogger’s posts on a strange site, tell them so they can take appropriate steps to have it removed.

Speaking of which, I know some CIB members have had their content plagiarized by these sites, so in a future post, I will cover what to do when that happens and what I’ve done on my own blog to slow down the frequency of plagiarism.

Ok, here’s the list of sites to watch out for – but again, this list is NOT all-inclusive, so please refer to the clues above to help weed out other sites that might not have made it onto this list yet. And if you know of a site that needs to be added, leave a comment below and I will check it out and add it to the list!

  • • AboutWhat.info
    • AllHealthGuidance.com
    • Americanhealthnews.org
    • BestHealthyTips.net
    • BlessedSource.com
    • CancerAvoidMid.com
    • CancerCrushingFacts.org
    • CancerFactsCentral.org
    • CancerFactSheet.org
    • CancerQuickFacts.org
    • CancerRemedies.net
    • CannabisCulture.ws
    • CareBodyHair.com
    • CaringCare.info
  • ChronicBodyPain.net
    • ChronicDiseases.info
    • ChronicPainTalk.com
    • ChronicSolutions.club
    • ColorsOfHealth.info
    • Competelife.com
    • CriticalHealthFacts.com
    • CurativeNews.info
    • CureCity.org
    • CureConnect.info
    • Cured.ws
    • Curehealth.info
    • CureHealth.info
    • CurePain.co
    • CureRemedies.org
    • Dailyamericanews.co
    • Dailyfibromyalgianews.co
    • DailyHealthAdvice.info
    • Dailyhealthnews.pw
    • DailyHealthTime.co
    • Dailymed.online
    • DailyMedicalNews.org
    • DaysinHealth.info
    • Diseasecure.co
    • DiseaseFreeAmerica.com
    • DiseasesPress.com
    • DiseasesTreatment.info
    • DrugsAndUsage.com
    • EverydayHealths.info
    • FactsOnHealth.info
    • Federalstudyresearch.com
    • GeneralHealthFacts.com
    • HealingBright.com
    • HealingChronicPains.com
    • Health247.club
    • HealthAcquired.com
    • HealthAndHomeRemedies.com
    • HealthAtHeart.info
    • HealthCareHints.com
    • HealthCareJournal.org
    • HealthCarePlan.co
    • Healthcareportal.com
    • HealthCareSolutionsPlus.org
    • HealthCureCenter.com
    • HealthCureCorner.com
    • HealthCurePortal.com
    • Healthdisfunctions.com
    • HealthFacts.pw
    • HealthFactsCentral.com
    • HealthFactsConcern.com
    • HealthFeeds.co
    • HealthForEveryone.info
    • HealthHeal.info
    • Healthiculture.com
    • Healthinfopedia.com
    • Healthinformation.com
    • HealthinformationExchanges.info
    • HealthinsuranceFact.org
    • Healthist.co
    • Healthiusa.com
    • HealthLine.website
    • Healthlivetips.org
    • HealthMedication.info
    • Healthmedicine.info
    • HealthMojo.org
    • HealthOfWomen.info
    • HealthPassion.info
    • HealthPerfection.co
    • Healthplanning.pw
    • HealthPlans.club
  • HealthRange.top
    • HealthRecord.club
    • HealthSafe.news
    • Healthtimes.pw
    • HealthyFoodStar.com
    • HealthyLifeWho.com
    • HealthyResources.co
    • HealthyVeganStyle.com
    • HomeHealthCareinc.info
    • InfoHubWeb.info
    • Insurancebasics.ws
    • KnowCure.com
    • Leadinghealthindicators.com
  • Lifeandfibro.com
    • MedicalHealthNews.info
    • Medicalinformatics.pw
    • Medicalnewsdaily.co
    • MedicalTreatmentGuidence.net
    • MediCarePublic.com
    • Medisurelife.com
    • Medmessiah.info
    • MedPrecautions.com
    • MyHealthLogics.com
    • MyHealthSecrets.website
    • MyMedClinic.info
    • NaturalTreatments.info
    • Neverignore.info
    • NewHealthRemedies.org
    • NewsForAmerica.co
    • Nymedtimes.info
    • OneStepHealth.Net
    • Paincautions.co
    • PainCautions.com
    • PainCure.club
    • PainHealing.org
    • Painphysicianjournal.co
    • PainTreatmentSolution.net
    • PersonalHealthCure.info
    • PersonalHealthFacts.info
    • PersonalHealthGuide.info
    • PersonalHealthins.co
    • PersonalHealthMedication.com
    • PersonalHealthRecords.in
    • PersonalMedicalTreatments.co
    • PersonalMedicare.com
    • PersonHealthCarePlans.info
    • PreventionAndWellness.net
    • PrivateHealthCareReports.com
    • PrivateMedical.info
    • Privatemedical.xyz
    • PublicHealthissues.co
    • RealFarmacy.com
    • Realhealthtreatments.info
    • RealHealthTreatments.info
    • RunNatural.info
    • SheKnowEverything.com
    • The-Health.info
    • TheHealthDisorder.com
    • TheHealthLine.info
    • TheHealthOnline.info
    • TheMedic.org
    • TheMedicine.info
    • TheMedics.info
  •    The Secrets.info
    • TopHealthideas.com
    • TopHealthLogics.com
    • TopHealthRecords.com
    • TopThings2Know.com
    • TopTreatments.co
    • Ushealthcare.co
    • ViralFacts.news
    • ViralFactsFactory.com
    • VitalSign.info
  • ViralUSA.pw
    • WellnessOnline.co
    • WomensBlog.xyz
    • WomensHealthCare.in
    • WomensHealthOrders.com
    • YourHealthGardian.org

Next up: What to do when a website steals your content!

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