Counterfeit Content
June 30, 2015 10:56 PM   Subscribe

 
I want to read this but it's impossible on my phone :(
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:16 PM on June 30, 2015


This is what happens when you're paid to use a liberal arts degree for evil.
posted by cosmologinaut at 11:33 PM on June 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


This one sounds like it's based on Andy Dwyer.

Writing these is my new dream job.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:38 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


the only thing that would be more amazing than this is if they were written for those really weird stock photos with names like "woman surprised by child wielding sword and tilapia"
posted by NoraReed at 12:11 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here's the quoted post, for future reference.
posted by spinda at 1:11 AM on July 1, 2015


Mr. Abernath's writings seem to have...uncanny effects on bots readers
posted by kagredon at 1:15 AM on July 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love this. Especially the big dentists.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:17 AM on July 1, 2015


(Can someone explain the business model of making fake sites to me? Is it just to provide clicks for advertisers?)
posted by Omnomnom at 1:19 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mr. Abernath's writings seem to have...uncanny effects on bots readers

I can't tell if that's a bunch of bots duplicating a real comment or one bot simulating a whole conversation and glitching out.
posted by spinda at 1:24 AM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


These people bought a house they clearly couldn’t afford. This is what happens when you try to live above your means.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:10 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


These people bought a house they clearly couldn’t afford. This is what happens when you try to live above your means.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 2:57 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


These people bought a house they clearly couldn’t afford. This is what happens when you try to live above your means.
posted by All Out of Lulz at 3:21 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


T͡h̳͚e͈̪̪̳͞s̠̠̲͙͚̝̪e͍͚̙ ҉͈̦p̫̬̱̖̘͠e̻̹̺͘ǫ͉̗̻p̸̰͎̼̘̝l̯̝͈̤̣͎͜e̥̮ ̹͚̰̲̦͝b̸͖o͏u͎g̬̗̝̭͟h̼̻̝͡t͝ ̩̤̤̥a͈̬͇͔͝ h̝̱͕͜o͖͞ͅu͏̼͕̦͍̮ͅs̳̺e͡ ̡t҉̭̮̣h͙̪͘e̫̬͓̮͎̼̤y̧̺̫͙͇͚̞̤ c̛̘̞̟̜̞ͅl̻͖̤e͉͕̹͙͕̮͟a̻͓͎r͚̩͓̤͎̞l͕̺̞̺y̥̪̜̙̺̪̮͘ ͈͝c͟ͅo̵̪͔̣̜u̘̘l̶̦̲ͅd̟̜̹̟͚̤̦͜n͉͚͈̪͖͠’̧̟ţ ͙͈͜a̴f̯̜͈̰̖̟f̡͎̼o̹̤̖͎̦r̮d̹͞.̫ ̝̱̲͙̠T͈̻̱̟h̠i͈̪͇̝̱̲s̡̻̖ ̞͇͝i̹͝s̷͍̮ ͉̣̲̭͓wh̳͚̲̖̙̥̦a̪̩̮͓̘̝ͅt̮͟ ̟h͈̜̻a̰̻͇͓̯̺̖p̶̮͙̙̟̣p̦͕̘̲e̩̘͈n̩̰͇̫̹̬͉͝s̗̫͈͓̰̀ ̯̠̺͓̹͓̯w҉̩̺̥̹ͅh͔̦̯͖̰e̹n̛̮̯͔ ̼̠̖y͓̙o͈̥̪͔̼ͅu̵̝̮̟̼̩̩ ̗͕͈t̶̲͇̩͈ͅr̭͇y̘̜͖͜ͅ ̧̫̲t̞̣͓o͞ ͓̭̳̩̹͚ͅḷ̺́iv̜͕̱̙̜̘̥e̹̱͎̩̬̲ ̵̝͔̖̹͎̦̲a̛͕͓̠̹͚b̙̳̩̪̪̩͕ov̛̙̜͖̜̻̯e̪ͅ ̝͙̖̞͓͉̥́yo̹̥̺̪̹̮͓u̼̯̼̻̥r͎̩̱̰̺̦̕ ̸̟͕̤̱̭͖ͅm̻̝͎ͅͅe̡͉̝̤a̪͠n͚̤͙͢s͕͚̹̺͇͓̲.́
posted by iotic at 3:27 AM on July 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


Wow. I've been bored and loopy at my job, but nothing I've done can hold a candle to some of that stuff. Bravo.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:16 AM on July 1, 2015


˙suɐǝɯ ɹnoʎ ǝʌoqɐ ǝʌıן oʇ ʎɹʇ noʎ uǝɥʍ suǝddɐɥ ʇɐɥʍ sı sıɥʇ ˙pɹoɟɟɐ ʇ’upןnoɔ ʎןɹɐǝןɔ ʎǝɥʇ ǝsnoɥ ɐ ʇɥbnoq ǝןdoǝd ǝsǝɥʇ
posted by tracicle at 4:33 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good knowledge have on the subject. Thanks you.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's up with the people's eyes in the photographs (especially Saul Mater, but also Ludmilla Calvino)? Has someone moved them around to fool facial recognition software? I find it really disconcerting.
posted by Ned G at 5:25 AM on July 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


(Can someone explain the business model of making fake sites to me? Is it just to provide clicks for advertisers?)

I'm not involved in SEO, but my understanding is that it's based around boosting a website's rank in non-sponsored searches. If you look up Page Rank, the original search algorithm for Google, you'll see that it ranks websites based in a large part on how many links they get. Famously, liberal bloggers made George W. Bush the number one search result for "failure" by linking Bush's website to the word in posts.

Of course, Google also has to stop spammers exploiting that model with fake sites and spam bots, so it makes a site less obvious to add human sounding copy. A site is also considered more authorative if other sites link to it, so fake sites will link to other fake sites to boost their rank. It seems like a cargo cult version of the web.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:31 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


These entities bought a dimension they clearly couldn't control. This is what happens when you try to ascend beyond your powers.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:33 AM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


What's up with the people's eyes in the photographs (especially Saul Mater, but also Ludmilla Calvino)? Has someone moved them around to fool facial recognition software? I find it really disconcerting.

I noticed this. I wonder if it's the same thing that's going on with those outbound link-farm ads on every web site now: "12 stars with horrible teeth!" and a picture of Jennifer Aniston with Austin Powers teeth or something.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:38 AM on July 1, 2015


Hey guys, I'm the one who made that tumblr. Thanks for the kind words! It's a huge deal for me to have my stuff posted on the blue.

mccarty.tim is pretty much right on about the purpose of those sites. The cargo cult comparison is really apt. The impression I get is that this technique doesn't work as well as it used to, and the company I worked for is using it less frequently now.

I'd like to say that, contrary to what you may expect, I actually really liked my employers. They paid me well enough for the work I was doing, gave me benefits, and they had one of the healthier work cultures I've been involved with. They didn't expect me to be passionate about the work I was doing (thank goodness), didn't expect me to work extra outside my hours, and they were overall very relaxed about things. My boss was a great guy and my coworkers were all pretty nice people. I'm no great fan of SEO, but the company I worked for was probably the most effective and least ethically dubious company in a field where that is definitely not the norm. Most SEO companies actively clutter up the parts of the web that people see, but these guys stayed in the background. Most of what they did was just optimizing clients' websites, adding linked data and stuff. Don't get me wrong, I would not want to work in SEO long-term. I got out of there to pursue work that actually brings something positive to the world. But I would not say I was being paid to use my education for evil.

I'd appreciate if people refrained from tracking down the original sites. I looked into it before I made the tumblr and I don't expect it to cause problems for my former employer, but I'd prefer not to flood their sites and potentially make things wonky in some way. I really just wanted to share this weird stuff I wrote, not screw with them.

As far as the strange eyes in the photos, if I recall correctly, I think that was to keep the photos unique, so that A. algorithms wouldn't recognize the photos as regular stock photos, and B. we wouldn't have to worry about duplicating photos on multiple sites. I actually never saw any of the photos until after I'd written the bios, and they always really amused me. Some of the photos I'll be posting in the future are really absurd.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:37 AM on July 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


Master websmith Julius Wintermute apparently doesn't believe in leaving gauche whitespace around images.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:23 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like big dentists and I cannot lie and you other MeFites can't deny, when a dentist walks in with an itty bitty technician and a speculum in your face your teeth get clean - if you know what I mean. I'm hooked and I can't stop suction. ....
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:42 AM on July 1, 2015


when a dentist walks in with an itty bitty technician and a speculum in your face

I think you should consider changing dentists.
posted by dis_integration at 10:25 AM on July 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is pretty interesting. I was reading about machine generated content recently (used a lot for financial and/or sports reporting where numbers and stats can be easily wrapped in generic writing formula e.g. "XYZ stock is trading higher on unusual volume today"). I saw one site which was clearly using machine generated content for all their articles, but the articles had 'written by' bylines which linked to a 'human' writers bio. Now I wonder if the whole site was an SEO type fake site with fake bios like these?
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2015


these are pretty hilarious, nice work! I love it when your job lets you get absurd
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:44 PM on July 9, 2015


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