Finding your name or photo on a cheater website can be downright terrifying. After removing more than 25,000 unwanted webpages on behalf of our clients, we know exactly how damaging negative content can be. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that it’s not just the original post you have to worry about. Reputational harm is amplified when negative content goes viral.
If you encounter negative content on a cheater site, it’s important to search for copycat (scraped) content. You want to remove all content (original and scraped) because:
- Scraper sites are known to copy content from original posts on cheater sites
- Removing one link may move other scraped links onto the first page of your search results
- The presence of additional scraped links increases your chances of the content going viral
- New scraper sites are popping up all the time
In this post, you’ll learn what scraped content is and why it’s important to remove all negative content, not just the original content. We’ll also cover some of the ways online reputation attorneys combat scraper sites.
Let’s get started with an overview of scraper sites and how scraper sites work.
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Why is There the Same Content on Multiple Sites?
Cheater sites like BustedCheaters.com and BadBoyReport.kr have grown in popularity and have the potential to ruin your online reputation and presence. If you aren’t familiar with these sites, they usually serve as a hate-filled platform for posters to vent about someone who has wronged them.
Finding negative content about yourself on one cheater site is enough to cause significant reputational and emotional damage. What’s worse, is that content found on cheater sites has the potential to spread like wildfire.
“Scraper sites” are cheater websites that copy or “scrape” content from other cheater websites and post it on their own site as if they are an original source of the content.
Often, these scraper sites will use the exact same wording and pictures as the original post, or just copy the post outright. Scaper sites typically backdate posts to make them look like they have been up for longer than they really were.
How can I tell if my Post has Been Copied to Other Cheater Websites?
Generally, there is no rhyme or reason as to why some content is scraped and other content is not. A pattern we have noticed is that when content contains a photo, the scraper sites do not always recycle the photo – only the text. This is one method that helps us identify whether a post is original or scraped content, but doesn’t help us predict whether content will be scraped by other sites.
To tackle this growing problem, one of the first things we do for clients is conduct a comprehensive name search. This way we can determine if multiple negative posts exist. We use quotations when searching and add relevant terms, such as “cheater,” “homewrecker,” or “liar” to uncover copycat content.
Although this process is not 100% guaranteed to find all instances of scraper content that may exist, there is currently no other way to find scraped content other than visiting and searching every cheater website that exists to check each of them for copied content.
Cheater Website Fact: Cheater websites are considered “user-generated content” and enjoy broad immunity under Section 230 of The Communications Decency Act. Just as telephone companies aren’t liable for malicious things said on their lines, user-generated content platforms are viewed as mere facilitators of content, not the creators.
If I Get One Post Removed Will All the Posts Come Down?
Unfortunately, the removal of one cheater site post on a single website will not cause the others to disappear. This is why scraper sites and copycat content can wreak havoc on a person’s reputation.
Each individual site has specific instructions (and costs) to remove unwanted content. There is no way to remove one post and guarantee all other sites will follow suit.
If Only One Site Shows Up in My Search Results, Can I Just Get the Negative Content Removed From That Site and not the Others?
Sometimes clients will have content posted on multiple websites, but only one site actually shows up high in their search results for their name.
In these situations, a common question is whether just removing the one negative post showing up high in their search can solve their problem, even if other scraped content still exists.
Although it’s possible to do this, we don’t recommend it.
Generally, there is a high likelihood that once the high-ranking link is removed, another (or multiple others) will take its place on the first page of your search results. This is because Google’s search algorithm tries not to rank pages of content in search results that have content on them that is duplicated from another source. It only tries to rank one version of the content, which it believes is the original source and version.
So when one piece of content is removed, a duplicated version of that content will then have the ability to rank and will simply just replace the original it in search results. There is no way to predict what may move onto the first page of search results. We recommend that our clients work to remove all negative content, whether it’s an original post or scraped.
Additionally, even if duplicate content does not immediately replace the link that is removed, leaving content out there can still leave you vulnerable to future scraping and attacks. If you leave live posts up, the chances of another website copying the content significantly increase. New sites appear all the time and scraping can (and many times will) continue, making the situation even worse.
If this happens it may become much more expensive to remove all the negative content in the future. It’s better to remove negative content from a couple of sites now, rather than wait until the content has made its way onto dozens of more sites later. Removing everything the first time around reduces the chances of more of the same content appearing in the future.
Emotional Distress Fact: Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) is a civil tort that involves conduct that is so terrible and outrageous that it causes severe emotional distress and trauma to the victim. Although not all offensive conduct qualifies as IIED, when found, a victim can recover damages from the party that caused the trauma.
What Can Be Done to Stop Scraping?
For victims, the only truly effective means to combat scraping is to remove and de-index all of the content as quickly as possible. Generally, once content is removed, it can no longer be copied.
At our firm, after content is removed, we de-index sites so that the dead links do not appear in search results. This is one way we remove all traces of negative content.
The only way to de-index a link from search results is if the content has been removed at its source. This process is usually pretty quick and takes no more than a few days or a week.
Reputation Management Tip: If you want to suppress negative and defamatory search results there’s several steps you can take: (1) create a blog and start posting frequent content, (2) make your social media profiles public and start openly commenting and posting, and (3) interlink between all your various online accounts in order to create one powerful and cohesive digital footprint. If you are seeking to remove search engine results entirely, we recommend checking out our article on the subject, “How to Remove Google Search Results“.
The Attorneys at Minc Law Can Help Remove Content From Cheater Websites
If you’ve found negative content on a cheater site, contact an experienced content removal attorney right away. Time is of the essence if you want to reduce your chances of the content going viral.
The online reputation attorneys at Minc Law are well-versed in removing content from cheater sites. We’ve worked with more than 1,300 clients responding to defamatory, negative, and unwanted content. Contact us for a free, confidential, consultation with an intake specialist to determine your best course of action.
“Melanie and the team at Minc did a great job taking offensive posts down of several websites. Quick and efficient, with good communication during the whole process. I can’t thank them enough!”
Anonymous, January 21, 2021