Doing It Wrong
If, for some strange reason, you read the comments on my previous post here you saw someone asking if I minded if they “cross-posted” (the term they used) it to another site. As I have had things cross-posted/re-posted/re-blogged before (guest posts at ATH that a couple folks liked) I figured it was no big deal. I was wrong, as it was NOT a simple re-publication on another personal site with a link back. Oh no. It was something far worse. It was Marketing in the truly Dilbertian, or perhaps even Catbertian, sense of the word.
Instead of a simple re-posting, an account was made on the site they are building, Writer Beat, and I found myself signed up to the damned thing. There was no mention that such an account would be created, nor that I would “need” one for this. A lie of omission, that.
Further, the FAQ had a couple bombs lurking in it. One could not post more than once every 48 hours. While I am hardly prolific in my posting, my schedule is my schedule.
- I did not sign up for this
- I was not informed of this
- I did not consent to this.
The second bomb was the requirement of commenting on others posts. Nope:
- I did not sign up for this.
- I was not informed of this.
- I did not consent to this, either.
Whether something is deserving of a comment of mine is my decision alone.
And notice a pattern? The utter lack of informed consent. Dishonesty. This is not a medical emergency situation where such can be ignored for the sake of life-saving urgency. This is just plain old-fashioned lying.
I agreed only to the asked-about allegedly free re-publication, nothing more – as nothing more was revealed. But then I found I had an account on that dubious site. When I found those bombs lurking in the FAQ, I decided I wanted nothing to do with any place that made such demands. I had logged in. I had changed the password (before I made the comment containing the original public). So upon that discovery I decided to delete the article from that damnable site, which I did. I then went looking for a way to delete the account itself. Such an option does not exist.
Before, I was merely miffed. Now I was getting genuinely angry. No way to leave means it’s a trap. Even if not calculated to be, it still is so. And thus I sent this e-mail:
When you commented on Elegant Ungulate it was about a simple cross-post or
re-post. You did NOT tell me it was an account sign up. That is dishonest.
Also, no mention was made of article frequency limits, nor commenting
requirements associated with this un-informed and un-consented sign-up.
As I find this all dishonest and distasteful, I intended to delete the
account that was created without my consent. Only problem – your site seems
to be a Roach Motel California: A person can’t DO that.
Well, I mean to.
WriterBeat delenda est!
I did get a reply that my article had been deleted (Had I not already done that? Or is this site copying FaceBook’s malicious, evil design where deletion isn’t really deletion?) and that they had gone in and manually removed the account a mere user could not delete. The corker was the utterly ridiculous claim that *I* had “misunderstood” things when they had been outright omitted – at the very best, merely omitted. Oh, and though it was not said outright as “exposure” it was implied with “Should you ever decide to reach a larger readership…” Uh huh. There is a place for those who use an “exposure” line on folks. That place is on the hard vacuum side of an airlock. You want exposure? Sunbathe at the South Pole. You’ll get the exposure of your life.
The site owner(s?) must be desperate for content if they are trawling the web for articles to copy and people to sign up unawares. Perhaps a name that feels like it should be about/for reporters, or cops who walk a lot, or a riff on Tiger Beat magazine isn’t exactly helping.
What’s puzzling, assuming it isn’t automated by a ‘bot lacking any judgment of content, is: why that post? It’s nothing of much import. One guy talking about replacing an aging phone with something newer. It’s filler, really, and I know and admit that. Going down to the very next (that is, the previous) post gets an almost infinitely better candidate for wider transmission and perhaps discussion. But “I have a mark on my arm…” was bypassed. If I were to believe in “Social Importance” (cue Tom Lehrer’s tune Smut) I would assign a significant amount to that and very little if any to “Telephone, Man.” Of course, if it can be explained by incompetence, incompetence explains it. And it sure does!
So, should you get some schmuck trying to get your stuff on Writer Beat, BEWARE! It’s not mere duplication, but an attempt at conscription. Don’t be shanghaied.
My take is as said in email:
Writer Beat delenda est!
ADDENDUM: This is not a new development. Have a look back to 2014 at 4 Critical Changes Writer Beat Must Make to Become Competitive and note the author’s followup update to his article. There seems to be history of dishonesty on the part of Writer Beat’s owner(s).