I just checked my email and saw I had notifications that I had six new followers. I checked all these and found none of them have any hubs and all joined 4 hours ago. All are shown as following between 80 and 150 people. Has anyone else noticed this sudden spike in followers?
Yes, I also have notice of 6 new followers this morning. Haven't had time to check them out, but I rarely follow back anyone with no hubs.
I am always suspicious of people who don't have any hubs at all, especially if they have been here a while. Some people join thinking this is a site where we blog about our personal lives, and some seem to think it's a race to see who can get the most followers -- but for what purpose if they haven't written anything? Others are trolls of one sort or another who just want to cause trouble and hope to sway people's opinions, and I think some, sadly, are here to steal our work and put it on sites where we aren't likely to see it, and they get paid for it instead of us.
Wonder who else has been followed like you and I . . .
I have been followed by six new hubbers, too. It looked suspicious to me.
Au fait - It looks as though quite a few Hubbers experienced this within the past couple of days. It may be a single person planning to steal material for a blog. That's happened to me before. It is a lot of trouble to go through the notification and reporting process, but it makes me angry to have my writing stolen for someone else to use under his/her name.
I have had several hubs stolen and I have gone through the process of reporting them, but even then, there are still some sites out there using my exact words, but Google only entertains so much and after I reported 2 different sites they ignored my requests, or whatever they're called. So my traffic to 3 of my hubs is a tiny few compared to what it used to be. There seems to be nothing a person can do about it. Another reason I'm not wild about writing anymore. Other people get the benefit who only steal what I write and I get all but nothing for my trouble.
My hub with the most traffic recently increased back to the prior "normal" after months of almost none, and I will be upset if its content is plagiarized again. I even found it on a Russian site!
Au Fait, I reported one and filed a DM-whatever. Since it didn't do any good, I don't bother to report thefts anymore, It really made me mad because the thief used my personal photos, too. There was no attribution.
MizBejabbers, and Jaye, I feel the same way about reporting thefts. Since even Google is only semi-willing to address the issues, what is the point? I really don't know what the solution is. There seems to be nothing anyone can do to protect themselves and when a theft does occur, no one seems to care.
Glenn, going through all the whoops over a year ago now, made no difference regarding my hubs that were stolen. HP is who informed me they had been stolen, and I filed all the required paperwork with Google. They stopped referring traffic to a couple of the thief sites, but they quickly got tired of dealing with it and ignored me. There were at least 6 different sites that copied my hub about eye color and personality word for word. At least 4 of them are still making money off my hub while I get less than a quarter of the traffic to it that I originally got. There are a couple of other hubs that were copied too, but Google just ignored my paperwork on those.
I have now had 8 people suddenly follow me all at once, 6 being the same ones that Jodah originally mentioned in this thread. Someone calling herself Daiana Torres is the most recent.
Filing with Google is only the last resort. You really need to find a DMCA complaint with the hosting company of the web site to get it taken down.
In the few cases where the host didn't follow through, I've had succes with Google removing it from the SERPS. However, you need to use their online form for that report. Did you report it via their form?
Yes, I did use the form and was careful to answer all questions. I got instructions on where to find the form from a hub, but I don't remember whose. I haven't done much with it for a long time since it seemed like a waste of time anyway. I don't know if instructions on what to do and how are in the Learning Center, but if they aren't, they should be. They were't when I filed.
Au Fait. whenever you write anything always be ready to check on it. Quite a number of years Back I wrote an article for one of the major magazines. The magazine in its "Wisdom" paid another Person for the article and placed his name on it. Their mistake was that I had made a copy of it and mailed it to myself before they i mailed finished piece to them. When I received it Back. I wrote the reception date on The Brown envelope and had it witnessed signe and stamped. There has been an improvement since then but no matter the venue you find there are some unscrupulous folks out there.
I've had some success with the DMCA forms when sent to Wordpress. The web host ensured that my material was immediately removed from the blog. Also, a couple of businesses in the U.S. used my material word for word on their company blogs, but removed it after receiving the DMCA. The major problem arises when you either can't locate the host or the thief is technically savvy and using an I.P. address that can't be tracked down. Then it's just out there.
It may be a lot of trouble to report these, but it's important. The more of us who report this the quicker HubPages will shut them down.
I reported the six followers I got on the first day when it was obvious to me that a bot was used and it's not really six people. But only one of them was banned and I see another was banned now.
Not sure why management moves so slow on this, but I guess they are checking each one individually instead as one common activity. This is why we all need to report it to speed up the banning process before this hacker succeeds at spamming or plagiarizing, whatever their intention.
Yes, I've had the same thing happen. Typically I ignore members who join and suddenly follow a bunch of people. For one thing, like the members in question, they don't have any material published so I don't know if I'd want to follow them or not. I'm thinking typically these are spammers.
Yes, John. I have two followers who joined 4 hours ago with no hubs. I am not going to follow them until they publish at least 5 hubs.
I got that today, too - 6 of them. They were all within seconds of each other. I think someone is creating multiple bogus accounts. I don't know why they would unless they plan on stealing material. Notice none of them have written a single post?
I have had 2 new followers. I checked their profile but they don't have any Hub. Unbelievably so many people faced the same thing. Thank you for uplifting this question as all HubPages community will get aware with this.
Thank you for your assistance and co-operation.
This has happened to me for two days in a row. Yesterday, I had seven who "followed" me within a 30-minute period of time, which led me to believe it was the same person with seven bogus HP accounts. Today, there are six, but the times aren't listed. I clicked on one of them, and there was a message, "This person has been banned."
I sent an email to the HP team asking about this situation, but haven't received a reply yet. What I wonder is this: Are these questionable "followers" doing this solely to receive notice of content for purposes of potential plagiarism?
As far as I know, there is no way to block someone from following you on HP. Since we can "not approve" spam or inappropriate comments, it would also be good if we could block people who pretend to be fans but click on "Follow" for nefarious reasons.
I have not had that many and all my new followers have hubs. Maybe the 6 people are related, a group or one person signed on six times trying to collect followers/content for some other reason.
I do not follow any one who does not have a hub except for a couple that I know outside HP, but I know they like to read but do not write, and this is probably the only site where they can do that.
May I chime in? I checked my messages and lo and behold, there were THREE new followers. I do thank God for these and all of my Treasured Followers, but I have had to delete (in the past) a few shady followers who, like you are all referring to, been on HP awhile, but NO hubs.
I also noticed the same six new Hubbers following me. I reported this to staff since it looks like someone is using a bot to create accounts and follow hundreds of people. It may be a hacker up to no good. All staff needs to do is check the IP address to see if all six are the same person.
What surprises me is that some Hubbers blindly follow these back without checking first. I would never follow anyone who's activity shows that they are following hundreds of people within a few minutes time.
Same here, all in a nice tidy list. Maybe HP is creating fake accounts to make it seem like traffic is growing.....ha ha ha
I wish there was an option for us to deny followers, or block them.
John, I have had new followers too, three more this morning. I will check them and if they write poetry I will follow, not if they just write recipes. I know that everyone wants to make money, but there's only so many hours in a day, and we all have lives to live.
They don't write anything at all. Not the 5 who are suddenly following me.
So if I write poetry and recipes, will you follow me? LOL I'm jk, jk. I've noticed 2 new followers with no hubs as of this morning. I keep a close eye on followers as I've literally had people create accounts just to tell me they hated me. That's always fun.
Wow, you must really make an impact on people, Becca. I have never had anyone create an account just to tell me they hate me...at least I don't think so
Always Exploring I also check to see what they write....if it is poetry I don't follow but if they write recipes I follow. We each have our own interests!
I just took a look at my three new followers this morning. They all had nil hubs and one was following 447 hubbers. Wonder what's going on?
So do I, John. If we can block people who comment, we should have the option of blocking bogus "followers" who are either spammers, hackers, or content thieves.
Hi John. I have had one this morning. I never follow anyone without any hub contributions as a general rule. Better they make an effort first.
Yes, but that's been happening occasionally. Every now and then someone would follow and have no hubs. Oh well...
It's worse than that! These six accounts were created roughly at the same time, then they all followed hundreds of us within a few minutes. In my opinion, that can only be done by running a bot to automatically follow hundreds of accounts. I think it is a single hacker who plans to spam those who are silly enough to follow them back.
As mentioned earlier, I reported this to staff so they can check the IP addresses to see if it's all done by the same person.
I agree, Sallybea. I don't follow unless they have published hubs. I am not sure if hacking can be done here on this platform, but I'm not taking chances.
How can you avoid them if they are following you? I'd never follow them back...but they still get notified of everything you publish.
@ clive and Jodah, you are both right, but I work on the "True Follower Percentage Net," system. Le's say 12 people are new followers. Out of that 12, eight are catching our content and stealing photos, but I get 4 Real Followers, so it is not a bad thing.
Same issue here. I'm getting at least 3-6 new followers each day. But when I look them up, none of them even posted one hub. I don't follow anyone now, I can't even keep up with any followers with all the work I'm doing to fix up my hubs. Plus I wish they would make the hopper like it was, when I read a good piece, I like to know who it is, as it's someone I probably have a common interest or opinion with.
I want to give a shout out to Nate B., I'm finding some good pictures on Pexels.com. Since I write Astrology (amid other things) a lot of it is fictional characters I create, and I found lots of good pictures there. Thanks for the tip, Nate.
Kenneth, your logic is wrong in this case. If you check these people out more carefully you will see that all those accounts were created at the same time. They all quickly followed hundreds of people within a few minutes without reading anything that would warrant a real decision to follow. They all have either no photo or one that looks too professional (as Faith Reaper pointed out).
I've had five. I always like to give the benefit of the doubt to new followers, and although it might be slightly unethical to do so, one can certainly understand a new genuine member being tempted to follow a lot of people just in the hope of quickly building up a reciprocal readership base.
In this case however it does seem very different and more suspicious in the light of what some others like Glenn Stok and Au fait have written here. It does sound as though these accounts have been artifically generated, and the obvious assumption may be that they are set up with the intention of spamming or stealing work. As you say John, I think only HubPages can stop them following - not individual members
Yes, I noticed that this morning in my email notifications that I have four new followers all right in a row who just joined HP and have no hubs. Their profile pics don't seem real to me ...almost too perfect looking, if you know what I mean?
I only follow those back who I know have actually read something I've written by leaving a comment, if I like what I read, then I will comment and follow them back. If they are legit, they should learn real quick to not start following so many at once without taking the time to read and at least comment once.
I agree with Glenn. These are usually "I'm going to Get Rich Quick" people, often from Asia and other points "Far West". I was reading on another site that many of these pick up on "local" rumors that they can make a lot of money on certain sites if they do so-and-so.
Because of these, people, I never follow a new follower who ; has no pic, has a "strange" pic, and especially, has not written anything that has been accepted by HP.
It does feel good for a moment though! LOL!
Ha ha. I know what you mean with your last sentence, Don. It felt good to me too, for a moment, when I received the emails saying I had six new followers.
However, when I looked to investigate these people, I saw that they all followed me within seconds of one another. Only running a bot can do that.
What's even worse is that the Hubbers who follow these accounts back are clueless and setting themselves up to be hacked, plagiarized, or spammed. That's probably what this hacker is looking for, easy victims.
John, I was going to post the same question until I noticed that you beat me to it. I had one or two a couple of days ago and five today. One of them is following over 1300. learned not to follow back someone who doesn't have any hubs. Even then sometimes they are so commercial that I don't want to follow them back. So, I will take a "wait and see" attitude, but I don't expect anything
Only had one new follower, but this person had no hubs and only joined 4 hours before.
Sounds like the same thing as happened to all of you.
I got a notice via email from HubPages about a new follower. It took me weeks before I eventually checked out this person's personal page. I had a good laugh because HubPages had already deleted "her" from their listing. She had one or zero hubs of her own.
Has any of my work been stolen? I don't know. Where/how do you even begin to look?
I did something wrong when I signed up as a participant with HubPages, thus I don't make a penny on anything. I haven't bothered to correct this situation as I suspect that authors are paid very little in any case. If I had a lot of traffic on my Hubs, I might be more concerned.
Nonetheless, it's disconcerting to hear about material being used by others. It sort of makes me glad that I've restricted my "followers" to folk that have a pre established reputation. The impulse is to have as many followers as possible to increase traffic, but I've been fairly selective -- only acquiescing to people who seem like serious writers on their own. Of course this is no guarantee that my material won't be lifted, but I usually write about offbeat subjects that not many would care to read -- even among my own fairly small group.
If I were to discover that any of my material was being copied, I don't know what I'd think. I'm sure I wouldn't like it.
I have a few new followers that I need to send a personal "thank you" email to show them that I appreciate them.
But recently I check out a few of them and like your "new" follower, these I checked had ZERO hubs. Hello, DELETE.
And I will continue to delete anyone who poses as a HP follower to just sneak their way into my work.
Call me old fashioned. But giving work away is nothing short of foolish.
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