MyBlogLog Plugs Security Holes and Bugs. Explains Ad ClicksThere has been a lot of discussion lately about bugs, spam and security holes on MyBlogLog, the popular social networking widget for blogs. The Shoemoney blogger was banned after pointing out security holes like this one that let you surf the web under the MyBlogLog identity of a different blogger. Shoemoney's ban angered some bloggers with some vowing to boycott. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake defended the ban.
Later Shoemoney was unbanned by MyBlogLog. MyBlogLog has been fixing a bunch of the spam that bloggers have been complaining about.But I defend their position on banning the exploit poster, Shoemoney. I think he crossed the line from white hat to black hat when posting the identities of several community members. I think banning was the right thing to do, even without a Terms of Service to cover their ass.
Impersonating someone online is a kind of identity theft, and on a site where you're leaving traces of yourself, a kind of digital "Kilroy was here", using the names and identities of other community members to make a point goes fairly powerfully against the intentions of their product.
MyBlogLog also addressed the recent blog posts (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here) about MyBlogLog tracking ad clicks. Some bloggers were concerned this could be an AdSense violation. Here is what MyBlogLog says about the click tracking of ads.
Anyone using the paid stats service could already see that MyBlogLog was tracking clicks on ads. It is good to see MyBlogLog aggressively trying to solve problems and also admitting mistakes. Mathew Ingram writes, "We can't applaud startups for their gung-ho attitude and then slam then when they screw up. I think Eric and the rest of the team at MBL deserve a lot of credit for admitting their mistakes openly and clearly. Let's move on." Meanwhile, Jim Kukral is very excited about BumpZee, which he sees as new competition for both MyBlogLog and Digg. There is no rest for weary Web 2.0 companies.1) Tracking outbound links is what caused us to launch MyBlogLog in the first place. Ads are outbound links.
2) This feature was added after users requested it over and over...
3) This is not a Pro-only feature. Free users can look at their stats page and under "What Readers Clicked" they'll see "Filter by: All | Ads | Content".
4) Google has acknowledged this feature (without protest). And, as opposed to the click-through data that Google gives its customers, this info generated by MBL is collected independently of the AdSense program which doesn't appear to be considered confidential information under their terms of service.
Posted on February 24, 2007