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The Art of War – Blog and Social Media version- Part 1

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear  the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Image Credit to Joan Goh and Malaysia Content Plagiarism Portal

I often see rant on social media regarding copy right. Bloggers complained that their article was stolen by someone. YouTuber’s video was transformed into Facebook video and spread over the Facebook like wild fire. Facebook page admin was not happy that photos’ watermark were removed.  The kind of rant or complaint were repeated itself. As a programmer, I like to share some knowledge with all.

Why Competitor Use Your Article?

  1. Traffic is everything for website

Marketers will do advertisements will website with high traffic volume. High traffic volume mean more audience. More audience mean more readers or users will read their advertisement. These will lead to potential buyers to click on the advertisement. That is why content is king, distribution is queen. Writer is jack (This quote is invented by me). Content will attract readers.

Furthermore, Chinese content need more time to produce. The author need to learn different Chinese pinyin or Chinese writing format(笔画). Based on verbal conversation with a few Chinese bloggers, they need average 8 hours to produce one article. While, English bloggers may need around 4 to 6 hours to produce one article.  That is why Chinese articles by Chinese authors were often been the victims of copy right violations.
2)Sharing economy drives more income

The technical definition of sharing economy was defined wrongly by certain parties. These are a truly sad case scenario.

3)Search Engines are not able to eliminate all duplicate content

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are improving their search algorithm every month. However, their target market is English speaking or Alphabetical users. Chinese is pictorial type of language. Chinese characters are using different byte or ACSII numbering than English. Even Baidu are still working on it.

I am  big fan of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (孙子兵法)。 If you don’t know your competitor, you can’t win in the copy right battle. We will discuss some common technique used by competitors. To simplify this article write-up, I will use thief to describe irresponsible content copier.

#1 Cut and Paste

Copy and paste‘ is the greatest innovation in this century. Students love this function. Programmer remembers Ctrl + C/ Ctrl V like part of their body. Competitors used this function like no tomorrow. How they do it?

1) Interesting article on blog has many views.
2) Competitor will copy the whole article.
3) Paste it on the competitor website.

What are the ways to cut and paste?

A) Blog Platform

Blogger platform is one of the most popular blogging platform. However, Google does not really spend so much time on this blogging technology. Thus,  it has certain limitation on its’ feature. Thus, by highlighting the content from the blog itself, thief will just highlight the content and cut and paste.

Second method is using HTML extract. Most of the web browsers give users the right to inspect the web element. Therefore, thief can either manually scrap the content HTML code and the image links. For advance thief, they will use script to scrape the content. Actually it is quite easy to find those plugin or script too. The keywords are “web scrapper”, “data mining” and “extract code”.

Third method is used robot copier. Robot copier is a machine created by certain parties. The robot has artificial intelligence to trace the good traffic website. Then, it will transfer to content to their website. This kind of robot has been around for 10 years.

B) Social Media

Social media useres do not understand on copy right


Social media was created to integrate and engage with other users. It does not have preventive copy paste function. Social media has been around for 10 years. As it evolved too fast, no lesson was taught to the users on copy right knowledge or web evaluation. Which information is CORRECT? INCORECTWhat to Share? What not to SHARE? Most of the users just have no knowledge to identify. To add on, mobile users’ attention span was worse than goldfish.

Based on the recent result, mobile user’s attention span is only 8 seconds from previous 12 seconds.  8 seconds is like watching your water glass drop from the table and smash. That is how fast it is. This lead to marketers to use attractive image or attention capturing title to capture readers.

#2 Water Mark Remover

Water mark photos are used to protect the photo copy right. Thief can just search water mark remover to retrieve the original images. That why ShutterStock has water mark and image encryption algorithm on it.

Some thief will also plugin to scrap all images from website. The worst method is print screen the image. No matter what preventive method, thief can just print screen the images and rename it.


The worst method is cut and paste from mobile browser. I have been searching and learning for ways to prevent cut and paste from mobile browser. No matter what kind of preventive mechanism was install on website, it just doesn’t work on mobile browser. Thus, thief will just copy content from mobile browser and do whatever they want. If you have solution on this, please feel free to contact the writer for discussion.


Image Credit: Joan Goh

Conclusion, prevention is better than cure. I will discuss some prevention tips on WordPress, Blogspot and social media in the coming post. I also will discuss some “attack” strategy if your content right has been violated. Please feel free to write down your comments for discussion.


Disclaimer: All images have been granted permission from their respective owner. Although permission was given to post their face and name, the author did not feel right. Their name and images were hidden for identity protection.

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Travel blogger from Johor, Malaysia who enjoy tasting different food, explore the world, performing art, photography and coding.

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