Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Two new studies show, again, that Facebook doesn’t censor conservatives
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 21, 2013, 1:22 p.m.
LINK: www.imediaethics.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   November 21, 2013

Maybe you saw my two stories this week on the fate of OJR.org, previously the website of the once-essential Online Journalism Review, which was turned into a spamblog by Marcus Lim, CEO of an Australian startup called Oneflare — one that initially fraudulently tried to appear it was still the old OJR, a product of USC Annenberg. (Since those articles, OJR.org has been blanked entirely. Sometimes sunlight really is the best cure!)

Well, kudos to Rhonda Roland Shearer at the website iMediaEthics, who found that another old journalism website, PoynterOnline.org, has met the same fate. Except in this case, it’s been a spamblog for years without anyone noticing, with someone named Evgeniy Varlashov apparently to blame. Check out all the details on her post.

(PoynterOnline.org was an alternate URL for Poynter’s website for much of the 2000s; they consolidated on Poynter.org around 2008.)

Shearer notes that PoynterOnline.org claims to have “won more than 100 awards in the past five years alone.” I’d also note that the language PoynterOnline.org uses to make that claim are straight lifted from Computerworld’s about page. And I’d also note that, unlike OJR.org, PoynterOnline.org is also running Google ads, so there’s likely a small-but-nonzero amount of money being generated off Poynter’s reputation here.

People: Don’t let your domains expire. In this case, unlike OJR’s, the decision was likely made on purpose — Poynter switched from PoynterOnline.org to just Poynter.org a few years ago. But particularly when you have a brand to protect embedded in that URL, it’s totally worth the 10 bucks a year to just keep renewing and autoforwarding. If you’re thinking about giving up a domain, ask yourself the question: Will I be okay with this domain becoming a spamblog in a few weeks? If the answer’s no, pay up.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Two new studies show, again, that Facebook doesn’t censor conservatives
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Mike Lee says fact-checking is a form of censorship, and Wikipedia explains how it plans to fight Election Day misinformation.
Facebook’s threat to the NYU Ad Observatory is an attack on ethical research
Facebook may defend its actions on the grounds of user privacy, but its real concern is losing control of how the company is scrutinized.
The Brown Institute’s Local News Lab is developing “smart paywalls” for local newsrooms
The new project helps small- and medium-sized news organizations take advantage of machine learning to deepen engagement and improve subscription conversions.