They say: "Imitation is the highest form of flattery."
Not when they copy your every word and throw child porn banner ads all over it. That's just being a dick!
From here on out we're just going to refer to the (OOOooooOOOO! Hollywood Spooky Darkweb) and instead use its technical term of the "Tor/Onion" network because that's predominantly where the cloning is happening.
Read on for those who care.
We got our site cloned on Tor/Onion, that's how you make it into the big times right?
The Tor/Onion network is a wonderful thing where a person can take a raspberry pi, load up Nginx and/or apache, get the Tor daemon working, and in a matter of about 30 minutes of work have a website going. No need for DNS entries or spending lots of money on a domain name or SSL. Completely ad-free and censorship-free. We've benefited from it here as our readership has gone up. A result thanks to the many bookmark sites that are throughout the Onion network.
Now, what is the cost of absolute freedom? Anarchy perhaps? Let us explain.
On my weekly trip visiting search engines, we noticed our website popping up from a completely different onion address. We got our VPN services going, and we're chillaxing on your ubuntu box. Fuck it. Let's check it out!
Basically, someone copied our website with a few minor tweaks here and there:
- Anything that referred to our onion address (beginning in xjfb- and ending in -ebqd . onion) or the address http://xjfbpuj56rdazx4iolylxplbvyft2onuerjeimlcqwaihp3s6r4xebqd.onion (If you noticed that changed from the beginning and end. you're on a cloned site). That got changed over to a site beginning with hqgg- and ending with -neqd .onion . Not going to post the address here before frankly it's not required.
- The bitcoin address in my donations section got rerouted to another bitcoin wallet. The flatterer was desperate for that cold hard cash that we guess our cryptos get? That's been easily remedied by just removing it altogether. But that doesn't mean the cloner will do the same.
- Puts his only banner ad for child porn at the bottom of the cloned site. Now, this could be taken two ways. Either the guy is scraping pennies promoting things that we believe people should be curb-stomped for. Or this individual is trying to correlate us with child porn to get my site removed from search engines within the Tor/Onion network. Either way a real piece of garbage we're dealing with here.
- I'm sure there are other things this individual is trying to pull. But we've seen enough.
But S, there has to be something that you can do about it? Right? - Rando chick with Honeybun hairdue.
Welcome to freedom.
No. There's no 'head' of the Tor/Onion network we can really go to. In fact, half of the websites this individual has this cloned site published the address to almost all bot controlled or lead to dead admin e-mail boxes. I'm not the only one getting cloned either. There have been all sorts of sites that get this when they have some momentum of popularity within the Onion Network.
This type of individual has no intention of creating something unique or original. Just a mediocre person trying to imitate someone else.
Automation under attack. (Not Alone)
We found out that we were not the unique flower that is getting singled out here. This is a batch process being run on everything that is even remotely popular on the Onion/Tor networks only to perform what is called a "Man in the Middle" attack. Where everything looks like the original site but certain things are changed such as how money flows being one of them. We decided to type in a few other blogs, S.Dock, Galaxy3, etc. and they were all coming up the same way in these DarkWeb Search engines. Doubles with sometimes the spammer/cloner getting the dominant search result over the original website.
But wait. That's the problem right there! "Search engines" on a protocol that does not want to be searched.
When you introduce automation into an environment that can be outright hostile. It will only automate that hostility. This is what is happening with search engines like Tor66, Ahmia, Phobos, and possibly many more that do not have a human-controlled/curated Link system. In a protocol of total freedom and anonymity. You can't take a "Fire and forget" approach to programming a search engine. This is ultimately why many successful websites within the Onion network have that 1990s internet feels to them. Flat HTML that is human-editable.
11/12/2022 - Aaaaaand it's gone.
At least for now it's gone! We did however find it interesting that the moment we dropped crypto off of our donation system that magic copybot scam sites were gone too! Perhaps there was a crackdown on the bunch of bad actor onion gateways trying to direct the entire network to their shit scam services. Either way. We've outlasted this one. We'll continue to outlast others.
The only thing that you can do on the Onion/Tor network is simply not shut down. Which we've been going through for roughly 4 years. In the world of the Onion Network; The 'staying power' of almost any website isn't necessarily a strong suit for this protocol. I still have my clear-net too. So it's not really the end of the world for us versus someone who only has a .onion address. On top of that, the sites that do pull in the audiences for me like the Hidden Wiki will equally be around for a long time.
We've been online for 8 years. We have no intention of going anywhere. For those who are reading this. Don't let asshole cloners like the one above distract you from starting your own website.
We could put a splash page up that re-routes everyone to a code word as some do but that would be setting up a roadblock between you the reader and the content which we will not do.
To anyone else reading. Go out there and create something. Be unique. Fuck the spammers on machine-based search engines!
That's what server said-
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