I was trying to improve upon my answer to this question using google to see if an official response from Blizzard was available. Googling turned up pages upon pages of scapings. Exact clones of my answer on website upon website. I complete lost it and screamed "motherf*cker" upon seeing this one http://www.lovevideogame.com/q/answers-starcraft-1-disc-2-isnt-continuing-the-installation-126684.html where they blatantly decided to even steal profile pictures without any recognition as all to Stack Exchange. I just posted it on the Meta StackOverflow thread but I just don't think it's enough. The number of hits on websites scaping from us is increasing to the point where researching a question is impossible. What else can we do to stop this problem? Google has blocked websites previously leaving a message at the bottom of the search siting something called Chilling Effects. How can this be applied to websites that steal content from us?

  • Unfortunately, there isn't anything else we can do, beyond reporting it to SE. I feel your pain, though.
    – Frank
    Aug 24, 2013 at 18:59
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    Ironically, Google mentioning "Chilling Effects" when they're forced to remove something from the index due to a DMCA takedown or similar is Google protesting that they are being forced to censor the index. There's no "Chilling Effects" feature of Google we can use. We can issue DMCA takedowns, though, but that requires lawyers, not clicking a button. (Well, not us, but SE Inc.) Aug 24, 2013 at 19:50
  • @fbueckert Do SE then report it to Google with a DMCA? (look at my comment on badp's answer for a link to more info
    – shanodin
    Aug 24, 2013 at 22:02
  • @shanodin I have no idea what SE does. Our participation ends once we've reported the violation to them. After that, it's out of our hands, and anything we try to do afterwards may conflict with what they are doing.
    – Frank
    Aug 24, 2013 at 22:45
  • Hopefully you were not in a public area when seeing that.
    – Batophobia
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


badp's answer is spot on about the license and such. So I won't waste time rehashing what that says. I do want to add, though, as an answer to what you can do. Please contact us using the "contact us" form found at the bottom of every page on the site, and specify "Other" and explain the situation. This will allow us at Stack Exchange to take the action that we must do to defend the contributions of our users.

Great things to include in the report would be links to the place that's taking stuff, links to sample posts that have been scraped (both a link to where it is on our site, and where it is on theirs), any attribution that you can notice that they follow or do not follow, and anything else you think might be helpful to our process. We'll then see to it that these are filed properly and then deal with scrapers as appropriate.

  • I think most of our frustration from the process is the lack of feedback. I realize we shouldn't be privy to the inner workings of how SE handles this, but some information, such as, "Yup, scraper site, working on it" would be immensely helpful.
    – Frank
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:48
  • @fbueckert That's kinda exactly what we do when we get reports about these through the contact form. Not saying anything when someone goes out of their way to tell us that this happened is rather poor form and I'm unaware that we are such silent.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:53
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    That means the one of the "official" processes, of reporting it in that question on Meta.SO, is the less desired method of going about it, then. If contacting SE directly provides better feedback, then that's the way I'll be doing it from now on.
    – Frank
    Aug 26, 2013 at 18:09
  • @fbueckert seconded, though it appears that one irritating site is gone now...
    – Nil
    Aug 26, 2013 at 18:17
  • Not gone, I can see the offending page right now. Sep 7, 2013 at 0:18

In general: yes, your answers may appear on other sites. This site is licensed cc-wiki, so as long as attribution is given properly any other site can use our content. (This is actually intended to be an "escape hatch" to let a community flee Stack Exchange with its content if things go bad.)

The site you've linked to, however, does not qualify: they do not link back to the site and our profiles. (That's not enough: those links also must not have nofollow.) That's when lawyers need to get involved. I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that the breach happened between Stack Exchange (owner of the perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use our posts) and the third party (who broke the SE terms of service by not giving appropriate attribution), and thus we as users don't really have a role to play in the accident.

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    You can submit a DMCA request to Google - I had to do this for a client recently and there was about a week before Google responded, by which point we'd also filed a DMCA with the hosting company, who removed the offending website immediately.
    – shanodin
    Aug 24, 2013 at 22:00
  • @shanodin correction, Stack Exchange can submit a DMCA request to Google. We contributors just sit back and rage in the meantime... But I mean, the terms of the Creative Commons License aren't hard to meet. I just don't understand why these sites steal content the way they do when they can have it provided they add a line or two giving proper recognition.
    – Nil
    Aug 25, 2013 at 1:51
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    @Nil contributing to Stack Exchange doesn't transfer your copyright to the content; you just license it, and SE then is able to use it the same as anyone who follows the license. The original person who created the content still owns the copyright to the material, and can submit their own DMCA request if they really want to. Might not be the best idea, since SE can probably hire better lawyers, and also can make the claim on behalf of all the content at once, but the option is still there. (Insert standard IANAL disclaimer) Aug 25, 2013 at 4:56

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