Here’s a curious feature of stories on the Daily Mail website. When you copy text from an article and then paste it elsewhere you get something like the following appended to the end:
I’ve no idea how they do it, and I’m not even sure how I feel about it. On the one hand it feels rather intrusive and annoying in a world where the user experience is pretty important; on the other, in many cases it would save me time.
Here’s the article I was copying from – oh, hold on, I didn’t need to do that did I?
Would love your thoughts.
UPDATE: It seems the technology behind this may be by http://www.tynt.com/ – see comments. Also see the comments on this follow-up on The Next Web and this write-up of Tynt. Don’t you love the power of blogging?
I suppose it encourages proper attribution. Let’s hope they proffer the same courtesy if reference content from others.
How do we disable it? It’s fkn annoying!
I’m working on a post about this feature, which a ton of news sites are using. If you promise not to “scoop” me… They’re using software called Tynt Tracer, and there’s more to it than the “read more” link.
It’s clever – problem is that there are reasons to copy text that don’t include republishing it (searching for more info, for example) — it’s presuming what I want to do with the content and may well get anoying.
You don’t get the link when you copy fewer than eight words, on the assumption that you’re pasting into a search box.
It now longer highlights when I try and ‘make’ it highlight, so I cannot copy under even 8 words.
It’s now Dec 2020 and when I try to highlight (on my iPad, my computer is ‘broken’) the word Copy comes up. If I then paste that elsewhere, I simply get the one word which the Copy pointed to!
That #bit’s interesting – is that an indicator of the article being copied, or the visitor copying it?
This is a much better solution than trying to sue everyone on the Internet for sharing news.
If you were to (hypothetically) add *.tynt.com to your Ad/Script/whatever-blocking configuration, it would (hypothetically, of course) prevent this from happening.
Thanks it worked for me on dailymail, the link also doesn’t appear after the copied text anymore. All these months had to manage with pressing esc every time I saw that tynt in my status bar.
that is actually quite usefull isn’t it? I know what you mean about the odd feeling of having been duped…but then I guess it mainly works for us. Seen this on a related subject? http://www.collaboratemarketing.com/modernmarketing/2009/07/behavioural-advertising-is-happening-right.html
Pingback: How does the Daily Mail make this happen? – The Next Web
This actually seems quite useful, if a little intrusive at first. It’s their text, after all, and a link back is just good manners. The #identifier making each link unique can’t be good for their SEO, mind.
About a month or so ago The Mail hotlinked a photo in one of their galleries, the user they ‘borrowed’ it from was not too happy – so he swapped it for GOATSE – nasty!
@IAN DOUGLAS – actually, I don’t think # and whatever follows it has any effect on SEO. I believe the engines ignore that. No?
Stuff that follows an operator is less important, but not entirely ignored as far as I know. If your pagerank comes from links and unique URLs operators will hurt. It won’t kill you, but I do think it’d hurt.
That’s a really interesting catch, albeit somewhat Orwellian. I’m trying to think of what the use case might be. Theoretically, if you were logged into the website, they could time the difference between when they published, when you grabbed the link or content, and when you publish the reaction, although I can think of better ways of doing this. Another idea is that it’s automatically generating a unique URL for every piece of content on page; that would be useful. Other ideas?
Oh, I see the “Read more” link now too (which justifies the use case they have in mind, I suppose, but is annoying at the same time)
Very interesting, on the face of it nothing wrong with content producers getting a credit/, and as you say in many cases it saves a blogger adding the ‘Read more…’ themselves.
On the flipside, it could well be annoying, but it’s far less of an nightmare scenario than a paywall!
If you try to copy text from a site using the the Tynt script using Internet Explorer as your browser (or IE 8 at least), you get an annoying click/page reloading effect. Personally whenever I get something like that on any site, I tend to fear it is doing something nasty.
Wow, quite the discussion here about what we are doing at Tynt! I’d like to make a couple comments:
– the # hashtag is generally ignored by the search engines and the link does help your SEO juice.
– our intent at Tynt is to help the content publishers understand and benefit from the content that users are engaging with the most. The publisher can, at their option, disable the attribution link function. A small number of our publishers have chosen to do so.
– we are still beta testing the product and working out some final kinks, so if you spot any, please do let us know at feedback[at]tynt.com!
I’ve just tried copying from a Mail article to see this in action only to find that the text couldn’t be copied at all. CTRL+C and CTRL+V gives nothing at all. Has the Mail changed policy again?
Very interesting. Just tried it myself and it’s still pasting and adding a URL. How much did you try to copy – and from where?
What kind of system are you using?
Paul, I tried copying from “Lembit the unlikely Lothario” article and one on mortgages. Tried copying 2 paragraphs of text and then the headline separately and pasting into Outlook and Word without any luck. It pastes into Notepad though and also if you use the translate accelerator in IE8 you can copy text. Ian, I’m on IE8 and the RC version of Windows 7.
Just tried copying from that article (2 pars and the whole thing) and it worked fine from Chrome into Vista. Will see what people get on Twitter.
only does it when copying and pasting…
drag and dropping the text from site to text app on a mac works fine, but copying and pasting it puts the linky in…
Interesting. I use this software called Evernote (I have nothing to do with them, just a user) for saving content from here, there, everywhere. When I copy content from a website for later reading, and paste it in a new note in Evernote, it somehow captures the URL as well. I’ve always wondered how the software knows where I just copied it from, since it’s just on a web page. (I’m on Windows XP, using Firefox)
At times, I don’t mind it for my use — I can remember where I got the info from. Other times, I don’t want it, I just want the info.
Given it’s the content provider doing this, I can see why they do, although it’s not convenient for users.
In a similar vein, I’ve recently noticed that when you copy and paste a chunk of text from Times Online it inserts a hyphen every 10 or so words. At first I (naively) assumed it had something to do with column formatting for the print edition, but now think it’s more likely to be a way to discourage people from ‘stealing’ their content and make it easier to spot where said content has been republished. Not the end of the world admittedly, but quite annoying all the same. Haven’t managed to find a way round it yet.
Thanks Anna – I’ve run this past someone at The Times who say they’re not using any technology that does this. Have you got any more info?
Hi Paul. The hyphens are appearing when I copy and paste from the Times website into Excel, e.g. do this with the first para of http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/poetry/article6716450.ece and a hyphen appears before the word “published”. Also tried copying the word “nevertheless” from the second para and hyphen appeared between “never” and “theless”, so probably is something to do with column formatting after all.
I’ve been copying quotes from the Times website for the past year (the website I run compiles cultural reviews from newspapers) and the hyphens only started popping up a couple of months ago. Same version of Excel and everything.
Hmm. Just pasted into Word and no hyphens appear. Very odd.
Hilarious. Remind me to use similar technology on my photos in future – perhaps then the Mail won’t be quite so keen to swipe them without permission.
I like it because it forces everybody to attribute source and at the same time since some people automatically do attribute source, it saves them time!!! Which is perfect! Like for example telling a friend about something really interesting in an article, having to copy the text then go back to the window to copy the URL at the address bar – at least now its automatic!!!