by Rupert Insider
Insider and I have just received a letter from News Now.
It announces that Kop Talk (Koptalk) has been de-listed from News Now permanently.
With immediate effect, Oldham has lost his single major source of visitors and advertising revenue. Now unwary LFC fans surfing the net are less likely to fall victim to his cons.
It is a major blow to the Koptalk Konman. He built his site over several years on News Now‘s feeds. At first he paid News Now a special fee to give prominence to his headlines and to suppress those of his “rivals”. This was very convenient arrangement for him because he stole most of his stuff from his “rivals” .
News Now and the Konman cancelled their cosy arrangement earlier this year, or last.
And as a result of the blog’s correspondence and unrelenting lobbying, which started last summer, News Now temporarily suspended Koptalk for breach of their standards.
But they then reinstated Oldham, under caution not to steal copyright and not to write misleading headlines. And they rationed him so he could never again dominate their listings as he used. (Some of you may recall how as recently as September 2006, Koptalk sometimes had 15 of the top 20 stories on News Now at the weekend and 5-10 on weekdays).
But Oldham has been kicking over the traces again lately with false and misleading stories and stolen copyright – as he is desperate to squeeze whatever money he can from the January transfer window before he does a bunk.
We do not think it a coincidence that News Now acted today.
Earlier today, one of our main blog contributors sent them a letter to the effect that he had discovered just how Oldham has been manipulating the click counter on News Now to send his stories into the Top Ten where they are guaranteed two days exposure. (Oldham gets between 8,000 and 14,000 clicks for each of the top ten stories over two or three days. He then amplifies these hits by referring the visitors to his other stories or to other pages in his site. Its possible that a single Top Ten story might earn him 30,000 cumulative hits. So this de-listing has cost him anywhere up to 200,000 hits a week).
News Now had previously denied that Oldham could have breached their security – their technical people ran a tight ship, they said. But our contributor demonstrated just how Oldham could do it.
News Now thanked him for showing them and claimed to have plugged the hole we found.
But Oldham, the artful dodger, found others ways. And News Now did not like our telling them. It was becoming embarrassing.
Today our contributor warned News Now that if they continued their complicity with Kop Talk he would expose the issue on several web-related sites, as well as on this blog. His letter today followed several complaints to News Now about Koptalk from our readers over the holiday period.
It has been my cynical interpretation that News Now thought they were sitting pretty. They had all the genuine and false clicks for Koptalk and all the genuine clicks for this blog.
But I argued that once advertisers got to know that News Now was giving prominence to a site which collected money for unregistered and unaccounted charities, and sold fake memorabilia, and was the object of many complaints to Trading Standards, and stole copyright and made false claims about its relations with LFC and – into the bargain – manipulated the clicks on News Now – the advertisers would not be happy.
So today the penny dropped for News Now.
There is a “price” for this victory. News Now has also de-listed this blog on the grounds that its single subject-matter – Koptalk – will no longer feature on News Now. But in their letter they wished the best to all blog participants . So that was nice!
We know News Now listed us in the first place only under our pressure. It did not want to give up the Koptalk hits so thought by allowing us in we would be quiet. In the meantime they would profit from being on both sides of the issue.
Paradoxically, today is a new record for hits on this blog. It is 12,449. Our previous record was 10,300.
But that previous record was in the summer – before we were listed on News Now. So that proves that there was life before News Now as there will be after. The de-listing of the blog has zero economic impact on us because we receive no funds of any kind from advertising or any other source.
The issue of a boycott of an LFC boycott of News Now has been raised before on the blog.
The case against News Now is that it acknowledged in writing that it has had many complaints about Koptalk for several years but it made a conscious decision to ignore the complaints on the grounds that Koptalk was earning lots of hits.
In a very real sense you could argue that Koptalk was able to prosper and prosecute its cons for so long and so effectively precisely because of its dirty arrangement with News Now.
The case for News Now is that it did deal with the issue when we raised it – if belatedly. It did suspend Koptalk and then ban it altogether. And it also listed us – at least for a while.
So a boycott of News Now should remain an open question, in my view subject to further developments.
The primary aim of this blog has always been to stop Oldham and Koptalk from exploiting LFC for his cons. The blog will go out of existence when we achieve that goal.
So to have brought to an end Koptalk’s long-standing listing on News Now – one of the main foundation stones of the Koptalk Kon – is a giant step.
I, for one, can look forward with heightened anticipation to being able to say goodbye to the blog.
Thanks to all who wrote to News Now and helped achieve this victory.
But we need a final push. So send in your information about the Lauren & Mortgage Pledge Fund. We will be submitting a dossier to the Charities Commissioner and, subject to its advice, to the police.