Last night a newsletter from StatCounter dropped in noting the website statistics providers recent refusal to accept big bucks to allow a third party spyware firm to place cookies in the code of EVERY user of statcounter services.
Not only did StatCounter take pride in refusing the offer, they also made it clear that one of the leading competitors had ACCEPTED the dirty money in exchange for cookie placement in the stat tracking code.
From the official StatCounter Blog:
A few months back, StatCounter was approached by an advertiser, offered lots of $$$, and asked to include a spyware cookie on all of our member sites…we refused on the spot.
You install StatCounter to track visitors to your site NOT to open yourself and your visitors up to being spied upon by phantom advertising corporations.
It appears, however, that other players in the world of webstats were happy to take up this offer…
The StatCounter blog was instantly slammed with traffic resulting in a slew of comments. As of the time of writing this, the blog post had received 261 comments and it has been less than 24 hours since the time of the original post.
I use several different stat trackers on all of my sites and blogs, so naturally, I went on a frantic hunt to figure out who had sold out.
In comes Sitemeter…
I have indeed been able to confirm, on two of my own sites, that Sitemeter is sending specificclick cookies onto websites hosting the counter. I immediately removed the counter and now have all of my sites using StatCounter or Google Analytics.
Sitemeter has gone silent today. Not a peep has been mentioned on their blog, and so far my e-mail has not been responded to.
I certainly hope Sitemeter will confront this, bail out on the spam advertiser, and get back on track. If not, users will be sure there is hell to pay.
So yes, it has been confirmed, Sitemeter has apparently sold out to Spyware.
What a shame.
UPDATE: A Digger just e-mailed me the following information.
The parent company of specificclick.net is Specific Media. This was originally spotted by a Digger who noticed the Specific Media logo on the specificclick homepage, which oddly enough, has vanished from the web.
If anyone else has more info please send it my way and I’ll post it here.
ericjodom AT gmail DOT com
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