antumbral - dear lj: plz to stop being dicks, kthx
Well, it turned out that LJ wanted money too. Lots and lots of money.
So they came up with a clever plan. They wrote a java script that looked for links to sites that give out money, and *if there was no affiliate number on the end*, they modified the link to add their OWN affiliate number. So if I put an innocent link to Amazon on my journal, LJ would see that it had no affiliate number and add their own, so that if anyone bought books after clicking my link, LJ would get a kickback from Amazon.
Or that was how it was supposed to work.
In reality, what happened was that the script stripped off all affiliate numbers and added LJ's own. So even if I wanted to use my number, I couldn't. LJ would steal my money from me by rewriting my links. Now, this is shady and underhanded, but it's not the only thing that the script did.
You see, the company that wrote the script, "Driving Revenues" was not so smart with the code-fu. So what the script did was look at the end of URLs to determine if an affiliate number should be added. The problem with this is that 'sanfranciscobay.com' and 'ebay.com' both end in bay.com, so the script would add a bunch of gobbledygook to the sanfranciscobay.com link as well. This breaks the link. It had no way of distinguishing amazon.com from fucklikeacrazyamazon.com, or target.com from crossbowandtarget.com. And since the script had over three hundred websites on its list of links to mess with, understandably a lot of links got broken. Users were pissed.
. . .