The Trolls

I've only just noticed a Blogworld phenomenon that I suppose everyone else noticed months ago. Technorati provides a service whereby you can quickly see who is linking to your blog entries (see the "Blogs that link here" link in the right sidebar). For a long time I just ignored that function, since the vanishingly small readership of this blog virtually ensures that there will be no links to it. Out of vanity, er, I mean, curiosity, I happened to check it recently and found that advertisers are trolling through blogs all over the net, excerpting little snippets of posts from these other blogs, and posting them to their own, robotically controlled advertising blog, with links back to the original source of the excerpt but also with links to a central advertising site.

For an example of what I mean, Check out this link to a "blog" called Aol, which excerpts my post Giving Up the Ghost. Or maybe it's just me. I clicked on the "Blogs that link here" link on Mike Liccione's blog, Sacramentum Vitae, and his list of crosslinkers is meticulously clean of any robotic trolling. That's what I get, I suppose, for writing a much junkier blog than Mike.

And speaking of advertising, I was a little shocked recently when I ordered my Mary, Exterminatrix of Heresies coffee mug from, to find that, in addition to plenty of Catholic merchandise, they also carry plenty of anti-Catholic and bigotted merchandise, including some that is sexually explicit. I'm all for free trade, but a lot of Catholic bloggers include links on their blogs to, and I think that's a bad idea. True, one could go there to buy just the Catholic stuff, but by buying the Catholic stuff from them you enable them to stay in business, which enables them to continue selling their anti-Catholic crap, which enables those who buy and are amused by such scum to continue sinning against the Church. I love my Exterminatrix mug, but if I had known, prior to purchase, what I know now, I would have tried to buy it somewhere else, and if it was not available anywhere else, I would not have bought it at all. It just isn't worth it.


Apollodorus said…
I'm not sure if it makes you feel any differently, but the products sold on are not all created by the same company. That is, anyone can upload virtually any photo they like and it will go on a mug, clothing, a mouse pad, a pillow, or any of the various items that they offer. I could start selling Scott Carson T-shirts right now simply by uploading a photo of you and telling the website to make T-shirts with your photo available for sale. So, will certainly produce all of those products, but they do not design them. There might be something to be said against such indiscriminate business practices, but it strikes me as quite different from a single company designing the products themselves.

But even I can appreciate Mary, Exterminatrix of Heresies.
Scott Carson said…
I better get 10% of all proceeds from those Scott Carson t-shirts!
Christopher said…
Unless I am mistaken, the question of using is similar to linking to and using -- this topic was discussed by Jimmy Akin a while back.

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