OLD Media Moves

How a CNBC reporter created a website to steal her stories

May 17, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Meg Graham of CNBC.com writes about how she created a fake news website to steal her stories and place them around ads.

Graham writes, “I bought a domain through GoDaddy and set up a managed WordPress site, then set up an SSL certificate so I would have a secure website, which would prevent the site from triggering security warnings on browsers like Google’s Chrome. I downloaded a theme that made my site look somewhat like a news website, made a favicon (the little image that shows up in Google search and in your browser tab) and gave myself a name: The ‘Tribune Times Today.’

“To populate my site with content, I first copied and pasted text from CNBC stories manually. Then I learned how to speed the process with scrapers — simple software plug-ins you can download on WordPress and can scrape stories using RSS feeds or individual links. A lot of fraudulent news sites will also scrape images from stories, but I avoided that for legal reasons. Instead, I stuck with stock images I was allowed to use on the site, or my own images from industry events I had saved on my phone.

“I spent a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon tweaking the site, setting up fancy-looking widgets to show my ‘top stories’ or a carousel display of stories and pulling stories until I had more than 50 posts.

“Then I was ready to find some advertisers.”

Read more here.

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