Blocking Tynt, the Copy/Paste Trackback Service

More

Q: Sometimes when I copy and paste text from websites into documents or other browsers I get a 'Read more' message with a link full of jibberish back to the original site. How can I get rid of this?

Tynt-Thumbnail.gifA: It's the most annoying service that you know nothing about. Tynt, which raised $8 million in a second round of financing back in April of last year, is a product that is designed to give publishers some control over how visitors copy and paste from their websites. About two percent of pageviews involve some sort of copying of text, according to TechCrunch; Tynt allows publishers to track how much copying is being done and exactly what content is being shared. You know it, though, because of the way it monitors that activity: Tynt uses a trackback feature that adds a unique link to the bottom of any copied text longer than -- typically -- seven words. If used by The Atlantic, copying from this page would result in something that looks like this:

It's the most annoying service that you know nothing about. Tynt, which raised $8 million in a second round of financing back in April of last year, is a product that is designed to give publishers some control over how visitors copy and paste from their websites.

Read more: http://theatlantic.com/2011/01/13/...

Most of Tynt's clients, according to Daring Fireball's John Gruber, who wrote a screed about the service back in May, are newspapers and print publishers that "have no respect for their websites or for their readers." It's a terrible idea, Gruber wrote, because it's ridiculous to assume that a significant number of people copying text from these sites actually leave the trackback link in before publishing. Without the link, Tynt is unable to drive traffic back to the site from which the copied text originated.

If you use copy/paste with some frequency and are tired of seeing Tynt's trackback links, there are a number of ways to make sure that they never show up for you again. If you use the Google Chrome browser, there's a special Tynt-blocking extension, Tynt Blocker, that will disable the service whenever you visit a site that has it installed. If you're a Safari user, Drew Thaler's JavaScript Blacklist extension will block Tynt, but know that it will also block Kontera and Intellitxt, two services that add double underlines and green links to select phrases, and Snap, the link previewing service. For users of other browsers, Tynt's homegrown 'Opt In/Out' page should do the trick.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In