Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Tech Issue: Site Redirect

Site-MaintenanceA bunch of you have called my attention to the redirects you’re experiencing to other sites when you click on a headline link or link to comments, etc. I’ve been trying you troubleshoot to get to the bottom of the issue, but I still haven’t had much luck. I thought it was an issue with Google, but, even after I temporarily removed all ads, including Google Adsense ads, some of you reported still experiencing the problem. So, I’m having my developer look into this again. If you could share a little more info, it would help us try to figure out the problem. Has this happened to you on a desktop computer or only a mobile device? If it’s the latter, is it just on your phone or on a tablet as well? Are you logged in when you experience it? If not, does the problem persist when you log in? (I myself finally experienced it only when I read the site on my iPhone and logged out, so I’m wondering if that is the case with others). Thanks for your help and thanks for being patient as we try to get to the bottom of this.

49 comments… add one
  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki May 12, 2015, 10:09 am

    I’ve had it happen both on my desktop and on my Android phone. On my desktop when logged in and both logged in and out on my phone.

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  • avatar

    Chrissimas May 12, 2015, 10:14 am

    I’ve never had it happen until today. It happened when I was on my desktop but not logged in. When I logged in, it didn’t happen again.

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  • Cymepkee

    Cymepkee May 12, 2015, 10:22 am

    I was on my iPhone and logged out. It’s only happened the once to me.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja May 12, 2015, 10:25 am

    mine’s only happened at work on a MAC. it’s happened a couple of times, but i’ll watch more carefully if it happens again.

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    • avatar

      Ange May 12, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Me too, and it will happen repeatedly until I enter a different way, like click on comments instead of headline or vice versa.

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  • Eljay

    Eljay May 12, 2015, 10:27 am

    I’ve also never had it happen until yesterday. I was on my desktop and not logged in. Once I logged in, it didn’t happen again.

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  • avatar

    AKF May 12, 2015, 10:32 am

    Ironically it happened to me when I tried to click on the link from my feedly to comment on this post–http://www.shoppingmonkey.co.uk/companies/house-fraser/

    It happens to me using Chrome on a windows computer when I’m not logged in. The weirdest part to me is that even when I’m not clicking to open a new window, the redirect erases any history for that tab–I can’t even click the back arrow to get back to the page I had clicked from.

    I just made a login so hopefully that will fix the issue temporarily? Good luck!

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  • kare

    kare May 12, 2015, 10:41 am

    It happens on my Android when I’m not logged in. I’m logged in now and will see if it happens again. If being logged in prevents the redirects, that’s a great workaround for me.
    *
    For the longest time I just assumed I was accidentally clocking on an ad and didn’t even realize it was a site issue.

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  • avatar

    Sarita May 12, 2015, 10:59 am

    I just got sent to : https://www.thecrazytourist.com/these-are-the-most-beautiful-pictures-of-australia/2/ while trying to click through on the dude having sex with his mother-in-law column (while jaw was agape). Right before it redirected me there, something about your amazon affiliate links popped up and showed some image thumbnails. I wonder if it’s related?

    I’ve also been sent to a “visit the Netherlands” tourism site, which, if you’re going to have pop-up issues, is at least pretty classy.

    I’m not logged in, and on a laptop. Good luck getting the tech ironed out!

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  • avatar

    booknerd May 12, 2015, 11:10 am

    I’ve been redirected tinted tourism sites only on mobile devices, iPad and iPhone. I think I’ve gotten the shopping monkey, too. I believe I’ve been logged in most of the times, it’s happened five or six times.

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  • avatar

    Titian May 12, 2015, 11:13 am

    I’ve only been redirected from my desktop, I wasn’t logged in. I also think they have only been tourist sites. I’ve noticed though if I click the back button in the browser to go back to you site and click through again I usually get to your page. Sometimes I’ve had to do it more than once but eventually it goes to the correct place

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  • avatar

    MissDre May 12, 2015, 11:33 am

    It has happened to me a few times on my Macbook. I’m not sure whether I was logged in or not… I’ll try to pay more attention from now on. It doesn’t happen often though. I just hit the back button and I’m all good.

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  • avatar

    Taylor May 12, 2015, 11:46 am

    I’ve been redirected on my i-phone and laptop, not logged in (can’t remember my password!), to netherlands tourism and shopping monkey.

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  • avatar

    Nico May 12, 2015, 11:49 am

    So If I click on the title, its fine, I go to the article but if i click on “click to continue” or “12 comments” then it will redirect to all these weird sites when i am on a desktop.

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  • avatar

    Nico May 12, 2015, 11:49 am

    something house of fraser, a UK site?

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  • avatar

    MsMisery May 12, 2015, 11:54 am

    I am on a PC desktop, logged in, clicking on posts from the main page (as opposed to from the “recent comments” thing on the side)… and I’ve never had this happen. 🙂

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  • Lianne

    Lianne May 12, 2015, 11:58 am

    It’s never happened to me.

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  • avatar

    Kate May 12, 2015, 12:02 pm

    It has happened to me dozens of times always on iPhone and probably not logged in.

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    • Lianne

      Lianne May 12, 2015, 12:05 pm

      Good point. I mostly read on my desktop at work…while I am “working.” When I do read from my iPhone, though, it’s not happened.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar May 12, 2015, 12:05 pm

    It has happened on my android (chrome browser) when not logged in. Honestly I can’t remember if it ever happened when I was logged in.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra May 12, 2015, 12:11 pm

    I think it may be an issue of being logged in or not. I’ve been bad about staying logged in recently and it always happens to me all the time when I’m not logged in. Seems to work fine when I am logged in…

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  • avatar

    memboard May 12, 2015, 12:35 pm

    I’ve just had it on my desktop with Google Chrome. Not logged in. Once I clicked on the back button and inspected the link I clicked on, it appeared normal. Mind you going back loaded different ads so I am thinking that it’s the ads that loads malevolent javascript that hijacks the clicks and does the redirection. Unfortunately I don’t have any data to back that up.

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  • avatar

    absurdfiction May 12, 2015, 12:38 pm

    I’ve never had it happen. I am usually logged in when I read the site, but not always. I think I have looked at the site from my Android phone (in Chrome) a couple of times in the last few weeks since you first mentioned the issue, but I would not have been logged in on my phone. I usually access the site from a desktop computer, running Firefox, and I use a script blocker and adblocker extension (which I know is not very nice for you, Wendy, but I do shop through your affiliate links when I can!). I’m wondering if the script blocker is preventing me from being redirected, since it sounds like I am in the minority as far as not experiencing this.

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  • avatar

    Jennylou May 12, 2015, 12:38 pm

    It’s happened a couple of times with me, only on desktop using Internet Explorer – can’t remember if I was logged in! I think I was also redirected to shopping monkey.

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  • avatar

    memboard May 12, 2015, 12:50 pm

    here is the best description I found on the web of the phenomena: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/adsense/szfNNkPrkLI%5B1-25%5D

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom May 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

    It happens to me when on my desktop but not logged in. I don’t log in enough to know if that makes a difference. I have been using the Chrome browser but it was also happening when I was using Internet Explorer. It hasn’t happened when I was using my tablet.

    I’ve also had a different problem happening. I always browse privately or incognito. I will get a message asking me to let them see where I am and I say no and then I am immediately taken to a google ad. It is a video ad and if I try to move away from the ad it keeps jerking my screen back to the ad. It won’t let me leave the ad and runs one after another. No matter how many ads have run it won’t let me move away from the ad so I end up closing the page and opening a new page and then I am fine for a while. I think they are trying to punish me for refusing to let them put cookies on my computer and for saying they can’t know where I am.

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  • avatar

    _s_ May 12, 2015, 1:13 pm

    The one time it happened to me, I was on a PC, using Firefox. I don’t think I was logged in, but I don’t recall for sure.

    ETA: It was the same link AKF posted above, and it was yesterday. That’s the only time it’s ever happened to me, even though I usually read DW logged out, and only log in if I am going to comment.

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  • avatar

    K May 12, 2015, 1:15 pm

    It’s happened to me a few times when on a desktop and not logged in.

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  • avatar

    B May 12, 2015, 1:40 pm

    I JUST had it happen. It was House of Fraser. I’m using Firefox and was not logged in (normally a lurker but wanted to help get this fixed 🙂 )

    Edit: Just happened when I hit submit on this comment. It was a UK site again.

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  • avatar

    Sandy May 12, 2015, 1:54 pm

    I’ve only accessed the site through a desktop, the browser I use is google chrome, Version 42.0.2311.135 m. Not logged in.

    Edit: Was redirected when I submitted this comment (Shopping Monkey).

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  • avatar

    Melissa May 12, 2015, 2:02 pm

    It’s happened a several times to me on my iPhone while logged out. I’m not often logged in, so I don’t know if that would change things.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet May 12, 2015, 2:06 pm

    It has happened to me twice, both times on my iPhone. I was probably logged out, but I can’t be certain. It happened to me this morning when I clicked on the “comments” link under this morning’s column. It redirected me to Shopping Monkey. It happened to me the first time several weeks ago (though I don’t remember when! I think it happened the first time people started mentioning it). Anyway, I remember I was on my phone because I thought I had accidentally clicked an ad. That time it took me to some site about traveling to the Netherlands.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet May 12, 2015, 2:07 pm

      Oh! And the site no longer opens for me in Safari on my phone, so I was using the browser “Mercury”.

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  • avatar

    Sara May 12, 2015, 3:05 pm

    It’s happened to me when not logged in…will have to test it out logged in.

    I did a quick Google search for redirect and the shopping monkey address and saw that you are not the only site being thus affected. I saw references to a bot and a plugin, but as I know next to nothing about building websites, I have no clue if this info is legit or if it’s the issue on your website.

    This website seems to refer to another Adsense, but you tested out Adsense. Did it possibly hide some code somewhere that didn’t get deleted when you disabled Adsense? (Again, probably displaying my ignorance of websites.)
    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/beware-dont-use-this-plugin-will-hijack-your-site-traffic-bad-dev

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 12, 2015, 4:53 pm

      That’s helpful, thank you. When I did a Google search for the redirect and various url addresses, I couldn’t find anything relevant, so thanks.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster May 12, 2015, 4:03 pm

    I actually experienced it for the first time this morning when I clicked on the headline to see the comments. I had cleared my browser history (though not cookies), so was logged out when this happened. I’m on a brand new macbook, using Chrome (w adblocker enabled). Hope that helps!

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  • avatar

    Crazy_Pug_Lady May 12, 2015, 4:04 pm

    I’ve had it only happen on my desk top, both while logged in and logged out. I find it happens when i click the comments link but if i click the Post title it doesn’t happen as much.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite May 12, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I’ve seen it both ways, logged in on my laptop & logged out on my phone

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  • avatar

    Margo May 12, 2015, 5:56 pm

    This is happening across the web. It’s malware, probably from an ad plugin. No one’s sure yet. It’s probably the Russians.

    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/website-redirecting-to-spam-pages

    They recommend using the wordfence security tool.

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    • kare

      kare May 12, 2015, 9:28 pm

      The Russians must really want me to visit the Netherlands.

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      • avatar

        Margo May 12, 2015, 10:50 pm

        Take a look at that site – it’s fake, so is shoppingmonkey. They’re what are known as robot sites – they’re generated by software that scrapes content from other sites.

        Why would someone go to the trouble of creating a fake site and then hack a plugin to redirect people to that site?? Maybe they’re just trying to make money from ad placements, maybe they’re looking for vulnerable computers to infect with a zombie virus to use in denial of service attacks in order to extort money from wealthy targets. Or both, that’s how the Russians roll.

        They don’t want you to visit the Netherlands, they want you to think that the Netherlands want you to visit and to enlist your computer in an international cyber crime conspiracy against the enemies of the motherland.

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  • avatar

    Boosker May 12, 2015, 6:57 pm

    It’s happened several times to me. I think every time it was from my laptop when clicking on your Facebook link. A few times it was a Netherlands tourist site, and I can’t remember what else has popped up. I use Firefox, and I don’t think I was ever logged in.

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  • avatar

    JodieB May 12, 2015, 7:59 pm

    It has only just started happening to me the last few days. I am on a desktop using Firefox. I don’t log in to the site.

    It has happened 4-5 times. Usually to a shopping site and once maybe to a travel site (sorry I didn’t pay that much attention).

    Most times it happens once and when I go back and click the link again it works but yesterday it re-directed me twice before the link worked.

    Hope that helps somewhat and you can sort it out.

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  • Portia

    Portia May 12, 2015, 8:34 pm

    I think the only time it’s happened to me was on a desktop at work, where I don’t log in.

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  • avatar

    d2 May 12, 2015, 10:18 pm

    I have never had it happen.
    I only DW on my home desktop. I usually log in immediately, but occasionally forget and navigate for a short time before remembering to log in. I usually run IE11, but sometimes Chrome42. For protection, I simultaneously run the current Norton Security and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I run Windows 7 as a User, not as an Administrator.

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  • avatar

    MissDre May 13, 2015, 8:34 am

    After reading everybody’s comments, I think this happens so rarely to me because I am almost always logged in! But like i said earlier, I’ll try to pay more attention to that.

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  • avatar

    Jennylou May 13, 2015, 10:33 am

    I just got a redirect when hitting the “Comments” link on the Weekly Forum highlights. I was logged out, and it redirected me to https://www.thecrazytourist.com/42-places-to-visit-before-you-die/2/.

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  • avatar

    Tener Pelo May 15, 2015, 8:33 am

    A nightmare, we know the link and the code but can´t find it to delete it.
    This is the malicious link:

    And this is the code:
    var hn=window.location.hostname;
    var a=Math.floor(Math.random()*1000);
    if (a<1) {
    window.location.replace("http://www.shoppingmonkey.co.uk/companies/hm/&quot;);
    } else if (a<1) {
    window.location.replace("http://www.thecrazytourist.com/14-must-visit-travel-destination-for-2015/6/&quot;);
    } else if (a<1) {
    window.location.replace("http://www.shoppingmonkey.co.uk/companies/house-fraser/&quot;);
    Any help?

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