John Watson

Hello! My name is Watson and I’m a freelance web developer. I create web sites using the latest tech for clients both huge and small. Rent my brain and I’ll help you build your dream project.

Breaking the internet

Tynt.com is trying to enhance the internet by breaking copy and paste. Their JavaScript silently modifies whatever you copy from a webpage so that they can “leverage this behavior into more traffic, higher search rank and more.” Good grief.

Gruber does a good job of explaining why this is bad (“It’s a bunch of user-hostile SEO bullshit”). I’ll just add that the Javascript from these companies slows down your web browser and then uses your computer to break basic internet functionality (copy/paste and hyperlinks) so that you can be “leveraged.” I hate it when business types say leverage when what they really mean is exploit.

It reminds me a lot of what Snap.com and others like them were/are doing with hyperlinks.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get back control. Modify your hosts file (/etc/hosts on Mac/Linux; uh, someplace else on Windows) and include the following lines:

127.0.0.1 tcr.tynt.com 127.0.0.1 spa.snap.com 127.0.0.1 shots.snap.com

The first line kills Tynt and the next two kill Snap. Their Javascript won’t load, you’ll never even know it was there, and you can carry on using the internet and your computer the way it was intended to be used.

If you are using either of these services on your own blog or website… please stop. It’s obnoxious.