Idea for website—please shoot down?

Pure information, such as “Which movie stars own gigantic ranches in Wyoming?” is not copyright protected, so you’d be free to aggregate those. Images might be, and it’s a hassle to figure it out.

But even if you could automate this, which I highly doubt considering the variability of the content you mention, creating the automation and the webpage is a significant amount of work. And the monetization potential is … not there.

Isn’t this what site RSS feeds were for back in the day? Aggregating?

The site has to offer an RSS feed though. The OP is looking for a way to grab information from sites that aren’t actually about the information, they are about getting you to open the page and give them advertising views.

How would you monetize a website that removes ads from existing websites without adding your own advertisements? So you remove the clutter only to add your own, what’s the point of that?

OK, so there’s this website called “” (or something similar, who cares) running a clickbait thing on Twitter, and today’s tidbit is “the real reason Angie and Brad divorced,” about which I care a little more than two bugs’ butts, but it seems to me that if I created a website that, among 1000 other things, ran no pix (why the hell would I want to see a pic of Brad or Angie?–obviously I know what they look like) and wrote “ sez that the reason Brad and Angie divorced is that he insisted on her eating his discarded boogers” or whatever, how am I committing copyright violation? No pix, no proprietary art, just the facts, ma’am.

As to my own ads, I’d think that I could run less intrusive ads than the clickbait sites, and I could certainly pack 10 or 20 “facts” on a single page instead of running clickbait, right? So I wouldn’t make a lot of money but I’d imagine I could pay for the domain name. Come to think of it, I already own a domain name I hardly ever use, so there’s that. What other costs are there that would require me to run a ton of stupid ads on this website?

Sure, you could do that, but only at a small scale. If you had any traction or success, the original site would cut you off.

There are a lot of grey area things that work as long as you’re small. But if you want to get big, they’re not going to fly.


How would they cut me off?

If you’re hotlinking to images? They can easily tell their webserver to not serve those images to you. Or if they’re feeling cheeky, serve other images. Let your imagination run wild.

But I already stipulated that I’m not using any images at all, just quoting and attributing my sources to the clickbait site.

Those sites are all about the images. Nobody goes to them for the information, which is easily found elsewhere. You can do so in a second by typing Brad, Angie, boogers into Google. Moreover, the image or info that they use for advertising on other sites may not even be found anywhere in the actual site. I recently read an article about them that talked of one that had 86[!] pages, not one of which had the original bait.

But for you to find that out, you would have to go through all 86 pages yourself, just to retrieve some piece of trivia. Why would you go through all that effort? Once you did, why would anyone go your site? How would anyone even know about your site? You only know about the clickbait sites because of the enormous amounts of money they paid to advertise on popular sites. You plan on spending nothing.

As said above, there is no copyright infringement on facts or citing sources which claim facts. But there is no possible way to compete with clickbait monetarily on no budget, so get yourself a Facebook page and cite away.

I am NOT nobody!!!

Excuse me. Nobody but you.

And you can’t make money off of you.

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

@iamthewalrus_3 was replying to an earlier post, not the one of yours immediately preceeding their reply. You can see that in the upper right corner of the post (in a desktop browser) where there’s an arrow, an avatar and the username of the poster they replied to.

If you click on it it will show you what they were replying to.

That would be completely legal and although I think you would end up consistently in the red (unless you don’t count your own work or the cost of the domain and webserver) I could be wrong.

Regarding the images, I was responding to a different post, as @naita has since pointed out.

Regarding “quoting and attributing sources”… that’s still a copyright violation unless you’re rewriting every fact manually. An automated process that pulls text and puts it in quotes is not sufficient to evade copyright protections.

That’s the idea.

I’m seeing this as a hobby (for someone else), a pleasant way to fill one’s hour or two per day, simply summarizing the content of these clickbait sites, with no aim to make a lot of money, just to provide a public service. “” or something more mellifluous, telling folks that they can read all the “promoted” or “learn more” crap with none of the drawbacks.

The only thing that I can imagine would be actionable legally (?) would be if the clickbait sites would be able to show that you’re harming them by costing them viewers, which of course is your intent. Don’t know that that’s a crime, or who they would make the case to, but it’s definitely malicious.

People have been telling me that it would land me in the red, but how much expense could there possibly be, even if I don’t run ads at all? What would a domain name run me, annually? Not too much.

As for my time–well, I’d be doing this as a hobby, so if it fills a few hours a week, that’s kind of what I’m shooting for. How much time would it take to read a few websites, digest them, write a summary?

Back when I was young and stupid, I found one like that, and I never clicked on any click bait after that no matter what the bait was.

OK, but what if you knew you COULD click on it, and you’d get a malware-free one-page listing of all 86? You’d click that, right?

Competition isn’t illegal.

Good luck with that?