I know someone else has come across this before, since there’s a page on it here.
The very same thing has begun happening on Autocade, whenever the Facebook link is clicked. I’d love to blame Facebook, but I don’t believe it’s them.
I’ve contacted Sovrn (formerly Viglinks) as the discussion board participants identify them, but ShopStyle may know as it’s their API being used.
Here’s what I asked ShopStyle tonight, but if anyone has an idea, I’d love to hear it.
I do not know your company, but the Facebook link on one of my sites (http://autocade.net) is being altered to https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fautocade.net&pid=uid7424-7742368-93&pdata=k0jgi6bfn30122110msza whenever someone clicks on it, and they wind up at https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/deals/?ref=affiliate_external&referral_story_type=daily_deals_rakuten.
When I go into the source code on our server, the link is correct. The change is happening elsewhere, and I can’t figure out where. From the link and UID I’ve given you, are you able to tell? We do run ads and a Disqus plug-in on our site, as well as a Po.st sharer, if these help narrow down the possibilities.
I’m sure you’d want to kill the account of whomever is misusing ShopStyle’s APIs to earn referrals.
Here’s the page I wind up on when I click the link. It has no useful content.
I’ll report back if I discover more, as there may be a dodgy ad network out there, or Disqus or Po.st aren’t as honest as they used to be. Disqus is clunky anyway, and once we reach a certain payment threshold, we may remove it from all our sites. Autocade was the one place where comments were really good, so it’ll be a shame to lose it.
PS.: After looking through the inspector, it appears to be Disqus, using Viglinks. One has to turn off affiliate links in the Disqus set-up.
P.PS.: Both ShopStyle and Sovrn were really helpful—ShopStyle’s Rasheka even went so far as to include screenshots and links.