Splashcast and the RSS feed Hijacking

The RSS hijacking is worse than I thought or had been made aware of. It seems the folks over at Splashcast have added a bunch of shows in a new section of their website called channels. Turning their site into essentially  another podcast directory. While I have no issue with a service aggregating “aka” listing my content as any exposure is good. All was well untill I look at the RSS button on my splashcast profile and see that they have hijacked my feed.

My first reaction was you have got to be kidding me, with all the negative press around this issue my thoughts where how in the world could they have blown this, but it is much much worse. They have set up links, to eight different services for people to subscribe to my show on their site via this hijacked feed.

SplashcastAt the time of this posting If you looked at my splashcast aggregated show profile here then look at the RSS button on the profiles you will see that it links to http://media.splashcast.net/xml/feeds/SOFC7247UN.xml this  this is where they totally lost their way and they need to fix this immediately, so that it links to https://www.geeknewscentral.com/podcast.xml. All of the buttons on that page have the hijacked feed linked to all of those external subscription services.

Sorry but I am not going to stand for that crap. This needs to be switched like yesterday, and if they are going to offer up my feed they need to use my “original” RSS feed and not one that they can use to drive traffic away from my site and skew my stats.

I like both Marshall, and Alex but hey guys this is not good in a big way. When I click on the channel feed you have created it says “Geek News Central Podcast by SplashCast Feed Agent — SplashCast Channel” this is a cheap way of trying to defer the issue you have here. NOT ACCEPTABLE

Every subscriber they get to their new re-purposed feeds is a subscriber taken away from my original feed. SplashCast will use those subscriber numbers to value their business. Its one thing if I had “opted in” but they have created a directory of content producers all with hijacked feeds.

This is the same mistake that Podshow made early on with their site, that I and others gave them so much grief on. It just surprises me that this was missed, their team is experienced enough to know better.

While I expect that they will get this fixed, once again we need to make people understand that this type of activity will get them significant negative reaction in the space.

Update: My response to Marshall’s reply below: Mashall you have not addressed the feed hijacking to my satisfaction. I want to know if your going to fix this today or are you going to ignore what we are saying in the community


Response from Marshall Kirkpatrick

Hi Todd, happy to respond here. We’ve been doing our best to engage with the podcasting community all day about the new feature we released – lots of positive feedback as well as concerns like you’ve raised here. Readers should check out our podcasters FAQ at where the happy news is as well as other details.

The gist of the new feature is that it allows anyone to aggregate their favorite podcasts for their startpages or for sharing on blogs.

We really want to be a positive contributor in the podcasting community.

We’ll be posting in the morning about the lessons learned and future directions based on today’s feedback. We fully intend to respond promptly to all concerns, though, I assure you.

The main things we’ve heard from people who are concerned about what we’re doing are these:

* caching deprives podcasters of traffic reporting.

* do podcasters lose control over their feeds when they are added to the SplashCast directory?

* Attribution and native feed exposure

Some of these problems will be harder to fix than others, but for example, we’re not caching audio files – so hits are getting counted though subscribers aren’t yet. We’ve got attribution but will improve it, we’ll be talking to Feedburner to report subscribers just like every other aggregator does and (this is a big one) we’ll be rolling out the ability to claim your feed like Technorati lets bloggers claim

blogs. There will be more control enabled in this case.

And of course, opting out is easy to do. Just email me at marshall@splashcastmedia.com. If anyone wants to just discuss the issue, offer suggestions, etc. shoot me an email in those circomstances too.

Like I said, lots of work to do – but we’re doing our best to engage the community about how to offer the benefits of SplashCast’s media syndication tool while getting past the shortcomings at this service’s launch. We created a lot of documentation around this ( ), we’ve been commenting on other blogs and we had a live chat up on our site throughout the afternoon. We hope that this is just the begining of the conversation.

As I said, we’ll be posting about this in the morning – so stay tuned and feel free to drop a line any time.


Marshall Kirkpatrick

Director of Content



Update 2: Marshall in the above comment you state

“We’ve got attribution but will improve it, we’ll be talking to Feedburner to report subscribers just like every other aggregator does and (this is a big one) we’ll be rolling out the ability to claim your feed like Technorati lets bloggers claim”

Personally I dont want anything reported to Feedburner I dont do business with them. I have my own stats engine that collects my RSS feed stats. You can simply eliminate the issue by simply replacing the RSS feeds on your channel listings with the RSS feeds links you are using to populate the channel with.

7 thoughts on “Splashcast and the RSS feed Hijacking

  1. Todd…I have a call with Marshall tomorrow and will let you know. In addition to just hijacking the feed, if it is video, they download, transcode and host the video themselves. This is just as bad — if not worse. I know that they have the best intentions…but this is not good.

  2. A couple more notes to clarify where things are at now:

    First, links back can be found in the player in the little blue “i” for info buttons at the top and bottom left hand side.

    Second, the RSS feed you see when you click RSS button is the feed for the channel aggregating all the individual feeds in it. We’ll be adding the original feed URL to that screen asap when we get home to Portland.

    Let’s keep talking!

  3. Like I said I have no issue with my show being listed in the directory, just get the RSS feeds pointed at my Feed and remove references to the hijacked feeds.

  4. The aggregation of the data is not the issue, a lot of sites do that and it is something I support, as exposure is good so long as it attribution is their.

    The feed manipulation is the real issue here. Replace their feed with mine and its no longer a issue.

  5. Thanks for posting my comment Todd. We are certainly not going to ignore what anyone is saying. The team is on the road right now but we’re engaging with these issues and communicating about them as much as we can. We’ll keep the lines of communication open and hope that we can find a satisfactory solution for all.

    I see that GeekNewsCentral has been added to our directory – we added a lot of feeds ourselves, but a user added yours. Do you want us to take it out or do you want to wait and see if we can find an amiable solution to these issues before doing so? Let me know, either in comments here or by email.


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