So, I recently posted an answer on the main site containing some code. Just a normal day on Ask Ubuntu.

Within a matter of minutes, I received an e-mail from Pastebin alerting that someone made a post on Pastebin containing one of my "alert words". The paste posted was an exact replica of the code I posted on the site.

I've noticed this happen once before as well, instead targeting this question revision back when it was first posted.

What's going on with this scraper? Should we do anything about it? If so, what can we do?

Note: I don't mind the fact that this scraper exists. I'm just curious as to what's going on and (potentially) why, and if there is anything that needs to be done about this.

  • 2
    If it were a scraper site, I'd say use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the site to report it to staff. But it's an anonymous pastebin paste, so you may want to reach out to Pastebin to talk to them about stealing code, etc. (Not much else we can really do though)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 0:29
  • 1
    I'm curious if this is a systematic thing. I see there are rate limits, so it seems unlikely someone is grabbing all code on the site. Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 1:22
  • @JonEricson So far, I've seen this happen twice on my own account.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


Your best bet, as the owner of the content, is to use Pastebin's removal process. Obviously, this puts the onus on the author to go out and find the copies, which isn't ideal.

If there's a systematic scrapping going on and we can identify the method, we might be able to block it via IP or something. Otherwise, we'll just have to rely on rate limits to slow scrappers down.

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