How to Block Bloglovin

January 27, 2020

Last night, while reviewing the visitor logs for my site, I noticed several hits from frame.bloglovin.com. I’m always curious to see where visitor to my site are coming from, so I clicked on the link that had brought them to my site and saw this.

BlogLovin' Subscribe image

My initial reaction was WTF?

There’s no obvious way to dismiss that subscribe dialog, but when I clicked on the site behind it the dialog went away. The page behind it had this as its header.

BlogLovin' Frame image

They aren’t scraping my content and claiming it as theirs, but they are presenting it through their site, with their header. I was not pleased.

A quick search led me to a couple of articles about BlogLovin’. The verdict is that, while perhaps not 100% sketchy, they are pushing it. It appears they add comments, through their site, to my content. The Ultimate Guide to BlogLovin’ actually reversed their standing on the service. Over at BlogLovin’ is Now Stealing Your Posts there is evidence that BlogLovin’ is actively claiming content that isn’t there’s.

Toward the end of the second post there was reference to how to block BlogLovin’ on Nginx using $http_user_agent and a link to a (now defunct) article about doing the same with Apache based servers.

I did another search and learned how to block access to my site by testing the User-Agent property in the request. Here’s a sample of the code to be placed in the .htaccess file.

<IfModule mod_setenvif.c>
  SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent (bloglovin) bad_user_agents

  Order Allow,Deny
  Allow from all
  Deny from env=bad_user_agents
</IfModule>

This test is case insensitive, and since the matching string isn’t prefixed with a ^ the string can occur anywhere in User-Agent.

There have only been five total visits to my domain through BlogLovin’, all within the past week. Roughly a week ago I resurrected a long dormant subdomain, and the scraped content was all from that site. I added the htaccess directive to my main domain, and to the subdomain that was being scraped. Now I’ll have to wait and see if any 403 errors are produced.

It’s self-entitled liberties like this that make the World Wide Web frustrating at times.

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Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.