MySpace Video Pop-Ups from SiteMeter Counter

Screen capture of a typical pop up video

Screen capture of a typical pop up video invoked via SiteMeter counter code

This post has nothing to do with solar energy, but I’ve recently noticed video pop up advertisements on several websites I manage, and have tracked the source of the problem to the sitemeter.com visitor counter code installed on those sites.  I can’t find any mention of this problem on the web (since the videos don’t always pop up many sitemeter users probably haven’t realized where the videos are coming from), so I wanted to put something online for others to find.

When I examine a sitemeter counter with Firebug, I see the following code, which includes a gratuitous <iframe> tag for something from specificclick.net:

<iframe width=”0″ height=”0″ frameborder=”0″ src=”http://dg.specificclick.net/?y=3&t=h&u=http%3A%2F%2Fohvec.org%2F&r=”>

The videos don’t appear on every page load (and might not appear for days at a time – maybe the pop ups are still in beta testing, or they don’t want to be too obvious), but on several occasions when a video did pop up, I examined the popup with firebug, and found that the html included javascript from sitemeter as well as code from myspace.com, myspacecdn.com, specificmedia.com and/or specificclick.net. (see example below).

Additionally, if you go to sitemeter.com a, video popup always appears (at least it did everytime I cancelled a sitemeter account today).  Note that the I normally use Firefox, but these popups also appear in Chrome. Curiously, they don’t seem to appear using Internet Explorer. Also, the sitemeter ‘contact’ page features a prominent link for ‘Advertising Opportunities’ through SiteMeter’s new partner, SpecificMedia.com, so my initial thought that SiteMeter had merely been hacked was simply wishful thinking.  It would have been a brilliant hack – pushing ads on thousands of unsuspecting sites with a single hack (assuming sitemeter still has that many customers after the 2008 incedent), but the pop ups are apparently intentional, perhaps now the ‘cost’ of a free sitemeter account.

I attempted to contact SiteMeter over a week ago to ask if there was a way to opt out of the gratuitous videos, but never received a response.  I suppose it’s possible that the videos are not imposed on premium (paid) Sitemeter accounts, but if you are using a free Sitemeter counter you may want to remove it from your site to avoid pushing annoying high-bandwidth advertisements at your visitors (update: popups have been spotted on sites with premium accounts).  SiteMeter’s new privacy policy fails to mention the insertion of popup video ads on client websites.

Below: code captured from a SiteMeter video popup frame uising Firebug:

<html> <head> <body> <div id=”container”> <div id=”player”> <div id=”viewport”>
<div id=”cover” style=”background-image: url(https://a3-images.myspacecdn.com/images03/11/c66c152994ae4edbb8313d771ff506a7/full.jpg);”> <button></button> </div>
<object id=”stage” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ data=”https://x.myspacecdn.com/new/common/swf/APIPlayer.2.13.334.91e9dce7d3a7aec2918ae846779a9880.swf” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”> </div>
<div id=”control-bar”> <div id=”share-card”> <button id=”share-btn”> <button id=”ad-skipper”> <button id=”close-btn”></button> <a id=”logo” target=”_blank” href=”/myspace/video/dark-rooms-keep-it-inside-live-/109466234″></a> </div> </div> <script src=”//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.0.3/jquery.min.js”>
<script> <script src=”https://x.myspacecdn.com/new/common/js/embeds.D449D77ECF65463607385079B527E8DE.min.js”>
<iframe id=”scomm” width=”0″ height=”0″ src=”https://x.myspacecdn.com/new/common/html/scomm.782b85c048f5996874a47f427bb592ac.html#scomm1385297583688″ style=”border: 0px none;”>
<object id=”clipboard” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ data=”https://x.myspacecdn.com/new/common/swf/ZeroClipboard.9f4401cdc4405d0730362256b4c04cc0.swf” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”>
<script src=”https://x.myspacecdn.com/new/embeds/js/videoEmbed.8CA40CBB730119950CAAEFF6E93B1950.min.js”> </body> </html> </iframe>
<script src=”http://a.sitemeter.com/analytics.js” type=”text/javascript”> </body> <iframe width=”2″ scrolling=”no” height=”2″ frameborder=”0″ marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ style=”display: none;” src=”http://log.sitemeter.com/log?trans=true&iframe=false&whl=5&wc=true&url=http://www.sitemeter.com/default.asp&ref=http://www.sitemeter.com/&iurl=&rnd=39014234″> <script src=”//x.vindicosuite.com/imp/?l=169943&t=j&u=&r=&rnd=997537″>
<iframe width=”2″ scrolling=”no” height=”2″ frameborder=”0″ marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ style=”display: none;” src=”http://log.sitemeter.com/log?trans=true&iframe=false&whl=5&wc=true&url=http://www.sitemeter.com/default.asp&ref=http://www.sitemeter.com/&iurl=&rnd=52597276″> <script src=”//x.vindicosuite.com/imp/?l=169943&t=j&u=&r=&rnd=569154″> </html>

Updated: July 1, 2016 — 11:26 am

27 Comments

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  1. FINALLY – someone else with the same problem. I have this also on Firefox and SM never responded to me. The video is from MySpace and comes up on every page turn. I cam cancelling my account, after many many years with Sitemeter. Such a shame. Thanks so much for posting this – I thought I was alone.

  2. Oh WOW, me too. I’ve spent half the morning trying to find out what the heck was going on. The problem with me is the video never popped up in my Firefox (maybe because I’ve got a default stopping popups or something?) so all I get is the audio playing over and over.

    Do you also get the ‘station ident’ of ‘This is what you want, this is what you get’ over and over? Nightmare, the guy is insane for doing this without telling people.

    1. Hi Jaggs,

      I saw you comment and I have the same problem. A sound coming through the speakers unexpectedly (not a video) of an idiot singing “This is what you want, this is what you get’ “followed by some people speaking. Haven’t read many references to this annoying thing on the internet. Have you got more information about what it is?

  3. Now I know what it is! So annoying! Thanks for sharing, it was getting impossible to track down where the wretched sound was coming from

  4. You are a lifesaver, thank you. That darn bit of music in a popup we couldn’t see was driving me and my readers insane.

  5. Thank you so much.

    This has been so infuriating. Have used sitemeter for years – will now be removing from all my sites.

    Had random sounds from myspace feeds but no video. Removing the Sitemeter code has solved the problem

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. How do you remove this Sitemeter code?

      1. You would undo whatever you did in the first place to install Sitemeter, which depends on how your site is setup and how you manage it. Hopefully you understand that ‘SiteMeter’ is a statistic service (visitor counter and other info) that a website owner has to intentionally install by creating a sitemeter account and then adding code (provided by sitemeter) to his website (usually in the footer template or it’s equivalent).

        Many people used sitemeter for years before sitemeter decided to sell backdoor audio/video access to websites using sitemeter’s service. If you’ve taken over management of a website that has been around a while, find and remove the sitemeter code. If the site has a visitor counter, that is probably the code you need to remove (click on the visitor counter to see if it takes you to SiteMeter’s website)…

  6. i dont use site meter for anything yet i still get pop ups of myspace player on chromebook and on windows 7 on chromebrowser

    1. The perps behind the MySpace pop-ups may have made deals to exploit other services besides sitemeter. Do you use another third party stat service (or some other service like social buttons)? Is your site hosted by a ‘free’ provider or through a paid hosting service?

      What is the url for your site – I’ll take a quick look with FireBug or Chrome’s element inspector to see if I can spot what the pop-up is riding in on…

      1. I’m having the same issue, and I’m getting that stinking Myspace video popup everywhere, but before I found this page, I had never heard of sitemeter.

        My personal site is laurenroundy.com

        Any help would be much appreciated!

        1. jenron – I’m not seeing any pop-ups on your site (I even turned off my pop-up blockers). If you are seeing the pop-ups ‘everywhere’ (and not just on your personal site) the problem is probably not with your site. It might be software surreptitiously installed on your computer by a virus, but it could even something that is part of a program, plugin or service that you installed intentionally…

          1. I don’t have a site but have been getting this stupid pop up a lot lately. I did some research on how to remove it from your computer but when I took those steps there is nothing there to remove. there has got to be some way of blocking this pop up It is driving me absolutely crazy!

          2. The MySPace videos are probably being foisted on people by various means. This thread deals only with instances where the pop-up is being delivered via Sitemeter (and possibly also Stat-counter) though widgets installed on a website. If you are seeing the pop-ups a lot, you may have virus or may have installed some service or plugin that has made a deal with the MySpace video brigadiers (or else you are visiting a lot of sites that are using Sitemeter or some other service that has been compromised by the MySPace crew).

  7. I just discovered this Myspace pop-up on my blog. Did a quick internet search and found this site. I was using StatCounter. Been using it for years without this issue. Removed the widget, no more pop-up. I hope.

  8. I don’t have a blog or site, but am having this same issue – unwanted pop-up videos from MySpace in the bottom right-hand corner. I understand the concept of removing the code from a site, but I don’t have a site. Not sure of how else to get rid of it or where it’s originating from.

    1. If you don’t manage a site, the problem is probably due to malware or adware installed on your computer as part of a plugin or service you installed, or something a virus installed. Some service or plugin you have been using without previous trouble could have sold access to the people pushing the myspace videos. Try disabling your browser plugins to see if one of them is responsible.

      This thread originated to describe popups that are being piggybacked onto websites that use the sitemeter statistics service. Another reader says that Stat counter has also sold out to the myspace videos. If you are seeing popups on any site you visit (rather than only on a site you manage), then your personal computer (or device) is likely infected with adware or malware (i.e., the folks behind the myspace video popups seem to be deploying their video’s through any devious means possible…)

      1. I had the same issue. I tracked the problem to a hulu extension installed in chrome browser.

  9. I have MySpace tabs that spawn unexpectedly in my Chrome browser usually when I’m idle. I’m just an enduser, is there anything I can do to stop that? It’s annoying especially when it includes audio that starts playing with no interaction from me (like at night if I leave my computer on to do updates).

    1. Check your browser plugins/extensions – RoRi (above) says the ‘hulu’ extension for Chrome was causing pop ups (there may be other chrome extensions that have also sold out to the MySpace video brigands)

  10. Thanks for posting. This is terrible. It even pops up over Netflix video!!!

  11. Appreciate this thread, same problem. Non-host, chrome, random myspace tabs open when I wake-up my laptop. Haven’t found the trojan horse yet. Looks like my anit-virus (Vipre) hasn’t caught this one yet.

  12. I’ve got a new Mac Book Pro that I do mostly cloud based stuff from…I use Chrome primarily, and have been irritated endlessly by these stupid T-Pain ads. Same stuff, over and over and over, in several of my browser windows (simultaneously even, I use 3 monitors).

    Thanks for the thread, I’ll come check back on this soon.

  13. Thank you sooo much for posting this. I have been trying for weeks to find the source of the My Space pop up ads that were driving me crazy, but also worrying me because I couldn’t find and delete the source. I had run every scan Norton 360 had available, as well as several Malware deletion programs and they could find nothing on my system.
    I had recently purchased ChromeCast, and that was the first place I saw the ads – watching a show via Netflix. I had the Hulu app, and have deleted it. I’m very anxious to see if that solves the mystery or if all the ChromeCast apps are going to be problems. Thank yo RoRi!

  14. Thank you!
    I’ve been using sitemeter since Oct 2006 and this incredibly annoying music is only a recent issue (in the last few days).
    So far I have not had any pop-up ads (but I wonder if my readers do?)
    I will ask them
    Thank you again

  15. For whever reason I didn’t get a popup video, just the sound. I suspect the video was being shown in a way that was hidden by my css.

    Either way it’s completely unacceptable behaviour from sitemeter, showing no more respect than a hacker, so they’re dumped.

  16. OMG thank you SOOO much for finally helping me get to the bottom of this, and to the guy on the Internet who pointed me towards your site. (Strangely, google-ing “this is what you want this is what you get” didn’t get me here.) I have been a sitemeter user for 10 years! But no more after today. Thank you.

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