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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mysterious Text, Overlaying The Post

A few times recently, we've had reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, of mysterious text, appearing in the middle of the posts.
How do I remove unwanted text appearing in the middle of the page?
Frequently, all that we can see is a mass of text.

Occasionally, the mysterious text has been readable. Extracting key phrases from the text, we can some times locate the source of the mysterious text, in the post code.

Having located the mysterious text, we are no smarter than we were just previously, however.

The mysterious text. In this case, the text is simply unreadable.

In some cases, we've been able to read the text. A text search, in the source code for the page, might turn up this snippet of post HTML code.

<div id="stcpDiv" style="left: -1988px; position: absolute; top: -1999px;">
The project sees local artists joining forces with the University’s smart material researchers to work with local community groups to explore, create and design different applications for smart materials - See more at:</div>


The key phrase in the code snippet appears to be the div id, "stcpDiv".

A Google search turns up a few discussions about the mysterious text. It appears that "stcpDiv" is part of a copy protection technique.
Apparently, this allows source websites to publish content with metadata - the equivalent of a non visible watermark - linking back to the source, when content is copied to another website.

To resolve this, you have to edit the post which contains the "stcpdiv" code in Compose mode, and use the "Remove formatting" tool. Then reformat the entire post.

Alternately, edit the problem post in HTML mode, and find and remove all "stcpdiv" code - one section at a time.

And in the future, never copy formatted content from a protected website.

This is yet one more reason why copying formatted text is not a good idea. If you must copy text, copy it unformatted - then re apply formatting, as necessary, after copying.

Dude, hit me with a comment!