News site Newzulu backs down in domain squatting row with rival Newsmodo

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.29.43 PMA news sharing website has removed a redirect from a competitor’s brand as another public row over domain squatting threatened to erupt.

The boss of Melbourne freelance agency Newsmodo, Rakhal Ebeli, accused rival Newzulu of trading off the back of his business after visits to were redirected to Newzulu.

Newzulu managing editor Jenny Noyes yesterday told Mumbrella she was unaware of the redirect and would investigate the issue. Within a couple of hours, the redirect had been removed.

A search of domain registrations show had been registered by Newzulu group managing director Alexander Hartman.

Further calls and emails to Noyes this morning were unanswered at time of publication.

The stoush comes a fortnight after mummy blogger Stay at Home Mum was discovered to have been domain squatting, redirecting traffic from a URL similar to a rival’s, and issued an apology.

Ebeli, a former Ten journalist who set up Newsmodo in 2012 to help the growing number of freelance journalists find work, said he was “bitterly disappointed” after discovering the redirect.

“It was very frustrating and we were extremely concerned,” he told Mumbrella. “We did our own investigation and it was not hard to find who had set up the redirect. It’s not business practice that I subscribe to that’s for sure.

“We believe it is very unfortunate for  the people who are looking to participate in our business and looking to engage in our services and then find themselves redirected to another service.”

Ebeli said he bought several URLs as he set up the business but that had been unavailable.

Steve Jones


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