Myths About Web Scraping That Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Web scraping is prohibited.

Many individuals have misconceptions regarding web scraping. It’s because certain scrapers violate intellectual property rights and employ web scraping to steal material. Web scraping is not unlawful in and of itself, however, issues occur when users violate website terms of service and scrape without the site owner’s consent. According to one research, site scraping might result in the loss of 2% of internet profits. Despite the fact that online scraping lacks specific rules and conditions to handle its use, it is surrounded by several legal laws. 

Web scraping and web crawling are interchangeable terms.

Web scraping API is the extraction of specific data from a specified webpage, such as sales leads, real estate listings, and product prices. Search engines, on the other hand, scour the internet. It searches and indexes the whole website, including internal links. The term “crawler” refers to a programme that navigates through online pages without a defined aim in mind.

Any webpage may be scrapped.

People frequently request the scraping of email addresses, Facebook postings, and LinkedIn information. An article titled “Is online crawling legal?” claims that it is critical to remember the following guidelines before engaging in web scraping:

  • Private information that needs a login and password cannot be scrapped.
  • Compliance with the ToS (Terms of Service), which expressly bans web scraping.
  • Copyrighted data should not be copied.

A single individual can be prosecuted under many statutes. For example, one swiped some personal information and sold it to a third party despite the site owner’s cease and desist notice. This individual may be charged with Trespass to Chattel, Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and Misappropriation. 

It does not preclude you from scraping social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. They are favorable to scraping services that adhere to the guidelines in the robots.txt file. Before engaging in automated data gathering behavior on Facebook, you must get explicit consent from the company.

You must be able to code.

Non-tech professions such as marketers, statisticians, financial advisors, bitcoin investors, academics, journalists, and others might benefit greatly from a web scraping tool (data extraction tool). Octoparse has introduced a one-of-a-kind feature: online scraping templates, which are preformatted scrapers that cover over 14 categories on over 30 websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and others. All you have to do is enter the keywords/URLs into the parameter without any sophisticated job settings. Python web scraping is time-consuming. A web scraping proxy template, on the other hand, is an efficient and easy way to acquire the data you want. 

Scraped data may be used for anything.

If you scrape data from websites for public use and utilize it for analysis, you are totally legal. Scraping sensitive material for profit, on the other hand, is illegal. It is illegal, for example, to scrape private contact information without authorization and sell it to a third party for profit. Furthermore, repackaging stolen material as your own without crediting the source is unethical. You should adhere to the principle that no spamming, plagiarism or other fraudulent use of data is forbidden by law.