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Earlier this week Google launched an algorithmic change that will tend to rank scraper sites or sites with less original content lower. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content.
It's not just you - it seems like the whole SEO industry has conflated two very different things. It's like the power of suggestion or misdirection at work.
It seems to me that the situation backdraft7 is describing in this thread's opening post might be his traffic getting tossed around by a scraper detection algo, but it's not because of some content farm thing.