A warning to anyone who uses WordPress.com

by Angelique on June 23, 2010

No WordPress.comWordPress.com seems like a good solution for anyone who wants a free or very-cheap blog. I myself have recommended it. However, be warned: WordPress.com can turn on you without warning, and you can lose access to your entire account without explanation or any recourse. This can happen even if you do not own the blog in question, but rather simply contribute to it.

Some of you may know that I am a contributor to a multi-author blog about politics and culture called Alexandria. (The URL, when it was active, was http://www.aleksanderia.wordpress.com)

The blog owner is H.M. Stuart. He has no idea why the Alexandria blog was suddenly suspended. WordPress.com says that he “violated the terms of service.” But how? His blog isn’t monetized. (Not that monetization is against the terms of service, but doing it improperly is a common way to violate the agreement.) He monitors the blog, and never saw a link to an obviously offensive website.

H.M. has been trying to contact WordPress.com since the wee hours of the morning, with no success.

But the Alexandria blog is not the only blog that has been suspended, and possibly already erased. Every WordPress.com account of every one of the Alexandria contributors has been suspended.

Let me make this clear:

They didn’t just suspend the Alexandria blog.

They didn’t just suspend the account of the Alexandria blog owner.

They suspended my account, and the accounts of dozens of writers.

Our WordPress.com blogs are no longer on the web.

We cannot sign into our accounts for any reason, not even to contact WordPress.com support.

I have been doing some research, and I discovered that this is not uncommon. If you accidentally link to a site that WordPress.com thinks is naughty for any reason, they suspend first and ask questions later.

What is a naughty site? Well, in one case, WordPress.com thought that the owners of a certain site were “spammers.” The hapless blog owner who made a link to that site had no idea what the site owners did in their free time, but no matter! Suspended! Fortunately WordPress.com later deigned to allow the blog owner to remove the link and keep her blog.

What I’m saying is, this could happen to YOU, especially if you participate in multi-author blogs.

Beware WordPress.com!

P.S. Do you have a WordPress.com horror story? Please share it in the comments section!

P.P.S. Let me make it clear that none of the above is true of WordPress.org. WordPress.org is a blogging application, not a blog host. I use the WordPress.org application and love it.

Have more questions about this subject? Contact me at info@afmarcom.com or 602.735.3107.

[ Shortlink: http://bit.ly/ciLxXc ]

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

giania June 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I’m going to wait and see what becomes of my account as a result of this, presuming my question is even examined.

In the event that you have not yet seen H.M. Stewart’s latest missive I believe our fearless leader has decided to retire from the blog wrangling gig after this, and as a result the Alexandrites are diaspora until we can find a new home. (The link above entails one such offer.)

My hope at this point is we get our individual accounts unlocked. It is likely too much to ask that we get Alexandria back. Even if we did, it would likely be to take a hasty backup (if such a thing can occur in the first place), and retreat to greener pastures.

Reply

Angelique June 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I just responded to H.M.’s email message, telling him not to quit until this thing is sorted out. I’m trying to kick up so much of a fuss that Wordpress.com will take notice, if only to avoid getting a bad reputation. If any of my fellow Alexandria writers are reading this, PLEASE tell the story far and wide. Repost, link to or retweet this blog post ( shortlink: http://bit.ly/ciLxXc ) or write your own posts and publicize the heck out of them. I will be sure to retweet them all – just let me know about them! And don’t forget to write in to Wordpress.com support, giving not only your contact information but also that of H.M.

Giania — I will respond to your blog post on your blog!

Reply

Sara Today June 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Hi Angelique,

Although I’m sure several other Alexandrian authors could come up with a more sophisticated characterization, I think the most apt descriptive is WTF?!

As of this writing my Wordpress blog has not been suspended. But, I’m now living in fear of my 289 posts vanishing.

Reply

Angelique June 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Sara — You mean, you’re not locked out of your account? Your blog is still up for public view? I wonder why some of us are suspended and some are not.

Quick, while you can: save those posts!

Reply

Angelique June 24, 2010 at 9:20 am

There is news – the Alexandria blog is back up. I am writing a post with the details right now.

Reply

Alessandro Degiusti April 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Wordpress.com is excelent!

Reply

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