IgnorantGuru's Blog

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Off-Topic: WordPress Is Spamming Via Users’ Blogs

You may notice a new “On the PopPressed Radar” section on my blog posts containing ads as images and links. For the record, this is not my idea and I make no money off this spam. These advertisements are part of WordPress for free users, but they recently made them much louder and distracting. I am not happy about it, nor are others. I apologize to my readers for the clutter, and if WordPress doesn’t come to its senses soon, I will move this blog elsewhere. In the meantime, I suggest readers NOT click through these spam links – let’s not encourage it.

Note that email subscriptions to this blog should still be spam-free – I haven’t heard otherwise.

If you are a WordPress user, I recommend you have a look at your own blog when you’re logged off, and maybe from another IP or computer. Your readers are probably seeing something quite different than you are. As one user commented: “I did some viewing with IE8 when I was logged out — I was horrified by what I saw.”

UPDATE: WordPress has told me they are working on toning down these ads and correcting the duplication. To their credit they responded promptly – waiting on the results.

UPDATE 2: As of today (April 22), the obnoxious ads seem to be gone, at least as far as I can see. Let’s hope it stays that way. My thanks to WordPress for listening to their users and addressing this problem promptly.

UPDATE 3: Poppressed ads are still present on some users’ blogs.

The image below is of this post as many readers will see it, with large, duplicated ads taking up most of the page. WordPress calls these ads “discreet”.

April 21, 2011 - Posted by | offtopic

7 Comments

  1. Did I understand correctly, I found your post in the forums, that if I am logged in and go to my blog I will not be able to see this deceptive tactic? But if I log out and go to my blog I will be able to?
    I will admit that there have been links clicked on in the click section and I wondered where they came from knowing that I don’t have ads on my blog.
    Also, if they themselves are going to use our blogs as a means of spam advertising then they need to allow us to have advertising on our blogs for revenue.

    Comment by hbs1991 | April 21, 2011

    • Yes, when I am viewing a single post (not the main index), I can’t see the ads unless I log out. Then they appear. If I log back in they disappear. So unless you logout you have no idea how your blog really looks to readers. Even logging out may not reveal it in some cases if they only include the ads conditionally (they allege they advertise “very rarely”, although I can’t avoid it even once – it’s on every post).

      In the Appearance|Extra settings, you should find a “Hide related links on this blog”. That may also be the source of your mystery links. As they are always irrelevant, I opted to hide them today (while trying to figure out where the spam images were coming from). This will not stop the “PopPressed Radar” spam though.

      I agree about the advertising. It’s one thing for them to get a little revenue from some clearly labeled text ads like Google has. It’s another to take over the whole blog and confuse readers.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | April 21, 2011

  2. ”Also, if they themselves are going to use our blogs as a means of spam advertising then they need to allow us to have advertising on our blogs for revenue.” Very interesting point.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 21, 2011

  3. Didn’t even notice them on account of NoScript. :P

    Comment by Isaac | April 21, 2011

    • Yeah NoScript is great, and I use it where I can. For working on wordpress, js is needed to update the blog, which is why I got to see it as non-NoScript users see it.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | April 21, 2011

  4. It seems to me that they have perhaps removed the ads specifically from your blog? (The squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that?!) Today was the first day I viewed my own blog without logging in and saw the ugly poppressed ads appearing on this post: http://somethinksgonewrong.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/need-some-advice/

    Comment by Y. | April 23, 2011

    • Doesn’t surprise me – I do see them on your site. I would definitely let them know what you think of it.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | April 23, 2011


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