Yesterday, many of you might have seen the following when you attempted to connect to Tech Thoughts. WordPress had archived or suspended, my blog for a violation of their Terms of Service.
I’m sure that this notice left you with questions – chief amongst them might have been, “I wonder what Bill did to incur the wrath of WordPress”. As my Australian friends might say, “that’s fair dinkum”. But, I can assure you, I did nothing wrong – nothing that justified the removal of my site.
I’m fully aware of the WordPress “Conditions of Service”, and I adhere to them scrupulously. Despite that, this is the second time in the last two years that I’ve gone through this “suspended” scenario. Both times, it turns out, WordPress has encountered a system glitch as the email (received this morning), and shown in the following screen capture, indicates.
As a technologist, I’m more than aware that automated systems are prone to glitches – nothing is perfect. Nevertheless, I have strong objections as to how WordPress handled this.
It seems like a pretty heavy handed way to deal with an issue – giving no warning, and not being specific about the supposed transgression. REALLY heavy handed, given that my Blog is one of their top sites. Hell, it’s one of the top sites on the Internet.
From what I read in the forums on this, a common reason for suspension could be as simple as linking to a site they don’t like. Really! Once a suspension is in effect, there is NO appeal. Your site is gone, and WordPress will not allow you to recover your content. I kid you not! The only set of circumstances under which a site is reactivated is, as in my case, if WordPress has made an error.
Imagine getting fired for breaking a company rule you weren’t aware of, and when you queried your boss as to which rule, you were told – “Well, it’s my interpretation of a rule, and you no have choice but to accept it”.
In an adult world, I can’t imagine broad scale acceptance of that type of behavior. But, apparently in the world of WordPress, you’re expected to meekly accept some nameless, faceless person’s decision that you’ve broken a rule, and then go away!
At a minimum, WordPress needs to seriously review and then revamp their whole approach to the question of perceived violations of their Conditions of Service. In the meantime, if you blog on WordPress, it’s imperative that you backup your content religiously. If this can happen to me – it can happen to you. If it should, you may well be one of the thousands who did not get their site back.
Finally, I spent most of last night replying to the hundreds of regular readers who emailed me wondering what was going on. In virtually every case, those readers were astonished that WordPress had suspended my site. I trust that this article has answered your questions, and you have my appreciation for showing your concern, and loyalty.
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