Colette

April 6, 2021

I recently discovered that WordPress effectively hijacked WriterInSoul by, without either asking or telling me, sticking a post of their own into my blog. It appears just before my own last post, “Short Thought” dated 3/14. I found the intrusive post by happenstance; it doesn’t show up “behind the scenes”, only on the public blog itself. I even logged out of my blog and took a look just to be sure it wasn’t something only I saw. Labeled a “Sponsored Post,” the text peddles some WordPress blogging course, one I will not be linking.

I’ve now had this blog 7 years and nobody but me has ever written anything on it so I was very taken aback to see this ad-posing-as-a-post dumped in my blog. The more I thought about it, the more pissed I got. I understood fine at the outset that, in order to have a free, no cost blog, I’d have to accept that WordPress would tack ads onto my blog; I even mention this in my introductory page (so no one would think I was injecting said ads). The terms were clear. Allowing “fake” posts to be stuck in my blog is something else entirely. Moreover I didn’t allow it. I wasn’t even told.

Two weird ironies if you will. My very last post, one I wrote before seeing the WordPress spam was about this very issue, namely when the other party you’ve been in a relationship with changes the rules of engagement without consulting you (or expecting consequences from you). The second irony? Today completes 7 years of writing this blog and WordPress DID see fit to send me their auto-generated message, “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!” Aww gee, I am so touched.πŸ˜• Now get your stinking, grubby fingers the %#&@! off my blog.

Here’s the thing. If, without asking or telling, WordPress is willing to stick posts on my blog, what else are they willing to do? Edit my posts? Stick words in my mouth? Delete posts? See, I just don’t know. I am a tiny, tiny, non-paying fish in this Land-o-Blogging. I have either no or very little power. But the blog is something a person, this person, does (or did) out of passion, love of writing, and so on. My blog has been very honest, my truest self, my writing self. To my thinking the hawking WordPress post sullies it. Worse, the WordPress content, what with its “Sponsored” business suggests I sponsored it, that I am in collusion, and/or that I possibly got a kickback for it. I’ve never asked for a DIME on this blog, not for me, not a cup of coffee, not for a cause of any kind. Yet WordPress sees fit to shill for their business on my platform, effectively posing as me, or minimally implying my permission. Not okay.

I told you I was pissed. This is me pissed. I’m putting this post here for a couple reasons. I don’t think I see the point in complaining directly to WordPress or only complaining to WordPress. It’s not like we have any interactions, any sort of ongoing conversation. And with this move, one that trumps previous WordPress moves like changing behind-the-scenes features (such as recent “improvements” to editing capabilities), WordPress is strong-arming me. They’re changing the rules.Β They’re monkeying with the blog proper, by-passing me, not even telling me. It changes how I feel or pushes me further in a direction I was already going. This does NOT make me want to embrace WordPress. It makes me distrustful.

I wonder now if they’ve done this before and I just missed it. I’m not ruling that out but I’m disinclined to think so.

I have, already, dialed back on this blog, but I’m still here. One doesn’t get the cryptic message about the blog having been deleted, or gone private when you type in WriterInSoul, a message that you find when a blogger has decided to go away. I just snorted thinking what if I write no more posts but WordPress keeps at it? No more photos of my garden or living room, or smart remarks, or reflective essays, just post after “Sponsored” post peddling stuff. Um, who reading this post wants to take a WordPress course on blogging or needs to find info about such things on my blog?? 😐

What bothers me may well bother others equally and yet others either not at all or not much. I recognize that. But what WordPress did by dumping into my blog gets me where I live. This was mine. And whatever I do or don’t do with MY BLOG going forward, I wanted to tell you all this.

Colette

22 thoughts on “Irked

    1. Colette Post author

      That’s it. Less warm-n-fuzzy.😐 The “sponsored” post now appears immediately behind this one. I logged out again just to check.

      Like

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    2. nrhatch

      I can see if now if I click on your home page and scroll down.
      At least it’s not photos of people engaged in sexual debauchery! πŸ˜†

      But it seems WRONG to me. And it might just be the straw that severs my ties to WP.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. Ally Bean

    I’m seeing those generic WP “posts” more often on free WP blogs. I share your outrage about what they did to your blog, not that it makes it any less annoying for you. WP is changing in many ways [just look at the blockhead editor] and none have been explained satisfactorily. I’ve begun to wonder if WP is about to be sold, and they’re trying to make the platform seem more like FB so that a potential buyer will want it. Either that or the WP Happiness Engineers have been smoking a little too much wacky weed.

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Colette Post author

      Ally, I knew you’d be sympathetic. It hadn’t even occurred to me WordPress might be gearing up for something. (I did write awhile ago about WordPress appealing to my potential mercenary self. That I laughed off. https://writerinsoul.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/cashing-in-cha-ching-cha-ching/) It would be a hair different had WordPress said “We’re going to start inserting our posts into your blog unless you pay up”.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Ally Bean

        Exactly. If WP had been/would be forthright about what they’re doing, you’d say “don’t like it, but ok.” However this sneaky behavior does not endear them to anyone… except maybe other sneaky people I suppose. 🀨

        Liked by 1 person

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          1. Ally Bean

            I’m using the blockhead editor now. It takes twice as long to do anything, but I’m a pragmatist. It is here, I will use it. Of course how much longer I’ll be with WP remains to be seen. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

            Liked by 1 person

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  2. Ron Walker

    I thought I had heard some time back, someone saying they were doing this on free blogs. I hate seeing the stupid spammy ads they tack onto emails from the free blogs, not that they bother me, other than they are of the lowest quality bait and switch types that you would think a company like WP wouldn’t use.

    I’m about to make some changes I think.

    I’m thinking of giving the ClassicPress a try. It is on my hosting control panel. It’s a free open source of WordPress, it uses the classic editor. It’s developed and maintained by people that don’t care for the WordPress bloat or the block editor. I’ll have to do a review on my blog once I try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Colette Post author

      Hmm. I don’t think I know this ClassicPress although I continue to use Classic Editor through a roundabout process because I hit a point I refused to learn anything new related to Admin machinations.😐 I figure even that option will eventually disappear. Quite right about the cheesy ads which are shame enough.😒

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Lori

    I totally get your frustration. I don’t even want to check if they did the same to mine. I’ll just get pissed. I’m not crazy about their changes or their putting ads up on my blog, but what can I do other than pay for a blog or website of my own? For now, it’s got to stay this way.

    This is how I’ve been feeling about life in general over the past year. I feel like my own life has been taken over and my true-self is not allowed to be shown. It’s been getting to me.

    Sorry your personal space was violated. It really is frustrating to find an entire post, not of your own, that is basically an infomercial. 😠

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    1. Colette Post author

      Thank you so much. They pushed my button all right. Your conclusion is spot on, it’s their way or the proverbial highway. And the whole thing sets a bad precedent. I’m sorry you feel like your life has been overtaken. That’s a lousy feeling, that you’re at the mercy of the current. I actually feel more on top of my game in the past year & as a result, have little patience for trouble. 😐

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. mariezhuikov

    I am sorry to hear about this! I have not heard about it happening to anyone else yet. I hope Word Press somehow gets the message. I can tell you are pissed about this change in the rules of engagement.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Colette Post author

      Thanks Marie. The whole point of a personal blog, I think, is to have things just the way you want them (as opposed to writing for someone else and/or for money). Someone else indicated they’ve seen similar on other free blogs so I imagine I have company out there, somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. Pistachios

    I had a look at this “sponsored post” and it really isn’t clear that you had nothing to do with it. It’s very underhanded, indeed. I definitely feel like I get more spam emails from them in recent months, so it seems like they’ve really amped up their marketing / money-grabbing on all fronts. Maybe ad revenue has been on the decline, so they’re focusing on other avenues.

    I actually write all my posts on my computer’s basic word processing program, and then copy and paste it into WP, so I have as little interaction with the new editor as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Colette Post author

      Thank you Sharon, for understanding. When anyone tangles with my integrity it really gets my ire up (I personally tend to avoid personal blogs that have “sponsored content” or are clearly marketing, and that sort of thing. It feels like everybody has their hand out & I am loathe to be one of them.) WordPress has increased its attempts to sell me on this or that too but I pretty much ignore it till this. Like you I found my way around the new editor & have never used it!

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Jonathan

    WordPress have been injecting junk into blogs for years – this is the first time I have seen them inject a post. I wonder if Tumblr gave them the idea? Tumblr have been doing injected posts in the timeline for years. It’s massively under-hand to inject it into a blog though – within the reader, yes – within a published blog – no.

    I’m wondering about going back to a paid subscription again if it happens to me. It’s about Β£3 a month, isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Colette Post author

      I’m sorry – I somehow missed your comment earlier. Thanks for weighing in. I’m not on Tumblr; I guess I (naively?) thought WP had a certain kind of integrity. I definitely wouldn’t pay after they’ve done this. If presented as an option/alternative ( “Pay up or we mess with your blog”) it might have been a possibility.😐

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