If your blog has been deleted suddenly by WordPress.com, DON’T PANIC! …that is, unless you use your blog for phishing scams or spam-commenting or anything else that brings down the experience of other people on the Web and/or makes it harder for people to find the information they need. In that case, panic. Scream and cry. I hope your blog is permanently deleted, and everything you eat for the rest of you life tastes horrible. The Web is our garden!
Assuming you are an ethical participant of The Cloud, pretty soon you should get an email from WordPress.com explaining the nature of the take-down.
[Anyway, my blog is back, obviously. I guess I need to start backing up my blog? Jeeez. What a hassle.]
I regularly blog about scams/spam on the Web. It’s a way for me be discovered by, and to provide guidance to, people who happen to be googling around about some questionable content they find or are emailed.
One example of this is this search result for “paypal-cgi.com,” a site that mimics PayPal in order to trick people into handing over their paypal login info. I come up number one for the search, and the title of the result makes it clear that you shouln’t trust PayPal-CGI.com… If you click thru to my post, I explain why these things exist and how to detect this kind of crap.
You see, I’m actually doing something good here. And it’s good for me too.
Anyway, recently I encountered some scam crap on craigslist and blogged about it. And since my blog post contained a link to the spam/scam site I was exposing, WordPress.com’s evil-detectors went ape shit and my blog got automatically removed by wordpress.com.
I was in the middle editing a post and suddenly my category selection buttons stopped working. And there was a thing saying somethin like “you do not have permission to edit this..” or something like that. When I refreshed the page, I got “The authors have deleted this blog. The content is no longer available”
…and my blog had been completely removed leaving only this scary screen saying: “This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.”
Ironic. I got banned for merely exposing something malicious.
Current Spam-Filter technology isn’t context-aware. This is a slippery slope: Using words or links alone, without regard to context, to define what is untrustworthy content.
See the post in question for yourself HERE:
Fortunately, about an hour later, I got a message from WordPress.com:
from: Anthony – WordPress.com:
Your blog was automatically flagged, as links to overnightcashexplosion.com were detected (and these are certainly not permitted). The blog is back – please remove all such links.
Automattic | WordPress.com
I responded with:
if it’s a url in text, is that different in the eyes of your spam defenses from an actual link? I’d like to leave the url if possible so I can still come up in searches for that url.
WHat’s your take on that?
Thanks for communicating with me. :)
Anthony from WordPress replied:
Sure, you can leave it – I understand the context.
Automattic | WordPress.com
So, there is a layer of discretion here? That’s good I guess.