More Weird Likes/Follows

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  • #3100525

    Since January 2018, I have had about twenty fake followers with email addresses, including one today (April 26, 2018). Why hasn’t WordPress solved this issue yet?


    I have been getting these now for a few weeks – Just found this thread. Don’t see them in my followers list, but today I got several, and every day I get a few. I made my site private until this gets addressed. As I advertise my business on this website, this is a serious issue. Thanks.


    I must amend my last post: I did find 8 of these outlook characters in my email follower folder. I deleted them. So some got through. But many must have been weeded out by WordPress, mercifully.



    what would be the purpose of following with these accounts? Just to get a link to try to spam comment to? Akismet does a bangup job of killing threats. I guess I don’t get it.



    I don’t think the wordpress techs are lying to us when they’ve said repeatedly that these spam email subscriptions will not harm us. This happened maybe six months or a year ago too, and then died out after a while.

    I understand being concerned at first, but really – nobody’s blog imploded back when this was happening before, and the techs patiently explained to us then just like they have now that these spammy follows were not dangerous as long as we didn’t go replying to any of them. Any spammy-looking outlook follows wp deletes (or if they seem to miss one I expunge it, just so I don’t get a swelled head that I have so many followers)!

    If you have a blog that you are serious about, why would you ever “turn off” the option for readers to follow it? That is, when wp has repeatedly told us these spam followers have no ability to attack us or do anything malevolent to our sites? WordPress dot com blogs almost never get hacked, from what I understand, compared to a high percentage of self-hosted blogs.

    I put a lot of effort into the tutorials on my blog. I want them to be read and used. I would never turn off the follow-by-email-option! 2/3 or more of my followers are email followers. You know those are ‘real’ followers, since they don’t even have their own blog that they are trying to drive traffic to by subscribing to you…

    If you get a more detailed stats program than the one that comes free with wordpress, you’ll find out that the vast majority of clicks on your site are views that last for only a matter of a few seconds, not real ‘reads’. They are random internet surfers. Followers are the main way I know my blog is really being read.




    what would be the purpose of following with these accounts? Just to get a link to try to spam comment to?

    Anyone can leave comments on a blog (if you have allowed comments), not just subscribers to your blog.

    Or by “a link” do you mean to get our email address to send spam email to our inboxes? They could only get our email address if we email them! That’s not only dumb I’m pretty sure it’s against wp policy – we are not supposed to email our followers directly, that would essentially be spamming them. They only put down their email address in order to get an automated email notification from wp when we publish a post, they didn’t subscribe to a blog in order to get personal emails from the blog-owner.



    There is another option that I wish I could use. If we choose to make the blog private, then no one except invited followers can see it. I created a whole new blog, migrated posts, made it private, only to discover that WordPress will not send my embedded graphics if the blog is private. That would be my ideal solution to limit who can see and subscribe to my blog.

    For others who are actively seeking followers, I can understand that private is not the right choice. You want more readers. I don’t mind adding readers – just as long as I know who they are. Someone just “liked” my blog but it was CLEARLY a commercial attempt to get business for herself, not for reading and enjoying our stories. Argh.

    But if you blog, as I do for family and close friends, private would be the way to go **if** WordPress would just send my images when I posted. If you like this idea, please either add a new suggestion or add to my existing ideas post at



    I must admit to being a little more than disappointed that WordPress has not been able to develop a better approach to the concerns raised by so many of us. We are continually told that this is not a problem, that the spammers can’t access any information from the sites unless we reply, and that WordPress is working on the issue. Well it has been quite a while now and things don’t seem to be improving. The notifications ebb and flow but there are usually a couple each day – just enough to make sure the irritation continues.
    For every WordPress user who follows this, or one of the several related threads I am sure there are scores and scores who have this problem but have not yet complained.
    Several folks posting to this thread have suggested a captcha-type devise but this has been discounted by WordPress suggesting that the two stage authentication would work just as well – except that it does not seem to be working all that well. I can certainly accept that banning all outlook addresses is a non-starter. It does seem however that inserting an “I am not a robot” mechanism which would require human intervention would require an investment of time on the part of any scammer which would render attempts to access WordPress sites more trouble than it is worth.
    Closing sites to e-mail followers is not a solution, as many posters have confirmed, as there are those among us who welcome additional followers. For me that has been one of the benefits of WordPress.
    In addition I still don’t think we received have a comprehensive answer to the question as to why a spammer would keep hitting on our sites. We are told that they gain no information and that the sites are safe. If that is the case then what is the benefit of continuing, day after day, to follow sites?
    After months and months of dealing with the trickle of spam without success is it perhaps time to elevate the issue to a higher level?



    I also have this problem. While it is somewhat reassuring that WordPress staff are working on this, I still have one basic question: why? Why are weird followers turning up? What is the end game? What do they hope to accomplish? This worries me.



    Question for WordPress – have you tried approaching Microsoft?



    Stiiiillll happening. Including some repeats, I see now that I check that folder in my emails.


    I have many of them too. Do I need to provide these? I have a TON of them. Thanks!

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