Unacceptable Spamming BY WordPress

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  • #601926

    igurublog
    Member

    WordPress is always talking about fighting spam, but their new level of advertising on users’ blogs is nothing less than blatant spam. When I first found the “On the PopPressed Radar” section on my blog I thought it had been hacked. These irrelevant images and links in the middle of every single post on my TEXT-ONLY blog creates a ridiculous distraction and completely destroys the appearance of the blog. On a text-only blog, images completely capture the attention and draw it away. Instead of a professional-looking developer’s blog it now looks like I’m selling cheap crap. Thanks for hijacking my content.

    Obviously WordPress knows its ridiculous because they hide this section if you are logged in. My blog was recently in the top 100 fastest growing blogs. Apparently once you get traffic then they turn your blog into theirs. This advertising spam is not “very rare” at all – as far as I can tell its always there.

    I will be dropping WordPress for one of the many free blogs that allow me to control the appearance of my blog if WordPress doesn’t rethink this ridiculous spam. A discreet text-only link clearly labeled as an Ad is one thing; multiple confusing, gawdy, out of place images is another. I’m done with this greedy nonsense – I am not in the advertising business. Good riddance wordpress.

    The blog I need help with is igurublog.wordpress.com.

    #602065

    igurublog
    Member

    And given my theme, the ad images and links appear not just once on every post, but TWICE. They take over the whole page…
    http://igurublog.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/off-topic-wordpress-spam/

    #602072

    I have to say that I feel the same way, even though I knew when I signed up that there would be advertising shown on my blog, and I agree that since my blog is free then I cant really complain, but the recent pop-pressed ads really are tacky and not at all discreet.

    I have 2 blogs here on wordpress.com, one of which I have payed to have my own url, am about to purchase the CSS upgrade for it too, and now looks like I’ll have to fork out for no advertising to stop my work blog from looking like a fleamarket… add all those costs together and I might as well go self-hosted. Which is maybe what wordpress.com is pushing for…

    one of the main reasons I chose wordpress over blogger etc was that they looked more professional, but pop-pressed ads are changing that perception.

    #602074

    timethief
    Member

    The only way to remove the ever growing number of advertisements cropping up on our blogs and even in our posts is to forget “free blogging” and start paying $29.97 every year to get the No-Ads upgrade. http://en.support.wordpress.com/no-ads/

    #602083

    igurublog
    Member

    > start paying $29.97 every year

    Keep dreaming. I am a freeware developer volunteering my time. I’m not putting cash into a site I can simply move elsewhere for free, without ads. So they can have discreet ads and earn a little revenue, or they can be replaced and earn nothing from my work. They’ve made a billboard of my blog.

    #602084

    timethief
    Member

    I hope you understand that Volunteers responding to forum threads have no role to play here. Staff monitor threads only. If you wish to communicate directly with them you have to use this link. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    #602086

    timethief
    Member

    I forgot to post this link AdControl program link previously. Those who have high traffic blogs can submit them for acceptance into the AdControl program and split the earned income with wordpress.com. http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

    #602088

    igurublog
    Member

    timethief, you seem to be spamming this forum thread with the intention of making wordpress money. You’re not addressing my complaint, and I’m already aware of their policies – I can read.

    #602090

    timethief
    Member

    We Volunteers answering forum questions provide information only. You and I both know that Volunteers cannot “address your complaint”. Only Staff can do that. Please take your complaint to them by using the link I posted above. http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

    #602093

    igurublog
    Member

    timethief, I’m curious why you volunteer your time to monitor WordPress forums when they are making money from your work. I would think you deserve some compensation – they are running a business, not a non-profit. And after this it appears they are running a spam business. It is unusual for people to volunteer to make others money – usually you get paid for that kind of work.

    I don’t mind WordPress making a little money from my blog – they are providing me with something. But if they turn my blog into their billboard and completely overwhelm my content with commercial interests, they are being greedy and I will not use them. I have previously recommended WordPress to people. Now I will advise them that if your blog gets even a small amount of increased traffic, WordPress will take your blog over.

    I am not interested in sharing revenue even if I qualify, which I doubt. My blog is not for profit, and is not a billboard for selling cheap coffee mugs (although it is at present).

    #602098

    igurublog
    Member

    Here is my message I sent to support:

    Due to recent changes in your advertising, I will need to drop wordpress if you cannot make your ads more discreet. Currently the images and links take over the whole blog and visually eclipse my content.

    a) Most of my blog posts are TEXT-ONLY. Images on a text-only post completely take it over and define the content. Ads, especially on posts without images, should be a single line of text labeled as an ad (eg “Ad: Blah blah blah”)

    b) With my theme, the ads appear TWICE on every post: http://igurublog.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/off-topic-wordpress-spam/

    c) Your system deceptively hides ads when users are logged in. This means users can’t even see what their blog actually looks like to readers. For example, I was under the impression I had a professional-looking developer’s blog – until I logged out and realized I was now chiefly in the spam business for WordPress.

    d) I do not make profit from my blog and the blatent over-the-top advertising is unacceptable.

    I don’t mind WordPress making a little money, but I can’t have my blog looking like its chief function is to sell your cheap coffee mugs. This needs to be fixed.

    My suggestion is to allow users to opt out of images in the ads. Most users will leave the setting as-is anyway. You also need to prevent the ads from appearing twice on every page – that is ridiculous.

    #602111

    igurublog
    Member

    On their advertising page they state: “We try hard to make the ads discreet…”

    Meanwhile, large duplicated ads take over my entire page. Would anyone describe this as discreet?
    http://ignorantguru.users.sourceforge.net/downloads/wordpress-spam.png

    (Original page at http://igurublog.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/off-topic-wordpress-spam/ but you may not see the ads if you’re logged in)

    #602140

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    @igurublog-I was logged out when I visited your blog and must say this is the first time I have *ever* seen ads running in the sidebar of a WordPress.com blog. Up until now, I’ve only ever seen them either under the title of a blog or just above comments.PopPressed in this format is certainly not discreet. The arguments over ads appearing on WordPress.com blogs is at least 4 years old. https://en.forums.wordpress.com/tags/advertising/page/5

    But as timethief correctly pointed out, and as you did, take complaints about gaudy advertising directly to Support and I would encourage anyone who is running into this problem to use that contact form to let Staff know their feelings. The more people that complain, the more notice the problem will get. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    #602143

    @igurublog, I agree completely. I certainly would not use the word “discreet” to describe those ads. Perhaps in the Orwellian tradition, “double plus undiscreet” would be more apropos.

    Reminds me of the ads for online Russian dating services I’ve seen on free blogs at Live Journal.

    #602148

    igurublog
    Member

    It is Orwellian – or slimy. The “On the PopPressed Radar” label instead of a plain and clear “Advertisements” – it confuses readers into thinking this is something I put there – what the heck is “poppressed”, no one knows. Then the fact that you can’t see how your blog actually looks unless you logout and perhaps visit it from another IP (and even then you may not see what others see). This behavior is slimy and dishonest and very much reminds me of fraud and spam, and that impression reflects on me as well – readers of my blog get the impression I’m some slimy spammer trying to mislead them into “poppressed” garbage. WordPress is really dropping to another level of the internet.

    #602149

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Way back in 2006 when advertising started to show up on WordPress.com blogs, there was no small amount of backlash from the then much (much) smaller WordPress.com community. If you read some of those old threads on advertising you’ll see that the discussions got quite heated, and remind me of a lot of the things you’ve said in this thread.

    FWIW, many people put disclaimers on their blogs noting that the advertisements are run by WordPress.com and not the blogger. I know this does not address the aesthetics issues.

    #602151

    igurublog
    Member

    @justjennifer: The disclaimer is a good idea and is one I am considering. But at present the ads are overwhelming, so if they can’t tone that down I’m gone. WordPress is nice but can be replaced with alternatives. It’s obvious greed and misleading advertising has taken over here.

    #602152

    igurublog
    Member

    >this is the first time I have *ever* seen ads running in the sidebar of a WordPress.com blog.

    On that, something has changed in the last couple days, because I don’t ever recall seeing such ostentatious (or in their double-speak, “discreet”) ads.

    #602154

    raincoaster
    Member

    I have the AdControl program on one of my blogs, and it seems to me that WordPress is testing a lot of different kinds of ads. I suggest that you concentrate on posting your thoughts on your blog (where your community can pick them up better) and on communicating directly to staff, including screenshots. The Support staff isn’t the crew putting the ads on, so they need to know what you’re seeing in order to get it changed.

    I participated, heatedly, in those threads Jennifer is talking about. At least now you KNOW (if you read the ToS) that ads are going to be on your blog. Back then, they didn’t tell us.

    #602156

    timethief
    Member

    I also participated in those early threads. I did some viewing with IE8 when I was logged out — I was horrified by what I saw. I just moved a blog back onto self-hosting and now I’m considering moving two off. One can get web hosting for a wordpress.org install and have complete control of their blog and be able to hack their theme for almost the same price as the Ads-Off upgrade. :(

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