I too have been noticing this for a few months, hence my search today.
Stange looking outlook.com followers who do not appear in my list of followers.
Definitely bogus but I don’t understand why its being done. I don’t open them just delete when they come in.
Be nice if they stopped though.
I’ve been getting these bogus outlook followers for months now. I have just been ignoring them but as time goes on you start to wonder why it’s not been halted. I found the other thread which started in January. I get that it’s being worked on but it seems like a long time now. I very rarely update my blog yet I’m getting several follows a week from these fake accounts. Only for one of my blogs though. Odd.
Thanks everyone, nice to find it’s not just us being spammed by @outlook.com emails.
I have been getting one or two email notifications on Outlook almost every day about new followers, but they do not show up on my followers list. Weird.
Thanks for all the comments!
Even my followers list is getting swamped by these bogus outlook emails. After a few hours they don’t show up in the followers list. I assume they are bots that randomly follow blogs which are later removed by WordPress.
I’ve noticed a definite uptick in followers by email all with the “outlook.com” tags. At least 50 in the last 6 weeks. Another question I have is why do people follow a blog but then never like a post. I mean NEVER. Not once. It doesn’t make sense to follow unless they’re looking strictly for follow backs.
I’ve noticed this too – it started about a month or so ago now. Lots of followers with outlook.com emails. I ignored it initially, but now it’s concerning me as these new followers never view, like or comment on a post. It makes me wonder what they’re up to.
These outlook followers have to be phishing for info. If you interact with these particular email addresses, I’d advise caution.
I would advise against interacting with them. For now I recommend disabling email notifications of new followers, or setting up a filter as others have recommended.
As a SaaS company, and in light of GDPR, I’d appreciate a bit more confidence in my investment into WordPress… I assumed there was some bot spamming going on — for months — up until I decided to do a search.. The direction I’ve read from the WordPress “staff” actually made me substantially MORE skeptical.
At some point the answer(s) are representative of the bigger problem here. I came on this site looking for an answer from WP, but am leaving it with even more questions.
First and final question: Is the problem stemming from technology, security, customer relation OR the internal hiring process itself?
^^I look forward to that answer even more-so than the one to EVERYBODY’s illegitimate followers!
Have an AMAZING holiday weekend, all!
I came here to ask about new steady stream of new followers…
ALL of these “followers” have Outlook.com addresses.
After a few weeks I figured it was not legit and have simply ignored it but wanted to chime in to add to this tread.
all my best,
The “answer” we’re getting, “don’t worry, be happy, we’re deleting them as soon as they come in but sorry you get the new follower notification anyway” is not a solution. Shutting off notification or filtering all outlook.com-containing notices is not a solution, either. It’s being harassed by the spammers into giving up notifications.
How many people are getting sucked into something worse than mere spammy follow notifications by interacting with them? There are a lot of unwitting wits around.
We need bot-proof double-confirmation for new follows. Hindsight says it should have been in place long before this. (Where’s the EU when you need them? LOL.)
So let foresight take it a step farther: we also should have the right to turn on and off “allow new followers.”
Not only for bot/hack/harassment-resistance, but to let an admin take time off, for those who look at new followers before deciding whether to keep them on.
Since I can delete a new follower for whatever reason suits me, why not also let me choose when not to allow them in the first place?
Let me block follower names, email addresses, domain names, key words & phrases, etc. as we can do with comment spam.
I understand the WordPress standard response to this: it’s all about followership. But things have evolved; it’s not just blogging. It’s an online dwelling, a space to be managed by the occupant.
Anybody know Microsoft’s take on this swarming of outlook.com addresses?
… or, rather than turn on or off allow new followers, allow moderating new follows on/off.
These are good points. I hope they are heard.
@dk56trail, you’re spot on. I’m hoping that something is either done or investigated further, though I’m doubtful. I would also like to know if Microsoft has had any word on the situation.
This all makes sense but the email followers do not show up on wordpress, there is no increase in number of email followers. In this case, I only receive an email and yes the emails seemed to have recently taken on slightly more plausible forms.
With so many coming through to so many users there must be specific bots just to do this job! Someone is designing these bots or are they already able to design themselves. Pretty weird, at least there is no imminent danger! Good to read comments.
I’ve also been getting new weird Outlook followers of late, just about every other day. And I haven’t posted anything in ages. Thus far, I see no attempt to hack or spam from any of them. Soooo… what are they for?
I hope there’s not some big new attack coming from them all at once at some point in the future. Is this a possibility?
We are fully aware of the spam follower issue from outlook.com addresses that is affecting many of our users and I want to thank you for reporting it here.
We are steadily removing those spammers from your sites, so you don’t have to do it yourselves.
Also, I want to reassure you that there is no danger for your sites, your content, or your accounts.
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