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  1. WordPress.com writes on its Features page....

    "Advertising
    To support the service we may occasionally show ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. You can remove ads from your blog for a low yearly fee. We also have an option for high traffic blogs to show their own ads."

    Over 90% of my posts now have ads attached to them. In addition, one of my blog friends/followers says he has picked up a bug/virus from one of the linked sites. Is WordPress using .com and other sites as advertising campaigns?

    The blog I need help with is hackskeptic.com.

  2. We can't give you any insight without a link to your blog, starting with http.

  3. http://hackskeptic.com

    Are you from the WordPress support team raincoaster?

  4. No, most of the forum questions are answered by volunteers. It's uncommon for staff to chime in. The best way to contact staff is via your dashboard Help button Monday to Friday.

    The disclaimer on your site is technically incorrect: when you agreed to the ToS, you agreed to advertisements on your site. If you or your readers have seen inappropriate or dangerous ads, then report those to staff. They are constantly revamping the ad program here.

  5. It's not exactly a disclaimer, more a suggestion to my readers. I will however, edit the "against my wishes" line.

    I will contact staff on Monday with reference to both security of ads and frequency. Thanks for your comments.

  6. WordPress.com has been running advertising on our free hosted blogs since 2006. Many bloggers do not know this because despite the fact they ticked the box required to get a free blog, they did not read the ToS. Many also do not read features page, or advertising entry in the support documents after registering their username and blog(s). Also note that as the ads do not display to us when we are logged in, and as many use browsers with ad blockers when logged out, they may not realize they are there at all. The only way to get rid of all advertising on our free hosted WordPress.com blogs is to purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade.

    If you feel an ad is inappropriate please take a screenshot of it and send it to Staff by emailing support@wordpress.com or upload it into your Media Library and contact Staff and let them know it's there for them to view.

  7. timethief,

    I know you're doing an honest and well meant service to the many WordPress members. You and other volunteers consistently state that all the information concerning advertising was in the Terms Of Service when the individual member signed up, and that they may not have read it.

    Well I do remember reading it (vaguely), and didn't recall mention of advertising on an individual's site at that time. Indeed I have managed to find a copy of the Terms Of Service when I signed to WordPress (May 2010) and there is no mention of advertising in this document.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100511215240/http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

    Furthermore:
    "9 - Changes.
    Automattic reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of this Agreement. It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the Website following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. Automattic may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the Website (including, the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement."

    This basically means that WordPress can do whatever they like and if we carry on posting, we accept their arrangements.

    I wonder how many people periodically check for changes in this document?

  8. I have been here a bit over 2 years and I did read the TOS - several times in fact and do remember the part about the ads -

    PS - the change things is standard issue - read your bank TOS it's in there as well as any credit cards you have -

  9. Auxclass,

    Read the link I posted. I assure you, it does not mention Advertising.

    I work for a Financial Institution and if we change Terms and Conditions to members then we have to inform them individually. Do we receive emails when WordPress change their ToS ?

  10. Ads have been on sites here since 2006, and that fact has always been on the Features Page and in the support document on Advertising for as long as I can remember. The blurb on ads in the ToS was not there when I signed up back in 2007 and appeared sometime later. Not sure when.

    WordPress.COM is not a financial institution. Financial Institutions are under different regulations and rules than general companies. Most types of businesses are not required to individually notify members or users of changes to the ToS. The user/member is expected to review the ToS regularly (how many of us do?) to stay aware of changes.

  11. thesacredpath,

    Thanks for your considered view.

    From the advertising document

    "Note: To support the service (and keep free features free), we sometimes run advertisements. We try hard to only run them in limited places. If you would like to completely eliminate ads from appearing on your blog, we offer the No-Ads Upgrade".

    What constitutes "limited places"? Recently it has been almost every post I have created.

    From the Features Page

    To support the service we may occasionally show ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. You can remove ads from your blog for a low yearly fee. We also have an option for high traffic blogs to show their own ads."

    Just check my site....http://hackskeptic.com

    Luckily for my readers nearly every one is either the 10,000th lucky visitor and needs to claim their prize, or has won an ipad.

    I realise that WordPress is not an FI, but the previous contributor mentioned that changes in T&C's is a standard issue, similar to the wording of a bank statement or credit card issue.

    Basically, if WordPress changed their ToS and added that anyone who posted an article would be invoiced $100 then in theory there is absolutely nothing the user can do but pay because by submitting their work they are agreeing to the new ToS.

    For some reason I don't feel comfortable about posting anymore.

  12. Well, changes to terms of service can be expected with any company, but I assure you that the changes will never be unreasonable to the extent that we would suddenly retroactively charge everyone money. That's just crazy and something that I wouldn't be a part of.

    As for limited places, we're just running them under single posts now, as opposed to also running them in the sidebar, on the front page, in pop-ups, etc. I doubt we'll ever go beyond displaying them on just the single post views, though members of our Ad Control program have the option to display ads on their front page.

  13. Which I do, and should change. It isn't worth the (quite pathetic) money.

  14. Thanks for your reply macmanx. I appreciate your input.

    Frankly, the whole episode has left a bad taste for me and I will be pursuing a new web host for my site. I understand that WordPress is a commercial operation with expenses and salaries, but blogging is my hobby and passion, not content material to host marketing and sales activities. That said, I would have no problem displaying commercial advertisements if I had some form of broad choice in terms of product/relevance/style and security.

    Sadly my WordPress experience has been tainted by my friend's computer bug/virus which he claims came from an ad link on my site.

    I don't wish to be associated with the cheap "malware" looking ads that appear at the bottom of almost every post.

    I also feel uneasy about the changes of ToS. These can be re-issued at any time and unless I constantly check, by posting content on my site I am accepting these terms.

    Although I have paid for various add ons in the past my blog is still insignificant in the huge world of WordPress and I'm sure the company will go from strength to strength.

    I wish you well.
    Geoff

  15. Take a look at the Ad Control program then; if nothing else, it significantly decreases the ads on your posts.

  16. I was under the impression that you had to have 25,000+ page views per month. I've just read the page and I'm unsure if I qualify. I'm certainly not a V.I.P.

  17. Yes that's what the section for Ad-Control says:

    We have a feature called Ad Control that lets WordPress.com bloggers with a lot of traffic (generally 25,000 pageviews/month or more) and appropriate content turn on AdSense and Skimlinks for their blog and split the resulting revenues 50/50 with us. If you’d like to apply to try Ad Control, please use the form below to send us a message. http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

    This is what VIP hosting says.

  18. Exactly Timethief, I don't qualify.

    Thanks for all the input from the volunteers and Macmanx, but I really feel the subjects have been exhausted. I have no axe to grind with anyone associated with WordPress but I think the time has come to start afresh with another service provider.

    Good luck and happy blogging

    Geoff

  19. Best wishes Geoff.

  20. And to you too Timethief.

    I commend your patience and resolution to the cause.You surely must be getting tired of continually fielding questions about unwanted/innapropriate advertising? On review it seems like about 30% of the questions, queries and complaints relate to this subject in one form or another (I've checked the forums).

    One day "Adgate" will be over, and you will be able to blog in peace.

    :o)

  21. With as messed up as the ad stuff has been over the past couple months (and the new definition of "occasional," I'm wondering if we might need to Occupy WordPress?

  22. We've been waiting five or six years so far...

  23. I suggested taking a rubber hose to the ad department and maybe putting a head on a pike pole but @macmanx was not to thrilled with that suggestion. There does seem to be more problems with the ads than a few months ago.

  24. I've heard hosting compared to housing:

    - if its free, you're a guest and your host makes all the rules
    - if you pay to use someone else's site, like WordPress.com or LimkedIn premium you're a tenant and have a few more rights than a guest
    - If it's your site your a homeowner and need only worry about the government (or your service provider)

    My wife and I have our own domain for email, and have moved it from one hosting company to another as needed. This was in reaction to the collapse of @home.com and others, where we and millions of other email users lost their accounts.

    Your own domain is a bit like a Winnebago, you own it and can park it somewhere else if you need to.

  25. Those are good metaphors.

  26. Fortunately Happiness Engineer Macmanx understands the problems we're all facing on WordPress right now regarding ads.

    "This is your monthly reminder that putting ads on your blog will not increase your traffic. If anything, it will drive some viewers away".

    http://twitter.com/#!/MacManXcom/status/140218838632509440

    Too right!

    Not only that, but in addition I wonder how many bloggers it will drive away?

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