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fake email subscribers

  1. I don't see anything out of the ordinary, just a nice jump in stats. Maybe someone emailed a post to their friends, or your Google rank jumped up a bit.

  2. @macmanx

    I'll take your word for it... Cheers!

  3. You're welcome!

  4. @cinema29 - how about you change your Tag Line from "Just another WordPress blog?" to something about movies - has a bit more class and can't hurt.

  5. lesliebisme123
    Member

    There's definitely something bad going on here. I just don't buy it, these blogs aren't real, and the spike in subscribers is not legit. Just because it takes real people to make the fake accounts vs. spam bots, doesn't mean it's just an innocent "healthy spike in followers."

    My theory is that there is some sort of scam going on where people are spending their time making up fake accounts and "following" random blogs to inflate subscriber stats and render them worthless. They're probably being paid to do it. Why? I don't exactly know. But I bet stranger things have happened in this digital world. Maybe they'd like to drag down the integrity of the stats system on WordPress so people will take their blogs elsewhere?

    I'm super suspicious of this right now... just sayin.

  6. @macmanx insists that isn't the case. So where are all these new subscribers coming from? What has made our blogs so noticeable to other WordPress users in the last 2 weeks that wasn't the case before? I'm averaging about 20 new subscribers a day, as opposed to a few a day before, and probably 90% of them have inactive blogs with the generic "hello world" post.

  7. Subscription requests need to be confirmed via email, which means they are made by real people. There's really nothing more to say on the issue.

    Well, I've asked a made a number of specific comments and questions that remain unaddressed, but to recap concisely:
    1) New "followers" have accumulated for the past few weeks at the rate of 6-10 per day (vs. one per week or so before);
    2) The majority of the new "followers" have new blogs with strange names and no content;
    3) My comments left at "empty" blogs thanking them for their subscription and asking for confirmation or if they really are interested in beetles are never answered or, if moderated, even released from moderation, while similar comments left at "real" blogs almost always elicit a quick reply;
    4) One "borderline" looking blog (Arabic language, some content but not any recent posts) responded saying that they did NOT ever visit or subscribe to my blog, and clicking on their name in their blog linked to a long-deleted Wikipedia page.

    With all due respect, I believe these observations and questions merit a response, yet to this point they have been repeatedly brushed aside with the above stock response. It's starting to remind me of the conversation with the physicist who insists that, according to the law of physics, bumble bees cannot fly, and the fact that they do fly does nothing to sway the physicist's position. (I'm an entomologist, so please excuse the ento-metaphor). Of course I want followers, but fake followers resulting from some kind of scheme are as empty as buying page hits, and right now this feels very, very fake.

  8. In the last 2 weeks or so I've gone from 45 subscribers to nearly 280. It took almost two years to gather 45. Say what you will, WordPress, but I still find this highly suspicious. Only about a handful of my new "subscribers" seem to have legitimate blogs. Like a few others here, I'm not buyin' it.

  9. I know this is probably spitting in the wind, but I've had yet another "follower" respond to my query about whether they actually subscribed to my blog saying they have not visited my blog and haven't, in fact, clicked on "Follow" for any blogs since moving their blog to WordPress late last year. My stats page clearly identifies them as having recently subscribed to my blog.

    Say what you want @macmanx (or won't say, as you've so far declined to address any of the very specific counterpoints I have raised), but somebody has figured out a way to hack the subsriber system and is using it for some inappropriate purpose. Your contention that subscriptions are real because they must be confirmed by email is just not true.

  10. confidecoaching
    Member

    There's definitely something fishy happening. I would love for one of the engineers to say they are looking into it rather than "nothing to see here, move along..."

    Could it be a type of virus?

    :P

  11. I have had some people subscribe to my blog. In my case I now know who they are, and if I had a choice, I would block them from subscribing. Why am I not allowed to do that? Why are people I don't want to subscribe allowed to and I have no way of removing them?

  12. @lostlifefound
    No we cannot block or delete subscribers from public blogs. However, please read this about public blogs that become private blogs > Blog Privacy and Subscribers > http://wpcommaven.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/blog-privacy-and-subscribers/

    Note that you have complete control comment moderation. http://en.support.wordpress.com/settings/discussion-settings/#comment-moderation If your blog is public others can, of course, read it. They can submit comments but you can Moderate all comments and choose which ones to approve or not.

    For trolls, you can “blacklist” them at Settings > Discussion toward the bottom of that page. Enter their email address, their username, and if they included it, their website. That will automatically send them to moderation so that their comments do not appear on the blog. Do note though that if they are determined, they can use a different email address or username to get around that. Also, do not put their IP address in the blacklist. IP addresses are no longer unique, and you might end up blocking legitimate visitors. Also, all they would have to do is go to a wi-fi hot spot, or connect via a different ISP and they could get around that.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/settings/discussion-settings/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/settings/discussion-settings/#comment-blacklist

    One other thing I would suggest is to set your blog so that first time commenters are held in moderation till approved, then from that point forward they will not need approval. Settings > Discussion. The next step on that of course is to set it so that all comments are held in moderation until approved. That way you are in control, and they might just get tired and go elsewhere after a while.

  13. For the record, I continue to gain 15-20 new subscribers a day. Since I first started this thread, I've gain somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 subscribers without seeing much of an increase in traffic.

    As I much as I continuously want to believe @macmanx, I still think something is up. Someone is working the WordPress system.

  14. theskinnystiletto
    Member

    Yes this happened to me too! I went from like 22 (having it for nearly a year) to 61 in one day... Something's weird.

  15. photochopeando
    Member

    Definitively something is happening! 3 days ago my followers went from 130 to 420!

  16. @macmanx

    My blog is blacked out today, and I've had 5 people subscribe to it. How is that even possible? Will you guys PLEASE realize you have a problem and do something to fix it instead of continuously telling us there's nothing to see here. This is beyond ridiculous.

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