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"Find your friends" feature.

  1. Does this new "find your friends" feature mean that anybody on wordpress who happened to have my email address can now find my blog?
    If so, how do I switch it off?
    I don't want to be found and I'm sure there are many other people who enjoyed their blogging without informing their whole address book they've got a blog at all.

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

  2. As far as I know you can't switch it off. However, if you don't want your blog to be found, you should have a private blog as anyone can find a blog otherwise.

  3. @usyaka
    I have yet to have the time to locate thie "find your friends" feature. Exactly where is it found please?

  4. @timethief, it is on the menu from the right end of the admin bar.

    ...
    Edit my profile
    Find my friends
    Manage my blogs
    ...

  5. Haven't had time to check it out.

  6. Not sure why they're not calling WordPress "FaceBook Blogs" yet... but, create an email address that has nothing to do with your real name, change it for the email address you currently use.

    Something like [email redacted]

  7. Something like: usyaka [AT] whatever.ca

  8. @absurdoldbird Seriously?
    What are the chances that a blog gets discovered accidentally by an unwanted person and what are the chances the author of the blog gets recognized by this unwanted person? What are the chances the blog is discovered by an unwanted person if the unwanted person was given all the tools to discover the blog?

    I'm LUCKY not to be blogging about personal matters, but I know bloggers who are working through their traumatic experiences by blogging, and the wordpress team has just given an access to these blogs to all abusers and stalkers who happen to know these bloggers' email addresses.

    They again brought changes unexpectedly and lots of bloggers are now exposed without even knowing about it and without having time to take any precautions.

    What was the wordpress team thinking about is beyond my imagination, but it's unlikely that they were thinking about bloggers.

    @thesacredpath I wouldn't advise you to check out the email feature, because you'd have to give them your email password and there's no prediction to what they'd do having all your contacts' email addresses.

    @feartheseeds
    "Not sure why they're not calling WordPress "FaceBook Blogs" yet" - Exactly.

    Thank you for the idea! I'll pass it further to people whose safety has now been compromised.

    As for me - I've had enough. I'll be moving my blog.

  9. I'm one of those people who blogs anonymously about stuff I'd rather people didn't bring up with my mother in line at the post office. I'm also someone who used to report on Internet privacy issues. I'm not sure moving away from WordPress would make things better or worse for you. But, whatever you do, I think if you change up the email address you've got associated with your blog to something that has nothing to do with the 'real you' you'll be fine if you stay -- it's actually excellent advice for anyone.

    As for WordPress, they introduce stuff like this all the time. You get used to it. The thing is, so do all the other blogging platforms. WordPress has the best volunteer support forum, and the coolest features. And, for most of the stuff they do that pisses people off, there's usually a work-around.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck. You've got a cool blog.

  10. @feartheseeds Thank you!

    That was clever of you to stay anonymous, I'm truly happy for you!

    The changes that happen here are unpredictable and uncontrollable, with the last change being simply outrageous. For me, that's already a matter of principle to move my blog.

  11. I don't like way most of the app interfaces allow the app (in this case WP) to sent tweets on your behalf and follow new people. Any that require that, I don't let connect.

    I don't blog annonomously but I do have a special blog email address.

  12. First off, the 'find friends' area needs you to log in to your facebook, twitter or Google accounts. They ask you to give permission for them to use your WordPress account and this is exactly the same process as when someone logs in via twitter or Facebook to post a comment to ones blog. (Which personally I hate).

    Here's a previous query about the Find Friends feature, and the response to it (not from me).

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/find-friends-eek?replies=3

    You should know that this is the way the internet is going, not just on WordPress.com. All sorts of services are linking up with each other and it's difficult to protect ones privacy.

    As for keeping your blog's contents out of the possibility of public searches, if you've got anything that is personally identifying, from your cat's real name to photos of where you live, to a casual mention of something someone else can do a search on and find through a search engine, yes, your blog can be found. Anyone determined will find you - eventually.

    Also bear in mind that while you've the option on your blog of not allowing google and other 'reputable' search engines to put your stuff out there, it won't stop disreputable ones. Oh - and these forums and their contents are open to the public and their contents can be found.

    You should also know, if you want to protect your email address that if you use the comment form it shows the email address you've associated with your blog, to any blogger who sees the original comment (though the email address is not published in the blog itself). So if you get a stalker making a blog, then that's that.

    Do change your email address to something non-recognisable, if you can. But bear in mind that then all your notifications and your subscriptions will go to that instead, so if it's one you don't usually use, you'll be missing a lot.

    I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do it, but I'm personally looking at moving to self-hosted where I won't have as many of these problems. Things can be overriden with plugins and while WordPress make the software for the blog system I want to use, they don't choose everything I want - and don't want - on my blog.

    Have a look at this:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

    And bear in mind that WordPress.com - and Blogger and all the other free blog hosts are quite capable of - and do - change anything at the drop of a hat. WordPress.com in particular is always changing things. They even have it in their own 'about' page, which most people don't seem to notice before signing up or maybe they hope it doesn't mean what it looks like it means:

    http://en.wordpress.com/about/#!/fresh/

    and this is the sentence to look for and believe:

    "WordPress.com is under very active development, and we roll out updates almost every day."

  13. @absurdoldbird The new feature made it easier for abusers and stalkers to find their victims. Full stop.

    I'll be moving to a self-hosted blog.

  14. ...this isn't quite "Google Buzz" (remember that?), where email connections were made automatically, but if I give WordPress access to my Gmail / Facebook account there might be a few people in there using their real email addresses to run blogs they'd prefer be private. Or by invitation only. Weirder things have happened.

    If you decide to go self-hosted, I'd suggest using one of the themes from wordpress.org.

  15. @feartheseeds
    Thank you!
    Unfortunately, wordpress.org doesn't provide the security and comfort that I need.

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