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Massive privacy leak??

  1. My blog is listed as entirely private with the exclusion of me allowing one user specifically to view it. Recently, however, it's been allowing posts to show up to anyone via RSS feed and I keep getting the weird wordpress.com as a referral and have had several page views that are neither mine nor the one person whom I allow to view my blog. What is going on here???

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

  2. Log out, clear your browser cache and cookies, then try viewing your RSS feed in your browser while logged out of wordpress (note that Chrome, if you are using it, does not have a built in feed reader, nor does Firefox). The feed URL will be like this: http://yourblogname.wordpress.com/feed/ .

    Can you see anything?

    I would ask for your site URL so I could look, but that might not be a good idea if there is an issue with viewing private sites or RSS feeds.

    Also, was there ever a time when your site was NOT private?

  3. Are you aware of this change that was made some time ago now?

    Private blogs, which can be viewed only by users chosen by the administrator, now track the page views of all of their users. Traditionally we have omitted the views attributed to a blog’s own users because stats were meant to reflect the activity of the general public. However, this meant that private blogs had no useful stats reports. This change will be especially useful for private blogs that have many users. http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/watch-your-traffic-grow-with-sparklines/

    Have you also noticed this? Settings > Privacy
    Privacy Settings
    Site Visibility
    Allow search engines to index this site.
    Ask search engines not to index this site.

    Note: Neither of these options blocks access to your site — it is up to search engines to honor your request.

    I would like my site to be private, visible only to users I choose

    Another more recent change is that RSS views and email views are now being reflected in our stats. Please read what macmanx
    Happiness Engineer had to say:

    It looks like this is a very new change. We're starting to report email subscription and feed views in your stats as referred by WordPress.com, hence the sudden jump. This feature is in its infancy, so we'll be making adjusts to it over the next several days. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/wordpresscom-as-referrer?replies=77#post-723980

  4. Hmm - I tried the feed query and I got nothing, My system clears history every day.

    "Not Found. Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help."

    Yet I am getting a lot of WP referrals.I do not have the RSS widget activated on my site (never have). And, my site does not allow search engines (again, never have activated that option). I have 3 people on email subscriptions. So the explanations so far are wearing quite thin,

    WP really needs to explain this issue. Their silence is getting really annoying. I cannot believe that we have to wait until the 29th for everyone to get back to work. No strategic planning session or training sesion or massive vacation/party is worth losing consumers. I was thinking about upgrading but I have to wonder about it now...

  5. @spinningstar
    Staff are in fact monitoring these forum threads and this one has been flagged for Staff attention.

  6. Being flagged does not mean getting acted on - I checked the reference above re sparklines. I had noticed the new feature and figured it out without having to read the explanation.

    Sparklines does not explain the spikes in activity of WP as a referrer.

    And.... one thing that would be interesting to know is how can an email to a subscriber be reflected as a referral? Ok, I post . I have 3 subscribers, so at the most, I should have 3 additional referrals. When I get an email from a WP blog, I read it and delete. I don't click through back to the blog because that is NOT LOGICAL. I've read the post already! So, I understand 3 additional "clicks". I do not understand a couple hundred additional clicks.

    BTW, I am an accountant. I have dealt with systems for a long time. I kinda relate to numbers so please explain it to me, but cut the bs. I would appreciate seeing a WP employee respond to this issue. I will go check the other threads on this issue.

  7. Would you like to install a free third party non-Javascript visitor tracking program? If so I use sitemeter and I always have. It supplies more data so I can see more clearly what's going on. If you would like to do that make sure you get the non-Javascript code that's for WordPress.com blogs.

    P.S. There's nothing to be gained by checking the other threads. I have read them all and the other Volunteers have read them. There's nothing "new" in them from Staff.

  8. Well, timethief, that's very sad to hear that the staff is not responding to these issues on a timely basis. You seem to be the only one responding and you have limited info since the staff is not even telling you what's going on.

    So, why do you continue doing this?

    This is not logical - WP offers a free service as a marketing tool, hoping that we will eventually buy their services. And they seem to abuse their volunteer staff by loading something up and then skipping town. Hmm...I know, it is not logical. You work these boards since you like to do it. I volunteer as a treasurer for small organizations for the same reason. We both probably knock our heads against the wall.

    take care & thanks.

  9. Normally when staff go walkabout for one of their coding blitzes, there is a presence in the forums and they are looking at the threads that we tag for their attention, but they do seem to be somewhat awol this time around.

  10. For more info, see http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/wordpresscom-as-referrer/page/4?replies=77#post-726951

    Also, keep in mind that your views are also tracked if your blog is private.

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