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Preventing "Spammers" from being notified of new Posts

  1. fionamcquarrie

    I notice that WordPress has now added a "Trophy Case" section to its Stats page. I'm not sure why I should be proud of "the achievements [I've] earned so far" when the majority of the 500+ followers are the spam followers that WordPress won't let me moderate or delete.

    IMHO I would sooner see WordPress add a function to manage followers than to spend its time developing and publicizing meaningless awards.

  2. If you mean this then it's not on the Stats page and it's not new.!/trophy-case

  3. My wife and I also just noticed the Trophy case today, don't remember seeing it before so if it isn't new then it must have been broken before...

    Is it also not a little coincidental that on the day the Trophy case appears to me for the first time that my topic search is now broken (raised under a different post here) - I'll wager an update has been done that has fixed one thing and broken another.

    I also agree with fionamcquarrie, what is the point of showing stats that are just false? WP still haven't fixed the page stats issue that I raised months ago which falsifies page hits. On some days the WP page hits shows almost double what statcounter shows simply because WP are counting image clicks as page hits. If somebody scrolls through one of my galleries I get an instant 100 hits despite them visiting just one page.

    WP still haven't put any measures in place to prevent spammers from following or liking our blogs and it is now getting very annoying. This last week I've 'gained' three followers who are merely trying to promote their own 'how to make a million' type blogs or religious preaching or whatever. They clearly have zero interest in or haven't even read my posts as in some cases their visit length is less than 10 seconds to 'like' a blog post of a thousand words!

    Why hasn't WP introduced functionality to allow us to require approval of blog followers? Simple enough. As simple as putting in place an approval process to prevent re-blogging.

    It seems to me that WP are happy to allow these problems to continue as they create false statistics that WP can use to earn ad revenue. I've read the WP responses to this spamming issue and quite frankly don't believe a word of it. It is quite clear what the motives of the spammer followers are - they follow lots of blogs and they know that some people have community widgets enabled which show blog followers as icons which a percentage of visitors will click through thus earning advertising revenue for the spammer. They also know that WP 'helpfully' put suggested blogs up on the reader based on followed or liked by people you follow etc, etc so the more these spammers like and follow blogs the more revenue they earn.

    Finally if WP actually read some of the spammers blogs they would find as I did that in some cases they even document their intentions to make money from blog scraping (WP call it re-blogging) , spamming (WP call it following) etc and yet WP still claim they don't understand their motives????????

  4. My wife and I also just noticed the Trophy case today, don't remember seeing it before so if it isn't new then it must have been broken before...

    It's not new and it hasn't been broken. I can say that for sure as I have been answering questions here for over 7 years and that's longer than most support Staff have even been on Staff.

  5. Why hasn't WP introduced functionality to allow us to require approval of blog followers? Simple enough. As simple as putting in place an approval process to prevent re-blogging.

    Reality check
    1. Anyone with access to the internet can read and/or subscribe to the RSS feed on any public website. The only way to prevent that is to change the blog visibility setting to private.

    2. Removing the reblog button would achieve nothing as anyone can copy and paste content and many who do leave out the original attribution link. Also note that anyone can use the RSS feed to get a copy of the posts as well.

    3. I may seem reasonable to request that Staff provide us with the ability to delete certain followers and permanently block IPs, but IP addresses have not been unique for over a decade. ISP’s place hundreds of us in the same IP block to save money. So that means IP blocking can result in blocking legitimate potential readers and even existing followers. That’s not to mention that getting a new IP address and/or using a router is easily done.

    4. Disabling the follow blog button wouldn't work either as the follow link on the navigation bar is under the control of the logged in visitor, not the owner of the blog being visited.

  6. Timethief,

    It is not me that needs a reality check.

    What has RSS feeds got to do with this subject? we are talking about blog followers on WP itself. They have blogs that they can earn revenue from. The more hits they get the more revenue. If they spam 1000 people it is reasonable to expect that most people will want to check out a follower and in doing so they generate hits on the spammers blog.

    Re-blogging might only take the first chunk of a post but in reality most people put the most pertinent paragraph/photo at the top of their posts so that will get 'stolen' AND the re-bloggers entry appears higher up the reader than the creator of the original content thus has more chance of getting page hits and potential revenue (either directly from WP ads although unlikely or from 3rd party earnings from hits on their 'sales speel')

    IP address is irrelevent here. It is a very simple bit of code required to add in an approval process to re-blogging and following. If somebody wants to follow a blog or re-blog a post they would have to request an approval just as their first comment requires moderation/approval. It could be made switchable in the dashboard settings so it doesn't have to be enabled for people that are happy with re-blogging or spammers. It would be based on WP user or email address NOT IP address. Sure the spammers or re-bloggers could take out lots of emails or WP userID's but if they couldn't get approval to re-blog or follow anything then life would be a little harder.

    Yes, I agree that copyright thieves can cut and paste but why make it easy for them? WP should be trying its best to protect the original content of blogs within the bounds of its abilities. We all accept that WP can't stop criminals entirely but it is about making life harder for them.

    Instead of spending time developing nonsensical trophy cases to show how many false hits or false followers a blog has, the developers could have written the code required to force approval of re-blog and follow requests.

    I'm sure you and the rest of the team are very capable web developers so I fail to understand why you have such difficulty in understanding and rectifying these issues. I can only deduce that it is not from lack of ability but from lack of incentive.

    What nobody has mentioned so far is that these spammers are generating hits on lots of blogs and those hits earn WP money. So it is almost in WP's interest to support their activity. The inconvenience caused to a percentage of WP's users seems less important.

    At the end of the day, bloggers like myself can be ignored as I am one of millions. I suspect, only my opinion mind, that WP likes to see grossly exagerated stats so it can go to negotiations with advertising prospects or investors with a far more impressive looking portfolio than it actually is. Lets face it, telling somebody you have 1 million visitors is going to help broker a better deal than telling them you get 100 real visits and 999,900 spams ;-)

  7. Those comments might be better made to staff rather than volunteers in the forum. Staff can be reached at the email address Support at WordPress dot Com.

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