Great article! I learned some very helpful things, and was reminded of other helpful things I’ve learned from you! Thanks so much! Notesmantra
I have been having this for the last few weeks – about 5/6 new followers per week. Interestingly all but one have been removed from my email followers list – not sure if that’s the follower or wordpress…
We are having the same odd “outlook email followers” (which can’t be removed as if you go to the main page naming “followers” it shows none?).
This is strange and affects stats, what can one do if they cant “see” these followers -BUT have the email addresses?
I, too, have had several suspicious outlook.com followers in the last two months. Is WordPress addressing this issue? What should we, as wordpress bloggers, be aware of?
Has this issue been resolved somewhere else? I am still getting daily emails notifying me of new email followers with weird outlook.com addresses, yet when I go to email followers they are not listed there. What is going on and why? and how can I stop it?
I am having the same issue. They are not in my followers list either. However I also noticed a jump in spam comments that are all ‘outlook.com’ email addresses, and all from one single random post. I am going to delete that post and see if it stops.
The same thing has happened to me and my husband, all outlook email addresses. At first, I thought they were genuine followers but now every new follower is an outlook address. It’s only happened on the blog that I write a post or two for every month.
But yes, I would also like to know whether this is truly something to worry about or not. I see this thread is from January, and now in April, it’s still happening.
I too have recently had a number of email followers from weird outlook addresses, but they don’t show up on on my followers list.
Same here. I get 2-3 emails a day saying I have a new follower @outlook.com but not a single new email follower is listed. Nothing to remove. Has anyone gotten any response from WordPress as to whether this is a security issue?
A wordpress admin participated in this conversation a few months ago. I don’t have time to look for her right now, but if someone has a minute to scroll back a few pages you’ll find her and maybe reply to one of her messages and see if she can give us an update. I think she was the last one to post in February before this started up again.
Initially when this thread started I had the same problem and was able to remove the glut of outlook email followers. Now what is happening is that I get approximately one notification from WordPress per day indicating a new follower by email (an outlook email). When I go into the area of email followers to check, they are not there, not ever. So strange. WordPress should just block that email extension.
Sorry for the long silence – it seems this thread slipped through the cracks during our forums upgrade last week.
The Outlook spam follower issue is still ongoing. At this point we are automatically removing these followers as we detect them, but blocking them completely is a bit more complicated as we don’t want to block actual followers using outlook emails as well.
I know this is annoying – many of us on staff are also getting these fake follows on our own sites – but for now the best you can do is to ignore these follows, and perhaps set up an email filter to automatically delete the email notifications about them so they don’t cause a bunch of noise in your notifications.
Thank you!! Good to know it is you guys removing them as they appear. I realize it would block real people no doubt. Can’t have that.
I’m glad I’m not the only one with this issue. It was weird getting the emails but then not seeing any additions on stats page of new email followers. I wonder what the point of it all is.
I am having the same issues with strange followers, however when I go to remove them they do not show up in my email followers. They always have an outlook email address. I would love a way that followers would have to go through an approval process.
however when I go to remove them they do not show up in my email followers.
We are automatically removing these spam followers. If you receive an email but that person isn’t listed in your followers list, it means they have already been removed.
I wonder what the point of it all is.
They’re either trying to overload WordPress.com’s email servers to try and take down the service, or they’re hoping people would email them back to thank them for following, thereby giving them new email addresses they can spam or hack. Either way, this is not a very efficient spam attack, and is annoying rather than a real threat in any way.
I would love a way that followers would have to go through an approval process.
While I understand why you feel that way, it’s not really practical. If your site is public it means any one on the internet is able to view it, and via the site’s public RSS feed people can also follow it in any RSS reader (including Google Flipboard), via blog aggregation services like Bloglovin’, or they can even build their own app and follow your site via our API if they wanted to.
You likely have many followers you don’t even know about as they subscribe directly to your site’s RSS feed rather than via WordPress.com, and adding the ability to approve followers would only add a false sense of security.
For now the only options on WordPress.com is to have your site completely public, or completely private (invitation only and completely undiscoverable otherwise). What you want is essentially something like a private Instagram, where your account is discoverable, but your posts can only be seen by people you approve. We don’t have such an option on WordPress.com at this time.
Hi I am also getting weird outlook followers on my site happyappywrites.wordpress.com
I became concerned and on a google search landed here. This is happening since a month for me. What kind of issues can this create? Should I manually delete these followers?
This seems to have randomly started on my blog as well. For about a month now, I wake up to a new outlook address following me everyday. I haven’t been writing much on the blog so it’s really random.
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