WordPress Deactivates Blogs En Masse, This Blog Was A Casualty, & The QUICK Resolution By WP Support
A little after noon today my friend Alexander called me to tell me he couldn’t access my blog. At first I didn’t understand what he meant because (a) I didn’t believe it and (b) I really needed that coffee I was in the midst of making for a early afternoon boost so I had to have him repeat himself. Once I fully grasped his meaning my blood ran cold. I ran to my computer and opened up my blog. I was greeted with a page very similar to the one you see below:
That image is actually via my friend Casie Stewart‘s Posterous here I don’t know why I didn’t screen shot it but there you go. I next opened up my blog’s dashboard and saw this (keep going below for full text):
This blog has been deactivated because we believe it does not comply with the WordPress.com Terms of Service or advertising policy.
If your blog is designed to promote affiliate links, get rich quick programs, banner ads, consists solely or mostly of duplicate or automatically generated material, or is part of a search engine marketing campaign, WordPress.com is not the place for you. Please use the Export feature to move your content to a more appropriate hosting service.
Occasionally we make mistakes. If you believe we have misclassified your blog, please click here to contact us as soon as possible so we can fix the problem.
Immediately I click the “click here to contact us as soon as possible” link and it took me to the Error Reporting Page you see below.
I quickly filled in the light blue-green box and explained that my blog was:
- NOT designed to promote affiliate links
- NOT designed to promote get rich quick programs
- NOT designed to promote banner ads
- DOES NOT consist solely or mostly of duplicate or automatically generated material
- IS NOT part of a search engine marketing campaign
One of my theories for what had happened included my Season 4 Being Erica quotes post from yesterday because as I already had 3 other ones it might seem “duplicat-ey.” (Yes, I made up a word, I was stressed out at the time and only had 140 characters to work with!)
Another theory I had, although I didn’t mention this to anyone at the time, was that maybe it was because I was helping sell tickets for #ATorontoXmas which is happening on Friday at the Steam Whistle Brewery. I dismissed that one because it was for charity and WordPress.com wouldn’t ban me for helping charity…would they?
I first noticed the issue at 12:29 PM when according to my phone logs, Alexander called me. My first tweet about it, was at 12:36 PM once I had confirmed the issue and then I reported back to people that I had emailed WordPress about the issue with the Error Report page seen above at 12:39 PM.
Amazingly, within an hour at 1:34 PM I got the email you see below from Anthony at WordPress.com. As you can see below, it was a misunderstanding and the system should not have done that.
I then began to wonder what had caused WordPress.com to think I had violated the Terms of Service and/or advertising policy anyway? I wrote Anthony at WordPress.com a reply email and asked him. He again replied within record time getting back to me at 2:04 PM with this message (I highlighted exactly what he thinks caused it).
Seems the article I had written about the Textuality movie premiere in mid-April had triggered something. There was no way in a million years I would have ever guessed that it was the cause when everything was going down (especially this blog). I also wonder why spam sites would be driving traffic to that site. My only guess would be it’s part of a DDoS attack (DDoS = distributed denial-of-service attack) to bring down the server for that movie for some reason but I have no idea why anyone would try to do that.
All I can say is thank you to my friend Alexander, to everyone on Twitter for the massive amounts of support, and to the folks at WordPress for the amazingly quick response time to this. Truly amazing customer service especially for a free service! My only suggestion to them would be to send out an email alert that, blogs had been taken down so people like me who were just caught in the crossfire of spam filters know to respond and get this kind of thing dealt with. Who knows when I would have looked at my blog if not for Alexander’s call.
This episode also brought to the forefront the fact that I am forever under WordPress.com’s mercy while I leave this blog hosted on WordPress.com. I am almost at the end of the 2011 Post-A-Day Challenge (although mine is going until January 4, 2012 to make it the full year) and I think it is high time I got more functionality out of this blog and maybe moved on from WordPress.com so this kind of thing won’t happen to me again. Some people on Twitter gave me some advice for hosting options and domain name registration options but I would also love to hear from you, my readers, any suggestions you may have in this regard. Let me know in the usual spaces but as usual, I prefer in the comments below.
Thanks and have a great rest of the evening!