In Remembrance: Opinionated Man

Opinionated Man a.k.a Jason Cushman recently had the unfortunate experience of being told by WordPress that “mass following” – which literally can include simply following too many people back – is now a WordPress crime under the “spam” category.    We all hate spam, but this is a curious redefinition and it changes how the game is played right in the middle of it.

It’s kind of like playing a game with an older brother that suddenly tells you about a new rule in the game that you didn’t know about, but it benefits him alot.  You check out the rulebook and its apparently there.

It grabs your attention doesn’t it?

 
Except in this case, there are A LOT of rules.  Often these Terms Of Service agreements and the subsequent rules that follow are substantial.  It’s often hard to realize you’ve broken a rule, simply because there are so many of them.  It allows WordPress to play a kind of “Gotcha!” game.   This was a moderator’s official explanation:

The follow feature was intended to help you read blogs that you enjoy, not as a means of promotion. Our automated systems may interfere with behavior that looks more like a spam bot than a human.

I find this explanation puzzling, considering that following someone is a means of promotion. It’s not exactly the same thing as “sharing” a post and/or blog would be via social media and other means, but it is promotional.

I suppose there is only so much a blogger can take, and Cushman has decided that his number is up.  Harsh Reality will now be going “Private“. I’m not exactly sure what that means and the exact impact of it, but being the genius that I’m not, even I know it’s not good.

HarsH ReaLiTy will go “private” next week. I will keep the domain since it is worth money and will decide what to do with the site later. I appreciate all the support, but please just let it go. No reason for other sites to get flagged or banned because of my little blog. Take care WP and I have enjoyed the past two years.

If you have articles you have shared on this website please copy and grab them before the 7 days is up. Thanks.

Jason C. Cushman

 

To myself, this is a dastardly and unexpected blow.  One of the primary reasons I continued to blog and started to enjoy it was encountering Harsh Reality.

I can still recall the first time I stumbled on his site and read the header and thought to myself, “Someone who wants to offend everyone at least once!”   In today’s day and age of internet activists who exist in their own bubbles, it’s alot easier to offend people than you would think, but can also be alot more costly, especially if the ensuing twitter lynch mobs have their way.  It’s why I appreciated Jason’s balls – (That is going to look interesting out of context.) – a lot more then most might.   Hopefully, OM stick’s around, but perhaps… just perhaps, he needs a bit of a break.

Here’s to Jason:

Your thoughts and insight are appreciated.

4 Replies to “In Remembrance: Opinionated Man”

  1. Well put. I’m still shocked by this, I get that certain activity might flag up a blog to Word Press but why some human can’t then check it out, work out it’s legit, has a lot of genuinine engagmeent and followers and leave it alone I don’t know. Think same thing has happened to Storytime with John too. Not cool Word Press, not cool!

    1. It’s interesting how they are avoiding actual human review of the “flagged” and suspected spam.

      I’ve switched my hosting to GoDaddy, so I’m confident that they couldn’t actually do the same thing to me or others on a different host provider.

      It’s an idea I actually emailed to OM. If they don’t own your hosting site, they can’t suspend it can they?

      Note I’m very internet illiterate when it comes to hosting, domains, ect so I could be entirely wrong.

    1. Yea, I was a bit worried for a while. He’s still keeping at it though.

      It did highlight an issue with WP policy on “Following” which may be worth bringing up in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *