Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Well, that was certainly interesting.
In case you missed it, What The Hell was suspended for three days. Apparently, something I posted on Saturday triggered some kind of automatic anti-spam system, which immediately shut me down.
The only problem was there was no communication from WordPress. At all. Only their malignantly benign assurances that I could explain myself in the handy “suspended blog” form, which, of course, I did. Several times. Never heard a peep from WP either, until last night at 9:30, when “Community Guardian,” Bryan, informed me that they had reviewed my case and reinstated the blog.
I felt like DNA analysis had proved my innocence.
Naturally, I’m heaving a sigh of relief that What The Hell is back in business. The truth is, I’ve grown quite attached to the shaggy thing over these nine months, and suddenly the idea of losing it became unthinkable. Even though I know I’ll never go back and reread most of my posts, they’re there as a kind of record of where my head was at any given time. It’s something of a public diary, a running book of thoughts n’ stuff, a story, when all is said and done. So to think that it was all gone had me tied up in knots.
A couple of ideas come out of this for me. One is that the anti-spam system is probably a little too sensitive. Nobody likes spam, but it seems to me that WordPress could warn first and then suspend, rather than possibly killing a blog by suspending it for too long. Readers will move on, and newly referred viewers will be influenced by the blunt message they see when hitting the url, that “this blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.” Guilty before proven innocent.
Two is that, like hapless Kafka characters, we’re at the mercy of an entity we can’t negotiate with. The WordPress enforcement protocol is so distant and opaque that, when it targets you, there’s no recourse other than hoping the chips fall your way. It doesn’t answer you until it has ruled. It doesn’t tell you what your violation was until it’s over. And it doesn’t help that the representative is called a Community Guardian. Oy.
Anyway. Dodged a bullet this time. It’s good to be back!