Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A word of warning

For all my author friends, I've mentioned my blog has been banned through Wordpress. While my author blog was perfectly fine, my book promotion blog, Yeah Books!, was terminated for violation of their terms of service. 

I read through Wordpress's terms of service and their user guidelines and saw nothing saying I'd done anything wrong. I contacted Wordpress about removing the ban and was basically told tough noogies. 

So I leave the blog banned and go about my merry way, only to find a few months later my USERNAME is blocked and I can't administer ANY of my sites. Now I'm extremely angry and I fire off another email to them asking to know WHY. After going rounds with them telling them I am unable to log in and that it is not, in fact, my domain name expiring that caused the problem. Repeatedly. Beat that dead horse some more... I finally get someone with a brain who tells me my login was disabled because of my book blog they had already banned. 

Can I get that back? None of my other sites are in violation of any rules I've read available on the Wordpress site. I figured with the book blog banned and shut down I was just stuck with it and would have to deal with it. Nope. Apparently I was supposed to delete a blog I didn't have the power to delete. Cue more angry on my end. I finally talk the Wordpress people into thawing my login, making the blog private so I can get interviews off there I otherwise wouldn't have been able to retrieve and moved all my posts elsewhere. 

Since I had someone's attention, I asked them specifically why my book blog was banned. They told me this, and I quote: 

"Your posts need to be unique and original. Content from book promotional companies, for blog tours, cover reveals, book blitzes, etc, are considered spam and are not welcome on WordPress.com.

Any of your own original interviews or reviews are welcome and encouraged."

But when I read the link in the link they gave me, the wording is really vague and I apparently DON'T "know what it is". The phrasing is this: 

"Spam or machine-generated content.
You know what this is, but in general, sites such as those primarily dedicated to drive traffic to third party sites, boost SEO, phish, spoof, or promote affiliate marketing aren’t cool. We don’t want you to pollute the web outside of WordPress.com either, so we ask you to please avoid sending unwanted or unsolicited promotions or emails about your site, even if it’s not on WordPress.com.
Bear in mind that these are just guidelines — interpretations are up to us."

Where exactly in this is the quoted policy? Where in this is the problem? I didn't have machine generated content. I hand posted everything on that blog. I formatted it myself. I call bullshit and I want to warn my fellow authors whom I know also promote books for their friends.

Here's a link to the guidelines, not that they're helpful at all:
http://en.support.wordpress.com/user-guidelines/