Evil WordPress shadow-bans Whatfinger News

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Shadow banning (also called stealth or ghost banning) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned. As such, shadow banning is a form of sneaky censorship.

Whatfinger News is a relatively-new but rapidly-rising link-news site like Drudge Report, only better. As it describes itself:

Whatfinger News was founded by military people and 100% unapologetic for being patriotic. That doesn’t mean we don’t show opposing views, sites and papers. We do and label them on the homepage in sections as right wing or left wing, unlike other sites that might trick you into clicking into sites that you would never want to visit. Not us!

FOTM‘s readers have seen our promotion of Whatfinger at the bottom of our posts. Even before we started doing that, Whatfinger had posted links to our posts, which was how I discovered Whatfinger. Each day, we get hundreds and often thousands of referrals from Whatfinger, for which FOTM is most grateful.

Beginning yesterday, I noticed something odd: There were no referrals from Whatfinger! Here’s a screenshot I took of yesterday’s referrals:

So I went on Whatfinger to find out what had happened.

I saw that Whatfinger did post links to our posts, but also this statement:

Many sites have now sent screenshots, sites that we send thousands of people to daily who are all noticing WordPress ‘shadowbanning of stats’ – we all now need to know the truth.  Are all conservative sites targets? Will they blame some ‘algorithm as Facebook likes to do? Can’t be just Whatfinger, since we are new and no where near the size of other sites just yet.

So I went to FOTM‘s stats page, only to discover that WordPress had changed the referrals of the day before, Oct. 11, to remove all referrals from Whatfinger! The problem is, a day before, I had seen thousands of referrals from Whatfiinger, which now had vanished, retroactively expunged by WordPress.

I then clicked on the referrals for September 29, 2018 — a day when FOTM had a record 35,438 unique views. I remember seeing there were thousands of referrals from Whatfinger that day, which WordPress now has retroactively expunged:

What WordPress is doing is dishonest, deceptive, and plain evil. By shadow-banning referrals from Whatfinger, WordPress’ intention is to damage Whatfinger by alienating FOTM from Whatfinger.

Well, WordPress, we are on to you and your evil doings. FOTM will continue to promote Whatfinger News. Despite your evil machinations, Whatfinger News will continue to thrive and hopefully overtake sold-out Drudge Report some day.

Note: On August 15, 2018, WordPress arbitrarily and with no just cause, took down Fellowship of the Minds — the digital equivalent of burning down an entire library, of tens of thousands of blog-posts in nearly 9 years, many of which are the products of original research and genuine investigative journalism that the corporate MSM lackeys no longer undertake. Although FOTM is restored on another server, we use WordPress’ $99 Jetpack software because our readers are familiar with the format and features.

Update (Oct. 19)

The editor of Whatfinger News wrote in an email to me that an individual who contacted WordPress (WP) received a response from WP that “Whatfinger was spamming people”. Some site had complained to WP about spam comments with Whatfinger’s link in Akismet, a spam cop for wordpress posts and messages. But WP refused to say which site made the complaint. So WordPress  “deemed our whole site as spam and shadow banned it, which is just ridiculous and impossible [because there’s] no way to spam someone with visitors.”

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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43 responses to “Evil WordPress shadow-bans Whatfinger News

  1. WordPress is evil. I maintain a conservative website there so I understand exactly what you are talking about. Half the time on this site my ratings do not register, so know that your postings and comments are getting FAR more likes than actually appear.

     
  2. Charles H Slate

    Related: Any information about Dr Fetzer’s site?
    Also: couldn’t “shadow banning” be considered a conspiracy in restraint of trade?

     
  3. It was difficult to corroborate your story by searching google, but other search engines produced this:

    wordpress censorship – Europe Today News
    https://europetodaynews.wordpress.com/tag/wordpress-censorship/

    Try typing in some words found in the above article, such as: ““Community Guardian” censorship programs wordpress” and there are tons of results. here’s another:

    WORDPRESS finds itself caught up fire-storm for censoring news sites, blogs and Wikis | Internet News
    https://internetdates101.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/wordpress-finds-itself-caught-up-fire-storm-for-censoring-news-sites-blogs-and-wikis/

    Just so a search for ““Community Guardian” censorship programs wordpress”

     
  4. The left wants to censor free speech. They only want to allow speech that they agree with. If you want to preserve our Constitution and free speech in this country, NEVER vote for a DemocRAT again.

     
  5. “There are now well-developed networks of Americans targeting other Americans with purposefully designed manipulations,” This was said with conservative ideas in mind….I wonder how it does not also apply to the liberals or anyone who would like to shape public policy?

     
  6. While this is detestable, it is also understandable. The CIA contributed greatly to the founding of these “social media platforms”. Why do you think they did that? I’ll make a wild guess. Could it be to control the narrative?

    By establishing control over widely-used portions of the internet they can control what bypasses the controlled TV and print media. It is closing in on the election season. They want to shut down any voices of reason that may be out there.

    People that know how to do so should be forming alternatives to these that are not under quasi-government control.

     
    • THANK YOU! Not many people seem to know about this, and when you try to explain it, out comes the “tinfoil hat/conspiracy theorist” labels. Especially if the info came from Alex Jones. Actually, there seems to be quite a lot of evidence in support of this, regardless of Alex.

      I started using alternative technologies a long time ago when there weren’t that many to choose from. Now more and more people are waking up and starting to seek other options, and those options are growing every day. They’re just not waking up fast enough in my opinion.

       
    • Just like Military Intelligence & the Cultural Marxists created the Satanist hippie liberal movement, which was “our” cultural revolution to destroy us

       
  7. Slugger McBuster

    Can’t have the plebs talking amongst themselves.

     
  8. IF WORDPRESS WANTS TO JOIN FACEBOOK IN ATTACKING CONSERVATIVES, WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SWITCH TO AN ALTERNATIVE https://winningwp.com/alternatives-to-wordpress-compared/ !!!

     
  9. Fox News shadow bans commentors since liberdull Disney bought it. Suddenly, no thumbs up for comments of any sort. It’s obvious, but they don’t care.

     
  10. Both Brietbart and The Hill shadow ban me and I am a conservative. I no longer follow any of their stories, or go to their sites. This isn’t just liberals on conservatives. All these sites are money making operations and they will cut your throat. They have no commitment to anything, but drawing eyeballs and marketing the stats.

     
  11. wordpress is a failure from the start. WHY are people using it?
    Go to any web host, grab a domain name and a hosting account, install DRUPAL and make your own blog. No Problems.

     
  12. I have bookmarked WhatFinger. I like their visually appealing layout.

    Alex Jones has done an awful lot this year discussing and explaining censorship, and it looks like the fight is on. He has explained that as Google, Facebook, etc., were funded initially by the CIA, Darpa, etc., that that does not entitle them to censor, as they were, initially, taxpayer-funded.
    There is also the fact that as these platforms are so universally used, they are, or they are functioning as, public utilities and/or monopolies, and that the same rule applies to them as to the phone or the electric company, or even the U.S. Mail: They MAY NOT LEGALLY BAN PEOPLE based on political opinion (or even citizenship status).
    Alex Jones has also explained (and this is where it really gets tricky) that these practices—from shadowbanning to pressuring credit card companies and banks and payment platforms not to process these conservative and right-leaning sites’ payments is, legally and in effect, RACKETEERING, prosecutable under the RICO Statutes—which I believe it is.

    Ex-CIA talk-meister Robert David Steele has weighed in on this, and he mentioned FOTM in one of his interviews within the past two weeks. He mentioned that “WordPress has even banned Fellowship of the Minds—a great site…”

    Winston Churchill—whom I consider to be a classic villain—summed it up correctly: “In the future, the fascists will call themselves anti-fascist.”
    Looks like past is prologue.

     
    • Good morning Steven, as it is 3:15, Sun/First Day!

      I agree with everything you wrote, and I’m doubly pleased to see that you share my sentiments about Churchill, who –when I was a child of 10– mistakenly believed to be an admirable person.

       
      • Thank you, Joseph. I have also learned, from Dr. Makow, that Churchill was indebted to the Rothschilds for bailing him and his family out. During the early years of the 20th Century, many aristocrats lost their estates to debt, and Churchill, it seems, made his deal. Thus he played the role of the dubious wheeler-dealer quite well!

         
  13. Kind of like how Disqus bans and prevents certain views from being expressed with passion and truth. Maybe it has something to do with the same idea: COMMENTERS. Perhaps it’s just another attempt to control who speaks and how they speak (i.e. if not WordPress users, they don’t want commenters to comment?)
    Strange this recent new attempt to silence and censor. Hope you can get to the bottom of it and do something about it.

     
  14. CogitoErgoSumantra

    Control the present, re-write the past, design the future. It’s 1984.

    Except this is real life, not fiction, and such activity is diametrically opposed to the 1st Amendment. If only the FCC or even DOJ or (U.S. Congress) would get involved. But they won’t. It’ll take a SCotUS case.

    It’s everywhere. In related news, *I* have apparently been shadow banned from posting my generally VERY *moderate* opinions and responses — Christian conservative based — on the CBN News site. Go figure.

    It began when I noticed I was *not* getting the usual “thanks for adding to the discussion” response from the board moderator the way even the obvious fake Christian posters were getting… ditto when I said something on their FB page…

    I really didn’t see why *their* (fake) posts were getting published, but it’s not my call. Then I got a “Your post is awaiting moderation” pop-up after trying to post a message. It never went live, although posts by obviously fake Christian posters were getting published. Talking about folks posting opinions in clear opposition to tenets of our faith, the Bible, etc. — Leftist polemics.

    My further posts simply didn’t even get that much, and didn’t post. This happened during the whole Kavanaugh Confirmation hearing etc. I stopped even trying to post; why waste my time?

    OTOH, for fun, check out the comments sections of the VERY leftist Yahoo news site drivel… The Right has established itself a stronghold there. I almost think Yahoo’s writers are keeping so far left *specifically* to draw in the responses from the right. It’s still getting them page views… thus income.

     
  15. That’s terrible news, that even with a non-WP host, WP can “sneak-attack” via their Jetpack software! Good thing you discovered their underhanded game.

    I wonder if WP-via-Jetpack can attack via “Al-Gore-ithms”? As an FYI: Here’s a good twitter thread by “Stealth Jeff” aka @DrawAndStrike explaining how he discovered the sneaky algorithms trick twitter is using to mum Conservatives & what he did about it:
    https://twitter.com/drawandstrike/status/1048422353619890176

    Badically, he wrote:

    1_Christians, Conservatives, etc. self-identify via their twitter profiles & tweets.

    2_Twitter then activates “Interests” subjects in each user’s twitter Settings based on the above “Self-Identifying” tweets/profiles.

    3_Then twitter created algorithms to SUPPRESS the sharing of those same Christian, Conservative, etc. “Interests” which twitter so kindly activated for you in your Settings based on your tweets+profile.

    4_Stealth Jeff says to thwart twitter’s game, you have to constantly UNCHECK all those “Interests” in Settings (as twitter will constantly reset them).
    _He then did an experiment based on that & when he did, he gained 6,000 followers in three weeks.

    Hope that makes sense. He explains it better. 🙂

     
  16. Typo: Basically, not Badically. :-/

    Another FYI: One of the people also purged by WP in August, @MonicaPerezShow in Atlanta (& her co-host Binkley @FreedomActRadio) did a show about it the day after her WP-axing (8/25/18), though I only found the link/listened to it the other day. Good listening for anyone with the time.

    She (a Libertarian) had never covered Sandy Hoax “conspiracies,” but she had posted the Pozner kid photo after the Pakistani “school massacre” because she thought it very STRANGE.

    Fast Forward to early 2018 & WP notified her re the Pozner kid photo objection but WP said they would stand behind her right to post an official NEWS (BBC) photo of the kid.

    Fast Forward to August 2018, & WHAM!, WP shut down her blogs without warning. She feels WP “set her up,” & she doubts Lenny Pozner is even a Real Person. (Has that slime ever shown up for any court appearances or depositions yet?)

    Perez’ 8/25/18 show link is in this tweet, an audio file:

    https://twitter.com/freedomactradio/status/1041382277194895361?p=p

     
  17. Where is your subscribe “button”??

     
  18. When the Bolsheviks switched from “Communism” to “Liberalism” that is when they embraced (((fake))) “Democracy” as their form of government, where the voters get to decide between (((their))) candidates, which gives the brainwashed voters the false idea that they are picking out the candidates. Much of this is pulled off because of their control of the media, (which fortunately is slipping) their control of the fake monopoly money printers & debt bondage, and the dumbing down, brainwashing of the masses, and immigration invasion of non-western voters

     
  19. WordPress.com sites are different from WordPress software. The simple solution is to use WordPress software to set up your own site with your own hosting company. And use independent tracking and analytics plugins.

     
    • We are using WordPress software with another hosting company. Our .com URL is because I had purchased that domain from WP, so I transferred the domain to our new server. I’ve looked into Google Analytics. Now, all I have to do is to figure out how to install it. LOL

       
  20. This isn’t the only incident either: https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/68777/internet-censorship-just-took-an-unprecedented-leap-forward-and-hardly-anyone.html”Research had already shown most of the media to be owned by six “big” companies, and that ownership likely carries on today, if the number hasn’t been reduced from six to perhaps 5 or even 4, but tracking who owns what is becoming increasingly difficult, however the coordination of the attacks indicates they are getting “marching orders” from somewhere/someone.

    Also Dr. Eowyn, I don’t know how wordpress’ software functions, but watch out for backdoors etc. and I also note that images are still hosted on “wp.com”, which means wordpress corp. still controls those images and their hosting, I would presume, it might be a vector that they try to exploit for attack. How to mitigate that, without switching to something else entirely, I don’t know, however. (Unless you want to try to use things like imgur.com for image hosting/use for articles or something, but that might be tedious, and I don’t know imgur’s policies.)

     
  21. Could you clarify, please:

    – Was your site hosted on WordPress servers when the problems occurred? Or were you using your own WordPress installation on your own server?

    – It appears that you reported statistics from WordPress in the article. What do server statistics show (e.g., Webalizer), and do they differ from statistics reported by WordPress? This is the litmus test that will reveal whether WordPress is doctoring their statistics.

    Thank you

     
    • The shadow banning of referrals from Whatfinger is still happening, while FOTM’s server is NOT WordPress, but we use WP software.

       
  22. Please explain. If there is a link from Whatfinger to the FOTM website, and if clicking on that link results on the user viewing the linked FORM page, then there is no functional problem, and you are not shadowbanned. Your server logs typically track referrals, and the referrals from Whatfinger should be tracked. This, of course, depends on what logging software is installed on the server.

    However, if your internal WordPress referral statistics do not reflect referrals from Whafinger and the server statistics do reflect them, then there is a problem with your WordPress installation – either a bug or deliberate doctoring of statistics compiled and reported by your WordPress installation.

    So the first step would be to compare WordPress logs to server logs, in order to determine if there is an inconsistency.

     
    • I don’t need your elaborate lecturing to know that WP is shadowbanning Whatfinger because as I had explained in my post:
      (1) The shadowbanning started only days ago. Before that, our stats showed thousands of referrals from Whatfinger a day.
      (2) Only referrals from Whatfinger had disappeared.
      (3) But I know Whatfinger is referring their readers to FOTM because I see links to FOTM articles every day on Whatfinger.

      So, unless you can actually offer help, stop lecturing down to us.

       
  23. Not lecturing. However, as a web developer, I am trying to understand the issue in order to determine the exact nature of the problem so as to determine whether it applies to my clients.

    Again, when you refer to “our stats”, are you referring to WP stats, or to actual server stats?

     
  24. Based on information you have presented, all links to your site from Whatfinger to your site work. Users can click on those links and visit your site. No one has reported that those links fail. You can click on those links to confirm that they work.

    Presuming those links work, no banning is taking place, shadow or otherwise.

    What appears to be happening is that when WordPress collects its own statistics, referrers from Whatfinger are dropped from reports. This may be deliberate or it may be a bug.

    At the time when the problem occurred, had you updated WordPress or addon modules?

    In order to confirm whether the problem is just related to WordPress statistical reporting, you would need to view server site visitation logs for your website, and compare visitation and referral data to WordPress reported referral data.

    On Unix servers, Webalizer is typically used to report server statistics. Here is how to interpret Webalizer server statistics:
    https://www.elbelconsultingservices.com/website_design_hosting/interpret_website_statistics.html

     
    • You seem to be very confused. I never said that:
      (1) Whatfinger isn’t posting links to FOTM. On the contrary, I specifically pointed out in my post that Whatfinger is doing that, for which FOTM is grateful;
      (2) Whatfinger‘s links don’t work.

      I will repeat one last time because you seem to have a real problem with reading and comprehension:

      WordPress is suppressing referrals from Whatfinger on FOTM‘s stats page, that is, our stats page isn’t showing any referrals from Whatfinger when I can see on Whatfinger links to our posts. That’s what shadow banning means.

      Now, please go away before I report you for harassment.

       
  25. UPDATE:

    The editor of Whatfinger News wrote in an email to me that an individual who contacted WordPress (WP) received a response from WP that “Whatfinger was spamming people”. Some site had complained to WP about spam comments with Whatfinger’s link in Akismet, a spam cop for wordpress posts and messages. But WP refused to say which site made the complaint. The editor wrote, so WordPress “deemed our whole site as spam and shadow banned it, which is just ridiculous and impossible [because there’s] no way to spam someone with visitors.”

     
  26. Pingback: Is “Statistics Shadowbanning” the Latest Big-Tech Salvo Against Conservatives? – Dr. Rich Swier

  27. Pingback: Interview with owner of conservative news aggregation site Whatfinger News – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page

  28. Well done for standing up for what is right.
    The problem is that for too long the Right have allowed, by their inertia or lack of guile, the Left to infiltrate the media, colleges, and even schools, where they appear to be brainwashing people.
    In the UK you cannot, now, say what you believe. You cannot criticise if the object of your criticism is from a minority group. In fact, the Left-wing Labour Party in the UK is obviously racist and is, at the moment, being investigated by the police for anti-Semitic threats and bullying. However, for years, they have insisted it is the Right who are racist. So for a long time we thought the Left were compassionate. But they treat anybody who does not think as they do, with hateful treatment and remarks. Isn’t that Fascism?

     

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