Evil WordPress shadow-bans Whatfinger News

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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KyleI. ClarkInterview with owner of conservative news aggregation site Whatfinger News – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front PageIs “Statistics Shadowbanning” the Latest Big-Tech Salvo Against Conservatives? – Dr. Rich SwierIndo Recent comment authors
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Grace
Guest

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.

Charles H Slate
Guest
Charles H Slate

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

cadgbd
Guest
cadgbd

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”

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

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.

graem
Guest

“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?

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

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.

Slugger McBuster
Guest
Slugger McBuster

Can’t have the plebs talking amongst themselves.

Joe Conservative
Guest

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/ !!!

Mark
Guest
Mark

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.

mlopez
Guest
mlopez

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.

dave beall
Guest
dave beall

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.

Steven Broiles
Member

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,… Read more »

Marla
Guest
Marla

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.

CogitoErgoSumantra
Guest
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… Read more »

TPR
Guest
TPR

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… Read more »

TPR
Guest
TPR

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… Read more »

gornishthelfen
Guest
gornishthelfen

Where is your subscribe “button”??

Hawkmoon
Guest
Hawkmoon

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

Blogger
Guest
Blogger

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.

Seumas
Guest
Seumas

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… Read more »

Fred Elbel
Guest
Fred Elbel

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

Fred Elbel
Guest
Fred Elbel

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… Read more »

Fred Elbel
Guest
Fred Elbel

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?

Fred Elbel
Guest
Fred Elbel

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… Read more »

Indo
Guest
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[…] website-creation company, is doing to Whatfinger, reports the aggregator and FOTM. As the latter wrote Oct. 13, “Each day, we get hundreds and often thousands of referrals from Whatfinger, for […]

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[…] They must be doing this with other sites as well since we are new, but here is one blogger who wrote about it with […]

I. Clark
Guest
I. Clark

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… Read more »

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

See? This is why we need to go back to the era of websites. Having everything on a social platform YOU DON’T CONTROL is easy game for the globalists. The globalists had worse plans that got derailed because Trump isn’t there guy. The major tech companies all had plans involving Hillary winning and now they are butthurt and can’t function without hate. The plans involved were NOT in our interests. The tech companies back in the end of the BUSH era all started shaking hands with NSA and FBI.etc. This is why there is a ‘draining of the swamp’ but… Read more »

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

The advent of social media was adding a bit of sugar to lure people in so they will give up websites and many have. Now most websites either do not work or are no longer updated. This shadowbanning is just the start of worse things to come.

The bible makes it clear that NO FLESH will survive what’s to come if it weren’t for God speeding up the Tribulation.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

I also wonder if it’s your angel art at the top of the page being flagged offensive as if you are to be fair you have to have a Muslim artwork andmaybe Buddahism but then it will no longer be your site but their narrative!. it isn’t really anyway since your using their platform!