My Banned List

Following my recent ‘Spamalanche’, (Spam+Avalanche) I went back into my settings and reviewed my ‘Disallowed Comment Keys’, as recommended by some blogging friends.

This is a fancy name for words you don’t allow in comments, email addresses and urls associated with spammers, or just anything you recognise as being consistent with hundreds of Spam comments every day.

For example, this is my current list of disallowed words, numbers, and terms.
(You can find yours by looking at your most frequent Spam comments, without clicking on them.)

91.211.98.0
91.211.96.0
91.211.88.127
hydroxychloroquine
chloroquine
Muchas gracias
Porn
CBD
Escortcl.com
Hairstyles
Morovicracks.com
slkjdf.net
Vapor
Hairdressing
Vape
Праздники
bitcoin
casino
slkjfdf.net
slkfdf.net
cialis
escort
escortzen

As you can see, it is a mixed bag, and all of this was generating something like 2,000 Spam comments every week. This meant I missed genuine comments, as I had no time to find them in all that junk

Almost overnight, I went from 300 Spam comments a day, down to 5-10 a day.
My Trash folder went from next to nothing in it, to a current total of 1,963 ‘disallowed’ comments.

I no longer have to worry about missing good comments, at least as long as someone doesn’t use any of those words or terms.

If you want to try this, it’s easy.

Settings > Discussion Settings > Disallowed Comment Keys

Type in anything you want to be disallowed, then remember to scroll down and SAVE CHANGES.

You can edit the list anytime you like, saving changes every time you do.

WordPress Unfollowing: A New Glitch

Over the past couple of months, WordPress has been ‘unfollowing’ me from a group of bloggers who have all followed me for some time. This has happened to Beth, Liz Guffreau, and a few others. Today, it happened to Jude, one of the first people to ever follow this blog.

What’s going on, WordPress?

I have also had some of my comments on other blogs ‘Trashed’ by WordPress. Most recently some comments on Stevie Turner’s blog.

I get that uneasy feeling that good old WordPress is up to something behind the scenes. Perhaps another ‘innovation’?

And when they are doing that, it is rarely about anything good.

300 A Day

No, not cigarettes. Even when I was a fairly heavy smoker, I couldn’t manage that many.

Spam Comments.

Yes, they are all caught by WordPress, and placed into my Spam Folder. But now they have reached a total of almost 300 a day so far this week, it is impossible to go through them to find any genuine comments in amongst all that rubbish.

Today, I scanned them (288) quickly, just in case. Every single one of them was sent by the same ‘person’. (Undoubtedly not a real person.)

TuyetKaddy
talenteimnetz.dex
vepll6o3h@gmail.com
91.211.88.127

I searched that IP address, and this is who it comes back to.

Current IP Range: 91.211.98.0 – 91.211.98.255
IP Range Location: Ireland
IP Owner: Tsg Interactive Services Limited
Owner Full IP Range:
91.211.96.0 – 91.211.99.255
Owner Address: King Edward Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, IOM, Im3 1Dz, Isle of Man, British Isles, Isle of Man
Owner Country: Ireland
Owner Phone: +441624632666
All Owner IP Ranges: 91.211.96.0 – 91.211.99.255
All Owner CIDR: 91.211.96.0/22
All Owner IP Reverse DNS (Host)s: 98-23.colo.sta.blacknight.ie
ASN: AS48536
Whois Record Created: 16 Apr 2011

Someone in Ireland, with a company registered on The Isle Of Man. There is even a phone number. (Which I didn’t ring, in case that was also a scam.) It is worth knowing that the .dex domain name is encrypted, and .dex domains are associated with ‘Ransomware’ demands.

So whatever you do, make sure to never click on any links sent by this company. Not ever!

Each comment is so long, consisting of 20-odd lines of nonsense, followed by 16 links to products or services, it took me a full four minutes ten seconds just to delete them by clicking on ‘Empty Spam’. (Yes, I was fed up enough to time it.)

Surely there must be some way that WordPress can block this pest? If I can find out so easily who is responsible, then a company like WordPress must be able to put a stop to them.

Don’t you agree?

(Just after posting this, I checked the Spam Folder. 10 more!)

WordPress: Sponsored Posts

I received this notification from WordPress when I logged on this morning. Perhaps everybody got one, but just in case you didn’t see it this is by way of information.

WordPress.com has started testing Native Sponsored Posts. This is an extension of our advertising program and will have the same controls and restrictions as our standard ad placements.
You may see these Sponsored Posts running on your sites as we expand testing. They may be promoting WordPress.com content, marketing initiatives, or brands.
Longer term, we hope to offer Sponsored Posts to our users as a way to help drive traffic and promote content discovery. For any questions or issues, see our Native Sponsored Posts FAQ.

https://wordpress.com/support/native-sponsored-posts/

It seems that WordPress is testing out its new plan to generate extra income by offering sponsored posts to users. Eventually, this will give you the opportunity, should you want it, to pay them for sending one of your posts to users. Meanwhile, they will be trialling posts containing their own content, and also that of various brand advertisers. These will appear as posts, not obviously as advertisements.

You will have no control on what you receive, or how frequently you receive them. The only option to avoid receiving them is to upgrade to one of the various paid plans offered by WordPress. If you have one of those, sponsored post will not appear on your site. (For now…)

Just so you know.

Posts, The Reader, And Paragraphs

I received a message from Stevie Turner to let me know that the recent episode of ‘Outside’ that she read appeared as one complete block of text, with no paragraphs.

As I go to a lot of trouble to use paragraphs to separate events in this long serial, I find it very annoying that WordPress has done this.

I suspected this was happening because Stevie reads my posts using The Reader facility, instead of on my blog page. This was the case, as she confirmed for me.

The only reason I can guess at, is that I am still using the original 2012 Classic Editor. So I presume that some part of the WordPress software is presenting this in Block Editor format on The Reader, as one huge ‘Block’.

My apologies to anyone else who has been experiencing this, I didn’t know it was happening on my blog until this morning, as I never use The Reader.

A Premium Upgrade

For a few years now, I have paid an annual fee to have a ‘Personal’ Plan with WordPress. That gave me no advertisements, easier access to tech help, and extra storage space for photos. Considering my blog is my main hobby, I didn’t think the fee was excessive, and for the first year, it included my ‘dotcom’ blog name too. (I now pay a little extra for that)

Then along came the Block Editor.

Regular readers will remember my long campaign against this being forced on users, without the option of retaining my preferred ‘Classic Option’. So I seriously considered giving up blogging, once the Block Editor became the only choice.

I am currently still using the old Classic Editor though (not the Classic Block offered on the new version) and that was supposed to have disappeared by March 2021. No doubt it will go at some stage, and meanwhile I have experimented with some posts using the Block Editor, eventually discovering that I am able to manage my very basic blogging using that. But only when it comes to it of course.

(I don’t intend to start another for and against Block Editor debate with this post. That ship has sailed.)

As I want to stay blogging for as long as I am able, I recently upgraded my payment plan to ‘Premium’. The main benefit of this over the Personal Plan is to greatly increase the space allowance. If you have a free WP blog, the space allowance of 3GB can soon be eaten up by adding photos and images. Moving up to the Personal Plan at £36 a year doubles your storage allowance to 6GB, and after a few years I have still not reached that limit.

The Premium Plan costs £84 a year, and boosts that space allowance to 13GB, which should last me a long time. And I think that £1.61 a week is a small price to pay to be able to relax and enjoy my hobby without worrying about running out of available storage space. I am hoping it will be many years before I have to think about the next option, the Business Plan, which currently costs £20 a month.

(Note that all plan upgrades include the storage already used, and do not start from scratch. So if you have already used 3GB and upgrade to 13GB, you will in effect have 10 GB available)

Apologies For A WordPress Glitch

I have to break my rule of not posting so much to let you know that many comments from regular blogging friends have gone astray.

I was about to empty my Spam and Trash folders earlier, and I was shocked to find 45 genuine comments had been dumped in there by WordPress. I have just had to manually approve and reply to them all. If you left a comment that I did not acknowledge, the chances are it has been trashed and deleted by WordPress, definitely not by me!

Apologies to everyone who kindly left a comment, then must have thought I had completely ignored it. It wasn’t my fault, and seems to be yet another of those random WP glitches that cause me so much annoyance and frustration.

Anyone wondering my my replies have come so late now knows the answer.

My suggestion to you all is to quickly check both Spam and Trash folders.

Comments from your blogging friends may have been dumped there without you knowing.

A New Spam Record

Since I logged on this morning, WordPress has notified me of 1,000 spam comments already today.

They are all from the same company, offering to sell me a drug called Cialis.

This is what the drug is for.

Tadalafil, sold under the brand name Cialis among others, is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is a tablet taken by mouth. Onset is typically within half an hour and the duration is up to 36 hours.

1,000 spam messages, all about the same thing!

They are obviously trying to tell me something…

A WordPress Exchange On Twitter

I saw an advertisement on Twitter. WordPress want to recruit more ‘Happiness Engineers’, for Customer Service.

We are growing! Check out our open, fully distributed roles across engineering, design, Happiness (customer service), marketing (and more!). Get all of the details on how to apply here: bit.ly/38guhDF

So I replied.

“Happiness? Give us back the Classic Editor, and I will be happy! Listen to your customers and bloggers!”
Then they replied.

WordPress.com
@wordpressdotcom

Replying to

If you really want to use something like the classic editor, we recommend sticking with the classic block: wordpress.com/support/wordpr We also have some extensive documentation available at

I answered.

“It’s not the Classic Editor though, is it? Just let us have have the option. What’s the problem? You know it’s possible. So many users absolutely hate Block Editor, and cannot work it out. Look after your users and paying customers. (like me) Do the right thing for once.”

Nothing since then. Not surprised.