Thursday, October 29, 2009

Should WordPress Be Able to Suspend Your Blog without an Investigation?

As our readers know, we branched off our children's and teen books onto a new site on WordPress and called the new blog, The Kid's Book Connection.

I wandered out to this blog today to post a review and found it had been suspended.

Why you ask?

Well, it seems that a woman paid WordPress to use the to sell Usborne books and she feels that my blog--though it doesn't sell anything--takes business away from her. This is the comment she left on my blog on October 27th:

"DO you know or care your using another person domain name? your doing a free one on wordpress when others PAY to do theirs the right way PAYING for the domain name and hosting -How sad you choose to do this to another person who is just a work at home mom with a disbled husband trying to make extra money. WHY the need to do this instad of doing it the right way??????"

I deleted the comment, but retained it in my dashboard. I then explained in an email sent from a form I found on her site that my using was not done intentionally to steal her business--after all I don't sell anything on that blog. I merely chose a URL that made sense and flowed well with The Book Connection. I also told her I didn't appreciate her littering my blog with that comment and attacking me for all the world to see.

I have integrity and I would never do something as low as trying to steal business from someone else. The only thing I could be guilty of is not being smart enough to check to see if The Kids Book Connection was already being used on WordPress, and if I had, I wouldn't use it anyway because I don't want something close enough to anyone else's site to cause confusion.

I get this in return:

I put NO comments on your blog at aLL id did was to view it only and ask some freinds who this can be allowed
I did not litter anything esp your blog trust me there as I am not the kind of person to do that
What words where as I di dnot do any!

When you sign up for a blog it offers to have you buy the domain name and you choose not to as it is already owned had you looked and tried to buy it

You say "" troublesome to you, "" well it is as a work at home mom I find this so sad!!
tryingto make a few dollars on line with a domain name and website which I PAY for both of them and then comes someone using it for free -SIgh! How sad!..."

Okay, so first she denies leaving the comment on my blog--which I have--and again, she's angry that I got something for free that she paid for, keeping in mind however, that "wordpress" appears in my URL and not in hers.

Today, I wander out to The Kids Book Connection to post a review and guess what--my blog has been suspended. Gee, is that a coincidence? I think not.

After reviewing their Terms and Conditions, I honestly don't see where WordPress has just cause to do that; but what worries me more is that any Tom, Dick or Harry can report your WordPress blog and it is immediately suspensed without warning and without sending you an email to let you know there has been a complaint issued.

So, I am asking you, my readers, is that fair? Do you think it's right that your ex-boyfriend could get ticked at you and report your blog and have all your work be held up in limbo without any type of investigation performed first?

I was considering a move to WordPress for all my blogs because Goggle has recently placed a limit on the number of labels your blog can use, but I definitely won't do that now.

I usually pride myself on keeping emotion out of my writing, but today I failed miserably. I can't believe another human being would do that to someone, and that all that work of mine might have to be recreated just because an Usborne sales representative is angry that she paid for a blog she could have gotten for free. I am totally beside myself and I certainly won't be buying anything from or recommending any products from Usborne in the near future if these are the type of people they employ.


Dorothy said...

That is absolutely insane. It's the sign of the times. The woman is worried you're going to take business from her. She doesn't sound professional at all, but if she was so worried about someone else using the name (which isn't copyrighted btw), why didn't she think and go out and set up blogs with the same name so no one else would use it? It's still absolutely crazy. As if life isn't crazy enough on the outside, we've got to deal with this crap. And as far as wordpress suspending your blog without any questions, I think that is more insane than having someone go off the deep end about a name. You did right, though...this will come up in google alerts and maybe someone out there with a bit of sense (is there such a thing?) will make things right. It's true, people can just say hey I hate you so I'm going to make sure you can't blog again. I don't think you have a thing to worry about...wordpress will turn you back on but what about the mental stress or is that what this woman is trying to do to you?

Donna M. McDine said...


So sorry to read of this down right harrassment towards you. All she had to do was send you a private email or a professional comment on your blog that she would like to speak with you privately. As for WordPress, I'm disgusted they treated you in this manner without even attempting to get a hold of you. This whole incident doesn't hold WordPress or this woman in a very good light.

I know this is easier said than done, but take a deep breath and don't let others negativity bring you down.

You are doing a terrific job and are an inspiration for all that know you.

Best wishes,

Margie Church said...

I'm with Dorothy. This woman sounded so unprofessional.And to heap on you her personal circumstances that way is just absurd. We've all heard about people being victimized by social media. I would contact WordPress and ask for their written policy. The squeaky wheel wouldn't be good enough for me. Good luck.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

First, the woman needs to check her spelling. My fifth grade students could do better.

Second, she sounds like a hateful person who is very unhappy about something and took her misery out on you.

Third, I have 4 blogs with Wordpress, but am now reconsidering. You put a lot of work into your blog and then they pull it, without notice. That's not very professional.

Sorry you're having to go through this. Hope it works out.


Paige Cummings said...

I hold WordPress to be at fault. If someone else already had the domain name, they should not have allowed it to be available to you.

And how rude and narcissistic of that woman to blame you! It isn't as if you searched for her site to copy.. And she sound totally unprofessional. I would never do business with her.

Morgan Mandel said...

I think Word Press should have given you notice that someone with a similar name had the rights to the .com name to give you a choice of whether you wanted to use the same beginning. I wouldn't if I knew there was a similar one out there. They are at fault.

I'd pick another name and tell them to have your stuff transferred over by them. Word Press is at the root of the problem. Still, the other blogger is very rude, no doubt about it. It sounds like she may very well be from a background where she has to scrape by and things don't come easy for her, so that's how she reacts. Not saying it's right, just the way it is.

I hope this can all be straightened out so you don't feel bad about the whole thing. This kind of stuff is sickening.

Morgan Mandel

Rebecca Camarena said...

This kind of harrassment from wordpress and the blogger is unethical and unjust. Wordpress needs to change their policy on suspending blogs, they shouldn't make it so easy for users to cry foul play. This woman should be turned out for the fraud she is. Her spelling is awful. I cringed when I read her comment. And she thinks you are taking business away from her, that's the best laugh of the day. Good Luck Cheryl and I know Wordpress will see you for the ethical blogger that you are.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts ladies. While I am angry that my integrity has been called into question, I too, hold WordPress responsible for this whole fiasco.

I tried to handle it privately, but this has now been made into a larger issue that is impacting my right to free speech.

Paige, yours is the exact point I tried to make with this woman, that I choose the domain without looking it up and WordPress should never have allowed me to sign up for it. I would gladly have chosen something else if I knew. In addition, why is it bad that I chose a free blog? Why should I pay for something when I can get a less fancy model for free?

If my integrity hadn't been called into question, I probably could have just ignored the comment and gone my merry way; but I am as honest as the day is long. I follow the rules, I don't take short cuts, and even when I sympathized with this woman's plight by sharing part of my own personal story of being a single parent and knowing how hard it is out there and wishing her every success, she called those sentiments into question. Then to wake up this morning and not be able to access my blog, that did it.

Since when in this country are you guilty until proven innocent. All it takes is a simple email from WordPress to tell you that a complaint has been issued against your blog and allow you 24 hours to explain your side of the situation. They obviously don't want to do that.

Okay, Donna, I'm trying to take your advice and breathe deeply, but this derailed all my plans for the day and I am utterly beside myself.

Thanks again for stopping by everyone.


Katie Hines said...

This is not only outrageous, but thoroughly unprofessional. If she is a business person, then she needs to suck it up, and go on with her business and leave you alone...especially as you did nothing wrong.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

I will agree with all the above comments. Wordpress should have informed you of a similar name and avoided all the hurtful accusations. In my mind, you did nothing wrong. I feel sorry for the other woman, who obviously feels she is the victim, but I also believe she could have dealt with the situation in more professional and adult manner. Good luck with getting this straightened out, Cheryl.

Cheryl said...

Thanks Katie and Penny. I appreciate you stopping by and adding your thoughts.

So far my blog remains suspended and I hate to think of starting all over again, but I will if I have to.


Anonymous said...

This is way more than just insane. First off, people can't get to your blog without the .wordpress. If they try, they will probably get to hers first --possibly more sales for her.

Second, Wordpress is nuts for suspending your blog without investigation, sending you an e-mail, or anything else. Bad press is not so good for business and this has bad press written all over it.

I had thought of using Wordpress; now, I'm glad I went with another service.

God bless,

Cheryl said...

Well, the Mighty WordPress gods have decided I must export my data, since that blog existed before mine.

They feel you readers might not know the difference between a book review blog and one that sells books. And since their software didn't manage to tell me that domain name was taken, it must be my fault.

They were nice enough to get in a jab too, "...might be useful to google any names first."

Here is a reminder that you really should Google names before starting a new blog. In my enthusiasm to start my new blog and pour content into it, I didn't do my job and now I have a much busier weekend than I thought I would.

This experience did serve one good thing though. I had always been against WordPress because nothing ever seemed to be easy with their blogs. Now, I have more than those reasons to decide not to use them and to stick with Blogger.

Thanks again for all your support.


Prairie Rose said...

Wow, this is completely ridiculous. Does this woman not realize that someone could purchase not to mention all the other options that would include one other word in the domain name... sounds like a good one to me! Go get it. :)

I think Wordpress is way out of line on this one, but I guess they're more concerned with keeping her business than yours since she pays them. And telling you to google first! Again, why? It's not the SAME domain name and there are millions of examples out there of people with almost identical domains and none of them seem to have an issue with it.

It's kind of like her paying for a post office box in Anywhere, USA, and being assigned P.O. Box 154 -- and you living in Anywhere, USA, on a rural route and being given Box 154, and her complaining that you're getting for free what she paid for, and trying to steal her mail!!!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...


I agree with the other commenters - this is a Wordpress error. You should have gotten a message that the name you choose was already in use.

The woman certainly could have handled the situation in a more professional manner.

Sorry, to hear you have to start all over again. I hope it goes smoothly!

Karen Cioffi

Margaret Fieland said...

Cheryl, I agree with the others -- wordpress was at fault. It's hard to believe that a company whose business it is to host blogs and is in the business of building blogging tools would make such as *stupid* error. The other woman was incredibly rude and unprofessional, and wordpress handled the whole thing horribly, too.


Carol J. Amato said...

I agree with everyone else. This is ridiculous, and this woman is not professional at all. You won't get anyway dealing with a person like this. I would take this up with Wordpress. I was considering using Wordpress myself for a blog, but I think I will stick with Blogger after hearing this. You have a right to have your side heard. They should not have removed your blog without discussing it with you first.

Cheryl said...

Thanks everyone. I truly appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I sent another email off to WordPress telling them that it's silly to expect me to change my domain when A) it isn't the same as hers, B) it was their error, and C) I could go out and buy a bunch of URL's with "thekidsbokconnection" in them and use them, and this woman couldn't do anything about it. It's not like domain names are copyrighted or anything.

In addition to the fact that WordPress just can't admit their error, I was told I had to choose something that wasn't similar to this person's. They can't tell me what to choose, especially if I go out and pay for it. I had considered that at the beginning, and I guess if I had followed through on that, none of this would have happened.

Hindsight is always 20/20.


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

I was an Usborne rep for a few years and their books are great. As an ex-rep I am mortified that this woman had no grace to come to you and explain instead of attacking.

Second, Wordpress should have come to you and explain the situation, admitting their goof and allowing you time to move or change your name. If at that moment you were the one to wear the horns then delete your blog.

I had Facebook for a few years and then suddenly last month after I reported someone spammed and phished my account, I suddenly found it deleted, no warning, and had to begin all over again.

It seems the 'attackers' have more rights than the ones attacked.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for your thoughts Lea. WordPress will give me access to export the data from my blog and start a new one, but at this point, it's the principle of the thing. They messed up and I spent time and energy creating a brand that they tell me is violation of their Terms of Service and they don't expect to be held accountable for letting me start the blog in the first place? Blogger doesn't let you start a blog with the same name.

Then they quote me this part of their Terms of Service that states you can't use keywords that might be misleading. Do we really want to get into an argument over how many similar keywords are used that might be confusing when you're looking for something? This is the Internet for crying out loud!

Thanks again for stopping by.


VR Leavitt said...

As others have said, that's insanity! All she needed to do was send you a private message and perhaps something could have been worked out. What she did is completely unprofessional.