Comment on Display Widgets Plugin Review by SEO Gold Coast Services.

Thanks for your kind words :-)

A couple of small inaccuracies in your comment above.

The WordPress plugin team didn’t delete/close/moderate my WordPress forum support posts, it was “Jan Dembowsi” (@jdembowsi) a member of the “Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator” team. Guess you’d call them the moderator team?

The WordPress plugin team didn’t close my forked Display Widgets SEO Plus plugin, that was my decision, I asked them to close it (there’s nothing wrong with the forked plugin).

When I discovered the moderation lock on my WordPress account I couldn’t offer instant support to my plugin users (I had four SEO plugins in the repository and planned a dozen more). The moderation lock said it could take up to 72hrs for a moderator to check and approve my contributions and I can’t offer support with a delay of up to 3 days!

I’ve been a member of the WordPress support site for over 10 years without any issues, I’ve reported multiple plugin issues (direct to the plugin team via plugins@wordpress.org) and reported core bugs etc…

Being unfairly moderated is an insult and a mark on my reputation and two of the WordPress plugin team (Mika and Otto) I’ve discussed this with (via email) believe I deserved the moderation lock!

I can not support a system which has what I think is an entrenched view: the moderators are always right, everyone else is wrong.

Regarding adopting the Display Widgets plugin…

I’d be the perfect developer to adopt the Display Widgets plugin, I’ve been working with the plugin code for over 5 years and have forked the code into a much better version: Display Widgets SEO Plus.

The forked version is an upgrade to the Display Widgets plugin v2.05/v2.7 fixes all the 2.05/2.7 code bugs, covers pretty much all default widget logic options (v2.05/v2.7 has basic logic options), fixes the WPML language plugin support (it’s broken in v2.05/v2.7) and adds new logic support for the bbPress plugin and the BuddyPress plugin (was going to add Woocommerce logic next).

A few months back I offered to adopt the Display Widgets plugin, but because the new developer had bought the plugin it appeared to be not an option.

After being moderated the only way I’d consider adding my SEO plugins back on the plugin repository or taking responsibility for the Display Widgets plugin (it’s got 200,000+ active installs, that’s potentially a lot of support to deal with) is after receiving an apology for being moderated.

I’m never going to get an apology (not asking for one), so it’s not going to happen.

For the record I accepted the moderator warning (even though that was unwarranted IMHO) https://wordpress.org/support/topic/display-widgets-plugin-geolocation-tracking-visitors-without-permission/#post-9307142 : that was a warning to basically stop asking questions about the intentions of the @displaywidget developer, you know the developer who was tracking Display Widget plugin users sites traffic without permission and adding malicious code to tens of thousands of WordPress sites!

My problem is with being actually moderated for this single short comment: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/display-widgets-plugin-geolocation-tracking-visitors-without-permission/#post-9298901

If this comment is enough to be moderated, how can anyone work within their draconian moderation rules?

@displaywidget

I don’t see any comment about my behavior being reprehensible, nice paraphrasing!

It’s WordPress’s support forum, so I have no issue with them saying what they said or closing topics etc…

Rather than speculate on your intentions or try to get you to fix the privacy issues I’ll give you a few days to see if your research points you in the right direction, if not I’ll take any further concerns direct to the ICO for them to deal with.

Oh, one last very important thing for you and your users (my earlier comment regarding being banned by Google), go research Google Geo-distributed crawling.

For example:

Googlebot uses well-established IP addresses that appear to come from the United States. With geo-distributed crawling, Googlebot can now use IP addresses that appear to come from other countries, such as Australia.

It’s a risk assuming Googlebot only connects with a US IP.

David

That was my final (only) comment after the moderation warning.

A few days after making the above comment I was moderated, I made no further posts in the Display Widgets forum until September (months later), so it must be that one comment which got me moderated.

My next contribution was about a week later supporting one of my plugin users at https://wordpress.org/support/topic/widget-not-showing-at-first-page-of-all-search-results/#post-9317899 which is when I discovered the moderation lock on my account!

I’ve asked both Mika and Otto (plugin team) what is wrong with the above comment and they both think it’s enough to be moderated!!!

If anyone can tell me what is wrong with the above comment (that was my ONLY comment after being warned by Jan Dembowsi) I’d love to know????

Funny thing is I closed all my plugins after being moderated, made four support threads (one for each plugin) like this one https://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-removed-from-repository-3/ to inform users I’d closed the plugins and those support threads resulted in the moderation lock being removed.

If I deserved the moderation lock why was it lifted so quickly when all my posts (after discovering the moderation lock) were complaining about being moderated?

Jan Dembowsi was wrong to moderate my account and the plugin team are wrong to defend the moderation.

It’s unfortunate there isn’t a popular alternative to the WordPress plugin repository, it’s difficult to get momentum for a plugin not in the free repository, so not much point re-releasing my SEO plugins or building new ones.

David Law

Update September 16th 2017 : I’ve released a Free Security Update/Upgrade of the Display Widgets Plugin.

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