Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress Scandal: Photomatt Responds

Matt finally had a chance to make a response to the recent WordPress SEO scandal. Here’s a small snippet:

The articles hosted content thing was just a short-term experiment, an interesting idea (original and relevant Wikipedia-type content on the site) that was badly implemented. As an experiment it could have been conducted much better than it was. The content should have been more topical to WP issue, I should have kept up with the content that was going up, the links should have never had the overflow CSS, and I should have discussed it with more people. Each was a mistake and they combined badly — I’m very sorry. Originally I wanted to do a poll about it but I never got around to adding a polling add-on to bbPress and thus the poll never happened. In my mind there were more important things to spend time on (the 1.5 release, the plugin and theme directories, etc.) but I don’t offer that as an excuse. I didn’t give the ads much thought after the very beginning until about two weeks ago when I got a few emails about them. I did not know they had mesowhatever/asbestos content on them until Andy Baio messaged me.

Okay, as cooler heads have already noted, a mistake was made, there’s no conspiracies going on, and the whole thing was blown way out of proportion. Can we all just go back to tweaking our software and fighting the real spammers now? Yes? Thank you.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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5 Responses to WordPress Scandal: Photomatt Responds

  1. Pingback: The War on Spam

  2. Carla says:

    Absolutely. We are so lucky to have Matt, frankly. At Livejournal (I have a mirror account), customers have been mocked openly by the owner/creator, and status messages are often peppered with complaints about his having to fix whatever problem that has surfaced re: the servers, the codes, etc. I was a beta tester for the (now old) new version of MT, and was lied to in that capacity by the owner/creators.
    Matt’s a stand-up guy, period. And not perfect to boot (thank God :D).

  3. Dean says:

    I’ve just starting using WordPress this week, and have not long started blogging. Ok, I’ve been using the web for 10 years (yes, since when Netscape Navigator was at version 0.96n) and blinking text was cool.

    I’ve seen “tens” of blog entries about this issue today. I don’t feel duped for a second.

    If there was a poll, my vote would be “I don’t give a rat’s a**” — there are more important issues in the world and my life to care about! Sadly, most polls have Yes and No, without an “I don’t care!” option.

    So what? Yeah, maybe a bad combination of events given the way the blogosphere works … but trivial in the real scheme of things. And it’s now “all in the past” anyway.

    Definitely time to move on. Given other major world events this weekend, I’m sure this will be forgotten very very quickly.

  4. Chad Jones says:

    Hi, I’m Chad from Hotnacho.

    I’m largely responsible for this mess. Although apologies and explanations are much less interesting than scandals and allegations, yet here’s my lengthy attempt.

    A lot of incorrect information is bouncing around — even by supposedly authoritative sources such as GoogleGuy. The internet has a weird way of evolving fact out of conjecture and supposition.


  5. Dougal says:


    Thanks for posting your side of things. Now that things are settling down a bit, maybe Google will un-ban your other sites.

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