Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress Scandal Update

Matt “scum of the earth” Mullenweg, vacationing in a not-very-wired portion of Italy, finally got wind of all the villagers with torches and pitchforks who have been searching for him.

I have close to a thousand emails and countless blog posts and comments to go through, but I’ll try to synthesize everything and respond ASAP, I think it’s important because some people seem to be spinning things quite maliciously. If you have a specific question please send me an email and I’ll do my best to respond personally or on the blog, even if you’ve already decided I’m the scum of the earth.

Back Online

What a way to spend your vacation, eh?

In the meantime, the offending hidden links have been removed from the website, the HotNacho articles are gone, and Google has restored the site’s pagerank.

Update: Andy at waxy.or has another update which includes a statement from HotNacho.

Chad Jones, the creator of Hot Nacho, contacted me and asked me to post this statement. Several parts of his story were contradicted by Matt himself, and I don’t believe it myself, but I’m happy to reproduce it in full below.

I’m not sure what Andy meant about contradictions. I didn’t see anything that really contradicted anything that Matt had said. (But then again, I’m functioning on about 3 hours of sleep, so I could have missed something)

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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8 Responses to WordPress Scandal Update

  1. Pingback: The War on Spam

  2. Pingback: geek ramblings » The WordPress/HotNacho SEO Debacle

  3. Ozh says:

    Dougal, what about this idea ?

    (btw, coming from Matt’s site, using link of your trackback here, denies access.)

  4. Dougal says:

    Ozh, thanks for letting me know about that. I had ‘-online’ in my blacklist, so the Referer from Matt’s post title of ‘back-online’ was triggering the block.

  5. Pingback: Wordpress SEO fallout | K-Squared Ramblings

  6. I have to side with you on this one and I definately fall on Matt’s side (especially due to the blatent honesty in his posts to explain his position).

    Though there were plenty of things Matt might have have done differently, he got blindsided on this one.

    My own personal thoughts are that the story while being sensationalist is nothing more than that. It certainly is not any sort of investigative journalism. Though I wonder about the huge difference in numbers between what Matt claims (1000+ articles) and HotNacho which claims 168,000. Its not like splitting the difference brings the two much closer.

    I guess the point for me is that Matt is fortunate in that WordPress has received much love to date. However as the owner/operator, he is a tech guy who now needs to realize he is running a business with a dedicated and easily aggitated community. Those who are the greatest evangelists of your products can also lead to its quickest demise.

    I have actually managed to turn this little “scandal” into a three part series on my blog. Part I is up, with Parts II and III later today. It’s like my own little ABC Mini-Series…I wonder who will play me?

  7. Chad Jones says:

    Hi, I’m Chad Jones from HotNacho.

    I did not claim 168,000 articles, that is just an example of how conjecture soon becomes fact on the internet. Although not as exciting as scandal, I’ve posted my apology and explanation at for those interested.


  8. someone says:

    i know for a fact that chad did not do this. he was blamed for something he didnt do. i dont know him but he has probably lost everything he had because the person who is actually to be put for blame cant come out and admit it. shame on you. im with chad on this one.

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