March 31, 2005

Fiery the FOSS Developer Fell

by Nick Montfort · , 6:14 pm

Our excellent blogging system here at Grand Text Auto is run on WordPress. We love this free and open-source software, but I am deeply disappointed (and I’m sure Michael, Andrew, Scott, and Noah are as well) that the main site for the project, WordPress.org, was recently unmasked as a search engine spamhaus – a huge number of hidden articles were placed there, courtesy of the founding developer, solely to distort or “game” Google for the profit of unscrupulous lawyers and merchants. As a result, Google has dropped the site from its index and – not that it matters, but it’s the thought that counts – we’ve de-linked the main WordPress site from here as well.

Those who only read the Slashdot headline should be aware that it is the main WordPress website, and not every blog in the world running WordPress, that is (or was) doing the spamming. Apparently WordPress.org is now being cleaned and will be indexed again by Google. A response from WP developer Mike Little with links to other replies is available. I could say more, but – what a mess, what a mistake. Fortunately, people have thought about what might happen to free software under circumstances such as these, and all will not be lost…