Commentary · News

Is WordPress Suppressing Your Content?

Yesterday, after spending roughly an hour communicating with a WP’s (WordPress) engineer, I learned that WP has been suppressing my content and interactions for the last eighteen months.

I suspected that something was wrong around this time last year (Jan 2020) but chose not to actively pursue a resolution, which was a misjudgment on my part.

My suspicions that my content was being suppressed were magnified late last year (2020) when not a single person responded to comments I left on their posts. It was as if my blog page did not exist. Well, based on yesterday’s conversation, my page was rendered practically invisible by WP.

Before I delve into why WP restricted my content for nearly two years, here is a bit of background.

Since my first post on September 7, 2015, my blog has grown by ~1,650 supporters a year. WordPress calls them “followers,” but I prefer to use the word, supporters. At this growth pace, I should have had a minimum of at least ~8k supporters on the low end and ~10-20k supporters on the high end, if not more.

Comparing last year’s net growth of only 48 followers to the previous years, you could see my concern. Grant it, in 2019, I published a paltry 24 posts. Still, in terms of outreach, my engagement numbered in the thousands, which should have yielded a significantly higher number than forty-eight supporters based on my page’s historical data.

So, here is what WP explained as a reason for my page being made invisible. Have you heard of Akismet? Well, Akismet, whose parent company is Automattic Inc., is a service that WordPress uses to track and filter comments. According to WP, the high number and frequency of my engagement prompted Akismet’s algorithm to flag all of my interactions as Spam.

And herein lies the problem with misusing or overusing technology with limited human oversight. The folks behind the algorithm did not know that I spent ~2-3 hours on weekdays and 5-8 hours on weekends engaging people within WP’s community. By engaging, I mean reading someone’s article and commenting. Without knowing this bit of information, Akismet’s algorithm mistook my engagement as commercial advertising or proselytizing.

For those who have been asking, now you know how my page grew so quickly. I took the time to interact with others without asking for anything in return. If I find content that sparks an aha moment, I can’t help but cheer on the writer for capturing something that spoke to me.

I’m not sure what lessons I’m supposed to share. Even so, I strongly encourage reaching out to if you suspect anything amiss as it relates to interacting with supporters and others. I hope to have this issue resolved soon and join you once more in the comment section.

For those of you who have been on this writing journey with me since my foray into the blogging world, I see you.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and read this post. I hope you found it useful.

If you would like to get a copy of my latest work, click the link below. And while you’re at it, I would very much appreciate it if you took a couple of minutes to leave a review. Your support means the world to me. Thank you!

7 thoughts on “Is WordPress Suppressing Your Content?

  1. Let’s see here….i’ve noticed that Akismet/Wordpress decides that i’ve already left comments on blogs when i am just trying to post a new one….apparently the same words trigger them, if they’ve been used even once before. JEEEEZ, will the reptiles please sit down???? xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kelley. It’s unfortunate that you too are having issues. Akismet and WordPress definitely need to make changes to their algorithm or have more oversight. From a business perspective, it does make sense to have systems in place to protect content creators and consumers from malware or malintent. Even so, there is a thin line between protecting, overreaching, and incompetence. And if they’re going to be policing our content, they should at least do their due diligence to prevent these issues we’re experiencing from happening. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, so glad you got that rectified! I didn’t think Akismet was that flawed, but they have flagged comments from bloggers with whom I frequently interact before who didn’t even do anything suspicious like share a link in their comment etc. I wish you continued blog growth for 2021. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rochelle. Unfortunately, although Akismet claimed to have made “adjustments,” which should fix the problems, when I asked for an explanation as to what adjustments were made, the Akismet engineer responded: “We can’t provide details due to the secure nature of our service.”

      So, they are not forthcoming, and there’s no way to know what changes, if any, I need to implement on my end to prevent these issues from reoccurring. I’ll give it a day or two to see if the issues were indeed rectified.

      Thanks for sharing your experience and best wishes to you in 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How very interesting. Just this morning someone commented that a video on a recent post of mine was no longer there. When I went back to the post there were also photos missing. WP wouldn’t allow me to edit and republish it. I know that has nothing to do with comments but it’s frustrating that it won’t let me fix my post. And now I’m starting to wonder about comments too because my figures dropped last year as well. I might have to investigate further. Thanks for the post Josiah. Am happy we’ve connected again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Miriam. Wow…I wonder how many other people are dealing with similar issues. I’m sorry to learn about your experience. For those of us who post regularly, we put a lot of work into our craft and should not be left wondering whether or not our post content or comments are reaching their intended audience. Despite it all, the journey continues. It’s always a pleasure connecting with you in the blogosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the journey does indeed continue and I have to say that, despite everything that’s happening in the world today, I’m really excited about this year. Happy blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s