it wasn’t me. i promise.

I think this is just the work of some mischievous spammer pretending to be from Automattic in order to send up the chaotic nature of their ad policy. It must be, because there’s sure as hell no ‘Lloyd’ on the list of staff and Podz doesn’t seem to have heard of him.

Unless they’re obviously a spammer (and it’s pretty damn easy to tell the difference between a book review blog and a splog), a genuine member of staff would give them the chance to remove the links before threatening suspension. Quite apart from this being the polite thing to do, you can’t rely on people to have read the ToS because it was only implemented after a couple of hundred thousand people had already signed up, and those people were never required to read it and agree to the conditions. And you can’t rely on them to know that Scoble is Special and they are not, and that although he has Amazon ads on his blog, doing the same thing on theirs will get them zapped. There’s no warning to this effect in Scoble’s sidebar, after all, and genuine members of staff would not assume psychic powers on the part of the recipient.

As I point out in the thread, spoofing email addresses happens all the time. Just because someone says they’re from Automattic doesn’t mean they are. If you get a similar weird or threatening email, send a feedback or contact support@wordpress.com so you can be sure you’re actually talking to someone kosher.

21 Comments »

  1. skippy said

    I recieved an email a few weeks back from a fellow named Lloyd who introduced himself as a new member of the Automattic team (though his reply-to was a GMail account). He was still an employee elsewhere, and had some days yet to serve before he was able to make any official announcements.

    Podz confirms that Lloyd is a staff member.

  2. Secret members of staff? OK, that’s even dodgier. I know they kept Barry quiet for a bit, but to my knowledge he wasn’t harassing users in the meantime.

  3. podz said

    Lloyd is a genuine member of staff who for various reasons as Skippy has said needed to keep that slightly quiet. It’s not secret secret if that makes sense.
    He has been helping me with support hence his email.

    As for the ToS – it may well have only come in after a number of users but we are trying to give some people a fair crack even if they signed up after that checkbox was introduced.

    We’ll work on the emails … I screwed up there too not so long ago.

  4. britgirl said

    “And you can’t rely on them to know that Scoble is Special and they are not, and that although he has Amazon ads on his blog, doing the same thing on theirs will get them zapped.”

    LOL. No, but that’s because of Specialness. No more, no less. Wonder if there’ll be a special reference in the ToS…

  5. Collin said

    The Scoble thing:

    The Amazon Links in his sidebar are to his own books. Most others are just affiliate links to products they have no other link to. I believe that’s the only reason why they have been allowed. I know this subject has been done to death on at least 10,000 occasions, I just think that’s important for everyone to remember.

  6. And the Google ads for cheap laptops and home loans in the sidebar here will take you to Om’s own sites, I suppose?

    The ‘he only gets the ads because he’s written a book’ line of defence annoys me immensely, because I don’t like to have my intelligence insulted. Does Scoble get a custom theme because he’s written a book? No, he gets the custom theme because he’s mates with Matt. If he wanted Adsense like Om has, he could have it, because he’s mates with Matt. Yet the fact he’s allowed Amazon links is completely unconnected to the fact he’s mates with Matt? Please. Matt’s not ashamed of showing favoritism to his A-list acquaintances, so there’s really no need for the rest of you to try and hide it on his behalf🙂

  7. Pissed Off Joe said

    We are all equal out here.

    Some are simply more equal than others.

    BTW, where in the ToS does it say that ads are not allowed?

  8. It doesn’t. What it says in the ToS is that they can change their ad policy at whim and they don’t have to tell us about it. This covers a lot of eventualities, including but not limited to Specialness, promotion to Specialness, suspension for failure to be Special, and implementation of ads on everyone’s blogs. (They probably won’t do the latter because it would be unbelivably tacky, but the ToS does not rule it out.)

    Good thing the new employee’s not secret secret, drmike was a little careless with the forum links😉 He’s not the only one jumping ship from Flock either, by the sounds of it. I miss GFY, they would surely have had the lowdown.

  9. timethief said

    I create mental file folders, label them and store them for ready reference when answering questions on the forum. My advertising exceptions file is an example. I thought I had carefully labeled only one blog “Special – handle NOT with care” never to be referred to again. So when I saw that the flashing green Amazon 30% off advertisement in the sidebar in jaytomio’s blog I immediately THOUGHT things through:

    (1) You’re not Robert.
    (2) You’re not special because you didn’t write these Amazon books.
    (3) You’re not “new”.
    (4) No advertising is the rule and everybody knows that.
    (5) Suck it up, take out the links and get the fuck off the forum.

    Obviously, THINKING was a big mistake that I won’t be making again.

    P.S. The pinky sticky and the FAQs say “no advertising” – I think … oh oh! I’m out of here.😉

  10. britgirl said

    “”This covers a lot of eventualities, including but not limited to Specialness, promotion to Specialness, suspension for failure to be Special, and implementation of ads on everyone’s blogs.”

    So Sp..true. (Shaking with mirth).

  11. timethief said

    This also cracked me up but it suggested far too many mental file folders for this dumb little blonde to cope with.

    Hot off Matt’s blog – check this out http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/

  12. britgirl said

    Never mind all this ads stuff. I propose we need a new lexicon!😉. New words are added to the English lexicon everyday – like Fax, email, text (as in text messaging) or more recently fugly… so we could include Special, unSpecial, UberSpecial, XtraSpecial, NonsuchSpecial , whatdoyouemeanyourSpecialtoo…the list is endless…

  13. timethief said

    @britgirl – honey you’re on a subspecial roll. roflmbo *sigh* And I promised wank I’d try to be good.😉

    FWIW Loyd is not the only new Automattic employee folks.The team is continuing to expand. Matt http://photomatt.net/ has also introduced Mike Adams too http://blogwaffe.com/2006/09/06/418/.

  14. Collin said

    And the Google ads for cheap laptops and home loans in the sidebar here will take you to Om’s own sites, I suppose?

    Only you mentioned Google Ads, I didn’t. I specifically mentioned Robert’s AFFILIATE links to his own books.

    The ‘he only gets the ads because he’s written a book’ line of defence annoys me immensely, because I don’t like to have my intelligence insulted.

    Huh? When did I insult your intelligence? You mis-read my comment.

    Does Scoble get a custom theme because he’s written a book? No, he gets the custom theme because he’s mates with Matt.

    Again, you mentioned that, I did not. Can’t disagree with that comment at all.

    If he wanted Adsense like Om has, he could have it, because he’s mates with Matt. Yet the fact he’s allowed Amazon links is completely unconnected to the fact he’s mates with Matt? Please.

    Unfortunately I can’t find the exact quote, but it was specifically said (might have been Podz) that Robert’s were left because they were to his own books specifically and not general advertising.

    Matt’s not ashamed of showing favoritism to his A-list acquaintances, so there’s really no need for the rest of you to try and hide it on his behalf

    Hide it? Not trying to hide it. However, you seem to take great pleasure in Matt bashing, is it not fair that some of us was to stick up for him?

  15. Collin said

    *want

  16. it was specifically said (might have been Podz) that Robert’s were left because they were to his own books specifically and not general advertising.

    Yes, looking at the original forum thread it was Podz who said that, never Matt. Matt has always been pretty upfront about the fact that Scoble gets favours because he knows him personally, for which I give him credit. It’s quite possible that this makes Podz uncomfortable and that’s why he came up with this other line of reasoning to justify it to himself, which is fine — whatever makes you happy and allows you to keep doing your job — but let’s not mistake it for reality.

    However, you seem to take great pleasure in Matt bashing, is it not fair that some of us want to stick up for him?

    While I freely admit I get a bit ad hominem on Matt at times (I do try not to, but when somebody is so closely identified with a company as to name it after themselves it’s a very easy trap to fall into) I don’t see how this thread is Matt-bashing unless you think showing favoritism to certain users is a terrible terrible thing. My line these days is that no, it’s not ideal, but there’s not an organisation on the planet where it doesn’t go on. And ultimately wordpress.com does benefit from the extra publicity and revenue these VIP blogs bring in. What I’d like is a little more transparency — something in the FAQ explaining that yes, you may see blogs with ads or custom themes, but these are exceptions made on a case-by-case basis and will only be allowed if you can make a convincing case for their inclusion (and/or know Matt). Not this blanket condemnation when people can see with their own eyes that there are other blogs ‘breaking’ the rules. I mean, it’s not like sploggers care whether something is allowed anyway.

  17. britgirl said

    “What I’d like is a little more transparency — something in the FAQ explaining that yes, you may see blogs with ads or custom themes, but these are exceptions made on a case-by-case basis and will only be allowed if you can make a convincing case for their inclusion (and/or know Matt). Not this blanket condemnation when people can see with their own eyes that there are other blogs ‘breaking’ the rules. I mean, it’s not like sploggers care whether something is allowed anyway.

    I wonder why it is that people seem to find this so hard to understand. It is perfectly simple to me

    @TT -“P.S. The pinky sticky and the FAQs say “no advertising” – I think … oh oh! I’m out of here”
    I wondered what you meant. when I read that.. now I think I know.
    Nice one.😉

  18. timethief said

    TA DA TA TA DA!
    I’m announcing the Plaster Ass Not Very Important Blogger NVIB Challenge for details check out my post.😉 http://bloggersblurt.wordpress.com/2006/09/09/the-plaster-ass-not-a-very-important-blogger-nvib-challenge/

  19. timethief said

    Here’s an update on the specifics of specialness regarding the arrangments between Auttomatic and “notable bloggers” that may be of interest http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/24/vip-blogs/

  20. sdfdgvd said

    svnf vfdfvdfvldfv dff sfg

  21. drmike said

    Just for reference, it DOESN”T say in the ToS that adverts are not allowed. It’s been pointed out to staff MANY times with a pointer to the FAQ on the FAQ blog and a statement that that is good enough.

    Just another example of Automattic staff ignoring a situation and screwing over their end users by being too damn lazy to actually tell anyone what is occuring. Not the first time either.

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