I think I may have stumbled across a case of censorship on WordPress. I didn’t want to believe it, but there seems to be no other explanation and so I document it here (hoping there won’t be further censorship if such is the case). The question is who would be able to censor blogs in this manner. I assume it would have to be programmed into the software which means there is some combination of words or tags that causes a blog post to not show up. But why? What purpose would such censorship serve?
It all started when I posted the following blog:
Posted on July 10, 2009 by Benjamin Steele
I noticed something which led me to investigate further and I made these comments in that blog:
I was looking at my blog statistics and I noticed that no one had viewed this post yet. Usually, when a post has this many tags it gets viewed right away.
So, I checked out some of the tags. There are more recent posts by other bloggers who have posted under the same tags and there blogs already show up in the tag listing. I didn’t check every tag out, but so far this post has yet to show up in any of the tag listings that I’ve looked at. This is highly unusual as a post typically shows up in the tag listings as soon as it’s posted.
It makes me wonder if blog posts that have certain sets of tags get held off the tag listings until they’ve been inspected by someone. Anyways, it’s highly suspicious considering the subject of this post. It could just be a glitch in the system, but if so it’s the first I’ve noticed it.
I made another interesting observation. I looked at the page for the tag “CIA”. It didn’t show my blog even though it showed other blogs with posts more recent than mine, but that wasn’t the interesting part. It only listed posts from the last day. Most major tags have endless pages of posts. It simply isn’t possible that nobody on WordPress has tagged a blog post with the term “CIA” before today.
Either WordPress is having some system wide glitches that are making posts not show up or there is systematic censorship.
There must’ve been a glitch at least for the CIA tag page because now it shows more than a page of posts. However, my post is still not showing up on any of the tag pages that I’ve checked. If it is a glitch, why is it not effecting other blogger’s posts?
Right now (9:44 pm, Friday, 7/10/09) I did a Word Press search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which gave this result:
0 results for Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression (0.03 seconds)Search into posts comments
Your search did not match any blog posts. Whoa.
- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.
And I did a Google search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which on the first page gave these 3 results that mentioned my blog post in the blurbs:
Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression. Posted on July 10, 2009 by Benjamin Steele … that the 1950s was merely a clear example of the entire Cold War era. …
Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression. This post started out being about the paranoia … that the 1950s was merely a clear example of the entire Cold War era. …
en.wordpress.com/tag/alphabet-agencies/ – 16 hours ago -
World War Ii â Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress (from page 2)Cold War: Paranoia and Oppression · Benjamin Steele wrote 8 hours ago : This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the …
I click on the Google search link to my blog Marmalade and it shows my post. But I click on the link to “Alphabet Agencies” in the Google search results and it brings me to the WordPress page which says:
Blogs about: Alphabet Agencies
Sorry, we don’t have any posts here with that tag. You may want to try one of the sites below.
And I click on the link to “World War Ii” in the Google search results and it shows a whole list of Word Press posts, but notice despite Google’s search results my post is no where to be seen.
Blogs about: World War Ii
Update: I looked at the Word Press page for Censorship and this post showed up in the results immediately. So, this post about the censorship of my other post shows up even while my other post continues to be blocked. lol
Blogs about: Censorship
Check out (“Spirit of the Law”) Nancy K. Bohl (Penrod’s wife) for yourself, and see where your tax money is going
California Peer Support Association 2009 Annual Conference and Training Conference Schedule WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2009 See also: Hoops pays back the Good Ol’ Boys Raymond S. G. Pryke v… more →
Further Update: I copied verbatim my post “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” and re-posted it as “US Government: 1940s-90s”, but I left the original up as well. The only things I changed were the title and the tags. The original was still not showing up listed in Word Press tag pages, but the re-posting was. Out of curiosity, I did a Yahoo search of both titles and a Google search of both post titles simultaneously with “OR” in between. This search was about a day after re-posting which would allow the search engine web crawlers to find it. There wasn’t any results from Yahoo and there was only one page of results from Google (see below). Interestingly, there isn’t a single direct link to the re-posting in the Google results even though there are several indirect links to it. I haven’t done a thorough investigation, but this seems like something typical of searches I’ve done in the past. There apparently is a strange relationship between the search engines and Word Press. I used to have several blogs from several hosted sites. I’d post the same thing to each of them because I was testing them out in order to see which one I liked best. I did like Word Press’ functionality the best, but one disconcerting observation was how the posts from the other hosting site would show up in the search engine top results while the Word Press posts didn’t always show up. Why is it that when doing a specific search that Google gives me indirect links rather than direct links?
And I did a Google search for “Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression” which on the first page gave these 3 results that mentioned my blog post in the …
blogga-blognotes.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html – Cached – SimilarUS Government: 1940s-90s. Posted on July 13, 2009 by Benjamin Steele. This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the …
benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ – Similar
US Government: 1940s-90s · Martin Luther King Jr.: Playboy Interview · Cold War Era: Paranoia and Oppression · Visions of Prescott, AZ …
addictomatic.com/topic/recent+results+ku – 2 hours ago – Similar
US Government: 1940s-90s. Posted on July 13, 2009 by Benjamin Steele. This post started out with my thinking about the paranoia and oppressiveness of the …
benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ – Similar