[wp-hackers] WP package with spam plugin

Alex Günsche ag.ml2007 at zirona.com
Wed Sep 26 19:28:57 GMT 2007


before I explain, a little question: What would you do, if WordPress
distributed a WordPress version including a plugin for, say,
TextLinkAds? Would you say this is ok, or would you consider it spam?

There is a German WordPress (WPD) community who translates WP to German
and who power support forums. This is very nice, however nothing

They also distribute the German WP version, which has everything German
(even themes and early messages). Therefore their version is quite
widespread among the German speaking WP community.

Now WPD distributes a WordPress 2.3 package together with a plugin for
the usage of LinkLift, a German link trade platform similar to
TextLinkAds. The plugin is not activated by default, and one needs an
account with LinkLift to use it, but pretty obviously, this is plain
spam: Including a plugin in a core distribution suggests that this
plugin is very important and useful, and even the inclusion itself is
good for transporting the name of the company to a very relevant target

What WPD does is not illegal, anyway, many German users are rather upset
about this advertising, especially as WPD makes money by including
advertising into a product that they didn't create. (Btw, remember that
Automattic doesn't make advertising on the wp.org forums, not even on

Now some of the less savvy German WP users think that this is WordPress
in general coming with advertising since 2.3, and some of the half savvy
*and* paranoid even believe that there's a connection between the new
update notification in WP 2.3 and the advertising in WPD's 2.3. This of
course is very bad PR for WordPress.

Asked about this plugin being in the WPD's WordPress package, the WPD
team refuses to give any concrete answers (for the German speaking:
But it is obvious that there is some sort of deal between WPD and

Now I wonder: Do you guys agree that including a commercial plugin into
a WordPress package is spam? If so, what could be done about it?

Kind regards,

Alex Günsche, Zirona OpenSource-Consulting
Blogs: http://www.zirona.com/ | http://www.regularimpressions.net
PubKey for this address: http://www.zirona.com/misc/ag.ml2007.asc

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