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How do I remote wpmudev.org spam? (19 posts)

  1. voopress
    Posted 1 year ago #

    After installing a free plugin from wpmudev.org, I found that my server started nagging me to install a plugin which would give me more spam about their products.

    Even after uninstalling their garbage, my server is now stuck with a banner which reads...

    "Please install the latest version of our free Update Notifications plugin which helps you stay up-to-date with the most stable"

    Not only do I find this insulting that an author would add something to my server without permission let alone spamming me but that even after getting rid of their plugin, the spam remains.

    I've looked around a lot, have come across a lot of posts but none that explain how to remove this nonsense, only how to hide the spam banner.

    Talk about unfair practices, it may as well have been a Trojan or virus since there is no obvious way of getting rid of it.

    Perhaps wordpress.org should post a bulletin for others to know about their practices and decide for themselves if these bullies are playing fair or not to use their products. I never will.

    These are not good practices and any author using them should be avoided. Now we have what used to be a nice which was coming along very well which now has code that we do not want installed.

  2. Hi Voopress, thanks for posting this. I've never come across these guys and don't know much about them, but I will inquire.

    Have you tried asking on their support forum if they can assist?

  3. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @Christine: What you are hearing here is accurate. Those folks "bait" with a free (or in my own case, a low-cost) plugin, then you cannot get away from their nagging you to purchase their premium service or whatever. I saw my own error within minutes and opened a dispute at PayPal, and PayPal decided that matter in my favor two days ago. Also, that company has a no-refund policy for digital goods, but cases like that are one reason I use PayPal!

    @Voopress: The only way to get rid of any of their stuff is to get rid of all of it.

  4. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Even after uninstalling their garbage, my server is now stuck with a banner which reads...

    "Please install the latest version of our free Update Notifications plugin which helps you stay up-to-date with the most stable"

    You are still getting that after removing everything you got from them?

  5. PhoebeS
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hello. I'm having the same issue. I wasn't even aware this message wasn't from WP itself, at first.

    I checked all of my plug-ins and none and none seem to be created by this company, so I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?


  6. voopress
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thanks for the input folks. For some reason, I never got any notice of this thread getting any replies.

    Yes, the banner still shows well after uninstalling their free software.
    I have to use a snippet just to stop the banner from showing which feels to me like my WP site is now compromised.

    WP should advertise such companies in the plugins screens to help others not get caught this way. I find this completely intrusive, virus like and am frustrated that I now have code in my system that I cannot remove.

    No, I didn't post anything in their forums because there are countless others who seem to be stuck just like me and others.

  7. voopress
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I also notice I typo'd and write Remote instead of Remove

  8. wordOne
    Posted 1 year ago #

    So, no one has found an answer? Is this not simply some code put into a db table or something that could be removed?

    I am surprised that WP dev's aren't more interested in this. This is a terrible practice.

  9. voopress
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Christine, should I have posted this in another forum? The problem is still there, there is code installed on my server by that company.

    I would have to believe that wordpress authors would be more concerned?

  10. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I have found this from Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) in another thread about reporting plugins:

    Email plugins@wordpress.org with a link to the plugin...

    Maybe try that.

  11. ClaytonJames
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @wordOne, @voopress

    Plugins made available (for free, or by commercial licensing) by wpmudev.org, are not something that are necessarily made available here in the wordpress.org plugin repository for download.

    The behavior and - or - the perception of unethical/undesirable behavior of those plugins, is not under the control of WordPress developers. Any issues with a plugin(s) provided by wpmudev.org needs to be addressed through the support method provided by them; as Christine has already advised.

    That being said, I don't see the name of the problematic plugin mentioned anywhere (unless I overlooked it) in this discussion yet, so it would be difficult for anyone to provide any insight or advice on how to properly resolve the issue.

  12. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @ClaytonJames: Here is where this all began:

    After installing a free plugin from wpmudev.org...

    And I believe you are correct: wpmudev actions are "not under the control of WordPress developers."

    When making my own complaint to PayPal while requesting a refund, I told PayPal the wpmudev company is not actually doing anything wrong, just being an overbearing nuisance while offering free WordPress plugins that include their obnoxious, solicitous banner.

    Other than warning others as best we can, I see no way to stop wpmudev...and my own experience suggests it is pointless to try to talk with wpmudev.

  13. ClaytonJames
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I think Ipstenu's comment in this discussion sums it up in an extremely concise manner. http://wordpress.org/support/topic/premiumwpmudevorg-reliance?replies=6

  14. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Agreed (in my own words): There is really nothing that can be done, and I can only hope others do not fall prey as I had.

  15. wordOne
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I don't expect wordpress devs to take any action but what I am looking for is some direction on how to remove this code from my otherwise clean installation.
    It is not fair that a company has installed code I don't want on my site and worse, that I need to run more code just to hide an annoying banner.

    That said, perhaps devs should look at adding something to WP in the form of 'containers' or very well spelled out API which includes a complete 100% removal of code when something is uninstalled.

    I don't have the answer, all I know is that this practice is unfair to non programmers who are using WP.

  16. kmessinger
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

  17. leejosepho
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I have sent a note to PayPal to let them know any complaints they might get from WordPress users are legitimate and should be handled accordingly.

  18. voopress
    Posted 1 year ago #

    kmessinger, that link is really just to a plugin. What I have been hoping to find out is how one can remove this from their site completely, not just hide it.

    I am surprised that considering all of the complaints that there doesn't seem to be an answer on how to fully nuke this.

    Is the code in the db? Is the code in the html/php files? Where's the code hiding?

  19. ClaytonJames
    Posted 1 year ago #

    that link is really just to a plugin.

    That appears to be correct.

    That plugin would seem to be intended to prevent the nag from showing, should you decide to continue to use the plugin that places the banner at the top of the admin panel. Looks like it might try to do that by removing the function that places the banner in the admin area. That function can be found in the plugin files themselves.

    In the examples I looked at, the function is clearly defined and easy to locate. It wasn't hidden or obfuscated in any way.

    /* -------------------- Update Notifications Notice -------------------- */
    if ( !function_exists( 'wdp_un_check' ) ) {
    	add_action( 'admin_notices', 'wdp_un_check', 5 );
    	add_action( 'network_admin_notices', 'wdp_un_check', 5 );
    	function wdp_un_check() {
    		if ( !class_exists( 'WPMUDEV_Update_Notifications' ) && current_user_can( 'install_plugins' ) )
    			echo '<div class="error fade"><p>' . __('Please install the latest version of <a href="http://premium.wpmudev.org/project/update-notifications/" title="Download Now »">our free Update Notifications plugin</a> which helps you stay up-to-date with the most stable, secure versions of WPMU DEV themes and plugins. <a href="http://premium.wpmudev.org/wpmu-dev/update-notifications-plugin-information/">More information »</a>', 'wpmudev') . '</a></p></div>';

    You can also remove the nag simply by commenting out or removing the code in the plugin file. The plugin is just meant to be a convenient method of doing the same thing without the need to edit a file.

    I installed and activated the plugin I took this code from, and the update nag banner showed as described. I then deactivate the plugin and the banner went away.

    I ran a differential on the database: copy one, a backup I took immediately prior to installing the plugin, copy two, a backup I took immediately after deactivating the same plugin. I didn't find anything unusual in the database from the plugin, and experienced no residual effects from the plugin in the dashboard after deactivating it.

    That being said and done, and without the benefit of having you name the plugin that caused the issue or elaborating on other conditions that could have caused the banner to persist (ie.. did you in fact at any time install the suggested update plugin? You don't say one way or the other) the update plugin itself, could be an entirely different story.

    I'm not sure how much further one could go in trying to duplicate your issue with the information provided. It's just not a WordPress issue. It's a plugin developer business model issue. It's also a topic that's present in detail, and with frequency, in their own support discussions.

    Given all of that information to work with, is there anything that anyone here can do to help any further with the issue?

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