Support » Plugin: iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) » "Enable Default Banned List" blocks Linkedin Bot

  • I was going nuts trying to figure out why the LinkedIn share button on my site wasn’t working correctly. When you shared, the LinkedIn share window that came up pointed back to the blog homepage with no image and no title versus having all the right info (the title of post, URL and image).

    It was almost as if LinkedIn wasn’t seeing the Open Graph tags. Well, it turns out that it wasn’t seeing them. Past posts worked fine, but I noticed new posts since I installed this plugin had the sharing problem. After some troubleshooting, I realized that if I turned off the “Enable Default Banned List” feature under “Ban” then sharing worked perfectly.

    There must be something on that banned list that blocks LinkedIn’s bot. Obviously, this isn’t something people want to block, as it makes sharing a major problem for LinkedIn. I tried to look through the list and see if there was something obvious, but I couldn’t find something. Any ideas what blocked bot on the list is causing LinkedIn’s bot to also be blocked?


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  • From my point of view, completely disabling the banlist may not be very secure. So I’ve done some research and found out that the following lines are blocking LinkedIn bot.

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} libwww [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} libwww-perl [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^Link [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} LinksManager.com_bot [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} linkwalker [NC,OR]

    I propose to turn on the “Enable Default Banned List” option and then manually remove the following code from .htaccess file. (The “Remove write permissions from .htaccess and wp-config.php” should be disabled before editing). This solution works for me and it would be great if someone could check it too.

    I read a lot of information and realized that the problem with the incorrect link preview in LinkedIn is very popular. Many people (including me) were not even aware that it may be caused by security measures in WordPress CMS. Therefore, I would like to ask the Better WP Security author to make some changes in the next releases or investigate this problem and include the solution to the FAQ.

    Except that this plugin seems to occasionally update .htaccess file to it’s original state 🙁

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