WordPress.org

Forums

Add Link to Facebook
Protest: no updates for this plugin the next 30 days (55 posts)

  1. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    One of my plugins was recently pulled from wordpress.org, because it was participating in the Sustainable Plugins Sponsorship Network (SPSN). According to Mark Riley this is against the rules, which are:

    1. Your plugin must be GPLv2 Compatible.
    2. The plugin most not do anything illegal, or be morally offensive (that’s subjective, we know).
    3. You have to actually use the subversion repository we give you in order for your plugin to show up on this site. The WordPress Plugins Directory is a hosting site, not a listing site.
    4. The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a "powered by" link) without explicitly asking the user's permission.
    5. If you don’t specify a v2-compatible license, what you check in is explicitly GPLv2.

    (source)

    For now I have removed the SPSN from all my plugins, but I do not agree that participating in the SPSN is against the rules. IMHO it clearly isn't. Of course reasoning with Mark has been tried, but without any result so far. I have thought a long time about this and I have decided to protest against this injustice. That is why I won't release any new features or improvements for this plugin for the next 30 days (except critical bug fixes). Furthermore I am asking you to protest against this injustice by writing to Mark Riley at plugins@wordpress.org.

    I am not writing plugins to earn money, nor do I participate in the SPSN for money. The few bucks I got from the SPSN is not even enough to pay the coffee I drank while developing this plugin.

    If you don't agree with me, please let me know why.

  2. edwardra3
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    At first I thought that no new updates for 30 days was a reference to the almost daily updates to the Add Links to Facebook plugin. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the plugin...I upgraded my hosting because it the plugin put me over 32M for php, and I don't regret my decision.

    That said, did he actually provide a specific reason beside the gauzy "against the (poorly elucidated) rules?"

  3. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    This was the reason given:

    Plugin sponsors:

    "During the sponsorship month, each impression requested by the JavaScript code within a given plugin’s administrative interface is allocated to one of the set of sponsors for that plugin according to that sponsor’s proportion of the overall sponsorship pool received for that plugin"

    so every time a user sees the plugin interface information is tracked.
    The user is not told of this, has no way to opt out.
    This is hidden from the user and has privacy issues regardless of what the sponsors site says.
    It is therefore not permitted.

    http:// ... /wp-admin/options-general.php?page=wp-login-vkb/wp-login-vkb.php
    On here you have
    "I have donated to this plugin"
    which users have to tick. If they have not they will not and then your link is displayed. To remove the link a user has to lie or pay.
    This is not permitted - it's not fair on the user.

  4. Michael
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    This is just ridiculous. Are there not more important things for them to worry about?

  5. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    I am glad you agree, Michael.

    Did you know that WordPress itself is tracking you too? This was reported four year ago here, but not much has happened since.

  6. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    As far as I can see it, the rules were broken. And if plugin does things that the user was never informed about, than that is shady. I am sure the data is not being used for bad reasons, but hiding the fact that this is happening is a shady practice.

  7. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    As far as I can see it, the rules were broken.

    Can you tell me which rule?

    And if plugin does things that the user was never informed about, than that is shady.

    There was a clearly visible link to the Privacy Policy of the SPSN.

  8. edwardra3
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I'm not sure if it would be allowed under SPSN's terms and conditions, but would it be possible to "force" the user to opt-in during activation or setup of the plugin?

  9. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    There was a clearly visible link to the Privacy Policy of the SPSN.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe that since you are doing the work for a plugin, you should be able to get some kind of compensation.
    But the rule that was broken is because a person gets a plugin PLUS a code that is not related to the plugin and a user is not notified that they are getting something extra besides the plugin.
    And the "Privacy Policy" is not cleat at all, at first it says:
    "No individually identifiable information of any kind will be collected"
    and lated down the page:
    "Individually identifiable information will be accepted from plugin"

    So, should you be able to make some money from the plug in? Absolutely yes.
    But at the same time, a user should be notified CLEARLY that they are getting something extra besides the plugin itself. Something like, during install, have a notice: "This plugin contains SPSN code, do you wish to continue? (And have a link to the explanation of the code right there so people can read about it before continuing) and give them option to opt out, or at least stop the installation if they don't agree.

    Best thing to do is to be honest with people, if you try to include code that people don't know about, people will suspect a shady practice and they will not trust you. But if you are open and up-front, people will support you, and many will want to help you make extra income.

  10. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Also you asked which rule was broken?
    It was a rule #4 "The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a "powered by" link) without explicitly asking the user's permission."

    I think they should change it to make it clearer to: ""The plugin must not embed external links or code....."

    But if you had what I mentioned earlier: "during install, have a notice: "This plugin contains SPSN code, do you wish to continue?"
    Than you would have complied with the rule requiring to ask for users permission.

  11. edwardra3
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    The problem with saying that the SPSN code violates rule #4 is that it does not embed any links on the public site. It embeds it on the dashboard, specifically, the settings page for the plugin.

  12. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    And the "Privacy Policy" is not cleat at all, at first it says:
    "No individually identifiable information of any kind will be collected"
    and lated down the page:
    "Individually identifiable information will be accepted from plugin"

    I will ask the SPSN for a clarification about this.

    Something like, during install, have a notice: "This plugin contains SPSN code, do you wish to continue? ...

    If the SPSN will come back to the plugin, something like this will be part of the EULA.

  13. gregmulhauser
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi folks,

    This is Greg, speaking on behalf of the SPSN.

    As indicated (I hope clearly) in our privacy policy, mentioned earlier in this thread: "No individually identifiable information of any kind will be collected or retained about sponsorship messages delivered at websites using a sponsored plugin."

    I'm sorry if this is unclear in some way, but the subsequent statement that we accept individually identifiable information from plugin authors and sponsors means that we (obviously?) accept their own personal information.

    Stating clearly who we accept personally identifiable information from and what we do with it is a requirement for us due to both UK and European legislation.

    We also require that all participating plugin authors disclose fully that their plugin is participating in SPSN and provide either a summary of or a link to our privacy policy (or both).

    So, again, unless you are a plugin developer or a plugin sponsor: we do not collect, track or retain personal information. And it should go without saying, but if you are a developer or a sponsor, it would be pretty darned difficult for us to pay you money (developers) or accept your sponsorships (sponsors) if we did not have your personal information.

    As far as I am aware, we maintain a vastly higher standard of privacy protection and full disclosure than the example set by Automattic and WordPress.org itself -- with the automatic plugin update mechanism responsible for the transmission and collection of vast amounts of information about individual WordPress installations without any disclosure about what information is being transmitted, what will be done with it, how long it will be kept, etc., and without any opportunity to opt out.

    All the best,
    Greg

  14. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    It was a rule #4 "The plugin must not embed external links on the public site (like a "powered by" link) without explicitly asking the user's permission."

    As edwardra3 already pointed out this rule is not broken, because there are no links on the public site.

    I have read the rules thoroughly and have thought about how each of the rules could be broken by the SPSN and I cannot think of any way. There was also no valid explanation from Mark so far, except from 'This is not permitted' and 'The matter is being discussed with developers and we will let you know what the outcome is'.

    The plugin was pulled from wordpress.org on July 1 and in my opinion this is a drastic measure for a plugin that have been on wordpress.org since May 2009. I have always happily supported all my plugins, but I feel quite abandoned by the WordPress people, in such a way I really think about stopping support at all. That is why I organized this little protest.

    If the SPSN is violating rules I will accept that without discussion, but I cannot accept a random rejection without a valid explanation.

  15. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    To keep you informed, this is what I wrote to Mark yesterday (no response so far):

    I am unhappy and tired of waiting.

    Every time I write to plugins@wordpress.org I have to wait a long time for mostly a vague answer, if any comes (not only for this issue).
    Apparently there is no serious support for plugin developers.

    Both me and Greg have asked for an explanation why the SPSN is against the rules. Until so far you have not given an acceptable explanation.
    Referring to possible future rules or to users that don't like things like the SPSN is not a valid explanation.

    I don't want to passively wait for an answer that may or may not come, so I will check in the Add Link to Facebook plugin next Thursay with the SPSN enabled.
    If you still think the SPSN is not permitted, then please remove the plugin from the repository. Please know that:

    1. I can and will not support plugins that are not in the WordPress repository
    2. I will not take action to get the plugin back into the repository
    3. I will refer all users asking for support to this discussion (I have sent you a link before)

    If you decide to remove the plugin from the repository then I am asking you:

    1. to remove all my plugins from the repository
    2. to explain why you removed the plugin from the repository in the discussion mentioned before
  16. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    I'm not sure if it would be allowed under SPSN's terms and conditions, but would it be possible to "force" the user to opt-in during activation or setup of the plugin?

    The next version of the plugin will have an explicit opt-out option.

  17. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    If what GregMulhauser said is true:

    As far as I am aware, we maintain a vastly higher standard of privacy protection and full disclosure than the example set by Automattic and WordPress.org itself -- with the automatic plugin update mechanism responsible for the transmission and collection of vast amounts of information about individual WordPress installations without any disclosure about what information is being transmitted

    I wonder why your plugin got singled out and Automattic is allowed to continue to do what they are doing?

    Something stinks here, everyone needs to be treated equal, and I believe no plugin should be allowed to collect any information without full disclosure.

    Developers, why is Automattic allowed to continue what they are doing?

  18. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Because a bug had to be fixed, I just released a new version of the plugin, which also enables the SPSN again, this time with a more accessible opt-out option.

  19. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hey, on the page where you have "more accessible opt-out option" have a link to your paypal donation button.
    Or even, when someone clicks on "opt-out" than open up another window with a massage: "While participation in SPSN is not required, I would greatly appreciate any amount donation since it takes time to write the plugin and takes time to provide updates to it. If you find this plugin useful please consider a donation" and give them option "Donate" or "not now"

  20. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    I want to keep it as simple as possible and I don't want to annoy users with popup windows. There is a donate button on the same page, which should be visible before and after opting-out. I am sure the few people who want to donate will find it.

    Thanks for your suggestions anyway.

  21. ZinZang Studio
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for the bugfix update, Marcel. Looks like the info from Greg Mulhauser should help clear things up.

  22. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Looks like the info from Greg Mulhauser should help clear things up.

    Lets hope so, but the few e-mail responses from Mark were not so hopeful, unfortunately.

  23. KillerWhale
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi,

    I understand your frustration and the fact that this affair seems to be run very poorly on the part of WP. However, may I suggest that your protest is maybe not the best way to get your voice heard? In effect, you want to hurt back the people making offense to you, that's the goal of a protest. It seems to me that, by going on strike as to the plugin updates, you are not really hurting WP, but your userbase and most of all (and most unfortunate of all) your donators who are looking forward to your excellent work and have no relationship whatsoever to how WP deals with issues like that. May I suggest that a more efficient way of protesting would be to pull the plugin from your website and host it yourself elsewhere, providing the same level of excellent service we have been accustomed to, while being very vocal about this host change, for instance? As a donator, I keep looking forward to new updates (thinking about donating some more by the way, thanks to your outstanding follow-up on the plugin), and I have nothing to see with the WP repository.

  24. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    In effect, you want to hurt back the people making offense to you, that's the goal of a protest.

    That is not my intention.

    You use WordPress because there are a lot of nice themes and plugins to make your website look and do what you want. You would most probably not use WordPress if there were no themes and plugins. Just a few themes and plugins are developed by WordPress, so you depend on people like me that often spent countless hours developing a theme or plugin, most often unpaid. Developing a theme or plugin and not hosting it on wordPress.org is not an option, because almost nobody will use it. The WordPress community does advise against using themes and plugins hosted elsewhere for security reasons too.

    You need support for the themes and plugins you are using, but a theme or plugin developer does need support sometimes too. I am unhappy because this support fails. I don't get answers to the questions I ask and issues like this are not being solved. Despite several e-mails I didn't hear anything since last Thursday. How would you feel if you had a problem with the plugin and you don't get any response for a week? As I have said before, I feel quite abandoned by the WordPress people. The fun of developing the plugin has partly gone.

    In this way my problem is also your problem. It is not me that may hurt you.

    If the plugin is pulled from wordpress.org, I will look for a way to support at least the few people that donated something.

  25. KillerWhale
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I hope I didn't offend you, that was really not my intention. I agree with all that you are saying. All I am saying is: you are unhappy with the WP and that's fine with me, I feel the cause if perfectly justified. I am just concerned that, however just, the way the protest is made may not yield results with the people that need to be acting. That's all I'm sayin'. :)

  26. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    I hope I didn't offend you

    Don't worry :-)

    ... the way the protest is made may not yield results with the people that need to be acting.

    Unfortunately I cannot predict the future.

    Nevertheless, the just released version 1.91 of the plugin, necessary because of a critical bug, also introduces an alternate update server (other than wordpress.org) in preparation of things that might, but hopefully will not, happen.

  27. zhonghua
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    also introduces an alternate update server (other than wordpress.org) in preparation of things that might, but hopefully will not, happen.

    I'm aware of this. I hope it won't happen. :)

    We love your plugin. We love to support it too, as well as your development..

    Thanks a lot and Keep up the good work mate :)

  28. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks!

    Nothing happened yet and I didn't hear anything from Mark.

  29. calisun
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hold on, the whole issue is about displaying ads in the admin panel?
    As long as this is not doing anything else besides showing ads in the admin panel (like showing ads or links on my site to the public) I don't mind that.
    As a matter of fact, I have clicked on the ad inside High Performance SEO to help you out.

    Good Luck

  30. M66B
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hold on, the whole issue is about displaying ads in the admin panel?

    Yes, that's the issue.

Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.

About this Plugin

  • Add Link to Facebook
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Support Threads
  • Reviews

About this Topic