(UPDATE: UrbanSemiotic.com is now hosted on Movable Type 4.1. We are keeping this article in publication to keep the record preserved.)
That doesn’t mean problems and bugs aren’t an issue, though, and there is a current bug that I call a WordPress.com SuperBug — a regular “bug” is bothersome, a “SuperBug” modifies published content — and here’s why.
There is a known problem on WordPress.com where Published posts can mysteriously become Private posts.
That means an article everyone used to be able to search and see is
made Private so no one can see it unless they have the direct URL.
That’s a Big Problem. A SuperBug Big Problem.
If I decide I want to make a Published post Private, I have to edit the
post, change a radio button from “Published” to “Private” and then Save
the post to update its status in the system.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the how or the why of
the SuperBug — it just seems to decide on its own which posts to make
Private that were once Published.
This is a pernicious problem that should be immediately resolved and I
hate talking about this in a public post — public so far, at least —
but you need to know some content may be inadvertently missing without
It looks like this SuperBug was first reported in the WordPress.com
Support forum on February 15.
Sunday I reported in the support forum one of my articles — Jesus Found Dead in His Grave — was taken Private from Published.
This morning I returned to the support forum to ask how we — as Blog
Authors on WordPress.com — can easily check to see if other Published posts have mysteriously become Private.
The hard answer, it seems, is to just page through every article title
and look for the pernicious “Private” word the system adds to your post
title. Then you have to open that post, mark it “Published” and then
What a mess!
My wrist is killing me from clicking through around 1,000 posts looking
for a “Private” that should not be there, but I’m glad I did because I
found a second post that was taken Private from Published and I had no
idea this had happened behind my back!
In a curious and ironic — and perhaps even fascinating twist — my How to Provide Online Tech Support
article was also made Private by the WordPress.com SuperBug!
How many other Published Posts have been taken Private across the
current 720,000 WordPress.com hosting service without the Blog Author
even being aware of the danger?
We have Authors here on this Urban Semiotic blog, but none of them has ever had Admin area status higher than “Contributor” — so no staff trickery is possible.
I am calling on you to do some searches on this Urban Semiotic blog
for your favorite articles.
Can you find them?
Have they disappeared?
If you have a link here, or a Trackback to a certain article, can you
please click on those links and see if a pernicious SuperBug “Private”
has been added to the title of the post? If so, that means the post is
not visible to the rest of the world and you need to contact me
ASAP and leave a comment here reporting your test results.
I guess I’m doomed to paging through all my article titles every day
until confirmation that this SuperBug has been quashed becomes a
Let’s see if this post gets bitten by the mysterious WordPress.com
SuperBug and gets taken Private by the system!
There may not be active human censorship going on behind the backend
scenes at WordPress.com — but doesn’t allowing the system to take
Public Posts Private serve the same end?