06 October 2008

Stumbleupon Lashes Out Against Bloggers

What is Stumbleupon? It is a social networking site, which allows people (i.e stumblers) to submit pages, or video or photos on the web that people can review and post whether they like or dislike the content, members can also build up a network of friends or fans that can subscribe to a stumbler's reviewed content.

Stumbleupon.com is one of the more powerful tools used for SEO, and can launch your sites into popularity by giving other stumblers the chance to view your link by referral of another stumbler - if that particular stumbler has allot of subscribers , or is highly regarded on the site - this can mean basically the equivalent to Internet gold for your site in the form of traffic. Search engines seem to love pages that are added to this service. And having your pages reviewed gives your site a better web presence.

By far stumbleupon.com has been one of the more popular sites for bloggers' to social network and get their content known, and helps to increase page views in turn adding to revenue from advertisements placed on blogs. By adding badges, stumble links and merely stumbling the very articles that fill up Stumbleupon's site, this has basically inundated Stumbleupon.com with traffic, which in turn gets them sponsors and huge advertising revenues.

Then WHY you ask is Stumbleupon.com targeting bloggers? These very same people who hurled the SU site into popularity ? How do you ask is Stumbleupon.com lashing out at bloggers?

Apparently it started with Entrecard.com. What is Entrecard? Entrecard is a blogging service that allows a widget to be placed on your blog, where people can give you Entrecard "credit" in exchange for advertising on your site., and vis a versa. Entrecard members signed into Entrecard get credit for visiting other members sites and "dropping" their ad card, by pushing on the widgetbutton that says "drop" - which lands the user's blog ad in the "recent droppers" section of the user's dashboard at Entrecard.com, or by clicking & visit the blog who's ad currently is displayed by the widget and also by adding comments to other Entrecard members' blogs.

Apparently, it started with some nefarious dealings involving bloggers posting to a forum about exchanging Entrecard credits for a stumble of their recent blog posts. Stumbleupon.com reacted by banning ALL posts referencing Entrecard from being stumbled on SU. If you do try to submit a post to stumbleupon.com , you will get redirected to this page of Banned Sites. The below pictue is a screenshot of what it says.

O.k, you may be wondering why am I posting about this? At 8:35 a.m this morning I received an email from Stumbleupon.com:

from StumbleUpon
to renaissanceculinaire (at ) gmail.com
date Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 8:37 AM
subject Your StumbleUpon account has been frozen
mailed-by stumbleupon.com

Your StumbleUpon account privileges have been restricted and the account is under review.

Accounts are placed under review for breaching our Terms of Service, which may be found here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/terms.html

The most common cause for account suspension is a contravention of the clauses which forbid the use of personal accounts for the promotion of a business, product or service, and also with regard to the sending of 'spam' messages to other members.

If you wish to appeal this suspension, having first reviewed the TOS, then you may contact us here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/feedback.php but be aware that we will only have imposed the suspension if we believe it to be warranted.

I immediately responded that I had done nothing to violate the TOS . I was NOT a business owner using SU for promoting a business; Nor was I spamming members with messages, I rarely used the message system.

I couldn't believe it. I had used, promoted and encouraged others to use Stumbleupon.com. Now my account was frozen? I went to twhirl, my twitter client that I use to post tweets to twitter, starting with "I am really tired of Legit, talented bloggers getting bullied by sites like Digg.com & Stumbleupon", because there was a slew of banned bloggers from both sites recently.
Here are my typed series of tweets:

My contacts were like What? And sent replies such as "I wasn't aware there was a problem with SU", or "DDOS attack?", Some, not regular users weren't sure where I was going with the tweet.

Then I got a Direct Mail from another contact, who asked "what? Your Su account was frozen this morning?", I answered back and got his reply which said:

"everyone in the comments of my post was banned from SU this morning"

What?! That is right - because I merely posted a comment on a random blog (which was NOT a banned site on SU), I was banned from Stumbleupon.com. I hadn't even stumbled ANYTHING related to Entrecard.com, nor had I participated in receiving EC credits for stumbling any sites. Stumbleupon.com had found that random post and banned every blogger that commented on the post, from the Stumbleupon.com site.

Yes, because I am an Entrecard user, I was targeted this morning by Stumbleupon. Yesterday I noticed a tweet from one of my contacts on Twitter that mirrored the spirit of The Problogger Love-in, a social networking experiment and experience that connected bloggers using various social networking sites to each other.

I thought it was a great idea, retweeted it to my own twitter stream, and then added the first comment for that particular post. I had referenced that I had 2 blogs on Entrecard, and noted that this blog, Renaissance Culinaire, was one of them and proceeded to link to my stumbleupon profile, within the comments. I had NO idea that SU had banned Entrecard.com.

ImpNerd owner Gary Hess, the original blog where the post I had commented on, is here. All the previous comments of the recently banned members have been removed. You can view what SU's support said in response to Gary's questioning here.

Stumbleupon has gone too far. Bloggers are the life blood of SU. I was unfairly targeted, for commenting on a post related to Entrecard. I, like many other bloggers are being unfairly punished for a sketchy forum post that included a few participants. Most people do NOT even know about the ban. How long will SU be combing the Internet for linked SU profiles that are randomly, somehow by coincidence, tied to a post that references Entrecard?



4:04 PM, October 06, 2008 Reply  

This has been going on for a while now and why we totally banned all social media exchanges some time ago. Digital Point and other big ones also changed their ways to avoid being targeted.

Thanks for the share,

4:15 PM, October 06, 2008 Reply  

Someone tweeted this link; I wasn't even aware of this, since I am such a SU n00b that I forget to even stumble sites. But I do have an Entrecard account, so I might need to get a little bit worried...even though that is another site I signed up with mainly to keep my name from being taken, and have since ignored.

4:42 PM, October 06, 2008 Reply  

I think it's absolutely ridiculous to ban every person in a comments section of a banned site.
What does that solve? It not only punishes the "offending site", but also any random person that came through using the site as intended.
That has got to be the most bone headed decision of the year!
I will now stop commenting on sites that I used to Stumble freely. And that sucks, because any serious site owner or blogger values that interaction and site participation.

4:44 PM, October 06, 2008 Reply  

The problem with this is, they banned us for 'promoting a business' even though we were exchanging friends only. No where in the post did I say "stumble everyone here LOL! Lets make SU pay! Muahaha!"

There are much larger fish to fry than impNERD.com when it comes to 'promoting a business' or SU love-ins.

5:18 PM, October 06, 2008 Reply  

@The Fitness Diva: The site wasn't a banned site on SU. We were targeted because we were members of a Banned Site. And this post we commented on was NOT stumbled. SU found the post through other means.

It is indeed ridiculous all the same.

3:43 AM, October 07, 2008 Reply  

It may be understandable that the management does not want to use it for profits. However, they should have been careful enough in banning the members of the social network.

5:07 PM, October 08, 2008 Reply  

I am one of the other bloggers that commented on Impnerd's post and had my SU account frozen. It is so frustrating, especially because the post wasn't even about stumbling each other. It was just about becoming stumble friends. When I first got the email that My account was frozen and was trying to figure out where it came from, this was the furthest thing from my mind.

Does anyone know how long these freezes can last?

5:17 AM, October 12, 2008 Reply  

amazing blog

5:12 PM, October 12, 2008 Reply  

The su geting suck day by day !.

7:22 AM, October 15, 2008 Reply  

Not sure what's up with stumbleupon. I had an account (actually 2 - 3) long ago and I rarely use them. Anyway, I guess you should move on and join some other social networks. :)

2:16 AM, October 17, 2008 Reply  

That’s great, I never thought about that helps to increase page views in turn adding to revenue from advertisements placed on blogs.

12:44 PM, October 27, 2008 Reply  

Apparently the entrecard punishment is not quite over. A friend of mine just got 'the letter' yesterday. Digg and SU are bullies indeed.

8:09 PM, January 27, 2009 Reply  

Just wanted to say my account was frozen today. 7000+ thumbs given to various blogs, did my own stuff probably 2 dozen times.

They said I was promoting a website, service or brand too much.

Which is complete BS.

24 compared to 7000+? Give me a break.

StumbleUpon is not a social networking site like they say they are.

6:29 AM, February 26, 2009 Reply  

I rarely use them.

Although thanks for the Information.

2:28 PM, October 07, 2009 Reply  

They did the same thing to me a while back. They even banned my uncle who used them only once for two hours and forgot to go back...

They're just hurting themselves in the long run.

2:06 AM, November 06, 2009 Reply  

Sorry to learn that this is going on. I just figured out how to use SU the other day (thanks to the help of some other bloggers) and now I am hearing this. I am getting traffic using the su.pr link shortener, maybe you could try using that (from a different email account) so that others can still stumble your links.

I've used Digg for months but I didn't get any new traffic as a result.

Thanks for the info and best wishes on gaining traffic by other means.

4:59 PM, February 07, 2010 Reply  

I am sorry to hear about your and your friends troubles. However its good advice for anyone thinking of using these social networking sites. KEEP TO THEIR RULES!

11:23 PM, March 04, 2010 Reply  

Thanks for the post of this blog....i also blogging so many times...but so many persons used these all types of hierarchy for traffic generation for their business.

7:01 AM, March 12, 2010 Reply  

That is very harsh indeed. Stumbleupon was one the of best site for blogger indeed but when EntreCard shows up into the market it seems, blogger have to be careful not to mention anything even related to that.

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