Spam, scams, and consumer fraud have always been a significant part of the internet. In the WordPress and marketing communities, however, the growing trend of brands making undisclosed “endorsement” deals and other quid-pro-quo arrangements has gone from bad to worse. Our goal in maintaining this Directory is to publicly expose the illegal fraud, false advertising, and spam that pervades these communities in an effort to discourage such behavior, and to even the playing field while encouraging transparency and competition.
“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”
― Abraham Lincoln
 people have successfully removed themselves from this list by stopping their unethical behavior…. please help us make online marketing and OSS software “honest” again. Thank you! :)
Here are a few easy ways to stay off this list:
1. Do not harass us. If you are not our customer — or a potential customer — do not stalk or harass us via phone, email, or social media to receive “free” technical support for WordPress (etc). If you are not our customer, we do not owe you anything. Please leave us alone. Likewise, do not spam our email addresses or add us to your mailing list trying to sell us your services, which is illegal as per the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Update: We have opened up a Facebook Messenger “casual support” channel for members of the public to contact us for any reason. This way, at least we know who you are, which seems to have greatly reduced bad behavior. However, please respect our answer if we say something like “we can provide that service for paying customers only.” Thanks!
2. Do not slander us. We have no problem with critical feedback or suggestions, it is a major part of the open web and open source software. But if you want to publicly defame us because you are jealous, angry, a competitor, or otherwise, we are going to expose your behavior immediately and name you.
And yes… in case you’re wondering, these crazy things have actually been said about us before. Some people are just too bitter and jealous of our success, apparently. PRO TIP: Beginning new conversations with open source software maintainers with a “thank you for this free software!” tends to work very, very well…
3. Do not extort us. We have released 50+ free WordPress plugins to the online community, along with the free SlickStack auto-installer script to setup LEMP stack servers. This does not give you any right to try and extort us into adding software features that you wish to see, nor are we going to put up with casual defamation of our company. You would think offering thousands of dollars worth of software to people “free of charge” would result in a few thank yous, but this occurs almost never — instead, we are constantly harassed and extorted. We will not make any “deals” with scammers, but we WILL expose you on our website. Don’t believe us? Go ahead, send a message like this: “I’ll delete my fake negative review of your company if you do XYZ…” and see what happens!
4. Do not commit fraud. With Web 2.0 we saw a massive spike in fraud with affiliate programs like ClickBank. It seems this mass fraud campaign was dying down until Facebook Ads and PBNs has a resurge of massive fraud using fake reviews, fake endorsements, undisclosed partnerships, and straight up lying to customers. The government never seems to have time to expose small time crooks, so we are doing it instead doing our part to clean up the web, even if thats %0.00001 of it…
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