Three Days of Hell – Surviving Being Suspended on Word Press

On January 9th, I came down to morning coffee, opened my blog, Spoon Feast, to find a glaring announcement that the blog had been suspended.

Suspended for “violation of terms of use and advertising”.

The announcement read further: Sometimes we do make mistakes (Ya think!) so if you feel this was in error, use this form to contact us.

So I clicked it.

The form read; Report a blog for violation of terms of use, choose one of the below:

  • This blog promotes hate speech;
  • has mature content,
  • supports advertising or multilevel marketing,
  • promotes self hurt,
  • is a violation of my trademark,
  • is a violation of my copyright

Pick your poison.

None of the choices were for questioning suspension. And you couldn’t submit the form without choosing one of the options. How bogus is that!

In the meantime any visitors get diverted to the Freshly Pressed home page with a banner:

Spoonfeast is no longer available. It has been archived or suspended due to a violation of terms of use and advertising policy.

And I had no way of contacting my followers, or accessing any content. It was all gone and I was blocked from doing anything, posting, commenting, blocked and shut out of the blog totally.

Needless to say this caused quite a bit of stress.

I felt cut off from the world.

I felt I should have done an “In My Kitchen” post for January. (Sorry Celia, there were too many things going on and then Spoon Feast got suspended.)

Like a bad child from school only I had no idea what I had done. Really, did they object to kale salad that much?

I found a form to contact support, sent several e mails over the next couple of days.

No response.

I found an old e-mail from the WP support team where they actually responded to an issue a while back so I wrote them there. I wrote to support and help, being blocked from forums I couldn’t go ask there either.

Robert found the address and phone number of what we thought to be the corporate office for Word Press/Automatic (their parent company). I called and got this message:

“You have almost reached the cell phone for Matt Mullenweg, please leave a message.” So I did. Then I found his Facebook page and sent a message there too and sent him an e-mail.

If you don’t know who Matt Mullenweg is, and you are on word press, you should.

Next Robert sent a message to both support and help at word press asking why and to reinstate Spoon Feast.

My next plan of action was to publish both the help and support e-mail address on Facebook and ask everyone to write in to ask for Spoon Feast back.

Just as I was about to do that, I got a response! Yes an actual response saying the blog had been reviewed and the suspension had been lifted. “We are very sorry for any inconvenience.”

Seems like I used some words in my last post that triggered the automatic anti-spam regulators and they zapped me.

What words?

Raw was one.

Massage was another.

I’ll leave the third one out in case it triggers the automatic anti spam response again.

I think “kale” triggered it too.

Too much kale on the internet perhaps.

So in the meantime, thinking about how to recover or move my content that I don’t have access to, stinging from being told You don’t belong on Word press, thinking about how much time it took to get Spoon Feast to where it was. I felt like a deflated balloon.

One thing I realized is how much time I spend on writing, photographing, planning all that goes into Spoon feast. Suddenly I  had a lot of time on my hands.

Time to work on lesson plans, the class I am taking, planning TV shows for this season, and working on my book. Imagine losing the blog and gaining more time for all these things. OK, I could keep busy.

But being suspended still makes me angry.

What can be done to protect our blog content? Anything?

Celia, I’ll do an IMK post if it isn’t too late. (Yes, I am superstitious)

My First Year of Blogging

Today marks the first year of Spoon Feast!

The first year went fast. I intended to have 150 posts by the first year anniversary; instead there are 122. Not bad, but not what I intended. There were many days off and sometimes weeks in between posts.

Learning about the blogging world has been amazing. Seeing the direction and growth of Spoon Feast has been fun.

I was hesitant to start this blog. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading an odd collection of stories, thoughts and recipes.

Like everyone else who starts a blog, you spend hours looking and commenting on other blogs.

It’s like a huge party where you “work the room” to get to know who’s who.

I have met some amazing people like Barbara in Sweden who writes My Italian Smorgasbord and Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Mandy with the Complete Cook Book in South Africa taught me what a “brae” was; and Celia kindly explained what “chooks” are.

How else would you ever meet people like these but through the amazing blogosphere. (Is that a word?)

I have sat back and watched as new bloggers lit the stats on fire and racked up hits and followers while my own numbers slowly eeked up the numbers on daily hits and followers. I’m satisfied.

Our “Logo”

This is something I have no control over but I like seeing these numbers click upward. Sometimes I vision all these numbers are coming from one person who just clicks around to raise numbers and that the hits really don’t mean anything at all.

How do you get thousands of followers or even thousands of hits anyway? I clearly don’t know.

In February WordPress added the world hits – a stat keeper feature I love!

I discovered people from all over the world check in and read the words I write occasionally.

If anyone knows anyone in China or Greenland, send them a link to Spoon feast so those two chunks of land can get colored in too. 😉

Finding my voice in the beginning was hard, I hit writers blocks and couldn’t find anything to say about beloved food.

My son asked me to write a series of things to cook since he was in his first apartment with a real kitchen. So I started the “How to cook” series. He had to move out of his apartment for 6 weeks or so due to the finding of mold in the building. They are cleaning the building and replacing all furnishings before he can move back in.

Bummer to go from an independent apartment back to a confined dorm room. At least the university is covering his food in the meantime.

Tyler told me he has cooked everything I posted for him so far. You would never know it since he doesn’t comment but he says he does cook. Celia asks him questions and prompts him along too. Isn’t it fun!

Since he doesn’t have a kitchen right now, I get to play with other posts. I have 54 ideas in draft that need photos or fleshing out. You would think I could get them finished so that is a goal to complete before the end of the year. That being December, not next August.

Over the last year, in my spare time, I have:

  • White Dinner Desserts

    Started “White Dinners in Charlotte” events

  • My TV show, “Charlotte Cooks” has been picked up by PBS
  • 120+ posts have been and published for Spoon Feast
  • picked up a professional camera and learned how to take better photographs
  •  set up a photo studio in my home and intend to keep learning how to take better photos
  • developed a nearly fool-proof no-knead sourdough recipe
  • kept the sourdough culture alive and thriving and shared literally gallons of it

One blogger I follow Kathryn Dawson The Art of Letting Go, has great photos and had the honor of being Freshly Pressed recently. It was fun to recognize a blog I was following on FP. Kathryn takes beautiful photographs and the recognition is well deserved.

I keep thinking it would be nice to get Freshly Pressed recognition but it seems random and not likely.

So, I’ll just keep writing about food things. It would be lovely if you would join me or even just stop by once in a while.

Happy Anniversary Spoon Feast!

In honor of the 1 year anniversary, the appearance of the blog changed to a much simpler look.

Do you like it?