Suddenly, overnight my site had a spike in new followers. Wondering what was driving this new rush i was puzzled to find that most were ‘fake’ accounts. Investigating further through the WordPress support forum i discovered it is an ongoing issue. The assistance i received from a WP Community Guardian suggested that i remove the followers but as there is no way to block these accounts it appears that this action merely triggers an automatic ‘re-follow’.
Though the response from the WP Community Guardian is reassuring – “….. site followers do not have special access to your site, therefore they don’t have any special access or present a security threat to you, your site, or your legitimate readers.”
Personally, I’m not entirely convinced, as when trying to track further details through the gravatars my anti-virus software signals a warning that the certificate of use is suspicious and is possibly leading to a site attempting to acquire personal information. Meanwhile i have beefed up security on my account by setting up a two-step login but, worryingly there is no way to protect information on the Gravatar site.
It would be interesting to know how widespread this scourge of fake followers is in affecting the WordPress community; are there key words which trigger the bots; is it region related? Anybody else being plagued by these unwanted pests?
Given that there has been much discussion recently on the Twitter and Instagram platforms about purging fake followers perhaps we should be anticipating some action from our WordPress Community Guardians in finding a solution as well?
Further reading – “Fake Instagram Followers bring numerous security risks”
Like symbols of defiance, the gorgeous blooms of the paintbrush lilies are putting on a show in the midst of one of the worst droughts in years. These geophytes cope by storing moisture in their bulbs through times of restricted water ensuring the plants needs in producing the next generation through the cycle of flowers and fruit.
To end the year, a little inspiration from nature, so dance like nobody’s watching!
If you’re interested in watching the documentary click here for the longer version.
The immediate reaction on arriving at the foot of these immense orange dunes, is a sense of awe, and yet also of familiarity. Dune 45, Big Daddy and Big Mama along with the desolation of Deadvlei and the remnants of ancient dead acacias must be some of the most photographed desert scenes.
The scale and sinuous form are extraordinary, the geometry sensuous. Here multi-directional wind lifts up the dune skirts forming star shapes with three or more arms extending from their peaks. Eastwards a transverse dune belt lies sculpted by southerly winds in summer and firmly packed by the easterlies in winter into linear shapes. Further north the barchans / crescentic dunes lie perpendicular to the strong southerlies and are pushed like waves northwards towards the Kuiseb River where the encroaching sand is halted and stopped from spreading onto the gravel plains that spread northwards to the Swakop River.
This arid desert biome supports a surprising population of adapted fauna and flora. An average of less than 50mm of rain falls in a year, but precipitation is supplemented by coastal fog – a crucial source of water for many plants and animals.
It’s a harsh place this Namib desert. Sandstorms obliterate, wind forever sculpts the sea of sand pushing it northwards. Referred to as world’s oldest desert some of the highest wind speeds are recorded in the south, particularly in the Sperrgebiet. The dunes march across the landscape forming linear or star shapes or the classical barchan, depending on the wind direction and how it funnels through the valleys.
Kolmanskop is a deserted mining village near the harbour town of Luderitz. The last inhabitant left in 1956 and the village stands ghostly and abandoned as the sand reclaims the desolate buildings.
Another abandoned building in the middle of nowhere; like a stage setting for lost dreams and hopes, one can’t help wondering what happened to the inhabitants.