The Amber Rudd I am referring to is of course the UK Home Secretary.
At the weekend she said that terrorism was been spread by Whatsapp Messenger amongst other popular messaging apps. Quite a few of these I can accept but to bring WordPress into it is starting to get silly in my opinion. Now I have never held Amber Rudd in any form of regard and to be fair I am very unlikely ever to do so. However this is where things start to verge on the stupid. This article from the Telegraph newspaper says more and a WPTavern article lists some of Automattic’s responses in relation to WordPress.
You see WordPress has two strands to it. WordPress.com is a great free blogging platform. The telegraph does miss out certain security points on WordPress.com though. Some WordPress.com blogs are a bit iffy in my eyes and others are welcome to form their own opinions of an individuals content. Now we get on to the second part of WordPress which is the self hosted side. About 75,000,000 sites including this one are powered by WordPress. 50% of these use WordPress.com so the rest are self hosted. The burning question is where Amber Rudd will eventually draw the line. By going after WordPress.com will she attack site operators who lawfully use WordPress.org as part of what in my opinion would be a very bad choice of “bravado”. I personally cannot see her stopping at WordPress.com.
It is that this point where things go deeper and the range extends farther. You see there are so many CMS tools out there. Will Amber go after site operators, who use Joomla, Concrete 5, Drupal et al? I suspect she will be hot on the heels of the likes of Mrsite and Wix. If she chooses to use WordPress.com to have a swipe at open source site operators using the likes of WordPress, Drupal and Joomla et al, where will she stop?
This brings me neatly on to my next point, what will be the impact for those of us lovingly tending to our sites and minding our own very legitimate businesses. Updates to core? Plugin updates? Red tape? No website owner or operator obviously knows yet, but this potentially has an impact to so many from the smallest business upwards (I doubt my plumber knows or even cares that his website uses WordPress!) to some very large online businesses. I only have 8 websites at the moment I used to have over 60! I can still see some trouble and issues looming and with that potentially comes a workload I neither need nor want. I suspect others will feel the same.
Simply no one knows what will happen yet but I reckon it will end up being one massive headache.
So come on Amber, love, have a sense of proportion. Going after Whatsapp, Facebook et al on terrorism grounds is one thing but leaving a gate of fear uncertainty and doubt potentially wide open to so many legitimate website owners and operators is totally another. You are the Home Secretary and because of that one of the most senior politicians in the UK and by that very virtue wield an awful lot of power. Some of the things you have done since taking office do not give me a warm and fluffy feeling and your appointment to your current position was shocking to me to say the least. I therefore urge that you wield your power with sense and sensibility in the respect of so many honest and hardworking site owners and operators that your WordPress swipe could potentially affect.