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What’s a web hosting provider’s role in content moderation? WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg recently weighed in.

Mullenweg was a guest on The Verge’s Decoder podcast and discussed the issue as it relates to WordPress VIP hosting. Specifically, he commented on a controversial story that was published in 2020 on the New York Post website. The Post is a WordPress VIP client. 

The story covered material allegedly recovered from a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. President Joe Biden. Debate over the origins of the material saw both Facebook and Twitter temporarily restrict links to the story.

Mullenweg says Automattic reviewed the matter but ultimately decided not to take action. Automattic has policies in place for content moderation, and Mullenweg referred to them as a “starting point” for looking deeper into a specific case.

Links You Shouldn’t Miss

Theme developer ILOVEWP published a report on the most popular WordPress plugins released in 2022. The report uses publicly available data for plugins in the official repository. In all, nearly 4,200 plugins have been added so far this year. Out of that, only 7 have achieved at least 50,000 active installations.

Did publishing platform Substack use unattributed code from open source competitor Ghost? Ghost’s founder and CEO John O’Nolan makes a case in a recent Twitter thread. In a response thread, Substack co-founder and CEO Chris Best says the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Rather, Substack’s custom theming API is merely compatible with Ghost. There’s a lot here to digest. Therefore, reading the threads from both parties is recommended to see where each side is coming from.

What will WordPress freelancers face in 2023? The WP Minute’s Eric Karkovack offered some predictions. Upgrading to PHP 8 and navigating an uncertain economic environment are among them.

Development firm Awesome Motive has introduced SendLayer, an email delivery service aimed at WordPress website owners. It requires a free API key and works in conjunction with the WP Mail SMTP plugin. Paid plans are being offered.

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  • Pressable makes it easy to manage sites with its award-winning control panel, but what if you’re managing sites across multiple accounts or hosts? Pressable is thrilled to announce its extension partnership with MainWP, which uses the Pressable API to provide a simple, yet powerful solution for this all-too-frequent challenge.

From the Grab Bag

Now it’s time to take a look at some other interesting topics shared by our contributors.

  • The Block Editor is coming to the support forums. According to Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern, the Meta Team is experimenting with a basic implementation.
  • Popular form plugin Gravity Forms announced a release candidate for version 2.7. The new version includes a form template library, theme and block styling, along with improved spam protection.
  • Have an extra €1.6M to spend? Then you might be a candidate to purchase the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin. WP Tavern reports that plugin founder Danny van Kooten has expressed interest in selling via a post on Hacker News. The plugin is not officially affiliated with Mailchimp, but has over 2 million active installations.
  • Looking to improve the performance of your theme? The WordPress Developer Blog details how using theme.json and per-block styles can help.
  • The latest release of Gutenberg features a color coding for the WordPress Site Editor and an experimental split control UI for individual block settings.
  • Twitter recently announced plans to shut down its newsletter tool aimed at journalists, Revue, just one year after acquiring it. Users are set to lose access on January 18, 2023.

Thanks to all of the members who shared these links today: 

  • Birgit Pauli-Haack
  • Justin Ferriman
  • Courtney Robertson
  • Daniel Schutzsmith

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