WordPress is a very popular open-source blogging software package, with a great official website maintained by Matt Mullenweg, its founding developer. I discovered last week that since early February, he’s been quietly hosting almost 120,000 articles on their website. These articles are designed specifically to game the Google Adwords program, written by a third-party about high-cost advertising keywords like asbestos, mesothelioma, insurance, debt consolidation, diabetes, and mortgages.
於是他就跑到 Support Forum 去問，結果被 close 掉，直到他在 blog 上面提了以後 Matt reopen 並說明：
I stumbled on this issue from a support topic, which was immediately closed without response by an unknown moderator. (After I pointed it out, Matt reopened the thread to add a final comment.)
Matt 在該 thread 的尾端提出的說明，是因為贊助的關係：
The content in /articles is essentially advertising by a third party that we host for a flat fee. I’m not sure if we’re going to continue it much longer, but we’re committed to this month at least, it was basically an experiment. However around the beginning of Feburary donations were going down as expenses were ramping up, so it seemed like a good way to cover everything. The adsense on those pages is not ours and I have no idea what they get on it, we just get a flat fee. The money is used just like donations but more specifically it’s been going to the business/trademark expenses so it’s not entirely out of my pocket anymore.
於是 Andrew Baio 提出了下面的問題：
This poses some interesting questions. First, do organizers of open-source projects need to disclose how they’re making money off the project? Matt isn’t disclosing anything about this activity to the community. I don’t think anyone would be upset about Matt trying to support WordPress with outside sources of revenue, but as an open-source project, they should be held to a higher level of transparency. Without the users and developers all working for free, it wouldn’t exist.