WordPress suspended Astra theme for five weeks for violating affiliate link bans. The editors and developers of astra theme They denied that the topic adds affiliate links.
The popular WordPress Astra theme with over a million users it has been sused for five weeks. The punishment is in response to allegations violations of WordPress prohibitions against adding affiliate links to subjects.
Astra theme removed from WordPress repository
Follow a link to the official page of Astra WordPress Theme shows the theme is not available in WordPress. The following links to the official repository of Astra WordPress Themes show that the theme has completely disappeared from WordPress.
Using the search function in WordPress to find the Astra theme does not display any results. he The Astra theme is completely removed from WordPress.org.A search for the Astra theme in the WordPress theme repository does not return any results. Only an unrelated topic with a similar name appears.
Astra Affiliate Links?
An affiliate link allows a person or organization to benefit from the recommendation of a product like Astra.
Astra is a free theme. However, like many free WordPress plugins and themes, they also offer premium versions which contain additional features that are suitable for professional publishers rather than a casual blogger.
WordPress official announcement
he official WordPress ad by TRT Messenger (Theme Review Team Bot) announced the suspension on August 7, 2020.
The obligation to ban affiliate links was put in place a year and a half ago. WordPress has been having discussions on its official Slack channel as well as on its blog for many weeks.
According to WordPress, Brainstorm Force had advanced warnings.
WordPress official statement:
“18 months ago he started adding affiliate links on his topic.
… We have this demand against this:
Topics are not allowed to have URLs or affiliate links.
We added this requirement over 18 months ago, specifically for this type of issue.
We also ask other topic authors to remove these links from their topics, and we've been discussing this topic, on Slack and the blog, for many weeks.
We don't understand how you can miss something like this, and neither is it the first time that we have to come and tell you that something is wrong with your topic.
For this reason, your topic will be suspended for the next 5 weeks (until September 11, 2020) ”.
Answer to topic Brainstorm Force Astra
Brainstorm Force, the editors of the Astra theme, They replied that they did not add affiliate links to the topic itself.
Therefore, since there are no affiliate links in the theme itself, they claimed that the theme technically complies with WordPress rules.
Brainstorm Force admitted that the Astra theme I used third party plugins to pass referral code.
Here's how they explained it:
“However, we admit that we use filters available in third party plugins where we only transmit our referral code.
But at the same time, we DO NOT add any affiliate links or anything as needed.
We are not sure if using the benchmark filter defeats the requirement. But if it does, we are happy to remove it immediately and send the new version.
Has Astra Theme injected affiliate links?
Brainstorm Force made it clear that they are not adding an affiliate code. They said they only add “referral codes” through third-party plugins.
In your ad, WordPress linked to code in Astra theme which seems to show links from the popular LinkShare / Rakuten Affiliate Network.
Screenshot of affiliate links
Another screenshot of the Astra theme affiliate links
This screenshot of an example where WordPress Linked clearly displays a ShareASale affiliate referral code in the Astra theme.
Astra Theme Suspension del tema on WordPress
The suspension of the theme is live. he Astra theme is no longer available for download in the WordPress theme repository.
It means more than 1 million users of the Astra theme will not be able to update their theme through WordPress for five weeks.
Astra announced that it has released an update that removes affiliate referral codes. They say this new version conforms to WordPress rules.
But the update must downloaded directly from Astra or from your GitHub repository .
WordPress has officially discontinued the popular Astra theme. Brainstorm Force has requested that the suspension be lifted. Since WordPress has already tried to resolve the issue prior to the suspension, it does not seem likely that Astra will be restored until the five week suspension is over.