How to Fix Social Media by Injecting A Chunk of the Blogosphere by an author (kottke.org)
Not all hour-long podcasts are worthwhile, but I found this one by The Atlantic’s Matt Thompson and Alexis Madrigal to be pretty compelling. The subject: how to fix social media, or rather, how to create a variation on social media that allows you to properly pose the question as to whether or not it can be fixed.

Shared to IndieWeb.xyz.

Fascist political group plans to infiltrate community councils by an author (The Ferret)
An extreme far right group modelled on Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists plans to put candidates up for community council seats in Scotland.

I think this quote from the article sums it up well enough:

“‘Never again’ was the popular slogan after the second world war against fascism. We should never forget that and never give these dangerous idiots an inch.”

Grant Richmond: My New Posting Workflow by Kicks Condor
Just wanted to say that I’m enjoying the stuff you’re sharing on Indieweb.xyz! The ‘boots’ quote the other day. A nice contribution to the book quotes sub. You mentioned having some difficulty with my scraper getting identified as a malicious bot or something—any idea why I might be triggering Wordpress in that way? I can train it better.

Thanks! I do worry sometimes I’m “the new guy” flooding the site with links every couple of days… ? IndieWeb.xyz has been invaluable to me lately, helping me to explore how people are using IndieWeb ideas and tools – and in giving me some cool stuff to read!

The parsing trouble I was having seems to have been entirely down to the WordFence plugin. It was consistently blocking anything coming from the indieweb.org hosts too. Unfortunately the free version of the plugin doesn’t give the best information or options to diagnose/fix issues. As near as I can tell, the issue seems to have been POST requests made with either a missing referrer or user-agent?

I’ve disabled WordFence for now (I think it was overkill for my little site anyway) and most of my issues have disappeared. I have a lingering issue where sending Webmentions is intermittent, but that’s probably user error on my part 🙂

Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch #2) by Terry PratchettTerry Pratchett
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet. This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

I had the need to change the status on several hundred wordpress posts by a particular author, from “publish” to “pending” (more on this in a future post). This would have taken me hours to do through the frontend, so I figured I’d make my first serious use of WP-CLI, and script the job.

You can list posts using WP-CLI, and specify which columns to display, and even pass in basic filters, like so wp post list --<column>=value --fields=ID,post_title,post_status,post_author. You can also update posts. By combining these with some shell scripting, big jobs can be done fairly easily.

Easily. Oh, the hubris. The problem I ran into was:

  • The display column names are the names of the columns in the database, so to list the post author, you would refer to it as post_author.
  • The filter column names are as they are referred to in WP_Query, not how they are named in the database.

I didn’t catch on to this distinction at first, and the number of rows I was returning was large enough it couldn’t display all of them in the terminal. Yes, I should have used less to check. I should have done a lot of things, like take a backup first (wp db export ~/export.sql), but that wouldn’t be as good a cautionary tale.

Long story short, I ran wp post list --post_author=3 --fields=ID,post_title,post_status,post_author, saw only the results I expected because some rows were cut-off. When I fed this into a loop which would update the post_status, I ended up setting every post as pending.

wp post list --post_author=3 --format=ids \
| xargs -d ' ' -I % wp post update % --post_status=pending

The correct command should have been

wp post list --author=3 --format=ids \
| xargs -d ' ' -I % wp post update % --post_status=pending

Thankfully, having realised my mistake, I could make use of WP-CLI to fix it:

wp post list --author=2 --format=ids \
| xargs -d ' ' -I % wp post update % --post_status=publish

For everyone following along at home, my mistakes so-far were:

  • Not reading the documentation fully
  • Not taking a backup before altering a live site
  • Not double-checking my test results before running the command “for real”

I’ve returned all of the wrongly-pended posts to “publish” status. I do still have an issue with Post-Kinds data being missing on most of these posts; I think this is due to some wierd interaction between WP-CLI and the plugin, but I can’t be sure. These posts (~60) I’m going to have to fix by hand — I consider it a reprimand for my earlier flippant approach!

Cross-posted to /en/wordpress.