I just had a weird issue where Cloudflare was blocking Bridgy from syndicating posts from my site.

Attempting to syndicate from either my WordPress editor, or the Bridgy user page would result in an error like this:

.

Now, I’ve never consciously set anything to say “don’t let Bridgy access my site,” have few settings turned on, and haven’t logged in to Cloudflare in months, so it felt like it must’ve been that some rule update on the Cloudflare side that started flagging the requests as potentially malicious. Unfortunately, Cloudflare’s settings are rather opaque – especially on the free tier. More annoyingly, the “Ray ID” in the error didn’t match anything in the limited logs I do get access to.

But, I’m nothing if not persistent… after a bit of trial and error – switching things off and testing again with Bridgy – and I was able to track down the culprit setting, in the “Scrape Shield” section of the control panel, labelled “Server-side Excludes”:

With this turned off, Bridgy could syndicate my posts again.

I’m starting to wonder if this setting is a contributing factor to the issues I’ve had where Webmentions and associated posts like Replies, Likes, and others seemingly haven’t worked? Perhaps someone with more experience with Cloudflare or the various IndieWeb tools could shed some light?

At the very least, I hope this post saves someone a bit of head-scratching if they suddenly find their Bridgy integration stops working.

Shared to IndieWeb.xyz.

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 🙂