Blog criticizing Automattic victim of high volume attack exploiting WordPress vulnerability

Ever since this blog started criticizing Automattic, it has been the target of several mild attacks. Over the weekend this changed. This site was victim of a vicious high volume attack exploiting the WordPress XML-RPC feature to ping other sites. This allowed the attacker not only to force this site to consume high resources and eventually try to bring it down, but to also abusively attack other WordPress sites that are innocent and have no relationship with this site.

/kudos @nearlyfreespeech Thanks for identifying and defeating the abuse and not just taking this site offline.

One would hope that someone employed by a company that seeks to “democratize publishing” would not be behind this.

But who knows?


Motivated by Impact more than Money

This part of the creed is brought up every time someone tries to talk about compensation. But at Automattic:

  • Employees do not receive equity (shares) as part of their compensation. At least in the US tech industry, this is extremely uncommon. Everyone from startups to Amazon include equity as part of their compensation.
  • The shares that employees can buy is some sort of weird second-class citizen stock, with a vague promise that Automattic will “treat you fairly” in case of an acquisition or other type of financially significant event.
  • There is no performance based bonus or reward, regardless of how much impact you make at/for the company.


  • Automattic goes from a valuation of $1B to $3B in five years, thanks in part (mostly) to its unique and passionate workforce.
  • The above success is achieved while Automattic’s philosophy of autonomy, flexibility and work-life balance appears to be eroding.

Who benefits from all this “success”?

Does this look like “motivated by impact more than money”?



There is this thread going around where the story of equal pay for equal work lives on.

It’s already been posted that salary is always adjusted by cost of living.

Another big differentiator is that 50% of Automattic’s employees are hired as contractors and as such they get no benefits (retirement savings, health insurance, etc) nor job security.

A contractor costs a fraction of what an employee costs; yet in Automattic’s case, zero of these savings go to the contractor.

If you’re not a tax resident of an English speaking country, you may be happy to know that here are several remote companies that in the same situation offer a solid benefit stipend to those they can’t employ through entities. And also that don’t bend reality as much in their marketing.