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WordPress Suspends Astra Theme – Affects 1 Million Users

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WordPress suspends Astra Theme feature image

WordPress suspends Astra Theme for violating affiliate link prohibitions. WordPress has suspended the theme for 5 weeks. However, the developers of Astra theme i.e. Brainstorm Force has denied using any affiliate links on its themes. Astra Theme is a free theme on WordPress with over a million downloads.

Official Word From WordPress

WordPress made the official announcement about the suspension on August 7, 2020, through their TRT Messenger (Theme Review Team Bot). The requirement for disallowing affiliate links on the theme started about a 1.5 years ago. WordPress also added that they had given Brainstorm force advanced warnings as well.

“18 months ago you started adding affiliate links in your theme.

…We have this requirement against this:

Themes are not allowed to have affiliate URLs or links.

We added this requirement more than 18 months ago, specifically for this kind of issue.

We also asked other theme authors to remove such links from their themes and discussed this topic, on Slack & the blog, for many weeks.

We don’t understand how you can miss something like this, and it’s also not the first time we have to come and tell you something is wrong with your theme.

Because of this, your theme will be suspended for the next 5 weeks (until September 11th, 2020).”

– Official wordpress statement

Brainstorm Force responds

We however admit that we used filters available in third party plugins where we only pass our referral code.

But at the same time, we do NOT add any affiliate links or whatsoever as per the requirement.

We’re not sure if using the referral filter is against the requirement. But if it is, we’re happy to remove it immediately and submit the new version.”

– Brainstorm force

Astra Theme Suspension is Live

The suspension of Astra Theme Suspension is Live. WordPress officially suspends Astra Theme. It is now no longer available on the WordPress site. Brainstorm Force has requested the ban to be lifted.

We have to wait and see if it will be lifted or not.

[Update] Astra Theme seems to be back on WordPress

Astra Theme live

After the ban, Astra Theme was no longer available in the official WordPress site. However, now it seems to be back again as we can find it again on the site. Also, the last updated date is today i.e. 10th August, 2020. It looks like WordPress has lifted the ban even though we have not had any official word from the WordPress team yet.

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Robin is a BSc. CSIT graduate, interested in tech and digital marketing. His hobbies includes watching movies and traveling.

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