Banned from Amazon Associates

Yesterday at 22:59 GMT, I received this email from


It has come to our attention that you are framing our Web site with the domain, This activity is prohibited by the terms of the Operating Agreement which states that Associates cannot frame any part of the Amazon site within their site(s). You can review the complete terms of the Associates Program Operating Agreement and Participation Requirements by following this link:

As a result of this activity, your Associates account has been closed and payment of advertising fees has been withheld. Any other accounts you may have or may open in the future which are found in violation of the Operating Agreement terms will be closed and advertising fees withheld without notification.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Andy – Associates Account Specialist

Anyway, this puts me in the untenable position of having no revenue to finance my online operations. After being banned from Google AdSense in Nov. 2010, I never received my final owed payment of $566 (because Google always cheats its 1099-contractors out of their final owed payment), nor will I be receiving my final owed payment of $480 from Amazon Associates.

At the peak of my institution of ads on the URL shortener, I had it alternate every hour between Google ads and my Amazon affiliate link. I thought it was pretty ingenious:

if(preg_match(“/^[0-9a-zA-Z_-]{1,62}$/”, $i)) {db_connect();
$result = mysql_query(“SELECT url FROM urls WHERE short_url = ‘$i'”)
or die(mysql_error()); if(mysql_num_rows($result) > 0) {
$row = mysql_fetch_row($result);
if(strlen($row[‘0’]) < 80) $durl = $row[‘0’];
else $durl = substr($row[‘0’], 0, 77) . ‘…’;
if(date(‘g’) == ‘1’ || date(‘g’) == ‘3’ || date(‘g’) == ‘5’ ||
date(‘g’) == ‘7’ || date(‘g’) == ‘9’ || date(‘g’) == ’11’)
{$rand = ‘1’; $qe_override = true;} else {$rand = ‘2’; $qe_override = false;}
$frame1 = ‘<frame name=”t” src=”’ . $row[‘0’] . ‘” scrolling=”no” border=”0″ ‘ .
‘marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″>’;
$size1 = ’94’;
$frame2 = ‘<frame name=”t” src=”’ .
‘obidos/redirect-home/brilliaphotog-20″ scrolling=”yes” ‘ .
‘border=”1″ marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″></frame><frame name=”z”‘ .
‘ src=”’ . $row[‘0’] .
‘&special=mode_continue” scrolling=”no” border=”0″ ‘ .
‘marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″>’;
$size2 = ‘200,22’;
if(strpos($row[‘0’], ‘thripp’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘brilliaphotog-20’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘’) !== false ||
strpos($row[‘0’], ‘parrish’) !== false ||
$qe_override == true) {
header(‘Location: ‘ . stripslashes(str_replace(‘,’, “%2C”,
$row[‘0’])), TRUE, 301); exit;}
else echo $head . $i . ‘ ‘ . $durl . ” .
‘<frameset rows=”‘ . ${‘size’ . $rand} . ‘,*” frameborder=’ .
‘”1″ framespacing=”2″ border=”0″>’ . ${‘frame’ . $rand} .
‘<frame name=”b” src=”‘ . $row[‘0’] . ‘”></frame></frameset>’ .
‘<noframes><a href=”‘ . $row[‘0’] .
‘”>Click here to continue</a></noframes>’;}</frame>

After I was banned from Google AdSense, I switched to AdBrite, from which I was also banned, without explanation, when the executives of Dish Network found their ads were being displayed on spam sites ( used to be very popular in Nigeria). I only found out the reason when the CMO of Dish Network, Ira Bahr, contacted me some months ago.

For the first time in over a year, is actually ad-free and I’ve resorted to directly forwarding all short URLs to their destination by HTTP 301 redirect again. I really don’t want it to be this way, but apparently my ideas are just too ahead of their time to be accepted by our controllers. :cool:

In other news, I received this email from at 00:13 GMT:

Hi Richard,

I stumbled upon your website today. I’m fine with people posting whatever they want about me on their blogs, critical or otherwise, but I saw stuff posted about Erin and the kids there, stuff that’s really far off the mark and incredibly low class IMO. You appear to be encouraging exactly what you claimed to condemn.

I spend time with my kids every week and still talk to Erin every day or two, but I rarely blog about my kids because I’d prefer to keep their lives off the Internet for the most part. I think their online lives should be for them to decide when they’re old enough to make a responsible choice about that. I made the choice to do what I do, and Erin made a similar choice. Our kids should be free to make that choice for themselves, not have it forced upon them. I don’t think that would be fair to them.

I realize you’ve got your mind wrapped around some (pretty warped) conspiracy theories with regards to me, but if you presume to care about people at all, then perhaps you could at least have the decency to leave Erin and the kids out of it. I’m responsible for my decisions, and I’ll take whatever flak comes as a result of that, no matter how ridiculous it gets. But when you encourage Erin and the kids to be dragged into it, you cross into the realm of paparazzi.

I disabled your forum account, but not for breaking the forum rules. I simply don’t want such a person in my online home. If you want to use that as further fuel for your blog, that’s your call.

I know you fell into a bit of a trap with the slave post, as did a few other bloggers. It was a very over-the-top post, and your analysis unfortunately takes the joke parts as serious, so I’m sorry that it may have wasted your time to over-analyze an April Fools’ joke. I guess you didn’t notice that it was included in the “Humor” category. There is a shred of truth behind the joke, as I mentioned in the forums, but it’s not about enslaving people or D/s or skirting employment laws. It’s a lot more mundane than that, as I’ll share in a future post.

Steve Pavlina
Personal Development for Smart People

So, on top of being banned from Google AdSense, AdBrite, Daytona State College (another story), and Amazon Associates, I am now also banned from the Steve Pavlina forums for my posts and discussions at (Steve Pavlina Watch). I have a feeling that if the Internet was not the wild west, I would not receive such consideration from bloggers in general — instead they would just go straight to the ICANN, the United Nations, or the Public Interest Registry and have my domain disabled, or perhaps go to WiredTree and demand my sites to be taken offline.

Basically, any website that is not under my command is enemy territory and should be treated as such. However, I do still like Facebook, Twitter, deviantART, YouTube, Etsy, and even Google, which I use for all my email. Evidently email is a bit more sacred than AdSense, since I have not received an email saying that my email services with Google have been disabled for abuse.

Anyway, with the Steve Pavlina issue, I think the best response is to not write anything of such “incredibly low class” anymore, but I won’t be taking any of my old material down nor censoring it. Also, Mr. Pavlina was very presumptuous in assuming I wrote the anti-slavery post, because as I stated at the top, it was not written by me at all and was actually emailed as a guest post to me by a guy whose name begins with K and was also posted on his blog (

As for the stuff about his ex-wife and kids, I do not recall writing much, besides responding in the comment sections of my website to other people who chose to write about those issues. Comments are naturally unread whereas blog posts are read, so I’m surprised he even looked at them. For someone who talked about how much he loved his wife in his book in Oct. 2008, and then several months later announced on his blog how he was ready to engage in relationships with other women (become polyamorous), followed by becoming divorced from his wife, separated from his family, and paying child support, I don’t see my website as being much of an issue. I think is the issue, and I’ve always wanted to be a paparazzi.

I do feel I am entering a personal renaissance, and I have been practicing my music and other interests at an unprecedented pace. I’ve learned the first 3 and a half pages of the 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, I’m learning Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Dutch at the same time with Rosetta Stone (thanks to the joy of software piracy), and I’m learning the alto saxophone, viola, cello, guitar, ocarina, and harmonica with the musical principles I learned on the piano and violin. I photographed the NASW Volusia/Flagler Social Work awards at LPGA International on Friday, and a beautiful wedding of some dear friends on Saturday. I have also begun giving piano lessons.

Because I have already funded my operation here through Feb. 2012, I do not need to immediately replace Amazon Associates with another stream of revenue. Instead, I want to continue focusing on my education for the next few months, and though I should be developing Tweet This 1.9, I need to fundamentally rewrite that WordPress plugin before moving on, since I’ve coded myself into a dead end in many sections of it.

I do hope that Daytona State College will be mailing me my Associate of Arts degree next month, but I will not feel comfortable at the graduation, nor will I be going. I do intend to maintain perpetual ownership of, however. :grin:

Now, what to do with the Ormond Beach News-Journal? Send me your guest posts!

* Updated 2011-04-10: Steve Pavlina posted this post on his blog: Do You Have the Right to Put Your Childrens’ Lives Online?, which clarifies his position on the entitled matter. *

New Feature: Richard’s Picks

I added something new today: posts throughout the site will display a random photography-related product from that I’ve chosen. I pick the products (cameras, lenses, accessories) if they have good reviews, are good quality, and priced reasonably, plus using my own experience in the field. They’re all displayed on the Richard’s Picks page (12 so far), and a random one shows next to the 2nd, 7th, and 10th post on each page. So you won’t see them on an individual post or page like this, but you will be seeing them on the home page, and tag and category listings, like the free stock photos section.

If you buy anything, I get a 4% commission from, which will help me support this site. I’ll get that bonus even for other things, so if you’re looking to make any sort of purchase from, click here to share with me. Thanks. :smile: