A Rant About Comments!

I’m a WordPress girl!

I have three blogs and they are all WordPress. This one is one of their ‘free’ dot com ones. Up until recently, I’ve been very happy with the free service I have got. The choice of themes has been enough for me to choose from and I like the many things that are automatically done for me.

However, there is a disquieting move towards WordPress doing whatever it likes now! The introduction of the ‘Reblog’ option really upset me. I’m happy for people to use my work AFTER THEY HAVE MY PERMISSION! To suddenly get an email telling me someone had ‘stolen’ my work was horrifying. Of course, they hadn’t stolen it but because I had not noticed the addition of that option on my blog, that is what it felt like.

Now they have decided that I want to see all the comments on those blogs I comment on! If you’re not sure what I’m on about they have ticked the box for me. What box is this? It is the box at the bottom of comment boxes that you used to tick should you want to see all the comments. Now, you have to untick it – opt out – because WordPress has the power to do this.

Again, I had no idea this had happened. There was no consultation and I’m sure no clear explanation of it being done. I found out quite by accident when my email inbox was suddenly full of comments to other folks posts. I also saw someone else mention it so now I know I have to untick each time.

I’m really angry with them. It is clearly an action to benefit them and not their customers and I am now seriously thinking of making this a self hosted blog. I may even search out another provider! I know this threat will mean nothing to the hierarchy at WordPress but if enough of us complain, maybe they will remove this ‘helpful’ addition!

Address to use : WordPress.com [support@wordpress.com]

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  • I’ve just been doing my rounds on Friday Fictioneers and I’ve noticed that the wordpress sites I’ve commented on so far haven’t got the ‘following comments’ box pre-ticked. Or at this impossibly early hour, am I imagining this?

  • I agree WP’s direction is a bit worrying. They were always changing things without notice, but now it seems they’ve closed down support for free blogs, see here.
    If you do change, I hope you blog extensively on “how-to”.

  • I had a response from my email to the support section: ‘Our aim is to increase comment engagement and foster more discussions between commenters.’
    Job done, I reckon. 🙁

    They added that:
    ‘If you ever forget to un-check the box you can always unsubscribe here: https://subscribe.wordpress.com/‘ I think that may be in response to my point that whilst WordPress users can rectify the situation using ‘discussion settings’, other people (at least those of my friends who have complained to me) don’t have the same option.

  • It has indeed been a frustrating week on WordPress.

  • I agree with all the above. I am so far behind in my answer to regular emails and when I learned how to click off follow-up comments, sometimes I forgot. At first I thought it was something I had did. Thanks everyone for your help. Now I’m back to catching up.


  • Thank you Julia! I too have been going back and forth through my WordPress settings, wondering what I did to generate dozens of comments that I didn’t want to see about a blogs I have commented on. I do not like that changes are made without notification – at least let us know WordPress!

  • I really struggle to keep up with the comments on my blog and thought I had dealt with the comments comments problem. What seems to have happened along the way is I’m not getting emails when people I follow – you included – post on their blogs. So I’m really behind now and missing some great stuff, argghh!

  • I’ve no idea what reblogs are but was myself first baffled then peeved yesterday when I noticed a load of email confirmation messages for my comment subscription. It’s turning WordPress into Ryanair! At least people can comment on WordPress. Blogger seems to repel many who attempt/

  • Julia, try this:
    In your Dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion and then scroll down until you see this:

    Follow Comments Show a ‘follow comments” option in the comment form
    UNCHECK the box next to “Show a ‘follow comments’ option in the comment form.”

    Of course, this will disable this option for everyone, including the blog author, but it will take care of that pesky box.

    Hope this helps!

  • I so agree with you and how frustrating this is. Even knowing I need to untick it, after all the times I keep forgetting and getting mail, I still tend to forget it, especially when reading the writing challenges, because I get caught up in the reading and give a comment and forget to uncheck it! I know better, but I forget. So frustrating!!

  • Grrr! That’s all I have to say.

  • I’m calming down a bit now, after posting my own little rant, and eventually deleting the remaining 300 odd unopened emails in my inbox! But, like you, I can’t understand why they’ve introduced changes without first seeing whether we want them, or at least giving us warning. I had over 700 messages when I returned after a couple of days away.
    PS – like your don’t forget message:)

  • thank you! I am going crazy trying to keep ahead of them just by deleting them! ACK!

  • I agree 100%! I’m with Blogger, and they’ve changed their system too.
    No doubt all these changes are to benefit them…it’s only business to them, whereas it’s our writing/diary/work (humble though that may be!)
    I think in all these situations, it would be much better to have an opt IN button, but of course that wouldn’t be quite so good for business, would it?

  • What annoyed me was that the box was even ticked on my own blog, so I then got all comments on my own blog emailed to me twice! Stupid idea in my opinion.

  • Personally I do not see what the big fuss is all about. It takes a second to uncheck the box. There are more important things in life to get upset about .

  • I like to be notified by email when someone has replied to my specific comment (as Disqus does) but I don’t need an email about every comment you get on the post adfter mine. It’s not clear what the follow-up comments means so I’m trying this once to see what happens.

  • I hadn’t realised and thought this annoying notification of comments was all Facebook.

    They should change that back

  • Can someone point me in the direction for changing the text above the comment box please?

  • it’s a pain when then ‘tinker’ with things all the time.
    really not sure who benefits. Didn’t know about the reblog thing – thanks for info.
    had a very frustrating day on Sunday with loads of pointless emails with comments – can they really think this is an improvement?

  • I am as angry as you. My suggestion? Do a post, asking everyone who reads your blogs to change their comment invititation, (I love it when you comment!) to read something like, “Don’t forget to untick the box, unless you want all the follow-up comments on this post.” I think if enough of us do it, we can get WP attention. 😎

  • PS – To delete these comment notifications go to :

    Dashboard > Blogs I Follow > Comments (on the top) then you can delete the ones you don’t want to follow 🙂

    Hope this helps x

  • I agree! I woke up this morning with 56 emails!! Ridiculous. I’ve gone through and deleted all of the comment notifications now. It’s so annoying.

    *unclicks box at bottom*

  • Kanerva

    Huh, sticky keyboard -> I’m with YOU on the comments 100%.
    Now a query: why does spell check not recognise the word reblog? (or recognise with an ‘s’)? 🙂

  • Kanerva

    I’m with on the comments 100%. I’ve changed my comment request tag to say don’t forget to un-tick the box!
    My two bobs worth on the Reblog option: Reblogging just feels lazy to me. I’d rather not post than reblog someone elses work. If it inspires me then I’ll put a link / pingback in the blog to send my readers that way. That’s me.
    However it is a compliment, if not slightly backhanded. It’s always nice to be appreciated. Maybe there should be a thank you button for the reblog 😉

  • It’s almost like they are trying to become like Tumblr but with comments.

    If you do forget to tick the box there should be an “Unsubscribe” link in the first email (with the first comment) or there should be a confirmation email to confirm you’ve signed up to it and then you can cancel there – I know it’s not ideal and doesn’t solve why they’ve started this Opt In thing but at least it fixes it temporarily…..

  • And if anyone wants to follow suit in complaining, here’s the link I’m using.
    Karim – WordPress.com [support@wordpress.com]

  • I agree, it’s really frustrating, and I’m going to complain today. It’s also counterproductive – if their aim is to increase the traffic through their site. Several friends who regularly comment on my work have told me they won’t be doing so in future because they, as non-Wordpress users, don’t know how to ‘untick’ after they’ve forgotten to do it. I can’t help them either, because the correction facility for me is within my WordPress account.

  • I’m in total agreement with you. I found out about the comments the same way that you did when my inbox filled up with comments from other people. I try to remember to untick the box now, but sometimes I forget.

    Unfortunately it’s not just WordPress. Other providers also assume that you want to reecive every comment posted after you but some don’t even have a box to untick. They did at least used to have an “unsubscribe from comments” link in the emails that flooded in, but even that seems to have disappeared now.

    I wouldn’t get upset about the reblog button though. I was really taken aback the first time it happened to me, but then I noticed that I was getting visitors via the sites that had reblogged it. Check your stats and you may well find the same thing.

    Now to remember to untick that nox before I click “Post Comment”!

  • I’m with you on the new deal where you’re signed up every time you comment unless you remember to unclick. That’s been annoying me for days. But I’m starting to remember to click and if not I go in and remove it from my list. But I don’t see the reblog as stealing. The reblogs give all information about the original blog and so far I’ve always had to click on something to go to the original blog post in order to read the whole thing. So it’s not only a compliment from the person who chose to reblog but it also sends traffic to whoever made the original post. I’ve been thrilled each time someone has reblogged one of my posts.

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