Update: WordPress.com’s Clumsy Changes to Commenting was a Knee-Jerk Attempt to Block a Single Impostor? FAIL

As more and more WordPress.com bloggers (like us) begin to realize that their commenting system has had a surprise and unwelcome shot to the foot, the confusion and discontent is spreading rapidly. For the moment, we sit here at the mercy of the people at WP.com, hoping that our instruction thread has limited the damage, and alleviated a lot of the confusion for our readers.

While we wait and see if they’ll realize their mistake and/or change this, I believe I’ve stumbled upon what prompted this sudden move:

If I’m reading that right, it looks like my theory that this was intended to be a solution to nefarious gravatar/nic-jacking was correct, as this appears to have been done as a reaction to one case (!?) involving a victim of above-average influence on the net? Wow…

Even if it was properly executed (which it isn’t even close to that), it’s a boneheaded sledgehammer solution to a fly-sized problem. The thinking is still flawed, since anyone can still simply steal an image and apply it to their own gravatar account, if they really wanted to impersonate another netizen. Like with an IP, only the webmaster or admin would be able to tell the difference, and even they would not be able to verify which email addy was the legit one, right? To the rest of the world, the commenter is successfully impersonated. For example (simple demonstration, with one of my other accounts):

Or retweet this:

Look, people nic-jack all day long, on every corner of the blogosphere. But when it’s done to some big wig at Google, then the rest of us get hosed, I guess. Hopefully they’re smarter than this, and switch it back…soon.

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113 Comments on “Update: WordPress.com’s Clumsy Changes to Commenting was a Knee-Jerk Attempt to Block a Single Impostor? FAIL”

  1. Zappa Would Be Vomiting says:

    While Google is getting quick “solutions” to annoyances, can they take care of something?

    They need to get that song “Move Like Jagger” off the air.

    Shameless Mick-jacking.

  2. John DuMond says:

    Wow, this is like the New Coke of the blog hosting business. Unbelievable.

  3. beed says:

    Nic-jacking is a general problem in the blogosphere. Cock-jacking seems to be limited to lgf.

    • dwells38 says:

      Look cock-jacking is a time honored sport. It’s only when people like CJ try to pretend that someone’s well-endowed one might be his (LIKE HE WISHES!!!) or Luddy’s pathetic observances that it’s “just average” in order to imply his is just as big or bigger that it starts to become really goofy, juvenile and embarrassing for those involved.

      Otherwise cock-jacking is just fine. Among CONSENTING adults. Keep it away from the kids.

  4. beed says:

    Claytonia Sibirica :
    New Coke was actually a scam so they could change original coke away from real sugar, and nobody would notice when they reintroduced it!!!

    There’s no fooling you.

  5. beed says:

    Clay, what’s your take on Crystal Pepsi?

  6. haysoos says:

    another opportunity for me to be totally ignorant, therefore irrelevant again

  7. Not Poteen says:

    Crystal Pepsi and black tar Mentos are a life threatening combo./

  8. haysoos says:

    the dead zone

  9. P. Ness Lowell says:

    Meanwhile back at Chucky’s playhouse,

  10. haysoos says:

    Bunk X :
    When beed shows up everyone just kind hunkers down and waits him out.

    I’m surrounded with Claymores….waiting, waiting

  11. beed says:

    Bunk X :
    When beed shows up everyone just kinda hunkers down and waits him out.

    Yup. Unloved and unwanted like a first trimester baby.

  12. P. Ness Lowell says:

    The 1% gets it’s way once again…

  13. beed says:

    Bunk X :
    shhh– I think I just heard a man-purse snap shut…

    You’re just intimidated by anything stylish. Old age and peanut allergy will do that to a man.

    • rightymouse says:

      Girly men will do that to a man too. Even my macho husband says that he prefers men who call their boyfriends husbands and not wives.

      • beed says:

        Bunk is in no way intimidated by flamboyantly gay men. He is very liberal and open and welcoming.

      • rightymouse says:

        That’s good to know!

      • dwells38 says:

        I dunno rm I think I prefer just partner. Because my impression is in a lot of gay relationships one is plays the masculine role and one plays he feminine. I’m fine with it but you know, I don’t need to know the details.

    • dwells38 says:

      OK a couple typos probably made that confusing and borderline coherent. I hooked up my PC to the family 47 inch so I needed a 3.2 mhz keyboard which misses stuff when I’m tipped back in the barcalounger with my feet in the way 🙂

  14. beed says:

    Dammit Bunk. Why do you always need 1.5 hrs of planning and research before executing a comeback? Just trust your instincts man, even if they are from the 1950s.

  15. haysoos says:

    this blog needs to speed up a bit…get some post action going…like this
    get some you throttle heads

    • rightymouse says:

      It tends to die down around dinner time (EST). People gotta eat. Then there’s the “I gotta life too”. Fer instance, people like me with kids disappear between 8 & 9 p.m. EST.

  16. Daedalus says:

    We have a little dig at CJ at Blogmocracy.

  17. haysoos says:

    rightymouse :
    It tends to die down around dinner time (EST). People gotta eat. Then there’s the “I gotta life too”. Fer instance, people like me with kids disappear between 8 & 9 p.m. EST.

    good time to call my mom then…thanks for the reminder

  18. P. Ness Lowell says:

    omgponies

    Somebody nobody’s ever heard of is represented by somebody else nobody’s ever heard of.

    • Zappa Would Be Vomiting says:

      Maybe the guy, at some point in his life, was in a picture with someone who needs to be smeared. So you build the case against one and then slime the other.

      Chuckie blog whoring 101

  19. […] email of the person whom they wanted to impersonate, it would be really easy to do that. UPDATE: And it looks like that’s the story. Or, summarized by ChenZhen, author of that post: Look, people nic-jack all day long, on every […]

  20. Emperor says:

    Could it be? Is Charles Johnson now too lazy to even write two-sentence introductions to his posts?

    Friday Afternoon Open
    Charles Johnson
    Open • Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm PDT • Views: 1,842

    Here’s a no-frills open thread, with a few links to articles worth reading.

    Me Me Me Me Me: CNN Provides a Platform for a Vile Voice of the Tea Party

    Retracting ‘Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory’ | This American Life

    The Bin Laden Plot to Kill President Obama

    Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD | NBC San Diego

    The Right Not to Know – the Texas Observer (Highly recommended.)

    • Zappa Would Be Vomiting says:

      Chuckies dashboard:

      +—————————–+
      | Cut | Paste | Freak-out |
      +—————————–+

      • P. Ness Lowell says:

        +————————————-——–+
        | Cut | Paste | Freak-out |Pam|
        +————————————-——–+

      • Zappa Would Be Vomiting says:

        P. Ness Lowell :
        +——————————————–—-——–+
        | Cut | Paste | Freak-out | Pam | Dead Ppl |
        +——————————————–—-——–+

  21. Emperor says:

    Well, I don’t blame Charles for only putting up that thread consisting of a handful of links. He’s a busy man.

    There are bikes to be ridden. And rusty hinges to be photographed.

    😆

  22. Emperor says:

    P.S. WordPress’s log-in system really sucks, doesn’t it? It appears to me that WordPress hired noted internet blog pioneer Charles Foster Johnson to implement this new “feature”.

    I wrote a comment, realized I had to log in, so I did their stupid “log in” thing in a new tab.

    Thinking that, as I had logged in another tab, I’d be OK, I clicked post. Did it work?

    Nope! “You must be logged in”. At least the error message is less oblique now than it was before.

    So I had to log in a second time and write my post a second time, too.

    (Logging out seems to have the same problem for me. If I log out in one tab, I’m still considered “logged in” if I refresh the page on another tab.)

    • yea when you look at those tweets above, it looks like the Mr. WordPress (Mullenweg, who when you read his profile looks like he’d be CJ’s hero) did a quick and dirty favor for Cutts (the Google bigwig) because some fool nic-jacked him on some WP.com site somewhere. Like, he did it as he was heading out the door for the weekend, and for some reason didn’t fully grasp the ramifications to hundreds of thousands of blogs and millions of gravatar users. The FAIL would actually be kinda funny if I hadn’t been required to spend all kinds of time to post this stuff explaining it.

  23. haysoos says:

    Zappa Would Be Vomiting :
    Chuckies dashboard:
    +—————————–+
    | Cut | Paste | Freak-out |
    +—————————–+

    two words…
    faux

  24. babygiraffes says:

    So what is the best way to mass complain about this? Should we hassle this “mike cutts’ guy? He seems like a fucking douche.

    • Everyone’s twitter is in the thread up there, so if you’re on the twitter you can try that. (Cutts appears to be quite a tweep). But ultimately it’s Mullenweg who made the change and is going to have to fix it.

      My fear is that we’re into a “bite the hand that feeds you” kind of scenario, and if we’re too dickish he might just leave it jacked up out of pure spite. Who knows, maybe I’ve already ruined it for everyone. LOL

    • This is actually kind of a double-FAIL, just because he tweeted that it was a WIN. LOL

  25. joecitizen says:

    Hey, one good think about this kerfluffle is that it got rid of the idiotic note above the comment box. Somedone needs thanked.

  26. […] update – 7:30 p.m. pst: the wordpress comments system is still messed up. *sigh* (if you really wanna know what happened you can read this fellow wordpress blogger’s post.) […]

  27. Emperor says:

    This Matt Cutts’s original idea that wouldn’t cause such a big problem:

    See, this way, it would be an option in your Gravatar account, so if you were scared about a person being determined enough to impersonate you so as to enter your email account but not determined enough to create a fake Gravatar account with the same avatar and display name, you could set that option.

    But no.. Apparently the WordPress guy didn’t think that was that important.

  28. joecitizen says:

    Bunk X :
    Yeah. I was hoping that was temporary, but I’ve already used up all my bitch tokens.

    There was another one up there before the turd thing that was cool. I think Chen came up with it. Can’t remember what it was though.

  29. Abu Bin Squid says:

    Testing to see if my original gravtar is better looking. The original is sorta Homer Simpson frowning with home plate in the backround.

  30. ISTE says:

    dwells38 :
    I dunno rm I think I prefer just partner. Because my impression is in a lot of gay relationships one is plays the masculine role and one plays he feminine. I’m fine with it but you know, I don’t need to know the details.

    So basically you are saying who is who depends on who is pitching and who is catching.

    That kind of makes sense…

  31. garycooper says:

    My avatar is functioning like a champ. Set and forget. Or, don’t even set, just forget. It’s not as nice as Beed’s triangle, but it’s manlier than Clay’s thingy. Es muy, muy macho!

  32. joecitizen says:

    Happy St. Paddy’s Day. Make mine green.

  33. garycooper says:

    Oh, and nice game, Michigan. Good thing I have my daughter’s school to root for on Sunday (MSU).

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, to all of us Irish, and to all of you who wish you were Irish. Which would not include my kids, who self-identify to others as Greek, like my wife, because “everybody’s Irish…it’s boring!” Throwing everything in the pot together to cook is NOT boring, especially when you’re drunk as the Pope. It’s thrillin’! :mrgreen:

  34. joecitizen says:

    garycooper :
    Your avatar is pretty badass, Joe. Looks like a cop. Lot of responsibility, but you handle it perfectly.

    It’s all good til I start screaming ‘up against the wall, motherfucker’ at shadows. At that point I’ve handled nothing well except a jug o Jameson’s.

  35. garycooper says:

    As long as it’s not Bushmills. 😡

    Saw this on an avatar at another site: “Truth: The New Hate-Speech”

    Ain’t it the truth. Eh, Chunkster?

    • joecitizen says:

      Catheter commercials are the new tampax commercials. It’s late and I’m just sayin’.

      • Calo says:

        Ugh – goodness gracious Joe.

        I’ve shoveled more catheters past big old prostrates than I care to remember.

        Maybe tomorrow we can start fresh and reminisce further about inappropriate TV commercials.

  36. garycooper says:

    I have a catheter in the trunk of my car, in case anyone needs one. Just like in the commercial. Because you never know when you’re going to need one. I also have a throwdown gun in there, for the same reason.

  37. joecitizen says:

    Calo :
    Ugh – goodness gracious Joe.
    I’ve shoveled more catheters past big old prostrates than I care to remember.
    Maybe tomorrow we can start fresh and reminisce further about inappropriate TV commercials.

    Ouch. Now there’s an image to take to bed. heh

  38. […] other people, though possibly WP great and good rather than regular Joe or Josephine Netizen if this is anything to go by. Incidentally, the writer of that post has also come up with a comprehensive […]

  39. […] [Update 16 March: Possible reasons for the change, detected and described by ChenZhen here.] […]

  40. BobinBreckenridge2009 says:

    Calo :
    Ugh – goodness gracious Joe.
    I’ve shoveled more catheters past big old prostrates than I care to remember.
    Maybe tomorrow we can start fresh and reminisce further about inappropriate TV commercials.

    Yeah, like viewing Cialis or Viagra commercials while visiting Mom…

  41. Pig says:

    Anthony Watts isn’t very happy either…….

    “….Today for example I’m wrestling with starting the blog all over again on another platform because my wordpress.com free hosting keeps messing under the hood with the production code and they’d broken something yet again (some readers can’t comment any more thanks to a new security feature) just after we got the mess with adwords fixed last week…..”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/i-was-feeling-really-burned-out-and-then-i-read-this/

  42. beed says:

    Abu Bin Squid :
    Beed’s triangle makes me throw up in my mouth. I also cover my rectal duct whenever he posts.

    Can’t handle the stylish, eh?

    • ISTE says:

      *around the world several thousand rectal ducts have just puckered shut as Beed awakes.*

      Hi Beed, ignore that squelchy wet snappy sound you hear, It is just rectal ducts..

  43. Pakimon says:

    Calling all race detectives! Calling all race detectives!

    Quick! Somebody turn on The Chunk Signal!

    Sen. Sherrod Brown denounces ‘niggardly’ colleagues

  44. Pakimon says:

    The Chunk Signal would look like this except instead of a bat, it would be a bag of Cheetos.

    There would also be a silhouette of a rotund, pony-tailed blogger standing vigil in the foreground.

  45. […] forum sana. Juga Nando yang tampak kesal di forum dan juga menuliskan postingan soal ini, seperti halnya ChenZhen yang menganggap “gagal” pemutakhiran sistem komentar tersebut. Selain merepotkan dan […]

  46. garycooper says:

    beed :The sheer magnitude and the level of precision is fascinating. These things would connect cities with a decline of only 20 cm.

    The Romans killed Jesus, too. Yes, the Jewish high priest Caiaphus and his council initiated the process, but Jesus was killed because the Roman Empire mercilessly put down any possible source of rebellion or riot. Later, the Roman Catholic Empire sponsored the Spanish Inquisition, which led, still later, to Charles Johnson declaring on March 17th, 2012, that “The GOP Wants New Inquisition With Full Powers Of Torture And Execution Of Witches.”

  47. garycooper says:

    The word “niggardly” can only be used by black speakers and writers, and of course rappers. White people should use the word “parsimonious.” Rappers should not use the word “parsimonious,” nor should they be so, when it’s time to make it rain.

  48. Pakimon says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow Husky Blogger taunting miscreants!

  49. doppelganger says:

    test

  50. […] **: It would appear that this “improvement” to the comments function may have been a knee-jerk reaction to placate a certain VIP who was apparently having his identity forged on comments. As the article shows, though, it’s […]

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