Update: WordPress.com’s Clumsy Changes to Commenting was a Knee-Jerk Attempt to Block a Single Impostor? FAILPosted: March 16, 2012
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.