If you’ve posted any comments to my blog (or other WordPress-hosted blogs) recently, you may have started receiving emails about other peoples’ comments unexpectedly. This is because the checkbox under the reply box which reads “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” is now checked by default. It was previously unchecked by default, and that’s the way it should be under proper site design. WordPress staff have been alerted to this — there’s a thread about it in the support forum — but have stated it’s not a bug. Well, I disagree, at least with the spirit of the term if not the letter. It may not be an unintentional move on their part, but it’s very much a bad design decision. This is a behavior that should be opt-in, not opt-out, and that’s how people have had it and how people expect it to be. Changing that is just going to lead to people getting email they don’t want.
Hopefully after enough bloggers have thrown their 2 cents in, WordPress will realize this is a screw-up and revert it. In the meantime, I apologize if you’re getting any email from here you didn’t want; it’s not my doing, and I’d change it if I could. (Unfortunately, WordPress.com hosted sites cannot alter their own code, at least without a hefty fee for the privilege, or I’d just change it. It’s a one-word fix unless they’re practicing spectacularly bad code writing.)
When you leave a comment, be sure to take a look at the checkbox and make sure to uncheck it if you don’t want to be emailed about follow-up comments. Hopefully this won’t last long.