(Updated May 8, 2012 at 9:18 am MDT)
WordPress has done it again, and by now you’ve probably noticed. Something they did over the weekend, whether intentionally or not, now causes you to get emails whenever there’s a comment on any blog you follow. Or at least, any blog you comment on. You’ve probably noticed there’s a little box to check after your comment where you can choose to be notified whenever there’s a new comment on that post (“Notify me of follow-up comments via email.”) The default setting used to leave the box unchecked, for no notification. Now, by default, the box is checked — yes, you want to be notified. If you don’t uncheck it, the result will be a flood of unwanted email.
The WP forums are full of complaints about this, spread over at least four different threads. One has run to four pages of comments/complaints. So no, it’s not your imagination; WP has struck again. Let’s hope they fix this soon. And let’s pray it’s not another “working as intended” new feature that they have no plans to change.
If you want or need to turn off the notifications you receive from a particular blog, go here. Click the Comments tab at the top of page and delete any blog from which you do not want to receive comment notifications. (If you reply to comments on your blog, it will be listed too, and you’ll be getting notifications of your own comments on your own blog!) The link also appears near the bottom in each email notification you receive. Be aware, however, that the next time you comment somewhere, the flood will start again unless you remember to uncheck the box under the comment (before you post the comment).
You know, this sounds so much like what a lot of big companies are doing today — setting up things we likely don’t want that we have to actively opt out of instead of opt in to. Shows a huge disrespect for the customer, it seems to me, and is very bad PR. But if this turns out to be just a bug, as some have said, then I’ll be among the first to apologize to WP.