Despite the self-congratulatory tone in today’s announcement from WordPress.com News, I’m inclined to think WP caved to user outrage. They’ve installed an option for users to opt out of those spammy automatic comment follow-up emails, or rather, to set the default to what it was before (not receiving follow-ups). See their amended support page “Following Comments” and its link to Email Delivery Settings. The hitch, of course, is you must have a WordPress account to do this. Personally I don’t think continuing to spam non-WPers is going to win any new accounts.