Misleading error message for comments with associated Gravatar profiles

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  • #865117

    I’ve changed the settings on my blog so that email addresses are not required for comments. This means that a person who tries to leave a comment using an address that’s associated with a WordPress / Gravatar account has three options:

    1. They can log in to the WordPress / Gravatar account
    2. They can leave their comment with a different email address not associated with a WordPress / Gravatar account
    3. They can leave their comment without any email address

    However, the message that they get when they try to post a comment only lists the first option, leading at least one person to believe that they would not be able to comment on my blog without logging in.

    Also, not everyone who has a WordPress or Gravatar account actually uses it. Sometimes people create Gravatar accounts and forget the passwords, or even forget that the account exists (as was the case with my user this morning). The message that tells people they have to log in to comment should at least include instructions for recovering forgotten passwords.

    Finally, since some people now find that having a WordPress / Gravatar account makes life less convenient for them, there should be an option for deleting those accounts.

    The blog I need help with is unlikelyexplanations.com.



    This is what I found:

    My email address is already in use, but I never signed up
    Gravatar.com and WordPress.com share the same user database. It’s possible that you registered a WordPress.com account (either for a blog or for an Akismet API key,) which automatically now gives you a Gravatar.com account. If you use your WordPress.com password to log in you should experience no problems using Gravatar. If you cannot remember that password you may use the forgotten password link on the login page to reset your password.

    How do I close my account?
    Because of how our system works, we cannot delete accounts completely. If you remove all images from your email addresses (click the “Don’t use this image” link) and then hide your profile (see below), your account will no longer be accessible by other folks.
    How do I hide my profile?
    While you cannot completely delete your profile, you can remove all of your profile information easily through the “Edit My Profile” page, and you can also hide your profile from external access. Visit your profile page (click your name in the top navigation of the website), then click the “Hide My Profile” link in the bottom, right-hand corner. http://en.gravatar.com/site/faq/#answer-1-8


    Regarding the forgotten password link: my issue is that this information does not appear on the page that asks for a password. That page says that “WordPress.com or Gravatar.com credentials work” but does not provide any links or even hints about how to recover a forgotten password. A casual blog commenter would have to search for that information.

    Regarding closing Gravatar accounts: hiding a Gravatar account won’t change the fact that the account exists and is associated with your email address and thus prevents you from using that email address to comment without logging in. The one Gravitar attribute that you cannot remove (although you can change it) is the primary email address. So the only way I can think of to disassociate a Gravatar account with an email address would be to:

    1. Create a new throwaway email address.
    2. Add that email address to your Gravatar account (which requires going through the standard verification process, where you click on a link emailed to that throwaway account).
    3. Make the throwaway account your “primary” Gravatar email address.
    4. Delete your real email address from your Gravatar profile.

    This seems like a lot of work for a casual blog commenter.

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