This has been posted before, in fact it is actually quite old news but there are many blog owners that seem to be unaware or have not heard this information yet so I figured I would do my part and clue in those of you that seem to have missed out on this news. Many site owners who appreciate the comments their readers make have been using a plugin to reward their top commentators by putting a link back to their site in a prominent place, typically you will find them in the footer area or in the sidebar of the site. I have been using it on this site as well as others and personally feel that it’s a valuable addition.
What many don’t realize is that it can be hijacked if you don’t have the settings done correctly, by default the configuration is set to only verify the author of the comments for the count by checking it against their name so what you see happening a lot lately is when someone will go to a site, see that “Bob Jones” has 455 comments and a nice link back to his site, so the hijacker will simply post one comment using the name “Bob Jones” and use a link to their site which will take over the spot that the previous commentator had to do 455 comments to get. Seems unfair right?
This can be easily fixed for the most part. In the settings for the top commentator plugin which you will find in appearance/widgets/ you can choose the method it will use to determine who is who, simply using the name of the individual isn’t effective as it is easy to fake and there is a good chance that you will have multiple visitors with the same name, so even if they aren’t trying to be sneaky it can still happen completely by accident. Once in your settings page you will see something similar to the image to the left, in these settings simply select to “Group commentors based on email” this will then cross check the posters identity using their email address instead of their username, avoiding most of the “hijacking situations”.