WordPress Blogs—Pninbacks and Pingbacks

I remember reading some years ago a lovely book by Valdamir Nabokov called Pnin. Professor Pnin, an absentminded professor from Russia, teaches in the USA. Pnin receives an urgent message from the university library that he needs to immediately return a book that is very much overdue because someone needs it for their research. He finds the book in question among his many books and reluctantly takes it back to the library. When he asks the librarian who is requesting this book so urgently (he really wants to keep it since his research is ongoing) he finds that he himself requested it! I have not told the story so enchantingly as Nabokov, but it serves as a segue into what I am now calling Pninbacks and what WordPress calls self-pings.

This week I wrote a blog post and I linked within it to another post I had written a few months ago. The next day I noticed in the comments area of my WordPress dashboard that I had received a comment. I looked at it carefully, and it seemed to be a quote from my own blog, but I could not figure out who sent it or why. I seem to remember it started and ended with brackets and elipsis, sort of like this: [[… blah blah blah …]]]. It seemed to be from me.

Hmmmmm, what to do? Should I approve it, delete it, send it to spam? I finally decided to delete it, and search later when I had a moment to figure it out. I have now sorted this out and wanted to share this information with any other perplexed WordPress.com person.

The default WordPress.com blogs come with a little box checked that allows you to receive what are called Trackbacks, Pingbacks, and Self Pings. This setting allows you to receive messages in your comments section that alerts you that someone is linking to your blog.  This article explains why you might consider unchecking the box in the discussion settings area of your site. Don’t forget to scroll down to save your changes, as the discussion page is very long and the checkbox is at the top.

No more Pninbacks!

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