Invalid Security Token Error – Jetpack Comments And Twitter

Jetpack By WordPress.comWordPress is an incredibly powerful platform that started out years ago as a blogging software and has grown into a fully functional content management system (CMS). It allows its users to add, edit and delete pages and posts to their website without any programming know how. We use it often for quite a few of our clients (Including our site… you’re currently looking at a WordPress site 😉 )

There are two “flavors” of WordPress:

  1. WordPress.com – this is a free, hosted version of the product. There are some limitations to how much you can customize the product, but it is hosted and maintained by WordPress.
  2. WordPress.org – this version is also free, but rather than having WordPress host it for you, you host your own instance. It’s open source, so there are no limitations as to how much you can customize.

As I said above, WordPress is open source software which means that anyone can use it and anyone can develop for it. While it’s an incredibly powerful tool in its “out of the box” state, it becomes even more powerful when you add plugins to it. Think of a plugin as a “patch” or an “upgrade” to your software. Essentially, they extend the functionality of an already awesome product.

One of my favorite WordPress plugins is called Jetpack. Jetpack is an incredibly powerful plugin created by WordPress.com that gives its WordPress.org users a ton of stuff. It’s an analytics package, a subscription service, a spell check, a photo gallery, a social sharing tool, a realtime backup, contact forms and much more. A few ago, the fine folks at WordPress.com released a pretty big upgrade to Jetpack which included a new module called Jetpack comments. Comments on your blog or website are a great way to get your users engaged, and this plugin offers an outstanding comment form which includes a variety of social media login options. With the click of a mouse you can now login and comment using your WordPress.com, Twitter or Facebook accounts. Trust me when I tell you this is SUPER cool. (Check out the comments below and leave us a comment… we’ve got Jetpack comments turned on).

I enabled Jetpack comments on several of my sites and began testing the comment forms. For the most part they worked absolutely great across all platforms including mobile, tablet & various browsers. However, every once in a while I was running into this error when attempting to post:

Invalid security token. Error.

After doing some digging, I found that Jetpack comments has a couple of known issues with an anti-spam plugin called Anti-span Bee. The unfortunate part about software being open source is that sometimes it doesn’t play nicely with OTHER pieces of open source software. The really weird thing however is that I don’t use Anti-spam Bee. With my frustration growing, I did some additional testing and finally found my solution.

I began realizing that it wasn’t (at least in my case) a problem with the plugin itself. It was a problem with Twitter. When I tried to comment logging in via Twitter I would get the error but when I tried to login and comment via Facebook or my WordPress.com ID I had no problems. I’m happy to say I was finally able to figure it out. You see, the Twitter account I was trying to respond from was had a “name” that started with a number. In addition to the twitter handle (@ktcdigital), you can have a “name” (KTC Digital). During my testing, I had the name set to start with a number. When trying to comment I would get the invalid security token” error. I updated the “name” on that account and bingo… No more problems. I’m not sure why, but it must have something to do with a numerical twitter name. I have confirmed this with several different Twitter accounts and others have corroborated my findings.

So, if you want to use the Jetpack commenting system with your Twitter account, make sure the name of your account starts with a letter.

Do yo use Jetpack? Tell us what you think. Got another plugin you like? Let us know!

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2 Comments

  1. This is a test comment.

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