The intention of this change was not to "shame" people or imply that it is wrong to send private messages. We believe in as much transparency as possible, and will continue to add features that make this platform more transparent and a level playing field for everyone. This is the reason why we include other stats on the contestant's page so their number of submissions and rating history are visible to everyone.
As I stated in my original message, please use your best judgement in sending private messages. If you are sending explanation for submissions, it is better to send those as entry comments so the comment shows right next to the submission. If you are sending other messages that are questions or comments related to contest, and can potentially benefit others, please keep them public. If they are general messages like "thank you", it is up to you to decide whether to send those privately or as a public comments. Instead of creating more policies, we prefer the creatives use their best judgement in deciding between private vs public comment. However, if we continue to see certain contestants taking advantage of private messaging, we will take further actions.