Wednesday, 22 February 2012

What’s that say then?

Blogger have recently introduced a new word verification “captcha” for comments, which a lot of people have complained is very difficult to decipher. See, for example, this discussion on Mark Wadsworth’s blog.

The reason I originally turned on word verification was to stop an avalanche of spam. Following a complaint, I experimentally turned it off again, but the spam flood resumed, so it went back on again about 18 hours later.

Some bloggers have responded by restricting comments to those with Blogger and OpenID accounts, but I tend to feel the anonymous comments are often some of the best on this blog.

So what do you think would be the best policy for me to adopt? I will run the poll until Saturday, but please note I won’t necessarily be bound by the result.

Edit: The results of the poll are shown below. As more than three-quarters were happy to retain the harder captcha, and anonymous comments, I’ll be sticking with the status quo. If you really have something burning to say, and can’t manage the captcha, e-mail me your comment and I’ll add it manually.


  1. Good idea, can you send me (Mark Wadsworth) the code for the poll and I'll stick it in my side bar, that way we get a more representative result.
    My email address is on my 'blog.

  2. Mark, feel free to run a similar poll yourself, but I'd prefer this one to be specific to this particular blog.

  3. I've temporarily disabled it on mine - I'll use the 'see all comments' option on the Dashboard to catch spam.

  4. C, fair do's. This week's poll was running out of steam anyway.

  5. There's a very large majority in favour of Option 1 which I can't see being overturned now.

  6. Yes, I was torn here but on balance I think you need to keep your anonymous commentators - some are wonderfully loopy and do add to the character of this blog

  7. Blogsites without ANONs become stale and clanished,lacking in
    voracity and meaning.
    Let freedom reign
    If the writer wishes to be known
    If the writer wishes to be ANON
    Wanting to know WHO says WHAT has
    a sinister feel about it.

    Sink estate anon

  8. I don't moderate my blog. Very little spam isn't caught by blogger and I delete that in bulk now and then. Anon comments allowed and get through if they aren't spam. Best I think.

  9. I'm surprised that you are so troubled by spam. TM doesn't have word verification set and as he says, it's not a problem. "Captcha" is a terrible system that immediately puts me off commenting. Possibly why they introduced it:)

  10. Possibly the difference is that I have all comments e-mailed to me and so the spam was becoming a major annoyance. It had certainly got to the point where the spam considerably outnumbered the genuine comments.

    Anyway, if you, Cookie and John Clarke can manage to get through the captcha, it can't be that hard ;-)

  11. That's a crystal clear majority.

    I understand that people want to comment anonymously, which is fine, but don't most people use pseudonyms anyway? I'm one of the few people who could never be bothered to think up a snappy pseudonym and just use my actual name.

  12. Different blogs, different audiences. As John Clarke says, this blog does attract a distinctive vein of anonymous comment - a good example of which can be seen above on Feb 22 12:27 PM.

    99% of the time I get these new captchas first time anyway.


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