CAPTCHA rant

I don’t like to start the week with a moan, but I wish to explain my absence (in terms of commenting) on some blogs. I notice that some bloggers who use Blogger have the comments set to ask the reader/commenter to scribe a CAPTCHA. (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart).

I know why word verification is used and I agree it is a necessity on sites such as ticket sales or when voting on something important, but is it really the best way to moderate blog comments? Is there not a nicer, more user-friendly way for bloggers to interact with their readers – eg moderating comments before posting, or installing/running a more accurate spam filter?

I’ve found CAPTCHAs have become more difficult recently. They consist of two ‘words’ – or more accurately one world and one string of letters that doesn’t read as any word. Even when I am not tired I often struggle to get them right first time. If I am commenting on a blog I give up after 3 or 4 incorrect attempts. This has been the case for several Blogger blogs on my reading list recently, so sorry, but you’ve missed my words of wisdom! 😦

Rant over. Now back to the usual scheduled service.

It was blowing a hoolie here yesterday when Cyril came for breakfast and it really ruffled up his hair do! Look at those wind sock ear tufts!

Blowin' a hoolie out there today

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18 comments on “CAPTCHA rant

    • Unfortunately I can not use Disqus on WordPress.com; I’d have to move to the self-hosting site, WP.org. But at least I chose to set my discussions to allow you to post a comment when you have a previously approved comment.

  1. One problem is that the comment settings seem to default to the CAPTCHA format if you upgrade to the new Blogger interface, unless you temporarily revert to the old interface and turn it off, and we don’t tend to comment on our own blogs we don’t know it’s happened unless someone draws our attention to it…

    • True, about not knowing what our own settings are! (I logged out of WordPress to check mine!)
      I’ve just commented on your blog and did so without being asked for a CAPTCHA. You hold comments for moderation (which I have no problem with), which does away with the need for word verification.

    • I keep practising, but sometimes have to give up. I know many other WordPress bloggers are experiencing the same problem. Someone suggested it may work if we post anonymously – but that means we can’t give a link to our blogs. 🙂

      The problem arises when I (we) try to post using an open ID, ie post with our WordPress username/URL. Every time I try to comment the box says “The characters you entered didn’t match the word verification. Please try again”, no matter HOW many times I enter the word verification this keeps happening.

  2. Cant say I can recall any CAPTCHA problems with your site Sheila, reckon that acronym deserves a prize for sheer ugliness though.. I think I’ll memorise it, bound to crop up in a pub quiz… Hope the wind drops a bit off on the East Highland Way next Friday pm. Any capercaillis (forgive spelling) about?

    • WordPress does not use CAPTCHAs, instead we ask you to give your name and email or sign in using WordPress or Facebook.

      Do you mean you’re starting the EHW this Friday? I plan to be in Fort William on Friday as Neil has a wee job there on Friday morning. If you wish we could meet for a coffee and chat or I/we could join you for a wee bit of the walk. Phone or text me if you wish.

  3. Irritate the hell out of me as well. I don’t seem to have much problem with automated spam on my blog as the WordPress filter seems to catch them all and the setting that a first time comment has to be approved by me before it appears seems to work fine. Having said that I don’t get a huge number of visits so I imagine spam can be a real problem for the more poular sites

  4. I was going to comment, but Andy seems to have anticipated exactly what I intended to say! Askimet seems to catch just about everything – only occasionally catching a genuine comment.
    Nice squirrel pic!

  5. I make it a fun challenge to invent crazy definitions for the pseudo “words”, but the double word ones in a slanted, run-together font are hard to read.

    That squirrel is cute!

  6. I agree with Martin – Disqus is the answer for those on Blogger (and everyone else who is not on WP.com). And comment moderation is certainly not an answer, but a step back towards censorship.

  7. I,ve been having the same problem.I now use a large magnifying glass to see these words and that works.You can turn it off in “comments” at the top of your new post page.But I then found I was getting too much junk through if I left it off all the time.I now leave it off after posting but will put it back up again after a few days have past.
    Its a pest but the new google changes coming in are far more intrusive.

    • Bob, following the link given by Alen (McEff) above I see it was not me making mistakes, but is a software problem with Blogger not recognising WordPress addresses. The solution – for WP users – is to sign in without using the OpenID signature.

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