Wednesday, October 31, 2012


UPDATE 31 October 2012

See below for the background. I have now started to experience a build up of spam comments on random posts, so I have decided to revert to my previous configuration. This was unmoderated comments but with the CAPTCHA option in place to block spam comments. I would just remind potential commenters that it is possible to keep changing the required code, by clicking on the circular arrow after the code entry box, until you get one you can read.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Please don't be deterred from commenting.


The above is the kind of thing you are faced with when you try to comment on this and many other Blogger blogs. The idea is to filter out automatic spam by establishing that there is an actual human being at the other end of the comment.

Alan Turing would turn in his grave. This is a test for telepathic geniuses and I'm not sure I want to confine my comments to this source. As far as I can make out from my Blogger settings I do not have any choice in the sort of test I choose. There is only one bog standard version.

So, in order to make it easier for commenters, I am removing this standard test from my comments section. As this is most likely to lead to a raft of automatic spam comments I am introducing moderation to avoid the the spam messing the whole thing up.

This is a pity, as I have consciously avoided moderating comments in my blogs up to now. I did have to introduce it in my website guestbook a long time ago after the book became unreadable due to spam.

An annoying feature of moderation is that comments awaiting moderation can either answer questions posed or change the tone of an argument and subsequent commenters may look foolish for not having seen them. However, in my case, the volume and relative (in)frequency of comments is unlikely to make this a major problem.

Regular readers will know that I welcome critical comments as much as any others and the only thing I will be filtering will be spam (and any potential libel or other legal problems which I would have deleted anyway but from which I have been mercifully free so far).

I am introducing this new configuration on this blog only for the moment until I see how it works out.


Póló said...

As soon as I removed the test I got my first spam comment. Some sort of bloody boots in Australia.

Nora said...

Ugg boots?

Póló said...

The very people.

Alicia Price said...

Do you have the choice of using play thru on blogger? Its a great alternative to captcha that is a fun game

The sad truth is that enabling Captchas can reduce comments because people hate them so much but something needs to be done about the spam!

Has anyone here tried using a captcha bypass browser extension to read those squiggly nightmares for them? I'm using one called rumola at the moment and it works perfectly. Great for bloggers who comment a lot! You can try it here

I hope you escape your raft of spam now polo. It can be so frustrating especially when even smaller blogs are targeted agressively!


Póló said...


Thanks for that considered comment.

I'm hassled at the moment and getting lazy, so I'll just stay with CAPTCHA even at the cost of deterring commenters. I get very few commenters anyway.

I don't seem to have any choice of filter with Blogger. It's either on or off.

Perhaps some of my (one or two) readers will have a go at the browser extension you mention. For my part I think I'll just keep hitting the roulette wheel until something I can read comes up or I run out of steam.

Good to hear from you.

Be well.