Monday, December 10, 2012

Spam spam spam

A while ago I turned off CAPTCHA for comments on this blog, so you wouldn't need to read a nearly-unreadable blob of gibberish in order to post a comment.  "Looks more professional," they said.  "Spam filters work fine," they said ...

It did work fine for a few months, but lately there has been a rash of spam comments and the filters haven't caught up yet.  I considered my options:

  • Spammers gonna spam.  Just let it be and hand-delete the comments every so often.  That seemed OK when it was one or two a week, but ignoring the problem hasn't seemed to make it go away.
  • Limit comments to people with Google accounts.  A large portion of the spam content, though not all, was anonymous.  Requiring a Google login gets rid of that, at the cost of making anyone who really wants to post anonymously here put together a fake account.  Like, um, a spammer would.
  • Turn CAPTCHA back on and go back to the inconvenience that entails.
  • Turn on moderation and review comments by hand.  Comments would not show up until I happened to check through them, which would probably be somewhat more often than I actually post.
For now, I'm trying the second option.  If you want to post a comment, you'll have to be logged in to your Google account, but that doesn't seem like a showstopper.  Almost all of the legitimate comments here are from logged-in users.  Again, if you feel the need to post anonymously, I'm sure you'll know what to do.

If that doesn't at least keep it down to a dull roar, I'll probably go with moderated comments.  Re-instating CAPTCHA would be a last resort.


earl said...

Damn, damn, damn. Why does convenience have to be made difficult?

Who does Captcha, anyway? Has anyone talked to them about this? Or is it just that you geeks have made robots too smart.

earl said...

Well, I guess that makes Captcha's point.

Unknown said...

I think that not allowing anonymous users to post normally reduces spam to a mere trickle. I think CAPTCHAs are just too annoying for the commenters. I find them so hard to read I started using CAPTCHA bypass software called RUMOLA to read and fill them in for me. Blogging is definitely a lot more bearable now without all of that squinting!