Monday, 14 January 2013

Does word verification deter people from posting comments?

A while ago Bluebear Jeff said he found it difficult to read the word verification image to post a comment and so felt disinclined to write comments on my blog postings. I don't know if others have felt the same but for the past few hours I've switched off word verification as an experiment to see if it helps. I may not continue this indefinitely as I've already had to deal with 3 spam comments but if it appears to increase the number of comments posts receive I might do so. We'll see!

27 comments:

Derek said...

I may not have as many followers, or as big a web presence, but i turned mine off a long time ago, and have never had any issues. It doesn't deter me as such, as I will type a comment before i see there is verification required, but I do curse it every time I have to do it.

Ray Rousell said...

Short answer, Yes!

David said...

Hi Derek,

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on word verification. I agree it is a pain in some ways but I do like the way it stops the spam! It will be interesting to see what others think. Perhaps I should have posted a poll on the matter?

Cheers,

David.

David said...

Hi Ray,

Thanks - short and very much to the point! :-)

Perhaps I'll just have to put up with dealing with the spam...

Cheers,

David.

scotty said...

Word verification can be a pain if you are trying to leave comments when I'm using my mobile as I have to keep scrolling to read the word as I am typing..

David said...

Thanks, Scotty.

It all seems to be adding up to switching off word verification!

Cheers,

David.

Anonymous said...

If you are logged in to your Google account, you should *not* see any verification.

David said...

True - but presumably enough people try to comment when not logged in or do not have Google accounts so that it's annoying for some.

Thansk for commenting.

Cheers,

David.

abdul666 said...

I have no word verification but an e-mail alert for each comment posted, which allows to spot & delete spams soon enough (comment moderation is similar and more 'preventive', yet apparition of comments is delayed). But I have a very, very reduced traffic and since I update old posts rather than posting new ones maybe I'm less vulnerable?

For me word verification does not deter from commenting if I feel really motivated to comment.

David said...

Hi Jean-Louis,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I use comment moderation to allow me to filter out the spam before it gets onto the blog. As you say, it does introduce some delay but I feel that's tolerable. I find that a fair bit of the spam is targeted at old posts rather than new ones. I don't know why some blogs are targeted more than others by spam - perhaps it's to do with frequent new posts bringing the blog to the attention of spammers?

As you say, if really motivated to comment word verification is not a problem. I wonder how many people try to comment when not logged in to Google or who do not have a Google account? As a previous commenter mentioned, people logged in should not see word verification anyway.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

David.

Fitz-Badger said...

I'm pretty sure I do get asked for word verification even when I am logged into my google account.

In any case, it can be a little annoying because I'm not always sure what all the letters are. Took me 3 or 4 tries a couple of times. But it doesn't really stop me from commenting if I feel like I have something to say. I can see both sides, those who find the process tedious or annoying and those bloggers who get hit with spam.

Capt Bill said...

Sir David, I often give up trying to post comments after two unsuccessful tries...

Bluebear Jeff said...

I know that I try to avoid leaving comments on those blogs with verification.

I have never (at least knowingly) had it on any of my blogs . . . and I rarely get any spam . . . and I mean less than one a month.


-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

When I am keen to leave a comment I will persevere to get through the word verification.

If I am pressed for time, or simply wish to comment quickly I will sometimes 50% maybe press on with the word verification.

If I mess up the thing the first time, unless I am keen or have lots of time I will skip the comment posting.

Ubique Matt said...

Hi David,
Can I recommend the setting 'Sometines - For posts older than 14 days' for the Comment Moderation. It appears that spam often affects older posts. With this setting you can also check your Spam folder to ensure that no 'real' comments have been sidelined, as I've noticed happens sometimes.

Regards,
Matt

Fabrizio Davi' said...

Not a problem for me: maybe because to access my University server I have to pass a nastier procedure...

Fabrizio

tidders said...

word verification - hate it - I switched off the word verification.

You can alter the Post and comments settings to not accept Anonymous id's, I set mine for 'Registered User'
- this seems to have stopped most of the SPAM I was getting

-- Allan

Alicia Price said...

I find that on my own blog when i turned work verification on because of spam issues comments plummeted. I do understand that though, I myself hate CAPTCHA so much that I have started using software called RUMOLA to read and fill them in for me to make blogging less frustrating.

I think it depends how many blogs you follow, if you actively comment on 10 a day then obviously the CAPTCHA starts to drive you mad!

I think unless you have a huge tide of spam it is worth just rooting out the odd comment.

PS. if anyone wants to try the CAPTCHA bypass software you can get it at skipinput.com

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

To answer your specific question, "yes"... turned mine off ages ago, and then moderate or fresh comments on posts that are over a month old

David said...

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. I've switched off word verification and have moderation on for all comments. I've had to deal with 6 spam messages in 2 days, which is, I suppose, tolerable.

Cheers,

David.

David said...

Update: Over 20 spam message have turned up on the blog in less than a day! That makes at least about 40-50 since I switched off word verification. Mostly the same rubbish, too. It really is irritating dealing with this trash. It's a pity word verification is so annoying to so many!

Cheers,

David.

Fitz-Badger said...

That's not good, David. Maybe try setting it to not allow anonymous comments?

(I guess it means your blog gets noticed. I haven't had any spam on mine in years. ha!)

David said...

Hi F-B,

Yes, that's a definite possibility - but I wonder how many non-Googlers might be put off as a consequence? For the moment I'll see how it goes - and perhaps the present spate is just a blip! (No doubt that's wishful thinking but...)

Yes, the blog is getting noticed by all the wrong people, clearly! ;-)

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,

David.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

On mine I have settings to

1/. moderate comments on posts over 14 days old
2/. only accept comments from registered users.....

David said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the comment. Having had 25 spam today alone (!) I've decided to reinstate my email message widget on the blog for any unregistered visitors who may wish to contact me and only accept comments from registered users from now on! It was just too tedious getting rid of the spam...

Spam-free here I come (hopefully). :-)

Cheers,

David.

Fitz-Badger said...

I don't blame you at all, David!

I read somewhere a while back that the word verification stuff, or at least the numbers part, was Google's way of using all of us to help train computer recognition of numbers. The numbers are images from buildings (from their cars that travel around taking pictures for streetview, for example) and paperwork. The buildings ones are used for geocoding addresses. I don't really mind that they're doing that, so this is just an observation, not a complaint.

David said...

Thanks, FB. :-)

Yes, I think I read the same about Google - they're a canny and cunning lot. ;-)

Cheers,

David.