Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I am not a robot.

After Monday's seriousness (thanks to everyone who commented, here and on Facebook) I'm back to normal - this time wittering about something that is slightly irritating, rather than vitally important.

Is anyone else losing patience with the captcha, anti-robot thingies that pop up each time you try to comment on a blog?

I've taken mine off, as one of my followers told me very nicely that they were driving her bonkers. It is her comment that has made me notice them more - and I agree that they are getting increasingly difficult to decipher. I get that we must take a moment to work out what they are wanting us to say - but do they have to be so obscure that letters run into each other like rain, or numbers are lost in the shadows? And if you get them wrong once, it often seems impossible to correct that on the second or third attempt.

It might help if they were a real word, and not something like EdvUlgn 61. What's that meant to mean - though anyone with a child using the phonetic reading scheme would say I should be able to read it without worrying about meanings. But I want to know what 61 EdvUlgns might look like, smell like? Are they animal, vegetable or mineral? Can I eat them? Will they eat me?

Since taking mine off, I've had a couple of ridiculous comments, and a flurry of invitations to check out a foreign bank, but blogspot seems to pick most of them up and send them to my email for checking - so they are easy to delete. But it's not been a huge problem.

So on a little blog like mine it seems, from my follower's comment, that having to prove you are a real person was putting people off.

I accept that, for those with thousands of followers, some form of filter might be necessary. But surely there has to be an easier way than making ordinary people squint at their screens trying to work out if that splodge squashed between the 't' and the 'r' is an 'e' or an 'o'. Are you quite happy deciphering EdvUlgn 61, or is it driving you bonkers, too?


  1. Drives me 'bonkers' too. When I have responded on the spur of the moment with a heart felt comment, quite often I retract it in a moment of exasperation as I reach for my glasses or to turn the light on.

  2. Oh, I hate them with a passion! When you're trying to comment on several blogs and they all have captcha I start pulling my hair out!
    The photos of numbers are as obscure as a blurry 1970's family snapshot where you're trying to work out if that's Uncle Dave or Aunty Jackie at the back...
    ...and don't get me started on the think you've seen a 'real' word, then realise it doesn't make sense and you cannot possibly tell if that's an 'a' 'e' 'o' or even a 'c'...
    Turn it off everyone!

  3. Yes, they drive me bonkers too but when I removed captcha from mine I ended up with a stream of spam so I, reluctantly, put it back on.
    I think there do need to be complaints made! They do need to be readable!

  4. You have hit on my pet hate. I've never had it on my blog and only a few spam comments that get filtered by blogger . Instead of putting it on they could have approval on all comments which I have found on a few blogs. Maybe better a warning at the start of comments section that you will have to use captcha then you could decide if you want to be quizzed on your reading abilities or not.

  5. A grouop of writer friends and I were only talking about this the other day....and I've just removed my Captcha thingummy wotsit after two of them said how difficult it is.
    I know what they mean...I gave up trying to comment on one blog last week...three times I tried but couldn't read what was in front of me.

  6. Phew - it's not just me, then!

  7. I totally agree with you, Jo. I hate them, but I had a lot of trouble with spam, so started using the word verification thingies. Maybe I'll turn it off too as I think it quite often puts people of trying to comment. I also have terrible trouble reading them, so you need a bit of resolve to finish and publish a comment!

  8. p.s My blog is called 'A Window to my soul' and I keep receiving offers for replacement doors-hilarious!

  9. Argh, yes! I turned mine off because I hate the darn thing so much. I've had a rash of spam comments recently, but so far Blogger has kindly delivered each one to my spam box, so it hasn't been a problem.

  10. Calling in from your comment on catdownunder.

    I too hate the things and the numbers are just about as bad as the collection of letters. I took them off my blog and still seem OK. An old typepress blog, on much more serious matters than knitting and life, still gathers occasional spam which I just delete. Usually on the same posts, some years old.

    There is an alternative although it involves a bit of work from the blogger. If you don't use the captcha application, then you can use moderation. You then need to approve or delete each comment.

  11. Thank you all.

    I think most of us get little clusters of spam - most of it ridiculous (I love newtonhouse's replacement doors!) - sorry you've had so much, Cat.

    Val - I know I would do the 'approve after moderation' thing, but there are many days when I'm out and about, doing stuff, writing, reading, and not checking the blog every hour to see if there are comments. And I'd still have to delete the spam! But it's worth thinking about if it gets ridiculous around here.

  12. thanks for sharing.