An anti-captcha PSA for my blogger friends

I’ve been meaning to rant post about this for a while, but PK’s post gave me the push to finally write it.

Blogger friends, do you ever wonder why I don’t leave comments?  (I am sure you wait with bated breath every day…)  Or do you wish you had more commenters?  Or notice that your level of commenting has gone down and wondered why?

Last January (of this year), Blogger did something wonderful.  Inspiring.  Created an anti-spammer, anti-robot program guaranteed to weed out all but your most enthusiastically dedicated commenters.

Worse?  It is now default.  If you have not manually shut off this option since January, it is still on your blog!  If you started blogging before January and turned off captcha, it still became default after January.  I don’t leave comments protesting captcha because I figure that people choose to leave it up, but lately I have found out that people really don’t know that it was added by default in January.

I’m posting a few links below with tips how to get rid of captcha.

You might ask, “But why?  It’s a good tool to prevent spam, right?”

Probably not.  I don’t use captcha, and I get a spam comment approximately once a month.  I would rather deal with that than unwittingly turn readers off from commenting.

For the majority of you who use blogger, you may think it’s no big deal to type in a few verification letters.  In the beginning when the words and numbers were legible, captcha was annoying but manageable.  Now that the letters are become harder and harder to read and the number section deliberately partially obscured or too small to read, however, more often than not I will simply leave a blog rather than struggle again and again trying to get a captcha approved.

This may sound like making a big deal out of nothing, but if I read a great blog or blog entry I would love to comment.  I know how much a comment, especially a first comment, can mean to a blogger and I used to like joining the welcome wagon for new blogs.  But these days, unless it’s the blog of someone I visit regularly it’s just not worth the effort.  Even then, captcha reduces my commenting ability to about half of what it would be otherwise.  That means it takes me the same amount of time to read and comment on half the blogs as I would be able to without captcha.  That also means for every blogger who uses captcha for a blog I like to visit and comment on, I am able to visit one less blog that day.

As another perspective, let me add that for us non-blogger folks we go through the added step of fighting with open ID/wordpress ID/filling in as anonymous plus URL if you have that option.  Not everyone does.  Open ID and wordpress ID have been fairly good as of late (knock on wood), but there have been times *that* does not work.

Then the added step of clicking to say that yes, we do indeed want to visit a mature site.

Please, blogger friends, help a friend out?  Just say no to captcha!  Your commenters will thank you for it.

For how to remove captcha:

How to remove captcha, with screenshots

How to remove captcha, the video version

.

UPDATE: Bas, our resident mischief-maker friendly tech help guy, gives this advice.  If it is wrong, please blame Bas:

The option to turn off Word Verification (the captcha) is simple to find, but realize yourself that it is an option per Blog.
So, on the main Blogger page (the one with your reading list) click on the name of your blog, e.g. the one you want to change.
That takes you to all possibilities for that one Blog.
In the left column select Settings.
Next: select Posts and Comments.
On this page, you scroll down to the comments section and change the option for “Show word verification” to NO.
Review the other options while you are there.  Click on “Save settings”.
That’s all. No need to go through old interfaces.

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39 thoughts on “An anti-captcha PSA for my blogger friends

  1. Penelope says:

    Ditto – could you confirm I don’t have it please, Ana? I’m pretty sure I don’t but as the blog owner I don’t see it when I comment myself anyway.

    Silly Blogger. Not least as captcha could hardly be said to be accessible. How is a partially-sighted person supposed to manage? (There is a button that plays the text as sound, but it is complete gobbledegook).

    Like

  2. Bas says:

    The option to turn of Word Verification (the captcha) is simple to find, but realize yourself that it is an option per Blog.
    So, on the main Blogger page (the one with your reading list) click on the name of your blog, e.g. the one you want to change.
    That takes you to all possibilities for that one Blog.
    In the left column select Settings.
    Next: select Posts and Comments.
    On this page, you scroll down to the comments section and change the option for “Show word verification” to NO.
    Review the other options while you are there.
    That’s all. No need to go through old interfaces.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Yes, Suzie, yours has it. You can either follow the links or (I hope) use Bas’ directions to remove your captcha. If his directions don’t work, blame Bas. I have on authority from a friend that the first link’s instructions work as of a couple weeks ago.

      Like

    • Ana says:

      You started something, PK! I’ve been meaning to write about this for 2-3 weeks, but I never got a break in between story posts. Thing we can start a revolution?

      Hugs back.

      Like

  3. Kaelah says:

    Hi Ana, I turned off captcha immediately after I had become aware of it (some days after it had become the default setting). Unfortunately, Ludwig and I have more spam (sometimes several messages a day) but it all ends up in the spam folder. I thought about deacivating the “Anonymous” commenter option (people could use the “Name/URL” option instead and just type in “Anon” since there is no URL required). But I am sure that it would scare away some people and so I haven’t done it, yet. If the spam becomes too much, it might become necessary, though.

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    • Ana says:

      I know that some people set comments to partial moderation, like after 14 days or so. Or even complete moderation.

      The “Anonymous” option is nice even for those of us with a wordpress ID because blogger is very temperamental about accepting wordpress/open ID verification. If there is no “anonymous” option for commenting, I can get through to comment only about half of the time.

      Like

      • Kaelah says:

        Have you tried the “Name/URL” option instead? You can enter your name and the URL of your blog which results in your name being shown at the top of your comment complete with a link to your blog.

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          • Kaelah says:

            There is a separate “Anonymous” option, which allows you to write a comment without typing any name or anything else. This is the option which is usually used by spammers. The problem is that some commenters seem to be very shy to use any option that requires a (fake) name. And I think some people also assume that the URL field is mandatory. That’s why I am reluctant to switch the “Anonymous” option off. I don’t want to scare these commenters away.

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            • Ana says:

              Ah, I see. That makes sense. I use the Name/URL but thought it was anonymous.

              It is nice to have the anonymous option, but personally I prefer people to at least make up a name to leave a comment. That might be why I get so much less spam than you do. On the other hand, you probably get more commenters who can’t comment on mine.

              Like

  4. joe gallo says:

    I agree. To make matters worse, it is hard to determine if that blasted system is turned on. So, please tell the blogger if it is so they can change their settings.

    Like

  5. lea27f says:

    WordPress started requiring I log in every time I make a comment in the past few months, but I put up with it. I agree about Captcha, I hate it. And it’s gotten increasingly illegible. Pictures of numbers on one side and letters on the other. I refresh 3 or 4 times before I can even get it right sometimes.

    Like

  6. P.T. Wyant says:

    I agree — Captcha is annoying. And the audio used to be useful but now it’s garbled worse than the letters and sounds like the sound effects from a demonic-possession movie. (Which my not be too far from reality, come to think of it…)

    *snuggles my WordPress account that neatly catches spam — most of which amuses me*

    PT
    (still Paula)
    Wyant

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      LOL Hi again Paula!

      I greatly prefer WordPress and try to convert my blogger friends. 😀 I tried the audio once but couldn’t understand it at all. Captcha makes my life miserable every week when I try to visit blogs.

      Like

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