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Comment verification: Do you mind codes?

Here's a question for you, to try and stop the comment spam that now and again results in the comment script being closed off for a short time, would you mind the use of a captcha code on the site?

For those that don't know what that is it adds a random short piece of text and numbers to the comment section, and to ensure that your comment is accepted, you have to enter the correct code.

I've seen it on many other sites, but I wanted to ask your opinion, what do you think of them? Is it a hassle? Do you have problems with them? Or is it something you don't really notice? Would it stop you commenting on a site?

Please respond so I can get an idea of what you would prefer to have on the site.

Thanks...Richard.




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Comments

I dont mind it at all Richard. And you know me I am quick as a flash reporting you things that went wrong.

Couple of interesting recent articles about captchas and spam blocking:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000712.html
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000715.html

The main issue surrounding captchas is always accessibility, as visual captchas can cause problems for visually impaired users.

If you go with a captcha, is there some way that you could offer an alternative method for posting comments? Maybe something along the lines of, "if you can't see this image, please email , and we will send you a special code that will bypass the captcha"? Are there any off-the-shelf captcha solutions that provide accessible alternatives?

Hey will it cost you a great deal to add this fetures?

Re Martin: Random, simple arithmetic is another style of captcha I've seen used. Without operating the site, though, it's hard to know how effective it is, but it would support the visually impaired.

As for me, I'm all for it Richard. I've seen the effects of spamming comments on one of my client's sites, and it can drive you nuts trying to keep a site clean.

Thanks guys. Interestingly I don't end up with that much rubbish on the site, it's the CPU time they take up trying to get their comments on that's the problem.

I like the question idea, but I'm not sure how many people will find that a hassle or not, and finding a solution out of the box seems a bit difficult.

Accessibility is always an issue Martin, although the rest of my site isn't exactly full DDA.

It's a balancing act. Do nothing, the spammers come in. Do too much, nobody comes in. Where's the happy medium?

I've posted comments on a couple of blogs with captchas and it was no hassle at all. For me, taking that extra five or six seconds is all it takes to stop the owner being offline for hours, days even. Small price to pay.

Be pragmatic - use the captcha if it suits YOU. If you feel the need to offer a work-around for a minority of users then it can be no bad thing to do so. But to not protect yourself at all in order to avoid upsetting the minority could result in the total loss for all.

And don't get me started on the DDA...

I'm having to mess with captchas today, Richard, so I thought I'd post again. Seems a lot of people are having success with simple attempts at obscurity. The most popular right now seems to be using a form field with style "display: none" which *must* be blank for the system to accept the post. You give the field a real sounding name to make it too enticing to spambots, and it should knock out a large number of them until they target you directly.

I'm going to be trying it with the comment form we use for all of our website clients. We'll see what happens. One of my poor guys was hit by 1,000+ messages over the weekend.

Man that's tough Hap, nightmare to try and clear out too.

I've found one that might be quite cool, it's a question-answer and I can set the question. I might set it to a new (very easy) and relevant film question each week like...

What is James Bond's first name?

Answer it and your post gets through.

Let me know how your test works out.

On my site I use the "doYouKnowMath" plugin. Basically the poster has to solve a simple arithmetic problem in order to have their comment posted. I was receiving hundred of comment spams a day, and now they're all but gone. I'd say it's a good thing.

What is James Bond's first name?

Oh no! I am not sure!

*winks*

Thanks Chris. I had seen that one too. I'm really keen on using the simple rotating question one but there are a few problems on implementation I'm waiting to iron out...like right now it doesn't stop the comments!

Once that's done I think I'll have something written up.

hello. very nice. good luck

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