What are your Thoughts on Captcha??




Word Verification aka Captcha is a big buzzword around the book blogosphere this week. Audrey over at Holes in my Brain has formed a petition to raise awareness about how readers feel about Word Verification. Normally I don't get involved in any of the blogosphere drama, but I wanted to share my experience with this one.

First and foremost, some of my VERY FAVORITE blogs use Word Verification, and I do not love those blogs any less for it.  I would never let it affect whether or not I visit a blog or leave a comment. I don't have some list in my head of who uses it and who doesn't, but I feel so relieved when I don't have to take the extra time to enter that word.

I just want to get the word out and make a suggestion to try not using it and see if you get spam.  I used to use Word Verification until I realized that a lot of people are very against it and actually won't leave comments on blogs that use it. I don't want my blog to be thought of negatively in any way. So I tried turning it off, thinking that if I got spam, I would turn it back on. I fully expected spam later that week or even that day. But guess what? I've only gotten one spam comment ever. It was about buying a hammock, and I just deleted it, quick and painless.

So this post is not to be hard on those who use captcha. It's just a suggestion to make it easier for readers to leave comments.

How do you feel about this issue? Please check out the post over at Holes in My Brain, and if you want, sign her petition!

39 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I hate it.
While I know many bloggers (who I love) that use it. And no matter what, I still visit them. I do wish they would stop. It so slows me down.

I do not use word verification and I do not get any spam. Occasionally I might, but I just delete it.

Great post and even better picture :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for weighing in, Juju!! I don't let it affect which blogs I visit either. It does take twice as long to comment on those blogs though.

Karen said...

I noticed a few months ago that I had it on and didn't even know it. Personally I don't like it but understand if you have a blog that gets hit with a lot of spam. I still visit and comment on blogs that have it but there have been instances where I would like to comment but just didn't feel like going through the whole process of WV so didn't .
Since I turned it off a few months ago I have gotten one bad comment and like you just deleted it.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for your thoughts on it, Karen!

There have been a couple of times when I have closed the window out really quick and then realized I didn't enter the captcha, but I didn't go back and re-enter my comment.

Also, I think Audrey has a how-to guide of how to turn it off over at her blog. I'm sure you're right that some people don't even realize it's turned on or don't know how to turn it off.

Blodeuedd said...

Just one spam, oh you lucky woman. I have tried not to moderate and it's all fine for a day and then they start again, sighs.

Anyway, would not stop coming to a blog just cos of captcha, but sure, I do dislike it cos it takes so much extra time

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Blodeuedd, thanks for your thoughts! I wonder why you get so much spam?? I'm sorry to hear that!

You bring up another option besides word verifications, and that's moderating comments. That way you get to see all of your comments too, and don't miss anything.

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

Oh thank you, thank you for your post and statement against the use of Captcha!!! I HATE IT!!! It will NOT prevent me from leaving a comment; however, it slows me down, it's aggravating and I have not had any problems on my site by NOT having Captcha. Blogger actually does a pretty decent job of screening spam.

Missie said...

Carrie!

*sobs* I really really really really really HATE them. I just feel like there are so unnecessary. Maybe we should have a Universal day in which we all post a KILL Captcha plea.

I really appreciated Audry's post and even put her button on my blog to get people over to the petition. Some of my favorite blogs use them too, and that doesn't stop me from visiting, but it does make commenting more taxing. :(

I've gotten maybe two spam messages ever! It is totally worth it to remove the WV in favor of making it easier for visitors to comment.

I'm way to over opinionated, but I also like the pop up comments better because then you can comment and move on to the next post in the same person's blog. Some of my fav bloggers have more than one post a day, and sometimes I don't notice because when I comment on the first post it takes me to that post only.

I'm probably not making any sense, but I think it is good for us to be talking about it. I know I've posted about it before and whined on twitter. LOL I'm such a baby.

Cialina at Muggle-Born.net said...

Captcha only becomes a problem for me if the word is VERY LONG and hard to read. Then it becomes really trouble some. but if its six ccharacters long? Not a problem. If I want to comment on a post, captcha doesn't stop me. It is a hassle.... I do prefer comment moderation to Captcha though.

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

I hate captcha, but I still comment on blogs that have it.

I took it off my blog about 10 months ago, and (knock on wood) I have only gotten 2 spam comments which were easily deleted. I chose not to allow anonymous comments at the same time, so perhaps that helps a little?

Jenny said...

My personal opinion is that it gets very old on Follow Fridays. Especially when I'm spending more than hour perusing new sites and some of them use both captcha AND comment moderation. It's overkill. I don't avoid sites who use it, but it's annoying at times. I don't personally use it and I don't get SPAM. But then I don't have a large site that might attract spammers either. *shrug* It's nothing requiring drama though. To me at least.

D.L. said...

I've never noticed captcha and I don't think it's ever really slowed me down in posting comments. I think this sounds sad, but maybe it's one of those boring, repititive pieces of life that's just come to fade into the background for me and now I don't even notice doing it.

I had no idea I had captcha enabled (or that it annoyed people) until I read this post! Since I've only ever gotten spam once or twice I just disabled it. Interesting to see that people really care about this though.

lulilut said...

I hate the thing as well. Sometimes, it's too hard to understand and it makes it difficult to leave a comment. I wonder if everyone turned it off if they would see an uprise in comments.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks so much for your comments, everyone! It's great to have a discussion with differing viewpoints.

Stacy, I think you're right, Blogger does a good job of spam-blocking. I've heard it's worse on other blog sites.

Missie, you should sign the petition at Audrey's blog! You make another great point about embedded posts or pop up posts. Pop ups take longer for my computer to load, so that's why have mine on embedded. I had never ever thought about the fact that it takes you away from other posts. Something to consider indeed!

Cialina, that's interesting that it only bothers you if the word is a long one. It does make it harder, and sometimes you have to re-enter.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Diana, I think you're right about disabling anonymous comments. Honestly, I don't even know if mine are enabled or not, but I don't think they are. It's someting else to consider!

Jenny, I agree it's probably the most time consuming when I'm trying to visit a lot of sites in a meme like Waiting on Wednesday or IMM. It makes it take twice as long for each comment and I'm trying to visit as many people as I can.


D.L., let us know what happens since you disabled yours! I didn't know it annoyed people at first either, I thought it was something you HAD to do or you would get slammed with spam. But blogger does a good job of blocking spam on its own.

lulilut, I wonder if people would see a rise in comments too.

jackie b central texas said...

I do not worry about Spam as in almost two years have only had one spam comment on my own blog so do moderate or use word verification....
I HATE the sites I frequent that do use Captcha, you think you commented and then the screen bounces and comes back looking for you to type in a word to verify the comment and then it comes back and said you typed in the wrong word so have to do it again and wait some more and then it will not work for some unknown reason and you have wasted your time anyway! (that last part is a network problem I run in to every once in a while but it only seems to happen on sites that use word verification!)

I go by Audrey's and see post and the petition when I leave here...

Now as far as stop following or stop commenting on blogs with word verification, no have not nor plan to do so just think it wastes time!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Thanks for a great post and bringing the topic to everyone's attention. I changed my settings for older comments. I never really thought about this much. I realized that it is a pain to put in the letters but it hasn't prevented me from commenting. It does decreases the amount of blogs I can get to a day.

I thought it was a necessary feature. My personal blog used to get so much spam and it was so annoying. But I think you are right that we should take it off and see what happens.

Linna said...

I despise captcha. Blogger's images aren't even that bad compared to some things I've been stuck with. It's nearly impossible to decipher the latest codes!

Angela (Library Girl Reads) said...

What I really hate about captcha is when I enter my comment, push submit, and then I find out I have to enter the stupid word. If I can see that I'm going to have to do that ahead of time, it isn't such a big deal even though it is a pain.

Comment moderation plus captcha is total over kill in my opinion. I just don't see why you would need both.

I have comment moderation on for older posts but I've found that Blogger spam filter does a pretty good job of catching it anyway.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for joining in, everyone!

Jackie b, i agree, sometimes I close out the comment box before I even realize I had to fill out the captcha box.

Alexis, I think a lot of people think it's a neccessary feature. I know I did when I first started blogging. I thought my mailbox would be FULL of spam comments. But it doesn't really work that way. Was your personal blog on Blogger?

Linna, yes, I've seen some that are impossible to read, I have to enter them multiple times. At least you can read blogger's.

Angela, I didn't even think of that but you are so right!! If you can just write your comment, then type in the code all in one 'swoop' it's not half as bad. It's when you think you're done and you can move on, but the box pops up that makes it worse. I wouldn't even know how to change that preference though.

Candace said...

I HATE captcha. HATE! It doesn't keep me from commenting on blogs but I have clicked away if it doesn't go through, I don't notice it or if the blog loads too slow. I'm also much more likely to only read one post on that blog rather then going through and reading more. Or at least commenting.
I also like the pop up window for commenting so that I can go through all their posts on the page without the page having to reload over and over.

I don't have any verification or captcha or anything on my blog and I don't think I've gotten any spam at all. I have disabled anonymous comments though and I think that's where my problems were coming from when I did have problems. That was before blogger had spam detection though.
Thanks for this awesome post! I'm heading over to check out the other one.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Candace, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! That's a great point about not wanting to stick around and leave more comments if you know you're going to be filling out more captchas!

Georgia Girls said...

Word verification is a bother for the above reasons, too. Sometimes I think I posted only to find out I didn't because I didn't see the extra word step. It really slows things up.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Georgia Girls, everyone has brought up a lot of great points about word verification! The same things happens to me, and sometimes I've already closed out the window before I realize I was supposed to type in another word.

Julie said...

As you know I used to have it on my Quick Blogcast platform. Many people had trouble leaving comments. Half the time it didn't work. And I think it swayed some readers and bloggers from leaving comments. I couldn't get rid of it because it was part of the blog software. Now that I'm on Wordpress and don't have a Captcha more people leave comments. I do get a lot of spam. But I use a plugin to capture it so it doesn't go onto my blog. I just delete it. I visit a lot of sites with word verification. If I like the site I will continue to visit and leave comments. Captcha really doesn't bother me. Btw...love the pic you used for this post!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I can't say that it stops me from posting a comment unless it prompts several times and just won't accept it. I won't turn on anonymous because spam comes in by the ton but I turned off captcha awhile ago. No spam that I have seen :)

I think though it is a personal choice because some people probably get more spam than others.

YA Book Queen said...

I really dislike Captcha, although I don't let it stop me from commenting on blogs I love. I just dislike it though, it wastes time (especially the ones that pop up after I've hit submit comment - those suck because I'm already leaving to go to another blog).

Alison said...

I hate Captcha with a passion. I will still comment on blogs with it, but I tend to smile when it's not there. I've only had one spam message and it only took a second to delete.

I think some people don't even realize that it's there. It's just an automatic setting. If you don't comment on your own posts, you may miss it completely.

Simcha said...

I didn't realize this was a big blogger issue. I guess I'm falling behind in the "current affairs" ;)
I began using word verification to cut back on spam, and it has worked. I didn't realize that people had such a problem with it, and now I'm curious to see if I get more comments if I leave it off. Perhaps I'll give it a try.
I don't mind word verification myself, though I don't get annoyed at those sites where I have to leave my name and email and any other info. Though it's possible all Wordpress blogs require it. I don't know.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for joining the discussion, everyone!

Julie, I'm glad to hear that you're getting more comments since you switched over. That's interesting that you get a lot of spam, I've heard of others who don't use blogger that get lots of spam too.

Felicia, I think not allowing anonymous comments must help a lot with spam. I definitely agree that it's a personal choice.

YA Book Queen, I totally understand, I am trying to comment so quickly that I accidentally close the windows before I've entered it.

Alison, I totally think people don't realize it's there too.

Simcha, from what others have said, I would disable anonymous comments and that should help with the spam if you are still getting some after disabling captcha. But it's still your choice and if you try disabling capcha and still get spam, by all means turn it back on!

Donna said...

I can't help but wonder if people just pick a topic and start digging to induce drama. It's captcha. Isn't people's time better invested in other areas than creating entire petitions to rid the world of word verification? Really?

I get it. People don't like it. Depending on the computer I use, if it's there, the image won't come up and I can't comment. But I'm not about to let it eat away at my soul till infinity about it. Why? Because it's freakin' word verification. The only time it's really bothered me is in the instance I just mentioned or if I hit comment and the page reloads and then the captcha pops up because then I tend to miss it and navigate away. That irks me. But again, I'm not throwing fecal matter at the rotating device about it either.

I removed my captcha not too long ago because people were saying oh you won't get a lot of spam. Holy mother of fuck my inbox exploded with all of the spam I got. I gave it a couple of weeks to see if it died down. Nope. Guess what? Captcha went back up. Deal with it. If it's absolutely too much for someone to take an extra 2.4 seconds out of their lives to type in some letters that really aren't that hard to read (fanfiction.net has absolutely horrible captchas with symbols I don't even know how to create on my keyboard, Blogger's is simple), then I'm thoroughly surprised that they were even able to read through one of my posts for how long it would take.

Frankly I just think it's ridiculous that people are going this ape shit for word verification. It's word verification. It's not worth the energy or the anurysms about it.

Barbara said...

I use Captcha on my blog, but never really thought about why. I believe it is "supposed" to be a way to reduce spam. I will admit, however, that when a blogger doesn't have word verification it's less of a hassle to post comments. Sometimes you enter the word wrong and have to start over :/

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Hi Donna, it was never my intention to offend anyone with this post. I wanted to open up a discussion where the readers of my blog could weigh in with their thoughts. I don't think anyone is losing their minds over the issue, as much as we are discussing something that affects us everyday as bloggers, blog readers, and commenters.

Barbara, I think a lot of people think they are 'supposed' to use it :) I know I did until I saw that a lot of people are irritated by it.

Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings) said...

I really don't like Word Verification. I've never used it and I've only gotten a handful of spam messages and I've been bogging for over three years.

It doesn't really stop me from leaving a comment, it really doesn't, but sometimes is frustrating because those things are hard to read, or when you can't really see it because of loading problems.

Over all, as long as it's easy to read I don't mind it.

Missie said...

Carrie, I never considered that pop up would take longer to load, but now that you mention it, I think I have noticed that a couple of times. I guess there is no real win-win.

Like I said, WV doesn't stop me from commenting on blogs that have posts that interest me, but it doesn't get to be overwhelming because sometimes it is not easy to read, and sometimes when you are trying to decode the Captcha your comment disappears.

Blodeuedd said...

It all goes back to that evil Ed who spammed a lot when I started, and ever since that I get spam. But then again I do not care, cos I find it like you say so much easier to see new comments when you moderate :)

dolleygurl said...

My only problem with word verification is that I sometimes don't realize that a blog has it and I will close out the window without entering it.

I had it on my blog for a little while at the beginning but after taking it off I only received one spam comment - so for now it is off. It it were to get really bad, I would put it back on tho.

Christie (The Fiction Enthusiast) said...

I hate captcha but won’t stop visiting a blog because they use it. I have never used it and find Blogger’s spam detection works great. I have my comments set up so I receive an email for every new comment. If I see a spam comment I just delete it, but honestly I can’t even remember the last time I had one get through. I wish others would at least consider turning it off on meme days when they have high traffic. I love to comment, but am usually strapped for time. I could hit so many more blogs if captcha was off.

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

I turned it off a while back too, and haven't really had any spam (at least not of the variety that would be deterred by captcha!)

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