Captcha Out, Akismet In

Posted 2009.08.07 23.16 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I’ve been trying to streamline things recently, without opening the door up too wide for the ^*&%(@ spammers. Just to give you an idea of how much these bastards hammer the internet, I turned off the Captcha thingy on the comments, and in 30 minutes there were three spam comments in the queue. These aren’t people roaming around looking for blogs to pollute, these are programs that people (I use the term loosely) have created to slime around looking for blogs to soil.

A captcha helps stop much of the automated spam but it doesn’t do anything to stop spam created by something like a mechanical turk, and unfortunately, a captcha also tends to stop at least some real legitimate comments. Some people are turned off by them, or have trouble reading them.

I had been avoiding Akismet despite its free nature and being bundled with WordPress, because in order to use it you have to register with – and I don’t like registering for things that I don’t really want… it seems redundant to register with a hosted blog site when I’m self hosting everything here. Still, I want my blog to be as open and accessable as possible, but I don’t want to spend an hour every day going through dozens or hundreds of spam comments and trackbacks.┬áSo I’m giving Akismet a try, to see how it goes.

I’ve also retweaked the other settings (and fixed a flaw in my theme) so that A) previously approved commenters do not have to wait for moderation any more, and B) replies and comment threading now works properly.



  1. malmal says:

    Some sites have a button near the captcha yo rest it until you can read the letters.Thats good.:)

  2. malmal says:

    Mmm.. no edit for spelling.

  3. Stephanie says:

    The captcha I had been using did have a refresh button so you could change the image. It also had an audio button so you could have the code spoken. As captchas go, I think it wasn’t bad. But it was IMHO a bit annoying. My friend Lezley has the same captcha on her site and I find it a bit annoying when I leave comments there, so I reckon, if it annoys me it must annoy other folks too.

    So far, Akismet hasn’t been bad – no false positives yet, so I’m hopeful.

    Re. editing, I *think* if one is registered, then editing comments is possible. However, I don’t have registrations set up here — that’s another can-o-worms I have yet to delve into.

  4. Lezley says:

    The one bonus to the captcha is that it remembered me. Akismet makes me re-type my name, email and website every time I come to comment.
    (grumble, grumble, grumble)

  5. Stephanie says:

    That’s wierd – it shouldn’t matter. Akismet doesn’t kick in until after the comment is submitted. It might be a cookie thing… clear your cookie jar! Or cache or whatever it’s called.

  6. […] About a month ago, I made some changes to the way comments work here. Formerly, a Captcha needed to be decyphered to post a comment, and then every comment needed to be approved. I was aware that this was a less-than-perfect way of handling things, but those effing spammers have made life difficult for folks wanting to run a clean wholesome interactive blog. […]

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