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Captcha Out, Akismet In

Posted 2009.08.07 23.16 in Computers/Internet/Technology

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.