Make it Stop!!!

You know those CAPTCHA’s / word verification tools that appear when you try to comment on a blog post?  Well, lately they have gotten all but impossible to read.  And I have better than 20/20 vision, so I know.  Often I have to try two or three times before I get it right, so lately I admit I sometimes abandon comments I’ve already written when that word verification comes up.

Here’s why you need to do away with word verification and CAPTCHAs.

  1. You don’t need them.  Both Blogger and WordPress have excellent spam filters.  Let the filters determine who is a real person.  Do not put that responsibility on your loyal readers.
  2. You will lose comments, if not readers.  Word verification never would have been a deal breaker for me in the past, but since the 12 x 12 challenge started, I now follow more than 1000 blogs.  I try to be an active follower and comment as often as I can.  Even if it only takes a few seconds to fill in that box, multiply that by hundreds and you can see why it becomes a drag.  Not only that, but now that they’ve made the letters and characters all but impossible to get right the first time, it takes even longer.
  3. It flags your blog as less professional.  Sorry.  I do not want to offend any of you lovely, lovely bloggers out there, but I challenge you to visit any blog that has a huge following that also uses word verification.  You won’t find one.  Why?  Because these bloggers do not want to create any friction between a reader and his/her comments.

I was hesitant to write this post even though I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot.  Then I read Leigh Covington’s post which inspired me to forge ahead.  She provided a link to JA Bennett’s post on How to Turn Off Word Verification on Blogger.  I was surprised to learn that some Blogger users don’t even know they have word verification activated, so I implore you to read the post and double-check.

Here it is again. How to Turn Off Word Verification on Blogger.

Here are a few more sources

Why I Hate CAPTCHA and How I Got Rid of It

Yet another blogger I follow, Clarissa Draper, agrees.

Here’s the scoop on Blogger’s spam filter

If you are a WordPress user, there is absolutely no reason to use CAPTCHA’s.  Just turn on the top-notch Akismet spam filter.  I think I’ve had one spam comment show up on a post in 2+ years of blogging.

I am not quite at the point of saying I’ll no longer comment on blogs with word verification, but the day is getting closer.  I would hate to do that, but with time being truly precious, filling in those boxes is not what I want to be doing.

Okay rant over.

Have you ever abandoned a comment you intended to leave on a blog because of word verification?  Also, I’d be curious to know if any of you Blogger users, after reading this post, discover you have word verification and didn’t know it.  

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87 Comments

  1. HEAR! HEAR! I have HORRIBLE vision and at the end of the day my contacts are all dry and crispy and those stupid things are completely illegible. They have gotten completely ridiculous. I have Askimet on my blog and it filters out all the spam. I’ve never had Captchas. They stink.

    • My eyes get dry and crispy too and I don’t even wear contacts anymore. I figure if I’m going to read and comment on blogs until my eyes bleed, the least a blogger can do is make it so I don’t have to jump through any more hoops.

  2. Thank you Julie! I didn’t even know that I had it! I followed the instructions and took it off. Would you mind leaving a comment on my blog to make sure that I did it right?

  3. I totally agree, Julie. Particularly with blogs like mine where I’m still building a readership and I don’t get hundreds of comments, it’s easy enough to delete any unwanted comments. I’ve turned off captchas from the beginning and also let people post anonymously, and I haven’t had any issues with spam.

    • So true! What really kills me is when I go to the trouble of filling in a word verification only to get the response, “Your comment will be visible after moderator approval.”

      Say what? You ask me to fill in that box and then you STILL have to approve the comment? What’s the point of having the word verification then?

  4. Amen!!!! That drives me CRAZY! Thanks for posting this. I’m retweeting 😀

  5. Thank you for the reminder! I’ve been meaning to remove mine, but it just kept falling off of my full plate of a brain. Cheers!

  6. Amen, amen, amen, amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have definitely abandoned commenting because of the word verification. I wish I could snap my fingers and make it go away forever! Come on people! Kick it!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  7. I have abandoned comments before b/c of the word verification, especially when I’m trying to comment on my iphone. Just doesn’t work lol.

  8. Funny, I just got rid of mine last week!

  9. I agree, Julie. I’ve had verification on my blog, off and on. It seemed like every time in the past when I turned it off, I’d get a few really weird comments, so I’d go back to using it. But recently I set my comments as such: I chose to do comment moderation only on posts older than 7 days. That’s when I’ve had a few “robot” comments and I was able to delete them before they even appeared. What really irritated me about Blogger with this new verification, is that it just appeared, without anyone changing their settings. And yes, I almost gave up on one comment, when it took me 4 tries! The audio version is the worst! And so…to end this long comment… I’m a professional now. I no longer have the word verification! Thank you, Julie!! 😀

  10. Yes! Great post. When commenting on someone’s blog takes longer than writing a post on my own . . . I stop leaving comments for them.

    It’s a no brainer . . . turn the &#$@ thing off.

  11. Thank you for posting this! I have definitely abandoned comments before when I can’t get a captcha to work for me. Another thing that’s even worse is the crazy issue with Blogger to not accept wordpress accounts, etc. My plea to blogger users is this…. PLEASE set up “name/url” as an option when leaving a comment! It’s an easy way for us to comment on your site without giving up because blogger refuses our account or forcing us to sign off with a google account or something else we don’t use. I have actually given up following one or two blogs on blogger when I found it their comment settings were so limited there was no way I could ever comment. Why follow if I can’t communicate with them? No matter what host you use, learn how it works and set up your blog in a way that is as user-friendly as possible. =)

    • Lissa! Thank you so much for this. I, too, wish everyone had a “name/url” option — I often have to comment under my google account, but that doesn’t lead directly to my blog.

      • AND, occasionally when I’ve signed on to my google account for one blog’s variation on how to let me comment, then it turns around and bites me in the ankle by doing this — I didn’t want to comment from my old wordpress account, because that blog and that account are not active, but somehow that’s what was entered automatically, and not noticed until I commented here. I will now click to sign out of my wordpress.com account so that I can comment properly here. (There are more complications to commenting than just doing CAPTCHA things.)

    • Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that. How do you enable that?

      • Make sure you have allowed comments “from everyone (including anonymous)” in your comment settings. That adds “name/url” and “anonymous” to the choices. (I’m pretty sure of that — just checked it on my personal blog which is on blogger, and while I was there I removed the word verification.)

      • I’m not too sure because I don’t use blogger anymore. But it’s got to be somewhere in blogger’s settings because I’ve seen a wide variety of what blogger blogs will allow you to comment with.

  12. Yay Lissa! You have a GREAT point. Why can’t Blogger play nice with WordPress? Almost always causes a problem for me, and yes, I do stop leaving comments.

  13. Oh and LiveJournal = pure pain!!! It kills me that I can’t figure out how to subscribe to Anna Staniszweski!

  14. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one! I started to think there was something wrong with me as the words got wavier (and sometimes the verification phrase was frankly insulting!) Three cheers for Julie!

  15. I thought I was the only one this peeeeeeevvvvvveeeeddd to the nth degree. Nowadays, Blogger has you type in two words, one of which is usually impossible to figure out. I am really tempted to stop commenting on blogs which have these word verifications. Amd you are right, the spam filters are excellent. So, blogging people: do us all a favor and turn off your word verifications!

  16. I second this! I tried to comment on at least 3 blogs today and couldn’t. There seems to be some kind of Blogger/Wordpress compatibility problem going on.

  17. I hate CAPTCHA. There are so many blogs I end up leaving because of that darn thing and they never know I was there. Sometimes I try as many as 5 times. That’s a big time waster for me.

  18. Blogger ‘blogs’ just changed the captchas to something like what facebook uses.. you know the half black type/half other type and a solid black word. That is absolutely the worst. I have to enlarge it to 200% before getting it right.

    Yes, they not only lose comments they lose subscriptions too because if people cant respond whats the point of following.

  19. I dropped it a while back. The recent changes to the captcha have annoyed me. Initially, I received a bit of spam, but the filter caught it. Dropping it is a good thing.

  20. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I never really thought about it! I don’t think I have it on my blog, but best to check…thanks!

  21. Thank you for the tip! I admit that I am one of those who don’t know I have word verification or not. So much to learn about blogging… Thank yo!

  22. In answer to your question, yes, I have left without posting my comment for one of two reasons. Either it won’t accept my answer which I think is put in correctly but I just can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be typing in the box, OR the site will not even go through the whole process and I can’t post because it will not give me the next step so I can be approved. It is frustrating!

  23. Me again. WordPress and Blogger folks really need to check his or her Blogger profiles too. Is it easy to find you from your Blogger profile when you comment? Are you sending readers to an out-of-date blog? You can “hide” blogs no longer in use or blog names under your profile.

    • YES! You are so right Stacy!

    • This is one of the reasons I hate having to log in with a Google or WordPress profile – I much prefer leaving comments where I can enter in my own URL, then I can choose the most relevant blog for the comment (I have LOTS of blogs that I write!).

  24. I JUST posted on Facebook the other day that if you had a captcha, I wouldn’t be commenting on your blog. Not to be mean–I just can’t read the ^&%$ captchas.

    I’m not sure what happened recently-it seems like Blogger implemented this out of the blue. But I hope folks read your post and un-implement it. 😉

  25. I know of several occasions where I thought I left a comment, but must have spelled the captiva words wrong and left nothing. 🙁 The only reason I know I did this was because a friend emailed me and said I should read this particular post…and I already had. I checked my blog today and I don’t have one. Whew! They are a real bother. 🙂

    Have a super weekend, Julie!

  26. I completely agree.

    The other thing that turns me off is having to register or log in to a blog to comment – even if it’s with my Google account or similar…

    Many a comment has been abandoned with both of these issues.

  27. I definitely am reluctant to comment when I am forced to jump through several hoops, told I have illegal characters and have made a mistake with the code. I have told any blogs that I follow that this is a problem. I don’t know why anyone uses a host using captcha, I wouldn’t go near it.
    I am glad you brought this up. Hopefully enough people will complain and it will stop.

  28. I had no idea. ’tis done.
    Thank you

  29. Elizabeth Stevens Omlor

    I had NO idea there was an option to not use word verification! Hallelujah! Thanks so much. 🙂

  30. I haven’t dropped a comment because of word verification, but I HAVE dropped many because of sites that require me to join before I can comment. I don’t want to make up passwords and give my email to a million different sites.

  31. I couldn’t agree more. I just put up a complaint post about this on Facebook yesterday. Now I’ll share your link.

  32. I agree. What I do instead is set it so that after a particular number of days have passed (like two weeks), any comments require my approval. That way, any spam efforts to attack all my posts (I’ve heard of this happening) will be thwarted, but my regular commentors are not put off. 🙂

  33. I had no idea how wonky looking mine was until someone complained about it. I’ve done away with it since reading this article!

  34. You’ve been tweeted! I would also love it if people could PLEASE add the Name/URL option to the comment drop-down. I’m not on a blogging platform, and am really annoyed that I had to create Gravatars ane WP and Blogger profiles just to comment — which translates to yet another click people have to make to get to my site.

  35. Just yesterday, I gave up on a comment. I even tried the audio thing and that was impossible as well!

  36. I’ve just come from a site I’d never visited before (it came up in one of my kidlit google alerts), left what I thought was a thoughtful comment, and only after I’d composed the comment and clicked to publish did a message come up that one had to be a member of the site in order to comment. What a waste of time.

    You’ll find, lost in the maze of comments above, that my first comment responding to Lissa’s request for people to have a name/url option in their blogger comments ended up being posted as if I was posting from my old elizabethannewrite account. That’s because I’d had to sign on to my google account to comment on someone else’s blog, and this blog (like others) then decided I was posting from my wordpress.com account. At least I now know how that anomaly happens.

    I have just typed the captchas as one of the prices one must pay for commenting, but now that I’m following many more blogs, I, too, am getting fed up with all the hoops one must go through.

    One final peeve — when I click to post a comment on some blogs, it bumps me down to the bottom of the blog. If I don’t scroll waaaaay back up, I often don’t realize that there’s a captcha step, or some other second step, and go away not realizing that my comment hasn’t gone through.

  37. Thank you, Julie! There’s been many a time I have not left a comment because I couldn’t read the darned captchas. Have you tried to listen to them? There’s an option to have the computer speak the words. You have to list a series of words! Jimminy Cricket! It’s even harder to catch all the words. Lord help you if, like my husband, spelling is not his strong suit!

  38. The only thing I dislike more than CAPTCHA is a DISCUS requirement. I have my URL—I want to have to work around the fact that I’m not blogging on WordPres.com or Blogger.com. That has dissuaded me from making a lot of comments.

  39. I agree 100%. Recently, I joined a writer’s campaign where I’ve been visiting a large number of blogs with word verification. It’s been frustrating to say the least – half the time I end abandoning my efforts to leave a comment. It doesn’t make sense to alienate readers like that! I’d think any blogger would want to make it as easy as possible for people to interact with their site.

  40. Thanks so much for this Julie. I’ve also noticed how the words have got harder to read, strange how it seemed to happen over night. I certainly didn’t realise that I could activate / de-activate this. So I’ll be sure to go and turn it off right now on my blog. Thanks again!

  41. CAPTCHA’s are actually making a change to help decipher books that are scanned in to digital libraries. It turns out that books that are over 30 years old don’t scan that well. So the guy that invented CAPTCHA, after being embarrassed about the amount of time he was taking from peoples lives, decided to use that time effectively. CAPTCHA is now starting to appear with two words one that is difficult to read – that has been scanned from a book and isn’t understood by the computer – and another that is easier to understand and the computer knows. If you correctly identify the word that the computer understands it assumes that you have the second word correct as well. When that word has been identified 10 times ‘correctly’ the computer updates the database with the correct interpretation. Thousands of books a year are now being deciphered by all of us. A great way of providing security to you and I and a way to help the world at the same time.

    • Well, I hadn’t heard about that. But I like to choose where I donate my time and for which causes. So I’m still not in favor of word verification even if it’s secondary purpose is to decipher books…

  42. I agree totally,..hope mine isn’t requiring it.
    Thanks

  43. Brilliant Julie! Love that you are spreading the word. I was holding out on this, but once they changed the captcha things I couldn’t stand it anymore! They are so hard now and half the time they don’t work. I want to have fun on the blogs I visit. Not get frustrated with those darn codes. 🙂

  44. I don’t like those CAPTCHAs. I can’t read them sometimes and my comments get lost sometimes when I get it wrong. I always have to “Copy” my comment before I do the CAPTCHA in case it dissappears. 🙁

  45. Great post! I totally agree. CAPTCHA is reduntant with the great spam blockers out there already. My sister-in-law has one on her private blog. I’m going to have to talk to her. She must not realize she has it.

  46. I will definitely tweet this and save it for my next mash-up. As I read more blogs I get more tired of this. Mostly, I just wish WordPress and Blogger would play nice and let readers sign in with whatever account they have. I’ve had problems lately with people making comments on my Blogger blog because I had settings to prevent some spam I had been seeing in older posts. The comments here gave me some good ideas for fixing that, so I guess I’ll open up my comments again to anonymous users so anyone can type in a name and not need to have a blog or other account. Thanks for speaking up.

  47. I am reassured to hear captchas have gotten harder. I was starting to think I must be part robot 🙂 Also glad to know of the wordpress filter. I used to get a lot of spam on my wordpress blog so had the captcha installed, but it would be great to get rid of it. Thanks for the info!

  48. I have to agree… I have great vision, but many of the captcha’s are getting too hard… and sometimes I just won’t post if I can’t figure out the captcha! Its not worth my time….

  49. I confess I’m having a terrible time with the new capchas, and like you it’s making me not want to comment when I have to try multiple times to get my comment through. I hope I don’t have a capcha on my site! Please tell me if I do!

  50. I feel your pain! I am visually impaired and even with magnification, I cycle through at least 6 or 7 until I can figure one out!
    Also, I tried both of your links to JA Bennett’s post and they both seem to lead to another post called “Is It Hot IN Here?” I found thwe correct one further down in “popular posts”. Just thought I’d give you a heads-up.
    Gail

  51. I couldn’t agree more. My biggest problem with them is that they’re getting more and more difficult to read. I hate having to make multiple attempts to post my comment. I’m much less inclined to comment on a blog that I know uses them than once that doesn’t.

  52. I did it! Thanks for the heads up, Julie. I actually thought they had a purpose!

  53. Count me in as someone else that agrees with your posting.

  54. Great post Julie. I hate that CAPTCHA thing- the words are definitely becoming more difficult to decipher and while I have yet to ‘not comment’ because of it, I have felt frustration. Another option is comment moderation, which seems to be a good one. I don’t use either on my blog and so far have been ok from a spam perspective.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  55. I’m going to tweet this post to spread the word. I turned off word verification ages ago, and wish other people would do it too!

  56. I totally agree and did a post about the same thing today.

  57. I haven’t been able to comment on a bloggers posts for a couple of months now because of their word verification. It seems Blogger and Open ID have become uncompatible with WordPress. And the dilemma is this blogger doesn’t have a contact email. He must wonder what is happening to his readership, since he no longer receives so many comments.

  58. Great post! I don’t use it on my site either. It is annoying and many times frustrating for me.

  59. I’ve given up on comments before because I was too annoyed at the word verification. I feel it insults my intelligence that I can’t type the letters in the box the same as what it wants.

  60. You know what’s interesting? Captcha is designed to not be passable by a computer (hence how it tests your human-ness) and yet the computer must know the answer as it is the very thing that is assessing your Captcha test! In case you’re curious I wrote a post about the philosophy of Captcha here http://endofthegame.net/2011/10/03/areyouabot/
    Let me know what you think!

  61. I couldn’t agree more! Word verification is really really frustrating and many a times I dont leave a comment the moment word verification shows up. Thanks for putting it up here!

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