Trying out reCAPTCHA

by on Nov.08, 2007, under Uncategorized

I’ve been getting too many spam comments slipping past Akismet lately, so I’m trying out reCAPTCHA to see if it’s useful.

I didn’t really want to add a CAPTCHA-based system in case it makes it harder to comment (and therefore might perhaps discourage people from posting comments, not that many do anyway) but I thought I’d give it a try. Also of course it’s hard on blind people.

I decided that, if I’m going to use any CAPTCHA system, I may as well use reCAPTCHA, since the effort used to decipher the image isn’t wasted, it’s helping to digitize books and annotate images.

What do you think? Does a CAPTCHA put you off commenting? Are the reCAPTCHA images too hard to decipher? (That’s something I’m particularly worried about, some of the ones I’ve seen so far looked hard to read).

6 Comments for this entry

  • bigpresh

    One thing it should probably do is skip the CAPTCHA for logged-in users.

  • Steve

    Have you looked at OpenID? I understand it works with WP. I may even be able to use it on my Pyblosxom site. I read an interesting article about how timbl restricts comments to his site. You have to log in with OpenID, but also have a FOAF link from one of his friends. That’s maybe a bit too limiting, but it would be neat to use that so that friends of friends didn’t need to do the CAPTCHA. Maybe I should do a talk on FOAF at the LUG.

    BTW I think that reCAPTCHA is a great concept. I was glad to see that Facebook used it rather than something with no real use. It meshes with my thoughts on distributed processing.

  • btard

    the digitizing literature thing is a great concept.

    bypassing captcha for logged in users? why? so that you have to delete users AND spam comments? keep the captcha, its good and only 10 seconds max of my time.

  • bigpresh


    Glad you don’t mind the CAPTCHA – I was a little worried that adding it would scare off potential commenters.

    So far I’m not seeing any actual user accounts being created, just simple spamming (although I suppose if lots of people start allowing logged-in users to post without CAPTCHA/moderation, then spambots might start trying that approach).

    At the moment even I have to complete the CAPTCHA to post a comment!

    As for the digitising literature, that’s why I picked reCAPTCHA – at least the commenter’s effort isn’t being wasted, they’re helping with a useful project as well as confirming they’re a human :)

  • btard

    Stick with it. Your blog is YOUR blog and not a device for allowing spammers to promote their goods.

    If something is comment worthy then I am quite sure that a legitimate commentator will fill out the form that takes 5-10 seconds extra.

    1 minute to write this comment, 5 seconds to fill in the captcha = 5/60, wow, 8.33% of the time to fill in that sucker ;)

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