Since the beginning of my blog, I have allowed unrestricted comments on my posts. I’ve never wanted people to have to create a user account to post comments. That might work for some sites, but I strived to have a frictionless commenting system.
It was only a matter of time before spam began to trickle in. When the trickle became a steady stream, I added a spam filter that would flag messages for me to review before they would be approved for the written record. That solution worked for a long time, but times have changed, and the spam volume has increased to the point that it is too much to moderate.
The deluge of spam has reached a point that every week I find over 4000 new comments in my spam folder. Amusingly, quite a high percentage of the comments pertain to a certain brand of designer handbag, whose name I won’t mention for fear of provoking even more bogus comments about it.
All of this brings me to my point. I have added a CAPTCHA system to my comment form. The one I have chosen involves only a simple math problem. I very much dislike the systems that use the crazy lettering that I can barely read. Those types are hideous and turn a lot of people off. I think the simple math problem is the best solution for my site at this time.
I have had the CAPTCHA system in place for about a week now. Spam comments have dropped of significantly, but I’ve still received a few dozen in the past week. That was to be expected. The simplicity of the system I’ve enabled is still pretty easy for a computer bot to pass. I am just trying to cut down on the number of spam comments. I’m not expecting to eliminate it entirely.
I hate that it has come to this, but something had to be done or I was going to stop reviewing comments altogether. If you’re a real person, then by all means, please continue to post comments. I’m certain that this will have a minimal impact on readers and commenters.