Slaw and reCAPTCHA

captchahomepage.gifAs a result of the recent kerfuffle with our comments, I’ve taken another look at our comment spam filters and found that it’s very difficult to achieve the results I’d like through the use of filters alone. Therefore, I’ve introduced reCAPTCHA.

As most of you will know, “captcha” is a means of requiring a would-be commenter to enter a word or letters read off a graphic before being allowed to comment, the notion being, of course, that machines which pump out the spam can’t decipher graphics.

Introducing a captcha system does produce a slight disincentive to commenters, which is why not every site uses the method. But lately enough of the slime has oozed through — and enough of you have been wrongly flagged as spam — that I’m persuaded you won’t mind typing an extra few characters. As an incentive, let me explain that the system I’ve introduced, reCAPTCHA, causes our commenters to decode a word or two as part of a worldwide effort to digitize books, something I imagine we can all support. You can read all about it on the reCAPTCHA site.

For those of you running your own blogs, let me further explain that I’ve removed the spamkarma filter but left Akismet in place, my thinking being that Akismet will siphon off the evident baddies without messing up the captcha system. If I’m wrong, I’ll can it too.

As always, if there are any problems whatever in getting your comments through, please let me know.


  1. This is simply a test of the new captcha system.

  2. I was going to ask you about accessibility for those using readers. I see there is also an “audio challenge” which hopefully they will be able to find and use.

    I like the idea that this is contributing to a larger project at the same time.


  3. Yes, Connie: if this makes the site inaccessible for some people, we’ll gladly change.

    I’ve received one or two reports of troubles, so this may not work after all.

  4. I think a captcha is totally necessary on a blog. It prevents spam bots and it is quite fun for posters. promovare site