February 8, 2007

Did New Blogger kill spam comments?

Yesterday, commenters were complaining that under New Blogger, the word verification feature was working badly. I couldn't see the problem, because I was enjoying the way New Blogger was exempting a blog's owner from the step of reading and typing a hard-to-see bunch of letters, something I'd always been terrible at. But people were saying the words had become extremely hard to see [CORRECTION BELOW], so, experimenting, I turned off word verification. This opened up the blog to robot commenters -- the ones who start with a compliment -- "Nice blog!" -- and proceed to plug some commercial website -- "but I was looking for information on sealing wax." After a few hours, there were no robots, but that only made me think the robots come out at night. This morning, as I go to check, I wonder how many spam comments would it take for me to turn word verification back on? 10? I might put up with deleting 10 spambot comments a day. 20? I'd go back to word verification. But what is this? No spam comments at all! Perhaps New Blogger is screwing up its verification words, but if it killed the spambot: Wow! Thanks!

IN THE COMMENTS: Mike writes:
The problem was not that the verification word was hard to see. The problem was that, more often than not, when you typed the word in correctly it still didn't work. Since it failed so often, it was easy to collect enough "data" that it wasn't mistyping, it was the Blogger's word verification software that was failing. That's why I suggested telling Blogger. They have a bug.

11 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I'm enjoying the non word verification while it lasts. It seems like new blogger changes the word much faster than old blogger, so by the time you read, and respond, the word has changed. And you have to re-enter.

Bruce Hayden said...

Madisonman may have nailed the problem.

I don't mind typing it in once, but for quite awhile, it has taken me usually at least twice to get it right - even when I get the letters obviously right, they are rejected by blogger.

But New Blogger seems to have upped this from my averaging twice to three and four times. MM's idea of a timer may have some validity there - after all, most posts take at least minutes to write.

Another new problem - my id is an Old Blogger id (because I haven't moved my own blog to New Blogger), and I have to keep signing in, even though I am already signed in to Blogger. I suspect that this post will be initially rejected for that reason.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, I was wrong about my second problem - I didn't have to sign in again. Excellent.

Dale B said...

I use preview, sometimes several times, before actually posting a comment. After the new blogger change I had to enter a new verification word everytime I hit preview.

Now, not only is there no word verification, but my login to comment at all has persisted since yesterday when I commented on a different blogger blog.

A new blogger adventure every day.

Mike said...

Ann: The problem was not that the verification word was hard to see. The problem was that, more often than not, when you typed the word in correctly it still didn't work. Since it failed so often, it was easy to collect enough "data" that it wasn't mistyping, it was the Blogger's word verification software that was failing. That's why I suggested telling Blogger. They have a bug.

SteveR said...

Yes it wasn't the confusing, vvvvvvvvvv, is that w's or v's or u's, it was that even typing it correctly, it got rejected. I suspect for the reason MM indicates.

Simon said...

I'm just mad at them because they've apparently screwed up my blogger profile page... ;)

Bissage said...

Hello you! You have a nice blog and your stuff is good. I am not spam and maybe you come and see my blog where there is good stuff also. Bye you!

PatCA said...

"That's why I suggested telling Blogger. They have a bug."

It requires repeated word verification attempts and then sometimes changes your username and also drops comments.

Maybe it would be easier to delete spammers and obscene comments rather than vet all comments?

Ah, now it appears to be working.

vbspurs said...

I finally took the plunge on Monday night, and changed to New Blogger (took 2 minutes, Ann. I mean, geez, your blog must be HUGE).

Right now, I don't input any word verification at all.

Before, I was as frustrated as you guys, having to reinput about 3 times, before the WV "took".

I presume it's because New Bloggers are trusted more, somehow? Perhaps as proof that they've shown they're not spammers, but legitimate bloggers.

I dunno. Is it happening to anyone else?

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

Victoria: It's close to 8000 posts -- with tons of comments, but I also did it in the middle of a weekday afternoon. You did it at night.