... for a limited period, I am going to require verification for all comments. Yes, that means the dreaded Captcha.
I have had a growing spam problem over the last few months. Some posts seem to have been attracting the spammers like flies to a corpse. I have had the Blogger dashboard set to pre-moderate posts older than 14 days, and most of spam comments have been on older posts, so I get notification of the comment and can delete it rather then publish. Kind of, I get to read all the crap so you don't have to. However, recently some sub-14-day posts have been attacked by the semi-literate moronati, and the comments have all made it to the front page. I've had to spend a bit of time tidying things up.
This is not acceptable to me. I run this blog for my own pleasure, and I hope my readers get some kind of twisted amusement out of it too. I do not run it so that unknown wankers can use it to advertise payday loans, online casinos and diet pills. I have turned on comment moderation, but while this means that spam posts can be caught before they get published, I still get notification of them. Currently, I am reading and deleting probably 50 a day. I have to read each one, as I have a couple of valued commenters who only ever post as 'anonymous' for reasons best known to themselves, and I would hate to delete a valid and wanted response because I was too lazy to go through them individually.
The only solution is to re-activate the horrible Captcha filter. It is an abomination, it's true, and I know that it will put people off commenting. It puts me off, so I can't assume my readers will feel any differently. But if I have Captcha in place for a week or two, perhaps the spammers will decide that I'm not worth bothering with. I didn't have a problem a few months ago, and perhaps the situation will revert to the status quo ante.
Some of the blogs I read have a system where the first comment only is moderated, and after that you can comment all you like. I'm not sure if this is a WordPress feature or some other platform, but it seems like a good idea. I know that Blogger doesn't offer this, so if I can't resolve the situation otherwise I will have to consider moving the blog to another platform. This would be an enormous pain in the generative parts, but at the moment I am totally fed up with the spam situation, and I need to sort it out one way or the other.
So, if you do decide to leave a comment, I'm afraid that you will have to get the magnifying glass out and complete the Captcha algorithm before you can do so. I am going to revert to moderating only older posts, so if you can stand to go through the Captcha hoops, your comment will appear immediately. And if your comment does reach the blog page, you will get double points for persistence, and my undying gratitude and respect.
One tip: if you have written a longish comment, before you hit the button do a Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C to copy the comment to your clipboard. It has been known for comments to disappear after 2-3 attempts at Captcha, and it's possibly the most annoying thing that can happen to a thoughtful individual. It has happened to me many times, and most of the time I don't bother re-writing the comment. I just move on. That's not what I want for you guys.
I'd be very happy to have your feedback on this, by the way. Email me at the usual address.
Thank you for your patience.