Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CAPTCHA: How to Eradicate Evil *Updated!*

*I've covered the evils of CAPTCHA before, but it can never be emphasized enough. So here's my public service announcement:

CAPTCHA.

Like many bloggers, if I had to choose between entering CAPTCHA codes when commenting on a dozen blogs and cleaning up an ant infestation in my kitchen, I would hard pressed in choosing which chore would be more odious.

For those unaware of CAPTCHA, it is the word verification that you must enter in order to post a comment on CAPTCHA-enabled Blogger blogs. Until recently, CAPTCHA consisted of one five or six letter word. This relatively simple, albeit annoying, requirement changed in the past month into something far more irritating.

Now, CAPTCHA requires you to enter two long words. Moreover, the letters that you have to copy are hard to read:

At surface level, CAPTCHA seems like a great idea. As it says, it requires you to "prove you're not a robot." Spam sucks, so it's great to have something to prevent it.

But it's not necessary! In the nearly two years that I've run this blog, the number of spam comments that have gotten through Blogger's behind-the-scenes spam filter can be numbered in less than ten fingers. Pretty much every blogger I've encountered says the same thing.

If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, I think you must get rid of CAPTCHA. There are numerous people who refuse to comment on CAPTCHA-enabled blogs. I'm not one of them, but I can't tell you how irritating it is to repeatedly encounter CAPTCHA when I'm doing mass comments on the Follow Friday and In My Mailbox memes. Often, I comment on 400 blogs over the course of the weekend (Yes, that's right. I don't have a life). The extra second or two required to enter those f*#&$*g codewords adds up quickly. 

A lot of people don't even realize that they have CAPTCHA enabled on their blog. So here is a way to check and get rid of it.

*Edit: Thanks so much to all the people who let me know that my initial instructions may not be enough to eradicate CAPTCHA. I'm updating my post to show both processes.

1) Go to your dashboard:


2) Go to the Old Blogger Interface by clicking on the big asterisk on the right hand corner of your screen and click on "Old Blogger Interface."

3) Once the Old Blogger Interface pulls up, click on Settings



4) Scroll down until you find "Show Word Verification for Comments." Click No.



5) Go back to the Updated Blogger Interface.



6) Click on Settings and then Posts & Comments:


7) Check the circle next to Never for Comment Moderation



Presto! You're done. That wasn't so hard was it? Hahaha! That was incredibly tedious and hard, but so worth it.

Please, please, please! On behalf of all people who love to comment, I am begging you to get rid of CAPTCHA on your blog. My sanity thanks you.

73 comments:

  1. I was actually reading through your old Blog Advice posts and whatnot. Realized I had this one without even knowing it, AFTER you commenting on my blog.

    So sorry. I HAVE TURNED THE EVIL OFF.

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  2. THANK YOU! As annoyed as I was with regular captcha, this new captcha is way worse. I find myself having to retype the words up to 4 times! Ugh. I'm pretty sure the people who have it one their blogs aren't purposefully trying to be annoying, I agree. They just don't know!

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  3. OMG I have to agree with you whole-heartedly! CAPTCHA is extrememly annoying. I hate having to refresh and refresh a million times to find two words I can read!

    I bet there is a lot of people like @Eli that just don't realise.

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  4. HERE HERE!!! LOL I have my captcha turned off and I have had a total of like 3 spams on my blog. I love commenting but the captcha now is seriously time consuming. And half the time I can't even read the letters.

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  5. I completely agree! It seems like more than ever now, ALL blogs have this horrid feature on them. And sometimes I have to refresh the page because the words are put so closely together that sometimes it makes it impossible to read! Death to captcha! lol.

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  6. AMEN. There were two instances in my blogging career (two years) that I wanted CAPTCHA on, and they were connected, and very circumstantial.
    Brief ME story: An author I love had two contests where you got an entry for every comment. So you comment straight for three days and get a LOT of points. Her comment box thingy opened up in a new window, and it was very easy to type a comment, press tab once, type the CAPTCHA, and then tab again and enter.

    Thank you for spreading the word about the Evil! With a capital E!

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention: There's only one plus side to CAPTCHA, and that's reCAPTCHA. If you really want a spam blocker, at least make your word verification able to help digitize old books!
      http://www.google.com/recaptcha

      Delete
  7. I didn't even realize I had CAPTCHA on until a month ago, when I read a similar post on another blog. I got rid of it right away! The one thing I do like about CAPTCHA is that it always shows a preview of your comment, when asking for the words, so sometime I find mistakes that I hadn't seen before. Anyway, great post!

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    Replies
    1. That is definitely the one benefit of CAPTCHA! The preview screen has saved me several times.

      Delete
  8. Thank you!!! I've been blogging for two and half years without captcha and I've had only one spam comment, in the very beginning (true, I don't have insanely high traffic numbers...) I hate entering those myself.

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  9. I just got rid of it on my blog, but I had to do it a very different way. I needed to go back to the old Blogger dashboard to disable it because the newer one won't let you directly disable Captcha.

    I'm more annoyed these days by it when I comment on others' blogs because the verifications are way harder to read now. SO irritating, and a lot of bloggers still have it enabled.

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    Replies
    1. Ugh...I hope you're wrong - not that I think you're wrong - but I don't want it to be true. :-(

      How did you get rid of it?

      Delete
  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to warn the Bloggy world of this evil that lurks. Although I haven't, YET, decided to stop commenting on blogs with CAPTCHA, I am completely and utterly annoyed by it. This is especially true on days like Follow Friday where you try to visit as many blogs as possible but end up spending an extra 10 minutes in a blog because you're trying to figure out the CAPTCHA. Ugh. Evil I tell ya!

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  11. Ha ha, the title of this post made me laugh. I do remember your hatred of CAPTCHA from your last post and you did inspire me to turn mine off. I do hate it, too, but it doesn't turn me off commenting, as usually by the time I've realised I have to enter CAPTCHA, it's too late and I have already written a comment. I would like to see it eradicated, though. It's an unnecessary time-suck.

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  12. I think Cathy is right. I had my blog set to "never" but my CAPTCHA was still on and I had no idea. I read a post done by Parajunkee and in the comments I read that you have to turn it off through the old blogger interface.

    I know everyone hates it but I think a lot of people don't realize that it's turned on and blogger doesn't make it easy to turn it off.

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    Replies
    1. Your welcome. I can't take the credit cause I read it somewhere else, but I'm glad I could point you in the right direction.

      Hopefully people will heed your message and turn CAPTCHA off cause it is a real pain. :)

      Delete
  13. I read a post about reasons why you possibly don't get comments and this was one of them. I continually thought, I hope I don't have this but was unsure how to check. I've followed your instructions. Thanks!

    While I've been entering the CAPTCHA for comments I've left, I made it a game to see if I had to be exact. There were times I wasn't sure if that was the right letter, made a guess and viola it worked. Kind of had a fun game going, but it does get annoying.

    Thanks for this great post!

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  14. its so evil and I dislike it too. I don't have it on mine and I haven't had too many spam comments.

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  15. I freaking hate Captcha...it seriously makes me not want to comment on a blog, especially when it tells me time and again that I got it wrong haha

    Great post!

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  16. Captcha is evil! Hate it, hate it, hate it! If I don't get the words right first time, I'm likely to just move on to another blog!

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  17. Thanks so much for this post. I'm pretty patient about captcha, I'll still comment. But I can't tell you how many times I've had to try 2 or 3 times to get the words right! It's hard! And, I agree, I rarely get spammed -- so it isn't really necessary. If nothing else, just try a month without the captcha. You can always put it back if you have problems!

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  18. It's actually not setting comment moderation to never that does it (at least for me). There is another field

    Show word verification for comments? And you have to select "no" and that turns off captcha. Comment moderation is just an alternative people can choose if they really don't want spam bots coming through, they can approve comments before they are published :)

    I remember turning off captcha after your first post on it's evil. I never used to mind it too much on other people's blog but now that it's gotten more difficult with the two hard to read words I groan every-time I see it.

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  19. Thank you for this public service announcement. Captcha is pretty annoying and I have to admit this...if I have to enter it more than 3 times...I move on.

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  20. DEAR GOD, CAPTCHA SUCKS SO HARD!!! And it's completely unnecessary. I think, over the nearly two years I've been blogging, I've had to delete like four comments (and I think most of those were students who were just being...teenagers). FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FELLOW BLOGGERS, GET RID OF CAPTCHA!! (sorry for the all-caps but it must be yelled)

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  21. Don't even get me started on these. I never get them right on the first try. Never. Then with each failure, I begin to get a little more depressed that I can't decipher simple letters and then I just leave the blog without commenting:) I've been getting A TON of spam lately, literally multiple comments every day for the past month, however, those comments never actually show up on the blog. I just get them via email and then Blogger obviously blocks them. I don't mind enough to enable the Captcha comments though, it's like punishing the people who try to comment:)

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  22. I got rid of it a while ago because I knew there were so many out there that hated it. Many blogs still have it, and while I don't mind really, I am glad you went out there and said that it sucks. Because it does :/

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  23. Down with Captcha! I turned mine off when you did your first post about this nuisance. All of my comments are moderated and almost always they go directly into my spam comments. It's SO much better than going through that old process. I agree that it hinders more than it helps.

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  24. CAPTCHA annoys me too! Sometimes, I just couldn't be bothered, and then that blog loses out! It's pointless and annoying.

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  25. I hope everyone on planet earth reads this post! I hate Captcha. Now that it has that two word requirement, I've been tempted to not comment on blogs that have it because it just sucks!

    Hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna post a link to this post from my blog. Hopefully we can get the word out to eliminate CAPTCHA forever!

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  26. YESSSSSS! So agree with this! I'm going to go tweet this post because I feel takes twice the amount of time for people to leave comments. My time is really valuable and I sometimes skip over a blog if they make me jump through a million hoops to leave a comment. Great post! (And thanks for your comment on Estelle's IMM on Sunday!)

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  27. I'm so glad you posted this. I've noticed this on so many blogs and I want it gone, lol. Hopefully, bloggers will read it and follow your advice. :)

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  28. Amen sista! Even I, a very new blogger, realized early on that Captcha was definitely not going to be part of my blog. Such a nuisance and waster of everyone's valuable time!

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  29. I totally agree! I visited a blog, wrote a thoughtful comment, and then was defeated by Captcha. I tried five times to type those incredibly blurry and distorted letters and then gave up. The post had no comments. I wonder if that was why?

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  30. I wish everyone would read this post. Ugh. Thanks for spreading the Captcha hatred--one day, with your help, we can all be rid of the horrors of Captcha!

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  31. I hardly ever get spam. And when I do it always goes to the spam comments. Great post!

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  32. YES! Awesome post. I hate captcha and it just seems to get worse. I am so a robot according to it and it takes at least double the time to post a comment and that's when it's NOT being buggy. *sigh* Great post!

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  33. Hahahaha - yes!!! Unfortunately... those of us who know we hate it are here to cheer you on!! If only we could send your email to everyone... oh, wait... I can!!!

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  34. Ah! I thought I had the evil irradicated, but after going through all of those steps it turns out it was still on! Thank you so so so much for this post!

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  35. I agree with you, I hate those things a lot, they make me lazy and irritated to comment.
    I don't have that on my blog and I rarely get spam, just once in a while, but that's ok.

    You can ignore what I typed below if you want to.
    Last week I tried to enter a giveaway and in order to do that, you have to comment on the post saying that you want to enter. I've been trying for about 20 minutes, but that stupid capcha thing kept saying that I typed the words wrong, at least they could make it easier to read, I tried again later for another 5 minutes and it still wouldn't let me comment, so annoying.
    I'm thinking that it would be better to just buy that book instead of wasting my time trying to comment when I probably won't even win anyways.

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  36. Great post. I despise Captcha and never can get it right on the first or second try. I didn't even realize it was enabled on my blog until I went digging!

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  37. OMG thank you so much for this post! I despise it too and never get it right. It really slows me down. I am double checking right now to make sure my CAPTCHA is still turned off.

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  38. I don't know.. I use a Anti Spam and Captcha Plugin for Wordpress. Without it, I got at least 20 Spam Comments and Trackbacks each day, sometimes 50, even more.

    Is there a big difference between Wordpress and Blogger when it comes to Spam? I mean, I know that most Wordpress blogs usually use Askimet, which I don't, so that might be it. *g*

    I'm so glad you did this post, because the Blogspot (and many WP) Captcha(s) often drives me a little (or lot) nuts! XD

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  39. When I was reading this post I was nodding along with the whole thing, thinking how annoying captcha is and then suddenly decided to make sure that mine was off. Nope. How awkward. I just assumed that it was off because I never had to type anything when responding to comments.

    So sorry everyone. You can now freely comment on my blog. I wonder if that means that I will get more comments now?

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  40. I LOVE you! This is driving me bat sh*t insane right now. I'm trying to comment but typing this crap takes so long I give up half the time.
    Now when I see it I quit unless the blogger is a friend of mine.
    I stopped using it last year. I do get some spam (maybe 10 per yr) but I just delete it. It's not worth the aggravation it causes for people trying to comment.
    It might be an issue if you're getting daily spam but people should at least try to turn it off and see what happens first.

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  41. Oh I hope people stop with captcha - comment moderation is better than captcha is you are that worried about spam!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  42. Great post! I HATE that damn thing. It's taking sooo much more time to comment now with the blogs I follow. Also 3/4 of them are so illegible. I have to click 3 or 4 times for a new set of words I CAN ACTUALLY READ TO AN EXTENT AND DECIPHER! UGH! By then I give-up trying to comment.
    DeAnna S.

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  43. Hi Alison, I hate Captcha just as much, but at this point is it the only option I have left?

    http://amugglesmagicalbookblog.co.za/wp/?p=1968

    Any help would be appreciated!

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  44. YES! It's awful!!!!!!!!!! And seriously unnecessary.

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  45. I was just telling The Unread Reader, we should come up with our own Anti-Captcha button like this one: http://www.toxicvanity.com/2012/02/yo-soy-de-la-orden-anticaptcha-y-tu.html

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  46. Oh my goodness! I don't know when I've laughed to hard! Thanks for your public service announcement!!

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  47. Blogger needs to eradicate this disease ASAP!!!

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  48. I didn't even know the crazy letters had a name! So where do I get the cool graphic of the Super Hero Woman like Missy has @ The Unread Reader?

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  49. Thanks for this! I had no idea what CAPTCHA was or that it was on my blog. But I always--ALWAYS--hate having to fill out those dumb forms. I followed your intstructions and gotten rid of it (I think). Great post, Alison!
    Ninja GIrl

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  50. I did like you suggested... but apparently I had it turned off to start with. ha ha!!

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  51. Even though I am somewhat for CAPTCHA, due to the fact that it does stop spam, I am going to turn mine off for the weekend and see how many comments I get.

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  52. Wow! Thanks for this post. I've only been spamed once; but I've noticed ppl responding more to my tweets and I've always wondered why. Now I know. No more "Evil CAPTCHA" here!

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  53. Captcha is crap. It only slows you down and I have turned away from blogs because of it. Down with CAPTCHA!

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  54. Captacha is now off on my Blog.. I did not relize I had it on until a blogger told me I still had it on and now it is off..

    Much better instructions

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  55. Thanks for this info! I HATE captchas, too! Especially EVERY time I comment on blog/giveaway hops. They're a lot!
    Mine is OFF now. I'm gonna share this post in my Twitter so I can help spread the word, is it okay?

    Michelle from Michelle Shouts Random

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  56. Thank you so much for these instructions! I HATE Captcha - so glad it's now removed from my blog! :-)

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  57. Bless you for this article! I can't think of anything more annoying than word verification. It hurts my head!

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  58. I didn't even realize that my blog had a captcha until someone pointed it out. But there is no button that says "Old Blogger Interface" on my computer unfortunately. :((

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  59. I SEE NOW!
    I've gotten rid of captcha! such a pesky thing!
    I have turned comment moderation on so I can delete the spam messages manually.
    For me its an necessary precaution because I allow annon comments on my blog.
    Thanks!

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  60. Is it possible for that thing to turn itself back on? I LOATHE CAPTCHA and had it turned off and from this meme/hop, someone alerted me it was back on my site. (SO thankful for that heads up) Grrr.

    Thanks for the tutorial!

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  61. I had the same problem with the stupid CAPTCHA turning on without my permission. But I fixed it's little red wagon, oh yes I did. By using the Google+ comments, there is NO CAPTCHA. How awesome is that?!

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