Saturday, February 25, 2012

On Blog Comments

Blogger recently changed their word verification so instead of getting one clear word that I could usually read and retype fairly quickly, there are two distorted words. At first, one of those was obscured with a background blob, which made it even less easy to decipher. This new setup, even de-blobbed, is not really working so well for me, as my eyesight is strained enough as it is and my patience is not sufficient for me to keep trying if don't guess right the first time. If you have word verification turned on for your Blogger blog and notice I'm not commenting as often as I used to, it's not that I don't like you anymore, it's that I'm too blind and cranky to deal with the wonky words.

If you have both word verification and comment moderation turned on, please turn off word verification, because the reward for figuring out the code should be a comment that posts immediately. Why make your commenters jump through hoops to get into your comment section if you've also got the door locked on the other side of the hoops? If you only have word verification turned on, please consider turning it off to make life easier on people who want to comment. I haven't had it on in a long time and get very few spam comments, mostly because I don't allow Anonymous comments. The spam comments I do get, I mark as spam to educate the automatic spam detection code and then delete; it's easy.

Should you want to try turning off word verification, you can do this in Design mode. (The steps below are using the old interface—I can't find the option in the new one, which I suppose isn't surprising since I can't find a lot of things in the new one. If you're in the new one, you can, for now, switch back the old by clicking on the gear button in the upper right and then clicking on Old Blogger interface.)

1. Click into Design mode.

2. Click on Settings tab.

3. Click on Comments link.

4. For "Who Can Comment?" select something other than "Anyone"; I've found it's Anonymous users who generate the most spam and/or drama. I've got mine set to Registered Users.

5. For "Comment Moderation", select "Only on posts older than ___ days", since some spammers like to hit old posts where they think you might not be paying attention. I've been gradually setting this number up; now I've got it at 200 days.

6. For "Show word verification for comments?", select "No".

7. Click Save Settings button at the bottom.

All that said, over the past few days I've had a persistent spam commenter visiting my blog. I have contacted Google about them (this person has a Blogger profile) and am marking the comments as spam and deleting them as soon as I notice. If this person's behavior continues, I may turn on comment moderation for a while until they give up. In the meantime, the links they're leaving are helping me build up my list of companies to never to do business with.

So, to sum up: if you're using word verification on your Blogger blog, please think about turning it off, and if you notice I've started to moderate all comments, know that there's a slimy SEO spammer to blame and once he slithers off I'll go back to my usual setup.

44 comments:

  1. thanks so much for this. i knew new changes were coming but wasn't sure what they meant. i'll be working on changing my blog around.

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    1. Enamel Girl, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes, for sure. If you need help with anything, I'm always happy to try--not that I'm an expert but I am stubborn when I want to find answers. :)

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  2. I'm not big on commenting when it's redundant anyway but it takes me a few tries now when I do- and I never considered that others might be having the same difficulty. Thanks for the entry and bringing this to my attention, I turned mine off.

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    1. MK, thanks for turning it off! I like leaving comments even if they're not necessarily adding a whole lot to the discussion, just sort of a "hi, I liked this" kind of thing, because I appreciate when people stop by my blog and do the same. Everyone's got different styles and that's all good (except for slimy spammers, of course).

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  3. I really hate the new word verification thing as well! I always get it wrong and have to type it out at least twice!! All this time, I thought mine was turned off so thankfully you posted this and when I had a look at my setting, word verification was on!! Silly me!! I have now turned it off!

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    1. Nail Stories, thanks for turning it off and making my life easier. :)

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  4. HEAR, HEAR - this new two distorted word verification is terrible.
    Zana from nail crazy helped me a while back, I couldn'tfigure out, that I shuld go to the old interface. She did som excellent screen dumps, if anyone needs them, but I doubt it with the good explanation you gave.
    Do you know there is a "word Verification Free" award for anyone to pick up, once they removed it, I keep it on top of my awards page, if anyone wants it...

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    1. Maria, I'm way behind on awards and tags--I'll make myself a note to grab that one when I catch up. :)

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    2. Maria assisted me in turning word verification off on my blog- I didn't even realize it had been on! It IS rather annoying to have to go through that process in order to comment, and I usually can't make out the words first time around.

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  5. My eyesise is okay, and I have very often trouble reading it.
    Takes me ages to comment on some blogs.
    I really don't like this new thing.
    I understand why using this word verification, because spam will be automatically deleted from your blog by google.

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  6. I took word verification off. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for the tip!

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  7. The slimey SEO spammer has been hitting my weight loss blog -.- hopefully he'll slink off soon!
    If I don't get the word verification right first time, I don't leave the comment, which is sad but it makes me so angry! Mine is off and will stay off!
    Hx

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  8. This was getting at me too. I'm going to play around with my design tonight. I do want to be able to reply individually like you do...need to figure that one out!

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  9. Karen I'm gonna email you about another issue. Thanks again :D

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  10. Huh. Didn't even realize word verification was set to on. I've turned mine off now. I hate word verification with a passion. If the word is supposed to filter spam, then why is it also unreadable for people too? Having it all weirdly form with background that obscures the actual word and then having a strike through it makes it too hard for even a people with 20/20 vision to see. I'll stop here before I really start getting into my rant.

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  11. Karen thankyou I love this post, It is really annoying and time consuming so in the end after i've typed a long comment I don't even feel like commenting after so I often don't, I hope people do turn it off !

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  12. Amen Karen! I was planning to do a post like this but didn't have time to do so I'll link you in my next post! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Yeah totally agree.. I keep forgetting to turn mine off. Ty for the reminder. It's definitely stopped me from commenting, and I definitely don't want to discourage anyone. I don't at all understand why they made it so much more difficult. I mean, it's MANGLED.

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    1. frustrated!! i'm not seeing the option to turn it off in my comment settingns. Clicked the link to edit moderation through the help page on blogger help and the page is turning up not avail. Anyone else?

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    2. Mel, first think I'd check is that you're using the old interface for blogger (as of now you can switch between them, and I only know where to turn word verification off in the old one). You'll know it's the old one if in design mode there's a link at the top that says "try the updated Blogger interface".

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    3. Ohh thank you. Forgot about the old interface entirely. I was wondering how I ever turned it on in the first place LOL. Don't even think it's on the new one.. that's crazy!

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  14. Thank you so much for this article. Mangled capcha drives me insane. Add comment moderation on top of it and you have pretty much slammed the door on me. I feel shut out, unwelcome and it is highly unlikely you will hear from me much, in the future.

    I have found that setting my comments to block anonymous users keeps spam at bay. :)

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    1. great post... I hate those words its hard to see I have been considering not commenting anymore if the words come up because sometimes i have to enter them @ 3 times I HATE IT

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  15. I completely agree with you Karen! I am terrible at the word verification... I've even had to use the "speaker" button before >_< I don't mind comment moderation though!

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  16. This new word verification is really horrible... Great post!

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  17. I'm probably going to take off the word verification. I'm sure it's a hassle for some people who just want to comment without having to sit there and decide what the letters are. I have good eyesight and even sometimes I have trouble seeing certain letters, so I have to play around with the words until I get something readable. I really don't get the addition of two words anyway. One word seemed to work fine. Thanks for this post!

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  18. I hate the new version. I have disabled it and will see how that goes...
    I got so frustrated with it when commenting last night.

    I had a hard time turning off the comments this morning. The updated blogger interface does not give you the yes/no verification option. I think it is a bug in the system. For those that have the same problem I did, click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner of the settings page and click "old blogger interface". Then more option for comments show up. So strange...

    By the way I had a few comments from that CEO person and they showed up on my blog too.

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  19. Eww. Good post! Good to hear your perspective about the verification thingummy. I hate that. It is true I never thought about it being like jumping through hoops. Lol but yeah some times one bad Seo spanner ruins it for every poster

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  20. Great post, I hate this word verification-stuff... :)

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  21. It really is annoying but i find it even more annoying that blogger changed this without any notification. I have another blog and have the new interface where I can't turn it off. I have to switch to the old interface and turn the word verification off. I just say that Anutka mentioned it above :)

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  22. Karen, I can only say that you expressed something that's on the mind of many of us. New verification is incredibly stupid, I have no problems with sight, but I have problems with reading and typing the words that appear. I'll just join to your call to all fellow bloggers to switch it off and save our eyes and nerves :)

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  23. Thank you for spreading the word! Mine has been off for a while. With the new system I can't comment from my phone at all and I do a lot of commenting from my phone.

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  24. I said this on my blog the other day. I can't see the letters either and get them wrong too often! I hate it. Most people aren't even aware they can turn it off,, hope fully your post will help! Thanks Karen!

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  25. I totally agree with you about capchas that no one can read!
    I read blogs and comment from my bed, on my iPad, I don't want to be bothered with these lol :p
    If one day I have to remove Intense Debate from my blog, be sure I'll never add a word verification..

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  26. im having huge trouble with this new captchas, they are sometimes impossible for me to read... :(

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  27. I hate word verification! I didn't even realize mine was on.

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  28. Thank you for the heads up, Karen! I had word verification turned off but you gave a good tip about comment moderation on older posts. I didn't know this existed. It's not about spam but if people ask a question on an older post at least now I know and can answer i quickly. :)

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  29. Love this post! Ugh, the two word verifying really is a downer. I don't understand why they changed the word verifying to two, hard-to-read words. I am loving blogs without having the word verification!

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  30. Just did this to my blog...while it was bad enough before having to type one word for verification...its even worse with two...and they are distorted terribly. Now, can you post how I can use the "reply" button, as I still haven't figured this one out! lol!

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  31. Thanks for blogging about the new word verification system, I hate it!!!

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  32. Thank you for the hint on how to change to the old interface :) I just couldn´t find it. i wanted to look if I turned off the word verification bacause I also don´t like the new one at all :)

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  33. Thank you! I have been going crazy this morning trying to figure out how to shut it off in the new blogger - you saved my sanity :)

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  34. I completely agree, most of the time when I see a word verification thing I give up on commenting, it takes time and there are really not much benefits with it. I have moderation for comments older than 7 days just so I don't miss them and that a notification comes to my email

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Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)