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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The New Commenting CAPTCHA Is Inconsistent

The new CAPTCHA, added by Blogger last week to restrict spam in anonymous comments, is already showing signs of unwanted effect, with some blogs.

Besides making the commenting sequence more complicated, the sequence, in general, is inconsistent. Differences in the sequence, when compared between the three commenting form placement options (embedded, popup, and full page), varied by the original CAPTCHA screening option, and the moderation option, have been noted. And how many readers, commenting on their favourite blog, will think of hitting "Publish" with "Google account" selected, to login and avoid the CAPTCHA?

The CAPTCHA form itself will discourage comments, being made by the casual blog reader, against many blogs. And the CAPTCHA, as added to all three comment forms, now makes cookie filtering issues equally critical, for the embedded, popup, and full page forms, alike.

As designed, CAPTCHA screening should simply affect people who wish to publish comments, anonymously.

Some blogs may require the CAPTCHA, for anonymous and authenticated comments, alike - when a reader is not logged in to Blogger. Other blogs may allow people to avoid the CAPTCHA, altogether - who even comment, anonymously, without solving a CAPTCHA, when logged in.

With some blogs, you may hit the "Publish" button immediately, and go straight to login - and other times, be stopped by the refusal
Comment should not be empty
Alternately, you may compose your comment, then select "Google account" - and upon returning from login, find an empty comment window.

Depending upon which comment placement option / template type is in use, you may see any of those inconsistencies.
  • Dynamic template.
  • Embedded.
  • Full page.
  • Pop-up window.
Each of these different comment forms variants has its own peculiarities.

These inconsistencies are more critical, because some readers filter cookies, improperly. With third party cookies filtered, the login status is not correctly identified by the commenting process - and the CAPTCHA may be required where it should not apply.

We may even see, with enough different people trying to comment, a return of the commenting login loop - where people login, repeatedly, but are denied by the CAPTCHA form in the commenting process.

Making things still worse, the CAPTCHA form is nasty. People who are less technically astute, and who have problems maintaining the filters on their computer, may be less tolerant of the CAPTCHA process - and may simply find other blogs, maybe outside Blogger / Google in general, which are more permissive.

The need for the CAPTCHA form, in general, is real - but the implementation needs improvement. Until unimproved, many Blogger blogs will feel negative effects.

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Dude, hit me with a comment!

Jill said...

I was getting as many as 17 spam comments per day on my blog. After 10-21-2014 I've had none! I wondered what happened. I've also had no valid comments... sigh! Lets see if I can get past CAPTCHA. Jill

Angelina Lenahan said...

I would like clarification about Firefox "NoScript"..you mentioned it in prior post. I have Firefox latest version (not the Beta 3.3), and it works great. I was recently able to change template design on both blogs w/o problems. But every time I log out, Firefox clears history, cache, and cookies. What is your recommendation with regard to scripts/cookies, etc.? I am kind of confused and do not know if my settings are okay. Also what is the difference between blogspot.com and blogger.com? Both my blogs are blogspot. Is this a problem? Thanks, Angelina

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Back before my eyesight became so poor, I did not mind coming across CAPTCHAs. They are now a nightmare with my hearing also being not so good. So, I avoid blogs with them altogether.

Chuck Croll said...

Angelina,

You can clear cache, every time you restart the browser - but I would not do that.

BlogSpot is where the blogs are published, and Blogger is where the dashboard code is housed. You have to trust "blogger.com" - but be selective with "blogspot.com" and aliases!

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2010/11/clearing-private-data-can-cause-various.html

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/02/two-domains.html

Angelina Lenahan said...

Thanks Chuck. I changed my settings today based on your recommendations.
Angelina

Anonymous said...

This is an anonymous test comment.