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When You Comment, You Need To Be Identified

We're seeing questions about commenting, and identification, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why do I have to click on 3 pictures of steak, to post a comment?
This blog reader is not enjoying the new CAPTCHA - and has a problem with using it, repeatedly.

When you comment, you now have to identify yourself as a person - not a robotic process (aka "autobot" or "bot"). For most of us, this is not an issue. We login to Blogger (or Google) once a day, and we're done.

The "once a day" solution does not work, for everybody.

Some people have to prove their identity, as a person, repeatedly during the day.

CAPTCHA use is remembered, for most readers - and not repeated.

Long ago, Blogger comments used to allow "anonymous" comments, when selected by the blog owner. That option allowed too much spam comments, so Blogger added a non optional "CAPTCHA" as part of the anonymous commenting process.

To make CAPTCHA use more acceptable, Blogger designed the CAPTCHA to function as an "anonymous" login. with use of the CAPTCHA remembered during the login session. With cookies properly permitted, a reader can identify as a person once - and not again, until cookies are cleared or the browser is restarted.

The original CAPTCHAs are not a challenge - to some hackers and spammers.

The original CAPTCHAs were number or word puzzles, where you would be shown a sequences of letter or numbers in one window, and asked to re type the sequences in another window. This allows each person to identify her/him self as a person.

The person authentication process is trivially duplicated, though, with "CAPTCHA solving" services. "Pay to Verify" is one CAPTCHA solving service, that is part of some hackerspammer portfolios.

The reCAPTCHA should restrict spammer activity, yet permit reader activity.

The new reCAPTCHA requires a sequential solving process of multiple challenges and responses. This "challenge / response" process should force the hackers and spammers to find a new way to provide "CAPTCHA solving" services.

Unfortunately, people who can't manage the cookie filters on their computers will, in some cases, have to "login" repeatedly - and this will require more patience from some people. Proper cookie filter management may require an understanding of what cookies are - and what they are not.

Choices made by both blog owners and readers will affect the new CAPTCHA.

The "login" process will vary, based upon choices of the blog owner and reader. Depending upon the blog hosting the comments, the commenting options permitted by the owner, and the option selected by the reader, a reader may have to enter letter or numbers, have to solve a visual puzzle, or login to Google.

The new re CAPTCHA ("visual puzzle") will require some work, by the blog owner, to install on each blog. And, it won't please everybody - but it should provide an improvement in spam free comments, and better reader options for commenting.

If you have a problem with publishing comments, one of the simplest problem diagnosis starts with checking / correcting the browser cookie filter.


If I have to go through a lot of hassle, chances are I won't comment very often, if at all.
Chuck Croll said…

That's a good point. The reCAPTCHA - and the persistent "login" state - are designed so you "identify" yourself only once, and more easily.

That said, both "more easily" and "once" happen more readily, when proper choices are made by both blog owner and reader.
bronco1st said…
I post to a blog of friends who use the blog as a method of following our favorite football team. During game days, we all get on and comment as the game progresses. During big games, this can lead to hundreds of comments on a post like "Denver Broncos Vs Oakland Raiders". This year, we started getting "Capcha" authentication verifications on every comment made after making a lot of comments - like "pick the pictures with pies in them" or "pick all pictures with mountains in them" in order to "prove" you are NOT a robot. I can understand this happening once after making 50-60 comments but I would expect it to go away after successfully completing the capcha test... but it doesn't go away, it keeps asking you to repeatedly prove you are NOT a robot with each new comment you post. How can we get around this? On game days and big games, it is a real downer to be hassled out of commenting in the 3rd or 4th qtr of a game because you are repeatedly asked to prove your human status over and over and over with each comment. Any help or suggestions?

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