Please, Don’t Use Captcha

Please, don’t use Captcha. The traffic you save could be your own.

Update. Unfortunately xtranormal is no more…

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. Ally. More about Brent.

3 replies on “Please, Don’t Use Captcha”

Hey guys –
I can tell you guys don't run web servers for companies, clients, etc. I'm a web admin for only four not-even-very-big sites (only around 10,000 visitors a day), and without captchas, I end up spending time every day removing spam comments and spam users… what a freakin' waste of my time… and the horrid crap these spammers post… uuuhhgg. Let's just say, it isn't a good day when the president of the company sees ugly porn spam comments on his website. When it got to requiring 100 or more deletions a day – and the weekends were the worst – I turned on captchas. They helped a lot. Now if we can just get companies to stop paying spammers to "market" for them, we can really bring round the problem.

Kal, you're right. I don't run a web server for high-traffic sites. That doesn't mean I don't have to worry about spam. Prior to this current experiment with the IntenseDebate commenting service, I used Akismet to handle the spam. By late 2007, it had blocked 100,000 spam messages. No way would I want to handle that volume of spam manually. Akismet's not perfect. It doesn't do well against hand-crafted, custom spam messages left by humans. But Captchas don't work against those, either.

The Captcha that inspired this post was brutal. I failed four times even though I was cherry-picking the Captchas I thought I could guess. Assuming this site actually wants subscribers, this is a major FAIL.

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