Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Dreaded Conversation About Word Verification

M.J is back! She's one of Nicole's “friends” that is, administrative assistants. She's a blogging machine and agreed to write the post we dread the most...PLEASE TURN OFF WORD VERIFICATION DURING THE CHALLENGE. I think you'll find her entertaining and encouraging as opposed to how we as co-hosts have come across in the past. Sometimes it just takes a new voice...

by M. J. Joachim  (click to read her bio)

Bang! Bang!

You’re dead!

You spent all that time – wasted time, reading, then writing your comment…

To no avail, I’m afraid.

The jury’s still out – you’re deemed unworthy, scary, even quite possibly –


Quick! Bar the windows! Lock the doors!

Rampant commenters are on the loose in the A – Z 2013 Challenge!

Check your security! Update your software – only the best virus protectors will do!

Now, go into your blog account and work behind the scenes. That’s right, find each and every security measure you can find and…


A – Z Challenge participants will be stopping by in droves, and they want to leave comments on what you shared with the world on your blog!

You simply can’t let it happen! You must stop them at the gate! You must secure your tiny little world in cyberspace and protect your blog from the onslaught!

I mean, if you don’t…

If you don’t…


…and we wouldn’t want that to happen now, would we?

Just post this little ditty instead, and forget I ever said a word!


Best to all and wishing you every success with the A - Z Challenge this year!

M. J. 

Photo credit:  Indoor Firing Session, Sobor, Creative Commons Attribution; Presos Para Sempre, Celso Pinto de Carvalho, Creative Commons Attribution; Captcha Free Blog Badge, Charmaine – permission granted to share and use
©2013 All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

Word verification is a real turn off. Especially if you can't get it right first time.

Good luck in the challenge.

Rob Z Tobor said...

I am not a fan of word verification but will persist if I like the blog.

And rather than grumble at folk and not leave a comment during the A to Z sometimes it is worth just letting them know they have word verification turned, not everyone realizes. Its a bit like having a dead brake light on your car, you are the last one to know.

Rob Z Tobor

I do however check antivirus and keep my operating system up to date and secure, not everyone in cyberspace is nice.

Tina said...

Thanks, M.J. You're such an awesome addition to our legion of assistants. Thanks for putting a humorous spin on a topic of some debate.

As I co-host, let me further encourage you: TURN IT OFF. It's much easier to delete comments that you don't want than to sit there comment-less because people (like me) just can't seem to get those right even after three or four tries.

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

Oh well done! My blog's checked daily by me, and spammy comments deleted. Having spent time reading a post and responding, my heart sinks when the interrogation to 'prove I'm not a robot begins.' Sometimes it works first time, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I just lose patience, or run out of time.

Nicole said...

Word verification is an A to Z Challenge buzz-kill that stops commenters in their tracks. I can get over it fairly easily sometimes but it's an unecessary barrier...especially on mobile devices. WV is not user-friendly when it comes to this April blogathon we're having soon.


Anonymous said...

@Yvonne - I couldn't agree more!
@Rob - You some valid points.
@Tina - Thank you! I rarely can get them right the first time, and time is a valuable thing these days.
@Nicole - Glad you mentioned mobile devices. You're right. Captcha is not user-friendly at all!

Anonymous said...

@Tink - If you spend the time writing the post, it's easy enough to read the comments and delete the spam. Also, if you eliminate anonymous comments from your blog, you'll likely minimize most of the problem anyway. Speaking of which, anonymous comments are often made by real people, not robots.

JoJo said...

Great post and thank you!!! I loathe word verif and I'm only commenting on blogs that have them if they are my friends. I did disable the ability to leave anonymous comments b/c I found a ton of garbage in my comments/spam. It took hours to clean them out.

Are the hosts planning on contacting captcha blogs during the challenge to remind them to turn it off?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi MJ and Tina ... good thoughts from all and I love Charmaine's ditty -

I took mine off a couple of years ago - I do get the odd funny comment coming through, and the odd spammy comment - and need to rescue real comments occasionally ...

It's easy to do ... and if it gets awful we can just put WV for a while - letting everyone know why and for how long.

But for the A-Z month of April - I won't comment if someone has WV in place ... it's a pain!

Cheers and thanks for reminding us - Hilary

katie eggeman said...

I turned of Captcha some time ago, and I only try it once then move on...Blocking anynomous posters has taken care of my spammers for the most part.

Subroto said...

The thing about word verification is that it helps me manage spam better. I get the occasional comment on my blog (and if you are related then thank you, I will excuse you for forgetting my b'day). But otherwise it's hard to manage comments from great sites like arthritis relief leather chair lucchese boot toshiba part home treadmill turbo tax born shoe stretch film tv stand jet pump nfl jerseys party poker online charlotte job porch swing kohler plumbing

Unknown said...

I have absolutely no idea if I have word verification or not.
somebody tell me if I do:-P

Jemima Pett said...

That's such a lovely way of telling everyone, thanks!

I have such trouble with word verification. Average number of refreshes is three till I get one where I can read both the numbers and the letters, and I don't have reading problems (well, obviously I do, but not officially!)

The Math one is unequivocal. add 6+1 is clear and I can cope with it. I don't know if you can choose, but if you can, and want verification, choose math!!

It seems strange that blogger goes to such ends to make you select an identity and still requires verification. Surely if you have an identity, you are not a bot? But I am an innocent in such matters.

Getting excited about the A to Z though!

Jemima at Jemima's blog

D.G. Hudson said...

You handled this subject well, MJ. The fear (or the aggravation which that fear causes) puts a damper on the fun of commenting.

Last year, some stubbornly refused to remove it. Telling the blogger doesn't always work, they think you're the spammer. Sigh.

Approved comments take longer but are much more palatable than those blurry little boxes straining the eyes. I also blocked all ANON comments. That works even better.

Soon the Challenge begins. . . it's like waiting for the Olympics.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I turned off word verification last year and I let comments post on all my blogs. Bloggers spam filters catch most all of the spam comments. So I see no hassle at all in leaving it all off. Since they don't actually post to my blog I can just go in and delete them all at once every few weeks. Easy for me, easy for readers.
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Arlee Bird said...

I like the reverse psychology of this piece, MJ. No matter how many times the suggestion is made there are still many who don't turn off the WV. I think a lot of them just don't realize they have it on until someone tells them directly.

And yes, if you block out "anonymous" comments you don't really need CAPTCHA.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Patricia Stoltey said...

I hope everyone gets the message, M.J., because during A to Z, I'm going to skip commenting on blogs with word verification. With my stupid trifocals, it just takes too long to figure out.

I love the "Captcha free blog" logo. I'm going to add it to my blog's sidebar.

Unknown said...

Word verification off, but I do have anonymous commenters blocked, because I got some MEAN comments last summer from people who hid under the guise of anonymity. I figure anyone participating in the A to Z Challenge has a blog and can therefore comment with their Google profile. :) And I generally don't mind doing the word verification myself on other blogs, but it sure takes time!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was great, MJ!!!
Change to no anonymous comments or blog owner approval - just no word verification.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all these kind and supportive comments! I believe "NO CAPTCHA" wins the vote, hands down!

I spent a few hours in blog hops this past week. By the end of it, I quit trying to read captcha and left some blogs without comments because of it. Everyone's time is valuable, including mine. If you want me to comment, make it easy enough to do so, please.

On the flip side, I'm willing to submit captcha on blogs that are clearly new and have very few followers. Everyone has to go through the learning curve, and we are a community, after all.

Mean comments are a reflection of the person commenting, not the blog owner, and can be deleted easily enough. I don't screen my comments for this reason. So far, I haven't had any trouble letting people comment as they will, though I do get the occasional spammer and delete when necessary.

Thanks again for such a lively conversation on this piece. You guys are great! :)

Michelle Wallace said...

I swear that those WV numbers and letters seem to get more and more obscure!
It's a real pain!

Jagoda said...

Well written, M.J. I don't believe I have VW on my WordPress site, but I do have it set to approve comments. Once I approve someone once, you're in.

Anonymous said...

@Michelle - I honestly can't read most of them, and I don't always have time or patience to figure them out.

@Jagoda - Now there's an idea! Once you're in, you're in! Had a few of those in my blog hops this past week much as I comment on some of those blogs...well, let's just work off my energy about this is a future blog post instead of carrying on about it here. Thanks for your comment, and for making it easy for people to comment on your blog:)

Ghadeer said...


klahanie said...

Never have used and never will use, word verification on my blog.

Then again, maybe I'm desperate for comments! :)

Wishing those who participate in this amazing alphabet challenge, much fun and please embrace the ethos of a sharing, caring blogging community.

Nice on, M.J.

Kind regards, Gary, the official anti-A to Z spokesman! :)

Pat Hatt said...

Hate it with a passion, before when it was just a few letters, I didn't care so much, but now it's just ridiculous.

betty said...

Thank you for posting this MJ!! I absolutely despise word verification! I even left a comment on someone's blog awhile back that this was the last time I was commenting on their blog because of word verification (they also had comment moderation; redundant if you ask me). They did email me back and apologized for word verification and removed it from their blog.

I don't get that much spam and it really isn't too hard to deal with, so thanks for this very timely post!


betty said...

Love it! Thanks for writing it! Definitely something to take care of before the challenge begins!


Anonymous said...

@Ghadeer - Thank you!
@Klahanie - Much appreciated! We should all be a little desperate for comments, if you ask me, unless we're writing in a locked diary we hide between the mattress or something.
@Pat - The more I visit blogs, the more I can relate to hating it with a passion...especially during blog hops.
@Betty - You are more than welcome! Preaching to the choir, based on all the comments here.

Thanks for joining in the discussion, good people. Sure does make a writer feel good to receive such wonderful comments on her work:)

Carrie-Anne said...

Word verification is even worse when paired with comment moderation. Why go to all that trouble when your comment doesn't immediately appear?

Al Diaz said...

I always said I hate word verification but someone had to tell me that I had it on my blog and how to turn it off. Big duh.

orneryswife said...

thanks for the little image. I am putting it on now. :)

Ann Hinds said...

Teresa, What a delight to find you here!

Jolie du Pre said...

My blog is captcha free!

Susan Scott said...

Yup, thanks .. Word verification can be an absolute pain. Will triple check to see that I do not have this but I don't believe I do.
The time draweth near!

Anonymous said...

@Carrie - Feeling like I'm behind the 8-ball lately, so if it's too difficult to comment, I'm not bothering.
@Al - Mine got turned on by accident when blogger did the upgrade. Someone told me, knowing it wasn't there before.
@Ornery - Thanks! The more we can get the word out, after all:)
@Ann - Good to see you here too! Can't wait to see what you do for your Cali posts in the A - Z. I'm a native from there, you know. And if you end up passing my way, when you're on the road, stop in for some coffee, would ya?!
@Jolie - Yea!
@Susan - It's true, we should check our settings from time to time. Little glitches can mess with things. Yes, the time draweth near and what a wonderful busy time it is too! :)

Anonymous said...

I did have it turned off since last years blog fest, but these past few weeks I have been getting TONS of anonymous comments hours or sometimes minutes apart. It got to be annoying so I turned it back on. Is there a way to prevent anonymous comments on blogger other than them being deleted by hand each time?

J Lenni Dorner said...

This post seems to assume that everyone can turn off word verification. My blog host site does not offer that option. (Yes, I asked. I also have two links where they told others that it is not a choice.) The blog is linked to my website.

I feel like it is suggested that I am a bad person because I made a website using a service which allowed me to quickly and easily set it up rather than spending a great deal of money having someone else create it for me or a great deal of time and money to take classes to learn how to create webpages. Or perhaps I am a bad person because I created a blog which is attached to my site instead of using the more popular sites such as wordpress or blogger. Or maybe I am a bad person because I am unable to convince a multi-million dollar company to give me the option to turn off word verification. When I bought the blog service I was unaware that it would come without a choice. Ah, there it is! I am a bad person because I was unaware at the time that I should have asked a question which I had not yet formed in my mind. Ignorance makes for a bad person. I apologize.

There are a lot of people in the a to z. Would many be willing to sign a petition to convince the company I bought my blog space from to give me a choice? Or is this more of a "we'll complain and make people feel bad, but please don't think we are willing to help with a solution that would solve the problem" kind of group?
There's a link in that.

Andrea said...

Sometimes when I screw up the letters the first time, I start to doubt the importance of my comment! Why are the letters getting more and more blurry?!

Anonymous said...


Being a blog newbie, as in I just created it yesterday for this A to Z Challenge, I wondered if there's a similar feature for wordpress blogs. If there is, I can't find it. I selected the option where the commenter must put their email and I also selected to moderate the posts. Should I remove one or both of these options?

Thank you!

Tonette dela Luna

Sandy said...

LOVE this post. I actually don't think it should be turned off just during the challenge, but turn it off and leave it off. Don't you always want to make it easy for folks to visit, comment etc.? If not why do you even bother to blog. I HATE captcha's and if I remember it's a blog with them, I just avoid it. Last year thought it was mandatory to turn it off, thought I read this year it's only a suggestion which is very disappointing to me. If you're that paranoid, monitor the blog, that way you're doing that work, not everyone who comes t visit.

Sandy said...

Forgot to ask, can I use your captcha free badge