Sunday, May 17, 2015

No, I'm not a robot

I've just encountered a new level in online annoyance.

The dreaded Captcha is being replaced on some blogs by an innocuous check box saying "Please prove you're not a robot".

Up to now, on blogs I've visited this simply involves clicking on the box and posting the comment. This morning's, though was different.

When I clicked on the box, up popped a new form that at first I thought was an irritating pop-up advertisement for something to do with cookery. After a few second's hunting for a way to dismiss the intrusion, I realized it was part of the verification process.

I was presented with a dozen pictures of food, and the instruction to click on all those that involved pasta or noodles. Sounds easy, except the images were too small and grainy to confidently tell in many cases what they were pictures of. I tried, but didn't find enough to satisfy the beast and it gave me a new test. Ice cream this time. This was easier because they were more obvious, but there were clear cultural assumptions at work. Who outside of North America, for example, would know that a round carton with a big "DQ" on the side needed to be clicked?

In my view, this now officially surpasses Google+ and Disqus in the "pointless ways to piss off your readers" stakes.

I can guarantee that if your blog inflicts this on me I will not be leaving a comment.


  1. Ian, we can't turn it off. All of us who use a pop up box have it. BUT - you don't have to click the button! It was discovered that after making a comment, just hit the word Publish and it goes right through.
    Which is really odd as it makes the whole verifying thing useless.

  2. Well, Alex, there's either some configuration setting available or Google has recently changed something...again! I've not tried simply ignoring the button (which does seem to defeat the objective) but I've never before been presented with such an asinine test. I get the impression that Google is slowly trying to kill off blogging as we know it :(

  3. I had to find soup the other day. Talk about a momentum killer!

  4. I've just been ignoring those requests to prove I'm human and hitting far everyone seems to be getting my comments.

  5. Carrie, exactly - I spent as long yesterday trying to post my comment as I took to write it :(

    Delores, that advice seems to be working so far. I wonder how long it will be before Google plugs that loophole though.

  6. Alex is right. Just ignore it and the post goes through. I don't know why this was added. Just let the blog owner handle the security.

  7. Yep. It's been around for awhile now. It doesn't slow you down. Just ignore it and Publish comment. (It does make you wonder why they have to keep intruding, doesn't it?)

  8. Cindy, Denise, that does seem to be working. We
    ll see how long that lasts :)

  9. I hope my blog doesn't ask you to do that. To the best of my knowledge, it doesn't.

    You're right, though, that is quite annoying!

  10. I don't recall having any problems on your blog, David, and I hope this blog is free from trouble too. It seems to apply if you choose the pop-up comment box. I've always preferred inline comments anyway.

  11. Hi Ian, just try posting a comment without clicking that box bit. It shows up even if verification is turned off, so just ignore it. If you're supposed to go through the verification process, it'll probably tell you.

  12. It looks like mine does include some form of robot check after all. Hmmm. But I've tried posting a comment on my blog without checking that box, and my comment still went through. So at least on my blog, it is not mandatory and you can just bypass the requirement.

    I'm a big fan of the inline comment style like you, Ian; except that one of my regular visitors cannot post comments through that system for some reason, so I reluctantly switched to what I have in place now for her convenience.

  13. I haven't encountered this yet (I've been out of the blogging game a while), but it sounds like it will make my eyeballs twitch.

  14. Misha, it worked fine on your blog, thank you :)

    David, seems like a lot of people have it set so it can be ignored. Just wonder what's the point in putting it up there if it's not doing anything.

    Elizabeth, seems this "feature" can be safely ignored on many blogs...for now.

  15. There's no option to take it away or I would have. Trust me. It's confusing a LOT of people.


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I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

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