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Nov 15 / kkrizka

Only Humans Allowed To Comment

Recently this blog has been swamped with comment spam generated by bots, but you didn’t see any of it because the Askimet plugin managed to catch it all. However the experience was not so pleasant for me, because now I had to go through couple of pages of “crap” to make sure none of your comments got marked as spam by mistake. This is quite a difficult process, so I decided not to waste an hour every day by wasting 5 of your seconds. In other words, I installed one of the many WordPress CAPTCHA plugins. CAPTCHA is a way of determining whether or not you are human by displaying a word in a funky sort of way that cannot be read by a machine and asking you to read it.

Now, I am not really wasting any of your time, because I decided to install a modification of it called reCAPTCHA. Sean at the Cosmic Variance blog wrote a great description of how reCAPTCHA works, but let me reiterate it in a few less words. The creator of CAPTCHA, Luis von Ahn, realized the problem of his invention. While it is true that it only takes 5 seconds for a human to pass this check, there are 6 million humans trying to pass it very day! This means that over 69 human days are wasted every day, and that is quite a lot. To solve this problem, he created a simple solution: use the tests to digitize books. The words you see now in the reCAPTCHA checks are from old books that are hard for computers to read, so you are translating them now.

To integrate the reCAPTCHA into WordPress is very easy, because there is an official reCAPTCHA WordPress plugin. Just download it, place it into the wp-content/plugins directory and activate it. There is only one more step, and that is registering your blog with reCAPTCHA. Just fill out their simple form and you will receive your public and private keys to enter into your WordPress configuration. And you are done!

One of the features missing in the configuration menu is the ability to choose different colors for the reCAPTCHA plugin, so for now there is a big bright red blob on the bottom of my blue site. At least you won’t miss it! 😉 If I figure out how to change the color, then I will be sure to share that information with you.

One Comment

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  1. Thomas Sinfield / Nov 18 2007

    That is a great idea. As you have already noticed it saves you a lot of time.

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