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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Slice #10- Dealing with the anti-spam gods



OK, can I just complain for a minute?.

I love Slice of Life.

I love reading all of the different slices.

I love commenting and connecting with other slicers.

But sometimes the anti-spam gods really get to me.

Now let me just say, right up front, that I totally understand the need for these -spam gods. Having being the victim of several spammers, including one especially notable "friend" that left comments, in an Asian language, on my blog. I thought it was totally amazing that the internet extended so far, and that people all over the world were commenting on what I wrote, and let them go on for several days, until one of my readers told me that a friend of hers spoke that language, and the things that that commenter was writing would probably only appear on an X-rated blog. And so I totally understand the need for anti-spam gods, and I actually have them living on my blog. 

However, I hate having to deal with them on other people's blogs. My dislike fall into several categories.

The first and most common one sounds something like this. 

Please prove you are not a robot.
 OK. Let me get this straight. I am a human, looking at a word that is not quite a real word, but sometimes looks very similar to one, e.g. Biant instead of giant. Sometimes the word has capital letters, which I assume are somehow significant (those anti spam words are case sensitive, aren't they?), stuck right in the middle. Sometimes the letters are really close together, almost on top of each other, like a font that has somehow gone bad. And there is also a photograph of some numbers, that  often look like someone's address (who goes around taking all of those address pictures anyway?). The photograph is usually kind of dark. And often a little blurry. And I'm pretty old and really need to go get bifocals. Or at least reading glasses, to wear when I'm working on the computer.  But I do my best to enter the letters and numbers properly.

Sometimes I am successful. Often I am not. And then I get this message.

The characters you entered didn't match the word verification. Please try again.
When this comment occurs, the anti-spam god gives you another word.  Sometimes, but not always, that word is easier to read, or the number is shorter, or a little more in focus. I persevere, dutifully entering those letters and the accompanying numbers. I'm never quite sure I got them right either,  but evidently the anti-spam gods on this site have some kind of rule. If you are willing to persevere, and enter the codes more than once, then you get to comment, whether or not you get the secret code right. 

Other anti-spam gods are not quite so forgiving.  One site,  for example, has what looks and sounds  kind of like a sentence somethink like "dontspamme6" with all of the words smooshed together,  almost like reading kindergarten writing before they figure out word boundaries, followed by a number. The font is much bigger, and it seems like it would be easier to read. It actually is much easier to read, but there are two kind of tricky parts. First, you have to remember not to put the apostrophe in don't, which is kind of hard for someone who spends her day reading/responding to/editing elementary school writing, Second, you have to remember that there are two m's, one at the end of spam, and one at the beginning of me. And if you forget either of them, the word is wrong.

Maybe because the anti-spam code on this site is generally a little easier,  the gods on this site are a little less forgiving. If you get it wrong, those gods tell you it's wrong. But then when you go back to try to correct it, your comment has disappeared.  And so then I quickly try to re-enter it, because I know people are working hard at their writing and I enjoy reading their work, and want to support them. But then when I try to resubmit my comment, being careful to enter the correct code word, the anti-spam guy says, "Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that! What????
 
Finally, there is one more kind of comment that brings me great consternation. It's the dreaded, "Please choose a profile" that sometimes pops up when I try to submit a comment. Choose a profile? Really? So you are telling me that I have just spent the last two hours commenting on people's blogs (whoops! probably should not let my readers know how much time I waste commenting on slices instead of cleaning house or working on my taxes  on snowy Saturday afternoons!) What profile have I been using for all that time? And why does it not work now?

I also worry that by choosing a profile, I might be commenting with more than one name, which we have specifically been instructed not to do. It's not that I worry about not winning prizes, because that's really not why I comment on people's writing. It's because there is a teeny (ok, maybe very teeny) part of me that likes to follow rules. And if the rule is to comment using only one profile, that's what I really want to do.  

Don't get me wrong.

I love reading people's slices.

And commenting.

And hearing from other people. 

But sometimes the anti-spam gods really get to me…

22 comments:

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I think the one that gets me so mad is the one where you thought you typed in the word verification thingamajig, and then you discover ...NO! So, you squint and try again...and: NO! I can only take so much of this, and then I simply give up (I suspect this is what happened to the comment I left on your post yesterday). I know my eyesight is not what it used to be, but they are not THAT bad! Thanks for posting about this topic, Carol, and thereby giving me an excuse to rant!

Amy Rudd said...

And I say Amen, as I look at the word the spam gods have just randomly selected for me to enter when I finish this comment. (54mtryfu) The fact that I get them wrong is ok-but when the comment I just worked on sincerely putting my heart into disappears, I want to whack myself in the head with the nearest object. Your rant is totally substantiated...good luck with future tangles of the spam gods. Hey, that could be a book-the spam god chronicles.

Amy Rudd said...

it just did it to me as i left a comment now...REALLY!

Amy Rudd said...

For the love of spam gods, I am trying for a third time to leave a comment and none have shown yet...

elsie said...

Oh yeah, they are annoying. But let me help you out a little. I've discovered that the work is not case sensitive, so just use lower case letters. And you will really be glad to know that you don't have to enter the numbers. Yup, that's what I said, no numbers needed. Try it, it works (on blogger). I have given up entering numbers for quite a while. Just twist your head to the left, squint and take a stab at the letters. :-)

Kat said...

I hear you! I hate when I totally can't tell what the letter is supposed to be! A necessary evil, but definitely a nuisance. I'm glad you don't let it stop you from commenting!

Jackie said...

I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has had similar problems. I, too, get out my reading glasses sometimes. I also have found that most are not case sensitive...but it would be nice if they would let you know. Great post...and I think you will find a lot of people agreeing.
Oh...and I loved your experience with the comment that should have been XX rated!

Joanne said...

Oh Yes I agree as well - I hate these gods of posting. Yes I am human even if I can't read your little numbers. I keep thinking I need new glasses but no one else can read the numbers. Thanks for sharing my/ our frustration so well.

Joanne said...

ok I think my comment just got eaten by the span gods. Since I have no idea where it is now.

Just was trying to agree with you.

writekimwrite said...

Perfectly stated! Atleast we are all in this together. Elsie wrote about this the other day and since then I have successfully used her tips! It makes me feel superior to the spam gods now...ha...

Jone said...

I am so with you on this, Carol. It can be so frustrating. And some blogs just allow my google profile and I blog at a Wordpress account.
There there are those bloggers who push "like' and they aren't really bloggers, I don't know who they are. It's weird.

Kay said...

I was (and sometimes still am) feeling the pain caused by the spam gods. Elsie's post from a few days ago offered great tips that have helped. No caps or numbers needed. Whew. I've also gotten in the habit of copying my comments, especially if they are long, before clicking submit. As soon as I don't, the spam gods attack.

Carol said...

A couple of you referred to Elsie's post. I read her blog pretty regularly, but had somehow missed this post. Went back and hunted it down today. I was really surprised at the similarities- even thought to myself, did I read this before I wrote mine? One big difference- I just complained, Elsie gave lots of great advice! I didn't know, for instance, that you don't have to type those numbers on blogspot, or that the letters are not case sensitive. It makes commenting faster. Yesterday, after I lost a long and heart felt comment, I did think, "Hmm, I should copy these before I post," but I hadn't thought of that before. If you want to read Elsie's post, here is the address. http://lcinmo.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/captcha-completely-automated-public-turing-test-to-tell-computers-and-humans-apart-7/#comment-2817

Nanc said...

This is the one thing I don't get....when I comment on the same blog format as mine- word press, I don't have to do the robot thing. When you comment on Word Press do you have to do the robot thing. Leanne Carpenter wrote last week that we don't have to put the numbers in and I haven't and it's been working. Right now I'm looking at the one I have to do for this and it is hard to figure out. I'll try though.

Ramona said...

I've been so excited ever since I read Elsie's post earlier this week. It's like I'm outwitting the spam gods (no caps and no numbers)!
The choose a profile gets to me too. And there's one that I just give up on, can't remember now, but next time it happens I'll make a note for a future slice.

Katherine Sokolowski said...

I completely agree - hate these spam things. So hard to get it right.

Beverley Baird said...

I do agree with you. Sometimes - depending on how tired I am/weak my eyes are, I won't comment because I just can't.
It is too bad that we can not just have honesty and deceny online. Instead we have to worry about perverts - which they are because they are perverted, trying to destroy what should be a conversation.
Carol - I would love if we could meet and share art. My "studio" tho is a wee bit crowded! Once I retire and get rid of half the house (I have a lot of school stuff!), there will be room.

Linda at teacherdance said...

You beat me to it Carol, I was going to send you Elsie's post-the comment machine advice works! No more squinting at house numbers, etc. We all agree, wish it weren't so, but I guess I'll keep on as much as possible.

Ms. Yingling said...

I have all of my comments go to moderation, so I can delete the spam myself and people don't have to do verification. I haven't had any trouble with it. I wish everyone had their settings that way!

Penny Jansen said...

I just wanted to post to see what crazy words the antispam gods would give me...

JenniferM said...

Terrific voice in this post! I was laughing out loud the whole time! (Especially during the part about how much time you spent commenting instead of doing things like cleaning your house -- priceless!) You should read Elsie's post from sometime last week, because she wrote about the capchas (is that how you spell that made-up word?) too, and her post was also quite entertaining. Such fun with such an annoyance! :-)

Jaana said...

Dishes or commenting? Definitely commenting, even with the span patrol!