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 hearing from other people.
But sometimes the anti-spam gods really get to me…