.... yep I mean that bliddy annoying word that appears in the word verification box, aka a Captcha.
Recently I have seen on more than one blog campaigns to persaude people to turn this annoying little device off. I have tried to leave a comment on one of these blogs which clamied they would accept comments both for and against the idea. It seems however that my comment and the aruguments I presented in favour of word verification was ignored.
Edit : I have since re-read that post and realised I have mis-interrpreted the bloggers statement about accepting comments. While the blog owner was happy to read politely worded arguments against the idea of turning off word verification there was no guarantee made that such comments would actually be published.
Anyhow this is why I have word verification turned on :
Firstly I have seen, by chance in real time, a friend's blog being spammed. I subscribe to her blog and saw she had posted so went to look - her post was only a few minutes old and I was surprised to see there were already about 5 comments! I clicked on the link so I could leave my comment and low and behold there were now 7 comments.... duh? how did that happen so fast..... well I looked at the comments and it was immediately obvious to me that the blog was being spammed and it was happening right there and then!
Google (it was a blog hosted on Blogger) then took over and I assume some safety measure in their programming stepped in to shut down the ability to comment on that blog. Certainly that stopped the spamming in it's tracks, but it left the blog comments facility locked up for quite some time - I know because I really wanted to leave that comment to tell my freind how fab her work was so I kept trying and it was quite a while before I was able to access the comments page!
I have seen spamming happen in real time to on a forum, the spam posts were hitting at a rate of over One Thousand per hour and were full of profanity. I worked as a sysop on the site and alerted a tech to the problem....it took him over an hour to write his own script to block the spams and delete them faster than they were arriving! That was the only way he could fight it at the time as the site owner was not available and the tech did not have full access to all aspects of the programming. The next day the site owner promptly added a Captcha to the forum to prevent similar spam attacks in the future
So while that word verification tool can be annoying why make it easier for script kiddies to have fun at our expense? Do you really want to find profane comments on your blog.... or adverts for god knows what unsavoury web sites? Sure the "word" can be the pits to read sometimes...but you know what ... some of them are dead easy to read ... so just keep hitting submit and the "word" will change each time till you get one you CAN read easily and type back into the verification box.
Edit : Incase anyone would like to know a little more about captchas then this site offers relatively simple information which you may find interesting, particularly if you have been led to believe that captchas are so easily broken that they are effectively worthless.