Waspish Wednesday: New Wrinkle on Captcha Problem


I have posted before about how Captcha interferes with internet access. It seems like almost daily I hear from a friend that she can’t access a website, a forum, or other resource because of Captcha, also known as word verification or image verification. It is a scourge on the landscape! It is an access-blocking nightmare! And it seems to be spreading everywhere you turn.

An example of some Captchas -- making the internet inaccessible to many people! Grr.

It has come to my attention that Blogger has made it harder (but not impossible!) to disengage this “feature” in the comments section of blogs. I discovered this when I went around to the various blogs that participated in the huge and amazing PFAM blog carnival I just hosted at my other blog, Bed, Body & Beyond to thank the bloggers in their comments. Almost everyone who used Blogger had Captcha. I was feeling quite frustrated.

Then I found out from a couple of them that there is a new Blogger and that with new Blogger, you cannot disengage word verification! They had tried but didn’t know what to do next. Augh! In particular, Kelly at Fly with Hope, was gracious and tenacious at informing me of the situation and running down and fixing this problem. Thank you, Kelly!

I tweeted my friends for information on any workarounds, and L-Squared of Dog’s Eye View informed me that there is a way for bloggers to deal with this:

They can report it using the Send Feedback option in the Nav bar & for now they can switch back to “old Blogger” to disable it.

No, it is not an ideal solution, but for those who are willing and able to jump through these hoops, we salute you for helping to make the internet a slightly more accessible place!

Please, website designers and software developers, do not be seduced by the popularity of Captcha. It hurts people. It really does. There is a better way, I promise you.

I am completely exhausted. I’m going to tick check the dog and myself, eat, and go back to sleep.

– Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum, SDiT

P.S. Barnum is actually starting to be useful on random occasions. Today, one of my slippers was not nearby, and I asked him to retrieve it, and he did it perfectly! Woohoo!

6 Responses to “Waspish Wednesday: New Wrinkle on Captcha Problem”

  1. 1 Cyndy Otty December 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Go, Barnum!
    Google is not winning points for accessibility of late. Not happy about this.

  2. 2 Penny Richards (@PennamitePLR) December 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Aha, thank you! I had no idea, because (as the comments settings page explains), “Blog authors will not see word verification for comments.” I turned off word verification under settings->comments. That seemed to be what was required, but it’s hard for me to tell, so let me know. Hate captcha! I’m not personally excluded by its inaccessibility, but I know it keeps too darn many other people out of the conversation.

  3. 3 Sharon December 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Yes, Penny, thank you so much! It worked. For those who want more detail on how to disengage this “feature” once you are on standard Blogger (or if you never switched to “new Blogger”), as Penny said, choose the “Settings” tab, then the “Comments” tab under that, then scroll down to “Word Verification for comments?” and click “no.”

    Also, I now have a Blogger blog, in addition to my WordPress ones, and I have NO trouble with spam there. Here at WordPress, Akismet is working overtime filtering out all the spam. But I almost never get a spam comment to even check on my Blogger blog, so DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE that captcha is necessary for spam blocking. It definitely is NOT.

  4. 4 Megan (@mirroredlens) December 9, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Thanks for the info! I recently switched to the “new blogger” system and didn’t realize it had automatically set up Captcha for me until you mentioned it. I went in and tried to disable it and was unable to. I’m now back on “standard blogger” as per your instructions above, and—hopefully—Captcha free.

  5. 5 Sharon Wachsler December 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Thank you, Megan! I appreciate that you did that. I *think* that if you go back and disabled it in original blogger and then switch back to what you had before, it should still be captcha-free. At least, I think that’s what Kelly did. So if you like the new platform better, you could try switching back, now that you’ve disabled it and have someone comment and report back to you if they had to do a captcha or not. Honestly, this all is ridiculous. Blogger needs to be made aware! And to CARE.

  1. 1 Waspish Wednesday: Dear Fellow Bloggers, about CAPTCHA… « After Gadget Trackback on December 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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