Defeating Spam - Should we use Captcha?

Captcha when you Post on ARRSE?

  • Yes, a few seconds copying a code is better than spam

    Votes: 9 24.3%
  • No, spam is not a great issue for me. A captcha system would be an unwanted irritation.

    Votes: 28 75.7%

  • Total voters
    37
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#1
Captcha, as most will know, is the code thing that you type in to various sites to try and stop automated form submission - going some way to limiting spam and brute force attempts to access accounts.

We have it enabled for everything except posting and searching. Searching can stay without it - hammering away on our search won't crash he site like the bad old days. However posting.....

Would stop almost all of the bulk spam, but would be a minor pain in a functions that people use daily.

Vote please - would you prefer to fill in a captcha code when you post, or suffer some irritating spammer?
 
#2
Agree it is annoying, but I'd rather NOT (or just maybe once per login session) as being partially sighted many capatchas are rather hard to use :)
 
#3
I dislike captcha even though thinking rationally it should make almost no difference - a good post takes 5 minutes, captcha about 10 seconds. I have however voted 'no' above and I will be very surprised if the vote isn't a resounding 'no' but I thought it worth checking.

There are another couple of options I've been exploring this morning. A modification for example that checks for known spammer IPs , usernames and emails when you register. I will probably try that but the risk is false positives and I don't know what happens when the link to the amazing database fails.
 
#4
Actually it may actually be a good thing - perhaps making posting just a tiny bit more difficult would limit the serial one-line responders out there!
 
#5
Agree on the "fire and forget/engage brain before post" concept Boss ,but from a personal point I voted "No".
Reason is that for the keyboard I need specs but not to view the screen ,and, as a low poster but high reader, I don't alway have the double glazing with me.
Entering a code to read would be a nuisance
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Agree it is annoying, but I'd rather NOT (or just maybe once per login session) as being partially sighted many capatchas are rather hard to use :)
I'm with you on that one As I find them hard to read, and keep getting them wrong
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#7
Not sure about the 10 secs. I quite often have to try more than once to enter the code as the readability varies.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
Sorry to sound ignorant, but is this the type of system where a word or two appear horribly distorted and you have to type them into a box to continue?

If that is the case, then no. I find them a pain in the proverbial. TinyPic have started using them and for every picture you upload you have to decipher a load of gobbledegook before you can get on with things.
 
#9
We have Capcha enabled for all searches from guests (non-signed in accounts) and disabled for signed-in members, and obviously Capcha for registrations. It still does not stop spam either in the forums, via PM or in the blogs and visitor messages sections of profiles. Some of this is automated, but in almost all cases the accounts are now created in India, Packistan, Vietnam and sometimes the US. Our moderators now actively do searched for any new accounts that are registered from these contries, and we have a policy in place of not allowing links to be posted on their first post. This does have an effect on teh amount of spam we get on EduGeek and also makes spammers first posts stick out like sore thumbs (usually we ban them on sight). It would be nice to have a completely foolproof system, but putting many layers of obstructions in the way seems to have an effect.
 
#10
Would it be possible to add a 'report as spam' button to the first post of a new thread (with appropriate penalties for misuse), enabling the mods to get a heads-up quickly on new spam threads? That would make the job of weeding it out easier without the need for legitimate posters to be squinting and tilting their heads to try to work out what the mystery words are.
 
#11
Captchas irritate the wotsits out of me. Doubly irritating if you're trying to post from a smartphone or anything else with a smaller-than-standard screen. Maybe it's the threads I've been on, but I haven't noticed all that much spam.

[Five seconds later] I do not believe this ... just after I typed the above, Google Accounts popped a page over the front of Arrse, asking me to sign in using a Captcha. Feel free not to copy them.
 
#12
Nor particularly in favour of Catchpa …. One of the appeals of ARRSE is its spontaneity and the ease of a quick response to a thread which is of particular interest .
The implementation of a “ Spam Alert “ Icon / Tab / Button , also suggested by Pigshyt_Freeman , giving a direct link to the Spam reporting thread would have the effect of making it visible to all potential spammers there are measures in place for eradication . This would provide an easy solution , for users , which would be quick to use .

However having said that …….


Is the level of Spam really that high compared to the number of normal , Hi Hi , posts ?
The site seems to be fortunate in that it would seem there are users who in fact enjoy “ Spam Hunting “ .
 
#14
About the alert button - have you seen the 'report post' exclamation mark button at the bottom of each post?
 
#16
About the alert button - have you seen the 'report post' exclamation mark button at the bottom of each post?
Seen after your post .... it looks like a triangle whose function is only highlighted when the cursor is placed on top of the icon ... perhaps its use could be better displayed .
 
#17
I dislike captcha even though thinking rationally it should make almost no difference - a good post takes 5 minutes, captcha about 10 seconds. I have however voted 'no' above and I will be very surprised if the vote isn't a resounding 'no' but I thought it worth checking.

There are another couple of options I've been exploring this morning. A modification for example that checks for known spammer IPs , usernames and emails when you register. I will probably try that but the risk is false positives and I don't know what happens when the link to the amazing database fails.
Can you apply this captcha selectively?
For example, newly registered users have to use it for their 1st 30 posts or some such? That may catch a lot of the spam without affecting the bulk of users
 
#19
A system a lot of high end boards now use is to not allow people to register accounts with freemail accounts, only paid ones via proper telecoms providers.

Once you've registered with your paid for account and it's been verified, you can then switch to a freemail account if you want. That stops 99.9% of spammers.

Another tactic used is to stop new users posting a thread until they have replied to at least 5 posts. Stops the spambots dead in their tracks too.


Advantages of these is no captcha etc required and it's a one time only thing when you sign up to ARRSE.
 
#20
Personally I'd rather not have such a system in place. I work in West Africa, and I have been blocked by sites that asume I'm a 419er when I'm on a West African network.

I may be wrong, but there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming amount of spam at the moment (maybe the mods are doing a very efficient job of deleting it). If it does get ridiculous, then by all means use captcha, but for the moment it would be an inconvenience especially on very slow internet connections.
 
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