I've caved.

>> Thursday, 20 December 2012

It used to be so easy back in the day, commenting on other people's blogs.  You hit the comment button, wrote your message, and bob's your uncle, done and dusted.

Nowadays, it seems you have to jump through hoops to leave a message for the writer of a blog.  Captcha, disqus, comment moderation; wherever I look I see bloggers employing these methods to filter out the spam.    Of course, it was never something that I considered for my own blog, why would I?  The Potty Diaries was too small and insignificant to attract spam, no need for word verification here.

Oh, how little I knew.

About 3 months ago I picked up on a twitter comment where a contact of mine consoled another person that she too got spam in her inbox from blog accounts that she visited - and The Potty Diaries was one of those that she mentioned.  Apparently, even if they don't show in your 'published' comment box, spam comments are still active - and so can access the details of other people who leave comments on your posts.  Horrified, I investigated and did what I should probably have done significantly earlier; I checked my spam comment box.

For the love of mike. (Yes, we have been watching The Polar Express here.  More than once...)

There were THOUSANDS of the damn things in there.  It took what felt like days to delete them all, but I did it and sat back congratulating myself;  this was the accumulated debris of 5 1/2 years blogging activity, I thought, and I should easily be able to keep on top of it from now on.

*heavy sigh*

Not so much.  I've been getting between 50 and 100 comments a day automatically side-lined into the spam box, plus a good few sneaky ones that have made it past the filters and attached themselves to older posts so I don't spot them unless I go looking, and frankly?  I've had enough.  I have much better things to do with my time than run a 'spam search and destroy' mission every morning.  So I have two apologies to make.  Firstly, to anyone who received spam in their email box as a result of commenting on The Potty Diaries; I am sorry.  I'm trying to sort it and hope this now stops.

Secondly, I apologise to anyone who wants to comment on the blog from now on.  For lo, I have turned on the dread word verification tool and whilst I hope it will weed out those annoying comments about duvet coats, viagra, webmaster tools and weight-loss programs (not taking offence at that last one, not. AT. ALL), I also know it makes commenting here more complicated and I totally understand if you now choose not to bother.  (Although, I hope that you do).

I am trying to find a more commenter-friendly alternative, but in the short term I'm hoping this will stop the flood of nonsense on The Potty Diaries.

Or at the very least - the nonsense that I haven't actually written myself...


Knackered Mother 20 December 2012 at 08:43  

I don;t really mind these things, except for the fact it reminds me how bad my eyesight is! Here goes...

manycoloured-days 20 December 2012 at 08:44  

Yes, it is annoying but apparently necessary. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I've been getting them too.... perhaps it is time to turn the wv on.

Pippa W 20 December 2012 at 10:59  

It's terrible right? Still I don't mind the captcha thingys make good reading practice.

mika@Waste Clearance London 20 December 2012 at 18:25  

indeed there is a captcha code! lol

Sorry to hear about your secret spamming!

Google is trying to weed out those spammers!

Mari's World 20 December 2012 at 20:09  

I'm not a huge fan of Captcha I must admit but it's a time thing for me. I have installed Disqus and they weed the spammers out for me which is quite handy - very few get through
and yes, my eyesight is getting worse!

Clare Taylor 21 December 2012 at 06:40  

KM, you and me both on the eyesight thing. I must look into Disqus...

MCD, good luck with it all!

PW - see Knackered Mother's comment. Maybe it's because we are (ahem) a couple of years older than you (although KM, I freely admit I have 5 yrs start on you, so perhaps it's only me that's an old codger).

Mika, given your 'waste clearance' credentials, couldn't you do something about it?

Mari, I will look into the alternatives, I promise. Just - not today (it IS Christmas, after all!). Actually, what do you use on BritMums? Would love to know.

Iota 21 December 2012 at 12:49  

3845 Jaxampa, is all I have to say.

To prove I'm not a robot.

Suzi 21 December 2012 at 22:00  

I don't mind the captcha things either, I think it's quite fun to try and work out what the letters are.

planb 22 December 2012 at 15:08  


I had no idea that spam comments on your blog can end up with other people getting rubbish. How does that work?

Worried of South Scotland...

But I do think that spam's been getting worse recently - like you I don't have a word verification thingy and until about three months ago I definitely didn't need it, but now, like you, I'm getting lots, and lots, of spam.

Hmmmm. Rubbish.

Expat mum 30 December 2012 at 19:04  

I've been getting a few bits of spam on my blog recently too, but it never occurred to me to go and look for stuff in the spam box itself. Sigh..

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