Apparently I’m now big-time – with spammers, that is. I get at least a few thousand automated spam comments to my blog each day. Luckily, I use the Akismet WordPress plugin which filters out all the spam, but I worry a legitimate comment or two might get lost in the noise. Then I discovered the Are You A Human? WordPress plugin.
One way to deal with automated spam bots is to implement a CAPTCHA. These are those annoying distorted pictures where you have to type in the letters and numbers you see in order to prove you are a human and move on to the next step. The quality of the CAPTCHA images vary quite a bit, and more often than not I find myself guessing incorrectly and apparently proving that I am not actually a human (yes, it was a surprise to me too!). So while some CAPTCHAs can be effective (and even change the world), I wanted to find an alternative that would stop spammers but not annoy my readers.
The Are You A Human? WordPress plugin does just that. Instead of a distorted image containing letters and numbers, it is a mini-game that requires human intelligence to solve and – dare I say it – is actually kind of fun. Plus, these mini-games are inherently more mobile-friendly than CAPTCHAs (which can be even more frustrating when a phone’s autocorrect keeps kicking in). The team behind the plugin has even taken this one step further – they offer branded mini-games, which is a clever way to allow non-intrusive advertising on a website (and they split the revenue with the blog owner – I’m saving up for that pack of bubble gum!).
Want to see how this all works? Just leave a comment on my blog. After you submit your comment, you’ll be presented with an Are You A Human? mini-game to prove – once and for all – that you are indeed a human, just like your mom said you were.