[pmwiki-users] Spam Blocking Proposal

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Tue Mar 28 17:21:14 CST 2006

On Tue, Mar 28, 2006 at 03:52:49PM -0600, Wendell Brown wrote:
> With that in mind, I got to thinking about CAPTCHA 
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAPTCHA).  Many sites already use this but 
> I'm not generally a real big fan of it because it's pretty invasive for 
> real posters, BUT, if it were only required for users with IP addresses 
> that show up on a DNS Black List then it wouldn't be invasive for MOST 
> users and it should block a lot of bots.

FWIW, I wrote a message [1] in January of last year that detailed why
PmWiki wasn't heading down the CAPTCHA route -- it's too intrusive for
authors, and too likely to be defeated.

In fact, the Wikipedia article mentioned above even points out
a Microsoft research paper that concludes that automated systems
are as at least as good as, and often *better than*, humans at solving
common captchas, especially as the captchas become "harder" to solve. [2]

1. http://www.pmichaud.com/pipermail/pmwiki-users/2005-January/008937.html
2. http://www.ceas.cc/papers-2005/160.pdf

So, I think simple passwords remains the best option for dealing
with spam.


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