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You Must Now Do Math to Comment Here

May 25, 2006

I am sorry. The last thing I wanted to do was to add hurdles in the commenting process. I’d like to see more comments here, so it feels counterintuitive to add a step to the process. But the math questions are so easy that it’s more of a speed bump than a hurdle.

Please pardon the inconvenience.

Continue reading if you want to know why.

In actuality, what we want is more legitimate comments, and less comment spam. Since we turned comment moderation on, not one spam comment has appeared on the site, but I assure you they lurk back there behind the scenes, and they must be dealt with.

For a long time it was only a few each day and wasn’t a big deal; but over the past two-and-a-half weeks — and especially the last ten days — Stump Lane has received literally thousands of spam comments. Quite frankly, they have been taking the fun out of this small endeavor. Skimming over hundreds of the fucking things at a time in hopes of finding the odd ‘real comment’ has become a major drag. Additionally, the traffic wrought by these spammers — while it hasn’t yet put any undue stress on our bandwidth usage — it has totally buggered our web statistics, and rendered them useless.

For instance, Your Montag’s self-proclaimed greatest post, Human Nature, Morality and Progressivism: A Layman’s View, has allegedly been “viewed” 450 times since May 1st. I am very proud of that post, and would be immensely gratified if those were 450 sentient beings doing the “viewing,” but — unless there is a referring site with a link to that post that does not register in the external link stats — I highly doubt it. This site has never seen that kind of traffic to a particular post. Not even over an entire 31-day month. I can only suspect that this traffic anomaly is caused by some kind of spam-bot. (Not that I know what a spam-bot is.)

Ok, that’s a lot of ado over nothing worth trifling yourself with, Dear Reader. Let us go forward with this small math requirement in the comments. If it seems to work, after a trial period, we may turn off comment moderation for first time commenters.

NOTE: As before, ‘anonymous’ comments are allowed. You don’t have to fill in your name, email, or URL if you don’t want to. (If you have a gravatar, and want it to show up, you will have to put your email in, of course.) We will never give your email address to anybody else. Promise. That’s not how we roll here at the Stump.

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One Comment
  1. May 26, 2006 11:27 AM

    While I understand the necessity of requiring some basic addition and subtraction here here and agree with the implementation of the Mathematical Barrier, it is unfortunate that the majority of high school students will no longer be able to comment on the Stump – thanks, No Child Left Behind.

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