reCaptcha on Forum

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  stevescoots 28 Mar 2018
at 03:29
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

  • LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Is this reCaptcha on the Forum driving anyone else crazy? I understand the reason, but sometimes it just needs a tick to show I’m not a robot, but this morning required 6 attempts at identifying store fronts, cars and street signs before I could reply to Markiv’s question.

    BT is not the only site to use these, Emirates also require it before login (and also drives me crazy) but Swiss and Lufthansa don’t.

    Is there not an easier way Tom, while still ensuring you don’t get the sort of spam we had a few weeks back? Or does anyone else have any suggestions?


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    Hi LuganoPirate – thanks for your post.

    You’re right, it can be a bit frustrating, but it had got to the stage where we were clearing out hundreds of spam posts from the forum, which reCaptcha has pretty much eliminated.

    As you say you shouldn’t have to go through image verification each time. Google is pretty secretive on exactly how reCaptcha works, but from what I’ve read on various tech forums, it’s all to do with what other activity there has been on your device/IP address.

    The following is not from Google, but is quite typical of what I’ve read:

    “If they [Google] detect that your computer/IP address you are using was also used in the past to do things that a normal human would do – things like checking Gmail, searching on Google search, uploading files to Drive, sharing photos, browsing the web etc. – then it can probably be reasonably sure that you are a human and allow you to skip the image verification.

    “On the other hand, if it can’t associate your computer with any previous human-like activity, then it would be more suspicious and give you the image verification. Though the mouse behaviour as it clicks the checkbox may be one factor it analyzes, there is almost certainly a lot more to it.”


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    Certainly better than lots of spam posts, and as you say it notices recent activity sometimes and one doesn’t need the pictures ‘though does it slow down input? Find its easier to input on pc now than using a cp, that may mean I need a new cp though and not your system!


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Thanks Mark,
    I agree it’s better than ask the spam we were seeing and it must be a relief for you.
    Interestingly I’m writing this on my Samsung tablet and no verification is needed.

    Oh. I did need the reCaptcha on the tablet in the end


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Those Captchas are horrible and I’m glad it’s not just me that has problems with them.

    When the topic of spam first came up, I suggested that an easy way of preventing it would be to only allow existing posters to post, any posting from a new poster would have to be manually cleared before appearing, or verified by making the poster to verify his email address. I can see a weakness in both methods, but it might cause them to give up and go elsewhere.

    As things stand, between the Captchas and the board moderators, this board is remarkably spam free, and long may that continue. Now : about my good valued proffesional and comprensive essay writting services for students …….!


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    You spoke to soon Capetonian!.. Three spam postings have just appeared about Sell dumps or something.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Ironic, innit? I noticed that this morning.


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    Thanks for alerting us to the spam posts this morning. It’s going to be very difficult to eliminate spam from the forum entirely, but given it was only three posts (rather than the dozens of identical posts we were experiencing prior to implementing reCaptcha) it looks like they were posted manually rather than by a bot.

    We’ll keep an eye on things and see how it goes, but thanks for your patience, and for letting us know when spam does get posted.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    All sounds a bit doubtful. I use several other forums, none of them have recaptcha and none of them is overwhelmed by spam either.

    And as noted above it isn’t as if it works. Another reason why BT should have used off the shelf forum software from the likes of phpBB.

    Is this the reason the forum has reverted to be painfully slow as well?


    K1ngston
    Participant

    I have to concur with SimonS1 the site is extremely slow these days, and whilst I don’t necessarily have an issue with the reCaptcha it clearly is not working when spam keeps appearing…


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I have to concur with SimonS1 the site is extremely slow these days, and whilst I don’t necessarily have an issue with the reCaptcha it clearly is not working when spam keeps appearing…

    Three spam postings, apparently handcrafted, are hardly an invasion – unlike the three pages of spam just before BT brought Recaptcha back.

    I think we need to remember that this forum is run on a shoestring budget/resourcing (with all due respect) compared to some other larger ones and I’m happy that BT have the balance right on this one.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I have to concur with SimonS1 the site is extremely slow these days, and whilst I don’t necessarily have an issue with the reCaptcha it clearly is not working when spam keeps appearing…

    The spam problem has largely been solved, but I do agree the site is slow. It isn’t really the software, it’s the server configuration which is wrong (I’m told), and which is slowing down the whole site.

    The easiest solution would be to either turn off the forum (which we don’t want to do) or move the forum onto different software and separate the database,

    If we did the latter, we could have it as an iFrame within this website, but that would be a different log in for everyone – and that gets very complicated to explain to people.

    Imagine a user who is a subscriber, logged in to the main site, perhaps with one password and user profile, but who might have a different one for the forum.

    Even if you chose one email and one username / profile for both, if you look at the top of the page there would have to be two options for updating your details, one for your profile on the main site (subscribers and email newsletter subscribers) and then another for the forum software.

    We already have emails every day from people who are having trouble updating their details, subscribing, or even logging in, and so this would double or triple those problems.

    In addition, the user profiles would be stored in a separate database, and everyone is worried about GDPR and the costs it adds to what is a zero margin business in the first place..

    So we’re no ignoring the problems, but like FDOS says…


    openfly
    Participant

    Pages keep resetting…darned nuisance.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    It’s your call Tom, however I wonder how much traffic you lose with the general performance of the forum. The reason I have largely given up posting is that life is too short to wait 20 seconds for a page to load or to faff about with recaptcha or randomly reloading pages.

    I do appreciate the forum is an overhead to BT but honestly I think its gone steadily backwards over the last couple of years.

    My suggestion would indeed be to separate the forum or otherwise speak to an IT provider who knows what they are doing. Until then I bid you all adios and good luck.


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    Its understandable some people find that frustrating ‘though the occasional spam makes us read the comments more seriously and the data and general goodwill information is more useful than those minor problems. reCaptcha is just a simple computer game.
    My IT specialist (in the pub!) will advise me of those different technologies and wish the BT staff good luck with them.

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