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Missing out on comments

I just came across a great blog post and wrote a comment in response. Part of the process was answering a security question to avoid spam which is fine.

The questions was “what is one plus three?” It wasn’t a challenge to find the answer but I did wonder if I should write ‘four’ or ‘4’. Given the question used words, I did too.

Unfortunately, the comment form just disappeared with the message “You got the spam message wrong” in its place. Not only was my beautifully crafted response gone forever, I wasn’t given the opportunity to write a replacement comment – and that blog misses out on another comment.

If there is any ambiguity about a compulsory question, there must be a second chance at answering it. Better yet would be clarity about the expected answer – for instance, it could have asked “what is one plus three? (answer in digits)” or “Give the number (in digits) equal to one plus three”.

A simple error yes but the consequences are that they missed getting a comment – How many comments do they miss each week because of this spam question? – and they have lost credibility as a site that values clarity (sorry to say it was a content writing service site, too).

What sort of spam protection do you hate or love?

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