The story so far:
Spam comments flooded this and other ArtsJournal blogs. Inside them was evil code, very hard to root out, which infected ArtsJournal with malware. Google then marked ArtsJournal (and all its blogs) as attack sites, and many people were blocked from reading us.
This was fixed. But how can we keep spam comments away? The captchas — those word puzzles you had to solve before you could comment — don’t work anymore. Evildoers hire people in the third world to solve them by the thousand. And so the solution seemed to be…
A sign-in. Which is what you’ll find on this blog now. You have to sign in with an ID you use elsewhere on the web, on Google’s many sites, for instance. This verifies (I guess) that you exist.
But there’s a problem. The sign-ins for this blog don’t seem to work. One reader emailed to say she couldn’t log in, and I can’t either, using my Google ID. I get an incomprehensible error message.
The solution to this? Well, first, it seems that I’m the only ArtsJournal blogger who doesn’t approve comments before they’re posted. I wanted it this way, so that comments would appear quickly, and conversation on the blog could flow.
As far as I can see, this has worked. Conversation certainly is lively here. And if I had to approve all comments, I’d have to make sure I did it every day, which can be hard when I get superbusy, as happens far too often.
But I now don’t see that I have any choice. I can’t ask for a lot of work to be done on sign-ins here, if I’m the only ArtsJournal blogger using them. So I’m going to go back to approving all comments before they go live. That way I can delete the spam. I approved this change yesterday, but it hasn’t been implemented yet. Will be soon, I hope.
Sorry for the change. Makes things flow less smoothly here, certainly for me, maybe a little bit for all of you, too.
But there’s no other choice.