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You Must Be Logged In To Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Okay. Tell me the truth. When you encounter a blog that compels you to respond, what do you think when you encounter “You must be logged in to comment”?

Does it make you want to overcome your natural inclination NOT to share your email and private information with others in order to comment on the blog? Are you willing to wait for a password to arrive in your email inbox, and then return to the blog to enter in your email and/or username and password, and then make your comment? Or is that like waiting for the installation of a contraception device in the middle of sex?

Commentum Login Interuptus.

Or do you turn and run? I’m sure if you want to comment bad enough, you will overcome any obstacle. But for most folks, doesn’t the “You must be logged in to comment” turn you away?

Why Not Allow Open Comments?

This begs the question of why. Why do people turn off open, unregistered comments to require people to login in order to comment? I’m not talking about member-only or private blogs. I’m addressing normal blogs.

Not every blog post needs comments. Turning off or closing comments is different from closing them off from easy public access.

One school of thought is that this protects the blogger from horrid comment spam. With today’s excellent comment spam catching tools available, this is no longer necessary.

Another school of thought is that this regulates who will comment and who won’t. In other words, if they go through the ordeal of registering, then they really must be fans or have something worthy to say, so we’ll let them in and keep out the rest of the riffraff.

One of the reasons I can’t stand commenting on Blogger blogs is the funky way comments are handled, taking me to a separate page and making me jump through hoops. I do it, when I’m really serious about making my comment, but I don’t like it. If you want comments on your blog, then I think you should make it easy for people to comment.

So what do you think? When you find a “login to comment”, do you bother to go through the trouble of registering in order to make a comment? If you have registered-user-only comments, tell us why. If you don’t, why do you think people do that?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

86 Comments

  1. emeff
    Posted May 23, 2006 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    I agree with you. I hate it to register just to leave a comment. This function avoids feedback and the exchange of thoughts and opionions. I’m interested in reasons to turn it on. Is it just a ‘I-have-a-huge-number-of-readers’ thing?
    I will start my blog in some weeks with open comment function and then I will see if all these spam fighting tools will work!

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Actually I like what she is doing right here. I want this type of thing where they can put emails in. Can I connect it to MailChimp? And what are these spam filters? I still see bogus comments on my site when I allow anyone to comment. (My site is still growing but I want a community of visitors. That is, real ones.)

    • Posted July 18, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Trying to understand what you are asking. What thing to put emails in? MailChimp is an email delivery service for newsletters, marketing, etc. Do you want to connect comments to email subscriptions for non-comment specific, marketing information? Not without the user agreeing to such an arrangement, which is why there are WordPress Plugins which offer a check box to subscribe to email newsletters, notifications, etc. for people to opt into, as well as WordPress Widgets in the sidebar that do the same separate from comments.

      As for “bogus” comments, they are spam. Use Akismet and mark them as spam to enter their data into the database. If you delete them, no one is served.

      Thanks.

  2. Posted May 23, 2006 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    ‘Must be logged in to Comment’ makes me close my tab. I visit tons of blogs per day and usually like to express my feelings about the post. However, I have absolutely no time, and such blogs are losing out on good commentors.

    More than that, the worst is image verification.. Hate them.. Retard me. Lorelle, would be great if you could write an article on this.

  3. Posted May 23, 2006 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I agree — logging in is too much work for a comment. A lot of times, it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision for me, and I quickly lose the impetus if I have to jump through hoops.

    I don’t mind the “CAPTCHA” stuff on Blogger, but if I don’t get it right the first time, then I don’t try again — just move on. Too bad, but probably no great loss to the blog.

  4. Posted May 23, 2006 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I guess logging in is akin to raising your hand to speak. For me, asking for a login to comment is pointing me out the door. CAPTCHA is okay. I agree with Sabine, though. One try is enough for me.

  5. Eip
    Posted May 23, 2006 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    i like to know who is comminting on my blog.

  6. Posted May 23, 2006 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’m with y’all. One of the nice things about blogs is the community it can foster. But when I come across a blog that has special requirements like logging in, it makes me feel like I’m trying to break into a gated community….with a security guard and frothing German Shepherds.

  7. Posted May 23, 2006 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Eip:

    “Who” is commenting on a blog comes from the information they enter in the comments. On this blog, if you are a registered blogger with WordPress.com, your information is automatically entered when you comment on a WordPress.com blog. I know who you are. ;-)

    Actually, all I know is the username you choose, and your WordPress.com blog address. Other than that, I know nothing about you. I can visit your blog and maybe learn something, but only what you tell me.

    So what information do you want to know about who is commenting on your blog? And how would having someone logged in before help you get any more information than that? For a lot of comments, a name and email address are required, but who says either of the ones you supply HAVE to be correct?

    On this blog, if you are not a WordPress.com users, you have to enter a name, email, and website address (optional) in order to post the comment. The “logging in” is done. I don’t need to have you enter that information, get an email from me (proves you have a valid, if temporary email account), and then revisit the blog and sign in, remembering all the information you supplied to begin with. Here, you just type in what information you want me to know, or anyone else, with an email (valid or not), and then post your comment.

    Good comment, so let’s talk about it.

  8. Posted May 23, 2006 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I am way too lazy. Seeing “you must be registered to comment on this site” is like holding up a red flag to me that says “screw it” 99.9 percent of the time. For web journal owners who might consider this route, you should ask ourselves, “What makes me so important to think I should make users register on my site when they don’t on millions of others?”

    The only time I’ll register to comment on a blog is if I’ve been a dedicated reader for quite some time and have felt the urge to comment more than once. (As is the case with your website here, Lorelle. :))

  9. Posted May 24, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    When I find a notice like that, I just close the window and move on.

  10. Posted May 26, 2006 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    That notice seems so elitist for me.

    “If you ain’t part of the club, there ain’t nothing here fer youse, son.”

    If that’s the case, they might as well close the blog to public viewing and do it by themselves via-wiki or some other programs.

  11. Posted June 29, 2006 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I’m such a beginner at this stuff that I didn’t even realize it was an issue. It was just because a reader tried to post a comment yesterday and couldn’t that I took off the logged-in requirement; searching for an article to troubleshoot the problem turned up this article. Thank you! I wasn’t even aware that it was a blog etiquette problem. Now I’m off to search for some good anti-spam plugins…

  12. Alex
    Posted July 3, 2006 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that there is such a strong aversion to registering to post on blogs. On online forums, of course, it’s very common. In fact, I don’t think I know of any online forum that didn’t require me to log on as a user. Right now, for my blog, I am considering having users register because for me, when I register with a forum and post, it does create a sense of belonging to that forum. I’d also hope that it would increase the signal-to-noise ratio of my comments. Perhaps it won’t work out that way. Perhaps I’ll change my mind. But it is interesting that for blogs, going through a registration procedure (which really should not take more than 30 seconds in most cases) is a deal-breaker for most of the commenters here.

    I’m curious, do people here find it more acceptable to register for forum sites? Or do you also avoid them for the same reasons as feeling they are “gated communities” or “too much hassle”?

    Thanks to Lorelle for creating such a great site and to everyone for their good comments — at least here, it seems, the signal to noise ratio is just fine…

    Alex

  13. Posted July 3, 2006 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Interesting point, Alex. Personally, anything that gets between me and a blog comment makes me not comment. I think that applies to most people. I have to be pretty determined to say something to jump through hoops.

    As for forums, they are different from blogs in many ways. Yes, they are a community, and yes, I think people need to focus on their blog’s audience as a community, but they are still different. When I’m visiting a forum, I want to get information or quickly ask a question, get an answer, and be gone. I hate having to jump through hoops. It doesn’t make me feel special to register. I don’t feel “part of a community” unless I choose to spend serious time there. It’s a PITA, whether blog or forum. But that’s me. I’m interested in hearing what others have to say about this perspective.

    Thanks.

  14. Posted July 23, 2006 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree with most of the other commentors: Being asked to log in in order to leave a simple comment feels like being sent to the principal’s office for some serious offense. And I lose that impetus which made me want to leave a comment in the first place.
    As to knowing who is commenting, the best way to learn that is to read the comments, isn’t it?
    In my opinion, requiring commentors to log in only makes sense in blogs that deal with very controversial subjects or swim against the current. They might need that extra level of security. We probably all know that there are a lot of people out there who can get very ugly when confronted with the fact that not everyone shares their views.

  15. Posted August 7, 2006 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    yeah… and if I do decide to jump through all the hoops, by the time I’m done I forget why the heck I wanted to comment in the first place.
    if I want to keep out the riffraff, then (on lj) I make the post only visible to my friends. that keeps out most of the retarded “u r so rong” comments.
    I haven’t looked into wordpress’ restrictions yet; only got my blog a few minutes ago :)

  16. Posted August 15, 2006 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I split the difference. If you login to comment on my site, you get a free pass to comment. If you do not log in to comment, you can still comment, but I moderate it before it appears.

    That way I reduce what little comment spam seems to be making its way past akismet and badbehavior.

    Works for me ;-)

  17. Posted August 18, 2006 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    I just recently switched from Blogspot to now WordPress and I still do not have any comments yet. I am afraid my viewers from Blogspot are not comfortable with the look and feel of how WordPress accepts comments. I have always had my comment settings open to anyone at Blogspot. It was only until after I received comment spam that I turned the letter notification on, and still some people were confused as to how it worked. I even now have my WordPress account ready for anyone to comment as well. I think the “email required” option that WordPress offers when commenting is what scares commenters off. I would like to find a way to remove that option or just hide that box as being required. We’ll see what I can do. I’ve already found an excellant template, where the viewer can choose their own background. On each page they view they can have a different background. I think that should draw some of my viewers in from Blogspot, but now how to get them comfortable with WordPress and commenting there, that’s another thing.

  18. Posted August 18, 2006 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The required email is not really required. In other words, it doesn’t have to be a “real” email. It can be anything that looks like an email. There is no verification. I’ve always thought it odd that so many WordPress Themes say “email required” when something in the box is good but it doesn’t have to be valid.

    Getting comments is different from “jumping through hoops to comment”. I think a request for an email address is not what may be stopping them. Challenging people to think and respond with an answer will get you comments. Think about how your writing may be different in this new blog and if you are really encouraging comments.

    As for allowing viewers to change your template – I have never seen that as a plus, just a gimmick.

    It takes time for people to follow and your blog to get found. Comment on other blogs and make sure your content is worth commenting on, and they will come.

  19. Cory
    Posted December 17, 2006 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    A couple months late commenting on this post, but just today I had an experience that is very relevant. I was reading for the first time a popular media gossip blog. There was an interesting post I wanted to comment on and after typing in my comment I realized it said “you must be logged in to comment.” I thought fine, I’ll just sign up. However, I couldn’t for the life of me find a sign up link. So I went ahead with my comment filling out the username and password with some random words off the top of my head. The result was a message that said (paraphrased) “Your comment will only be posted if it is extremely well written or extremely funny. So double check your prose and submit your comment. You will be notified if you are considered worthy.”

    Needless to say I didn’t re-submit. Not only are you required to sign up, but your comments will be scrutinized for worthiness. Still feel sick to my stomache…

  20. Posted June 9, 2007 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    First off – thanks for your insight and contributions to the global blogscape. And thanks for letting us comment without registration. (See parent topic) /;^)

    I’d like very much to open my comment doors, to allow comments without registration, as it appears that requiring registration is not stopping the comment spam anyway (on my site).

    I’m puzzled. Admittedly my wordpress is an old version (2.0.1), and perhaps this is now a ‘fixed-bug’… My site is configured with : * Anyone can register -and- * Users must be registered and logged in to comment

    I have a few registered users that comment now and then, and hardly ever got any comment spam to moderate until I signed up for a free wordpress.com/blog to check out the newer version. I got such a flood of comment spam that I added Akismet, but now wonder how these get submitted without registration.?.

    I guess I’d expect to see a bunch of bogus usernames to approve/delete …

    The spammers have apparently figured out how to submit without creating a registered user, and you probably wouldn’t want to explain (out loud) the details of how it is done.

    I have a new server built, and nearly ready to go on-line, but currently the comment spam is so thick, I’m considering turning off comments entirely. Most of the comment spam is detected right away and silently disappears after 15 days. Recently more and more (~dozens/week) are not initially classified as spam, so now I also get ‘Moderation Spam’ from my site in my email inbox…

    Perhaps you will motivate me to finish my upgrade. – and I’ll be able to leave my comment doors open…

    Again – Thanks for your contributions, and your patience in absorbing my rambling monologue… /;^)

  21. Posted June 9, 2007 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I’m little confused with what you are asking. If you are on the free WordPress.com blog, Akismet comes installed and activated automatically. And it catches the majority of comment spam and works on a “community” aspect to fight comment spam. You mark comment spam that gets through as comment spam and that information goes back to Akismet for addition to its database, helping everyone fight off comment spam.

    If you are trying to come up with a combination to fight off comment spam on a full version WordPress blog, see I’m Winning the Battle Against Comment Spam for information for the three comment spam fighters for WordPress: Akismet, Spam Karma, and Bad Behavior.

    Remember, comment spammers are more determined than we are to get through any defenses and are constantly finding ways in. We’ve been hit by another barrage lately of comment spam getting through. As Akismet “learns” this will drop back to normal until they come up with another way. We have to find a way to cut them off at the core not with our blogs.

    And honestly, requiring registration, moderation, or tests or CAPTCHAs interferes with the commenting process and only lets comment spammers win. We need to open our comments in a way that makes it clear comment spammers aren’t winning.

  22. Posted June 9, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for such quick response…!… I am a master of obfuscatory commentary, so bear with me.

    I am using an older version (2.0.1) on my own server, and a newer version is part of an overdue hardware/os update. Following my own advice, I checked my logs and see that the predominance of such spam is ‘trackback’ not comments… so registration is no longer a question.

    I have been using Akismet, but apparently still get a lot of zero-hour stuff that Akismet hasn’t learned yet. I may always require moderation, and just today added “Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam” and turned off the flag for registration-required. It appears to have stopped the flow of unwanted stuff, -AND- registration is no longer required, so actually it is now at least a little easier to comment. I’m using WP primarily for content management, and would have died pathetically years ago if I was dependant upon viewer comment.

    I do understand your desire to reduce the interference to commenting, and hope that someday blogs and email will not suffer so much this scourge of spammination.

    My poor little server only handles about a dozen users, and a handfull of www, but spends over 90% of it’s time fending off email spam. Blog spam is catching up.

    It won’t be long before the email RBL services expand to also provide blogspam RBL. I know some folks hate that method, but my feeble server would spend 100% of it’s cycles accepting spam that it would then have to throw away. If I couldn’t reject some of that, there would be no available cycles to accept what little bit of real mail come around.

    I’ve always suspected that if we were allowed to break fingers and knees of known spammers – it might reduce the quantity of ‘spam-bot commanders’. It’s the same few folks that command the email spam-bots, that are at the helm of the blogspam-bots. Such a waste . . .

    Well, I’ve probably wandered way off topic. But I really do appreciate your vision and your work. I’ll go read your reference to “Winning…”, and re-visit robots.txt to reduce the amount of my bandwidth consumed by the ravenous search-bots…

    Thanks again /;^)

  23. Posted June 9, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    You are welcome, but I encourage you to try the three mentioned Plugins and do nothing else to waste your time on this issue. It really consumes too much blogger energy that could and should be spent elsewhere. ;-)

    Good luck.

  24. Posted June 11, 2007 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I concur wholeheartedly. I have a significant visual impairment and CAPTCHAs are *impossible* for me to read. Most of the time (read: 99% of the time) there is no audio CAPTCHA like on Blogger. With so many great spam eating plugins like Akismet, why is turning on CAPTCHAs even necessary?

  25. Posted June 20, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I deplore blogs that want me to register, just for their site (yes, even you Gawker network or whichever one I come across on a quarter of the blogs I frequent).

    Captchas are fine by me, but I can understand why some people may not like them.

    Akismet has worked wonders for me and friends…as soon as we started getting spam, we turned it on, and poof…no comment spam ever again.

    I know I’m echoing what other people have said, but I detest this “advancement” of blogs to the point that I felt compelled to comment (no pun intended).

  26. Posted August 13, 2007 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I figured you would have wrote on this too. Very well said. Requiring people to register just to comment is a peeve of mine and I was just about to write on it myself.

  27. Posted August 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Rose: Liz Strauss tells people that she lives inside her computer. I tell people I’ve written everything there is to write about when it comes to WordPress and blogging.

    Liz really does live inside her computer, but I like tall tales. :D

    But this is a favorite rant of mine.

  28. Posted January 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    My blog is hosted by a forum and when I started it, only registered users of that forum could comment in it. At the time, knowing very little about blogs and not reading any myself, I thought nothing of this restriction – partly because I thought only members of the forum would be interested in the contents anyway!

    I discovered my error last May when I started reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. One of the bloggers whose blog I read decided he wanted to comment in my blog, but he couldn’t do it, even after he registered for the forum. Two weeks and several e-mails later (he was a very patient blogger!) the head admin of the forum found the setting that was causing the problem. The main side effect was that anyone could comment. Once I saw my visit and comment count go up enormously, I decided to keep it that way.

    There is still the option of registering for my blog and its accompanying forum. Occasionally people use it so that the system remembers which colour scheme they want to use (there are four schemes for my blog, of which three are known to be in use by at least one reader). However, commenting only requires the comment itself. Even the user name is optional. This system seems to work well for me.

    The anti-spam systems on my blog are not spam-catching programs, because I’ve never found one that integrates correctly onto my blog (it’s not WordPress, but TheBlogMod for phpbb). That said, having the welcome page spam-catching system makes the problem easy for me to control, so I don’t worry about other systems.

    I really don’t like CAPTCHAs. Between the way I perceive things and the strange way my computer processes things sometimes, neither the graphical nor the audio versions are much good to me, so I end up guessing. Number-only CAPTCHAs are just about tolerable (though even then I often get them wrong), but the moment I discover there are letters involved, I might as well try winning the lottery as getting my comment in. Also, they have been known to time out on me if my comment is long. Still, I generally persist if I like the blog enough – I’m stubborn that way.

  29. Sam
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    This is late, but I wanted to share my reasons why I am considering forcing registration before people comment. If you run a website that is mostly for adults, as this one is, you can probably get away with it. But if your site/blog caters to a younger audience, it is sometimes preferable to force registration, because not a day goes by that I don’t have some juvenile posting what I call drive-by insults against a particular post/the site. The comments range from very nasty to just incredibly insulting. So if I had forced registration, I would have stopped them from commenting, because these kids are impulsive, and would never take the time to register, respond to the email confirmation, etc. That is ONE reason to force registration.

  30. Posted March 31, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Sam:

    There are many reasons to force registration before allowing comments, and this is one of them. There are also many reasons for good and “loud” comment guidelines and setting examples of how to comment in order to set the standard for what types of comments are permitted.

    There are no rules, but the blogger must understand that there are options and risks for choosing which way to go. I know many blogs which cater to young people which do not have this problem or they are fast with the edit button. Others do have the problem. The type of blog and content type attracts different responses. You have to choose which method works best for you and go with it until you are ready to try something else.

  31. Posted April 26, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I never ever, leave a comment on a site that requires me to register first. In my opinion, websites that enforce this rule are potentially missing out on the most important asset on the World Wide Web, namely TRAFFIC. Whenever I leave a comment I always go back to see if someone commented on my comment-this type of return traffic is invaluable for any serious blogger.

  32. Posted April 26, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t realize this option was set by default, I may have lost a lot of comments not noticing that. Thanks for the post

  33. madluck
    Posted December 10, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I like to know who is comminting on my blog?

  34. Posted January 3, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Agree wholeheartedly Lorelle w.r.t. allowing comments on blogs and moderating.

    The problem is – and I fear this is a common problem too – I have encountered a problem on the JointWinWin blog (which is using Semiologic/Wordpress) and although I have comments enabled, the theme I am using does 2 peculiar things:
    #1 It says you need to login to comment
    #2 It doesn’t provide a login URL so that scuppers that!

    I’ve changed the theme to the default theme and it still doesn’t allow open commenting but it does provide a login URL this time.

    I shall dig, dig and dig again to find a solution and when I find it, I shall blog it as I’m sure from my own experience there are a multitude of others out there who would like to have open comments but for whatever software problems are unable to do so.

    All the best,
    Tom

    PS – If anyone knows a fix to this and I haven’t sorted comments out on the JointWinWin blog, please use the Contact Us page and let me know ;-)

    • Posted January 3, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      It sounds like a Theme issue. Have you updated the Theme to the newest version and updated WordPress? Semiologic’s work is often integrated tightly with WordPress Plugins, so it could be a Plugin issue. I highly recommend you contact the author as he supports his own work – work that is often customized beyond the normal functions of WordPress, especially with his older Themes.

  35. Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know your experience. Is it enough to just use Akismet, or do you need CAPTCHA as well?

    • Posted February 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      CAPTCHA is dead. It doesn’t work, it rarely did, so unless you are using it for registration spam, never put anything between you and your reader’s ability to comment. Akismet works great, as do some of its competitors, working in the background so it doesn’t interfere with the commenting process. See WTF Blog Clutter: The Death of the CAPTCHA for more info.

  36. casper
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I need some help here. Personally I hate to have to login just to leave a comment.
    Help I say? Yes, I can’t figure out how to turn that off on my own blog.LOL

    I am using wordpress 2.7xx if someone could give me a little hint on where to do this
    I would appriciate it a lot!

  37. casper
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Never mind ..found it. Was mislead by a guide for an older version :)

  38. Posted April 28, 2009 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    The inability to use HTML in comments makes your comments look terrible, it’s a useless technique to stop comment spam, and it’s just another way of making it harder for people to leave comments on your blogs

  39. Posted May 7, 2009 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I have a continuing problem with false positives in Akismet, so I can’t just switch it on and forget about it – I have to continually go through it and fish out genuine comments. The Auntie Spam Greasemonkey Extension for Firefox is the only thing that makes that possible on one of my blogs, and the developer hasn’t updated it for WP2.7+ (hasn’t updated anything in his lifestream since late last year, actually, so I’m worried something’s happened to him).

    Other spam plugins seem to screw up commenting entirely for too many of my readers. So I’m giving registration a go. Is it really just a waste of time?

    • Posted May 7, 2009 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      I understand your frustration. Understand that the blame lies with the spammers, not Akismet or anyone or thing else. They are getting smarter and smarter and working hard to fool tools like Akismet, which is causing all kinds of confusion and false positives. We’re all stressing over this.

      I’ll email Engtech again and see if we can get Auntie Spam updated for 2.7. Or hit the Akismet team to include its features. That would be better all around. Thanks!

  40. Posted May 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the response, Lorelle. Spammers evolve too, sadly. I’ve long thought that the only long term spam solution is for ISPs to charge people for sending email above a certain number per day – put a financial barrier in place that just isn’t there right now.

    It would be great if you could track Engtech down and coax him into upgrading Auntie Spam and/or get those features incorporated into Akismet. After all, the Comment-Ninja-like features incorporated into the new system for 2.7+ work a treat.

  41. Posted May 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What about requiring an email from the author of a comment? I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to leave their email address, but anyone can get a disposable email account with any of the free webmail services. It’s not that big of a deal to create such an email account, but many people just aren’t interested in doing that.

    It’s a catch 22 for both bloggers and commenters, if you ask me. On one hand, I don’t like having to create an account to login just to be able to comment, but do Spam catchers really remain viable over time? Spammers are always circumventing the way software works against them and improving their methods to getting past the software. Eventually it will be a checkmate situation where spam catching programs become obsolete and the only alternative is a blogger locking down the blog to be read only.

    Maybe it sounds like I am saying “the sky is falling”, which is not the case. What I am suggesting is that those who want to spam you will always find a way to do so, and at some point the only method that will remain to work against it is simply not use the internet. Considering that I get about 200 spams a day from Chinese addresses that originate in Sweden. This forced me to block out entire countries in my .httaccess file. How long til I am blocking every country? Something tells me it won’t be too long in the future.

    • Posted May 13, 2009 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      You are talking two issues here. Blog comment emails are not traditionally published so they are of no use to spammers and they aren’t looking for them. Blog comment spam has nothing to do with email.

      Yes, comment spam is painful and a day-to-day misery for a lot of bloggers, but email or forcing people to log in changes nothing. You are right. But blocking countries is also wrong. Block individual IPs not country IP addresses. Or use Akismet and let your worries fade away totally.

  42. Steven
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I’m a website admin for a very popular site in Japan. We used to have open comments. Then open yet moderated comments. We stopped it. Constant, CONSTANT spamming clogged the comments and wasted all our time in moderating. It’s probably ok for a small blog but not a big website!!

  43. Raj singla
    Posted October 10, 2009 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I’m a website admin for a very popular site in India. We used to have open comments. Then open yet moderated comments. We stopped it. Constant, CONSTANT spamming clogged the comments and wasted all our time in moderating. It’s probably ok for a small blog but not a big website!!

    • Posted October 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Define “big website” and we might have something to talk about. I manage a wide range of popular blogs, with some hosting dozens to hundreds of comments every day. If you have a solid comment spam fighting tool in place, like Akismet which offers no barrier to human commenters (maybe combined with Bad Behavior or other “hidden” comment spam fighters), it reduces the workload to a dull roar, so you can concentrate on the quality comments and not interfere with your visitors’ abilities to communicate with you and each other.

  44. SAF
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Ah, wouldn’t it be lovely if the Internet were free of hackers and cyber-predators? I used to allow anyone to comment, but after being harassed repeatedly by a person who’s been stalking a friend for a few years (yes, that’s not a typo; years!) I decided to, yes, make it at least more difficult for her to comment. Not that it’s going to be that big of a deterrent, but that it’s gotten to the point where I’m at a loss. This waste of brainspace has changed identities several times, hacked into my personal emails, and though I’ve blocked her different identities and IP addresses, she just keeps coming back with new ones. *sigh* No idea what to do.

  45. Test
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    TESTsddsd

  46. Posted March 25, 2010 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I understand that the blame lies with the spammers, not Akismet or anyone or thing else. They are getting smarter and smarter and working hard to fool tools like Akismet, which is causing all kinds of confusion and false positives. We’re all stressing over this.

    • Posted March 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      We’ve been stressing for YEARS and the spammers keep getting smarter and building smarter software. Just relax and breath. It’s just part of the work involved, unfortunately, but Akismet is getting smarter than they are, catching over 90% of the crap they send out. I’d say that the few we deal with is nothing compared to what we used to have to put up with.

  47. Ücretsiz ilan
    Posted March 25, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The inability to use HTML in comments makes your comments look terrible, it’s a useless technique to stop comment spam, and it’s just another way of making it harder for people to leave comments on your blogs

  48. Posted April 17, 2010 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    wonderful POSY tHANKS FOR SHARING WITH US.

  49. mindraven
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    The last few comments on this show why this is still a hot topic. I’m in the same boat. Our business blog allows open comments and the anti-spam tools do a great job at catching most of the spam comments, keyword being spam. Some will still sneak through, so I’m currently waffling between requiring registration and not.

  50. merced
    Posted July 15, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I agree with you, sometimes open the blog for a look inside of some malicious comments are all links in and garbage

  51. imedia
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi

    Not sure if this issue was already mentioned by another commenter. I had an experience where a person “commented” on their body odor problem on a health blog. It was quite a descriptive comment where the person described their problem in detail. The commenter used a name and email address that was not theirs. When we replied to the comment, the rightful owner of the email address was notified and she was horrified.

    It turns out that some bully was tormenting a young girl at her school and used her email address and name on the comment and then told others in the school about this so they could all read it. We gave the rightful owner of the email address the IP address of the commenter and followed up a few weeks later.

    The IP address was traced back to a school computer and while they eventually did find the culprit, it caused the person in question much distress. True, you cannot prevent others from using a person’s name but you can ensure that you can get their correct email address should something go wrong or at least ban them for inappropriate comments.

    • Posted July 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      While this is a terrible thing, it is rare, and doesn’t negate the point of this article. In general, do nothing to get in the way of comments, if comments and interactivity such as this is your goal within an open community. If you wish to have a closed blog, then that is your right. Alert people accordingly. If you are dealing with underage participants, then such actions are not just essential, but required in some countries and states. Check the laws in your area.

  52. Radman
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Was just looking for some salient information to help me choose whether to force registration or not and the issues that surround it. I personally find signing up to comment distasteful and if it can be reasonably avoided then it should be. It’s great to see a range of opinions on the subject and a bit of a laundry list of the possible issues that can be encountered.

  53. Posted August 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Wonder full post and very nice discussion in the comments at last i decided to remove that login window and activate Akismet which will do the job me for. Thanks again

  54. Posted November 27, 2010 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    i hate this log in stuff but if it is nessasary then please make it easy i do not like to type any more than nessasary.

  55. ambalaj
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I understand that the blame lies with the spammers, not Akismet or anyone or thing else. They are getting smarter and smarter and working hard to fool tools like Akismet, which is causing all kinds of confusion and false positives. We’re all stressing over this.

    thank you

  56. Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visithttp://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.info/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

  57. gagner de l'argent s
    Posted January 23, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Yes, comment spam is painful and a day-to-day misery for a lot of bloggers, but email or forcing people to log in changes nothing. You are right. But blocking countries is also wrong. Block individual IPs not country IP addresses. Or use Akismet and let your worries fade away totally.

  58. John
    Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Opening a new WP site today and am still on the fence about this… personally I don;t think a quick register is too much to ask.

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Honestly, every step that gets between the visitor and their comment is an opportunity for them to escape. If you don’t care, and it is more important to capture those email addresses, many of which are easily faked, then require registration. This article was written several years ago and the point it makes still holds. Let them come to you through opt-in options like email alerts and newsletter subscriptions. Don’t ask it of them in comments. There is no return on that investment.

  59. Dennis Marshall
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Im trying to setup a site now that will allow users to comment but will not require that much.

    I usually don’t sign in to comment tho.. One reason is because they dont allow any backlinks. when I comment, its for 1 of 2 or both reasons. Great content that I just had to comment on and/or I want to leave a backlink.

    This was a great post so it was both…

    I going to have to say I “RUN AWAY ” 8 times out of 10..

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad that this post got you thinking more about commenting and the login process. Sorry that your view of commenting is so restricted by your need for backlinks.The nofollow/dofollow myth was always a myth and continues to be, so avoiding commenting because of your need for backlinks is unfortunate. Your voice could be critical in influencing others on their blogs.

  60. Zubai
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    In order to post a comment I think one does not have to register. It makes me leave the website.

  61. Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this is so true. Why need to log in if I just want to share my thought? Why not a free blog or blogs that you don’t have to log in? Why don’t put captcha if you don’t want a spam comment. A lot of blogger are hesitating to comment if they still have to log in.

    • Posted January 24, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Agreed, but a reminder, a CAPTCHA doesn’t work – never has never will. They are beaten within a week or two of release by comment spammers, so why put people through the torture? You’re right, let nothing get between a reader and their comment.

  62. Silverhawk
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Seems like wordpress changed and now you have to log on every time I comment … I get complaint that the same applies to my blog and that they can’t be asked commenting anymore… wish i could turn that shit off… WordPress ruined it for me by changing it. I for sure ain’t loggin in different blogs to comment.

    • Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure I understand. Do you have comment registration enabled? Are you using some type of WordPress Plugin or script that changes the default functionality of comments on your site? WordPress has done nothing to force required registration upon you to the best of my knowledge. Check your settings.

  63. Jack
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    WordPress now gives commenters the option of logging in with their Facebook or Twitter account, which most people already have and are logged into anyway. Does that added convenience change your opinion of requiring login to comment?

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      No. Thanks for asking. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that gets between your user and their ability to interact loses, on all sides. People see “register” or “log in” and they run. If you want interaction, open the doors. If you don’t, close them.

  64. Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I unchecked the comment login on my wordpress page. What am I doing wrong. Is anyone out there willing to see if my readers still need to login to comment?

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      The WordPress.com forum is the best place to request such assistance. I left a comments and comments are enabled. Another way to test this is to log out of WordPress.com (or your site) and visit a single post to see if comments are enabled and visible. Thanks.

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Lorelle.

  65. Posted July 23, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the clarification. I too was wondering about that. I just started my blog a couple of days ago and have been going through the growing pains of figuring it all out. I feel that direct comments without all the hassle will lead to more discussion on the issues. Hence my comment here. ;-) Thanks for the post.

  66. Joe Juarez
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I do not like the log in procedure, but it is necessary, so you will not get spammed. However, people are lazy in general when it say to register( they might just leave). I think logging is essential, so there can be some interaction between both parties.

    • Posted September 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      As mentioned in the article and other comments, forcing someone to log into a site in order to comment does not prevent comment spam. It is estimated that 60% or more of comment spam on the web is created by humans and any human can register with a site.

      I recommend you rethink your policies on requiring logins. They do not protect a site, only get in the way of the person wishing to leave a comment and generate that interaction you talk about.

  67. Beverly Purvis
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Actually I find it pretty useful, by having to log in not every man and his dog will be able to leave a comment which for me means less spam.

    • Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      As stated previously, it sounds like a good idea, but doesn’t work. A large majority of comment spam is done by humans. Humans can register for your site and log in. Restricting your site to registration for comments does not impact the comment spam flow. If it does, it is miniscule in the scope of comment spam.


18 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] For blogs which do not permit HTML of any form in their comments, these blog owners have a lot of work to change long ugly links into HTML anchors if they want their comments to look nice. The inability to use HTML in comments makes your comments look terrible, it’s a useless technique to stop comment spam, and it’s just another way of making it harder for people to leave comments on your blogs. Comments are part of the design and layout, so they should blend in with the overall look. [...]

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