You will probably have noticed that this blog offers the chance to make a comment on what the blogger has written. Some people read these comments, some don't. And some of you, of course, go to the trouble of writing a comment.
Well, it seems to be an unfortunate fact of life that any blog which attracts even a modest number of readers will also attract the attention of people who put out what is known as 'comment spam'. That is to say, the spammers make a comment (of sorts) and then add a link to some other site which they are being paid to plug.
Much of this comment spam is done by machine, and until yesterday it wasn't a problem. There was only the occasional fake comment, which I deleted by hand. However, yesterday there were 37 fake comments, and this morning there are 384.
Not very amusing.
Of course you are all perfectly capable of recognising a heap of crap when you see one, and are not likely to be misled. On other other hand, the presence of reams of rubbish on the blog is a nuisance for those who actually want to read what others have said.
In order to prevent most of these fake comments from appearing, I have enabled the Blogger facility which introduces one further step for bona fide commenters. This is called word verification. When you wish to make a comment, you will be asked to recognise a word, or a sequence of letters, written in a peculiar typeface, and then type it in manually. The point being that most of this spam is done by machine, and the machines' software can't cope with word verification.
This additional step is a nuisance for anyone who wants to make a comment, but it will not, I believe, take more than a moment and will help to keep the blog clean and tidy.
I don't think I am going to go through various past posts and delete all 400+ fake comments, but I am in the process of removing them from the front page (i.e. the five post recent posts).
Thank you for your patience.