Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2007 / 04 / 29 / you-are-probably-not-a-person

April 29, 2007

You Are Probably Not a Person

For those foolishly misguided few out there who may have attempted to leave a comment on since the fateful upgrade to v2, the following cryptic error message might look familiar: Sorry, you are probably not a person. In fact, it is not just an attempt on my part to be elitist, or even ironic, as Audrey suggested today, but actually a failed attempt at devising a Turing test to keep out asshole spammers selling V1/\gr4 and other pharmaceutical alternatives to leading a sexually fulfilling life. (Perhaps they target this site because they know its readers cannot be leading such lives by the virtue of the fact that they are regular visitors here? Never mind.)

In any case, for those not lucky enough to possess a degree in Computer Science (and thus, much more likely to be leading a satisfying sexual life to begin with), a Turing test is essentially a mechanism to test for humanness. An appropriately designed test would be passed by the majority of humans, and failed by most, if not all, machines (which are used by spammers to leave comments). Unfortunately, in the case of the Turing test that was employed on this site until today, many humans could not pass the test! The problem was not with those leaving the comments; it was a problem with the test's designer (i.e., me!). When I wrote My First Name, I meant for would-be commenters to respond with my first name, i.e., rohit, not their first name. This ambiguity no doubt prevented many fabulous comments from making it to this site, for which I apologize profusely.

I have now changed the test to be much more explicit, though the answer remains the same (rohit, in case you didn't catch it above, but then, if you didn't catch it, you probably are in violation of the idiots policy). Intrepid readers might be wondering why I would write an entry in my blog that essentially gives away the answer to my test to prevent comment spam. Well, that is the beauty of the test: it exploits the fact that spammers use software to leave spam comments. Blog spam software is written for the common case, and so, unless a particularly dedicated spammer wants to modify his or her program, which is likely used on hundreds of thousands of sites, to accommodate the form field value of rohit for only my web site, this painfully basic test will foil almost all automated spam robots. Those comments that do make it through as a result of some very cleverly designed software can simply be deleted. Hopefully this will allow those who have valuable things to say to once again say them. And my sincerest apologies to all those (pathetic individuals) who looked to my site for sexually enhancing drugs. May I recommend checking your e-mail?

Does this clarification help? Leave a comment, and let me know!



Your (original) test clearly did not pass the "moron in a hurry" test.


I am not an idiot! And I now AM a person!

Only a few days, and already more comments than that past months combined! Clearly, the test was catching a lot more people than I even imagined!

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