Stop spam using cats and dogs

Asirra is a serious piece of Microsoft research, and is a highly effective tool for preventing spam bots from filling up your blog with adverts.
Spammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are able to bypass many captcha‘s.  My own blog has been inundated with spam despite asking users to answer maths questions to validate their comments.  Even image based captchas can be fooled and they now serve only to slow the spam down….slightly.

Asirra interests me greatly because it is a symbiosis of two projects.  Their aims are quite different, but they are able to collaborate for a common gain.  When a user wishes to add a comment, they are asked to identify a series of photos and to categorise them as either a cat or a dog photo.  The photos come from an animal adoption web site with a large image database and receive free advertising (perhaps when you write your comments you’ll decide to adopt one of the animals in the pictures).

Spam bots can perform image analysis to a quite sophisticated level it seems, able to read obfuscated text.  Lets see how the fare analysing pictures of small furry creatures.

A WordPress plugin is also available, and it was pretty easy to install.  I will let you all know in a few weeks how the experiment goes, and if I receive any spam.

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One Response to “Stop spam using cats and dogs”

  1. Dave says:

    Those cats and dogs are so CUTE! Some of them are almost a close call, though… 🙂