Six Apart recently launched their new “TypeKey” comment registration system. I have some serious problems with that system.
1) I agree with Matt and see a real problem with any centralized system that has no local component except for a closed API (more about that later). As has been discussed over and over again, any centralized spam prevention system is doomed to failure right from the start. Six Apart has many more resources than I can ever hope to have and will probably be able to handle all the traffic, but they leave the service open to all kinds of DDOS attacks from spammers which they could NOT handle. (as many other email blacklist servers and services have found out the hard way) If people say that comment spam is probably never going to reach email spam proportions, I will have to disagree. Once there is enough legislation to stop or stem email spam, blogs will just be the natural step down for spammers. But that is an arguement for another day.
2) I dislike that company’s elitist propaganda. Here are some excerpts from this TypeKey page:
“And TypeKey will work with TypePad weblogs as well as other tools and services soon after that.”
They expressly state that there will be a product “launch” and then …
“At that point, there will also be information about what is required to make use of TypeKey services in commercial applications.”
Six Apart is a growing company with many talented individuals who have defined blogging as we know it today. BUT, they are not Gods and never will be! Microsoft-esque promotional documentation language is just annoying and feels very elitist. Just for that I refuse to use their service.
3) How is typekey different from forcing users to register on a blog and only then allowing them to comment? What if I sign up for typekey and then post all kinds of junk?? who says whether my stuff is spam or not?? Some big shot blogger might think that my opinion on their “learned” topic is spam and decide to report me to TypeKey. Would that mean I could not comment anymore? Is one person’s comment another person’s spam?
4) This is proprietary software folks. Nothing to see here. There will …
” ….. be information about what is required to make use of TypeKey services in commercial applications”.
5) What about trackback spam? How will TypeKey prevent trackback spam? Get rid of trackbacks completely? Is there another component? No solution there at all.
6) As Michel points out, what about identity theft? What if someone signs up as Mark Pilgrim with a different email address and posts all kinds of junk? Who is to say that Mark’s email address is email@example.com and not firstname.lastname@example.org? Centralized solutions of establishing identity break down without getting really personal information involved. I better make sure I am the first to sign up with all my names and nicknames!!
“TypeKey helps ensure that people who comment on a site have a verified identity, keeping conversations on track and helping to prevent abusive or offensive content (comment spam) from being posted.”
– Nah! Doesnt work right and I aint givin you my credit number neither!!