hCaptcha On Letters Blogatory

Captcha image
I hope it won’t be this annoying! Credit: AbsalomZenith (CC BY-SA)

Readers, this is just a heads-up that you will now see hCaptchas on Letters Blogatory’s subscription and contact pages. Over the weekend, I was going through the messages left on the contact pages in the last month. There were hundreds, and they were predominantly spam. I don’t have time for that. While I already have a good solution for preventing spam in comments to blog posts, I did not have a good solution in place for preventing spam when someone uses the contact form.

I chose hCaptcha over alternatives such as Google’s reCaptcha because hCaptcha does a much better job with data protection. You can read more about that here. If you are interested in this kind of thing, you may also be interested to know that Letters Blogatory does not use Google Analytics. Instead, I use Matomo, a privacy-focused analytics program that is run on my own server and that does not share analytics data with Google or with anyone else. Matomo anonymizes the IP addresses it collects and stores. (Of course, my servers do log the IP addresses of all visitors, but those logs are used only for cybersecurity and server maintenance and are rotated regularly). And for preventing comment spam, I use Antispam Bee, another privacy-focused program that stores all data locally. (Commenters’ IP addresses are also stored for anti-spam purposes).

In order to avoid showing an hCaptcha on every page on the website, I have changed the subscription form that used to appear at the bottom of every page. You used to be able to subscribe by clicking “subscribe” on any page. Now you have to click on the link to the subscription page, or else click “subscribe” in the menu bar at the top, and then subscribe on the subscription page, where you’ll find the hCaptcha.

Finally, you may notice that you will have to consent to the use of cookies again, even if you have already done so. I am updating my GDPR game. It would hardly work for a private international law blog to ignore the GDPR! In the consent tab, which you can always visit again at the bottom right-hand corner of the site, you’ll see links to my privacy policy and my cookie notice and opt-out policy. If all goes well, the policy you see should be appropriate for the location from which you are visiting.

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