I take the point of view that if I want something from other people, I should make it as easy as possible. I like comments - hey, it's nice to know that someone actually reads these meandering entries - so I got rid of the need to type in the blurry, slanty word to prove that you're a machine that can read blurry, slanty words, and not a human being who can't read blurry, slanty words. Or something like that.
From others' experiences, I knew that there were such things as blog spammers - automated thingies that put links to male enhancement products and such into unsuspecting blogs' comments - but I figured there wouldn't be an intolerable number; after all, you lovely people are in a special minority even knowing of the existence of these scrivenings. Because Blogger tags most of these as spam, the comments usually don't show up on the blog even for the day or two it would take for me to remember to check and take them down.
For the most part, that hasn't been a bad assumption. I seem to be averaging one or two spam comments per post, which is easy enough to clean up once or twice a week. I haven't regretted turning off the slanty, blurry feature. What gets me is that anyone finds this technique to be effective. I've had what appear to be links to er*tic sites in German, and something completely incomprehensible in Cyrillic. I've had comments that were obviously spam, but entirely nonsensical - did those comments contain a nasty virus that was stripped out by Blogger and/or Gmail, so it appeared to me as plain text nonsense? Who clicks on these links? Who reads my Caledon blah blah blah and then decides that a male enhancement product is just the thing? Haven't these people heard of targeted marketing? We're living in a world of increasingly targeted advertising - your cell phone can send you come-ons for the coffee shop you're about to pass - so why don't the spammers do a little targeting themselves? I wouldn't find it nearly so bothersome if the come-ons were for Steampunk jewelry on etsy, or a promotional piece for the Clockwork Cabaret.