Spam has reached an uncontrollable level. It floods my inbox, it fills my mailbox and litters my blog. Sure, I use spam fighting plugins to filter out most of the garbage but the onslaught makes comment moderations next to impossible.
What do do? A Captcha. I recently implemented “ReCaptcha” to help keep the spam away.
So why ReCaptcha? Well, I feel if a user must be inconvenienced might as well let it be for a good cause.
To archive human knowledge and to make information more accessible to the world, multiple projects are currently digitizing physical books that were written before the computer age. The book pages are being photographically scanned, and then transformed into text using “Optical Character Recognition” (OCR). The transformation into text is useful because scanning a book produces images, which are difficult to store on small devices, expensive to download, and cannot be searched. The problem is that OCR is not perfect.
reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. This is possible because most OCR programs alert you when a word cannot be read correctly.
Sure a captcha keeps the bots at bay, but it also takes a toll on reader usability. I’m curious what you readers feel about captcha’s? Should I keep it? Should it be banished? Sound off!