I recently ranted on Stupid CAPTCHA Needs to End. If companies that used them did the research, they would know why they are wasting money do them. I will start with an article from 2011, https://lockergnome.com/2011/09/27/does-captcha-really-work/. While it’s an old article, the points made are still valid. If anything, there are more, and sometimes easier, ways to get around CAPTCHAs these days than back then.
This post is a result of having to wade through about an hour worth of fighting CAPTCHAs between two (2) websites. I wanted to link my account on website A (Patreon) to website B (Twitch). I am not a fan of any CAPTCHA that uses one image divided into a bunch of smaller images. I don’t mind the one where it’s separate images as I have a decent chance of correctly choosing the right ones. When you want me to choose traffic lights, cars, bikes, stop signs, crosswalks, etc. and you split them using one image to create sixteen (16) smaller images, most people are probably going to fail. This is more true when some of the companies opt to include all images that have a portion of the item and other companies choose to only include some of the images.
In doing research, I found numerous ways to beat CAPTCHA although some are beyond my meager tech skills to do. I won’t link to them as they are pretty easy to find, plus I don’t want to risk getting in trouble with some law enforcement agency for showing what is easy enough to find online. You will also find numerous cases where the hackers have no problem quickly coming up with workarounds to the newest CAPTCHA challenge. How about they hire some hackers to create a system that won’t make it almost impossible for me to prove I’m human. The fact I go through 10 – 20 CAPTCHA screens slow enough should be more than enough proof I’m human. If I were a bot, I could zip through them in nothing flat and wouldn’t need anywhere near that many attempts.
Hopefully enough customers make it clear to The Powers That Be (TPTB) we don’t like things that make it harder to visit your website. There are some sites I either avoid or rarely visit because the CAPTCHA nightmare takes so long to get through.If nothing else, Google and other large companies understand the concept of lost revenues.
I don’t mind the ones where I simply click Not a bot and it lets me in. I do mind the text and number ones because they often are bent so out of shape, I can’t tell if it’s 2, two, or image because they way it was added.
I take surveys on a website that occasionally throws a “prove you read the question” by telling you to choose Answer D, Purple Goat, or something similar. Those are actually pretty easy to figure out because the answers tend to have nothing to do with the survey. It also helps the last sentence of the question makes it clear in case you didn’t catch it earlier. These would be preferable to the the current system.
Let’s look at one of the most popular sites out there: Facebook. They haven’t succumbed to CAPTCHA fever and if anybody should, one would think Facebook would be a top contender. I also don’t recall ever seeing CAPTCHAs on YouTube. There are plenty of other sites that don’t require dealing with this nonsense.
I will be spending less time on Patreon and Twitch as a result of this last straw. And, I will also be letting both sites know why I am spending less time with both sites. After all, me blogging about it probably won’t get their attention no matter how much I would hope otherwise. Companies listen to when they lose revenues, be it ad revenues because people are visiting their sites less often or when customers stop buying as much from the websites.
Addit: I remember when a major chain ignored complaints from customers until a large poll got their attention and they quickly stopped doing what they had been doing. Normally, I am not a fan of politicians or companies relying on polls to make changes, but in some cases, they can help.