reCAPTCHA: Why the Bot Protection Program is Actually a Farce

By: SOPHIA PACHECO

reCAPTCHA is a computer program developed by Google in an effort to stop bot traffic and spam, supposedly because lag and crashes became common after the programmed site bots sent out applications and passwords to many websites across the Internet. It was described by Google to be a simple and easy way to protect against spam bots when you install it onto your website. But look a little deeper into this seemingly harmless program and you will find a darker side to Google’s bot spam protection.

According to Digital Information World, the problem with reCAPTCHA is that “Although the reCaptcha was created for preventing bots from accessing websites, the service has now become frustrating for humans as well and gives them a hard time gaining access to sites (you can try a demo here, though). The fact that most of the browsers and sites now repeatedly ask users to confirm that they are not robots is driving them crazy.”(Ali Siddiqui, I’m not a Robot: Social Media Users Speak up Against the Inconveniences caused by Google reCaptcha!

And not only are they frustrating to complete, Google has been using people, even forcing them to secretly train their AI and Computer scientist´s AI with every attempt at completing reCAPTCHA. According to WIRED.com, “Theoretically, any CAPTCHA scheme purely relying on examining user behaviour can be hacked with tailored machine learning algorithms as such algorithms can be used to simulate a real user’s interaction on a page easily,” which means that the AI wired to this system could easily be trained as well as conditioned to hack the system better. 

Thus, reCAPTCHA should be replaced with a better, less intrusive program that doesn’t require Google’s interference, for the benefit of the people who are constantly using the Internet wherever they go. 

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