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whitecarnations's avatar

Should Fluther require a CAPTCHA upon sign up?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) March 17th, 2012

Would you be for or against it? (Not that it might not really matter since you’re a member already)

Pros and Cons?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Some of the recent questions do make me wonder if it would help to have an intelligence test of some kind.
Seriously, 6 questions in the last 24 hours asking why aren’t there video stores any more?

whitecarnations's avatar

So what we know is all you need is an e-mail and then verification upon the link for registration, and I’m guessing it’s bot oriented. The CAPTCHA in theory would stop a bot in it’s tracks wouldn’t it? I’m skeptical as to if the recent Netflix spam are posted by actual humans.

marinelife's avatar

It seems unlikely that the founders would be willing to invest the time since there is no programming staff.

HungryGuy's avatar

No. CAPTCHAS will only stop bots. They won’t stop moronic little kids from creating multiple accounts to ask asinine questions and starting flame wars.

janbb's avatar

The only thing worse than trolls is CAPTCHAS.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That troll is obnoxious. Check out general.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The mods got him.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@whitecarnations I thought it was a bot at first, too – but I am assured by the regulars that it’s a real person. So a captcha won’t help.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Bots take a lot of time to build, program, test, etc so the only people who will probably take the time to make a bot are people who are trying to make money.
Spam questions: humans
Flame wars: humans
Advertisements: bots and humans

Captcha does not capture humans. This means that it it will not prevent flame wars and spam questions.

But, I am actually in favor of it. It will be a one-time thing (since it’s on sign up and not sign in) that will prevent ad bots.

Something else:
When you join Fluther, you must provide an email address. Is a confirmation email sent that requires you to confirm your account? I can’t find one in my inbox. I do have some Fluther emails from as early as January 2011, but I may have deleted stuff earlier than that.

If a confirmation email is sent: On most sites there is a period, immediately after signup, when you are logged into the site even though you have not yet verified the email address. This provides the opportunity to someone (aka a bot) to enter a random email address into the registration box, get logged in, and commit spamming without actually creating that email account. Later, the bot will be unable to log back on, but that doesn’t matter anymore.

augustlan's avatar

We had a CAPTCHA, once upon a time. I don’t know what happened to it. We do have an email verification process, but there is a limited amount of activity that can be done before it’s verified. That’s how the spam / trolls get in, but they can’t do much damage on any one account. Repeating Randy makes multiple accounts at one time, and maxes out his activity on each one until we catch him and ban him again.

zensky's avatar

“After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good.”

I would – simply for this purpose.

For those unfamiliar with what CAPTCHA is, watch this TED

SmashTheState's avatar

As software becomes more sophisticated, it becomes easier for the spammers to create programs capable of reading captchas. As the captcha-reading software becomes better, the captchas must become harder and harder to read. At this point, it often takes me three or four refreshes to find a captcha that I, a human being, can read. When it becomes easier for software to read a captcha than for a human, the entire point of captchas is negated.

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