On Wed, 28 Jul 2010, John Hasler wrote:
> Joshua D. Drake writes:
>> Captcha is pretty common. It isn't discrimination.
It is, starting in the sense that hotels with only steps to reach the lobby
and no ramps, discriminate against those who find wheelchairs to be more
useful than legs. It goes a step further, however. The hotel in this
hypothetical could only be redesigned at significant expense, and if there
had been much thought put into the matter, ramps would have probably been
installed from the outset (or something similar).
For the same reasons (lack of forethought, or the consideration that the
disabled are a big enough market), captchas came into wide use, even
though research is showing that they are more and more easy for computers
to crack, or people to crack and then feed to computers.
However, it is unlikely that you will find a new hotel designed today
without a ramp, and to fail to include one would most certainly be called
discrimination. Why should not the same standard be applied to the web?
I say that, while being mostly opposed in every possible way to the
regulation of web content by governments. So I guess I expect content
providers to come to it on their own. Still, I think that once the
problem is pointed out to a site designer, a failure to do something about
it is without a doubt discriminatory.
(I am not claiming that the above is what is happening in this situation.)
> It's common but it still discriminates against the blind. I don't know
> what else to do, though. Maybe ask the user to solve a simple word
One thing I've seen, is the regular captcha, with a link which leads one
to a "can't see the image?" page, which then presents a text captcha.
Text captchas are much more easily cached and cracked, however, so this is
a stop gap measure at best. The math sort cause trouble for the spammers,
however, because they require programming.
Email validation, form fields with random names which must be left blank
in order to validate the submission, and so on, are ways of minimizing the
effect of captcha false negatives, making text alternatives more