One task on today’s to-do list was to set up a Google group for a client to discuss migrating the organization’s static site to WordPress. I haven’t used Google groups, but I have previously used Yahoo groups. Setting up a group in Google shouldn’t be that much different.
The first step required basic information: the group’s name, a brief description and an access level. Once done, I hit the “Create my group” button and was presented with a CAPTCHA for verification purposes:
Are you kidding me? With my once perfect vision whose only impairment is being forty-four years old, I could not make out most of the garbled letters, even after tilting my head in various directions.
After a few moments, I decided to click on the wheelchair icon to give the audio CAPTCHA a shot. From previous experience I knew audio versions were equally garbled, but I figured it couldn’t be much more undecipherable than this image of garbled letters – or what I assumed were letters.
Much to my surprise, I was presented with:
What? Unable to handle my request at this time? What does that mean? All I requested was the audio CAPTCHA. I don’t want to try again later; I want to finish this task now. How is coming back later equal access?
I typed in my best guess. Obviously my guess was wrong because I was presented with a second CAPTCHA:
Again my middle-aged eyes could not decipher the distorted characters. Again the audio CAPTCHA was not available. Again I typed in a guess. Again I was wrong.
Had this frustration been required for submitting a blog comment, submitting an information request or ordering a purchase, I would have muttered “Forget it!”, closed the tab and not returned, ever!
But, this was legitimate work for a long-tem client. I had to complete this task. Again I tried:
The third time I hit the jackpot: the group was verified, finally. But this process should not be more challenging than winning in Vegas!
These darn things might be stopping most bots from proceeding, but how many humans are also blocked? There has to be another way to treat humans humanly while keeping out spammy bots!