Rabu, 09 September 2009

Facebook Captcha

facebook_captcha*Update: Commenters pointed out that the methods explained below ruin the reCAPTCHA project, which Facebook (Facebook) uses for its bot detection, and it might be true, so let me clarify. I’m aware that reCAPTCHA serves a good cause – digitalization of books and newspapers, and I’m sorry if I’ve encouraged anyone to cheat the system, as that was not my intention.

However, as you can see in the example below, most “special” characters that appear in reCAPTCHA, such as those with umlauts, apostrophes or ampersands, are quite cumbersome to read properly, even for a human. Having encountered those on a daily basis, my idea was that skipping them can’t hurt more than entering the wrong characters. Of course, for the sake of reCAPTCHA project, if you’re sure you know what the word in the image is, you should always type it in its entirety.


Ah, the little things in life. Here’s a trick for people who often post links to Facebook. If you’re one of them, you know that Facebook recently introduced captcha protection, which (sometimes) pops up, requiring you to type two words into a form before your link is posted.

If you’re a good scout, you’ve simply been typing in exactly what the captcha says, and often we’re talking about two long words with numbers and other charaters, such as colons and dashes. You’ve probably noticed that you can skip complicated wordds by clicking on “Try different words“. However, it’s possible to omit anything except the letters in the image!

That’s right: dashes, colons, semicolons, apostrophs, characters with umlauts (รค, for example) – you can ignore them all. But that’s not all: you don’t even have to type spaces between the words (*update: this is not recommended by the folks from the reCAPTCHA project, so don’t do it), and you don’t have to type any numbers.

So, if you get a captcha that looks like this, it’s possible the numbers and the space and type only the letters you see, just like in this image:


Here’s another example:

It’s a little thing, but it can help, especially if you post links to Facebook very often (like I do), and you’ve never thought of “bending” the rules a little. If you know of any more captcha-related tricks (perhaps unrelated to Facebook), let us know in the comments.

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