Thank You for Messaging: WikiAnswers and ReCAPTCHA

WikiAnswers is proud to be a part of the Carnegie Mellon University project that is digitizing old books from the Internet Archive, old editions of The New York Times and old time radio shows. It’s called reCAPTCHA.

They have devised an innovative system. Contributors posting on each other’s message boards or question discussion pages are presented with two distorted word images. One of the words is known while the identity of the other is not yet known by the system. The contributor needs to type in both words. By comparing what multiple people type for the unknown images, the system ascertains the identity of the mystery word!

If you have difficulty making out a word, just click the button showing two arrows in order to load two different word images. As an alternative for those with impaired eyesight, the user can select the button showing a horn image and then type what they hear in an excerpt of an old-time radio show.

Not only does this CAPTCHA system keep our message boards free of automated spam but, to date, WikiAnswers contributors have successfully completed over 30,000 reCAPTCHAs to make books accessible for reading and searching on the internet. That’s what I call a win-win!

3 thoughts on “Thank You for Messaging: WikiAnswers and ReCAPTCHA

  1. recaptcha can reduce the spam significantly. But i have seen its effects worse.. i dont know how it works with your guys but i have seen depletion of comments on my website. I have removed the recaptcha and started manually approving comments. Using ajax technology for comment submission can reduce significant spam from bots.. But the volume of traffic you guys get might be a problem. Cant estimate how recaptcha works for you. I would be great if you guys can share the result of reduction in spam on implementing this captcha system

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