ReCAPTCHA - A (Short) Rant
Thu May 2, 2019

Ah, ReCAPTCHA. That little white rectangle that taunts me every time I go to log in to some sites. It begins innocent enough - just a check box. But when you go to check it, it spits out a challenge for you. AHA! YOU MAY NOT PASS UNTIL YOU SELECT ALL THE SQUARES!

Today's assignment, road signs. So I select all the squares with road signs. Does the signpost count as part of the sign? Are makeshift signs a kind of road sign? I've no idea, but apparently whatever my assumption was was incorrect. Wonderful. On to stage 2! Storefronts. Well, this one is easier. But the SQUARES ARE FADING SO SLOWLY!

I click a square, it fades out, and fades back in. SO SLOWLY. And this isn't even a consistent fade time, it's slightly randomised. Ever so slightly.

One Click. Fade out, Fade in. Time passes.

Two Clicks. Fade out, Fade in. Time passes.

Three Clicks. Fade out, Fade in. Time passes.

Finally, there is not a storefront in sight. I click accept, having finished my time in image-recognition hell. But the ReCAPTCHA god says no, that garage was a storefront, what's your problem?

And so, I get another page. Select all squares with a bus. But the fades are EVEN SLOWER now. It feels like an eternity between an image being selected and the replacement appearing.

At this point I'm starting to question if I even wanted to log in in the first place. Was it even worth it? Was this worth my time? Was this time well spent, GOOGLE? Do you care SO Much about stopping bots on your site? So much for more human-friendly. I would rather read endless lines of text that make me think I'm dyslexic.

I'm sure I didn't need those minutes of my life I'm never getting back. It may not seem like long, but the time you spend doing CAPTCHAs is time you are NEVER going to be able to use. And with how common these damn things are, those minutes add up.

Thanks ReCAPTCHA. I appreciate the fact you are directly shortening the useful time I have in my life by putting me through image-recognition hell. I'm sure whatever AI team you're using this data for is very appreciative of my unpaid training work.



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