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Civil rights activists release empathy-based Captcha system

updated 08:17 pm EDT, Sun October 7, 2012

Test requires responding with correct emotional response

A new captcha system has been released by a Swedish human rights group. The new test by the Civil Rights Defenders activist group uses "human emotion" as part of the check, by asking how a person feels about an event and asking them to type the word that matches from a selection of three.

As well as an attempt to evade spam bots by offering decoy captchas that do not match the statements, the system is being used as a way to educate viewers of civil rights issues taking place around the world.

On the face of it, if a spam bot could successfully decode one of the captchas shown, it has a one in three chance of picking the right word if selecting at random, which in theory would block two thirds of spam requests. There is the issue of requesting an emotion from the reader, which may differ from what is expected as an answer. The system could also very easily be "trolled" by users purposely choosing incorrect or offensive answers.

The group has released an API and a PHP library for both English and Swedish language versions. [via Wired]

by MacNN Staff



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