I have a very strong dislike for CAPTCHAs for several reasons. One of which is that I am Deaf-Blind, and the other reason is being able to find anyone who is computer literate enough to complete the code using the keyboard to type in the warped characters generated by the software provided by the website and/or listening for the correct word combinations to type in.
It is very difficult for me to complete those CAPTCHAs because I am the only one using the computer visual and audio accessibilities since I cannot see any fonts no larger than 18pts and it has to be high-contract black. I am also Deaf even if I wear hearing aids.
I do wonder if any of the websites and/or social networks have failed to realize that even the Deaf-blind people are using the computers.
In my opinion, those websites and social networks have failed me because of the inability to use such security feature.
Here is an example that I have dealt with on www.yfrog.com. I have wanted to register or sign-up so that I can use their service. I have completed the required fields such as my name, email, and password. Everything seems to go according to plan until, I get to the CAPTCHA. It only asked for me to type in 2 words that I cannot see so I used the audio feature even I cannot hear very well with my hearing aids. Each time I tried to complete the CAPTCHA, I failed it (or rather it failed me). So I asked my hushand, Ken, to help me complete the CAPTCHA. Remember he is not a very good typer as he has to hunt and peck for any correct keys. Still, as he tried to complete the CAPTCHAs, it failed him. So I decided to forget using this website. I tried deleting my account there, but not much help. So I wrote a note explaining to them why I can no longer use their services. In fact, they have not bothered to reply to me. Anyway; I decided to move on to find a similar website with similar features and that contains no CAPTCHAs.
The CAPTCHA code is a security feature used by many website and a growing number of social networks, yes, that includes Facebook. It is useful prevent bots from spamming the websites and hacking many accounts. It has been in use for a few years now (sorry, I cannot remember the exact date of its inception). I know that the CAPTCHAs are used to cut down on hacking, flooders, and even criminal activities. I know that such security measure are used in order to make sure that I’m not a bot.
Truthfully; I am not a bot. I am a Deaf-Blind individual who has rights to use the computer any so-called normal people do. It is just that I feel kind of cheated out of some websites that I could have used if it weren’t for those CAPTCHAs being put in place. I wonder if it is done in a measure to discriminate the people with certain disabilities such as the Deaf-Blind. It is a possibility.
I have a friend that I follow on Twitter who has a social network that faith-based and clean. He was planning on adding the CAPTCHAs a almot two years ago but a close friend who also moderates the site with him has warned him about my disabilities. He was very nice to let me through in registering without having to solve the CAPTCHAs. I am glad that he understood. Jeff who is also known as (o_O) is a rare person to see that there are people with short-comings and not see just everyone being a bot.
Well, you really do not see that happening around here in the Internet and social networks.
Now that you can see why I truly abhor CAPTCHAs. It’s bad enough to have good vision and hearing, but such security measure have hindered me in many ways. Could it be discriminatory for anyone to use it against the Deaf-Blind people, not just the Blind or the Deaf? I really have to wonder. In order to get rid of the bots, are they unknowingly (or knowingly, but looked the other way) leaving out the Deaf-Blind people who could have been the professional people that we are all looking for? As I said, the CAPTCHA is doing a disservice to the Deaf and Blind individuals who have to depend on someone to decode for them. Is that fair? Hmm…
I know that there are better ways to combat those unwanted spam-bots, and unsavory people abuses the web-services. There has to be other than the CAPTCHAs. Retina-scan? Finger-prints? A better methold to ideentify that there is a real person typing on a keyboard especially the ones with disabilities such as the Deaf-Blind.
Anyway; there is both good and bad when it comes to using the Internet and we all have to learn to be more knowledgeable regarding online activities and that includes using the blasted CAPTCHAs. I told you that I really, really want to spit ’em out into non-existence. I just don’t like it that’s all. 🙂
Well, I believe that is pretty much of what I needed to say about my deep-seated pet-peeve.