I was just posting my answer here when I was assumed to be a robot. I always surf low-script, so I had to put in some effort to make the captcha even work correctly. As I have by now over 500 points and a positive question/answer record, I wonder why I was targeted. Did I double click on answer by change? Is this random? Was I stalking the site too much the other days? But most of all, if I happen to actually be a robot, why stop me (the robot) from giving helpful answers at stack exchange? This seems discriminating against good robots.

I'm about 80% serious with these questions:

  1. Why target users with some reasonable amount of points for captcha?
  2. Would we, as a scientific community, really exclude robots from giving helpful answers here?

I'm not saying the situation of (2.) is possible today. But it would be against my scientific nature to blindly assume the situation of (2.) would never be possible.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the intent is to prevent robots from giving helpful answers. I think the intent is to prevent robots from giving unhelpful answers. $\endgroup$ – Joel Reyes Noche Feb 23 '18 at 7:21
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    $\begingroup$ Legally, if you are a robot, you are not allowed to access the site at all ;-p It violate the clause "Subscriber certifies to Stack Exchange that Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) at least 13 years of age." in SE's network terms of services. I personally don't think the site is targeting you based on your reputation, it is most likely caused by the speed you produce the answer. I have seen the captcha before when I compose the answer elsewhere and copy and paste it to the answer box directly. $\endgroup$ – achille hui Feb 23 '18 at 8:40
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    $\begingroup$ Robots that can write proper answers should have no problems dealing with some basic CAPTCHA. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Feb 23 '18 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ I have no idea what it means to "surf low-script". $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Feb 23 '18 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ Many bots are used in in chat, see the posts tagged chatbot on the main meta. Similarly, in the questions tagged robots you can find some related discussoins. I will specifically mention: What's the official Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange policy regarding bots? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 23 '18 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ There were some bots (on various sites and one also here) used for various purposes, but if you are specifically interested in bots posting answers: Has anyone ever tried running an answer bot on Stack Overflow? and Is there a bot on Stack Overflow? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 23 '18 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ "Surf low script" ... presumably it means he sets his browser so that it does not execute most scripts, just as Javascript. And if the Captcha is a script, that would prevent him from answering it. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Feb 23 '18 at 13:06

I often have an answer which is pasting in a single item, either text output from a computer or Latex that I have already gotten correct on my home machine. I have learned one little thing, which is to do one extra thing to avoid captcha, just type in a line of thirty dots by holding it down ......................, before or after pasting in my one item. Then it figures I am a person and leaves me alone. Sometimes the line of dots is distracting and I delete it later, sometimes I leave it there. Sometimes I conclude that a bit of additional typed explanation really is worth my effort, and that eliminates the problem.

  • $\begingroup$ I would like to mention there were also very many helpful replies in the comment :) $\endgroup$ – SK19 Feb 24 '18 at 5:34

The few occasions on which I've been asked to complete a CAPTCHA challenge were for posts which I'd left pending for a long period of time before submission.

The system saves a draft of a partly composed Answer if the user navigates away from a page without clicking the "Post Your Answer" button, and rarely I use this mechanism to produce a post over a period of perhaps two days.

I mention this not because I suspect it reproduces your experience, but because it does point to timing-thresholds (rather than reputation and other measures of individual contribution) as the trigger for the I AM A HUMAN dialog.


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