I was surprised by seeing the site asking for CAPTCHA verification. I am curious that what prompts MSE to ask a user to confirm that they are not Bots. What is the intention of site to verify that user is human?

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    $\begingroup$ Were you logged in?--> meta.stackexchange.com/q/355670 $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2020 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ You know that spam bots are a real thing, right? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 5, 2020 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ The most common situation when I've been prompted to perform a CAPTCHA verification is when I've had a draft Answer "in progress" for a substantial time (hours), and when I submit the post I most likely see that, asking me to "confirm" I'm human. Was that the occasion for you? $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Dec 5, 2020 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ @hardmath: this has been the case with me many times. I sometimes draft a long answer in a text editor and then copy paste here. Maybe the site thinks it is impossible for humans to write a long answer in a sec and click submit. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Dec 6, 2020 at 4:02
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, Captcha is only a tiny element in Stack Exchange's war on spam & abusive posts. As well as the anti-spam measures in the system software and manual actions taken by SE staff, a lot of spam is handled by ordinary SE members & moderators, both manually and using sophisticated software they've created. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/291301/334566 for details & numerous relevant links. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 16, 2020 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


I actually had the same experience in these cases. For my prompt, I went to make a draft of my question and I leave because of my bad Internet Connection. I come back with a good one and reviewed and posted, but then CAPTCHA arrives. It's very likely that some have experienced it by this reason, especially @hardmath who has posted a comment here on his experience.

To make sure that you are not some automated system that creates spam, abuse and violating certain rules, Stack Exchange in fact brings CAPTCHA as a protection.


It seems that it is a global StackExchange policy to prompt users with a CAPTCHA if they take more than 40 minutes writing a post, regardless of all prior reputation gains or good behavior across sites.

They apparently claimed to have removed this in 2010, but appear to have reinstated it for no clear reason despite multiple requests to change this "feature".

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    $\begingroup$ The claim of 40 minutes does not match my experience - I have written many answers which have taken longer than 40 minutes and only received a CAPTCHA challenge on a very small number of these. hardmath's comment on the main question aligns closest with my experience - generally I need to have had a particular answer up for a rather long amount of time (hours, at least) to encounter that dialog. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Jan 18, 2021 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks for the clarification - almost all my questions are drafted for hours, so I’d never had personal verification of the lower bound. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2021 at 5:37

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