Proposal talk:Use ReCaptcha

Active discussions

Philosophically compatible alternative

Would it be better to take requests for proposals from institutions with heavy OCR load who are willing to create an open source version of reCAPTCHA in return for a certain amount of Wikimedia eyeball cycles? 18:02, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I'd vote for that 20:45, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I Disagree

Using recaptcha would be bad for users privacy: Identifying information would be sent to a third part. Recaptcha is a closed system, although it's currently free to use, no other essential part of the Wikimedia sites is a closed system. While discussing recaptcha in IRC I cracked the first provided captcha using tesseract OCR, while this was probably just good luck the security of our current system is much better. The proposal claims that a cost reduction could be expected, but the generating captcha images is a negligible load. Recaptcha has become popular, but this is partly because as a hosted system it is so easy to setup, partially because it is more secure and readable than many bad captchas out there (but not the one we currently use), and I think partially due to a type of 'green washing': reCaptcha is argued to serve a public good, and sites want to associate themselves with that good. Yet, it seems that no one has applied a critical eye to the claim: It's possible that reCaptcha does no real public good, or that what good it does could be done far more efficiently some other way (i.e. through a dedicated correction interface). CMU does not make the OCRs corrected by recaptcha available to the general public. --Gmaxwell 22:05, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

We've talked to them before, and they don't want to open source for security concerns that this will ease breaking the captchas. That's pretty much a dealbreaker for running it; I agree that it would also be nice to see some solid data on its actual impact. Perhaps there are other ways in which captchas could be used to serve some public benefit?--Eloquence 02:37, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that ReCaptcha needs javascript. Even if most users have javascript activated today, in my opinion the need of having javascript activated to use wikipedia is a deep loss of usability.--Talaron 20:45, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

The recaptcha algorithm does not require the use of javascript. There are many institutions who would find OCR disambiguations helpful because they are trying to digitize their collections. For those institutions which are digitizing open content, they would likely sponsor the development of an open source implementation of recaptcha (the algorithm is not secret, just not open source) which the Foundation could use to help them with their OCR effort. 11:06, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree

I think in business it's called synergy effect. -- 13:05, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

It's simple and puts something back to the world in digitizing these words. 14:44, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Desperate need for unity in managing and fighting spam

First i want to say that the ability to fight spam is essential, but the ability to admin and maintain a mediawiki site is in desperate need of revamping also. I think that the life of captchas are at its end due to the developing technology to circumvent captchas and other antispam measures are faster than our speed to decide and make changes to effectively fight it. Mediawiki IMO needs to have a deep discussion on how we plan to fight spam, and not bandaid the issue by suggesting we use thirdparty plugins/extensions.. or forcing us to continuously edit localsets and rely on insane undependable maintenance scripts "which require command line access".

I'm not sure what "thirdparty plugins/extensions" you've found inadequate; I'd certainly be interested to know. SpamBlacklist needs to be rewritten and moved to core - if that's something you can help with, patches are welcome. Until then, extensions will be needed to have decent spam protection. Mike.lifeguard | @meta 23:23, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Google acquires reCAPTCHA

No chance now?


I think Wikimedia should use it's own system (preferably open-source) and remain independent from third parties. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryukenden007 (talkcontribs) 00:43, 23. Sep 2009

ReCaptcha is free? --Shizhao 00:25, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia will inevitably rely on third parties for some things. reCAPTCHA is loved by most everyone because it is easy to solve and it actually contributes to something useful. -- 14:52, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
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