CAPTCHAs that capture your heart

Friday, February 14, 2014 6:00 AM



Notice something different about reCAPTCHA today? You guessed it; those tricky puzzles are now warm and fuzzy just in time for Valentine’s Day. Today across the U.S., we're sharing CAPTCHAs that spread the message of love.

Screen shot of CAPTCHAs reading Valentine, love, chocolate, and flowers
Some examples of Valentine's Day CAPTCHAs

But wait. These look really easy. Does this mean that those pesky bots are going to crack these easy CAPTCHAs and abuse our favorite websites? Not so fast.

A few months ago, we announced an improved version of reCAPTCHA that uses advanced risk analysis techniques to distinguish humans from machines. This enabled us to relax the text distortions and show our users CAPTCHAs that adapt to their risk profiles. In other words, with a high likelihood, our valid human users would see CAPTCHAs that they would find easy to solve. Abusive traffic, on the other hand, would get CAPTCHAs designed to stop them in their tracks. It is this same technology that enables us to show these Valentine’s Day CAPTCHAs today without reducing their anti-abuse effectiveness.

But that’s not all. Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard to improve the audio CAPTCHA experience. Our adaptive CAPTCHA technology has, in many cases, allowed us to relax audio distortions and serve significantly easier audio CAPTCHAs. We’ve served over 10 million easy audio CAPTCHAs to users worldwide over the last few weeks and have seen great success rates. We hope to continue enhancing our accessibility option in reCAPTCHA in the months to come. Take a listen to this sample of easy audio CAPTCHA:

  

We’re working hard to improve people’s experience with reCAPTCHA without compromising on the spam and abuse protection you’ve come to trust from us. For today, we hope you enjoy our Valentine’s Day gift to you.
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