Please STOP, stop, stop using on your websites!
You are giving away your visitors' and they cannot even opt-out and avoid it if they want to reach your contents.

@emanuele @KnowPresent This is one of those things where I think we ought to talk FOSS alternatives ASAP.

@emanuele @KnowPresent ...which is not to say that source-code availability fixes the core issue.

@n8 @emanuele Amen! Wasn't the original ReCAPTCHA a FLOSS university project?

It is also surprising that a portion of the problem is the inability to accept (algorithmically) simple solutions. Adding a silly rhetorical question to most forms eliminates like 99.9% of bots. Somebody posted this overview recently:

@KnowPresent @emanuele @n8

> ReCAPTCHA relies extensively on user fingerprinting, putting emphasis on the question of “Which human is this user?” rather than the ordinary “Is this user human?”.

Very GOOGly.


I wholeheartedly agree, but I wonder what can be done, e.g. I have comments on a small blog website of mine, but I have to manually approve them as they are constantly flooded with spam.

@waxwing there are hundreds of plugin to avoid spam using diffrent tecniques and approaches. You should look into them. The last missed percentage you can manually delete it.

I wonder if the analysis in the article can be done locally, on the hosting server? You'd get a similar functionality without relying on Google to centralize it.

@jomo that's a news paper, not my website. I do agree with you: they could do more for user privacy (usually a lot of webmasters are not aware of it).

@emanuele I know. It's just ironic how Fast Company mentions that reCAPTCHA sends data to Google but at the same time use multiple Google trackers on that very site.

@jomo yep. That happens so many time on news websites that's amazing and crazy at the same time.
I.e. they post news about Facebook's scandals and next to the post you have the LIKE button.

@emanuele how is reCaptcha great for security? It only can help preventing DoS attacks and spam accounts, right?

@espectalll that's for some reason "security" too. You can achieve it with alternative/open tools.

@emanuele about the only downside with, having to use Google reCAPTCHA once when signing up

@emanuele It would be awesome if there was an open source equivalent. Instead of using it to train Google's ML it would plug in to things like the sign detection in OpenStreetCam and other FOSS services that could use it.

@emanuele interesting thought. Probably true, like most things that use supercookies or even cross site cookies. However, do you have an alternative?

@mikeofmany you are welcome. Let’s spread some privacy awareness! :)

@emanuele Interesting note, I totally forgot I opted in to Akismet.

@emanuele Yeah, I've had to bookmark this link because I somewhat frequently see people asking about ReCaptcha alternatives here.

@emanuele Of course, Google has interest in verifying a real person is using the web as well. Data on bots is not very marketable.

@emanuele *reads the article
people just now realizing this?? lmao

@emanuele I have it on some; I'll look into that tomorrow. What's an alternative preventing spam for contact forms?

@tobi @emanuele I'm currently using which is unfortunately centralized and closed source but at least it's less annoying and I'm pretty sure that this thing which is more like a hobby project doesn't track you.But just search for PHP captcha and you will find dozens which you can host on your own webserver even if they are a little bit annoying (retype texts) but still way less annoying than the Google shit with tracking blockers on.

@emanuele @tobi And another good alternative is ReMAPTCHA which is open source and helps to improve OpenStreetMap while solving captchas but unfortunately the Git link and the Demo page don't work anymore.Maybe you can still get the code by contacting the developer:

First, the article has a strong bias. Second, it's full of guesswork. Third, no alternative offered. As long as R does what promises and it may be possible that privacy is not violated ppl won't stop using.

@emanuele we need an easy to implement open source alternative that is more than decent

Perhaps it would be positive if we sent an email to the website telling them about that and that we're seriously thinking about stop using it in case they don't stop forcing us to use Google Captcha. If many of us did that, I'm sure they would start listening to us. They wouldn't risk losing clients and/or readers, would they?

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