Get rid of spam & trolls in one fell swoop with civil rights CAPTCHA

The web has a new spam filter today, courtesy of the Civil Rights Defenders. The CAPTCHA in question doesn’t just present scrambled words as images to confound bots; it actually provides moral and ethical challenges along the way to test for jerkishness, too.

Here’s how the filter works: The software shows some text describing a situation and three randomly generated words describing positive and negative emotional reactions to the situation. Only one of the words represents a compassionate and empathetic response; if the user enters that word in the entry field, they pass the test.

For example, one CAPTCHA reads: “The parliament in St. Petersburg recently passed a law that forbids ‘homosexual propaganda.’ How does that make you feel?” Responses include “pleased,” “good,” and “troubled.”

Since sociopaths are great at mimicking empathy, some jerks will still find their way through to your blog comments or website contact form. Still, the Defenders “hope that by catching a tiny amount of those interactions we can help promote and empower our partners — brave human rights defenders, who often put themselves at great risk through their engagement for other people’s rights.”

Civil Rights Defenders works with local organizations on accountability and justice when there are civil rights violations and provides training and support for activists and groups. Initiatives like this one are more about raising awareness around issues faced by marginalized populations, particularly the LGBT communities.

The bot-slayer is built on the Securimage PHPCaptcha. You can integrate it with your own site either by using the PHP library or by using the Defenders API.

Top image courtesy of DM7, Shutterstock


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