What Really Happens When you Fill out a CAPTCHA (VIDEO)

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By: Hillel Fuld

OK, how annoying are CAPTCHAs? If you do not know what the heck I am talking about, CAPTCHAs are those words you need to write on sites like Facebook and recently LinkedIn in order to prove  you are human. You know the ones that you can rarely read yourself? Yes, they are annoying and have become quite a burden on the heavy Web surfer, but truth be told, filling out a word or two is a whole lot better than spammers taking over the Web.

Having said that, I used to believe there had to be a better way to prevent spam than annoying users . That is until a friend, Susan Elaine Cooper (who you should totally follow on Twitter) pointed me in the direction of this amazing video of what really happens when we fill out those annoying CAPTCHAs. Side note, Susan sent me this video in response to an article in the Wall Street Journal about a company that is taking CAPTCHAs and turning them into ads, which is an interesting concept in and of itself. You can read more that here.

The video is 11 minutes but I highly recommend you watch it, it will definitely shed some light on the matter and give you a much better feeling next time you have to fill out a CAPTCHA.

Update: For those who do not have 11 minutes to spare, I will sum it up for you. If you do not like spoilers, stop reading now and watch the video. By filling out these CAPTCHAs we are helping to digitize written media, such as books, one word at a time.

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Hillel is Co Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ZCast, a company taking on the pain of modern audio broadcasting. Hillel also blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more. Hillel has been named Israel's top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program. You can find and talk to Hillel on Twitter. He is @Hilzfuld.

  • Miriam

    The scope of such a thing – mad awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Melanie

    Seriously awesome. Watched the whole thing.

  • http://samir.tv/tag/captcha/ twice the facebook captcha has been racist when I upload something … coincidence? I think not!

  • That is truly amazing

  • Jim Andrews

    Wonderful, the human mind is a horrible thing to waste so is time.

  • I have thoght for a while that they use digital books or something for those words. Now I feel much better that we’re actualy helping rather than it being annoying – thanks

  • Really…this is epic shit. I’m so in love with this 🙂

  • Ian

    so we teach the computer to read wonky characters
    so we end up with captcha’s being useless for security on websites
    Am I the only one that sees this as self defeating?