Google descriminates against blind/ sight impaired bloggers with CAPTCHA introduction
In an apparent attempt to respond to criticism that it is doing little to tackle spam blogs, Google has announced the use of captcha’s for posts that “appear to be spammy”, discriminating against blind and sight impaired users who utilises text recognition services to read content on a screen.
From initial accounts the captchas have only had a minimum impact on the amount of spam blogs being created on the service.
You don’t have to be using a text reader to have problems with CAPTCHA. Bifocals can distort the extra stuff that sometimes appears in the boxes turning random slashes and letters into new forms. Think about the difference between “V” and “W.”
Personally it is not unusual for me to enter CAPTCHA terms three and four times before one of them takes in the system. I find this very frustrating and now to find out that CAPTCHA has had little impact on spam…what a waste of my time doing all that entry.
As an aging boomer with poor and worsening eyesight, I totally agree that the use of CAPTCHA’s is in essence discriminatory to people both with disabilities and vision problems. I get them on Yahoo mail a lot, even when sending mail to people with whom I regularly correspond (I’m in the media business). They are getting harder to read both as my eyesight gets worse and these CAPTCHA’s include more characters. And my Yahoo account is in my own name with a sig file attached to each message. Meanwhile, I still get the usual assortment of obvious spam.
I would hope that someone takes this issue up with Congress and sees whether this is against at least the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act if not the law itself.
The thing that really hacks me off is they won’t explain why I have to ‘solve a captcha’ every time I blog. I figured out why, but it still hacks me off. I was posting 5 to 8 times per day. Now I maybe put in 1 post a day.
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