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The last two or three times I answered some question in SO (the last 2-3 hours), I was asked for Human verification. Is this a new bug, eventually related to the resolution of Overactive spam-ku?

It's normal to happen from time to time, but now it was like as it gets triggered on all questions.
Haven't tested... and it's not a big deal.

EDIT: Conclusion

It was NOT a bug, It just toke too long to enter the answers and that triggers the bot filter.

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As a counter-point, I have not had any issues with answers in the last few hours, so this is more likely to be something that you are doing to trigger the bot filter. – Paul Wagland Jan 23 '10 at 22:07
Toked too long to enter the answers? I hate it when that happens! – Shog9 Jan 24 '10 at 2:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It means you've tripped into one of the bot filters.

This can happen if:

  • You change IP between loading the page and hitting submit
  • You take a long time forming your question
  • Your network connection is flaky
  • You are going too fast (opening lots of pages very quickly)
  • The time between loading the page and hitting submit is very short
  • Someone sharing your IP is doing something suspicious (school or work networks)
  • You aren't registered and are loading pages in a strange pattern
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OK, it was "You take a long time forming your question" (an answer). I'm sure I stayed long editing the answer... but I didn't think that could not be the cause: normally machines (bots) are faster than humans :-) – Carlos Heuberger Jan 23 '10 at 22:27
Could you please specifically define the rules with: a long time, too fast and very short? In terms of numbers of course. A long time may differ a lot relatively speaking. – Robert Koritnik Jan 23 '10 at 23:17
@Carlos - Yeah, it's counter-intuitive, but it turns out spammers sometimes try to work around the "you have to request the page before you can submit the answer" by requesting a lot of pages and caching them, and then posting a lot of answers to them later, or using what essentially amounts to a replay attack, where they use the same page credentials over and over again. – Adam Davis Jan 23 '10 at 23:33
@Robert - no, I couldn't, I don't know them. These are reasons I've deduced from my own personal use of SO (and I'm not automating or spamming anything - this is just my normal usage), but I've never measured anything. In another answer about anti-spam measures, Jeff indicated he wouldn't divulge any details (for obvious reasons) so I doubt you'll find a nice concise list anywhere. – Adam Davis Jan 23 '10 at 23:35
Ahh, I understand... sad that such procedures are needed, but for sure I can live with them (the captcha isn't that hard) – Carlos Heuberger Jan 24 '10 at 2:12

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