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I am forever being asked if I am a bot, simply because I am so active, especially with the edit button. Can someone write a program that I can click on and it will do it for me?

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And I even got checked when I asked this question. –  Arlen Beiler Oct 26 '10 at 12:13
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Well, after you gain enough reputation (10k I think) the captcha rates are lowered. –  jjnguy Oct 26 '10 at 12:16
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Lowered!!! Why not stopped?!!! I sometimes get five captchas for every question I ask. –  Arlen Beiler Oct 26 '10 at 12:17
    
@Arlen Er. In a row? Or you're editing five times? –  Michael Mrozek Oct 26 '10 at 12:18
    
Dang, there's already a project called Skynet on GitHub. –  detly Oct 26 '10 at 12:25
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How do we know that you are not actually a bot? In fact, it would be quite clever of you to post this - throwing us off your trail. But I'm on to you... –  user27414 Oct 26 '10 at 12:31
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The lowered rate at 10k (yes, @jjn, it's 10k) is extremely lowered. I actually haven't run into one at all since breaking 10k, even during periods of high activity. Besides, wouldn't a program to solve a captcha be... kinda letting the robots win? –  Grace Note Oct 26 '10 at 12:31
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@Grace: thanks! –  jjnguy Oct 26 '10 at 12:37
    
@Mickeal, edited 5 times. –  Arlen Beiler Oct 26 '10 at 14:15
    
@Grace... the robots have won, we just don't know it yet. –  Beth Whitezel Nov 20 '10 at 4:14
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2 Answers

We need Captchas to prevent bad behavior. Someone could easily write a program that would create lots of bad edits or ask lots of bad questions. Stack Overflow could be overrun with spam.

Even though you have some rep, having Captchas in place minimises the amount of damage you can do with your account and also minimises the amount of damage others can do with your account. It's a safety net.

Also, the whole point of a Captcha is that humans are able to solve them and programs can not. If someone could write a program to accomplish this, the Captcha would be outdated and a new one would have to be implemented.

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Perhaps a question where you had to spot irony would prevent bots pretending to people? –  Martin Beckett Oct 26 '10 at 15:29
    
It still stands to reason that once you have reached a certain rep level, you have something to lose, and are unlikely to use an evil program to flood SO with crap. –  Pëkka Oct 26 '10 at 15:29
    
@Pekka: True, but you still need to stop those who would do so in other people's names. Lots of hacking goes on via 'bots. –  RobH Oct 27 '10 at 0:32
    
@RobH I don't see a problem here: Accumulating thousands of reputation points is a lot of work, and the account would get burned and shut down when you run the bot once. Too much effort for what ultimately be zero effect, because all bot-generated contributions from that account would be easy to delete –  Pëkka Oct 27 '10 at 11:06
    
@Pekka, if you have a high repping account and it was hacked, someone could write a bot to do really destructive things. It might be a while before it was caught. –  Sam152 Oct 27 '10 at 12:40
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