I seem to be unable to pass the Turing test:

enter image description here

I get this when I want to do a search on Ask Ubuntu.

Can you guess what this says? Neither can I. It's very, very difficult to read. In the last week, I tried 30+ times1. I failed all of them. I also tried the audio a few times, but that's perhaps even worse ...
I can sign in, and that "solves" it insofar that I can do a search, but I would just like to do a quick search without logging in on 100+ sites...

I realize the need for these sorts of system, and I also know that StackExchange doesn't develop this system, but can they be made more usable, somehow?

Related: Please use the new reCaptcha on the human verification dialog

1: Yes, really. I've been searching quite a few SE sites to see what sort of questions are being asked and how meta discussions are being held.

  • So, I guess it doesn't do the kittens thing after-all?
    – JonW
    Feb 9, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard I don't think this is a duplicate. If anything that linked question should be marked as status-complete now that the new captcha has been rolled out, and new questions can then be raised against the new implementation rather than the old.
    – JonW
    Feb 9, 2015 at 14:40
  • Weird, when posting answer too quickly I do get the new captcha. Probably they forgot to switch it in case of too rapid search. Feb 9, 2015 at 14:40
  • @Jon true, this is a bug with the search, triggering the old CAPTCHA instead of the new. Feb 9, 2015 at 14:41
  • @ShadowWizard this question is about the new captcha. The old one doesn't exist here anymore (see the screenshot in this post - it has the 'I'm not a robot' checkbox which indicates it is the new Captcha implementation).
    – JonW
    Feb 9, 2015 at 14:42
  • @Jon oh my, missed that. So guess the new captcha is as bad as the old. :/ Feb 9, 2015 at 14:43
  • Nice try, robot.
    – user1228
    Feb 9, 2015 at 16:04
  • @ShadowWizard: all anonymous searches are gated by a captcha. Apr 15, 2015 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


It is working as designed as far as I can tell. You are correct in that we cannot control what is displayed to a user and it does fall back to the old difficult to solve captchas every so often. If you log in you will never receive a captcha on search. If you are searching anonymously and doing it quickly you will receive only one captcha. If you solve it successfully you won't receive another for the duration of your search session which is defined as a sliding 5 minute window.

  • 7
    "fall back to the old difficult to solve captchas every so often"; in the last week, I've only seen these CAPTCHAs ... Am I very unlucky, then? Also, I wouldn't call them difficult, I would call them nigh-impossible. Feb 9, 2015 at 14:56

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