I spent several hours yesterday thoroughly researching a question, to be told it looked like spam, at which point I pared it down and posted it. Then I realized I posted it on the wrong SE network site (I had initially written it for AskUbuntu, but realized it fit better on ServerFault), so I went and deleted it after a few minutes, so I could post it on ServerFault, so I would have to wait before I could post it. I came back this morning, and after all this, the website said I looked like a robot, which is honestly understandable, given my behavior, but I really do need an answer to my question.

The problem is, I can't check the nonexistent box. Other people with the same issue had solved it by going on incognito mode, which didn't work for me. Eventually I figured out that SE is maybe probably using Google CAPTCHA, which just doesn't work in China where I am. I fired up my VPN, but still failed to connect. I thought the browser cache might be an issue, so I reloaded that. And I still can't get the checkbox to show up.

Screenshot of CAPTCHA Prompt, or lack thereof

If this is a result of being in China, I'd like to make a feature request that allows for an option of using non-Google CAPTCHA. If such an option exists, I'd like to know how to use it. I will make such a feature request in a different post if it turns out I'm not just missing something.

It's also conceivable that IP addresses from China are more likely to be picked up by the spam filter, which is just unfortunate for me, I guess. I really need to get my work done though, and I've exhausted all other avenues I can think of.

  • Oh, I didn't see that when searching for duplicates. I'll note that it has been 4 years since that request to revisit a decade-old issue was posted, however. I don't mind that SE uses Google APIs for a lot of things, but it's not uncommon to have a button that says "If that isn't loading, click here" to redirect to some other form of CAPTCHA. It also appears that SE in general has removed a lot of the dependence on Google since that question was posted. I can search and browse the site to find most of my answers, but I just can't do the CAPTCHA. May 10, 2019 at 1:50
  • Apparently the VPN I was using was intermittently disconnecting. I was ultimately able to make my post on ServerFault. I'm still going to make a feature request. May 10, 2019 at 2:14


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