If the reputation score is actual reputation, it seems like having a high reputation would be enough to prove you are human. Why do I need to keep proving it? I could see captcha appearing if my behavior became erratic (maybe my account was taken over).

  • 5
    If it's any consolation, moderators have to prove we're human too. :( Jul 7 '09 at 21:03
  • 3
    This should be fixed, I see no justification. Users with high rep have more to lose if it's proven later they acted with foul intent. This is not what CAPTCHAs are for.
    – ripper234
    Jul 7 '09 at 21:09
  • But ... CAPTCHAs are funny. (Easily amused) Sep 6 '09 at 23:49
  • 1
    I like the photo above the captcha
    – user146787
    Sep 7 '09 at 20:20

These spring to mind to me:

  • Accounts could be compromised by something malicious
  • Malicious users could "game the system" through sock-puppetry (etc) to allow their bots to bypass the captchas.
  • 12
    No matter how you spin it, there's no way to make the phrase "sock-puppetry" sound malicious.
    – devinb
    Jul 22 '09 at 12:41
  • There are so many sites that are easier to compromise like youtube etc. SE doesn't have to be invulnerable just hard enough to make it not worth their effort.
    – user161222
    Aug 18 '13 at 3:00

Some reductions in CAPTCHA throttle thresholds, if you have > 10k rep:

  • for edits -- reduced by two thirds
  • for post submission times -- min seconds reduced by one half, max minutes increased by 2x

Assuming you are a logged in user and have >= 200 reputation:

After successfully completing one captcha, we now suppress captcha for 5 minutes on your account.

  • 12
    -1 doesn't answer the question about "Why?" Jan 31 '10 at 6:34
  • 1
    Wow, that's a lot. Couldn't there be some more steps, like having it reduced a little at 5k? I often enhance my answers and having to write those captchas really annoys me.
    – gruszczy
    Mar 22 '10 at 23:30
  • 4
    Oh please please let's get rid of the thresholds completely above 10k or 20k. The bot check is such an annoyance.
    – Pekka
    Sep 5 '10 at 17:45

Because every user is equally susceptible to having their accounts taken over (the security on every account is identical.) Furthermore, the higher rep users have more power, and therefore their accounts are more desirable to take over.

The more power you have and the more power you use it, the more often you'll get CAPTHA'd. This is the burden of responsibility.

  • 11
    I disagree. After all, captcha is a method to prevent denial of service, not power abuse. You still get lots of captchas for simple edits. That said, an abuse by a high profile user is very likely to be reported both by himself/herself and the community pretty soon. I've stated some suggestions in my related post: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2167/…
    – mmx
    Jul 7 '09 at 20:23
  • @Mehrdad, very true. I guess I totally blipped out on why the CAPTCHAs were there.
    – devinb
    Jul 8 '09 at 12:27

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