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.

  • 1
    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. Commented Jan 23, 2010 at 22:07
  • 3
    Toked too long to enter the answers? I hate it when that happens!
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 24, 2010 at 2:06

1 Answer 1


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 :-)
    – user141148
    Commented Jan 23, 2010 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. Commented Jan 23, 2010 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.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jan 23, 2010 at 23:33
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    @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.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jan 23, 2010 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)
    – user141148
    Commented Jan 24, 2010 at 2:12

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