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My latest Captcha challenge involved identifying taxis. Well, I've seen one or two American films (movies) in which the taxis were yellow, so I made a guess and punted that the yellow cars were taxis and those of other colours weren't. It let me in. But this is no way to run an international site. A large proportion of users are not from America, have never been to America, and might not even recognize these pictures as American: they certainly don't know whether yellow=taxi is something that's universal across the US.

Please make the site more accessible to everyone in the world: this kind of thing isn't acceptable.

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    The CAPTCHA is externally supplied, the site is not in control of it. Also, you can always request a new image if the current one seems impossible. I had one which asked me to select all traffic lights and there were literally none. I also couldn't submit an empty reply.
    – VLAZ
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:17
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    The site decides what suppliers to use. And the company that supplies captcha also offers international images. Jul 29 '21 at 18:18
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    @MichaelKay - If the international images were displayed to an American user, they would have the same complaint, so that really isn't a solution to the problem you describe. I am not even sure it is a problem, since you fail or unable to pass the CAPTCHA, additional images are displayed until you can.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:24
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    For anyone wondering, while yellow cab companies are commonplace, not all taxis are yellow and not all yellow cars are taxis.
    – BSMP
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:38
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    @Ramhound Not necessarily, it could just be images which are recognized by everyone, American or non-American (i.e. identify a bird). Instead of yellow taxis which are probably more common in the U.S. Jul 29 '21 at 18:38
  • i mean... cars as in any vehicle? or only cars, not trucks, suv's, vans, etc
    – Kevin B
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:40
  • @CaveJohnson - It's not that common. Without an example of the images displayed, I can't really common, but an educated guess is they had some sort of marking or sign on them. I am pretty sure you can simply request a different challenge. As other have said, it's handled by a third-party, but I hate CAPTCHA to begin with.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:44
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    Isn't this Recaptcha and used by Google to help train their AI driving systems? Not only is it parochial, it also takes advantage of our time to help a huge multinational. The old captcha that fed into the Gutenberg project was much better.
    – terdon
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:53
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    @Ramhound international doesn't mean "not American", it means "not tied to any one nation".So no,American users wouldn't have the same complaint if they used international images.
    – terdon
    Jul 29 '21 at 18:56
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    @VLAZ "The site" is in control of the external entities it uses. Jul 29 '21 at 19:16
  • @AndrewMorton so, should we read this FR as "change the CAPTCHA provider"?
    – VLAZ
    Jul 29 '21 at 19:19
  • @VLAZ Would you prefer "change the provider of the CAPTCHA" or "change the CAPTCHA provider"? (Oops: the latter maybe needs a "mwahahaha.") Jul 29 '21 at 19:28
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    Just to be clear, there are two separate but related problems here. The first problem is that some part of the user population doesn't recognise American street furniture and the site is inaccessible to such users. The second part is that the captcha images sends the message "we're an American site and if you're not comfortable with that then you're not welcome here". This isn't the right way to greet new users. Jul 29 '21 at 20:06
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    "and the site is inaccessible to such users" Seriously? I mean there could be better alternatives to reCaptcha but saying the site is inaccessible to certain users when you could simply load another captcha challenge is an exaggeration, don't you think? BTW, I'm also not an American.
    – 41686d6564
    Jul 29 '21 at 21:51
  • "Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed." OK, not knowing that New York taxis are yellow isn't exactly a "disability", but it's still not very inclusive to make things difficult for people from a different culture. Jul 30 '21 at 7:52
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I'm declining this because, as others have pointed out, your specific request about the challenge you received being Americanized is not anything we can change. Google controls the challenges that you receive, not us. And they provide a nice button for getting a new one if that one is too difficult.

Displaying an Americanized captcha is really no different than old captchas that displayed completely unreadable text that required you to retry getting a new one. No matter what captcha system, you're always going to run across a weird unsolvable-by-you case every once in a while.

Regarding users who just hate our use of reCaptcha: that is only tangentially related to the specific problem reported here and there are plenty of other "please don't use reCaptcha" reports on Meta that you can go support. There's no reason to rehash all of your grievances with it here. If that's the focus everyone wants to direct this question, then it should just be closed as a duplicate of one of those requests. We have no plans to reconsider our captcha choice at this time.

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  • It is not only that the scenes are American - they are also often difficult for me to see with eyesight issues and the sound ones are massively longer to do and I need to hear them several times to remeber how to spell all the words. The old writing was MUCH MUCH easier
    – mmmmmm
    Nov 12 '21 at 14:55
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A large proportion of users are not from America, have never been to America, and might not even recognize these pictures as American: they certainly don't know whether yellow=taxi is something that's universal across the US.

You're right. This specific CAPTCHA isn't solvable internationally.

Please make the site more accessible to everyone in the world: this kind of thing isn't acceptable.

Stack Exchange doesn't have control over the CAPTCHA provider that's used (reCAPTCHA). As a result, they can't change the CAPTCHAs it gives you. If a CAPTCHA seems impossible for any reason, reCAPTCHA allows you to try a different one:

The retake option on reCAPTCHA

Or take your best guess. If you get it wrong, you'll simply get another CAPTCHA, hopefully one you can solve.

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    "Stack Exchange doesn't have control over the CAPTCHA provider that's used" SO has control over which provider is used. reCAPTCHA is not the only one in existence. Jul 29 '21 at 21:34
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    @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Stack Exchange could switch to an entirely different provider, but what would be the point? It would probably have one or two CAPTCHAs like this also, and all it would do it save someone from clicking that button.
    – Anonymous
    Jul 29 '21 at 21:36
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    There are other types of captchas, not all providers use photos. And using another provider would solve some serious concerns meta.stackexchange.com/questions/335309/… Jul 29 '21 at 21:40
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    @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz I agree with you that reCAPTCHA isn't a good choice, but not for this reason. What's wrong with simply getting another CAPTCHA?
    – Anonymous
    Jul 29 '21 at 21:42
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    Getting another captcha is unrelated to SO having the option not to use such captchas Jul 29 '21 at 22:04

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