I wonder how it is possible that Stack Overflow is still asking me to solve an unreadable CAPTCHA before I can post a question when I have more than five accounts on Stack Exchange, and I have more than 500 reputation on Stack Overflow.

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    I wonder what triggers captcha in your case. In mine it's when it takes me more than 10-15 minutes in pressing submit – OscarRyz Feb 28 '11 at 16:53
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    Probably for +100k :) – OscarRyz Feb 28 '11 at 16:53
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    Does the reputation matter if your account is compromised? – Arjan Feb 28 '11 at 17:08
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    I feel bad for you -- thus proving that I am a human -- but +1 to Arjan. – Pops Feb 28 '11 at 18:01
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    There's gonna be a captcha for as long as the true nature of Jon Skeet is undetermined. It could be a while. – MPelletier Feb 28 '11 at 19:14
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    Please don't smash your monitor, it is costly and may be a sign of some sort of illness. My new monitor now has 2 stuck pixels. Stuck pixels make me sad. – going Mar 1 '11 at 0:51
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    Actually, Jeff keeps the captcha around because he's afraid he's going to miss the singularity event, and he hopes that once programmers start transferring their minds to machines he'll be able to detect it and get in on it early. Unfortunately most people agree the top 0.01% of stackoverflow have already reached that point, and the captcha isn't working. Jeff is worried. – Pollyanna Mar 4 '11 at 21:20
  • A likely argument for a robot to make. – user149432 Mar 6 '11 at 9:49

You shouldn't be seeing so many captchas, and if you are, something is wrong.

  • Are you disabling or interfering with JavaScript? Any add-ins that would be interfering with JavaScript? Can you try your browser in safe mode (all defaults)?

  • Can you try in another web browser?

  • Does the user's question/answer ratio matter? (This user has 73 questions, 29 answers, just 4 net-upvotes for the answers.) – Arjan Mar 1 '11 at 10:16
  • @arjan no that does not matter – Jeff Atwood Mar 1 '11 at 18:36
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    For what its worth, I get CAPTCHA often. I just assumed it was because sometimes after insane amounts of caffeine I go on a SO binge and rapidly vote/reply/edit. No complaints here though. I understand that our nearly spam-free community comes at a slight inconvenience once in a while. – Brad May 23 '11 at 14:30

I'll take my downvotes stoically, but couldn't resist:

enter image description here

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    It's pretty hard to get downvotes on Meta for posting a cartoon; even harder if it's Dilbert :) – balpha Feb 28 '11 at 18:49

To quote Pollyanna:

Nice try, robot.

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    Thanks for the attribution, but according to google I wasn't the first to come up with that joke. – Pollyanna Mar 4 '11 at 21:15
  • @Polly ah, good work! I, too, thought the original was made in response to Evan. – Pekka Mar 4 '11 at 21:23
  • Poor robotic Evan. He never did fit in, though it almost appears as though he attempted to appear as though he was almost trying to fit in. But, you know. Robots leave oil spots on the carpet, and I'm afraid that I'm a robotophobe. – Pollyanna Mar 4 '11 at 21:29
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    There, I've linked mine to the original. Now people can click from here to there, then to the original. The next time a captcha question comes up, we'll add to the chain. Eventually it will be long enough to go around the world! – Pollyanna Mar 4 '11 at 21:39

Okay, since you want a real answer and Arjan's comment wasn't good enough for you:

I see why you feel the way you do, but capping CAPTCHAs based on rep — or any other permanent solution — isn't the way to go. In theory, your account could be compromised and hooked up to a bot at any time. There are some limits, though. According to Jeff:

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

  • for edits — reduced by two-thirds
  • for post submission times — minimum seconds halved, maximum minutes doubled

CAPTCHAs are good for five minutes for logged-in users with ≥ 200 rep.

  • @Yes While it might not happen to you, it might happen to others. Just 5 compromised accounts is enough to spam the site for a while, which just because of probability is bound to happen – TheLQ Mar 1 '11 at 2:41
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    @yes123 The chances that it happens to you are almost nonexistant. However, according to the birthday problem (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem), there is a wild, wild possibility that it will happen to someone. – zneak Mar 1 '11 at 4:20
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    @zneak: you do not understand the birthday paradox AT ALL! – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Mar 6 '11 at 4:09
  • @Mariano Suárez-Alvarez As I understand it, the birthday paradox says that the chances of collisions between properties of any two entries of a set are stupid high, even though the chances of collisions of one precise element with any other one are fairly low. – zneak Mar 6 '11 at 6:18

I'll play devil's advocate here:

The idea that you should be seeing fewer captchas because you have higher rep is backwards. All that means is that there was a human behind the account at some point in the past. However, it proves nothing about the present. Your higher-rep account has more privilege, and therefore has a higher value to spammers. Even if you don't have more privileges (say, accounts past 20K), you have more credibility. If it's compromised, a spammer can do more with your account, and so it's precisely because of this rep that if anything we need to be more protective of these accounts.

  • Has a high reputation account ever been compromised? – Tim Post Mar 1 '11 at 4:21
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    Unless you count RichB, I don't know ;) - I'm just playing devil's advocate – Joel Coehoorn Mar 1 '11 at 4:59
  • @Tim, even Jeff's account once got compromised. (Now wondering if Jeff gets to see the captchas too!) – Arjan Mar 1 '11 at 10:11
  • It's not just about spamming, but about scripted vandalism too. – Arjan Mar 1 '11 at 10:24
  • @Arjan And Vandals Scripting Spam, and Spammers Vandalizing Scripts – Dr. belisarius Mar 1 '11 at 21:45
  • When RichB touches a keyboard, the machine to which that keyboard is attached, has to be regarded as compromised. – markus May 23 '11 at 14:37

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