If everyone on the internet is an actual person, why do I always have to prove I’m not a robot?

I recently saw a headline on BuzzFeed proclaiming “Everyone On The Internet Is An Actual Person.” I thought, “Tell that to every web service that makes me fill out a captcha form.”

Captcha forms are always asking us to prove we are humans and not robots by typing text from a graphic. Unfortunately, as automated programs become better and better at deciphering captcha images, the captcha images must become harder for the robots to read—making them harder for us to read, too.

So sometimes I’m signing up for a new service or submitting some customer feedback, and I see something like…

a really difficult captcha example

And I’m like, “That’s how I prove my humanity?”

pinnochio-captcha

It’s pretty embarrassing when they ask me to prove that I’m a human and I type one of the characters wrong. I start to doubt myself.

"I failed the turing test again!"

But eventually I pick myself up by the bootstraps and find hope for the future.

data-human

Now, on a more serious note, I entirely agree with the BuzzFeed post. Truly, everyone we encounter on the internet is an actual person. Someone with feelings. Someone with hopes and dreams and a desire to be happy. Someone deserving of respect. You have something better to do than to mock them. Go do that something better.