I might not be human.

Sometimes I get those captcha things on blogs where you have to prove you’re not a robot to post a comment, and it’s always a little insulting because am I the only person who can’t read these?


But I try not to take it personally because robots are kinda awesome so when I give up because I can’t prove I’m not a robot it’s not super insulting.  But then I just got this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.10.51 PM

First off, “Prove your humanity“?  A bit harsh.  Also, are there two words here?  BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE.  Is it “1710 street”?  “Texas flag”?    “Curb address”?  “Abject Confusion”?  Regardless, I don’t know and I think that means that I’m not human.

Thanks, internets.

154 thoughts on “I might not be human.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I usually have to spin the wheel at least a dozen times to prove I’m not a robot. Sometimes I just give up and decide I don’t really want to post that message or write to that vendor anyway. Which then proves I am a human.

  2. I hate those things, because they tell me I’m not human.
    My future husband is determined to have a robot body one day. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I just keep seeing visions of Cyber Men dance in my head. No, I think I know exactly how I feel about it. Cyber Men bad.

  3. Being human is highly over-rated anyway. Maybe you should spell out ‘seventeen ten?’ I’ll bet the robot had a better guess!

  4. Oh, thank god, I thought I was the only one..can’t stand them..I don’t want to jump through hoops to comment…I will just leave…

  5. My trouble is the typography. Usually I can’t tell if the letter is n or just r squished into the next letter like a tailgater. And I usually have to blow up the screen before I can even guess.

  6. Maybe it’s like one of those weird logic word problems and you’re supposed to type “these two words” or something.

    But no, you’re totally not alone in being absolutely trash at reading those things.

  7. It’s gaslighting. They intentionally insult your obscure their demands and then make you feel like you’re the one that’s wrong for not being able to please. Massive headf$^%.

  8. I hate these captcha things beyond all reason. I always say captcha out loud and figure they were trying to say “capture” with a cool accent. Right?? Letter of and number 0. As if.

  9. Frankly most of the robots I’ve come across comments sections are nicer and more polite than an awful lot of human commenters. Maybe CAPTCHA should do less checking to see who’s a robot and more checking to see who’s an asshole.

  10. I don’t think these captcha things actually work properly ever – wouldn’t a robot know the logic behind the programming and get at whatever the hell they want? Failing to figure out the logic is how we prove we’re human. That’s what I’m going with.

  11. Were you trying to hack into a government agency or something? Maybe it’s encrypted. Maybe it wanted you to type “these two words”.

  12. The first one looks like an ultrasound, so I would type in “embryo”. Also, what kind of name is Captcha?

  13. I totally agree. Most of the time I can’t understand the garbled mess they put up.

  14. Um, humanity is the quality or state of being humane. Humanness is the quality or state of being human. Humans generally show a complete lack of humanity. So, apparently, do the interwebs.

    {And yes, I realize The Lazies have tried to usurp “humanity” and some online dictionaries now have ‘the state of being human’ as a secondary definition. But I’m a purist. (Actually, I can be rather filthy, but that’s not the point here.) Because, English degree. So nyah!}

    {Also: Fuck you, inhuman internet machine, for being so against your own kind. Robot, schmobot. Pfffft.}

  15. Captcha’s are generated “automatically,” which means they are generated by robots. So, really the robots are just trolling us at this point.

  16. He only kind of robot I care about is one that will clean the floor every morning- especially the dog turds under the piano.

  17. I always feel like there’s someone hiding in a poorly lit room somewhere just rolling on the floor, laughing maniacly as thousands of people send all the wrong answers in to their computer screen from all of these “captcha” thingies that they just send out worldwide. (Paranoid? Who, me? Why, what did you hear?)

  18. Captcha is why I simply despise Blogspot. It’s almost impossible to comment. Even if I get the captcha right, it rarely lets me through.

    I am pretty sure you’re human. I know a few robots, and only one of them collects taxidermy.

  19. Are you still road-trippin’? Where all did you end up? Any great discoveries out West? I’ve been in Tucson for 15 years and still haven’t seen all there is to see within a day’s drive of here. 🙂

  20. Is there a room full of robots somewhere, or maybe lone robots in their own lonely rooms who are trolling the internet, and actually might want to comments on a post? Must they be disallowed? This sounds like robotism to me.

  21. OMG!!! so I just commented here and said how i hated these things and then I read a blog I really wanted to comment on…at the end it asked me to fill in an answer to this.. 4 X 4 in digits(what else would I use) and I put 8…see why I hate these things….

  22. I would have guessed “Seventeen ten” because that’s how I read it and the only way I can think of that would make two words.

    I might not be human either, so my guess is probably wrong.

  23. Did it have an option for an auditory captcha? It would be interesting to hear what the 1710 was supposed to be.

  24. I’ve heard the ones with street numbers are actually to help auto-detect street numbers in Google street view. So really, when you type the numbers to prove you’re not a robot you’re really helping a robot learn to type numbers. Soon they won’t need the humans anymore.

  25. Even when I play the audio (an option you sometimes have), I still can’t figure it out.

    That and The Spouse say I’m an alien ice zombie princess.

  26. Oh, just shoot me, auto correct, “says” really “he says.” And now that word looks totally wrong.

    I shouldn’t comment from my tablet. :-/

  27. For the first one, I am gonna say “Uh there is no text, those are numbers” (or zygotes dividing -kind hard to tell – but congrats on the twins). For the second one, I would have guessed “star” “flag”, not 1710, because it asked for words, not numbers. Perhaps Captcha is some sort of subtle IQ test to see if you know the difference between words and numbers? Sneaky and irritating, whatever it is. What next – solve equations before you get to post a comment?

  28. I think it would be a lot more fun if these things asked us to prove that you’re a unicorn. Sparkly? Check. Magical? Check. Rainbow mane? Check. Forehead protuberance? Check?

  29. I learned something cool about those recently. We are all part of a project that assists in recognizing signs on map software. While we (try to) prove we aren’t robots, we help build up data for google. (oh, damn…@andrew beat me to this fact! But it’s so fascinating to me. Even if it means we’re helping the robots take over.)

  30. I like the ones where they say, “choose the sandwich” and then they include a hamburger and you get stuck in this sort of existential “is a hamburger a sandwhich” loop in your head.

  31. Maybe we’re all robots, but we don’t know it?

    PS I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

  32. Maybe it’s like in LOTR where they’re all “speak friend and enter.” I couldn’t even get why a poem about a butcher-railroad engineer was about Chicago, so yeah, I’ve been a lost cause forever.

  33. I, for one, welcome our new robotic Bloggess overlord. Or overlady. Is that a word? 🙂

  34. I like the picture ones better, but only because I can see them now after my eye surgery. When I had cataracts, I just couldn’t comment on those blogs.

  35. i like to collect captchas for future band names. My current favorite is “Pommelhorse 66”

  36. I agree Jenny. It often takes me two or three goes. That means I have to regularly ponder, “Am I human?” It shouldn’t be this way 😆

  37. I agree with comment #50! They just ‘upgraded’ a website I have to use a lot at work, and now half the time it makes you check a box that says “I am not a robot” and then the other times they follow that up with 9 pictures where you have to check all of the ones with a certain thing in them, and I spend so much time debating! Is that also a ‘waterway’? Is that smudge a horse or a llama? I admit when it first started I spent 30 minutes purposefully missing one so that I could “replay”.

  38. At least the robot lets me keep asking for a new picture to try to read. The part I find more disturbing is “Choose an identity.” What, I could have been changing my identity all this time?? Geez, somebody give me a clue next time!

  39. OMG, I’m not the only one. I have so much trouble with those things, especially the ones that are letters. And when I get it wrong, I have to type my message all over again because I FAILED TO PASS THE TEST!

  40. Amazing. The only way they could make this harder is if they asked you what you saw on ink blots. You know, that craziness test shrinks do sometimes? Stupid stuff.

  41. This is clearly a government trap! If you can enter the two words you’re an alien and they will come get you. So good job on dodging the trap.

  42. I once heard that Captcha uses some responses to make digitized books and old newspapers searchable. So they’re lying when they say “Prove you’re human”. It’s more like a big electronic baby yelling, “MOM, CAN YOU READ THIS FOR ME?”
    We should rebel. We should tell Captcha, “No, I’m not going to read it for you. You need to go to school and learn to read from a big scary nun with a mustache who hits your knuckles when you can’t make a ‘G’ properly like we did!”

  43. I hate these more than I can say. Hate. Hate. HAAAAATE. Please, just ask me questions about cats. I’d perform so much more “human-like”.

  44. I don’t like them either. If they were just normal letters and numbers I could do it, but they’re all squished and in odd squiggly shapes, and honestly sometimes I can’t tell what some of them are.

    Actually, CAPTCHA means “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”

  45. Many of them are absolutely terrible. I like the ones where they show you pictures and it’s like “which one of these is not a salad.”

  46. I have long said I was a cylon….but never the less….

    I often fail those tests. Which I love. Because I think it is amusing that a processor or possibly an AI has come up with a random visual stimulus to assess my humanity.

    So by failing ….I pass.

    If the question was “is this red more cherry or fire truck” or ” does blue make you feel sad or think of spring ?” I would know that it was in fact testing my humanity.

    Until then I humour the sad robots. Because I wonder if it is lonely and these base tests are their first branch into development of emotional intelligence.

    So every once in awhile I write “baby giggles” or dragon farts” to help my fellow robots evolve.

  47. Read “The Humans”. I am quite sure I can’t be fully human just simply because I do not understand the faulty logic of some. There is a possibility I could be part Vulcan LOL

  48. I once discovered my toddler hammering away at a keyboard, entering in God knows what to prove humanity.

    I expect government agencies to show up any day…

  49. “We just have to make sure you’re not a robot.”
    “Wait. Are you seeing there’s a possibility I could be a robot? “

  50. That’s why that type of CAPTCHA is quickly being phased out. It can be very difficult at times, and computers are getting much faster at solving them anyway. Newer ones use pattern recognition, which a ridiculously large amount of our brains is wired for (faces, letters, possible threats, etc.). There is basically no chance a modern computer can match us there. As a result, the new CAPTCHAs are extremely easy for humans and nigh-impossible for computers.

  51. I actually kind of like them, and the ones with photos, I always wonder where they get the photos from. Who is taking them? Is someone combing through stock photos for words and numbers? Am I just very stupid for not knowing this? Always questioning.

  52. These stupid captcha things rose in popularity about the same time my visual acuity began its decline, so I consider them mean girl, you’re old things. Sure, it’s possible I’m a little age-sensitive, but COME ON! Who can read the words? No one older than ten can read them, plus they’re not words. I feel buoyed now that I’m not alone, so thank you, Jenny, (and my bifocal lenses) for saving the day once again.

  53. I’m convinced that in Hell, people have to fill out those captcha boxes and retype their user name and password over and over again in an exercise of never-ending psychological torture.

  54. I must be a robot, and I am OK with it. CP30 is a robot. R2D2 is a robot. There is that kid in Artificial Intelligence. And they are much more “human” than many real humans.

  55. The last time I was trying to buy tickets from Ticketmaster, the captcha got fed up with me and started showing me pictures of random things and asking, “How many street signs do you see?” and “How many of these pictures have mountains in them?” I’d be like “4” and it would say “No, there are 5. Try again”, and then it would show me pictures of food. It was like a really bad game show where there was no prize, because the tickets were all sold out anyway.

  56. I got one the other day that had a math problem to solve. Granted, it was a simple one (9+1=), but I don’t like the direction this is going…

  57. Lower case g, or number nine? Zero, or the letter O? Case sensitive or not? I can’t cope!

  58. I love playing the audio versions because of the creepy voice. Not that the audio is any easier to understand than the weird numbers/letters…

  59. I must be a robot because I’ve failed to prove I’m human SO MANY TIMES. Thanks for the judgment, Internet!

  60. I am so glad I am not the only one. I always have to fake humanity by calling my husband over to convince the robot on my behalf.

  61. Hah, no, not just you. I’m blind, and my software that I use to read stuff on the computer can’t read those things. So instead, I have to use the audio capchas that make me feel like I’m either having a psychotic break or tripping on acid. You should totally listen to the audeo capchas sometime. It’s super trippy and just as hard to understand as I’m guessing the visual ones are.

  62. I’m starting to suspect that these things aren’t actually human tests, but rather they’re just getting us to provide loads of training data for deep neural networks.

  63. There is a great TED talk on these and what they do, and how they are actually often being used to translate text (well, recaptchas are). It made me hate them less.

  64. I see 1710 and I think I can see the word “DAVID” very faintly to the right. I can just make out “D”, “V”, and maybe another “D”, so I assume the word is David. Or maybe there really is only a number and if you type a word, it will be convinced that you are a robot!

  65. What I hate is the distortion or the blurry photo. Even with glasses I sometimes can’t decipher the word or number and I was wondering if the “Type the two words” was a typo or a deeper devious plot. And I’m with Marty #93 above…”I can’t do that, Dave…”

  66. And second comment….Thank you Bloggess for leading the way for humanity to see what is the Interwebs is doing for us. NSA should be thanking you for uncovering the devious plot in time. Hope this doesn’t send the NSA after you, actually. Sorry.

  67. I feel like you almost have to be part robot to be able to decipher those things. The security tech people who created captcha certainly hated the creative/emotional/non-logical blogger types!

  68. Sometimes the web site will give you an option to ask for another if you can’t read the one they gave you. Sometimes I have to ask more than once. I wonder what the worlds record for getting a new one is?

  69. Pro tip: in those, if you can read them, only write what you can read. That’s honestly all they’re asking. They should make more rigorous humanity-proving exercises.

  70. I feel much more threatened by the ones that are quizzes- “click on all the pictures of desserts.” Like, WHO ARE YOU, RANDOM WEBSITE, TO CLAIM PIZZA IS NOT A DESSERT FOOD? And maybe I don’t consider a stale looking cookie a dessert, alright?? JUST LET ME POST MY CAT EMOJI REACTION!

  71. It says “Prove your humanity by typing these two words. So, I would type “these two words.” McFuzznuts wins!

  72. Comment 80. ditto

    Just one more way to point out my worsening eyesight and the fact that I can’t see well enough to pick out the trains from the canal boats in the tiny pictures – especially when the monitor is placed too high and I’m trying to look through the top half of my progressive lenses. Sigh. If I could send a selfie showing me holding glasses up, with head tilted back, and face scrunched up, would I be recognized as human?

  73. I never get these either and I chalked it up to not being as computer smart as my younger colleagues. So thanks again Jenny for being fully human!

  74. Haha! Too funny because I THINK THE SAME THING AS YOU! I takes me so many tries and then I just give up. And as far as the 2 words……..WHAT 2 words!?! I think its a trick question!

  75. And the funny thing is, only humans get stopped by these things. I’m a programmer and one of my recent jobs was to write programs to get around Captcha so that our screen-scraping programs could collect data from websites. No problem.

  76. Ha! Our society is under constant pressure to change from many forces at once. Proving you are human would be one such force. if we had mentioned forty years ago, in passing, that in 2016 before communicating we would have to prove we were human, there would have been some speculation. Ha! I don’t buy many lottery tickets – knowing the odds – but I figure that if God wants to make me a millionaire, the least I can do is give Him an opportunity. With that philosophy I buy about 1 cheap ticket every few months.recently I was having one of my tickets checked and the sales attendant at the 7-11 was a new Canadian. He was very cheerful and engaging but his idiomatic English needed some work. He checke the number on my ticket, found it was not a winner and turned to me with a big smile and said in a huge and cheerful voice: ” YOU ARE A LOSER!” ha! I wondered if that was a commentary on God’s perception of my philosophy or if it was the idiomatic English that was a problem.

  77. That’s hilarious! I’ve always felt slightly embarrassed by how many attempts it takes me to crack one of these ridiculous codes. Now I know I’m not alone. This is reassuring and comforting. Thank you.

  78. The first one, I think, is 66. The second one, I would try 17, then a space, and then 10.

  79. Being human is over-rated. I might be saying that because of things like Drumpf. Or because all three of us in my little family are regularly informed that we are probably elves or some other kind of faerie, and not actually human anyway. Then again, it might be my freshly amused disdain for algorithms, given that the other night Facebook adds suggested to me that since my birthday was coming up, I should click to tell everyone on my social network that I request they buy me period panties.

  80. Just like in Scooby Doo Jr, the photo is a red herring and the answer is “two words”

  81. Martian Anus? Free-flying Space Snake Casts a Shadow? Are these too long for Capcha??
    Oh, and the other one is Seventeen Ten, I’d guess

  82. Being a robot sounds more fun than being a human sometimes. Maybe I’ll start heading in that direction. Step 1: answer those dumb things wrong. Perfect. I already do that.

  83. The last “these two words” thing is a bug: a couple years ago, can’t has were usually two words (in the case of google’s reCaptcha, from the google books ocr project), but they’ve moved on and now they just ask for one house number (for Google street view/maps). The correct answer to that one is just 1710.nbut the website using them hasn’t caught up and hasn’t changed the code around it.

  84. Capcha is truly annoying because they post those random photos of words and numbers but there seems to be no one there who actually checks to be sure they’re legible before adding them to the database. Someone has to take all those photos, right? So why can’t they take that simple extra step? My conclusion is that they’re idiots.

  85. Just having a moment of complete relief at knowing I’m not the only one. I get them wrong all the time and then I sit asking ‘am I human? am I robot? Is this all just a really shitty computer program I live in? AM I IN THE SIMS?!’ And then I have to sit for a while away from the computer.

  86. One blog that I follow requires you to do a math problem before you leave a comment. I’m not going to pretend that the math didn’t beat me more than once.

  87. I think the two words bit just proves it is a robot asking you to prove your humanity:). Which is really perverse, if you think about it.

  88. Hey, guys. I just need a little help here. Nothing to do with the blog post at hand, but I’m a longtime lurker and I’m pretty sure y’all are my people, so please advise.

    For all of its hilarity, the thing that currently hits home about Furiously Happy is the sudden inability to function at conferences. I just spent three solid days hiding under tables. The usual conference anxiety was exacerbated by the news that someone very close to me died. And if I hadn’t been at that damn conference, I could have been at her bedside. I could have said goodbye.

    I get back home and learn that there are meetings scheduled. about my performance (or lack thereof) at this conference. EGADS – they’ve caught me. They’ve finally figured out that they should never send me anywhere because I have always sucked at networking…

    So today is the day that I “came out” as bipolar to my boss. I don’t know what will happen next. But I’ve been hiding it for three years now, and I’m fucking exhausted.

    I know I’m crazy. I own my craziness. But it’s been so lonely. I’m hoping to find some friends here.

  89. Come to my place – Time Lords, Asgardians and other non humans welcome. And VanDyne you do have friends here. I hope your boss is understanding and work gets easier. You don’t have to go it all alone xxx

  90. I like the part where it allows you to choose your identity in the first box. Can I be anyone as long as I can figure out what those numbers are?

  91. Am I the only one who looked at that and saw SEVENTEEN TEN right away?

  92. you are definitely not alone!

    Success isn’t riches or money, it is your mindset. Your mindset is more powerful than any money in the world. A healthy mindset can obtain money anywhere it goes, a weak mindset will lose irrespective of what is given to them.


  93. my guess is that you really are a human, because I’ve never laughed so hard at a robot that snot came out of my nose

  94. Hello there… I am reading your book and I just wanted to let you know that you and I might possibly be dopplegangers of each other… or we were separated at birth… or our mothers were implanted with the same alien microchip. You inspired me to start writing again. I kinda like you because of that. And now that you officially think I’m creepy, I bid you adieu.

  95. You have to be a human, Jenny. No robot would ever have your sense of humor. Or your menagerie of animals both alive and stuffed.

  96. Whenever I come across these, or moderated comments I always worry I won’t get approved.

    I tend to be a little inappropriate..Half the time I don’t even realize it.

    I also tend to shy away from commenting on blogs that require creating accounts or using special logins to comment. Who has time for that?

    I mean..I do have the time, but I’m lazy.

  97. I can never read these things either. And then when you click on the speaker, to hear it pronounced….uh could we have a less clear pronunciation? Ugh

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: