I can be a cynical person, but I have to say, this is pretty cool. Swedish human rights group Civil Rights Defenders has created a new type of CAPTCHA that requires those who want to register for or comment on a Website to choose the proper emotional response to a human rights violation in order to prove themselves not a spambot.
I like this “empathy test” approach for several reasons. One: It draws attention to real civil rights issues from around the globe that many people may not know about. Two: Even if some troll does want to respond that they’re “fascinated” by the idea of gay people being beaten with sticks, well, they’ll still have failed the CAPTCHA test and won’t be able to post whatever (probably awful) comment they wanted to share. And three: The most commonly used type of CAPTCHA—where you have to retype a pair of words—can be damn near indecipherable. I can’t imagine that many of the emotional responses the Civil Rights Captcha uses requires the Greek lambda.
The Civil Rights Captcha, currently available in English or Swedish, is free and ready to be added to a site using a PHP library or an http API.