Trixie Leitz (trixieleitz) wrote in suggestions,
Trixie Leitz
trixieleitz
suggestions

Detect if recaptcha is blocked, if so, notify user more prominently

Title
Detect if recaptcha is blocked, if so, notify user more prominently

Short, concise description of the idea
Sometimes the "prove you're a human" tests on certain pages don't appear, because the user has JavaScript from recaptcha.net blocked. LiveJournal should handle this in a more obvious way.

Full description of the idea
Some pages on LiveJournal (notably, in Support terms, the Lost Information and Join LiveJournal pages) require users to complete a CAPTCHA in order to proceed. These CAPTCHAs are served by recaptcha.net. If the user permits JavaScript from LiveJournal, but blocks it from recaptcha.net, they will see a page that has no CAPTCHA, but also minimal indication that they are not seeing a CAPTCHA that should be there. There is a heading that says "Prove you're a human", but no significant indication below it that anything is missing.

Some CAPTCHA-using web pages have code that detects whether JavaScript from their CAPTCHA provider is blocked, and either displays a non-JavaScript CAPTCHA, or a message asking the user to permit JavaScript from their CAPTCHA provider. I suggest that LiveJournal implement something similar. Either a full-on JavaScript blocking detection hoodackey, or something as simple as an additional bit of text that says something like "If you do not see a CAPTCHA below this message, please set your browser or security software to permit JavaScript from recaptcha.net." Or something in between.

Edited to add on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 at 19:22 UTC:


  1. This is what the Join LiveJournal page looks like with LiveJournal JavaScripts permitted, and ReCaptcha JavaScripts forbidden.

  2. The logged-out Support request form already degrades gracefully to a non-JavaScript CAPTCHA if LiveJournal JavaScripts are permitted but ReCaptcha JavaScripts forbidden, so the code already exists to do this.

  3. I've also found since submitting this entry that the Lost Information form now seems to degrade gracefully as well - it didn't before.

  4. I haven't looked at any other (potentially) CAPTCHA-bearing pages on LiveJournal; the comment submission form come to mind, but there may be others

[edits end]

An ordered list of benefits
  • More users can successfully complete the "Lost Information" or "Join LiveJournal" forms without opening Support requests.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • May require co-ordination with recaptcha to implement fully.
Tags: accessibility, captchas, spam, usability, § no status
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