Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CAPTCHA*


(*But Were Afraid to Ask.)

Don’t like to read? Watch our ninety-second CAPTCHA history video, or check out our CAPTCHA madness infographic. Want all the juicy details? Continue on for more.

What's a CAPTCHA?

You’ve probably seen these distorted, hard-to-read blocks of text before. They’re called CAPTCHA, and they’re tests designed to verify that web site users are real humans.

New Yorker cartoon

Real humans? Who else would be browsing the web?
Bots—that’s who! Internet robots—“bots” for short—are automated computer programs that are often used for malicious purposes, such as sending spam or snapping up concert tickets to be resold by scalpers.

So CAPTCHA stops these bots?
CAPTCHA stops some bots, but as computers have gotten better at reading, CAPTCHA have become less and less legible. Clever bots get past most CAPTCHA, while real humans are left struggling.

That’s where PlayThru comes in. Computers don’t play the same way people do, so our games stump them. Humans pass right through, and the bots are kept out.