New CAPTCHA tests your empathy skills

A new kind of CAPTCHA tests your humanity — literally — by asking you to identify the "right" emotion in situations of civil rights violations.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

A new kind of CAPTCHA tests your humanity — literally — by asking you to identify the "right" emotions in situations of civil rights violations.

Last week, we saw 404 pages being used to help find missing children. This week, an initiative set up by the Swedish group Civil Rights Defenders aims to raise awareness for civil rights around the world. Called Civil Rights CAPTCHA, this new type of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers & Humans Apart) — which is a randomised box that mostly has you typing in a series of letters to prove that you're human instead of a bot — poses a multiple-choice question.

These questions revolve around human rights — such as the one you see above. You are allowed past the CAPTCHA point on the website once you have correctly identified the emotion that one should feel when confronted with a civil rights violation.

The Civil Rights CAPTCHA website says that, "Most of the situations brought up in the CAPTCHA (all the negative ones) are based on real events, where the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been breached. There is no content related to our work in the CAPTCHA, which is based on our subjective and personal values."

While we think raising awareness for human rights is fantastic, we do have a small reservation about telling people the "right" way to feel. Nevertheless, using CAPTCHA is a novel way to get a point across, considering that the device is usually only utilitarian.

So far this year, we've seen CAPTCHA used to promote brand awareness and be replaced with a small Flash game.

You can try Civil Rights CAPTCHA for yourself here, and apply it to your site through the Civil Rights Defenders website here.


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