UsingEnglish.com helps the fight against spam by using Captchas on many of the forms we have on-site. As of today, we've started used a superb new service that not only fights spam, but helps digitise old books at the same time.
What is a Captcha?
Captchas are a way of giving a test (or challenge) that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. This means that spammers will find it much harder to abuse any form which includes a captcha.
So How is reCAPTCHA Different?
This is the good bit.
With reCAPTCHA, the words and numbers presented come from scanned books. By entering them in, you can help to digitise old texts. These texts, at least in part, come from the Internet Archive which currently contains 280,330 digitised texts.
This seems like such a sound concept that we've decided to convert as many forms as possible on UsingEnglish.com to use this system. You can see an example in action on our Contact Us page.
What a great initiative!