Why would someone write captchas all day?


A while ago i was surfing around the internet and i found this site: captchatrader.com. I don't understand why would someone pay for people to solve captchas.

What is the reason? What do they get from that? I don't understand their business. Does someone know what is that all about?

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asked May 5 '11 at 02:25
205 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • From the site: "Depending on your software, if your CAPTCHAs come up every few minutes, you spend a lot of time waiting." When would you ever get a CAPTCHA every few minutes? I can't even imagine such a scenario existing, but I'd like to hear about them. – Davy8 13 years ago
  • They are doing it to digitize books, of course :P -- http://www.google.com/recaptchaMike Nereson 12 years ago

4 Answers


While there are possibly some legitimate uses in the world of automation, the main application is likely using these accounts for SPAM.

answered May 5 '11 at 02:32
413 points
  • It is used by black hat seo companies in order to spam a lot ! – Sylvain Peyronnet 13 years ago


Seems like a service like this could swing both ways. I love how everyone assumes paying someone to solve captcha's would be used for spam purposes, but I can think of a pretty big legitimate reason: time. Creating accounts and then entering captcha's can be very time consuming.

If you can pay someone a few dollars to solve captcha's for legitimate use, entering the captcha for you and whatnot, you've saved a whole heap of time you could be using on other things like your startup.

I think the underlying service is really for people to create spam accounts on Facebook and Gmail (as Rob mentioned), but I could see legitimate uses for it (as I mentioned above) as well.

answered May 5 '11 at 13:32
Digital Sea
1,613 points
  • I don't doubt that there are legitimate uses but I don't see any that you've mentioned. Creating accounts for what? I don't see when you'd need to create so many accounts in a short amount of time that it'd be faster to find someone to do a captcha for you than to just fill out the forms yourself. – Davy8 13 years ago
  • Dwayne - My immediate reaction is to be leery about any company that needs to pay someone to solve CAPTCHAS all day every day. Do you know of any legitimate businesses that do it? (I'm asking seriously, not rhetorically.) – Gef05 13 years ago
  • Theoretical example. A company is switching over to Gmail, they want to create a whole bunch of Gmail accounts for their 85 employee's. Google is going to show a captcha after the first few times and trust me entering hard to read captcha's isn't at the top of a companies to do list when they can pay a few measly dollars for someone else to do it. – Digital Sea 13 years ago


Legitimate uses include crawling websites that monopolize data that should be publicly available in bulk, including data from the Delaware Secretary of State Business Entity Records (Captcha protected). Will someone crawl that and repost please? :)

Just follow the Data 2.0 and Gov 2.0 scene and you will find so many uses for automating CAPTCHAs

answered May 5 '11 at 14:18
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points


Wow, didn't think they would be that brazen about it. I wonder if its possible to get them shut down under the antispam act.

To answer the question, @Rain pretty much has it, they let your robots (software tools which autoamte adding comments to blog posts etc) pretend to be human.

Behind the scenes they probably use Mechancial turk or something similar to put the pictures in front of people which they pay 20c per 1000 so they make their margin.

answered May 5 '11 at 12:07
Robin Vessey
8,394 points

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