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humans only junk email filtering

prove you are a human before a email server accepts your email
  [vote for,

This is an idea for blocking junk email. You know how some free email providers like yahoo etc have a new account sign up system where you have to prove you are a living breathing human with a brain by correctly answering a random question. They do it by severely distorting a single word in a graphic. If you have a human brain, you get the right answer and you are given a new email account. But that method could also be used in the reception of all email. A new class of email protocol could be invented and the current POP email systems could be abandoned in several years. Lets say the new email system becomes called POPproof accounts. And lets say POPproof email address have an extra @ symbol to distinguish them from the old email method. So you are a human, and you want to send email a friend or a stranger. Their email address is sam@@superhost.com. You click send. But a box pops up on your screen. It says, "The receiving email server wants you to prove you are a real living person" "It wants to know if you can see the distorted word in this image". Luckily because you have a human brain you see it, and you type the word that you see and your email is successfully sent.
epic2, Jan 20 2004

The CAPTCHA project http://www.captcha.net/
Probably invented the term CAPTCHA. I don't know how parochial the phrase is. [Loris, Oct 04 2004]


       sounds good to me. That would stop me having to add new words to my filter every day.
fastpaw, Jan 20 2004

       I would like to make a suggestion. Why not add a part that makes it easy to get back to the person that is sending the junk and then at least we could then send all their junk back.
fastpaw, Jan 20 2004

       //Please don't take this the wrong way, and welcome, but could you invest in a couple of commas?// This annotation proves that [blissmiss] is human and is permitted to participate in discussions at this web site. An automated grammar checker would have found that more than a couple of commas is missing.
kbecker, Jan 20 2004

       As long as you're not worried about the millions of people using a text environment... maybe an ASCII art contingency?   

       ([bliss]'s grammar clearance sale could probably include a few paragraph breaks, too.)
Detly, Jan 22 2004

       I've been toying with the same idea for some time (except without the @@ business). The distorted words are 'CAPTCHA's, by the way.
There are several finicky little problems you need to solve.
1) Blind people need to be able to pass the test. One possibility is an audio version, but this is much more tricky without a very standard format like jpeg.
2) As Detly pointed out, text-onlies
3) emails you should let in without testing.
My method involved storing a pass-list for addresses which had either passed a test, or you had sent email to. Of course this doesn't help for organisations where you email one address and receive a reply from another. Mailing lists you've subscribed to, for example.

       Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll make my fortune from this idea, anyway.
Loris, Jan 22 2004


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