Google has recently decided to implement an option for users of their Blogger service to require visual verification in order to post comments. The idea here is to prevent a problem known as “comment spam” where irrelevant, unwanted and occasionally offensive unsolicited comments are inappropriately posted to blogs, sometimes through the use of automated scripts. Fortunately, the visual verification is turned off by default, but we can surely expect a large share of blogger users to enable this security feature, immediately leaving the blind out of the ability to participate fully in yet another area of the Internet! As long as Google continues to deliberately insist on a visual verification scheme without accessible alternatives, this represents yet another example of the clear and present danger most of these systems represent for those of us who are physically unable to see. Check out the article straight from the source. After following the link in the article explaining the technique Google refers to as “word verification”, note that Google intends to differentiate between humans and automated computer programs. In fact, what Google is also doing with its inaccessible visual verification is differentiating between blind and sighted humans, targeting us for discrimination and exclusion, placing the blind in the same classification as automated computer programs and other nonhuman entities.
Obviously, despite recent incidents of “comment spam”, Blind Access Journal will definitely not enable visual verification. We urge all Blogger users to leave “word verification” turned off so as to avoid discriminating against and ultimately excluding their blind readers from equal participation!