Telfar uses Captcha tests to fend off bots

If time went by and you had to pick the biggest cat out of a series of miniature feline photos, could you do it? What if a Telfar bag w...


If time went by and you had to pick the biggest cat out of a series of miniature feline photos, could you do it?

What if a Telfar bag was in play?

Last week, the fashion brand, led by the disruptive designer Telfar Clemens, released a limited number of new bags in what is called a “drop”. When this happens, chaos often ensues and the bags sell out within minutes. This time was no exception.

Usually other Telfar fans and finger dexterity are the biggest obstacles to securing any of these sought after bags. Consumers have to be quick to buy them online.

This time around, however, Telfar’s hopes found themselves bewildered by Captcha testing, which is used on websites to determine whether a visitor (often a consumer) is human or not. They are meant to deter hackers and software that performs automated tasks (better known as retail bots).

The Captchas sounded very specific – and maybe even harsher than usual. One of them was to be completed: it asked users to complete the sentence “Not for you, for ___”. (The response was Telfar’s slogan: “Not for you, for everyone.”). Another prompted the buyer to rate several photos of different cats and draw a box around the larger one.

Frustrated consumers flooded Twitter with jokes and requests for help solving the puzzles.

“While the humans were answering the captcha questions, the bots were collecting the bags!” They are actually boring !!! ” Rae Foston, 19, who had tried to buy a small red Telfar shopping bag, wrote in a direct message. “It’s not that they’re picky, and I understand I have them, but are they really serving their purpose?”

Jayshawn Williams, 33, also struggled to crack the code. Mr Williams, who was trying to buy an average shopping bag, said it took him about five minutes to answer his Captcha question.

“Once I got the answer I laughed to myself and had a ‘duh’ moment,” he wrote. (Mr. Williams was also unable to secure a bag.)

But there was a method to this madness. Telfar, like many coveted brands that publish inventory this way, has dealt with automated robots. buy stocks in the past. The original Captcha puzzles were an attempt to fool them – not humans.

“The truth is, the reason people don’t get the bag isn’t because they have to draw a box around the cat,” Mr. Clemens’ business partner Babak Radboy wrote in a statement to The New York Times. “It means that more people and fewer robots receive bags. The reason people can’t get the bag is because every minute there are tens of thousands more people who want bags than there are to get.

He defended the new security measures: “It takes time to get it right. Our thinking is long term.

In recent years, bots have become increasingly adept at cracking codes traditionally used in these security systems. According to Jason Polakis, a researcher and faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago, simple Captchas, especially text-based ones, have become trivial to circumvent.

“As machine learning continues to progress at a rapid pace, some tasks that were previously very difficult for machines (for example, identifying images showing a glass of wine) are now within their grasp. In fact, for some tasks, machines are probably better than average users, ”Polakis wrote in an email. “As a result, captcha services have made their challenges increasingly difficult in an attempt to mitigate the efficiency of automated solvers. “

These automated solvers, or bots, increase the value of objects. Telfar’s shopping bags often end up on resale sites like StockX, Poshmark and Grailed, sometimes in the hands of collectives like Hypernova Group, who claimed to have bought more than 60 percent of Telfar stock in a drop bag last summer. The sweep prompted a response from the brand on Instagram: “Telfar is for the people. Not the robots.

While many buyers are nostalgic for the Easier Captchas, some have still managed to find the humor in it all despite releasing empty-handed.

“I will say I had never encountered this cat captcha before and was surprised. It was pretty funny, ”Ms. Foston wrote. Although the humor came later – “not back then because it’s 2 intense minutes trying to buy a telfar,” she wrote.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Telfar uses Captcha tests to fend off bots
Telfar uses Captcha tests to fend off bots
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