What is reCAPTCHA?

If you have purchased tickets through Ticketmaster’s website, you will have passed through a reCAPTCHA puzzle – those distorted images of numbers and letters that must be typed in to  complete a transaction.

reCAPTCHA is a necessary part of the purchase process as it proves to us that you are a human – a real fan, not a computer automated program. This means it is one of the strongest methods we have to reduce scalping ensuring fans fair access to the tickets on Ticketmaster.

So what exactly is reCAPTCHA?

Well, it stands for ‘Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart’ – and it does just that. A reCAPTCHA is designed to create tests that humans can pass but computer programs cannot. Automated programs known as ‘bots’ can be used to purchase bulk numbers of tickets – in many cases the best seats in the house. When presented with a reCAPTCHA, ‘bots’ can’t read the distorted text in the same way a human can. By including this security check at the time of purchase, Ticketmaster is ensuring the purchaser is in fact human, which in turn gives better access to genuine fans.

Over time bots have become smarter, which has meant Ticketmaster has had to use more-complicated reCAPTCHA technology to combat them. In the event of major onsales, it is sometimes necessary to use more complex reCAPTCHA words and phrases to prevent the impact of bots.

The important thing to note when it comes to Ticketmaster’s security check is that customers are given ample time to complete the reCAPTCHA security check and continue the purchase process. Ticketmaster also offers an audio option for visiually impaired customers so that they can listen to the words/numbers and enter them in place of a visual security check.

Another interesting feature of reCAPTCHA is that by typing these words in the box, users are helping to digitise books from the Internet archive, which preserves literature that was written before the computer age.

Ticketmaster continues to invest heavily in anti-bot technology to improve the online user experience for all ticket purchasers who visit our website. We understand that reCAPTCHA can sometimes be a frustrating process. However, hopefully this post gives you a better understanding of why you are faced with a jumble of letters and numbers next time you come to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster.