Gotta love that they're using Google's cloud resources to defeat Google's reCaptcha
Either way I think being a bit adversarial towards this kind of stuff is a healthy, albeit small, protest.
Requiring some kind of unique identifier seems like a difficult thing to sell to users, but otherwise we may be at the mercy of bots.
And it's not the scammers and normal spammers using bots that worries me. It's the potential to shepherd public opinion on social networks.
And the unique identifiers need to be made public, and publicly verifiable - otherwise you've made it harder for, say, russian politibots - but easier for, say, facebook, who could post all the fake comments they want, and people will be more likely to trust that each commenter is unique and was vetted.
So basically, abolish private communication. I'm not mocking you, in case it sounds like that - I see the same dilemma, and don't know the answer. Personally, I prefer just making sure that the big communication sites are as vigilant as they can be and make it prohibitively annoying to engage in spam-like activities. It's not perfect, but it's the least awful choice (IMO).
Not private communication. You and I should be able to talk privately all we want. Just anonymous communication.
And really our ability to communicate privately would be pointless if we weren't sure about one another's identity.
But you wouldn't event have to abolish anonymity online entirely... Just on major social influences.
The other option, imo, is that people become more skeptical and approach all content as though it could be politibots and/or advertisement. Then the notion of using the internet to "sample the crowd" is lost entirely because the crowd is tainted by bots and skepticism.
This seems difficult because people seem to have built in systems for relying on peer samples to establish norms.
Hashcash is interesting, but it's probably not applicable to every scenario and it hasn't seen much adoption. There might even be a bit of a stigma now around proof-of-work algorithms because of cryptocurrency mining.
I'll take the PoW captcha any day.
The temporary fix Google might have to do in the mean time however is to stop all audio reCaptchas, blocking the people who vitally depend on it.
Hacking reCAPTCHA is not only for bad people. There are several use cases where solving reCAPTCHA automatically is needed.