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To offer a counter-experience, I don't remember the last time I actually HAD the "click once" captcha. It's always "click the buses/traffic lights/store fronts" etc.

Your experience will differ based on how much Google tracking you block. If you're not letting them surveil your every move, they're less convinced you're human by default (or perhaps spite).

I have a hard time assigning malice to the recaptcha more blocking = lower score because while it's a fun conspiratorial position it's also true that the more you block the less you look like the average user who doesn't. Also the less info they can pull from to determine how likely it is you're an actual person so of course people without a trail are going to be more suspicious.

Wow this makes sense now. I switched to Firefox as my primary browser 7-8 weeks ago and enabled strict blocking; and as of the last ~week, I've been greeted with reCAPTCHAs on a ton of websites which previously just let me in.

I have lots of blocking turned on.

I imagine it's partly because I don't block cookies (I whitelist sites that get to store them across sessions and everything else is then session only).

Same here. I'm pretty aggressive in trying to block trackers (ublock, Firefox containers, privacy badger), so perhaps it's due to that.

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