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phunkeey
teacher
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Policing Cheating

submitted on June 21, 2009 by phunkeey in "Buxr Website / Contests"
As the site grows in popularity so does the temptation to cheat the contests. Why don't we kick around some ideas on how best to prevent and detect cheating? One idea the moderators plan to implement is including the user info for deals voted on for each user on his/her activity page.

Any other ideas?
 

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  • 29311
    Tarun
    novice
    Posted by Tarun on June 21, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Perhaps disallowing new members to vote for a day or two? That way the best daily deal can't be screwed with.
      29318
    • JackBauer
      admin
      Posted by JackBauer on June 21, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      I am not sure that would help. It would also discourage new users from being a part of the community.

      What worries me is people banding together or creating multiple user names from different ip addresses to rig the contests in their favor. It is that type of cheating that would really hurt this great community that we have.
  • 29319
    overaged
    apprentice
    1 1 1
    Posted by overaged on June 21, 2009
    [reply] 0 1
    I have to agree with Jack. Most of the new users aren't the problem and to disallow them from voting would only make them leave buxr.

    My concern is the same as Jacks.

    I have a question though. I've read posts from people like Yan who are able to use their phone to participate on buxr.

    I've always had internet blocked on my cell phone but couldn't one log in under a different isp through their phone.

    I'm thinking that certain people could create accts through their phone, home puter, laptop w/ wireless connections, etc.

    I'm not real computer savvy but for instance one could go to the library and create an acct from there, go to starbucks and create an acct there since these 2 have set ups for you to be able to take your own laptop there and use it, also lots of places have internet cafes. (I think all these places mentioned would have their own isp's tied to them)

    So in essence one person could have multiple accts using the available methods.

    If I'm wrong please tell me so.
      29329
    • onkarkulkarni
      professor
      9 4 4
      11 8 2
      Posted by onkarkulkarni on June 21, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      It's Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. In simple terms, it's a way by which the network assigns you a different IP each time you connect to the network.
  • 29320
    onkarkulkarni
    professor
    9 4 4
    11 8 2
    Posted by onkarkulkarni on June 21, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Also, if you have a DHCP, the IP is dynamically assigned every time you log in. In that case too, one can have different IP address each time he/she logs in.

    There has to be some way to track the same person logging from different IP addresses in order to track multiple accounts. That would go a long way to prevent cheating and hunting down illegal accounts.
  • 29321
    overaged
    apprentice
    1 1 1
    Posted by overaged on June 21, 2009
    [reply] 0 1
    what's a dhcp?
  • 29322
    Solstice
    professor
    1 6 2
    11 4 1
    Posted by Solstice on June 21, 2009
    [reply] 0 1
    We all know that people have been caught cheating from time-to-time, perhaps knowing that they is a penalty in store for such behavior might serve as its own deterrent/prevention method.

    For example....
    1st Offense: Inability to post deals for 15 days.
    2nd Offense: Inability to post deals for 30 days.
    3rd Offense: Just like baseball, You're Outta' Here!

    People are obviously cheating for the monetary gain, so such a penalty would seem fitting as recourse.

    Also the initial penalty of two weeks would seriously hamper the ability to gain a monthly spot after being caught, thus it would re-balance the contest for those who were playing fair. Usually it takes at least a week to spot a clever cheater, and in that time they can pull down quite a few wins, giving them an unfair monthly spot advantage.

    However, the first and second penalty still provide for both a second and third chance for a person to redeem themselves in the future. (i.e We would love to have you here, but only if you can play fair.)
  • 29357
    Leighbra
    learner
    Posted by Leighbra on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    I sure wish people knowing that they're big fat jerks would keep them from cheating.

    The big fat jerks.

    Perhaps part of joining (or voting?) could be having a verified Paypal account? I'm aware that might scare off some casual users that don't think they could ever win anything, so if it were a hoop to through in order to vote, they could still look around.

    Paypal tracks duplicate emails, addresses, and bank accounts, making it harder to make multiple fake Buxr accounts for the sake of cheating.

    But of course, really dedicated people will always find a way to be big fat jerks.
  • 29358
    MrCheap
    professor
    2
    1 1 1
    Posted by MrCheap on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    This is not as simple as it seems.

    How do you define cheating? Am I a cheater if somebody I know votes up my deals? What if my friend votes up other deals as well? How many other deals do they need to vote up for each of mine so it doesn't look like cheating? Is this ratio all that matters?

    My understanding is that Mike and Yan ban outright anyone they catch sharing an IP or through whatever other technical means they use
      29373
    • llocomotive
      apprentice
      1
      1
      Posted by llocomotive on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      Mr. Cheap has a point. How do you prove it ?
    • 29396
    • Solstice
      professor
      1 6 2
      11 4 1
      Posted by Solstice on June 22, 2009 [reply] 1 1
      That is another matter entirely, and involves when the attempt to cheat is not as obvious.
      There are other signs to look for when trying to discern to a cheater.

      In terms of voting...
      1. Exclusive Voting
      2. Voting only on a specific individual posts early, while all votes for others go towards the previous days posts, or even older posts that 2+ days or older. (I call this "vote burying".)
      3. Voting only on a specific users posts early to give them an extra bump in count, while only voting on clearly less than stellar posts that same day that won't go anywhere, and/or the ones that are obviously destined to take a prize spot anyway. i.e The extra bump is a boost in the vote count for a close race in one of the remaining prize spots. (I call this "vote masking".)

      In terms other signs...
      (Grammar and Syntax) Like verbal speech and handwriting, people have distinctive ways of blogging and texting. There are often key words, phrases, and ways of typing, that if looked at properly can reveal a suedo-user, which is in fact a "cheating account".

      (The Peanut Gallery) If specific user seems to consistently provide positive comments or support for another user and their deal posts, but then not anyone else else, this is another sign of a cheating-account. Also if a member seems to inexplicably join in defending a specific user during commenting, or attacking another user with negative comments, that can also provide another sign that a user is a cheating-account.

      Often you will find many of these factors come into play, but perhaps not all of them, and sometimes only one or two. These are the tell-tale tactics employed by cheaters who have managed to drum up the brain cells to not use the same IP addresses for multiple accounts, but not enough cerebral power to stop trying altogether and develop some kind of ethos.
    • 29401
    • Solstice
      professor
      1 6 2
      11 4 1
      Posted by Solstice on June 22, 2009
      [reply] 0 1
      There are actually a couple of more signs to look for, and I'll add those later on.
  • 29364
    Leighbra
    learner
    Posted by Leighbra on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    My understanding is that Mike and Yan ban outright anyone they catch sharing an IP or through whatever other technical means they use


    which stinks, because a husband and wife might both have totally different views on what is or isn't a good deal, and both want their own accounts.

    Is there a policy on that, or do I need to have my husband move out? Wink
  • 29367
    overaged
    apprentice
    1 1 1
    Posted by overaged on June 22, 2009
    [reply] 0 1
    you need to have your husband move out Big Grin
      29526
    • Leighbra
      learner
      Posted by Leighbra on June 23, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      heh but then who will pay for my internet connection?

      Guess he'll just have to keep his paws off my votes.
  • 29394
    phunkeey
    teacher
    Posted by phunkeey on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Re: "How do you define cheating?"

    Cheating will have to be defined, and it will have to involve analyzing voting behavior. If a certain percentage or ratio of a user's votes are biased for another user then this will be defined as cheating. This ratio will have to be determined and or decided on a case by case basis. Also the voting time must be considered since all votes are not created equal. Votes for a contest eligible deal are worth more than those for an ineligible deal and this will have to be considered.
      29619
    • vedlon
      expert
      Posted by vedlon on June 23, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      Yes phunkeey . As you stated here cheating defines in analyzing voting behaviour.
      I found some votes which describes your behaviour.
      http://www.buxr.com/deal/ipod-.....aker_24475
      http://www.buxr.com/deal/goste.....h/speakers

      In these both deals you are the one who started with Neg.
      If you really know or found some thing cheaper than the posted price why don't you posted the Proof of the deal.
      AS i know you wantedly did that.

      You have to learn that from Solstice . I observed his Neg.
      95% of his votes are having pretty nice reason/Proof.

      First of all we have to clean up ourself then we have to think about rest.
    • 29675
    • phunkeey
      teacher
      Posted by phunkeey on June 24, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      My friends, not all deals are found on the internet. Anyone who has been to Everything's a Dollar or Dollar Tree knows that these worthless speakers can be bought for a buck.

      I "wantedly" (wantonly??)did that because I think six bucks for some crappy speakers is a bad deal.
  • 29397
    phunkeey
    teacher
    Posted by phunkeey on June 22, 2009
    [reply] 1 0
    Re: "How do you prove it?"

    Good question. This discussion was started because some users have noticed suspicious voting patterns on the part of other users. These users were likely cheating, possibly in cahoots were current users (or shill/fake users to begin with), but they certainly know who they are. And we do to. This discussion is to come up with a definition for cheating, bias, or abuse and a mechanism to prove it.
  • 29402
    phunkeey
    teacher
    Posted by phunkeey on June 22, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    One way to deal with cheaters:

  • 29678
    emma123
    professor
    1
    3 1
    Posted by emma123 on June 24, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    i can't read
  • 29681
    phunkeey
    teacher
    Posted by phunkeey on June 24, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Panel 1: He Cheated Tarzan! Threw his spear at you before Mambo's signal!

    Panel 2: Yes, Captain Wildcat, Thanks to you I saw him in time!

    Panel 3: Mambo, "The fight must continue. . .until one man dies!
    Gano, "Stop him, Mambo! I, Gano, have no spear and he has two!"
  • 29684
    shawndiaz
    beginner
    1
    Posted by shawndiaz on June 24, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    One note to make you aware of. There are ways to find IP configurations, even using DHCP. Everyone who uses the internet has a Primary IP assigned to the router/ switch that is assigning DHCP to each machine. Therefore, no matter what IP the PC is using at that time on that day, the IP of the router/switch never changes as it is dedicated from your ISP (Internet Service Provider)

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