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Author Topic: The merit system, as laudable as its purpose is, is flawed.  (Read 448 times)
Nosk
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February 13, 2018, 01:16:59 AM
Merited by DarkStar_ (3), The Pharmacist (1), freedomno1 (1)
 #1

Hello everyone,

I'll start with a small disclaimer :
I have lurked a long time on this forum. I opened this account since 2013 and observed a lot.
Being a top notch high ranked user was never one of my priority and I was there when the big merit update arrived.
I don't make this post to whine about merit, I'm just trying to share my point of view to increase the quality of this forum (maybe it won't, but I do what I can :p )


I take into account that there were diverse users with diverse profiles and diverse rank during the merit update.
According to theymos' post https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2818350.0 , that gives us a initial amount of X sMerit. X = (total merit granted by every ranks) / 2
If we consider "one big cycle" as "every user here during the update gave all the smerit he could", then the remaining smerit coming out of this cycle is now X/2.
Everyone who did a bit of math in their live see me coming.
Any number X, divided by 2 a large number of times, will come really close to 0. In a few cycles (I know, I know in the reality there is no 'cycle' like that, everything is continuous; that doesn't change the math), there will be almost no smerit left.

I know that there is other way to earn smerit (list interesting posts, etc...), but come on. From my point of view : if I use a forum, it is become the subject interest me, and I want to grow and learn about it. I think you will never see me doing some compilation of interesting post compilation just because I want to earn smerit and I think there is a lot of people in the same state of mind.
I think there is a lot of post worth reading that are not "rewarded" enough. That's too bad because the ranks of the users who made it does not give them the credit they deserve. You will say "well, they'll earn credit by earning merit". Yes, but I stated earlier that smerit is a finite "ressource". In 2-6 monthes there will remain only a few people who earned the hero member or legendary member rank before the update that will be in condition to give smerit, and also some people spaming meta to earn it.

Plus, there is a lot of discussion and child boards. Some of them are frequented by a lot of people, and others are not. Some of them are frequented by people who have a lot of smerit to give, and others are not. Some people were here since a long time and posted uninteresting posts & ranked up, some people came later and struggle or will struggle to rank up, even if they deserve to.

As I totally understand the will of highlithing profiles and posts, I think this system is flawed and is somehow unfair to any good-willed newcomers.

Again, I'm not whining about it. I'm just trying to make a constructive statement. If I'm wrong or if there is something that I didn't understand, please I'll enjoy talking about it with you (and will update this post if needed).


PS: I did not review every post of the meta discussion before posting it. If there is a similar topic, please let me know and I'll delete this one.
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February 13, 2018, 01:24:07 AM
 #2

You are almost correct but you seem to have left out the current and future merit sources.
It will be up to them, including source creators, to balance the amount of merit inflation/deflation and to distribute sources more evenly across sub forums..

We will have to wait and see if they do a good job..   

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February 13, 2018, 01:30:08 AM
 #3

You are almost correct but you seem to have left out the current and future merit sources.
It will be up to them, including source creators, to balance the amount of merit inflation/deflation and to distribute sources more evenly across sub forums..

My point is that the current merit sources will never compensate the inital smerit quantity induced by ranks.
There HAS to be future merit sources. Otherwise I can see a lot of consequences, such as rank up rarification, involving a huge boom in really high ranked signature campaigns payouts, merit black market, more hacking, and so on...
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February 13, 2018, 01:31:06 AM
Last edit: February 13, 2018, 02:05:18 AM by DarkStar_
Merited by Vod (2)
 #4

there will be almost no smerit left.

There are merit sources on the forum, which are people chosen by theymos. Those people get a continuous supply of sMerit, where any sMerits they spend from their source comes back in 30 days.
There are 57 merit sources with a total merit generation of up to 11975 sMerit per 30 days

I know that there is other way to earn smerit (list interesting posts, etc...), but come on. From my point of view : if I use a forum, it is become the subject interest me, and I want to grow and learn about it. I think you will never see me doing some compilation of interesting post compilation just because I want to earn smerit and I think there is a lot of people in the same state of mind.
I think there is a lot of post worth reading that are not "rewarded" enough. That's too bad because the ranks of the users who made it does not give them the credit they deserve. You will say "well, they'll earn credit by earning merit". Yes, but I stated earlier that smerit is a finite "ressource". In 2-6 monthes there will remain only a few people who earned the hero member or legendary member rank before the update that will be in condition to give smerit, and also some people spaming meta to earn it.

Can't say anything about spamming Meta for merit in the future, but you don't have to touch Meta to earn merit right now. I'm currently running the ChipMixer signature campaign, and I'm keeping track of participants (58 people right now) and their merit count. These are people with good posts, and they have earned a decent number amount of merit considering how new the system is, all of them have not touched a merit review thread, and most do not or rarely post in Meta.





Obviously, the campaign does not represent the forum's "population", but it is a decent sample of quality posters.

Plus, there is a lot of discussion and child boards. Some of them are frequented by a lot of people, and others are not. Some of them are frequented by people who have a lot of smerit to give, and others are not. Some people were here since a long time and posted uninteresting posts & ranked up, some people came later and struggle or will struggle to rank up, even if they deserve to.

The end goal I assume for theymos is to have decent representation of merit sources in all sections. Hopefully this becomes a non issue in the future, and I don't think it's too much of an issue right now. You can't expect to gain merit in the Games and Rounds section (mostly giveaways) for example. There are also merit sources in local sections.

As I totally understand the will of highlithing profiles and posts, I think this system is flawed and is somehow unfair to any good-willed newcomers.

Hard to tell without more time.

You are almost correct but you seem to have left out the current and future merit sources.
It will be up to them, including source creators, to balance the amount of merit inflation/deflation and to distribute sources more evenly across sub forums..

My point is that the current merit sources will never compensate the inital smerit quantity induced by ranks.
There HAS to be future merit sources. Otherwise I can see a lot of consequences, such as rank up rarification, involving a huge boom in really high ranked signature campaigns payouts, merit black market, more hacking, and so on...

More merit sources will be added as time passes. We started with I believe 50 merit sources, now we're at 57. I don't think any merit sources would be involved with merit black market stuff, as it's pretty obvious. The people doing the black market stuff will run out after time.

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February 13, 2018, 01:52:44 AM
 #5

You are almost correct but you seem to have left out the current and future merit sources.
It will be up to them, including source creators, to balance the amount of merit inflation/deflation and to distribute sources more evenly across sub forums..

My point is that the current merit sources will never compensate the inital smerit quantity induced by ranks.
There HAS to be future merit sources. Otherwise I can see a lot of consequences, such as rank up rarification, involving a huge boom in really high ranked signature campaigns payouts, merit black market, more hacking, and so on...


A lot of the users have ranked up by simply being here, since you didn't need to post quality posts or anything constructive to get a rank, you simply have to be so mostly, ranks earned in previous year were how long have you been here.

Also, regarding the merit black market, more hacking,etc... no problem, someone might hack the system or even find some glitch, who knows, but that given merit amount will be shown in here and will raise some eyebrows, therefore possibly getting that account banned.

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Nosk
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February 13, 2018, 02:10:09 AM
Merited by The Pharmacist (1), eddie13 (1)
 #6

There are merit sources on the forum, which are people chosen by theymos. Those people get a continuous supply of sMerit, where any sMerits they spend from their source comes back in 30 days.
There are 57 merit sources with a total merit generation of up to 11975 sMerit per 30 days

Oh, I did not know that. I sticked to theymos' post about it.
I took a quick look and things were not indeed as bad as I assumed, but 11975 merit per month doesn't seem a large number to me. According to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsendat, 64493 were sent in total and the system is pretty recent.
Maybe it is theymos' objective to reduce the available merit to efficiently get rid of shitposts and highlight quality posts.


Quote
Can't say anything about spamming Meta for merit in the future, but you don't have to touch Meta to earn merit right now. I'm currently running the ChipMixer signature campaign, and I'm keeping track of participants (58 people right now) and their merit count. These are people with good posts, and they have earned a decent number amount of merit considering how new the system is, and all of them have not touched a merit review thread, and most do not or rarely post in Meta.

My point was, as it is stated in the merit system topic, that posting some compilation of interesting and undervalued (in term of merit) in meta was a potential source of merit.
I wasn't trying to blame frequent meta discussion user of keeping their smerit to themselves Smiley

A lot of the users have ranked up by simply being here, since you didn't need to post quality posts or anything constructive to get a rank, you simply have to be so mostly, ranks earned in previous year were how long have you been here.
Yes I am aware of that. And that's why I pointed out that the new system could seem unfair to newcomers.

Quote
Also, regarding the merit black market, more hacking,etc... no problem, someone might hack the system or even find some glitch, who knows, but that given merit amount will be shown in here and will raise some eyebrows, therefore possibly getting that account banned.
To be honest I think that there already is a certain part of abuses of the merit system. As long as they are a little bit smart, abusers won't get caught by a simple top compilation related to the subject. Admins surely have a lot more tools to monitor abuses, but there is always a way to slip through the cracks.
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February 13, 2018, 02:38:50 AM
Merited by SALAUDDIN (1)
 #7

I took a quick look and things were not indeed as bad as I assumed,
I am not a merit source and do not wish to be, but I'm trying to use up all the merit points I have on members who are below legendary rank.  In the beginning I think I gave out quite a few to legendaries and then sort of realized that they don't need them as much--except recently I realized members like DarkStar_ are using merits to judge post quality for sig campaigns.  That makes sense, and I tend to find that higher-ranked members have survived long enough to achieve that because of good post quality.  Not all of them, but a good majority.

Also a notice to the lower-ranked members I give merit to:  You don't have to reciprocate.  That's happened recently and it gives the appearance that we're trading merit, and that isn't the case.

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February 13, 2018, 03:16:02 AM
 #8

I took a quick look and things were not indeed as bad as I assumed,
I am not a merit source and do not wish to be, but I'm trying to use up all the merit points I have on members who are below legendary rank.  In the beginning I think I gave out quite a few to legendaries and then sort of realized that they don't need them as much--except recently I realized members like DarkStar_ are using merits to judge post quality for sig campaigns.  That makes sense, and I tend to find that higher-ranked members have survived long enough to achieve that because of good post quality.  Not all of them, but a good majority.

Also a notice to the lower-ranked members I give merit to:  You don't have to reciprocate.  That's happened recently and it gives the appearance that we're trading merit, and that isn't the case.

I don't. I'm personally not giving out many merits to Legendaries as well, because they don't *really* need it.

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February 13, 2018, 06:15:58 AM
 #9

I took a quick look and things were not indeed as bad as I assumed,
I am not a merit source and do not wish to be, but I'm trying to use up all the merit points I have on members who are below legendary rank.  In the beginning I think I gave out quite a few to legendaries and then sort of realized that they don't need them as much--except recently I realized members like DarkStar_ are using merits to judge post quality for sig campaigns.  That makes sense, and I tend to find that higher-ranked members have survived long enough to achieve that because of good post quality.  Not all of them, but a good majority.

Also a notice to the lower-ranked members I give merit to:  You don't have to reciprocate.  That's happened recently and it gives the appearance that we're trading merit, and that isn't the case.
Don't worry little Pinnoy fella, I will hand you out a merit, for the Don to see that I understand and know how to support the family. I'd put some merits in you and you could put some green trust in me when I have joined the family.

I don't. I'm personally not giving out many merits to Legendaries as well, because they don't *really* need it.
I was talking with theymos the other day about rewarding the top merited members with a hefty Bitcoin amount in about 7-10 months from now (note that I'm lying, theymos doesn't talk to people like me a.k.a lowlife low levels of society).

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February 13, 2018, 10:10:29 AM
 #10

I would rather have preferred a demerit system instead of a merit system, where users get fixed demerit points to give out to users who are abusing their bitcointalk profiles for posting waste messages just to complete their bounty requirements! Once a particular post gets 5 demerit points from various users, the post should be flagged for the admins to review, if everything is right about the demerit system, the admins should decrease the activity by a value of 28 to make sure the user posts good posts and not just say thanks, looking forward, when lambo etc.
I myself agree merits system being flawed, but if it really makes the bitcointalk forum go for informed posts and less like reddit, i am all in!

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February 13, 2018, 02:42:17 PM
 #11

I would rather have preferred a demerit system instead of a merit system, where users get fixed demerit points to give out to users who are abusing their bitcointalk profiles for posting waste messages just to complete their bounty requirements! Once a particular post gets 5 demerit points from various users, the post should be flagged for the admins to review, if everything is right about the demerit system, the admins should decrease the activity by a value of 28 to make sure the user posts good posts and not just say thanks, looking forward, when lambo etc.
I myself agree merits system being flawed, but if it really makes the bitcointalk forum go for informed posts and less like reddit, i am all in!
Merits or Demerits, are basically the same. Both system can be abused, well actually almost all system can be abused if an individual wants to. Both have the same purpose, to reduce spammers and account farmers by either giving merits or demerits. And let's say that both have limits in sending merits/demerits which accounts the abuse part.

In my opinion, one thing that made merits better than demerits is the approach of it. People would love to be praised rather than be noticed by their mistakes.
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February 13, 2018, 03:08:53 PM
 #12

I would rather have preferred a demerit system instead of a merit system, where users get fixed demerit points to give out to users who are abusing their bitcointalk profiles for posting waste messages just to complete their bounty requirements! Once a particular post gets 5 demerit points from various users, the post should be flagged for the admins to review, if everything is right about the demerit system, the admins should decrease the activity by a value of 28 to make sure the user posts good posts and not just say thanks, looking forward, when lambo etc.
I myself agree merits system being flawed, but if it really makes the bitcointalk forum go for informed posts and less like reddit, i am all in!
Merits or Demerits, are basically the same. Both system can be abused, well actually almost all system can be abused if an individual wants to. Both have the same purpose, to reduce spammers and account farmers by either giving merits or demerits. And let's say that both have limits in sending merits/demerits which accounts the abuse part.

In my opinion, one thing that made merits better than demerits is the approach of it. People would love to be praised rather than be noticed by their mistakes.
Activities abused, trust abused, then abusements will come to merit points. That is normal evolution, the forum has to grow to deal with the fact. Merit system have to and will be adjusted in the near future
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February 13, 2018, 03:22:48 PM
 #13

Once a particular post gets 5 demerit points from various users, the post should be flagged for the admins to review

This kind of system already exists lol. Report a post and it gets flagged for review by a moderator.

I wouldn't be against reducing activity for spammers, but it's a rather inelegant solution that will require a lot more hands-on work by mods, and they seem to be short-handed enough as is. Merits are pretty awesome in that it will completely stop spammers from ranking up, therefore de-incentivizing shitposting, and doesn't require too much moderation. The only problem with it is that it also makes it much harder for regular users to rank up, which is probably against theymos's intentions.

It would be best to give it time as it will probably be polished in the future.

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February 13, 2018, 11:21:45 PM
Merited by figmentofmyass (1)
 #14

I will talk about two points:
1. we have 65637 merit was sent in the last 30 days and about 892303 number of accounts.
With a simple calculation I think we will get on 0.07 merit/account. Really Huh
2. theymos talk about 57 merits source, if you check this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend will find less than 50 member send 100 merits.



I don’t know but a simple calculation will get into "Deadlock zone" [No account will be rankup].
80% of total accounts get 30% of all the required points.

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February 13, 2018, 11:56:14 PM
 #15

I will talk about two points:
1. we have 65637 merit was sent in the last 30 days and about 892303 number of accounts.
With a simple calculation I think we will get on 0.07 merit/account. Really Huh

A lot of those accounts are probably inactive. If you're banned, nuked, or don't post at all, you don't need to rank up. The number of active users is likely more in the 100k range, or lower. Out of those active users, not all of them post quality. Many just enter spam megathreads, repeat what's already been said, and don't deserve merit. Those that deserve them should be getting them.

My ChipMixer campaign analysis is a good example of this.

I'm currently running the ChipMixer signature campaign, and I'm keeping track of participants (58 people right now) and their merit count. These are people with good posts, and they have earned a decent number amount of merit considering how new the system is, all of them have not touched a merit review thread, and most do not or rarely post in Meta.





Obviously, the campaign does not represent the forum's "population", but it is a decent sample of quality posters.

2. theymos talk about 57 merits source, if you check this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend will find less than 50 member send 100 merits.

Is there a page 2 of that? The lowest on that page has sent 124 merit, so there could be lots of people who sent 100 or more. Some people have also spent their source merit slower, as 30 days haven't passed either.

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February 14, 2018, 12:04:24 AM
 #16

I will talk about two points:
1. we have 65637 merit was sent in the last 30 days and about 892303 number of accounts.
With a simple calculation I think we will get on 0.07 merit/account. Really Huh
This is assuming that all those 892303 accounts are active. Shave off the bots/inactive users and that number will be higher. Next, remove all the farmed accounts, and if we check out rizzlarolla's list then we can see that there's going to be a large number of farmed accounts. Those are the ones that have been detected thus far. Now, think about how many have not been found. And then if you want to remove over 50% of the forum members who are spammers and don't really help the forum then we're getting somewhere.
Point is, it should be difficult to gain merit. It means that being a "Senior Member", being called "Legendary" should actually mean something. Not just a fake rank, like Executive Assistant Managerial Custodian.

2. theymos talk about 57 merits source, if you check this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend will find less than 50 member send 100 merits.
That is a limited list. You know not how many users have sent 100+ merits.

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February 14, 2018, 12:10:24 AM
Last edit: February 15, 2018, 10:41:06 PM by MagicSmoker
Merited by figmentofmyass (2), DarkStar_ (1), eddie13 (1)
 #17

I will talk about two points:
1. we have 65637 merit was sent in the last 30 days and about 892303 number of accounts.
With a simple calculation I think we will get on 0.07 merit/account. Really Huh
2. theymos talk about 57 merits source, if you check this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend will find less than 50 member send 100 merits.



I don’t know but a simple calculation will get into "Deadlock zone" [No account will be rankup].
80% of total accounts get 30% of all the required points.


Yep, I totally agree with this - it will be much harder for those who consistently (or, at least, mostly) write quality posts to move up in rank.

I may be deluded - entirely possible from all the magic smoke* I've inhaled - but I think I am the proverbial poster child for this: nearly 600 posts - most of which took considerable time and/or effort to create and are informative, rather than interrogative - and just 9 merit received. I invite anyone to look at my post history and judge for themselves but PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME ANY MERIT! This is not a thinly-veiled begging thread! And the previous two disclaimers were not thinly veiled deflections that actually meant "give me merit" - I really don't care about merit at all and I don't want any from people reading this post, but I do think that most of my posts are substantive and generally lean towards giving back, rather than taking, and I am presenting them as an example of a broader problem, and one that I only noticed when I noticed another newish member hadn't received any merit even though her/his posts are almost always useful: few merit-worthy posts actually receive merit.


* - that would be the stuff that makes electronics work, and not the /other/ kind of magic smoke your dirty mind** thought of.
** - not that I have a problem with that magic smoke, either - I'm hard-core Libertarian like that.

EDIT - Damn you all who gave me merit! You're undermining my credibility, what little of it there is!  Tongue
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February 14, 2018, 12:21:10 AM
 #18

I will talk about two points:
1. we have 65637 merit was sent in the last 30 days and about 892303 number of accounts.
With a simple calculation I think we will get on 0.07 merit/account. Really Huh
2. theymos talk about 57 merits source, if you check this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend will find less than 50 member send 100 merits.



I don’t know but a simple calculation will get into "Deadlock zone" [No account will be rankup].
80% of total accounts get 30% of all the required points.


Yep, I totally agree with this - it will be much harder for those who consistently (or, at least, mostly) write quality posts to move up in rank.

I may be deluded - entirely possible from all the magic smoke* I've inhaled - but I think I am the proverbial poster child for this: nearly 600 posts - most of which took considerable time and/or effort to create and are informative, rather than interrogative - and just 9 merit received. I invite anyone to look at my post history and judge for themselves but PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME ANY MERIT! This is not a thinly-veiled begging thread! And the previous two disclaimers were not thinly veiled deflections that actually meant "give me merit" - I really don't care about merit at all and I don't want any from people reading this post, but I do think that most of my posts are substantive and generally lean towards giving back, rather than taking, and I am presenting them as an example of a broader problem, and one that I only noticed when I noticed another newish member hadn't received any merit even though her/his posts are almost always useful: few merit-worthy posts actually receive merit.


* - that would be the stuff that makes electronics work, and not the /other/ kind of magic smoke your dirty mind** thought of.
** - not that I have a problem with that magic smoke, either - I'm hard-core Libertarian like that.


I think the root of your issue is that there aren't many (or any) merit sources in the Altcoins (Mining) sections, which seems to be where all of your posts are located. Hopefully theymos fixes that as time passes.

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February 14, 2018, 12:35:50 AM
Merited by The Pharmacist (1)
 #19

I think the root of your issue is that there aren't many (or any) merit sources in the Altcoins (Mining) sections, which seems to be where all of your posts are located. Hopefully theymos fixes that as time passes.

Damn you for giving me merit! Although I guess that post was fair game...

But, yes, virtually all of my posts are in the altcoin\mining section, and that is where I have seen lots of laudable posts which, sadly, go unmerited. Hopefully as more time passes more people will understand the new system; I had a head-start on it from another forum I used to frequent which relied heavily on merit (and part of the reason I quit frequenting it is because everyone was obsessed with merit [or, in that forum's case, rep]).

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February 14, 2018, 01:06:54 AM
Merited by digaran (1)
 #20

I may be deluded - entirely possible from all the magic smoke* I've inhaled - but I think I am the proverbial poster child for this: nearly 600 posts - most of which took considerable time and/or effort to create and are informative, rather than interrogative - and just 9 merit received.
It's problematic because posts pre-merit implementation will get less (or no) attention from people who are prospective sMerit users. In that regard, you will only see the most notorious old posts being merited (i.e. thread-starters of large threads, old quotes from notable members, etc.)
It's not just you. Think of the merit system as kind of like rewarding active constructive posters. Sort of in the same vein as the activity system but requiring constructive posts.

IIRC theymos has a much lower threshold for quality posts. Something along the lines of, good posts are 1-3 merits, excellent ones are 10/20+. The problem with this idea is the huge limitation of sMerit income, as there may be plenty of these 'good posts'. Personally, I believe that using merit in this way is unsustainable. I'm quite frugal with my use of it but I do sprinkle some around when I find nice replies.

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