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Author Topic: Soliciting opinions on how to deal with suspected merit abusers  (Read 521 times)
The Pharmacist
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March 26, 2018, 07:19:27 PM
 #1

First, I apologize if people have given their opinions on this matter in other threads.  Here's an excuse:  I had the flu for 2 weeks (!) right about the time the merit system was rolled out, and if this was discussed in that period I missed it.  And if there was a formal discussion about this after that, I also missed it without excuse.  I do remember actmyname tagging suspected merit abusers early on, and then Theymos saying he was going to exclude him from his trust list.  If there was a thread about this, please link me to it and I'll lock this shortly.

Before I do any more tagging on people I think are abusing the merit system, I'd like the opinions about doing so from these people specifically:

Blazed
Hilariousandco
Vod
Lauda

I'd also like everyone else's opinion, because I do value them.  I don't want to start having to delete feedbacks right after I left them.

I had expressed hesitation about tagging merit abusers early on, because there's so much subjectivity about the system, but at the same time there are some users who are obviously sending merit to people who don't deserve it.  Obvious to my eyes, anyway.  And that's the problem.  I realize my feedback now carries more weight than someone who's not on DT, and I know I ought to hand out negatives to people who really deserve them.  Do you guys think I, or any other DT member, should be tagging merit abusers?  EthanB suggested in another thread that a neutral might be appropriate, and I don't think that's a horrible idea when there's doubt.  But I don't think neutrals do much good.

Awaiting your opinions.

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mdayonliner
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March 26, 2018, 07:28:26 PM
 #2

Quote
Can I ask for merit?

There is no need to do this and this behaviour is usually seen as 'merit begging' which is frowned upon by the community and may lead to you receiving negative feedback. Keep making quality, constructive posts and you will surely be rewarded over time.

Quote
Can I sell merit?

Selling merit is disallowed.

Quote
Can I give merit to my alt accounts?

No, this is frowned upon and will almost certainly lead to you receiving negative feedback if discovered.

Ref: FAQ: Everything you need to know about forum 'activity, account ranks and merit (archive)

So, the only doubt is on selling merit. It only says "disallowed". No mention about the penalty.

Other than this, on the rule book (since it came from hilariousandco a Gold Member, Global Moderator and is in the stiky on the meta) it is clear that abusing merit (exchanging to ALTs or begging for merits) can lead to negative feedback. So I do not understand why is so hesitation and why this happened (actmyname trust list issue)?

I do remember actmyname tagging suspected merit abusers early on, and then Theymos saying he was going to exclude him from his trust list.
- May be the reason was not only tagging the suspected merit users.


Do you guys think I, or any other DT member, should be tagging merit abusers?

- Yes of-course you and other DT member do. Also everyone of us no matter if someone is newbie or high up member, everyone should tag the possible merit abusers with enough evidence.

Again, if the rule book says to leave negative feedback then so be it. No need for neutral feedback.

In my opinion - the punishment of abusing merit should be more than negative feedback/s from the community. It should be first 14 days temporary ban, if again proven guilty then a permanent ban.


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March 26, 2018, 07:41:45 PM
Merited by EcuaMobi (1), DarkStar_ (1)
 #3

I think that tagging may be appropriate in particularly obvious cases, or particularly egregious cases involving hundreds of merit points and several posts. But generally you should start out by assuming good faith, and only change that opinion as the evidence really piles up. Tagging someone immediately after an instance of apparently-inexplicable meriting is too trigger-happy IMO. Even if it is a case of illegitimate merit, even hundreds of illegitimate merit points are not much of a problem IMO, so you have to ask whether it's worthwhile to possibly make a mistake by tagging someone who is merely suspicious.

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March 26, 2018, 08:39:13 PM
 #4

Unless it is particularly blatant, I feel negative trust is only appropriate when there is other evidence that links the two accounts together. There should be zero tolerance with proven alts.
Jet Cash
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March 26, 2018, 09:01:38 PM
 #5

The real problem is not the merit system, but the bounty spammers. If you think that a particular abuser of merit is going to go on to spam the board with bounty sigs, then anything you can do to reduce that will be a great help to the forum in my opinion.

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March 26, 2018, 09:08:15 PM
 #6

theymos makes the point perfectly. We don't want to be dishing out negative trusts right, left and center as this doesn't achieve anything and more often than not results in a false positive. Think of it as a person rather than account, and how you wouldn't be so trigger happy at someone for committing a petty crime.

If it's Blatantly obvious and it's becoming a problem then we can have a look at the situation together over in the reputation section on a case by case basis. 

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March 26, 2018, 09:42:26 PM
 #7

So far I've reported over 40 people for merit abusing and none is red tagged. (edit-tagged someone) (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2896910.0)
Also I can report more people who ranked up from jr. to member in 1 day but I don't know if I need to do, cause is a "small" upgrade. (Not so small for someone causes a lot of people have problem to rank up from jr to member)
A lot of them are really easy abuses to check, also when one person is tagged I've noticed only 1 account is tagged but if the merit is an action from 2 people why don't tag both?
I think a red trust is necessary cause here a lot of people are "working" hard and trying to do their best to get some merit to rank up and in that 3D you can find people who ranked up from jr->member  or member->full member in one day or 2, only to get more money from the bounties.

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March 26, 2018, 10:05:38 PM
Merited by digaran (2), Welsh (1)
 #8

Neutrals serve as a warning and something which requires the user to make up their own mind whether to trust the user or not. Neutrals might not mean anything just because people aren't using them. Look at any trust page and you won't find many neutrals at all.

Neutrals are a option for a reason and people who are abusing the merit system are likely good examples of what should be tagged as neutral except for people who are clearly abusing the merit system and benefiting from it for example in a signature campaign which offers higher rates for people with more merit.
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March 27, 2018, 11:48:18 AM
 #9

I found so many members misuse merit system at this time, the most problem I have seen is ''trading merit''.
But I need Consideration for this :

Quote
Send Merit Back "For Mutual Benefit"

They use this trick to increase their rank as soon possible, the do merit exchange with another members for mutual benefit, that's like send each other the same amount of merit to make it fair.
I can't give a proof for this, but I'm sure if that thing happen in here

Quote
Send Merit Back "As a thank you/reward to sender"

I also seen like this, they send back merit to sender because want to say thank you or want to give reward to sender. I see many members do this because they don't know and that endanger their self, mainly beginer because they don't know if that is not allowed or they not read the rules

I hope this can be consideration for all staff and DT members here. Because so many members traped with this merit system.

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March 27, 2018, 11:59:50 AM
 #10

I think that admins need to state publicly that merit trding or selling is against the forum rules. At the moment, it seems that the only offence is for a merit source to sell merits.

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March 27, 2018, 12:12:14 PM
 #11

I don't really think that the people getting neutral feedbacks would care much about it as long as it is not affecting their account from the outside. You might find only a few in thousands who would take that feedback as a warning and stop doing what he got it for. On the other side, leaving a negative feedback to someone not clearly proven guilty for abusing the system sounds unfair too. So the better solution as said by a few already, would be to tag only the ones who are clear threats for the system, and have been constantly abusing it.

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March 27, 2018, 01:05:45 PM
 #12

I don't really think that the people getting neutral feedbacks would care much about it as long as it is not affecting their account from the outside. You might find only a few in thousands who would take that feedback as a warning and stop doing what he got it for.

That's the problem, Neutral feedbacks sometimes were left unnoticed. Since it somehow not reflecting on the trust column, which in results to the continuity of an act which they thought is right.

On the other side, leaving a negative feedback to someone not clearly proven guilty for abusing the system sounds unfair too. So the better solution as said by a few already, would be to tag only the ones who are clear threats for the system, and have been constantly abusing it.

A proper process must be done and thorough investigation is a must before tagging someone, I must agree that leaving a negative feedback without a hard evidence to support a claim is somehow improper and inhumane.

A lot of users here wants to help in cleaning and clearing this community from account farmers and abuser/s. There's already a thread that in which some users can post users who're attempting to abuse the merit system. It would be a good tool or reference to use to conduct an investigation.

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March 27, 2018, 01:45:45 PM
 #13

A proper process must be done and thorough investigation is a must before tagging someone, I must agree that leaving a negative feedback without a hard evidence to support a claim is somehow improper and inhumane.

That's why when I tag someone (although my tagging does not count since I am not a DT member) with redTrust I leave proper evidence with option of a second chance.

ImageLoading...

1. The idea is with proper evidence mark someone with red trust.
2a. When they notice they will come back to you with evidence that they are not abusing merit. You remove the red trust once convinced
2a. They may come back to you saying it was a mistake by them (they come up with all these funny excuses. i.e: Not aware, friends account, I am a student give me another chance etc etc) and they won't do it again then give them a second chance.
Keep a log of them admitting their mistake (What I thought is best, to give them a neutral trust with having saying that the user made their first mistake and admitted it and committed that they will never do the same)
3. Remove the red trust.

with enough evidence.

This is how I am dealing now.
My trust summary
My red trust removal t&c

Caution: Don't try it with your main account unless you are DT or them kind of member.  You don't want to see your account is red tagged like me  Sad

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March 27, 2018, 02:07:03 PM
 #14

Neutrals serve as a warning and something which requires the user to make up their own mind whether to trust the user or not. Neutrals might not mean anything just because people aren't using them. Look at any trust page and you won't find many neutrals at all.

Neutrals are a option for a reason and people who are abusing the merit system are likely good examples of what should be tagged as neutral except for people who are clearly abusing the merit system and benefiting from it for example in a signature campaign which offers higher rates for people with more merit.


I think the auto tagging of Sir The Pharmacist isn't appropriate for my position right now gaining this red tag, which was due to merit give to one user. After waking up from the sick days I had it gave me more headaches upon seeing on my profile, oh what is happening was a red trust with mere speculations coming from our DT. All I stand for giving merits to somebody which I consider in this forum and for my own idea and understandings the merit given to a user isn't a greedy attitude to scrutinize more often. At least the quotation of his comprehension was into the point of the subject matter. So please, Sir The Pharmacist I am calling on you in behalf of all the DT's here with due respect as our mentors in bitcointalk forum, don't just put everything in an aggressive ways tagging people in an inhumane acts. I've seen the references on my profile most of those reasons on the red trust is subjectively saying merit farming. How can that be so certain about it? You won't even ask the user or else we can have to defend our side? Right now in my current situation, I felt helpless and nothing to do about it to defend myself on how sadly the situation going on. Please before you put that sanction on, have it reviewed briefly before tagging that worst red trust. Can I have that appeal? Can you just give us neutral as a warning and it serves as a verbal reprimand to all of us to avoid giving merit instantly. This merit system isn't clear yet to all understandings, and as you look at the merit section it was stated their that there is no point in hoarding smerit. It clearly says that unused smerit will decay in the future. The idea regarding merit abuse doesn't come up in my mind, I only referred on this my respected DT's. I hope this quote of mine will bring you up some considerations and will enlighten up your minds about all sort of undesirable circumstances.


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March 27, 2018, 02:48:21 PM
 #15

The admins has to be strict in this Trust system for a neutral in giving a red tagged, if someone "neutral" sends a red tagged he/she must be required to show a link that proves his/her report in the comment before submitting it and if not the red trust must be rejected, Because if they are not strict with the system "The one's who report and sending a red tag will get it too from the one who get it for sure".

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March 27, 2018, 03:21:25 PM
 #16

Regarding with this matter mister,The Pharmacist. You are hesitant about tagging merit abusers as you mentioned above,right? But how come you tagged me as red trusted user despite being suspected? If it's in a crime scene, you have to investigate first before you give a warrant of arrest.

You are tagged for merit trading
But I've probably found your nick from a signature abusing with alts posted 1 month ago, some accounts are not still tagged but 90% of this report, are now tagged for another post.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3018656.msg31225355#msg31225355

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March 27, 2018, 03:58:39 PM
 #17

In my opinion also those should be tagged, who sent merits to their alts (evidence is needed). They take big advantages, because they improve their ranks and/or can participate in one of yahoo's signature campaigns. But if you also tag those, who give merits for "shitposts", then tag them all, also DT-members and friends. I would be glad to see one, who is fighting against ALL merit abusers with one standard.
My definition of merit abusers is selling/buying merits and sending merits to alts.
My definition for proper tagging is using one standard for all members here on forum, independent from their position, rank or relationship.
There may be exceptions that some wanted to try the new system and therefore sent merits to their alts. But also this is in my opinion nonsense, because common sense and conscience would already avoid these reprehensible activities.
If you really want to tag all merit abusers, then there are already many proven cases about them, who are still not tagged.
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March 27, 2018, 06:39:12 PM
 #18

Tagging them? Not a bad idea but wait.
What about to leave merit abusers without right of sending merit to someone? And make this option available fot DT members? Also add them in SMAS list.
Another way is to have something like Merit moderators who will review if merits are legit or not.

Now I won't be loyal down below:
Ban their account and IP = less attempt of merit abusing.
Be very strict if loyality doesn't works.

There won't work anything more effectively.
Imagine, why we need merit abusers? They will never/ever be valuable for forum. Serious persons won't do silly things.

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actmyname
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Activity: 1204
Merit: 1289


welcome to my minecraft let's play


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March 27, 2018, 06:46:41 PM
 #19

-snip-
Learn how to structure paragraphs instead of creating a trashy wall of text. There is no flow in the sentences and it's just a mess. (And quoting huge blocks of text... also not great.)

It doesn't make sense that your first and only merit transaction was sending 20 to some shitty post. There are plenty others that don't exist in spam megathreads—they provide much better information and are far more helpful than vague, generalized replies—like Technical Discussion posts for example.

MagicSmoker
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March 27, 2018, 10:28:12 PM
 #20

I think that admins need to state publicly that merit trding or selling is against the forum rules. At the moment, it seems that the only offence is for a merit source to sell merits.

Argh, no, don't do that! Not all trading of merit is merit trading, so to speak. I've merited people who have merited me because we were participating in a thread where we were all trying to solve various mining issues - I solved one issue and got merited, then the same person that merited me solved another issue so I merited him*. Of course, I freely admit that I was more inclined to merit someone who had merited me - that's just human nature - but said individual did, indeed, post something merit-worthy.

* - I was merited on this post: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2046072.msg30157009#msg30157009 & I merited the person who merited me for this post in the same thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2046072.msg30407678#msg30407678
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