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Author Topic: The problem of bot-accounts and how to defeat them  (Read 109 times)
hell_slayer
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June 14, 2018, 02:34:50 PM
 #1

Everyone knows that bounty campaigns attracting a lot of participants nowadays . But are they genuine , or just a part of automated process ? Investigation in this thread : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4139632.msg38185053#msg38185053 , where one person appear to be linked with 133 twitter accounts inspired me for some reflections .

Most part of bounty hunters at least once in their life saw that some users posting their reports in bounty thread when it already closed for a months (manager already announced the end of campaign with a bold red) . I saw it a lot of times and always thought that those guys are just stupid . But now I realise that they are very clever Cheesy , because they use automatisation of work process ,they just simply forgot to turn off bot on a certain campaign .
For example , take a look on campaign where all weekly report system provided through weekly proof-of-work forms : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3332920.0 , it have only 500 twitter participants , which is extemely low nowadays . On the other hand , look at example #2 , which is a standart , weekly thread post report-based: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3115745.0 , that have more then 6k twitter participants !

For me , it seems like bots can't fill up a proof of work forms , this is a reason why such type of campaigns "not popular" . So , to defeat bounty farming with bot-accounts we need to switch standart thread report rule to more progressive - proof-of-work forms . It will decrease the amount of fake accounts in social media bounties for a half , or even more in some cases (for some bounty managers) .
To exclude adapting bots to proof of work forms , bounty managers can slightly modify it for every new week . For example , we have a standart form: 1st enrty - email 2) bct acc name 3) bct acc link 4)spreadsheet number  5)report links 6) etc. , for the next week it will look like : 1)email 2) bct acc link 3) bct acc name and etc . , so it could be randomly modified for every next week to avoid any possible bot adaptation .

You can ask me :" who cares about bounty participants ? it doesn't matter who make posts and reposts in social media " , but you are not right . The goal of any project and their bounty is to grow their community , which will hold their tokens , take a part in their decisions by voting and continue to promote even after bounty ends . But all of this is not possible if real community doesn't exists . Let's say the total amount of bounty participants in certain campaign is 10000 people . Developers could be happy , that their project attracts so much people , isn't it ? But the truth is that at least 5000 of them are bots , thus they are not a part of community and will not take a part in further projects life .
In addition , they will cause a dump effect when token will be listed on exchange , because , let's say , a half of social media bounty pool is spreaded between one or few users , who own the army of bot accounts and thus , will earn a decent amount of tokens when bounty ends . And this is who will dump price on exchange because he can do that , while regular bounty hunters with a few tokens per person can't affect price in anyway.

Of course , I understand that this proposition will not receive support from a most part of bounty managers , for some reasons : some of them are to lazy , while another part could use bots by themselves . Anyway I need to try to bring my thoughts that the solution to defeat bot-accounts exists . I know that some managers are already working with proof of work forms and they doing great , but I really think if all managers will do the same it will help to make bounty industry better . I hope some bounty managers will see this thread and will change the way of how they accepting reports in order to make advertising more effective and thus , to increase proftits for projects who hired them and genuine bounty participants .

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fokinlipat
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June 14, 2018, 02:53:47 PM
 #2

Some steps that can control automated registrations and posting here :

1) Improved captcha to prevent registration or posting with bots.

2) Having some limits on number of posts allowed per day/month especially for new accounts.

3) Campaign mangers giving more importance to post quality while selecting participants.
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June 14, 2018, 03:17:47 PM
 #3

Well, bounty managers could do a lot better if they actually took care but it hasn’t been like that until now, so, I don’t think they are going to care about proof-of-work.

Nice idea OP but I think the problem are the managers themselves. Also this forum could punish lazy managers, as it has been said many times, but Theymos preferred to create the serious boards and the merit system instead.
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June 14, 2018, 03:28:41 PM
 #4

Nice idea OP but I think the problem are the managers themselves.
Yep, they're a big part of the problem and I think most of them have no interest in bitcointalk at all, much less how the bounty participants are negatively affecting the quality thereof.  All most of them care about is how much they're being paid for their services.  Since the project devs also don't give a shit about bitcointalk, as it's just an advertising vehicle for them, the yardstick of whether a manager is doing a good job is a filled-up bounty.  More advertising = successful bounty in the eyes of the devs.

None of the above applies to most legitimate bitcoin-paying sig campaign managers, of course.  The vast majority of them do care about bitcointalk and do their best to weed out the shitposters.  I'd actually like to see merit requirements used more, but they've at least made progress in that area so far.

I'm not sure bots are responsible for a lot of the nonsense we see.  And I'm sure that some idiots will still post Twitter links and whatnot even after a bounty is over, even if it's clear from the thread title.  They don't read anything and are probably completely illiterate, especially in English.

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June 18, 2018, 01:19:40 PM
 #5

Nice idea OP but I think the problem are the managers themselves.
Yep, they're a big part of the problem and I think most of them have no interest in bitcointalk at all, much less how the bounty participants are negatively affecting the quality thereof.  All most of them care about is how much they're being paid for their services.  Since the project devs also don't give a shit about bitcointalk, as it's just an advertising vehicle for them, the yardstick of whether a manager is doing a good job is a filled-up bounty.  More advertising = successful bounty in the eyes of the devs.

That's why bounty managers should be held accountable for their campaigns and should be forced to create moderated threads only. That would be a simple solution. E.g. nobody forces them to keep a thread open after the bounty has ended.

I'm not sure bots are responsible for a lot of the nonsense we see. And I'm sure that some idiots will still post Twitter links and whatnot even after a bounty is over, even if it's clear from the thread title.  They don't read anything and are probably completely illiterate, especially in English.

Every bot post that can be prevented is a win because those are the only posts that don't cost anything to create them. Whenever a human needs to make a post there is a cost involved, especially time. If there is no benefit in posting people will think twice about whether it is worth it, so the incentive to post spam needs to be removed. If people then still post they are either idiots or they didn't think. The latter can't be helped but the overall spam would still be reduced.


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August 12, 2018, 05:09:49 PM
 #6

Is there a thread to report suspected bot accounts?

Sorry don't have time to read this thread right now, will later on.

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