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Question: Should we have alternatives to permabans for plagarism
Yes - Signature ban - whether permanent or temporary
Yes - Signature ban indefinitely until they've earned x amount of merit
Yes - Pay some sort of fine
No - Nothing should change and permabans remain

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Author Topic: Alternatives to Permabans for plagarism  (Read 19249 times)
hilariousetc
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December 21, 2018, 01:49:26 PM
Merited by A L I E N (20), Foxpup (6), cryptohunter (3), mu_enrico (3), dbshck (2), yogg (2), Westingcote (2), SaltySpitoon (1), Daniel91 (1), xandry (1), bones261 (1), krishnapramod (1), xtraelv (1), Alex_Sr (1)
 #1

I'd like to get the community's thoughts on possible alternatives to permabans for things like copy and pasting/plagiarism. One that seems to have the support of quite a few people is instead of a permanent ban a user has a signature ban instead (IE the signature is removed so they can no longer earn here). The signature ban could be permanent, temporary, or indefinite until the user has proven their worth over time and then it's reinstated. We could even make it so after the user has received x amount of merit then their signature is possibly reinstated (it would have to be a lot - at least one hundred in my opinion). I think there are several levels of severity in plagiarism and not all are equal and in some cases a permanent ban forever can be a little harsh (especially if it was just one silly mistake). I think there's a big difference in someone quoting something from Wikipedia to answer someone's question, and those that purposefully copy someone else's post here or 'text-spin' it just to earn from signatures (I'm really not sure if those users deserve a second chance, but good luck to them trying to get hundreds of merit to get it back). To be honest, removal of their signature to signature spammers might as well be a permanent ban and most will probably just give up immediately if they can't earn here, but for others it would be shame if there's no chance of forgiveness especially if they've been an active or helpful member of the community and just screwed up one time. Theymos has mentioned before signature bans and blacklists and was something that was supposed to happen with the signature campaign guidelines but maybe he could make this his next priority after the account recovery tool.

Alternatively, what do people think about paying some sort of fine to get their account back? The money probably wouldn't go to the forum or staff but to a bitcoin-accepting charity instead. That way at least a good cause benefits and they're still paying a financial penalty.

You could maybe give people two options for those that are banned for plagiarism: You can either have a sig ban indefinitely but are allowed to post, or possibly even allowed to earn the signature back by getting a sufficient amount of merit (say maybe at least 100), or just pay a substantial fine (at least $100). As I've mentioned before I'm strongly in favour of more donator ranks that give you a bigger signature and maybe they could get their signature back by purchasing one of them. I think we should also give them the option of earning it back via merit so at least they have two options and if they don't want to pay anything then they can try earn their signature back by contributing something worthwhile.

You can vote for two options on the poll just in case you are for both a sig ban and paying a fine. If you have any other alternatives or issues with the current options then please state so. You can also discuss how much a fine should be or how much merit a user should earn before they get their signature back.

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December 21, 2018, 01:58:15 PM
 #2

I vote for banning signature and one question. What is the difference of a temporary signature ban to an amount of merit they should earn? I guess it is better option to let option 1 be in permanent only and let the temporary choice be on option 2.  Somehow option 2 is sounds a temporary signature ban too.

I'm open to suggestions.

By the way I vote for option 4 too. I guess there's no harm if we stick to the classic.
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December 21, 2018, 02:05:01 PM
Last edit: December 21, 2018, 07:32:17 PM by o_e_l_e_o
Merited by Foxpup (3), dbshck (3), DireWolfM14 (1)
 #3

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm against fines because it is discriminatory. If we are setting a new a rule, it should be the same rule for everyone, regardless of wealth. There shouldn't be an option that allows those more well off to buy themselves out of a punishment.

Out of any of those options, I would be the least against a signature ban, but only for users that weren't obviously plagiarizing just to get paid from a signature campaign - these spammers should still receive an outright permanent ban. In those who do get a signature ban, it should be either permanent or based on them earning x amount of merit. I don't think it should be temporary - most would just abandon their account until the ban is up, which is no real punishment at all. They should have to work for its reversal. 100 merit is on the lower end of what I would go for personally, but I appreciate my views are probably quite skewed here. Perhaps @LoyceV or @DdmrDdmr could provide us with some numbers - how many users have earned over 100 merit since the system was introduced?

Another possibility to earn their signature back would to be make x good reports - this would need to have an additional requirement of >x% accuracy to prevent spamming the report button. Say 5000 reports with >95%?

Having said all that, my preferred option is still the status quo - zero tolerance.



Edit: Spelling mistake.

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December 21, 2018, 02:13:08 PM
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 #4

To be honest, removal of their signature to signature spammers might as well be a permanent ban and most will probably just give up immediately if they can't earn here...

What about spammers who are paid for posting?
They are often stealing posts from other users to bump topics, I doubt that signature ban will stop them.



BTW I saw an identical message about temporary signature ban in some of users profiles:

Quote
Banned from displaying signatures until August 02, 2019, 07:05:09 PM

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1040537
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1254681
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1320777
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1352938
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1590420
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=1900506

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DdmrDdmr
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December 21, 2018, 02:17:58 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (2), xandry (1)
 #5

<...>Perhaps @LoyceV or @DdmrDdmr could provide us with some numbers - how many users have earned over 100 merit since the system was introduced? <...>
Well that’s pretty quick to draw up (as of today):

Number of forum members with >= 500 earned Merits: 34
Number of forum members with >= 400 earned Merits: 57
Number of forum members with >= 300 earned Merits: 96
Number of forum members with >= 200 earned Merits: 176
Number of forum members with >= 100 earned Merits: 463
Number of forum members with >= 50 earned Merits: 1036
(I wouldn’t go any lower than that).

It is a rather limited set of people, and again, it would create a “wealth” class distinction if used in someway to get a pardon granted.

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December 21, 2018, 02:23:02 PM
 #6

If they have been banned signature temporary until they have earned X merit then they can continue to plagiarize and earn that needed merit to lift the ban of signature so this should be moved from the suggestion.

Best alternative is banning signature temporarily for their first case,if they did second time then permaban the signature,if they really want to help the community then they can post without signatures too.

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December 21, 2018, 02:23:36 PM
 #7

Temporary signature bans will never work.
They will just create an army of bot accounts that will make the job impossible for moderators, you can ban let's say 1000 accounts a day for 90 or 60 days, they will just create 91000 and once you're done with them the first ones will come back online.
Permanently removing the signature will probably mean for 99.999% the same as a ban.

I'm against the fee thing, it might serve a good cause but it just doesn't sound right.

So, just leave it as it is. Plagiarism=Permaban.

BTW I saw an identical message about temporary signature ban in some of users profiles:

Quote
Banned from displaying signatures until August 02, 2019, 07:05:09 PM


Theymos playing around as we speak?

hilariousetc
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December 21, 2018, 02:43:28 PM
 #8

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm against fines because it is discriminatory. If we are setting a new a rule, it should be the same rule for everyone, regardless of wealth. There shouldn't be an option that allows those more well off to buy themselves out of a punishment.

I probably wouldn't be for it if it was just the fine by itself, but if there's two options: you can either pay the fine or earn the merit then I see no issue in that. If you have a problem with the fine for whatever reason then just earn the merit instead.

Another possibility to earn their signature back would to be make x good reports - this would need to have an additional requirement of >x% accuracy to prevent spamming the report button. Say 5000 reports with >95%?


I think this would be too easy. It would be quite easy to rack up reports given the amount of spam there is here.

If they have been banned signature temporary until they have earned X merit then they can continue to plagiarize and earn that needed merit to lift the ban of signature so this should be moved from the suggestion.



Then they would just be permabanned if they're caught doing the same thing. This is an attempt to give them a second chance. There wouldn't be a third.

What is the difference of a temporary signature ban to an amount of merit they should earn?


Not sure what you mean here.

To be honest, removal of their signature to signature spammers might as well be a permanent ban and most will probably just give up immediately if they can't earn here...

What about spammers who are paid for posting?
They are often stealing posts from other users to bump topics, I doubt that signature ban will stop them.

This is just about plagiarisers really. Other spammers can be dealt in other/the usual ways.


Wasn't aware that was happening. Maybe it should be rolled out officially or give Globals the ability to do it since it's probably not something theymos would have time for.

Temporary signature bans will never work.
They will just create an army of bot accounts that will make the job impossible for moderators, you can ban let's say 1000 accounts a day for 90 or 60 days, they will just create 91000 and once you're done with them the first ones will come back online.
Permanently removing the signature will probably mean for 99.999% the same as a ban.


If this was true then the same would be true for permbans, even more so. There's no other option to pay for your sins here once caught for plagiarising so most will just create a new account anyway. At least they've got the option of earning their signature back or paying a fine for it.  

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December 21, 2018, 02:48:49 PM
 #9

I think there are several levels of severity in plagiarism and not all are equal and in some cases a permanent ban forever can be a little harsh (especially if it was just one silly mistake).
Agreed! But those cases are very rare, I think I've seen it only twice in the past year. I would estimate it's less than 0.1% of the plagiarism cases that deserve a second chance, and I don't think this should be something that's offered to all banned accounts.

Quote
You could maybe give people two options for those that are banned for plagiarism: You can either have a sig ban indefinitely but are allowed to post, or possibly even allowed to earn the signature back by getting a sufficient amount of merit (say maybe at least 100), or just pay a substantial fine (at least $100).
Some thoughts:
  • Merit can be gained through abuse.
  • Instead of removing a signature, it can contain some public shaming saying it's removed because of plagiarism and user has to earn xx more Merit before it's enabled again.

Perhaps @LoyceV or @DdmrDdmr could provide us with some numbers - how many users have earned over 100 merit since the system was introduced?
See this list (with data from last Friday). This includes Merit abusers and already banned accounts.

What about spammers who are paid for posting?
They are often stealing posts from other users to bump topics, I doubt that signature ban will stop them.
You mean bump bots?
I think the few cases who deserve a second chance wouldn't be banned in the first place if it wasn't for the massive spam from bump bots and signature spammers. Even without plagiarism they only add spam to the forum, and we're better off without them (and their alt accounts).

Quote
BTW I saw an identical message about temporary signature ban in some of users profiles:

Quote
Banned from displaying signatures until August 02, 2019, 07:05:09 PM
Most of them haven't posted for 6 weeks, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're all owned by the same person. That just means someone stops using a fraction of his spam farm until August, then continues again.
Unfortunately, the "banned from signatures" message only shows in their profile. If it would show up under their posts, it would act as a warning to others.

Alternatives:
  • Pay (a part of) the fine to whoever reported that user, that will trigger a real witch hunt by giving a financial incentive to report plagiarism.
  • Punish a user after an unban with red trust, like you did with Lone Shark.
  • I've made this suggestion before: a user banned for plagiarism can get an unban if he reports at least 2 other users for plagiarism, and those users must have a higher Rank than he had. That motivates the spammers to help clean up the forum.

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December 21, 2018, 02:53:51 PM
 #10

If you forget once to add a link source or a quote tag yeah that's what I would agree to consider as "a silly mistake" and a permaban is harsh, maybe a 3-5-7 days (or more) ban rule could be added.
Other than that, do we really need alternatives?  A permanent ban is rude ok, but reading plagiarized posts all over the forum is rude for my brain too. Without the permaban rule, the forum would get more spam than BCH transactions.

- sig ban indefinitely but are allowed to post: why not (but if the behavior continues, no question asked, he's kicked out for good)
- to pay a fine: will it really be efficient? If I plagiarize Snoop Dog to make "smoke bitcoin everyday" I will pay a fine, then what? I am free to plagiarize Lady Gaga to make 'BTC, the edge of the glory'

I vote for No, nothing should change, except maybe for people doing a "silly mistake" but I am afraid to see more people creating a thread in Meta for their silly mistake.

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December 21, 2018, 03:00:03 PM
Last edit: December 21, 2018, 03:47:57 PM by coinlocket$
 #11

1 mistake can be done, maybe a permaban is excessive especially when the only one infraction it's done a long time ago without the purpose to scam a signature bounty.
I like the option to disable temporarily or disable till x merits earned.

Of course, if the user is a serial copypaste or text spinner a permaban is necessary.

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December 21, 2018, 03:10:29 PM
 #12

The plagiarists reduce the quality of discussion in the forum, and I do not support their paying a fine day enable them continue spamming the forum. The forum should not profit from such actions.

Disabling signatures is a good option in cases of 'silly mistakes', but when a user regularly copy and pasted contents in order to complete bounty tasks, or to try and gain merits, they should not be given a second chance.
And this category constitutes the majority of bans, very rarely do we see users not wearing signatures get banned for plagiarism.

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December 21, 2018, 03:16:54 PM
 #13

Here are my thoughts,
1. When and How often the plagiarism was committed should have a huge impact in it's consequence; I have seen not just (absurdly) highly ranked member but established and reputable get banned for a post they copied as way back as they could not even remember. ChiBitCTy is perfect example, A lot, if not most users that are on the forum were driven by the motive to earn, and ignorant to forum rules initially, but some along the line discover that there's more to the forum than just earning, Do you think they don't they don't deserve a second chance ? I think they do, Some are willing to let go of their sig space since that's the reason they had plagiarized at first, just so they could be accepted back on the forum what more could we want, it should come at a cost but not their account or the reputation they've managed to build along the line after a considerable bad start.

A user that's only motivated to earn, will always find it easier to buy another account(s) no matter how many times they get banned, but an established/reputable member gets to lose everything they have built. A reputable member shouldn't have plagiarized in the first instance ? Of course! That's why I stated that when the offense was committed should be taken into consideration. Because logically, the forum has more too lose in ChiBitCTy being banned (for a single and very old post), than several other legendary accounts being banned for consistent plagiarism.


2. On what could be a solution, is just like that the trust system. It should be debatable there should a be forum delegate of up to 5 - 10 on necessary cases only (It doesn't have to be a forum mods, as I guess there hands are filled) that'd would decide if it should be a permaban, ban or sigban (with duration or not) subjected to their understanding of the plagiarists reputation putting into consideration
a.) How often the user has plagiarized (and the last copied and pasted post)
b.) The reputation of the user and/or time spent on the forum
c.) Values that user adds to forum (Why or why not they should be allowed)



PS: I'm not appealing on behalf of ChiBitCTy, neither is my post about him, I have never had an encounter and I think he was probably banned before I was a user of the forum. It's rather just an example who could have deserved a second chance, not just in my opinion but, according to a lot of reputable members who would do anything to rid spammers off the forum.

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December 21, 2018, 03:20:08 PM
 #14

Instead of removing a signature, it can contain some public shaming saying it's removed because of plagiarism and user has to earn xx more Merit before it's enabled again.

Yes.

And only apply that to users who actually have a signature to lose, e.g. Sr. and up. Lower ranks should stay permabanned. Most plagiarism is done by newbies so they wouldn't be deterred by a sig ban.

I would imagine many shitposters would simply abandon such accounts and try to buy new ones.

a.) How often the user has plagiarized (and the last copied and pasted post)

There is no feasible way to detect that.

b.) The reputation of the user and/or time spent on the forum
c.) Values that user adds to forum (Why or why not they should be allowed)

Highly subjective and would just devolve into massive flame wars.

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December 21, 2018, 03:32:26 PM
 #15

I voted for "No" because I don't think that current punishment system is bad. But your ideas is worth to discuss. That's true that people make mistakes and sometimes they copy paste not intentionally - they forget to provide link of source or something.
Maybe if only 1 copied post was found, user should be banned temporary - for one month for example. If there are more copied posts - ban should be permanent without any questions and excuses
About signature bans - permanent ban of signature for most users here is almost same thing like ban of bitcointalk account. Getting signature back by accumulating x number of merits - I don't think it's good idea, because Merits can be bought or received in other dirty methods. And in many cases ban of signatures wouldn't help - if it was Newbie caught, ban of signature wouldn't affect his account until he will receive 1 or more Merit.
Paying a fine to get unbanned sounds bad to me. Ok, user will pay a fine and he will able to continue copy pasting until he will be caught again? And what's next - he will pay again and story continues. And I'm almost sure that theymos would reject this idea. He said that forum and he don't need for more money and all accounting of forum money gives him enough headache.




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December 21, 2018, 03:34:13 PM
 #16

I would be in favor of forcing users to pay a fine to get unbanned along with possibly a second fine to have signatures reenabled. Also, the users signature would have less functionality than it would normally otherwise have. One option might be to have a ban result in negative merit and activity to keep things fairly simple.

I am not a huge fan of the merit system, but if it remains, it would be logical for merit to play a role in being able to use a meaningful signature again. 100 merit is probably too high though as very few have received this much merit.

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Harkorede
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December 21, 2018, 03:39:25 PM
 #17

a.) How often the user has plagiarized (and the last copied and pasted post)

There is no feasible way to detect that.

Oh, I said that because a large %age of the highly ranked member that gets banned were for post made as further back as 3-4 years,

Highly subjective and would just devolve into massive flame wars.
Yes, but that'd be up to the delegates to decide. I'm sure that regardless of how irrational a reputable member's opinion could be, they'all are against serial-plagiarist/spammers and it shouldn't be too hard to detect when one is found, considering how the plagiarists thread get busted with their copied post almost instantly after they create a thread to the know why they got banned.

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December 21, 2018, 03:39:40 PM
 #18

I think there are several levels of severity in plagiarism and not all are equal and in some cases a permanent ban forever can be a little harsh (especially if it was just one silly mistake)

How do we determine it's a single case of a copy and paste? Let's say user X has 5000 posts and he is caught and reported for just 1. How do we know that there are no other plagiarized posts? Who will audit these many messages and prove that it's "just one silly mistake"? Note that different plag. checkers give different results. What you get with plagium and seotools may differ from a quick custom google search. Then there are the spinning tools which are very hard to catch, let alone many other ways to fool detection.

I can't believe that there are five people who voted "Pay some sort of fine". That is some bullshit!
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December 21, 2018, 04:30:46 PM
 #19

If you forget once to add a link source or a quote tag yeah that's what I would agree to consider as "a silly mistake" and a permaban is harsh, maybe a 3-5-7 days (or more) ban rule could be added.

But how to find out that the user really "forget" add a link and quotation marks or s/he did it intentionally?
Anyway I agree that administration could make a warning to members and not banning them in controversial cases.
This warning message could be displayed under the user's avatar or instead of a signature, as it was suggested above.

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December 21, 2018, 04:32:54 PM
 #20

I like the idea of a temporary ban or disable the signature temporary. Nobody is perfect, and everyone surely made mistakes. Giving permanent ban on one person who does not deserve it, is far worse than banning 10 bots (just figuratively).

But who will determine whether a person deserves a permanent ban or not? Staff? DT member?




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