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Author Topic: [Competition] Report spammers and pseudo-goodposters  (Read 899 times)
Tytanowy Janusz
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April 26, 2019, 09:31:31 AM
Last edit: May 14, 2019, 12:13:32 PM by Tytanowy Janusz
Merited by wwzsocki (1), Kavelj22 (1)
 #1

For now on we are stuck with this competition



I hope my post do not violate any BTT rules and is healthy for BTT community. I was looking and didn't found any rule that it may violate.


Spammers are real pain in the ass for every BTT member. I think its time to be pain in the ass for them.

I'm presenting Report spammers and pseudo-goodposters competition.

Rules:
1-From now on until 29.04.2019 - I'll be happy to get as much feedback (positive or negative) as possible to improve this competition.
2-From 29.04.2019 to 1.05.2019 I'll collect applications from members willing to participate (I'll announce it in this thread). Applications should consist of screenshot with your current "report to moderator" stats : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=reportlist;mine
3-1.05.2019 competition starts and will last 7 days (I'll post countdown gif). After countdown end all participants will have 24h to post screenshot with your current "report to moderator" stats.
4-I'll calculate how many good reports each participant have made and then I will rank them. To avoid abuse each participant with 5% of fail reports during competition period will be kicked from competition (be sure that your report is legit, do not report every post because you are only making moderator's work harder). Only reports from competition period interest me.




Reward:
1st place - 10 merits form me
2nd place - 5 merits - I can't guarantee your reward. I'm looking for sponsor for your reward. I hope that someone will post his good will in this thread before competition starts. sponsor : eaLiTy
3rd place - 3 merits - I can't guarantee your reward. I'm looking for sponsor for your reward. I hope that someone will post his good will in this thread before competition starts. sponsor : yazher



What is a spam post:

Off-topic replies have become a big problem. From now on, I will be deleting such replies without notice, forum-wide. If your replies disappear, this is probably why.

All replies must respond to the topic's original post in some way, even if they are replying to an on-topic reply. If your reply has nothing to do with the topic post, either add some content that is relevant or create a new topic.

Please report off-topic posts as soon as you see them.

What is pseudo-goodpost

It's like a lot of spammers just evolued to pseudo-goodposters[1] and are getting money by lowering the general quality of the forum posts.

[1] Not blatantly spamming, but bursting posts w/ obvious things that have already been said or don't make any sense so their manager thinks that's a good post. Since most managers only take a small glance at their post history - not checking the post context - they can't know for sure if that's a HQ post or not. So they assume it is.

Example of pseudo-goodpost

28.12.2018 Bull created topic asking if there is any good crypto exchange that allows trading with altcoins without KYC. After 14 min i replied with my answer suggesting binance. Case closed? Naah.
Today I get notification form Maggiordomo bot that someone quoted me in this topic. On page number 11 Kang Bahar quoted me just to say that he agree with me but he also quoted another person who say opposite thing and guess what ... agree with him too adding few obvious statements from himself.


Binance dont need KYC and enable trading between altcoins and withdrawing up to 2 bitcoin per day. More than 2 bitcoin require KYC.
Yep. Binance is one of the CEX that has a large daily limit of withdrawal as much as 2 BTC per day without the need to complete the KYC procedures. That's one of the advantages for Binance users, which is rarely found in other markets.

Now a days id verification or KYC is mandatory in every major exchange, so i happen to ignore all big exchanges whether it is bittrex or binance.
<snip>
Exactly. Because the function of the KYC system itself can prevent Anti Money Laundering. That's why for now, a lot of Centralized Exchange requires all users to complete KYC procedures.


Those are posts that are not spam but damages BTT even more. To get rid of those posts we need to report all of them. But don't waste your time on old posts. Those are already paid. They don't care about them. Report new, this week, unpaid post. That will make them to improve post quality.


Let me know what you guys think about this thread. Again if it validates any BTT rule than I'm sorry. I didn't know.





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April 26, 2019, 10:42:15 AM
Merited by Foxpup (2)
 #2

After countdown end all participants will have 24h to post screenshot with your current "report to moderator" stats.
A nice idea, but altering the screenshots to fake how many reports you have made is trivial. See below for an example, taken seconds apart. The only way you could do this without the risk of cheating would be to have theymos report every users' reporting statistics, and something tells me he probably has more important things to be getting on with.  Tongue




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April 26, 2019, 11:08:59 AM
 #3

since I haven't use my Smerits this year, I was waiting for this kind of opportunity to happen. I just want to say I will sponsor the 3rd Prize.

Tytanowy Janusz
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April 26, 2019, 11:25:31 AM
 #4

A nice idea, but altering the screenshots to fake how many reports you have made is trivial. See below for an example, taken seconds apart. The only way you could do this without the risk of cheating would be to have theymos report every users' reporting statistics, and something tells me he probably has more important things to be getting on with.  Tongue
I guess you have changed it in HTML. It's great that you have pointed it out. I didn't thought about it.

I think Theymos will only have to check one random person out of top 3 (or whole top 3) - none will risk red trust for cheating to get 3-10 merits if he will know that there is a possibility that it will be checked.

So we got stuck and we can not start with competition until Theymos or any moderator (if he has access to this data) will post that he support this competition by checking at least 1 person.

since I haven't use my Smerits this year, I was waiting for this kind of opportunity to happen. I just want to say I will sponsor the 3rd Prize.

Thank you. I've updated OP.




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April 26, 2019, 01:28:19 PM
 #5

Some points on reporting:

1. If a certain thread has already 100+ replies, it is a signal that it has repeated replies or pseudo-goodposters.

2. Don't be discouraged if you have bad reports, moderators don't have the time to check the previous replies of that specific thread. Moderators only act on what you have reported, unlike us reporters that we dedicated our time reading first some previous replies. Sometimes I got 400+ good reports with 32 bad reports on Bitcoin Discussion only.

3. You can just report again your bad reports, most of them are being handled as good when you report them again. Different moderators have a different viewpoint on a specific report (basically human judgement kicks in, unlike bots who just ban, kick, or mute when they see spam posts).

4. Some bad reporting are just duplicated reports. I usually used right click when reporting a specific post on a flooded thread for nuke or deletion. So, be very careful when using the right click, sometimes I end up clicking the back function instead of open link in new tab and stupid me reporting the same post because they are just the same shits that we read every day.

Example:

View image


View image

5. When a thread is being bumped and you found old replies that you think it is spam post, just report them, especially if the topic is worth reading. Based on my experience there are threads worth reading with old shitpost that can affect the value of that specific quality post.

6. I know some of you are just limiting their reports to avoid bad reporting, I got 515 bad reporting for some reasons moderator didn't agree on what I have reported, because as what I have said on number 2. Just continue to report, as the report page said: Do not worry about your accuracy too much; one accurate report is worth many inaccurate reports. I still have 100% accuracy, even if I have 515 bad reporting.

7. IMO, merit has nothing to do with report function. I mean, it is hidden and only users (reporters) can see their own reports.

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April 27, 2019, 07:13:21 AM
 #6

o_e_l_e_o is right. Also any user who knows how to work in the graphical editor can fake their statistics reports in a few minutes. I think that the screenshot can not be evidence in this case. Archiving user statistics does not work.

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Tytanowy Janusz
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April 27, 2019, 08:46:14 AM
 #7

o_e_l_e_o is right. Also any user who knows how to work in the graphical editor can fake their statistics reports in a few minutes. I think that the screenshot can not be evidence in this case. Archiving user statistics does not work.

I've already said that he is right. Graphic editor is not necessary. You can change every text on your website in 10 second in html editor (f12 in google chrome). As I said. We are stuck with this competition and I won't start it until one of moderators will post his support.

snip.

Thank you for reports tips.

4-To avoid abuse each participant with 5% of fail reports during competition period will be kicked from competition (be sure that your report is legit, do not report every post because you are only making moderator's work harder). Only reports from competition period interest me.
Now I see that it might not work since even good pseudo-goodposter report might fail.
Do you have any idea how to fix that? Or maybe whole challenge won't work and best idea is to close topic and let it sink?




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April 27, 2019, 09:32:15 AM
 #8

Similar things have been suggested before. In the end it comes down to rewarding members with merits, like a payment, for offering a service (finding spammers) which is not the reason why the merit system was implemented.
It could create a huge log of reports for moderators to handle. Users will report as much as possible only thinking about their end-reward.

Personally I have nothing against users getting some sort of reward for helping out the forum but not sure that the admins will agree that it should be merits. Curious to see their response as well. 

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April 27, 2019, 10:47:32 AM
Merited by EcuaMobi (2)
 #9

I've considered doing something like this in the past, but the room for abuse, and bothering theymos ultimately stopped me from pursing it. I had the idea in mind of rewarding Bitcoin to those that outperform others in reporting in an attempt to get more reports coming in for the mods. Although, the quality of the report has to be taken into consideration, and its not all about quantity.  Doing my time moderating I've come to the conclusion that there are a few users that report a large amount of reports, but they copy, and paste their report message, and it is often inaccurate or doesn't supply enough information for the moderator. It would be nice if moderators had an optional rating method of rating someones posts, and when displaying their report count, and accuracy to them it would also display quality of reports rated by the moderators. Having a drop down menu where we could rate the report from 1-5 or something. Then, if theymos was willing to display individual reports based on a competition or movement such as this we would have a good idea of those that are reporting higher quality reports than the rest, and not just spamming. For example, there's users that report individual bumps when it would be more efficient to report the oldest bump, and specify that there are more bumps within the thread. That would be a higher quality report than reporting all of them. This of course is all subjective, but I think this would be the only way to do something like this, and unfortunately including a rating system would likely have drawbacks which I won't go into here.

It could create a huge log of reports for moderators to handle. Users will report as much as possible only thinking about their end-reward.
And this is why I think for something like this to be plausible we'd have to have some rating system put in place, but then differing opinions on quality, and that extra bit of workload that the moderator has to do to rate the report are all drawbacks. Not to mention that users will likely create new accounts, and post spam with them, and report it in an attempt to pad their post count. Which would create new workload on the moderators. The idea in general is a good one, and would likely increase report stats, however putting it into practice is complex, and probably would lead to too much abuse for it to be plausible.


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April 27, 2019, 03:21:38 PM
 #10

Doing my time moderating I've come to the conclusion that there are a few users that report a large amount of reports, but they copy, and paste their report message, and it is often inaccurate or doesn't supply enough information for the moderator.
I am probably guilty of this. In cases that require a little bit more investigation on my or a mod's part I always include a longer message, such as providing links and signposting to the relevant parts in cases of plagiarism, or explaining why I think a thread has run its course and deserves to be locked. However, the majority of my reports are for simple low/zero value meaningless shitposts which add nothing meaningful to the discussion, and I always report them with the same message, unless I think it's not complete obvious why it's spam (for example, if the post isn't bad, but is a rehash of something that has been said 10+ times already). I have a very low percentage of "bad" reports, so I had always assumed using the same message was acceptable.

Where is the balance to be had here? I could expand my report message for these kind of posts, but it would then take me probably around 10x longer to make a report, so 10x less posts being reported. Is the same repeated message fine in these cases of obvious spam?

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April 27, 2019, 03:40:34 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (2)
 #11

I am probably guilty of this. In cases that require a little bit more investigation on my or a mod's part I always include a longer message, such as providing links and signposting to the relevant parts in cases of plagiarism, or explaining why I think a thread has run its course and deserves to be locked. However, the majority of my reports are for simple low/zero value meaningless shitposts which add nothing meaningful to the discussion, and I always report them with the same message, unless I think it's not complete obvious why it's spam (for example, if the post isn't bad, but is a rehash of something that has been said 10+ times already). I have a very low percentage of "bad" reports, so I had always assumed using the same message was acceptable.

Where is the balance to be had here? I could expand my report message for these kind of posts, but it would then take me probably around 10x longer to make a report, so 10x less posts being reported. Is the same repeated message fine in these cases of obvious spam?
It is acceptable, but you definitely run the risk of it being bad. Generally, spam posts are easy to figure out, and reporting them for "spam", "low quality content" or any other variation is usually fine, and perfectly acceptable. However, some posts which are being reported for being repeated or duplicate content, and not providing a reference runs a higher risk of being marked bad. When I receive a report like that I'll normally check the thread to a certain point, but I'm not going to go through a 200 page long thread for example looking for duplicate content. I'll use various plagiarism  tools to see if that pings anything back, but if it doesn't then it'll be marked bad. The best practice when considering  duplicate content or replies which have already been rehashed a few times is to include a reference. A lot of the time its obvious, and can be verified only a few replies up, and then its not a big deal. However, I've received messages from users who have reported something, and not included a reference, and the duplicate was over 20 pages ago.

Generally, use your common sense, and include detail in your report if its not obvious. I haven't noticed your reports honestly, and if you haven't received much bad reports I think its safe to say you're fine. We all fall guilty of it too I definitely did back in my reporting days, and I had a few marked bad where I didn't provide enough context, and then I reported it again with context, and it got deleted. Generally, I'm aware of threads which have a lot of spam in them, and it needs cleaning up. I've been busy recently, but I'll be visiting these threads periodically, and cleaning them up now that my activity should be back to normal.

In terms of my feature suggestion. I wouldn't mark down reports for specifying "spam", because that's all that's needed. That isn't a bad quality report. I'm not expecting essays or to nail everything, but sometimes a reference is absolutely appreciated. If you know that their reply is just rehashing what someone else said you've likely seen the original message, and providing that reference goes a long way, because the moderator handling the report hasn't seen it, and needs to go looking for it. This is my personal opinion obviously, and I'm not speaking on behalf of every other staff member, and I think the report quality suggestion definitely has bigger drawbacks than positives, but that's the only way I see running a competition/reward campaign like this to work.

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April 27, 2019, 03:55:56 PM
 #12

-snip-
I think I'm pretty much in line with what you've said. I report obvious bounty spamming simply as "low value spam" or similar, but anything more complicated (such as rehashed content), I include a bit more information. As I said, my "bad" reports are currently sitting around 0.2% of my total, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't making life any harder for the mods than it needs to be. Thanks for the clarification.

An additional little suggestion that might help: Expand the comment box on the reporting page. I've since started using a script to do that automatically, but it's really difficult to write a meaningful comment to the mods, especially one that needs to be a couple of sentences long, when you can only see ~40 characters at a time.

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April 27, 2019, 04:00:43 PM
 #13

An additional little suggestion that might help: Expand the comment box on the reporting page. I've since started using a script to do that automatically, but it's really difficult to write a meaningful comment to the mods, especially one that needs to be a couple of sentences long, when you can only see ~40 characters at a time.
Yeah, I remember a few times I literally typed it out in a text editor, and then copied it over. Those where the days! I haven't taken a look at much of the development in the new forum software, but hopefully these little quality of life features will have been considered. Keep up the good work at reporting though! You are helping with my therapeutic therapy Wink

Similar things have been suggested before. In the end it comes down to rewarding members with merits, like a payment, for offering a service (finding spammers) which is not the reason why the merit system was implemented.
It could create a huge log of reports for moderators to handle. Users will report as much as possible only thinking about their end-reward.

Personally I have nothing against users getting some sort of reward for helping out the forum but not sure that the admins will agree that it should be merits. Curious to see their response as well. 

Just to add onto this also. This is why I considered giving out payments, although that also has its drawbacks. Honestly, I couldn't care what the motives behind someone reporting is as long as they're not gaming the system. Therefore, I don't mind offering rewards up for users that are using the system properly, but as soon as payment is introduced I know that it will be gamed to no ends. I'm not a big fan of handing out merits for reporting, although I wouldn't critique anyone doing it as there's far worse things they could be wasted on.

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April 27, 2019, 04:21:42 PM
 #14

Just look for people with paid signatures. 90% are spam and content regurgitation.
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April 27, 2019, 06:10:30 PM
Merited by The Pharmacist (4)
 #15

-snip-
I'm also guilty on the copy and paste part of my reasons for deleting and nuking of a certain post.
But, do we really need to link every post that we are saying as a repeated post we read every day?
That's too long if I add more links to it (sample averaging 500 reports daily).

If I go back to my bad reports, which I did report again with links, seems like a waste of time re-reading again and linking the reports which eventually being marked as good. Reporters report a certain post because they already read the same message on the previous post.

I will just give one example of my latest bad reporting (I did report again):


Below is the post:

The above image is just one of my latest bad reporting. As I have said on my previous reply I know moderators don't have the time to read all the previous post, but, if there will be some ratings on the quality reporters I would have the lowest ratings just because I forgot or never link which post I was saying as rehash post.

I also have one report which got a bad report, AFAIK the post was just  Smiley (yup, just a smiley and got bad on that), when I check again it was already deleted. I know moderators can see this link, if I'm correct it is just a smiley >>> https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5134505.msg50705307#msg50705307

My bad reports are around 0.81% of my total reported posts. I hope it won't affect my quality of reporting, I know we all make mistakes or moderators click the wrong button and I admit I make mistakes.

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April 28, 2019, 08:16:56 AM
 #16

Just to add onto this also. This is why I considered giving out payments, although that also has its drawbacks. Honestly, I couldn't care what the motives behind someone reporting is as long as they're not gaming the system. Therefore, I don't mind offering rewards up for users that are using the system properly, but as soon as payment is introduced I know that it will be gamed to no ends. I'm not a big fan of handing out merits for reporting, although I wouldn't critique anyone doing it as there's far worse things they could be wasted on.
I fully agree with your post especially with the part in bold. If a reward system like that got implemented I think that not everyone should be able to participate in it. It should be based on the stats of good reports, both quality and quantity wise. That way you would be dealing with a handful of members who already know what an off topic and spam post looks like. That minimises the possibility of abuse and gaming the system.

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April 28, 2019, 08:44:39 AM
Merited by theyoungmillionaire (2)
 #17

The above image is just one of my latest bad reporting. As I have said on my previous reply I know moderators don't have the time to read all the previous post, but, if there will be some ratings on the quality reporters I would have the lowest ratings just because I forgot or never link which post I was saying as rehash post.

I also have one report which got a bad report, AFAIK the post was just  Smiley (yup, just a smiley and got bad on that), when I check again it was already deleted. I know moderators can see this link, if I'm correct it is just a smiley >>> https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5134505.msg50705307#msg50705307

My bad reports are around 0.81% of my total reported posts. I hope it won't affect my quality of reporting, I know we all make mistakes or moderators click the wrong button and I admit I make mistakes.

It really depends on if you care about report percentage, and actually removing the message. I'm only speaking of my viewpoint on this, and how I go about moderating. I'll try my best to go through the pages, and check if there's duplicate content, but if I believe that the post is unique enough or adds just enough to discussion then I'll likely leave it. Sometimes I'll ignore the report, and possibly allow another moderator to make the decision if I think its borderline.

My point being without going off topic too much here is that if you report with references its much better, although its not a requirement, and most of the time its not needed. Regular reporters, and moderators can kind of spot duplicate content from a mile off due to the fact that we get reports, and report within the same threads quite a lot.

If its a smiley then yeah it should have been deleted, and I'm not sure why it wasn't marked good, but it was probably just a mistake on the mods behalf.  0.81% is a really good margin for error, I wouldn't be bothered by making too many mistakes guys, and as long as you have a good amount of good reports then there's no real need to change from a personal perspective. Back in my reporting days I made over 200 bad reports.

My personal advice would be to go more in depth on non obvious cases. However, simply stating "spam" etc is usually fine for the majority of low quality content.

I fully agree with your post especially with the part in bold. If a reward system like that got implemented I think that not everyone should be able to participate in it. It should be based on the stats of good reports, both quality and quantity wise. That way you would be dealing with a handful of members who already know what an off topic and spam post looks like. That minimises the possibility of abuse and gaming the system.
But, people get greedy, and will game the system by creating alt accounts, and posting spam, and reporting it with their mains. Then, the original goal of the campaign of removing spam is void, and we are left dealing with more spam than original. It's a hard one, but the very core of the idea is a good one.

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April 28, 2019, 09:19:02 AM
 #18

Just to add onto this also. This is why I considered giving out payments, although that also has its drawbacks. Honestly, I couldn't care what the motives behind someone reporting is as long as they're not gaming the system. Therefore, I don't mind offering rewards up for users that are using the system properly, but as soon as payment is introduced I know that it will be gamed to no ends. I'm not a big fan of handing out merits for reporting, although I wouldn't critique anyone doing it as there's far worse things they could be wasted on.
Monetizing report will create another headache for moderators as it will be hard to go through every report as i bet you will get tons of bad reports just for the case of getting paid , it must be a voluntary system without any perks to get the best results from dedicated members but having a annual display of good reports by users is not a bad idea either.

 
@OP i will sponsor the second place winner and since i am sponsoring i am not participating in this competition. Posting my report history though to show i could be a contender  Grin.

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April 28, 2019, 03:28:02 PM
 #19

@OP i will sponsor the second place winner and since i am sponsoring i am not participating in this competition. Posting my report history though to show i could be a contender  Grin.
Thank you for providing smerits for second place.

Just to add onto this also. This is why I considered giving out payments, although that also has its drawbacks. Honestly, I couldn't care what the motives behind someone reporting is as long as they're not gaming the system. Therefore, I don't mind offering rewards up for users that are using the system properly, but as soon as payment is introduced I know that it will be gamed to no ends. I'm not a big fan of handing out merits for reporting, although I wouldn't critique anyone doing it as there's far worse things they could be wasted on.
I fully agree with your post especially with the part in bold. If a reward system like that got implemented I think that not everyone should be able to participate in it. It should be based on the stats of good reports, both quality and quantity wise. That way you would be dealing with a handful of members who already know what an off topic and spam post looks like. That minimises the possibility of abuse and gaming the system.

Don't you think that this will solve issue with low quality reports?

[To avoid abuse each participant with 5% of fail reports during competition period will be kicked from competition (be sure that your report is legit, do not report every post because you are only making moderator's work harder).
5% might be too much but 2% will force competitiors to create as good reports as possible. It only does not solve this issue:

But, people get greedy, and will game the system by creating alt accounts, and posting spam, and reporting it with their mains. Then, the original goal of the campaign of removing spam is void, and we are left dealing with more spam than original. It's a hard one, but the very core of the idea is a good one.

Which i'm not quite sure how to solve it for this comptetition. I'm also not sure if 3-10 merits are that much to made members put that much efford to win them. It is also much easier to find spam (f.e. in almost every megathread) than create alt to post spam to report it.

@Welsh Thank you very much for sharing your point of view with dealing with reports. It was very educating for me and will help to create quality reports for "pseudo-goodposters"
BTW do You, as staff member, have access to others "report to moderator" stats? Or only Theymos has it?




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April 28, 2019, 03:58:13 PM
 #20

It is also much easier to find spam (f.e. in almost every megathread) than create alt to post spam to report it.
If you were to run this competition, you would need to limit which boards reports can come from, but again, you are depending on theymos to give you those data. The reason I say this is because anyone can go in to a random ANN thread on the altcoin boards and rack up hundreds of reports an hour just from the usual "Great project" and "To the moon" type posts. Doing so doesn't really help to clean up the forum, because no one with any sanity is visiting those threads anyway.

Or only Theymos has it?
hilariousandco has previously stated that only admins have access to this data.

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