A4n0n4's blog

By A4n0n4, history, 16 months ago, In English


I have a simple request which lie completely in the tittle.

The main reason for this request is pretty simple : right now it's impossible to know the number of people who liked / disliked a post and we only get the difference. But the difference is hiding most of the real information; lets take two example :

First a personal example, earlier today, I created a blog on cheaters which has been (massively) down-voted and which currently sit at -26. I'd be pretty curious to know if there has been a total of 26 votes and everybody disagreed, or if the votes are currently sitting at +50 -75 which shows a much more balanced reaction !

Its even more impactful for a post with a ratio or 0. Did it failed to get any reach or was the reactions on it balanced ?

Please upvote if you find the feature useful and please comment if there is already a solution !

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By A4n0n4, history, 16 months ago, In English

Hi, I was reading Wind_Eagle blog on how he found some cheaters during the contest earlier this week and his conclusion was :

""And the conclusion, as usual, is the same: cheating — this is a much bigger problem than it seems.""

To be honest I don't really get why cheaters are that much of a problem.

Let me list all all the reasons I see that should make us, as a community or as an individual, care about it :

  1. in big competitions, we want to acclaim real contestants
  2. (same as before) when there is a prize money, we want it to be properly attributed
  3. since some people use it on their CV, we don't want people to make false claim and damage the competitive programming perception
  4. my ranking is lower that it should be because of cheaters
  5. Cheaters don't deserve their ranks

It's pretty clear than for 1 and 2, it does concern only the grandmaster rank or above.

The third point may be critical since, despite plenty of experienced competitive programmer hinting the other way around, lots of people are getting in CP because they hope to land a job thanks to it. But even for this point n°3 : if you rank is below master, when doing an interview, you shouldn't get any credit solely because of your rank. More important, the interviewer job is to check whether your claims on your CV are verified. So, if it does matter, which I doubt, it does matter only for master rank and above.

So are we left with the 4th and 5th point. First, we shouldn't lose our time focusing on strangers ranking, it doesn't help ourselves being anything better, so lets drop the 5th point and lets focus on the number 4.

On n°4 : Cheaters are lowering my rank. This claim is true. But why should we care about ? Is CP really about our respective ranks or is it about the joy of discovering new techniques ? about the pleasure of finally solving a difficult problem ? or even better about the pleasure of solving an interesting problem that was out of our reach a couple month ago ? I believe each of us gets his pleasure from CP in a different way so I might not have pinpointed your reason but, to me, the rankings can't be and shouldn't be the motivation for doing CP.

So whats my conclusion ? we shouldn't care about most cheaters, cheaters below master doesn't matter. Cheaters at master and above are pretty easy to find, a simple ability test, or since, there are not that many people over there, statistical analysis on each participant should be able to tell if he is legit or not. Focusing only on cheaters at master and above would save lots of time !

And a last argument why, in a more pragmatic way, we shouldn't care about low level cheaters : all the lost time is time that could be invested elsewhere, to improve the community ! I believe MikeMirzayanov in his recent AMA told that dealing with cheater was one of the worst parts of his job, so lets all agree that we don't care about low level cheaters and lets focus on some other things to improve CP !!

PS : I would be glad to hear your thoughts and to discuss about my blog with you in the comments !

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