SecondThread's blog

By SecondThread, history, 5 weeks ago, In English,

Unrated Account Disaster

Recently there have been an obscene number of unrated accounts showing up. Several of them have inappropriate names, so I won't give examples because I want to keep this post clean, but I'm sure you have seen them in the comments. They are likely all by the same individual, possibly with a few copy-cat troublemakers as well.

Recently, certain ones have begun to spam useless comments on old posts to clog up the recent actions, effectively hiding all relevant conversations except on the blog posts they spam on. For whatever reason, these are overwhelmingly on Errichto's old blog posts. Occasionally there are also a flood of obscene blog posts made by the user themselves.

Here's an example of what I mean:

This is obnoxious and I would like to see it stop.

The current solution clearly doesn't work. As soon as they get banned or muted or whatever, they can just make another throw-away account and continue spamming tomorrow.

A slightly less extreme problem is that lots of new users have created alt accounts in order to ask fairly meaningless 'How do I get better', 'please solve this problem for me', et cetera type of questions.


Suggested Solution

Make it so that users who haven't competed in any contests don't have permissions to post blogs or comments. At the very least, this should deter a lot of these fake accounts from being created.


What about legit accounts who don't compete?

I know there are a few accounts used by companies/media which are used for public announcements, for instance: NercNews. In cases like this, if it is actually a legitimate news source, we can 'trust' these users with the GM 'trust this user' feature. As far as I know, there aren't really that many accounts like this that are run by large companies/media organizations. I think each of them should be able to find at least one GM who is either a part of the organization or can verify that the organization is trustworthy enough to not intentionally spam Codeforces.


Do you agree? If so, can you please tag some people who would have the ability to fix this so that this post actually gets noticed within the haystack of worthless spam?

 
 
 
 
  • Vote: I like it
  • +753
  • Vote: I do not like it

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +45 Vote: I do not like it

I personally don't have the knowledge of who to tag since Mike probably gets inundated with tags from hundreds or thousands of users but I will add that it's important that we keep this post in Recent Actions so that as many people can see it as possible.

So please comment something on this. If you don't know what to comment, take a minute to find an unrated account spewing hate and post a link to that. For example this one.

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +28 Vote: I do not like it

What about banning unrated accounts after a certain amount of negative contribution? Actually, I still think that this could cause issues given that an obscene post would have to be made first to gain downvotes, but I like your second idea better, namely a 'trust' feature allowing certain unrated accounts to gain the rights of posting

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +40 Vote: I do not like it

    The trust feature is actually already implemented. The infrastructure is already there. This seems like it should be a fairly easy thing to implement, especially for how helpful it would be.

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +17 Vote: I do not like it

I agree there should definitely be something done about these sorts of things. While I can't think of an immediate solution, there are two changes that I believe could help reduce this kind of behavior.

1) A system that can detect racist/homophobic slurs and other offensive language would at least minimize discriminatory names/comments such as the ones we are seeing with this Errichto incident.

2) In my opinion, the recent actions box could be split into a new posts box, an edits box, and a comments box. This would also fix people using comments/edits to bump their own old blogs.

Any thoughts on these changes? Obviously this would not stop the issue completely but it could remove some of the harmful details of it.

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +49 Vote: I do not like it

    I don't think the bad language is the real issue here. Sure, it's bad. The worse part imo is that it just nukes the recent actions, and is so easy to do.

    I'm not sure I have an opinion on changing the recent actions box. 'Recency' as a sole comparator seems a bit odd. Surely 'Quality' should be incorporated somehow as well somehow, right?

    I think the most pressing issue is this incessant and currently nonpunishable spam, after this is fixed, we can breathe and find a more helpful way to order things.

    • »
      »
      »
      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Rev. 2   Vote: I like it +10 Vote: I do not like it
      I think the most pressing issue is this incessant and currently nonpunishable spam, after this is fixed, we can breathe and find a more helpful way to order things.
      

      This is a good point. After all, some issues (such as the spamming) introduce others (such as the recent actions box). Once one issue is fixed, the rest become less prominent. Thanks for bringing light to this, I'm glad someone is speaking up about these problems.

      EDIT: Sorry I have no idea how to format a quote haha

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

how bout a reporting tool for those with enough contribution, like stack overflow has flags and stuff

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    I really like this idea!

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +8 Vote: I do not like it

    This requires staff on the back end to deal with the reports.

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

    I'm all for community moderation for this issue and others involving unethical user behaviour. Here is my exact opinion on why community based moderation is a good idea.

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -180 Vote: I do not like it

You want contribution or something? As you are posting such blogs regularly which are of no use!

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +104 Vote: I do not like it

    Which blogs am I posting that are of no use? I try to make sure my posts are either codeforces improvement suggestions, tools other people might be interested in, or educational materials.

    I posted this blog because the spam is obnoxious and I want to see it stop.

    • »
      »
      »
      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Rev. 2   Vote: I like it -51 Vote: I do not like it

      The reasons why it won't work 1. As you said organisations such as topcoder's hmetha and icpc one! 2. If anyone wants to spam he can participate in contest and get shitty rank just to spam? 3. It doesn't make sense to make GM trust this feature because there might be small organisations who know none of the GM. 4. Sometimes people use this methods to show cheating cases of codeforces as well as other coding platforms. If you do remember the Karan's codejam case.

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

        The only reasons which makes sense are 2 and 3. I think you should need more than one contest to post comments, and why tf should people make new accounts to show cheating cases. Yes people do it, but that doesn't mean they should...

        • »
          »
          »
          »
          »
          5 weeks ago, # ^ |
            Vote: I like it -14 Vote: I do not like it

          People do create new accounts because they are afraid to reveal there identity. They might be there close friends or something?

          You can't set limit to no. Of contests to participate to post stuff because there are organisations and it doesn't make sense that "hmetha will ask Errichto or any other GM to use trust feature on him".

          • »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            »
            5 weeks ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

            If they're close friends I think that's a problem for the expose as well...

            I think organizations should have a separate way of being handled, maybe not the way proposed, but I think just requiring ~3 contests for normal user would drastically decrease spam, and how hard can it be to handle the few organizations that are exceptions.

            • »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              »
              5 weeks ago, # ^ |
                Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

              as the new system for rating requires more than 1 contest to get "fully rated", maybe you have to do all of them to get the "right" to post, would that be a good idea?

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it +13 Vote: I do not like it

        ICPC is clearly legit. Heck, I'll trust them if I need to. For these other organizations, how important are you really if you aren't used by a single person who is >= 2400, aren't willing to compete in a single contest, and can't get anyone serious to trust you?

        There are hundreds of GMs who can do this for you, this should be a pretty easy thing to do for any serious group that actually helps people. And even if it doesn't, literally just have the manager compete in a contest and you're set.

        I think it would go a great way to reducing spam. Making an account capable of doing this now requires way more work, which alone will discourage most people. After that, it also limits the number of accounts that need to be banned to a finite number, instead of an infinite fight against some person out there who just wants to cause trouble, and can make new accounts to troll whenever.

        Also, what happened to the original ad-hominem attack against my posts?

    • »
      »
      »
      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +6 Vote: I do not like it

      congratulations you are now the tenth best contributor

      • »
        »
        »
        »
        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
          Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

        Actually it is an one of the best idea to increase contributions <3

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +147 Vote: I do not like it

Maybe Errichto secretly commissioned the spam to boost his blogging career.

  • »
    »
    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +137 Vote: I do not like it

    busted :(

    • »
      »
      »
      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +47 Vote: I do not like it

      I was asked about this in priv so here's my serious statement:

      I have nothing to do with this and I fully condemn it. Putting multiple blogs of one person in recent actions is just annoying. My old blogs are useless now, as most of them are just contest announcements. And that person used racist nicknames, which is hideous and I would be happy with MikeMirzayanov taking legal actions against such behaviour.

»
5 weeks ago, # |
Rev. 2   Vote: I like it -8 Vote: I do not like it

Sometimes I see some comments with impolite or disdain words that have many downvotes. I think these should be deleted

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +6 Vote: I do not like it

if I do the same, will you write a blog "please ban masters from commenting?"

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +217 Vote: I do not like it

oh man I have a solution: comments by any unrateds don't cause a blog to appear in the recent actions

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it -40 Vote: I do not like it

The day , this toxic cf community will stop downvoting comments for no reason , people will stop making fake accounts . (especially for low rated users)

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

It wont work. They will just create a bunch of accounts that are registred on contest. All of this account recieve 0, but it doesn't matter because they get right to post. What about allowing only to people that solved at least one problem during the real contest?

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +110 Vote: I do not like it

I see that these comments are now deleted, but this guy wrote "nice job retard" in every Errichto's blog and we have to note that he was 100% right xd

»
5 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +3 Vote: I do not like it

I was thinking the same before even seeing this blog. There are many users who just create accounts to post meme and troll other people. There should be a criteria that you must have participated in at-least 3 contests to write a comment or blog, this will result in huge drop of those comments which are unnecessary. For companies' accounts they can use the trust feature or any other feature explained by other people above. But yes unrated account should be banned from commenting/blogging.