Yes, again about cheaters

Revision en4, by Secret_Eagle, 2021-08-16 00:14:59

Hello, Codeforces! You may have noticed that a lot of blogs are created about cheaters, and these blogs usually look at two or three users and compare their submissions.

In my opinion, this approach is fundamentally wrong. After all, such blogs are fighting not the cause but the effect of the problem.

Let me tell you a little bit about what interested me in these blogs. When I looked at the profiles of cheaters, I noticed that they are often not from one city, and sometimes live really far away from each other. It seemed to me that cheaters were sometimes in different countries as well! From that I have made a fairly simple and obvious conclusion for many — the existence of Telegram/Youtube channels, where they publish solutions to problems.

Frankly speaking, I have found such channels several times already, but I wondered if I could find "help" in Codeforces solutions if I directly entered key words like: "codeforces contest ongoing solutions telegram" into the search engine, so I entered something like that on Google and Youtube.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that such channels are very easy to find! I thought it required at least some effort!

In just two (!) minutes of searching I found two live Telegram channels with ~400 and ~700 subscribers, suggesting to write in Discord to their authors and get the solutions. I also found one Telegram group with ~800 users, where people seemed to share their secrets with each other via private messages, though sometimes they left clues in the chat.

I've also found a Youtube channel with ~200 subscribers, where some Codechef contest was streamed online.

I could have searched more, but it wasn't necessary. I'm sure I could have found a few more groups or channels. And almost certainly if I had joined one and asked around, I would have found more resources where I could get solutions.

What conclusion do I draw? A very simple one! If we are going to root cheaters, we need to influence the resources where solutions are published, while searching for individuals is expensive and not very helpful.

Moreover, such groups can be used to track cheaters (sometimes their Telegram and Codeforces nicknames are the same) and the authors of the solutions! In channels they sometimes write "Solved D, DM me for the solution", the author can be tracked by the time of submission of all problems!

In my opinion, if such groups are found, their activities will be stopped, as it was in Goodbye 2020 Round, when a large Telegram group with cheaters was discovered. So look for cheaters, join their groups and get in their way!

Conclusion: 1) Anti-plagiarism works, don't try to find cheaters yourself, it's ineffective. 2) Solutions for rounds very easy to find, and a large number of groups with cheaters, they are also not difficult to find.

Something like this. With this blog I wanted to show how serious the problem of cheating.


  Rev. Lang. By When Δ Comment
en4 English Secret_Eagle 2021-08-16 00:14:59 6
en3 English Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 20:06:48 0 (published)
ru3 Russian Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 20:06:13 0 (опубликовано)
ru2 Russian Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 20:04:53 14
en2 English Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 20:04:06 14
en1 English Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 20:02:57 2965 Initial revision for English translation (saved to drafts)
ru1 Russian Secret_Eagle 2021-08-15 19:40:32 2873 Первая редакция (сохранено в черновиках)