Possible solution to minimize abuse

Feature Requests

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Do you support this ask?

(You may not vote on this poll)

× 19 (47.50%) Yes, I agree with Kaens.

× 4 (10.00%) No, <see comment below>

× 17 (42.50%) Poll - I'm here for it, not even bothering to read what Kaens said


  • Added 08-17-2015 03:59 PM
  • 40 votes
With the recent badges for solutions/comments on achievements we saw some blatant spam to get badges. Now there are always going to be people who make the quick grind to get a badge or whatever, but I was trying to think, how could GTN prevent this type of abuse. Unfortunately, I didn't come up with an answer to that question, but I did change the question.

Instead of "How do we prevent this?", how about "How do we minimize the impact/value of doing it?" That was much more interesting, and got the ball rolling. Why do people do that? Around here, it's pretty much just for badges. So the answer many people have suggested is just delete the badges and no one will spam solutions. Totally true! However, that doesn't replace the positive impact the badges have increasing engagement into under utilized features. Badges are an easy way for Eric to drive traffic to new features he wants to drive traffic to. More engagement = more page views = more premium members and page views. So unless you can present Eric with a better suggestion to replace badges, just getting rid of badges isn't a serious solution.

What if we hid from view solutions (or reviews, anything we have the thumbs up system on) that has a certain ratio. Better yet, members could set their own threshold, or show all. This would allow members of the site to self police negative behavior, but still allow everyone to see it if desired. This doesn't solve the problem with badges, the spammer could still earn the badge, but that could be tackled separately. I don't see why reviews, solutions, comments on other people's boards are not subjected to the same criteria that the forums are. The only place I feel I should be allowed to spam and be a jackass is my own page.
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I don't think hiding them is a solution. If anything solutions should be monitored and approved before a solution is applied to a badge. Just look at the reviews, anyone should be able to make a review that is longer then one sentence. It should be one good paragraph at the very least. Then let the community vote on it. If a solution or review is one sentence with 5 thumbs down then it shouldn't count. The moderator of the solutions/reviews should have them cued in some fashion showing the the most thumbs down voted at the top of the list so they can be quickly rejected. The same with good solution / reviews. Give them a quick read & approve them.

If you want to hide them, maybe hide them from the general public, but they can be viewed if they went to your profile.
Last edited 08-17-2015 at 04:23 PM by MarvzMitts.
Badges are an easy way for Eric to drive traffic to new features he wants to drive traffic to. More engagement = more page views = more premium members and page views.
Originally Posted by Kaens
See, I'm not sure I agree with this assumption. I know that appears to be the intention, but does it really happen that way. What badge has actually resulted in positive engagement on the site and because of that engagement, an increase in premium membership.

This also goes back to my discussion points last week about the site changing itself and its culture to deal with the abuser, and the development cycles wasted on the issue. If we really want to make the abuser go away (without actually banning that person), then I think the best solution would be one suggested before to make whole users ignorable.

Example that in no way reflects an actual situation:

futiles is tired of Kaens's spam, on the forums, on the comments, on the whatever. futiles clicks a little cog, or hyperlink, or whatever, next to Kaens's name, or on his page, or by his post, or where ever, and selects "block user" or "ignore user" or "hide user" or any syntax to that effect. Now, GTN, through the magic of code literally makes Kaens disappear to futiles. futiles does not see his posts, does not see his comments, does not see his "solutions" and futiles is happy. Kaens is happy, because he can spam away, causing page hits, views, badges awarded. As other people grow tired of Kaens, they also hide him. As other people join in to Kaens's shenanigans, they get hidden. But, no one has to deal with the garbage from another user.

Board Game Geek does this. It works. It works fairly well.

Also, they have a fantastic rule. You can never, ever, under any circumstance, discuss your block list publicly.

So, in the above example, futiles may block Kaens, but he may never say in public that he has blocked Kaens. Discussing publicly your block list is a banning offense.
Yeah or don't count anything unless it has a minimum amount of up votes? So only after they have 5 up votes and maintain positive ratio it's good. But people are going to game the system still, they'll create 5 fake accounts and give themselves a bunch of thumbs up, get the badges and we'll still need staff to get involved. There is very little staff as is, it's probably better not to overwork them.
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Example that in no way reflects an actual situation:

futiles is tired of Kaens's spam, on the forums, on the comments, on the whatever. futiles clicks a little cog, or hyperlink, or whatever, next to Kaens's name, or on his page, or by his post, or where ever, and selects "block user" or "ignore user" or "hide user" or any syntax to that effect. Now, GTN, through the magic of code literally makes Kaens disappear to futiles. futiles does not see his posts, does not see his comments, does not see his "solutions" and futiles is happy. Kaens is happy, because he can spam away, causing page hits, views, badges awarded. As other people grow tired of Kaens, they also hide him. As other people join in to Kaens's shenanigans, they get hidden. But, no one has to deal with the garbage from another user.
Originally Posted by futiles
This is great idea, I like the ability to block someone (my ex doesn't exist on Facebook for another example) so it's obviously possible. Just how difficult is it for Eric is the question.

Then we can have a leaderboard for the most blocked user! :hugegrin: JK on the last part (should be obvious).
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So, going to badges, site usage, activity, and premium membership, I pulled up some numbers.

There are 35 premium members. (Actually more than I expected!)
Of those, 7 have never posted, and 18 have posted less than 100 posts. (I know posts/forum counts aren't everything, but, it is the easiest metric to track) Leaving just 10 premium members with more than 100 forum posts. We will call 100 forum posts our "Active threshold" for sake of this experiment.

Looking at the overall users by forum post count, there are 45 users with 100+ posts.

15 total 100-199 (2 premium)
7 total 200-299 (3 premium)
3 total 300-399 (1 premium)
6 total 400-499 (0 premium)
2 total 500-599 (1 premium)
4 total 600-699 (0 premium)
1 total 700-999 (0 premium)
6 total from 1000-1999 (1 premium)
2 total with 2000+ (2 premium)

So, with those numbers 28.6% of premium members are active. 22.2% of active members are premium. Now, that is imperfect, because of members that show up in these two lists, that have not posted since 2012, but, I am working and cannot thin it out more.

Also, there is a list on many of the pages with "Top Gamertags" which is basically the same one on every other site, because it is the same 10 gamertags with the highest gamerscore. None of which are premium nor active. So, why promote them?
i like the idea of blocking a user and they disappear completely.
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So, going to badges, site usage, activity, and premium membership, I pulled up some numbers.

There are 35 premium members. (Actually more than I expected!)
Of those, 7 have never posted, and 18 have posted less than 100 posts. (I know posts/forum counts aren't everything, but, it is the easiest metric to track) Leaving just 10 premium members with more than 100 forum posts. We will call 100 forum posts our "Active threshold" for sake of this experiment.

Looking at the overall users by forum post count, there are 45 users with 100+ posts.

15 total 100-199 (2 premium)
7 total 200-299 (3 premium)
3 total 300-399 (1 premium)
6 total 400-499 (0 premium)
2 total 500-599 (1 premium)
4 total 600-699 (0 premium)
1 total 700-999 (0 premium)
6 total from 1000-1999 (1 premium)
2 total with 2000+ (2 premium)

So, with those numbers 28.6% of premium members are active. 22.2% of active members are premium. Now, that is imperfect, because of members that show up in these two lists, that have not posted since 2012, but, I am working and cannot thin it out more.

Also, there is a list on many of the pages with "Top Gamertags" which is basically the same one on every other site, because it is the same 10 gamertags with the highest gamerscore. None of which are premium nor active. So, why promote them?
Originally Posted by futiles
I know you are trying to work with what we have access to, but home page views would be much better. Lots of people are active and never post. Hell I think I have 2-3 posts ever on TA and I probably give them 50 page views a day at least. I get what you are saying about the Top10, just unsure what you are referring to or trying to fix. Sorry I read your post twice and I'm still missing the point, must be the heat.
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Just, a better way to promote engagement is to promote those that are active. I mean, why does every achievement site feel the need to fondle the same ten gamers' ePeni?

Why not promote the staff, or the premium members, or the most visited home pages, or (god forbid this is actually better than those people) the top posters...
Is there a way that you have to of earned the achievement to post/comment on a achievement that could solve some spam. It's unfortunate that spam will take place, seen some on TA when for solutions and seems like the writer hasn't even played the game. Unless there is a review to see if it is an actual solution or comment about said achievement it should be deleted say a way to report said comment as spam and looked in to being removed (and removing count from the poster to negate getting credit towards a badge)
Just, a better way to promote engagement is to promote those that are active. I mean, why does every achievement site feel the need to fondle the same ten gamers' ePeni?

Why not promote the staff, or the premium members, or the most visited home pages, or (god forbid this is actually better than those people) the top posters...
Originally Posted by futiles
I really like your solutions especially the last bit here, but if you get a block user you can block the top posters too making them invisible to you. I don't care much about top posting statistics even though I probably am one of the top posters, but this is mainly due to my station here as staff and I know that doesn't mean I have to post as much as I do. I just like to be active.
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Reduce the qty of whatever needed to obtain a badge. Besides banning hotdogmcasshat, that would be the best solution to both maintain the appeal of badges and reduce the abuse.

Ex, if the max comment badge is 25, I'd be much more likely to make 25 worthwhile comments to get the badge. With the max at 500 comments, all you're gonna get is spam or worthless comments.
Adding nothing constructive to a thread near you

What exactly is the point of this thread?
Originally Posted by B8TINGU
I really like your solutions especially the last bit here, but if you get a block user you can block the top posters too making them invisible to you. I don't care much about top posting statistics even though I probably am one of the top posters, but this is mainly due to my station here as staff and I know that doesn't mean I have to post as much as I do. I just like to be active.
Originally Posted by B8TINGU
If the top poster is someone whose posts you don't want to see, then what does it matter? You aren't making them invisible to everyone, just you. In fact, turns out I am number 4 in posts, and I can guarantee someone will block me.
how about making that the solutions has to be reviewed Before they become public on the site? therefore you can remove all the spam ones from the legit ones. and then make the badges only Count those that have been approved?
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how about making that the solutions has to be reviewed Before they become public on the site? therefore you can remove all the spam ones from the legit ones. and then make the badges only Count those that have been approved?
Originally Posted by Mardagg
There is very little staff as is, it's probably better not to overwork them.
Originally Posted by Kaens
I think the point was to not overwork the staff member.
Okey, it was just an idea, and it doesnt Always has to be extra job. (been both administrator and moderator on forums and sites so I know what im talking about) its all on how you make the system. I dont know which forum system thats working below this one. Im mainly used to work with Vbulletin myself.
Edit: I found out that you are using VB5 Big Grin
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Okey, it was just an idea, and it doesnt Always has to be extra job. (been both administrator and moderator on forums and sites so I know what im talking about) its all on how you make the system. I dont know which forum system thats working below this one. Im mainly used to work with Vbulletin myself.
Edit: I found out that you are using VB5 Big Grin
Originally Posted by Mardagg
How would it not be extra work? The staff member would still need to go to a special section setup to review the solutions, they would need to read the solutions, they would need to accept or reject the solutions, and if they reject a solution, they would have to then deal with the backlash of private messages from the creator of the solution they rejected.
sorry then, I just gave an idea....
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sorry then, I just gave an idea....
Originally Posted by Mardagg
Right, but you gave basically the same solution as a previous member:

If anything solutions should be monitored and approved before a solution is applied to a badge. Just look at the reviews, anyone should be able to make a review that is longer then one sentence. It should be one good paragraph at the very least. Then let the community vote on it. If a solution or review is one sentence with 5 thumbs down then it shouldn't count. The moderator of the solutions/reviews should have them cued in some fashion showing the the most thumbs down voted at the top of the list so they can be quickly rejected. The same with good solution / reviews. Give them a quick read & approve them.
Originally Posted by MarvzMitts
Which is where Kaens said that there was no reason to add work to the single staff member.
How would it not be extra work? The staff member would still need to go to a special section setup to review the solutions, they would need to read the solutions, they would need to accept or reject the solutions, and if they reject a solution, they would have to then deal with the backlash of private messages from the creator of the solution they rejected.
Originally Posted by futiles
Yep, we need a few more staff members to help out around here. Which has been said before...
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