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Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Printable Version

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Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Hidden Refuge - 2016-10-14

Recent misuse cases of the reputation function


Dear valued members of FreeVPS Directory & Discussion,

In this brief public announcement we would like to inform you and make a statement regarding a very recent subject: misuse of the reputation function of the forum.


1. Abuse of the reputation function


Very unfortunately, we've not only come across misuse of the reputation function but also massive abuse, recently and several times in the past. Certain members (who shall remain unnamed for privacy reasons) have been found creating multiple accounts to give their main account a huge amount of reputation points for all of their made posts/threads and/or also to give out reputations to other accounts (investigation led us to believe that the other users who have received reputation from these multiple accounts are most likely their friends/referral accounts).

With such heavy abuse cases these members have violated many of our forums rules. They've taken advantage over other hard working members who earn their reputation in legitimate manners with quality posts, tutorials or other good contributions. Very important: multiple accounts are totally forbidden! Taking advantage of others and cheating the system is absolutely not welcome and will be punished.

This issue is not new to us. We have had many cases of this in the past. The most recent case occurred about two weeks ago. The member and their multiple accounts have been banned and their VPS has been instantly terminated. We're not happy when we have to take such extreme measures but it seems that some people are literally asking for it to be done.

In addition we've also had cases where certain members have been asking/begging for reputations in private messages in exchange for reputation points in return. This is also against the rules of asking/begging for reputations/money/points and so on. Thankfully we have received reports by some of the members who have received such private messages. This did not directly occur recently but rather far in the past but it is still something worth to be thought of/to be mentioned as an example for abuse.

2. Misuse of the reputation function


The other issue we have discovered recently is misuse of the reputation function. This isn't directly abuse of the system - more indirectly. As you know the reputation function of MyBB is used here, as an unified system to thank people for their work, to agree with them on a statement, like their tutorials/good contributions. It directly contributes to the points and score system we use. The contribution value is small however. The reason for this is listed in point 1 above. Reputations used to be valued more in the past but constant abuse has led to downranking of reputation points in the calculation process for score.

Now to recent issues. We found a lot of reputation points being handed out on posts that have had no quality to receive a reputation. We have even found reputation points at very offensive posts/trolling posts. This is not acceptable. We do not tolerate awards for trolls and people who start fights with others. Other types of issues with reputation were that there have been many reputation points handed out without any comment at all. We have been thinking and thinking why these may have been handed out but it was absolutely impossible to find out. They could have easily been reputations that might have been part of point 1 from above. Last but not least we found out that certain members always exchanged reputations between each others just to bump their reputation count up with comments like "Welcome to the 2xx club" (meaning: here you have some reputations and welcome to the 200+ reputation points club) or "I don't like odd numbers" (meaning: here you have some reputation points because I don't like to see you having a reputation with an odd number). This is more or less totally unjustified. It is just like playing around but not more.

It shocked us to see that this has been done by senior members with a lot of posts, a high score and many contributions. One of these members has always been caught in the past engaging in fights (actually even starting them). Apparently some people think they can do what they want here and get away with it without any consequences. The same person has attacked some of us personally after we have reminded them of their bad behaviour/rule violations.


We hope that you understand the situation and understand us. Please always think twice before giving out reputations and add meaningful comments to them. We hate to do what we have to do when it can be easily avoided. We are very sorry for the cause inconvenience that some members have experienced recently. Follow the rules and no action will be required.

We do not want the reputation system to be abandoned as a result of this post, we want it to be used sensibly so that all members are treated fairly in the scoring system.

Thank you very much for your understanding.


Yours sincerely
Administration & Staff
FreeVPS Directory & Discussion



RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Decent12 - 2016-10-14

100% right Decision who doing reputation abuse they should be banned i dont remeber i give reputation to someone with out reason but if i do so sorry its will not happen again Smile


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Lampard - 2016-10-14

(2016-10-14, 5:30:12 pm)Hidden¬†Refuge Wrote:  
Apparently some people think they can do what they want here and get away with it without any consequences. The same person has attacked some of us personally after we have reminded them of their bad behaviour/rule violations.

I agree with this statement, specially the senior members(with high posts, reputation and score.)  But the good thing is that moderators are active, and are working hard, so for sure reputation system will become fair here.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Optimus - 2016-10-14

In addition from hereon those caught still doing it might see their entire reps be reset to '0' , we hope it was clear and such things do not repeats again.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - lonewolf - 2016-10-14

Good to have this warning in the community, now everyone aware is of this. I would say there will be less abuse cases in reputation. I guess people should understand that reputation points ain't made for fun or playing with. They shouldn't add reputation points to anyone for any reason, rather than a very useful tutorial or a reply in an programming/web hosting/etc issue/question.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Gries - 2016-10-14

It is a shame that some people, here, had to use such tricky ways in order to get some "Reputation". I agree with your decision, good job FreeVPS staff!

(2016-10-14, 7:18:36 pm)Optimus Wrote:  In addition from hereon those caught still doing it might see their entire reps be reset to '0' , we hope it was clear and such things do not repeats again.

Hope to see harder punishment other than reputation reset Cheese


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Scarab - 2016-10-14

It is sickening that some people are trying to fraudulently increase their own ethos. I see no real benefit in having those reputation points from a users perspective other than being known to help people. Do you think I respect @HR less because he has 0 reputation points? No, I don't. In fact I respect it even more that he has turned the whole thing off. If you want to be trusted some numbers will not earn you that, you should just interact with and help others.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - LittleMaster - 2016-10-14

Hmm, they are doing it because they are not honest, and I wonder how much satisfication they get by doing it! They will be always in fear of getting caught by doing such fraud actions.
Just noticed this matter exist here, may be this will get reduced if and only owners of vps and special members are only allowed to repute others.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Lampard - 2016-10-15

(2016-10-14, 11:41:28 pm)LittleMaster Wrote:  Hmm, they are doing it because they are not honest, and I wonder how much satisfication they get by doing it! They will be always in fear of getting caught by doing such fraud actions.
Just noticed this matter exist here, may be this will get reduced if and only owners of vps and special members are only allowed to repute others.

I noticed it since i joined the forums, i was surprised how people have "300" reputation points, also saw for what reasons the reputation point was given, and the same person gave reputation point at different posts.


RE: Recent misuse cases of the reputation function - Ignis - 2016-10-15

(2016-10-15, 12:44:38 am)Lampard Wrote:  I noticed it since i joined the forums, i was surprised how people have "300" reputation points, also saw for what reasons the reputation point was given, and the same person gave reputation point at different posts.

It's always possible that is a legitimate case, perhaps the giver of the rep found several tutorials by the same author helpful. Nonetheless, if you see a suspicious rating, feel free to report it. Ratings can be reported just like posts and user profiles.

(2016-10-14, 9:44:49 pm)Gries Wrote:  Hope to see harder punishment other than reputation reset Cheese

As always the severity of the infraction influences the severity of the punishment that will be handed out. It's always possible too that the offending user is violating more of our rules too - for example one user was abusing the rep system, had 3 accounts, and was gravedigging threads without properly contributing to them. Needless to say, once we had enough evidence, their VPS and accounts were quickly terminated.