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Cheating

Published by Oleg Gutsol · March 17th 2011

Recently, we started monitoring our voting activity a little closer.
With the user growth we are having, some of the peculiarities of our voting systems become more apparent. One of the things we watch closely is cheating and attempts to influence your rating and the rating of other users. We created the voting and rating algorithms in such a way, that no individual user can significantly influence the overall system. We would like the community to collectively decide which photos are better than others and the best photos to flow to the top. It is not uncommon for a newly registered author to upload a photo and be discovered on the front page in a matter of hours. If your work is good — it will be noticed and it will be rated accordingly.

However, in the past couple of days we noticed a slight deviation from the usual heartbeat of the community. There was a small shift in the collection of photos we see in the Popular section. Then, some users started sending me emails asking to take a look at the votes they received, because they suspected someone was deliberately voting against their good works.

So, I looked. What I discovered was pretty nasty. There were several users that did vote against the good works of other people. One of these users was particularly crafty. This dude created a whole network of accounts that he used to vote his photos up and others photos down. You got to give it to him — creating over a hundred accounts with real email addresses, confirming them all, filling out the fake information — all this takes time. He is a really hard working dude :) I wish he turned his efforts to something more constructive and honest. All his votes were removed and all accounts deactivated. I will not publicly release information about this user and other cheaters, but if this behaviour repeats in the future — people like that just might unlock the Public Humiliation badge in the Hall of Shame on 500px.

We will punish everybody, who tries cheating the system. We have all your data and we have pretty good automated analysis as well as very smart humans. When users try to cheat — they are messing with our creation and our business. Let nobody assume we will not notice — we will and we will kick cheaters out. Cheating will work against the users who attempt it.

In addition to this, we will introduce tighter voting rules in the nearest future. More info about this — in the next blog post.
     

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PierreEkman
Pierre Ekman  almost 3 years ago
http://500px.com/fmcnikon

There must be cheating involved here... Otherwise I dont get it!

Ayalem
Mitch Mitchell  over 1 year ago
sure looks dodgy... similar with http://500px.com/mikichobi who to be fair has a far better standard of images but as you will notice they are nearly all sat at 49.9/50.0 hmmm....
CalumDickson
Calum Dickson  about 3 years ago
the dislike button is only used for cheating, and it will eventaully be the death of this site unless you get rid of it. There are an enormous number of people now who don't like it and I know several togs already who have given up on here because of the cheating..........if the voting system isn't credible then it has no point
bjorkmarcus
Marcus Bj[Ö]rkman  over 3 years ago
I have not read through all here, so I may come with things already explained. I'm sorry if that's the case. I just don't understand how the rating can drop so much more than it raises from one vote. That's one thing. The other is the point of having a dislike button in the first place. I don't get it, what's the point? Either you like and press llike, or you don't like and don't press like.
Shawn_Hamilton
Shawn Hamilton  over 3 years ago
I agree on the displaying the names of who likes or dislikes. Maybe go as far as making the person actually comment on why they dislike the image. Either way good to know you guys are on top of things. Good luck
borisfrkovic
Boris Frkovic  over 3 years ago
I have the same problem ... I think the best solution would be to remove the "Dislake" button.
Felix1
Srećko Jubić  over 3 years ago
I agree whit you Alexander.I can see that there are plenty of nicks without upload photos.Why they would not prohibit too vote until they have one photography in there album.
ihad
Alexander Ipfelkofer  over 3 years ago
just show the names when "voting", people will think twice before clicking like or dislike. Disabling accounts is not a solution to an already borked system. You're just putting out fires you should prevent fires from even starting ;) by now there are probably mini networks on 500px who will do the same one user did just that you can hardly ban them too since they are individual users just using the voting system. As you said yourself, you discovered this after the user base has grown and it is still growing and the more it grows the more flawed this system will become.
ilacatus
Ion Lacatus  over 3 years ago
I will never understand the point ... in fact these people are voting themselves. Why ? There's nothing to gain...here there's no prize other then pride...and what pride is THAT?
Anyway it's good that you actively police the site.
Elizamac
Liz McCallum  almost 4 years ago
Stamatis GR linked me to this blog because I was a little unclear on how votes work, I am new to this site and wondered about the function of the "Dislike" button. It is good that you keep a close eye on cheaters but the "Dislike" option seems to exist only for people to climb over others ahead of them... that's nasty!
StamatisGr
Stamatis Gr  almost 4 years ago
I wish I had read this before! Actually I had a similar experience. The first day I joined this site one of my pictures (an editor's choice) hit the front page. After a little while things changed as obviously some hit the dislike button. I didn't know what happens if you hit that button and hit it myself in good works of fellow photographers. I saw the front page changing again after my intervention and I did NOT like that at all! Actually I thought of sending you an e-mail, asking you to disable the "dislike" button. As I become more familiar with the site (3d day here) I think that this article SHOULD BE somewhere in your FRONT PAGE, explaining how voting is done and how it shouldn't be done.
barepixels
Barepixels :-)  almost 4 years ago
maybe you can do some sort of ratio to find ones who only votes "dislike"
MattClaghorn
Matt Claghorn  almost 4 years ago
As a new user, it is nice to see you on top of things! :)
Suvoroff
Marina Suvoroff  almost 4 years ago
?????????)
mibreit
Michael Breitung  almost 4 years ago
I already wondered why the points of the top photos where so low last week, this seems to answer it! great you looked into it.



cheers
ShawnColborn
Awesome Account
Shawn Colborn  almost 4 years ago
NICE!
More86
Leszek Dudzik  almost 4 years ago
I think that's called "Creative Marketing" :-)
JanW
Jan Wróblewski  almost 4 years ago
Good work!
ThomasSch
Plus Account
Thomas Schwarz  almost 4 years ago
yes, ilike ;) !
WimPeeters78
Wim Peeters  almost 4 years ago
Good work!
neygraphie
Chris Ney  almost 4 years ago
Nasty stuff but I'm glad to hear you guys are doing a very good job (again)!



Keep up that great work...
MaximeP
Maxime P  almost 4 years ago
lol ?
photoGrahp
Plus Account
MG photograhp  almost 4 years ago
this is the right way!
maowillshootyou
Plus Account
Sophie Ouch  almost 4 years ago
Gosh !! This explains so much !!! Being an amateur, I kept questioning myself why this one got voted down while another similar got exactly the opposite ! Talk about messing with my mind !! Thx 500px ! You are so good administrators !!
Kieliscalling
Christoph Krenz  almost 4 years ago
Very good, because actually I think, that someone tried to vote one of my pics down as well. Hope you have an eye on that issue.
PatTy
Patrycja Althajm  almost 4 years ago
well done
Wimair
Bernhard Wimair  almost 4 years ago
I like!
marcwiegelmann
Marc Wiegelmann  almost 4 years ago
Great work! Really good to know that you take care about that kind of treatment! :)
DocMaowi-Photography
Awesome Account
Doc Maowi  almost 4 years ago
sehr gut..also auch auf dieser seite..das ist echt nicht witzig und ein schnelles handeln finde ich gut.

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