What should be done with cheats ? Part 5 :-(

Started Mar 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: What should be done with cheats ? Part 5 :-(
In reply to Pat Curley, Apr 29, 2013

Pat Curley wrote:

Hi Sansal,

The most favourable construction I can put on ‘Amigos & Blogueiros’ (Friends and Bloggers) is that they are operating as a ‘club within a club’.   The least favourable construction is that they have successfully set out to subvert the challenge system.

Bearing in mind that the typical number of individual members (i.e., those not acting in concert - I could have said ‘conspiracy’- with each other) who vote in any challenge is quite low, then, one way or another, once they decide to target a challenge they will always take the top spots, simply because they have the numbers to collectively swamp the challenge with votes, both positive in favour of themselves and negative against honourable individual entrants who do not canvass votes from friends.

Going back to my two constructions, both of them fly in the face of any concept of fair play.

This is a ‘challenge’ (pun intended] for DPR – their site and system has been ‘taken over’ to the detriment of honourable members.   It is time for all accounts that have been shown to be linked to ‘Amigos & Blogueiros’ to be closed.   Otherwise, similar ‘clubs’ or ‘conspiracies’ (depending on one’s viewpoint) will emerge and bring the whole system will descend even further into disrepute.

I call on DPR to take appropriate action.

Pat C.

Good that you have notified DPR, Pat, and obviously the situation has gotten even worse if Challenges are used for purposes outside of these pages. This situation hollers for attention, and if things do not change soonest, it will deviate the challenge purpose totally out of proportion and purpose.

Now, I'm not saying that this Amigos group votes betwen themselves, but the possibility is quite real, since they probably know each other's images - and usually, if something is possible it will also happen. Combined with all other kinds of cheatings we have noticed, it renders the educational aspect (i.e., the stats) utterly useless. There is nothing to be said about the fun side, this has been killed long time ago.

Since the votes can't easily be related to the people casting those, and the host does not see beyond the anonymization code, it presents an enormous work to "decode" such doings and prove beyond doubt that there is a possible foull play going on. And the main question is, why should the hosts invest such an effort for a site which does not seem interested in it? So it looks more like a Qixotic jousting against the windmills: that is, unless the windmill is recognized for what it is...

That is exactly why I have proposed long ago that even the remote chance of vote manipulation should be neutralized, and still thin that the only sure-fire way to do it is by sheer mass of votes. And this means by installing the system where all voters vote for all entries. The current voting system presumes that the voting will be honest, and as it obviously is not, the system should adapt. You can frighten off the vermin by firing blanks only for so long. Sooner or later, one has to switch to real ammo.

The way it appears, the hosting has gone from frustrating to counter-productive in a very short time, and all responsible hosts should see it. What's the use of providing the free playground for vanity-stricken characters who can't see beyond the imaginary honors of being "The 1st"? If Challenges are not changed in a way that removes this kind of "attraction", it will remain suitable only for irresponsible (=useless) hosts, and dishonest entrants and voters.

The overly long period of DPR inactivity and lack of understanding of the seriousness of the problem has brought this upon all the fair photographers here. I hope DPR reacts in a proper way NOW - before the real, honest and fair photographers are driven from these pages. Thus, I'd urge every conscientious person here to PLEASE help make Digital Photo Review decide to reprogram the Challenges, and neutralize the wrongdoings of the few misfits who destroy the credibility of the site.

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