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Multiple different accounts were created and used to upvote his own stuff and target other users with downvotes. This is the second or third time a user has been banned for vote manipulation, and as far as I can remember, the only reason aside from spamming that a user has ever been banned. Please do not create alts for the sole purpose of giving yourself more internet points, it's pointless and we will be able to find out if it's happening.

In the future, we could implement account restrictions to try and curb this. Currently we have no restrictions on freshly created accounts, other than sub creation and captchas for posting. We could maybe add up/downvote restrictions based on age of account or account level.

But yeah, thought it would be best to make a note of the banning rather than explain what happened in a couple of weeks if someone asked where he went.

PS: No, the irony of making this post on an admin alt is not lost on me.

Multiple different accounts were created and used to upvote his own stuff and target other users with downvotes. This is the second or third time a user has been banned for vote manipulation, and as far as I can remember, the only reason aside from spamming that a user has ever been banned. Please do not create alts for the sole purpose of giving yourself more internet points, it's pointless and we will be able to find out if it's happening. In the future, we could implement account restrictions to try and curb this. Currently we have no restrictions on freshly created accounts, other than sub creation and captchas for posting. We could maybe add up/downvote restrictions based on age of account or account level. But yeah, thought it would be best to make a note of the banning rather than explain what happened in a couple of weeks if someone asked where he went. PS: No, the irony of making this post on an admin alt is not lost on me.

28 comments

[–] smallpond 4 points (+4|-0)

We could maybe add up/downvote restrictions based on age of account or account level.

Please don't do this based on account level - this is Voat's system of censoring unpopular users. Naive user restrictions based on age are also pretty crude when considering sleeper accounts.

[–] PMYA 2 points (+2|-0)

Personally I agree with both of those points. It is one of the biggest issues that plagues aggregators, or any kind of site that uses user feedback as a form of post/comment sorting. In the past we have even discussed adding different sorts as an addition to the current "popularity" sort, or some other system altogether to try and avoid problems with it. I think sorting is the million dollar problem for development on these kinds of sites.

[–] Owlchemy 4 points (+4|-0)

I'm not buying this. I've known Saverem going way back to Voat and have never known him to be anything but a straight shooter. Yeah, he changes his user name from time to time, and always has, but I've never seen him do that for nefarious purposes. Holy crap, we're talking worthless internet points here! What would be the point? Phuks has no amazing reward system for accumulating points.

[–] PMYA 3 points (+3|-0)

Well, buy it or not I guess. All the admins have seen the logs, which prove beyond a doubt what he was doing. If things like this were based around reputation, Unidan would still be the most loved user on Reddit.

[–] KillBill 1 points (+1|-0)

I noticed from a comment in one of the other threads that this site allows new users to downvote immediately. I'm not sure if you are the OP or an admin, but isn't that asking for trouble? I mean someone could post 100 pepes and upvote them to spam a board to try to force moderation, I guess but the downvote is far more powerful given that it could hide content from the typical user who doesn't browse new and so being far more tempting to those opposed to the posts in question. So, that said, if you site founders here don't want to remove the ability of new users to downvote maybe you could look at removing the ability for posts to be hidden by downvotes or possibly use a different metric to determine which posts are seen by default that posts count. Maybe total votes or controversial could also be shown.

@polsaker @pembo210 - apologies to any other admins I missed.

Not really looking for a discussion here I'm just throwing some ideas at the wall that you can talk about amongst yourselves or not.

[–] Fluf 3 points (+3|-0)

i also have a hard time believing it based on how well i know him but the effort someone would have to go to in order to frame him is more unbelievable in my opinion. either way, i don't think it was about internet points but instead about trying to skew our or others' interpretation of users, the site and/or political beliefs. you can bet i'll be keeping an eye out for anything strangely similar to this happening again.

[–] PMYA 4 points (+4|-0)

This interpretation does match up with the posts/users/comments etc. that had votes applied. At the end of the day the reasoning behind it doesn't matter, accounts were made for voting reasons, and that's all we know.

Also going to reply to @Sarcastaway here. It is a shame he was banned, I enjoyed talking to him from time to time and he made some decent posts. I do think though that the best way to stop this kind of thing from going on is to not make any exceptions on bans for doing it. Honestly, things could have gone differently if he had owned up to it, but he denied doing it when asked directly by @Polsaker, and even went as far as continuing to message us asking for our logs.

[–] COFfeebreak 1 points (+1|-0)

I totally agree with you. Maybe I should send them this for Christmas.

[–] Sarcastaway 1 points (+1|-0)

I appreciate being kept in the loop on this, even though I don't think a permaban is necessarily the best solution here.

We could maybe add up/downvote restrictions based on age of account or account level.

I seem to remember voat having a system in place that limited votes based on ip address. That way multiple accounts were allowed, but duplicate votes were discarded.

Personally, I think vote restrictions on new accounts will just encourage circlejerking. Putting value on votes in that way might also end up providing more incentive for vote manipulation.

[–] Justintoxicated 1 points (+1|-0)

Is it just me or does seem kind of weird that people care enough about up/down votes on this site to manipulate anything? I mean the site is not huge, if you click on "All" you pretty much see everything that is posted regardless of how many votes the content gets. Also the sorting algorithm helps push new content to the front page pretty quickly so it's not hard to get your stuff seen.

[–] [Deleted] 1 points (+1|-0)

This was just all an attack on PaddysPub, wasn't it? Admit it...

can I ask how yall found this out?

I quite enjoyed his posts and if he upvoted for shits/giggles, I probably upvoted too.

IMHO, yall are taking this site too seriously if this is gonna be whats taking place in the future.

also, can someone help me understand how this came to light? Ill search through my archives, but im pretty sure @PMYA admitted to tracking IPs back in late May/June 2018.

could be wrong, just want an understanding. thx

[–] PMYA 1 points (+1|-0)

Sharing how we find people voting on alts would make it harder for us to find people voting on alts.

All sites "track IPs". When you connect to any site they can see your IP.

[–] TheBuddha 0 points (+0|-0)

I realize this is a dead topic and that the decision is made and acted on. I am, in no way, in a position to question that - or to even try to influence that. 'Snot my job.

However...

I've pondered this since I saw the post. I didn't comment then, because I didn't think any comments I made would matter.

But, at the end of the day, I'm left with just one question.

That question is, and you needn't answer is, "How significant was this vote manipulation?"

I ask because I'm fond of knowing the limits, even though it's probably painfully obvious that I have just one account and don't manipulate anything. I like to know what the boundaries are and what I can expect from those in charge.

You're not obligated to answer, of course.