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DPChallenge Forums >> Administrator Announcements >> Ghost Accounts, Recalculations, and A Suspension
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07/30/2006 11:58:16 PM · #1
We're saddened to report the discovery of a disturbing case of mass buddy voting. We recently discovered that a member of the site had been distributing information about challenge entries to a group of over 30 individuals who had been encouraged to register for the site. Those individuals then artificially inflated the score of the user's challenge entries.

This is a serious abuse of voting and challenge integrity and has been going on for some time. Accordingly, the member has been banned from DPC for a period of 1 year, duplicate accounts have been locked, the affected entries have been DQ'd and the challenge results recalculated. A post will follow listing the affected challenges.

While it's understandable that family members or friends might know which entry is yours, attempts to influence their votes are not tolerated on this site.

We hope this serves as a warning to others, and that this never happens again. As always, if you know of or have reason to suspect any specific instances of cheating, please contact Site Council with any information you have. We take the integrity of the challenges very seriously. We have always thoroughly investigated any evidence or allegation of foul play, and will continue to do so.

While we welcome discussion of the issues at hand, please refrain from personal attacks while doing so. It is our hope that the user in question will learn an important lesson from this, and will return next year to participate in a fair, constructive and respectful manner.

Edit: Note that as of 12:08 AM on 7/31, the DQ/recalculate script is still running.

Edit: The DQ/recalculate script completed around 1:00 AM on 7/31.

Message edited by author 2006-08-01 10:23:50.
07/30/2006 11:59:18 PM · #2
cheaters never win.

one question...did he win money for that tournament he entered or the whole WPL thing?

last edit:

So if he 'forged' 40 votes in 43 challenges, he's falsified nearly 2000 votes since he's started this rampage. That's a lot of votes. I realize he posted a 'public apology' but come on. You can't cheat 43 times and once you're caught apologize and everything goes away. He should have been sorry 42 times ago and learned from that. This is a shame. I, personally, don't think he should be allowed back a year from now or 10 years from now. To be honest, if he was never caught, he would have stolen ribbons from a lot of people and that's just plain wrong.

Message edited by author 2006-07-31 00:13:23.
07/30/2006 11:59:37 PM · #3
coolio.
07/31/2006 12:08:47 AM · #4
Rikki has requested that the following apology be passed on to the community. This was originally posted on his behalf by Cindi to a thread titled "My Mistake." That thread was hidden as it makes more sense to list the apology here:

Originally posted by Rikki:

My apologies to everyone on this site. I have made a grave mistake and now I am paying the price. I had forwarded my entries to my friends and thus have affected the voting patterns. It was not my intention but it was a choice I made - a stupid choice in retrospect.

I owe to this site the things I have learned and my development as a photographer. I have made good friends and memories that will carry with me a long time. My sincerest apologies that I have broken that trust and respect that everyone had given me.

It saddens me that I have tainted the site. DPC is the only site that I frequent. All of you are my extended family. My apologies are never enough.

It has been a great ride my friends. I have learned tremendously and I hope that in some way, I have also taught a few of you. I have shared with you the real me. You know and hear about my success and failures. It only befits that I don't just walk away from all of this. Thank you Cindi for posting this for me.

The suspension that I received, in my opinion is lighter than I expected and I thank the admins and SC for that. But I have decided to recluse myself from DPC.

With deep regret.

Rikki

07/31/2006 12:09:00 AM · #5
Originally posted by langdon:

the member has been banned from DPC for a period of 1 year


I'd have thought that losing all those ribbons was bad enough to reduce the suspension down to a couple of months. Rikki was one of the photographers that made me join DPC by wanting to become as good.
07/31/2006 12:09:25 AM · #6
Thank you for staying on top of this and trying to keep it to a minimum! Wonderful work by the admins, as I am sure this is hard as hell to detect until after a few challenges has went by with the same users giving the same user 10s with others 5 or lower. Very hard!

Edit:

Wow, and I never would've suspected Rikki. He surely didn't need the votes with his images submitted. Life is a teacher!

Message edited by author 2006-07-31 00:12:09.
07/31/2006 12:10:33 AM · #7
Originally posted by deapee:

one question...did he win money for that tournament he entered or the whole WPL thing?

Those questions are best addressed to the directors of those tournaments -- while based on DPC results, we have no participation in their governance.
07/31/2006 12:11:49 AM · #8
so... maybe off topic. but my brother has been thinking about making an account on here now that he has finally taken up a photo hobby... would that be ok if we didn't vote for each other? even though we live in the same house?
07/31/2006 12:11:57 AM · #9
Wow...Rikki?? No kidding. I'm in total shock.
07/31/2006 12:12:03 AM · #10
Originally posted by deapee:

one question...did he win money for that tournament he entered or the whole WPL thing?


I can't speak for the others, but when Rikki signed up for the MS tournament he requested that any winnings be donated back to the walk.

~Terry
07/31/2006 12:12:09 AM · #11
Thanks SC.

I am so sad to hear this from Rikki.
07/31/2006 12:12:12 AM · #12
hhhmmmmm.......

07/31/2006 12:13:06 AM · #13
What does any of this have to do with me and why did I lose my image? I don't even know these people!!!!
07/31/2006 12:13:41 AM · #14
Originally posted by Fantasia:

What does any of this have to do with me and why did I lose my image? I don't even know these people!!!!

this has nothing to do with you.
07/31/2006 12:14:23 AM · #15
Originally posted by frestepi:

so... maybe off topic. but my brother has been thinking about making an account on here now that he has finally taken up a photo hobby... would that be ok if we didn't vote for each other? even though we live in the same house?

You can even vote on each other's photo, as long as they are honest votes -- I'm guessing that not every photo your brother submits will merit a 9 or 10.
07/31/2006 12:14:37 AM · #16
Originally posted by frestepi:

so... maybe off topic. but my brother has been thinking about making an account on here now that he has finally taken up a photo hobby... would that be ok if we didn't vote for each other? even though we live in the same house?


That's perfectly fine. It's also fine to vote on each other's entries, so long as you do your best to cast fair and honest votes.

~Terry
07/31/2006 12:14:56 AM · #17
This makes me very sad. Thank you SC for posting his statement, he was afraid he wouldn't have a chance to appoligize to those who have been injured. I'm sure he will appreciate your that kind gesture.
07/31/2006 12:15:33 AM · #18
I'm not personally attacking, but stating an opinion.

This is an instance where we see a long-term, extremely involved string of cheating on a scale that we have *never* seen. It was done knowingly, and in no way was a "mistake" made, or was this an instance of a "one time oops that we can learn from".

This is a case where a person would probably never be able to gain my trust back if it was accomplished IRL in any other way.. and it's not going to happen for me here.

I believe we're being too soft.. but what I believe doesn't matter. I'm glad it was weeded out and that what safeguards we have in place work. However, if those safeguards work, and people are caught, but aren't dealt with accordingly.. for *whatever* reasons.. then it's not really much worth catching them in the first place.

I'm saddened more by the words of Langdon at the end of the announcement than I am by the actions of this user. I don't think they should be welcomed back.

Disagree with me as you will.. as I know you will.
07/31/2006 12:15:33 AM · #19
Sad.
07/31/2006 12:15:47 AM · #20
I don't know why or how Rikki was found/singled out, but there has always been a pretty obvious "boys club" on DPC - are others under investigation, too?

Please don't attack me because I dared to mention the boys club - I'm trying to be nice, keeping it very very general, no names mentioned. Let me keep it at that.
07/31/2006 12:15:59 AM · #21
Wow. I never would have thunk it.

Scratches head.

?
07/31/2006 12:16:22 AM · #22
Originally posted by frestepi:

so... maybe off topic. but my brother has been thinking about making an account on here now that he has finally taken up a photo hobby... would that be ok if we didn't vote for each other? even though we live in the same house?

I'm guessing you could vote on each others. But, to keep it fair to DPC and mostly to yourself...you 2 shouldn't show each other your entries. I mean, how else will you learn to be better photographers? Which, IMO is the whole point If you do show each other your photos, then I would say to avoid voting on each others to avoid the APPEARANCE of wrong doing.
07/31/2006 12:16:52 AM · #23
Rikki's apology might be easier to stomach if his deep regret had come after the first or tenth or twentieth time he cheated rather than after he was caught. As it stands, I feel sorry for the members of the community who respected and looked up to him. Disappointing indeed.
07/31/2006 12:17:06 AM · #24
Originally posted by idnic:

This makes me very sad. Thank you SC for posting his statement, he was afraid he wouldn't have a chance to appoligize to those who have been injured.


Is he apologizing because he hurt people, forged 2000 votes, stole money and ribbons off people, or because he was caught? Just out of curiosity....
07/31/2006 12:17:06 AM · #25
Originally posted by muckpond:

Originally posted by Fantasia:

What does any of this have to do with me and why did I lose my image? I don't even know these people!!!!

this has nothing to do with you.


Then why is my entry gone? Just disappeared within the last hour just before the site went down. I went to take one last look at my entry, and it was gone 2 minutes before the site went down. Not only that, but my b/w entry hasn't been validated yet? It's been nearly 5 or 6 days since I sent it in. What is going on here?
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