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DPChallenge Forums >> Administrator Announcements >> Update Regarding Vote Monitoring
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04/22/2007 10:23:16 PM · #1

Since its inception, DPC has always striven to be a fun place for photographers to hang out, learn new tricks, and further develop their photography skills by using a weekly competition where we are voted on by a group of our peers.

When the system operates as it should, the photographers entering images can feel confident that their entry is being viewed and judged fairly and equitably. However, as with all things in life, there will be people who seek to upset the balance for their own personal gain.

At DPC, that has manifested itself through two primary venues. One is establishing duplicate accounts to bolster a personal score while lowering others, or to have a "mask" to hide behind to be impolite and belligerent in the forums. With the assistance of our valued members, these are usually uncovered fairly quickly and dealt with in a swift manner.

The second is a manipulation of the voting system by way of sharing challenge entries with one or more friends, not just for advice, but also to make it possible for them to vote on your image. In the extreme, these friends consistently vote each other's images nines and tens regardless of the perceived quality of the photograph, and often times with scores that are atypical of their individual voting patterns. In order to ensure that the challenges are fair, this biased voting must stop, now.

In recent weeks, the SC has developed new tools and methods to assist in detecting and confirming "friend voting." We define friend voting as a method of voting wherein person A consistently gives person B a high vote despite the quality of the actual picture. Many times, this is reciprocated, or even shared among two or three friends, which we have begun to identify as a 'voting ring.' This breach of honesty, regardless of how innocent the participants may view it, is a huge detriment to the morale and integrity of DPC, something the SC, as well as many members, do not, and will not take lightly.

Warnings and punishments have been issued to those we have found to be participating in such activities. FOR NOW, the punishments range from a warning to a 16 week ban from voting and submitting. There were no "banishments" from the site. HOWEVER, consider this a "warning" that in the future, such behavior will NOT be tolerated, and the punishment for violations will be significantly steeper.

Please note, as well, and perhaps most importantly, that this involves less than 0.5% of the site's active participants, and even less of the site's total registrations. We do feel that the result of the "friend voting," while it has had an effect, has been minimal, but is a result that should not exist at all.

Please, if you "share" your entries, make it a priority to vote fairly. It is our recommendation that you abstain from voting on those entries in which you know the photographer or otherwise feel you cannot fairly assess.

As always, thank you, the vast majority of our users, for making DPC the most awesome community on the 'net. We look forward to many, many more challenges and exciting events here.

The SC
04/22/2007 10:26:01 PM · #2
Thank you karmat. You guys to a great job.
04/22/2007 10:26:07 PM · #3
Hear Hear
04/22/2007 10:28:00 PM · #4
I will let it be known that I am more than willing to look at someone's entry if they want advice or a commment. But when I vote if I come across it I always skip it. I feel that is the best way.
04/22/2007 10:28:13 PM · #5
Thank you SC!!! You guys don't get enough thanks for the work you do!
04/22/2007 10:31:48 PM · #6
I haven't submitted in a long while and probably won't in the near future since I sent my camera out for repairs, but what if someone who consistently shares their entry with people and these people vote their entry higher even if the sharer didn't tell them too...do both parties get punished for this?
04/22/2007 10:35:20 PM · #7
To some degree. In this round (and I sincerely hope it is the only round), if someone was receiving the 'inflated' votes, but there was no evidence of giving, they simply received a warning that it was happening.
04/22/2007 10:39:13 PM · #8
I hope people forgive my grumpiness last week about my scores. I'm pretty sure I wasn't "singled out" by the low votes, but it did turn out that there was something funny going on.
04/22/2007 10:41:10 PM · #9
Good job, way to go guys. This is why I like this site so much, keep it fun and keep it fair.

-dave
04/22/2007 10:42:53 PM · #10
You need not worry from me.

I haven't any friends, just acquaintances.
04/22/2007 10:48:57 PM · #11
Bravo!
04/22/2007 11:02:23 PM · #12
You guys continue to kick butt, as always. Thanks for all your hard work!
04/22/2007 11:04:36 PM · #13
As the "Anti-Troll," I vote everyone equally high because I truly believe most of the photographers on this site are simply amazing and their hardwork deserves a good score outside of the typical DPC 4,5,6 range.

In the Landscape III challenge, it did seem odd that after the 50 mark range the scores just plummeted, but my score has recovered and I couldn't be happier. I apologize for my rather flowery metaphors, and will now take off my crown as the Drama Queen. I confess my prejudice in subject matter. If you take a picture of a horse, a baby, the Northern Lights, or a dreamy seascape or waterfall, then I will give it a 10. Guilty as charged.

In general, my 6,7, & 8's usually equal other people's 4,5,and 6's. If I have time, I will make every effort to vote the whole challenge and post my breakdown.

I'm good with that.
04/22/2007 11:09:43 PM · #14
I think this is a great step, but I have a question.

I was stunned to look in my statistical favorites and see that I'd given an average vote of 8 over several challenges to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' unneva, whom I've never met, never conversed with, and whose style I apparently like but could never have picked out as belonging to a specific person. Is the new system going to take unconscious preferences like this into account somehow?
04/22/2007 11:12:49 PM · #15
Originally posted by Rebecca:

I think this is a great step, but I have a question.

I was stunned to look in my statistical favorites and see that I'd given an average vote of 8 over several challenges to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' unneva, whom I've never met, never conversed with, and whose style I apparently like but could never have picked out as belonging to a specific person. Is the new system going to take unconscious preferences like this into account somehow?


Yes. I can't explain it (not because it is top secret, but because I honetly *can't* explain it -- there's a lot of statistical things going on), but we look at several different things. It actually takes quite a bit to convince the SC that people are deliberately doing this.

Message edited by author 2007-04-22 23:13:21.
04/22/2007 11:15:29 PM · #16
Originally posted by Rebecca:

I think this is a great step, but I have a question.

I was stunned to look in my statistical favorites and see that I'd given an average vote of 8 over several challenges to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' unneva, whom I've never met, never conversed with, and whose style I apparently like but could never have picked out as belonging to a specific person. Is the new system going to take unconscious preferences like this into account somehow?


The system takes this into account, that is, nobody is being reprimanded for liking a style or, as you put it, for these unconscious preferences. We all have them. They're OK :)

Added, sorry, double post. Didn't know Karma had answered :)

Message edited by author 2007-04-22 23:15:53.
04/22/2007 11:17:54 PM · #17
As to Karmat and Ursula's Posts and another view at it.

The system probly doesnt have as much of an alarm to one person as it does to several people voting the same way to that same person's entry. And then as far as the ring goes that same group of people all voting the same on each others images raises the final alarm.

Message edited by author 2007-04-22 23:20:40.
04/22/2007 11:20:43 PM · #18
You guys (and gals) on the Site Council continue to amaze me with your dedication to keeping the integrity of the site. Thanks for all the hard work each and every day.
04/22/2007 11:21:13 PM · #19
Okay either Ursula was being a smart ass or Karmat and Ursula are contradicting.....

EDIT - In fact karmat retracted her post.... So nevermind, i think its half backwards and now i must shut my mouth before i say too much.

Message edited by author 2007-04-22 23:22:56.
04/22/2007 11:30:03 PM · #20
Kewlios. Just checking!
04/22/2007 11:32:54 PM · #21
I'm standing and applauding the SC for all of their efforts! You guys and gals rule! Talk about being on top of things, whew! You guys (figure of speech) help to keep this place honest and fun!

THANKS BUNCHES!! (Now, I have friends I must vote on, muaaahahahaha!)
04/22/2007 11:35:08 PM · #22
Now I'm suddenly glad I don't have any friends :)
04/22/2007 11:37:22 PM · #23
Thanks Site Council for all your hard work and thanks for addressing the situation.
04/22/2007 11:51:38 PM · #24
Originally posted by Rebecca:

I was stunned to look in my statistical favorites ..


How were you able to do this? maybe I'm having a blonde moment.. but I would like to be able to see who I've given good marks to.. thanks
04/22/2007 11:52:05 PM · #25
I have to chuckle over this. Every time someone brought up that there was a problem with the way voters were voting, the steadfast response has been, "we don't have a problem". Now it's changed to "we've fixed the problem". While it's good that the problem that didn't exist has finally been fixed (not that it can really ever be fixed), I think it would have saved a lot of heated debates and hard feelings by some of the people that posted concerning this non-existing problem had they known that a problem really did exist and it was being worked on. I find this humorous because it's soo much like our government (U.S.) and how they deal with problems. Hopefully the fix doesn't make the whole process just that more complicated and confusing with false readings and warnings.

Mike
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