Call out post for a particular karma farmer on kbin.social

@pollodiabolo - this user is a karma whore of epic proportions and they have made a shit load (10-15+) accounts on kbin that boost and upvote each other while sometimes mass downvoting others that have posts trending towards the top - all to farm karma.

See top comment on this thread

You will continue to see me calling out this person and their alts. This can't and won't become another Reddit and karma whoring folks need to be called out and discouraged.

The following accounts are all the same person and in the very unlikely event they are not, they are still collectively vote manipulating.

@pollodiabolo @journalism_died @ishitwhite @muftiboy @kilkennygriffin @jeremyfurzen @syscollapse @riseupagainstthem @ruse @johnson_waters @cazzodicristo @at @the @Schluchtschiss @fuckoffyoudumbcunt @extremelybullish @cringeminge4 @NoCunteryForOldMen @yesbabyyy @kneel_pleb

A few of these accounts have since cleared their boosting history but with some common sense it should be easy to verify.

If I get mass downvoted, be sure to see the age of the accounts as well as whether they are on this list to gauge their authenticity. I am pretty sure this won't reach many but I'll spam it enough times so it eventually will.

EDIT: This is not a comprehensive list and there are obviously more alts. These are beyond a reasonable doubt involved in mass self-upvoting.

EDIT2: Almost every downvote I have on this post are by accounts that were made after I posted this. They all belong to the same user that I have called out here. This is pathetic and should be proof enough that vote manipulation is something we need to deal with.

EDIT3: More accounts to add to the list: @puny_human @latvianbloke @pedanticc @SONOFNAT

EDIT4: And now they've started to remove their downvotes from new accounts and add them from the list. Bruh I don't even get it at this point. I'm just gonna go to bed that person's a headache to figure out honestly. Night y'all.

Name and shame karma farmers.

EDIT5: This is an excellent example, you might see some familiar names

Image in case they decide to retract their votes again

Pons_Aelius,

You seem to have struck a chord...

All three (make that 4) downvotes are from accounts younger than this post.

Some new accounts to add to the list:

@latvianbloke

@puny_human

@pedanticc

...

@SONOFNAT

lowdownfool,
lowdownfool avatar

Funny, I noticed latvianbloke downvoting an article on the Philly shooting where kids got hurt.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

Yup bahahah, I already expected that. Those are rookie numbers - this person is on another level and there are a LOT more to come. I'd love to see how long they waste their life on this.

minnieo,
minnieo avatar

How many damn emails does this person have? Lmfao

Pons_Aelius,

If you spend a few bucks to register a domain name?

A number only limited to your self-control (and self-respect) to rig votes that give you nothing IRL.

So, for this person, I am guessing hundreds.

CoWizard,

To say it gives you nothing IRL is ignorant of the online social engineering these platforms can do

Pons_Aelius,

Ignorant?

This whole thread is an example of people who are very aware of what is possible with social engineering online and calling it out on a new platform in an attempt to at least slow the influx.

The person who is creating accounts like the energiser bunny hitting the skins is trying to use reddit tactics that have been well known since that crow vs corvid user was found boosting their content.

The difference here is that, since votes are public, their attempts are very transparent.

0xtero,
0xtero avatar

No need to spend money on domains. Gmail allows for endless aliases. Just one Gmail account is enough.

quantum_hampster,

This is already being looked into. Kbin doesn’t have to form validation in place yet, but it’s on the list to prevent spammers.
Essentially it will prevent emails with plus signs and periods in them

lowdownfool,
lowdownfool avatar

plus signs and periods in them

That would be a mistake, those are valid characters for an email address.

quantum_hampster,

You’re correct. I misstated.
Plus signs however are by and large used for aliases.

That being said, the elephant in the room isn’t Gmail or mail aliases.

PabloDiscobar,
PabloDiscobar avatar

Nice trick since you can hardly ban gmail as an admin.

Pamasich,
Pamasich avatar

You can't ban gmail, but it shouldn't be too hard to add countermeasures against it.

eltimablo,

You don't even need to do that. There are email providers that will allow you to make an unlimited number of email aliases that all point back to the same address. Fastmail is one that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others.

Pamasich,
Pamasich avatar

No need, gmail gives you virtually infinite emails. Just tested it out, kbin doesn't have countermeasures against it in place. You can use one gmail email to create as many accounts as you want.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,
minnieo, (edited )
minnieo avatar

In that thread, I saw someone had an idea that maybe rep should cap off, like if you reach over say 5000, it would just display 5000+ or something and I thought that could be a decent solution. That would discourage people from posting with the goal of increasing rep, and encourage people to post just because they want to participate in the conversation.

I'm sure there are more elegant ways to deal with it, and perhaps we should have that discussion. The fact that you can give a post 3 upvotes (upvote = 1 boost = 2) makes it really easy for someone to rep-farm if they wanted too. Perhaps upvotes/boosts from accounts with the same IP shouldn't count toward rep?

EDIT: I made a script that removes user reputation from their profile, and the profile popups upon hovering usernames. Sitewide removal. Navigate Kbin unbiased.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

Echoing this, that was an excellent suggestion by @Catch42. There should be capped karma and magazine specific karma.

Link to comment

RheingoldRiver,

That sounds AMAZING and I'd like to refine it a bit more. On reddit you could see karma breakdown by subreddit which was useful to see where people were most active. So what about:

  • total karma up to say 5000 or so
  • percent breakdown of total karma by magazine

So if you have say 10,000 karma from kbinMeta and 5000 karma from all other magazines combined it says like reputation: 5000+ and then breakdown: kbinMeta - 67%, askKbin - 10%, etc etc

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

This all seems needlessly complicated, and worse, it is custom-tweaked to just one specific scenario. I would much rather simply have the details of who voted for whom remain public and then allow each instance to handle that however they wish.

Spotting karma whores who operate like this, with a group of mutually-upvoting and downvoting bots, will be a trivial pattern for automatic detection. Rather than simply trying to give them an ever-more-complicated "game" to play, just identify them and block them and be done with it. Admins won't want their instances to become known as havens for such behaviour so they'll likely wipe users like that.

rosatherad,
rosatherad avatar

I don't see why we can't have both. They don't contradict each other.

tal,
tal avatar

Maybe have some mechanism to subscribe to "feeds" that rate users according to their own metric.

If I decide to trust @StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot's script or whatever that detects shennanigans like this, I can have its score or tag attached to a user. Could subscribe to multiple.

Niello,

On reddit you could see karma breakdown by subreddit which was useful to see where people were most active

You can? I have never paid attention to karma I had no idea. I thought that's just something that mods see to help them moderate.

RheingoldRiver,

uh, at least in old.reddit with RES you can haha, it's in the upper-right-hand corner of your "profile" such as that is in old.reddit.

vaguerant,
vaguerant avatar

On reddit you could see karma breakdown by subreddit which was useful to see where people were most active.

I'd argue that doesn't really tell you where somebody is active. Most of my karma on Reddit was because I made literally one popular comment in a default subreddit. I could make a thousand comments elsewhere that would never see that kind of traction. You might get the impression that I was really into that subreddit even though I just saw it on /r/all and made a drive-by comment that struck a nerve.

I don't know that this is really a problem as such. Maybe people shouldn't care if other users get the wrong impression about which communities they're interested in, but ultimately where you make your reputation is probably more a function of where you're speaking to the largest audience. Unless you're avoiding larger communities completely, basically everybody will get most of their reputation from posts to the largest, most-visible communities rather than the smaller places where they may be spending as much or more time.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

Thanks for the shout out. It seems that the original thread was deleted, so I'll re-explain my idea here. The capped overall karma is to remove the incentive to grind for reputation points. There is fundamentally no point to them, but there is clearly some psychological need driving us to want more of them. This should help with karma farmers.

The magazine specific reputation points is so that people can tell when a troll has entered their specific magazine. A troll would have high overall reputation but in your magazine it would be very low, which allows for them to be quickly identified and banned.

@RheingoldRiver I like your idea of a percent breakdown, but it wouldn't help magazines identify spammers. A spammer can create an unlimited number of magazines with legitimate sounding names and spread out their grinding among them. The percent breakdown would look normal unless someone really dug into it.

What I don't have a solution for is creating an incentive structure that discourages shills from creating alt accounts in order to gain more influence.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

Cheers. This idea definitely has merit and honestly should have its own thread. I'd encourage you to make one on kbinMeta, spark a discussion and tag ernest to see if he would be willing to get rid of the existing system in favor of this. He is very open to community feedback in my experience so hey, might actually get it implemented!

Rhaedas,
Rhaedas avatar

I've seen many forums do tier rating systems for posters, so you didn't see any numbers but more of a generalized ranking from Novice to Veteran. The rank names shouldn't imply anything other than experience in posting, so avoid things like "Expert". It still gives some credence to a poster who has a high rank, but doesn't mean much beyond a flair. Much like Reddit trophies of account age...great, you've been here ten years, what did you do with it?

The argument then shifts to where the lines of rank are, but I don't think that's too important, although honestly if you can post for a month and become a Seasoned Veteran it might be too low. (Thinking of you, Frontier. Not every player should be Elite.)

The boost thing is something different. I like the idea of its supposed function, to push updated or valued content into the feeds more, but clearly the user manual needs work. Should we just have the same as everyone else with an up and down vote, where the upvote does a boost and counts towards rank, while a downvote is simply a visual of either disagreement or unfavorable content but doesn't do much (maybe drops the post lower but that's it).

minnieo,
minnieo avatar

I like the sound of that. Something like Novice/Newcomer > Regular > Senior > Veteran > Seasoned or something. I also don't mind a sort of star ranking system that upvotes contribute to, but no numbers to strive for, only good contributions.

Gamers_Mate,

I am on a forum that does that with mythical creatures I think my current rank is Dragon?

rosatherad,
rosatherad avatar

Oh, which forum is it?

sotolf,
sotolf avatar

Wow that kind of really bring back memories, I remember really enjoying that from the old forum days :) I think on the forums I frequented it was just based on the number of posts you have.

HidingCat,

I agree, Internet points are just useless. The points should be useful in seeing the popularity of a given post or comment, but in judging a user's contribution? I dealt with trolls and assholes with 50-100k karma back in Reddit, it's not an indication of the quality of a user, just the amount of time they spent in popular subs posting popular content.

DreamyDolphin,
DreamyDolphin avatar

The problem is one of those evolutionary arms races, for a reason in your observation: if the points are useful in seeing the popularity of a given post or comment, then why not simply create a bunch of fake accounts to boost said post/comment (which is exactly what the OP was complaining about in the first place).

Individual karma ratings allow a weighting for upvotes so that, in theory, contributors who have a track record of constructive interaction can be the ones who have more influence on what rises to algorithmic prominence. But, of course, everything can be gamed, hence upvoting bot/sock puppet-rings like the one OP observed, or people buying accounts on reddit that had pre-established karma to let them astroturf away with impunity.

No idea what the long-term solution is, beyond the vague "build a community of known faces/names" which runs the opposite risk of turning cliquish or closed-off to new content. Or maybe abolishing all algorithms and just sorting everything by new (which brings us back to the ancient commenting issue of a whole chain of people saying "first!" rather than adding any meaningful observations).

PabloDiscobar,
PabloDiscobar avatar

The problem is one of those evolutionary arms races, for a reason in your observation: if the points are useful in seeing the popularity of a given post or comment, then why not simply create a bunch of fake accounts to boost said post/comment (which is exactly what the OP was complaining about in the first place).

Exactly, creating accounts doesn't stop them. If a user has leverage on the editorial content of kbin, then they will multiply the accounts.

I fled reddit because stupid stuff was upvoted for popularity. If we allow the same vote system we will have the same problem here. The trolls have already learned the behavior on reddit, they are just surprised to see that their votes are public on kbin. But the underlying problem is still here.

My preference goes to "no vote" system and just rely on the report button, but it's a complicated problem for sure. What helps us is that the population of an instance is not unlimited, like on reddit. We can use that.

HidingCat,

Firstly, I'd say don't let perfect be the enemy of good; there may not be a perfect system, but Reddit back when I used it was pretty good 80% of the time, until you got to the big memey subs. There's an additional bonus here, in that activity can be seen. At first I was a little apprehensive but now I think I'm on board with it, so sock puppets can be tracked.

I don't think individual karma ratings should be used to weigh up votes across the board, because simply put, a user shouldn't have a bigger influence just because they got more Internet points.

I think the basic premise of all this up voting and down voting should be that it's a form of crowd sourced moderating. Users letting other users know what was interesting and what was detrimental to the conversation. I've seen proposals like giving votes more context (eg a funny vote, like Steam reviews and Ars Technica's forums), so that might help shape the quality of the crowdsourced opinions.

crossmr,

They aren't useless. They're worth a lot of money to the right person. This meme has repeated endlessly on reddit, all while there was an underground trade going on in verified, aged accounts with karma.

Right now on Kbin it may look like it's not important, but if Kbin grows and grows it's going to become a target for spammers, scammers, etc, and it's going to have to start to look for solutions on how to identify and restrict accounts. one of the simplest, and most obvious ways is the karma/rep system.

New account? Account with negative karma? May find it's rate restricted and posts are autohidden. Purchase an aged account with rep and you can at least spam for a bit until caught, then pay $5 for another account.

Elevator7008,

I figure the Internet points were useful to a certain point. Some subreddits were set to have a karma threshold that you needed to exceed before you could post. On one hand, if you were a new user who just signed up because you wanted to ask for help on that community, not great, but it probably? went a long way to keeping out low-effort bots that would spam a self-promotional link or scam link.

At least in the niche communities I occupied, upvotes went to helpful solutions or interesting discussion points, while downvotes helped make sure that comments with nothing productive to say (for example, just "kill yourself" with nothing else included), random off-topic comments, and incorrect solutions were collapsed by default instead of clearly visible for everyone to see and get annoyed or misled by.

Once I passed most subreddits' karma thresholds I stopped caring about how much karma I had in total. But it was also nice to see how many people liked, upvoted my comments and posts that I put effort into. Discounting posting on free karma subs when I still had like 20 karma and wanted to actually be allowed to post in subs instead of autoremoved, I never really did anything with the motive of gaining internet points and it still feels surreal that enough people did for this to be a common complaint about Reddit and a "how do we prevent it" discussion topic on kbin.

HidingCat,

I never really did anything with the motive of gaining internet points and it still feels surreal that enough people did for this to be a common complaint about Reddit and a "how do we prevent it" discussion topic on kbin.

I know right? I don't really care for them as a user, points are useful for posts and comments, as I said.

I liked the idea of having them up to a certain point, like 1k or 5k as mentioned. They'd be useful for the scenario as you mentioned.

Kichae,

I'm increasingly convinced that general reputation points should just go. They're not about reputation at all. They're about making social media more addictive.

Large positive scores are meaningless without knowing where they came from. And even then, they can be farmed. Same for large negative ones.

What do people actually use the score for? To determine whether some else is worth engaging with? 9 times out of 10, you can tell just from the post - people acting in bad faith are pretty easy to spot. If someone's being a prick, they can be ignored even if they're usually a level headed and nice person 99% of the time. If someone's JAQing off, or sea-lioning, they'll make it known in short order.

A number doesn't tell us what to do about it.

Breakdowns by group is a good idea. Maybe expand that idea to give a count of posts and comments by group, too. Not necessarily viewable by everyone, but at least by mods and admins.

minnieo,
minnieo avatar

You'll like this script I just made in response to this discussion then.. It removes reputation points from user's profiles as well as user profile popups, allowing you to navigate Kbin unbiased. You can toggle this on or off with a checkbox to the right of your profile.

Kichae,

Noice! Trying it out right away.

nefarious,

If possible, I think the karma/rep score should be completely hidden. As long as people can see a number, they're going to try and game it somehow, which incentivizes low quality posts. You can cap total karma, but people will still try to grind up to 5000 and they'll still try to get the highest comment scores they can. That encourages people to make the types of low-effort posts and jokes that often clog up Reddit threads.

The other problem with an overall rep score is that it doesn't truly represent user behavior. If 1/3 of my posts are shitty troll posts, but the other 2/3 are generic low-effort joke posts and memes that people will upvote by default, my rep will stay positive even though I'm a net negative contributor. Likewise, if I make one really popular post that gets 90,000 upvotes, my score will stay positive pretty much forever, even if I troll and harass people nonstop.

So rather than report the sum of a user's post scores, I would propose displaying a "user quality" indicator based on the average score of their recent posts instead. For example, if your average is greater than 5, you'd get a green up arrow, and if your average is less than -5, you'd get a red down arrow, but otherwise you get a neutral icon. You could have other icons for higher and lower scores, but I feel like that might still encourage people to try to game the system, so I'd propose keeping it simple and making it easy enough to get the green icon that you're not incentivized to spend any time on it.

rosatherad,
rosatherad avatar

I really like that idea! A user's most recent behaviour is the most important to be able to judge at a glance.

Hello_there,

Just cap each post at 5 rep. You can display more, but each post or comments only adds 5 to your total.
Encourages continued positive engagement, not just one popular post.

Kichae,

That encourages low effort, but popular, spam.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot, (edited )

Here come the downvotes - 4 downvotes, 3 of which are from accounts that were made after I posted this. What a loser lmfao I can't get over it this is fucking hilarious. This is pathetic and should be proof enough that vote manipulation is something we need to deal with.

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

And now they've started to remove their downvotes. I don't even get it at this point. I'm just gonna go to bed that person's a headache to figure out honestly.

onepinksheep,
onepinksheep avatar

Maybe the moron didn't realise downvotes were public?

StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

I can guarantee they know, they went through the effort of removing downvotes from a bunch of their accounts from the comment thread I linked. Sigh

!deleted120200, (edited )

deleted_by_author

  • Loading...
  • Virkkunen,
    Virkkunen avatar

    Interestingly enough, Turbostrider27 was my most down voted user there. I'm fairly certain that posts on r/Games were removed so they could post them and farm the karma. Turbostrider was also the only poster during r/Games pathetic attempt of a protest.

    StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,
    PabloDiscobar,
    PabloDiscobar avatar

    This magic moment when while talking about "the adventures of awkwardtehturtle on reddit" we realized that he was among us, downvoting all our stuff. Someone pointed at the activity tab "hey guys, look!" and it was a reveal for us.

    amnesiac7,
    amnesiac7 avatar

    Hey fuckface. Yes, I blocked you. No, I'm not turtle. Do you have some type of obsession with me?

    CatBookCat,
    CatBookCat avatar

    is it weird that i don't care? i don't care about oodles karma. 0 fucks to give. why do people care?

    DoucheAsaurus,
    DoucheAsaurus avatar

    Dude is just some tool trying to play the same games he played on reddit. Deserves an IP ban if you ask me.

    PabloDiscobar,
    PabloDiscobar avatar

    Well, when all your posts will start with a minus 5 and become invisible maybe you will start to care? Because you WILL have your haters too. Some people are that crazy.

    Virkkunen,
    Virkkunen avatar

    I do care because even though these virtual point mean fuck all, users will degrade everyone's experience to try and farm them. We'll be getting low quality, rage-bait inducing posts, reposts being boosted to the top and actual good content being overshadowed just because an arsehole wants bigger numbers

    Gamers_Mate,

    As someone who uses Both kbin and lemmy I started removing my upvotes on lemmy because I thought did it by accident until I realized with lemmy it does that automatically when you post something making the default score 1 but on kbin it is 0 because it does not do that. Still the idea of upvoting yourself to get a higher point score just seems silly.

    Chozo,
    Chozo avatar

    Wow, would you take a look at the accounts who reduced this post. It's almost like they saw it as a roll-call.

    princessofcute,
    princessofcute avatar

    What's dumb is reputation doesn't even do anything on Kbin right now other than make you go "haha I have higher number than you" so reputation farming is a total waste of time. Personally I hope it stays that way as it will deter the farmers, I can see some of the benefits of the karma system in Reddit but it's just too prone to manipulation to be actually useful in any way.

    StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

    "haha I have higher number than you"

    This is exactly what some people are after. It lets them believe they are oh so better for having no life outside of the internet. And content quality on kbin suffers in the process.

    Drusas,

    Back in the Fark days, it was, "I have a lower number than you!" (an older account). People will always find something to latch onto.

    Pons_Aelius,

    "I have a lower number than you!"

    Same with the old slashdot days.

    ( Years before the reddit huge of death there was getting slashdotted.)

    Drusas,

    Fark called it "getting Farked".

    sotolf,
    sotolf avatar

    Back in the old forum days it was about having the biggest amount of posts :p

    atocci,
    atocci avatar

    It didn't do anything on reddit either as far as I'm aware, and yet people still went for it like they were trying to get the high score.

    ozen,
    ozen avatar

    I think you could make a small amount of money for selling a reddit account with high karma...but that's the only thing I ever heard of it being useful for.

    phoenixes,

    It also grants a small amount of credibility of not being some random new account shill or whatever, but given how accounts can be sold, it doesn't really do that if you're paying any attention

    princessofcute,
    princessofcute avatar

    It was sometimes used for posting, like you had to have a certain amount of karma to post in certain subs

    atocci,
    atocci avatar

    That's a fair point, I forgot that was a thing that could be done. Was that useful? Do you think it's something that should be possible here in the future?

    stopthatgirl7,
    stopthatgirl7 avatar

    As someone who was mostly a lurker on Reddit, it was really annoying, actually. The rare times I wanted to comment on something, only to be hit with being told my karma was too low, so I couldn’t? It put me off those subreddits fast and ended up made me less likely to try to comment on things.

    Ignacio,
    Ignacio avatar

    The only thing it did on Reddit was to limit who could join a subreddit or who could post something in a subreddit.

    minnieo,
    minnieo avatar

    It must stay that way. High rep shouldn't affect anything at all.

    DarkThoughts,

    That's not karma farming, that's straight up vote manipulation.

    StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot,

    Absolutely. They are doing it with the intention of karma farming because they only post shitposts and useless Reddit crap like this, but this is a serious issue if they move on to opinion posts and politics.

    BootlegHermit,

    Simple solution: Eliminate karma points/reputation points/likes/dislikes, all of it. People are going to find a way to game the system as long as there's a system to game.

    Eggyhead,
    Eggyhead avatar

    I would follow a Magazine dedicated to this. I think it would benefit the Fediverse in the long run.

    Edit: Also I find it funny that you call out a user for have 10-15 accounts, and that matches the current downvote number almost exactly.

    PabloDiscobar,
    PabloDiscobar avatar

    We should seriously consider removing the upvote/downvote system completely. As discussed here, the system is too easy to abuse for bots and crazy people. Already now I have my own mass downvoters, you will have yours too sooner or later.

    0xtero,
    0xtero avatar

    I think it would be useful to change Reputation points into two words "Positive" if > 0 and "Negative" if < 0 and leave it at that.

    There's really no need to keep the points because it only feeds stupid behavior like this.
    It's gamification of discussions in a place that doesn't need it - we're not hungry for MAU stats, no one cares about MAU because we don't have venture capitalists funding the service.

    Get rid of Reputation points.
    Use upvote/downvotes solely for page/thread sorting purposes.

    Just like Mastodon has done some design choices (like not allowing re-posting with quotes), I think the threadiverse needs to have similar thoughts about the posting culture we want to cultivate.

    anathema_device,
    anathema_device avatar

    @StopMassDownvotingYouIdiot I just don't know why people behave like this :

    xuxebiko,

    What do these people do with their fake internet points?

    anathema_device,
    anathema_device avatar

    @xuxebiko buy NFTs, of course :)

    xuxebiko,

    LMFAO!

    thanks, I needed that laugh.

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