Don't use votebots. There I said it. This should be obvious. From here on out if I find evidence of anyone abusing the system there will be some major hand-slapping. If you have a votebot that's smart enough to evaluate the quality of a post on criteria other than the node's author I'd be very interested in seeing it. There will always be ways to make votebots smarter to avoid detection however why not spend your time doing something useful and constructive. You'll sleep better at night too.

vroom | Tim Vroom |

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: All your Votebots are belong to us
by iamnothing (Friar) on Aug 09, 2001 at 00:47 UTC
    The fact that this is even happening as anything other than a programatic exercise to see if it "can be done" makes me wonder if the people doing it have any real work to do. Some days I'm so busy that I have a hard time even making it in to lurk, let alone vote.

    Of course, if I posted rather than lurking and had a voteBot, my experience would be significantly higher. But often, I have the same problem here as I have on Slashdot: someone has said it better and more concisely first.

    I just never feel like adding "yeah" or "me too" to attempt to raise my level. It's self defeating.

    Good luck killing the voteBot.

      yeah, me too. :)
Re: All your Votebots are belong to us
by grinder (Bishop) on Aug 10, 2001 at 01:17 UTC
    How does this tie in with a question that Masem raised some time ago? That is, where do we draw the line at creative uses of Perl and XML?

    I'm thinking about a script that, for want of a better term, I would call a proxybot. It would have a front-end that would let you read threads in the monastery. In the space of a couple of hours, you could read literally hundreds of nodes, all the while giving them your most careful consideration. Each node you would ++ or -- according to how you felt about it. Hole up for a weekend and you could probably make a fair stab at digesting all of the Meditations section.

    Thus, you would have an enormous list of nodes to vote on, and they would be your considered opinions, not just -- because $author eq 'merlyn'. The proxybot would then process this list in a cron-job, an hour before vote o'clock, spending any remaining unused votes on reducing the list.

    I don't see this as being particularly unethical. I do think it is pretty stupid, because a single good timely response to a node, or a good meditation, will garner you more XP than a month's voting will bring you. But hey, some people will do anything to claw ahead. (Sometimes I feel embarrassed at having more XP than some other people, such as Petruchio, a monk with janitor status who has janitored for me on more than one occasion).

    g r i n d e r
Re: All your Votebots are belong to us
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Aug 09, 2001 at 03:17 UTC
    re "abusing the system": does that mean any form of casting votes that are not in line with the post's content and social context, or just the use of an automated system to do so?

    It's really easy to just find a long thread and click on everything to use up the day's votes for the bonus, without really reading the post. So, should you make the voter system test you for reading comprehension before accepting the vote?


    (wondering if this satire will be punctuated by the irony of being massivly downvoted)

      Hmmm. I think the biggest abuse by votebots are targeting specific users though the behaviour you mention could trigger a false positive. Not knowing how fearless leader is monitoring the situation, I'm not sure.

      update: jepri: yes

        False positive? You mean someone using non-mechanical means to frivilously spend votes could make vroom think it's a votebot?

        I don't know. How often do you read a thread, then click on a bunch of (presumably worthy) nodes and hit VOTE? This submits the whole thread in one form, and is typical behavior.


        And I doubt that we will ever know the search criteria. Which is good, because Perl is flexible enough to beat almost any search criterium.

        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.