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A few days ago we have discovered one more way some people are abusing the point system.
When we created the point system it seemed very hard for anyone to get 10 thumbs up:
So, we decided that if writing an article was 20 points then achieving 10 thumbs up should be at least 50 points and something like 40 points is really a super-worthy article, so at least 160 points more.
We did of course guess that some people would try to abuse it, but it seemed like it made no sense - creating 10, let alone 40 accounts to upvote yourself to get like a few cents?... Well, some people just have too much time on their hands to make it bad for everyone:
50 upvotes for.. an empty article. Who upvotes this?
Seem like normal, regular users we all know, right? No, of course, not.
But they can't be making that much points from it, right?
25% of daily points.
So, everyone's points is at least 25% cheaper due to this guy.
It's not hard to figure out who he is. As usual the question "who benefits" helps greatly here:
So, we of course, dealt with the situation promptly by banning the guy for massive cheating, but would it stop him?
We got to give it to him, he did give us all a fair warning 😄
Of course not. He's probably pissed that he spent the whole day clicking the buttons and got paid nothing, so he (or maybe them... maybe it's a whole team) probably are registering 50 more accounts...
How do we stop these attempts?
Well, we created a plan some time ago and were developing it quietly (as usual).
The power users are just regular users that suddenly have super-powers. To get 40 points for 10 thumbs up at least one of these thumbs up must come from a power user. To get 160 points for 40 thumbs up - at least two of these should come from a power user.
Your post also won't make it to the home page unless one of the power user upvotes it.
To prevent abuse the power users don't know about their status
Well, I guess somebody could eventually figure out that he or she is a power user, but there are two things to note here:
1) this title isn't forever - if a power user stops doing right things - you lose it;
2) to further hide the fact that a user is a power user we have added a random delay between power users' action and the site's reaction to prevent experimentation.
We give a title of power user to people who are really putting in a lot of effort into being a good citizen on site. We won't disclose exact criteria, because people will start abusing this (though it's pretty hard to abuse, you need to put in a lot of effort).
Also, we can assure you that having a title of power user has nothing to do with being a Bitcoin Cash fan or speaking English or being there from the beginning of the site. Anyone can become a power user within a few days if she or he is doing the right things on read.cash.
Right now 211 of ~5000 users have this title.
For most of our users this shouldn't even be a problem. If your post gets 10 real upvotes - then for sure at least one of them will come from a power user - that's just how natural voting works. But it will hopefully be a big problem for scammers.
We have updated our point system accordingly:
As usual, it all sounds great on paper, but let's see how it works in reality.