For the Whizz - Concerns Regarding Suspected Misuse of Multiple Accounts and Unfair Posting

Dear Whizz

I am writing to express my concerns about a potential issue that I've noticed within the English and French community over the last couple of days. It appears that certain individuals are utilizing multiple accounts in a manner that could be considered as an attempt to manipulate the system and gain an unfair advantage in posting first (google will show their code), thereby limiting the opportunities for other users to have a fair chance.

Upon close observation, I've noticed a peculiar pattern where posts from these individuals are nearly simultaneous, with a difference of only 1 or 2 seconds between them. I find it hard to believe that this level of precision could be achieved without some form of automation. This raises suspicions about the legitimacy of their actions and prompts the question of whether this behavior is in line with the intended spirit of fair engagement within the community.

As a concerned member of the community, I kindly request that you consider monitoring the posting patterns of these accounts in questioni and others. I believe that doing so might reveal whether these actions are part of a deliberate strategy to post first, possibly through an automated system. Over the coming days, I anticipate that this pattern might become more evident, especially if they continue to post with the same synchronicity.

From my observations, it seems that there might be two distinct groups engaging in this behavior. Additionally, another noteworthy trend is the occurrence of posts at the very end of the day, specifically around 23:59:5x or similar times. Such behavior further fuels suspicions about the legitimacy of their actions. How you can post this systematically?

I firmly believe in the importance of providing equal opportunities for all members of the community to have the same opportunity. This situation seems to deviate from that principle, and I am hopeful that appropriate steps will be taken to investigate and address any potential misuse of the system.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and your commitment to maintaining a fair and transparent platform for all users.

If this is allowed please let me know. How many account someone can group, etc

Thank you for your time and consideration.

English Side

Pos
In
Page User Date
====================================
27 fizzIover 2023-08-27 07:00AM
28 tyler 2023-08-27 07:00AM
29 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-27 07:00AM
30 NinjaMarky 2023-08-27 07:00AM
1 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-27 07:00AM

30 Fizzy 2023-08-27 02:38PM
1 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-27 02:38PM

29 Fizzy 2023-08-27 10:56PM
30 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-27 10:56PM
1 Tyler 2023-08-27 10:56PM

27 Tyler 2023-08-28 11:41AM
28 BubblyFizz 2023-08-28 11:41AM
29 Fizzy 2023-08-28 11:41AM
30 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-28 11:41AM
1 NinjaMarky 2023-08-28 11:41AM
2 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-28 11:41AM

28 BubblyFizz 2023-08-28 09:14PM
29 Fizzlover 2023-08-28 09:14PM
30 tyler 2023-08-28 09:14PM
1 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-28 09:14PM
2 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-28 09:14PM

Answers

  • Racoon
    Racoon Posts: 311 ✭✭

    Interesting investigation, can't wait for the follow up

  • Andrei_ref_R7VK1
    Andrei_ref_R7VK1 Posts: 4,583 ✭✭
    edited August 29

    I have observed that as well, almost the same names are on top of the every page where we are sharing our referral codes.

    @Whizz please take a look.

  • MoYe
    MoYe Posts: 651 ✭✭

    hmmmmmm following

  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    How cute that you mention me in this posting made on your new mule account.

    I wish you would have given a complete picture and not just the parts that you think are relevant.


    As we can see with today's posts, there are plenty of members ready to pounce with their referral code postings.

    English
    26 swatt 2023-08-29 10:05
    27 Alice_St_Henri 2023-08-29 10:05
    28 Todd_KQFHS 2023-08-29 10:05
    29 Mario_FQDZA 2023-08-29 10:05
    30 Emma_BP98C 2023-08-29 10:05
    01 Thomas_1X79W 2023-08-29 10:05
    02 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-29 10:06
    03 Andrei_ref_R7VK1 2023-08-29 10:17
    
    29 BubblyFizz 2023-08-29 18:42
    30 fizzIover 2023-08-29 18:42
    01 Fizzy 2023-08-29 18:42
    02 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-29 18:42
    03 Todd_KQFHS 2023-08-29 18:43
    04 Mario_FQDZA 2023-08-29 18:43
    05 Thomas_1X79W 2023-08-29 18:43
    06 Andrei_ref_R7VK1 2023-08-29 18:44
    07 StarVenise 2023-08-29 18:50
    
    French
    30 Mario_FQDZA 2023-08-29 15:50
    01 Emma_BP98C 2023-08-29 15:50
    02 Alice_St_Henri 2023-08-29 15:50
    03 Tyler 2023-08-29 15:50
    04 SaraLovesPets 2023-08-29 15:50
    05 Todd_KQFHS 2023-08-29 15:50
    06 Andrei_ref_R7VK1 2023-08-29 15:51
    07 fizzIover 2023-08-29 15:51
    08 crispypork 2023-08-29 15:54
    09 Jess_i88b6 2023-08-29 15:58
    
    29 fizzIover 2023-08-29 22:05
    30 Jess_i88b6 2023-08-29 22:10
    01 NinjaMarky 2023-08-29 22:10
    02 PF_Ref_D2U9A 2023-08-29 22:10
    03 Todd_KQFHS 2023-08-29 22:22
    04 Fling 2023-08-29 22:22
    

    @Paulme I am aware of a lot of the happenings on the forum. I know who your main account is and what you hope to gain with these accusations.

    The Fizz team are free to investigate any wrong doings.

    Whizz can also contact me in private if they wish to discuss the matter with me in more detail.


    p.s. As far as I know, there is no advantage to posting at the end of the day other than using up your maximum posts for the day. Anyone can start posting right after you when the new day starts again at midnight.

  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    Hi

    Perfect, that means you're confirming my observation. You're utilizing a group of users to post automatically, aiming to be at the beginning of the pages and at the end of the day. This strategy gives you an advantage in securing the top positions. I believe that I wrote that you are not the only one 'it seems that there might be two distinct groups engaging.' and probably more. I agree with your point that you're not acting alone. However, this doesn't change the fact that your actions and the others, in my view, are unfair.

    Without a doubt, there will be other members attempting to post first if you and the others cease this behavior. I hope that Whizz will get in touch with you to address the improprieties occurring on the forum and gain your insights, which would be greatly beneficial.
  • Whizz
    Whizz Posts: 17,393 admin

    Hello everyone. 

    Thank you for the vigilance and the investigations on your end. We have already picked up on the suspicious activity of these types of posts and the users who make them. My colleagues and I already messaged those that were confirmed to have done these types of actions on the English subcommunity, at least, and we are on the lookout for more instances. 

    Rest assured that while we do continue with our day to day moderation, we are also investigating this whole incident in the background so that we can put a stop to this. 

    Thank you and have a good one. 
    -Paul 

  • Andrei_ref_R7VK1
    Andrei_ref_R7VK1 Posts: 4,583 ✭✭

    Thanks @Whizz.

  • Andrei_ref_R7VK1
    Andrei_ref_R7VK1 Posts: 4,583 ✭✭

    Hello @Whizz. Cheats continue.

    My post which was the second from the top of page 996 yesterday, "surprisingly" moved to the previous page (page 995) and the same persons are on the top again.

    https://forum.fizz.ca/en/discussion/2198337/this-is-the-place-for-your-referral-codes-here-and-only-here/p996

  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    Hi

    Whizz, it seems that they are less aggressively, at least some, but still the two groups are always posting first but in a smarter way, in both communities. We really believe that they are 24 hours a day on the site and the right moment or that they modify their software?
    They consistently are in the first post, albeit in a more tactful manner, with a bit more space within the posts. In my view, this situation serves as evidence that being the first to post hold significant value. I'm curious how much is worth in referral dollars.

    I really find disappointing this for members who are not doing this because they don't have the knowledge.

    In conclusion, if the members who post first were alerted, it appears to be indifferent to the warnings.
  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    Hi Whizz Paul,

    Thank you for your reply and the team's investigations into this matter.

    I am curious as to what type of warnings or rules were sent out or set up. If more members are aware of these rules, then we can all help out to report bad activity the right way.

  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    Hi Andrei,

    Your post occupied the top spot yesterday from 4pm until 10pm when a post on the previous page (995) was removed.

    The contents of the post were simply: "Nice job Yay"

    That post was removed because enough members regarded it to be spam: https://forum.fizz.ca/en/profile/comments/Andre2222


    Yes following the forum is my passion and I see & remember everything, well almost everything.

    I love the personal touch. I hope I will not be accused of using software or automation.

  • Andrei_ref_R7VK1
    Andrei_ref_R7VK1 Posts: 4,583 ✭✭
    edited August 31

    Hi Fizzy,

    Thanks for your comment. As I said, initially I was the second from the top, so at least 2 posts were flagged to be deleted.

    This looks very suspicious as the dummy account of @Andre2222 was created specifically to post some weird comments to be flagged as spam and "lift" to the top the "right" posts.

    @Whizz please continue your investigation.

  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    The other post was removed from page 994.

    Emma_BP98C posted 3 times that day and then modified her last post writing: "Please delete"

    I hope this helps.

  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    Dear Whizz

    Finally, I see that your warning appears to be received clearly by one group that does not use any automation. They now post with a few seconds of difference 😞. However, it seems that the other group has not received the communication.

    Nonetheless, it's evident that they work harder, being present 24 hours a day, and possess an in-depth understanding of everything inside and out.

    They probably should not have been warned if that was the case, as Fizzy seems to claim he didn't receive it. This is likely because he isn't involved in any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, issuing a warning was a mistake. Instead, they should be rewarded for their dedication, especially those members who are capable of posting very quickly. Sarcasm aside 😎.
  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    I want to share what I thought was a possible solution for this behavior at the begining but .....

    My initial thought was to change the order of post display to descending order, but upon further consideration, I realized that this would only modify the behavior. Members who are dedicated to the forum (having the opportunity to post with multiple accounts); they may post within seconds or minutes of regular members in order to be first all the time, and this would give them an advantage.

    Perhaps Fizzy can provide some insights how to solve this.
  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I thought about possible solutions and every option presents some issues.


    I will mention one solution which could be the simplest one.


    Put all new referral posts as pending until Whizz releases them.

    This way Whizz has 100% control over the situation.

    Of course this means Whizz will ultimately decide who gets rewarded.

    Will everyone be happy? Probably not.

  • Jess_i88b6
    Jess_i88b6 Posts: 9,929 ✭✭
    edited September 1

    I like it, in this way no one can know their position and the referral posts will be submitted in batch.

    I can see only one problem, if we post 2 times in a day, one or both posts can be approved on the following day. This will be difficult to control the 2 post per day.

    Another problem, know people that they don't know about it, they will post 3, 5, 7 times in a day since they don't see their post

  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    In the past, I had proposed a "possible" solution for a different situation, but I never received any feedback.

    It's just an idea. I also understand there can be considerable effort required to implement something like this.

    I think regular contributors would be happy with this solution.


    I had proposed this idea to a former Whizz more than 1 year ago:

    Hope all is going well. I have a suggestion for you that may increase forum participation. Of late, there are several members who chose to post their referral code and nothing else.

    If you want more lively forum discussions, make a change so that members who want to post their referral code must reach a small "goal" before they can post their referral code again.

    The "goal" can be something minor like obtaining 50 forum points (or a variable number depending on the impact to participation).

    I believe a change like this will create a better experience for those members who are providing help. Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    Fizzy

    ________________________________________________________

    If Paul wants to hear more about my other possible solutions, he can contact me through one of his Whizz/Admin userids.

  • Fizzy
    Fizzy Posts: 10,063 ✭✭

    Members can try to post as many times as they want. Whizz will control it and hopefully release only up to 2 per day. One can whine about the timing, etc. The more you whine, the more your posts will get deleted.

  • Jess_i88b6
    Jess_i88b6 Posts: 9,929 ✭✭
    edited September 1


    I like this options too, strange :D

    But, I think we will see more people posting for nothing, only to get the opportunity to post their referral and the user seeking help probably he will miss the reply with the solution since he is overwhelmed with some useless information.

    Probably, Fizz will need to develop a system such, we can post the code, this will go in moderation, and the day after Fizz will take these posts, one of each, randomly post in batch or one every x minutes, difficult but fair.

  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    Hi

    It seems to me that the situation hasn't changed much; they've slowed down a bit but not by much. This could mean two things: either Fizz doesn't care to take any action, or this member likes to defy authority.

    How can the same user or group of people post like this?
    en BubblyFizz 2023-09-01 22:58:57
    en NinjaMarky 2023-09-01 22:58:58
    en SaraLovesPets 2023-09-01 22:59:00
    ....

    Matches and much more, these are not the only ones.

    For sure, they are using at least a VPN. How can they switch so fast? Are they using virtual machines? These are only my curiosities; they don't change what I think about their actions.

    These are very smart people who play with the system.

    In conclusion, Fizz can tell us that they care, but their actions don't match what they say.
  • Andrei_ref_R7VK1
    Andrei_ref_R7VK1 Posts: 4,583 ✭✭

    @Whizz any progress on your investigation?

    All the same users "posted" on exactly the same order and the same time. English - end of the page 1007 - beginning of 1008, French end of the page 1057 - beginning of 1058.

  • Paulme
    Paulme Posts: 9
    Hi

    It seems that one group has decided to give space to the others - cheers to them. However, the other group, which includes at least these users:

    Emma_BP98C
    Thomas_1X79W
    Alice_St_Henri
    Mario_FQDZA
    Todd_KQFHS

    They always post within seconds of each other. Sometimes, they even post simultaneously in the communities with two of these accounts, which is a peculiar behavior that link all their accounts together.

    Why isn't the Whizz taking any action? Am I possibly imagining something that doesn't actually exist? Is this behavior acceptable? And why are the moderators remaining silent on the matter?


    In conclusion, Fizz can tell us that they care, but their actions don't match what they say.
  • Racoon
    Racoon Posts: 311 ✭✭

    Is it ok now?