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Looking for "random upvote" script

by merlyn (Sage)
on Dec 12, 2006 at 18:14 UTC ( #589347=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'm looking for a simple script (probably mechanize-based) that will spend all of my remaining votes randomly upvoting nodes I haven't voted on.

The reason I ask is that apparently some idiot out there has been running a script against me once a night (for about the last 45 to 60 days) to lower my average score about ten or twenty points per day, and I figured my only recourse is to make sure all my votes are spent helping other people, in spite of the fact that this idiot is trying to hurt me.

So, any auto vote scripts? Thanks.


UPDATE: Problem appears to be resolved. No action will be taken. Thank you for listening.

Comment on Looking for "random upvote" script
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by zentara (Archbishop) on Dec 12, 2006 at 18:19 UTC
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by tye (Cardinal) on Dec 12, 2006 at 18:30 UTC

    That particular problem shouldn't be bothering you now. And I predict that encouraging work on automated voting is more likely to bite you in the long run than it will help you.

    - tye        

      If by "now" you mean "as of today", thank you.

      I won't even start a line of discussion about why you didn't help me when I asked privately three weeks ago, but now are helping simply because I went public. No, I just won't go there. I have better things to do today. {grin}

        The main difference was that it appears that this systematic downvoting was recently automated by this user. Automated voting (up or down) is explicitly against site policy which makes such activity much easier to deal with.

        For the, unfortunately too common, "fits" of attack downvoting, there is a plan for dealing with that passively that I think covers it well enough. I apologize for not implementing it yet, however.

        When you brought it to my attention before, I thought I had looked at how long it had been going on. Looking again, I'm not sure that I did or perhaps I tried but made a mistake (I think there was a break in this activity that fooled me). I believe I did take a small step in trying to address the problem but it didn't work.

        Sorry for the loss of your imaginary points. (No, seriously, I am sorry, it addition to noting one interpretation of the lack of severity of the damage.) (:

        - tye        

        I think perhaps this thread proves you're only here for your reputation and not here to contribute. I'm not a downvoter of you personally, and I'm not a usual Anony Monk (I am a level 15 on my account and been here for a number of years now) but I never liked you since the very first time I read any of your posts.

        Your idea of randomly upvoting nodes is completely faulty. What if you ++ all the Worst Nodes? Sure, you spend your points and possibly get an increase in your popularity (I mean stat points) but your votes are useless. You'd make votes worthless.

        I say if someone is downvoting you it is your own doing. Work on your people skills and maybe people won't hate you enough to waste tiem on you.

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by shmem (Canon) on Dec 12, 2006 at 18:57 UTC
    You could also write more notes, meditations, poetry and obfuscations ;-)

    Anyways I think that random voting isn't a good idea. You would be upvoting nodes that really don't deserve so, and that wouldn't help anybody.

    --shmem

    _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                  /\_¯/(q    /
    ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
    ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by holli (Monsignor) on Dec 12, 2006 at 19:01 UTC
    This must be a fake. Randal would never cry like a baby about his xp, and he is also perfectly capable to write a votebot in short time. Besides this: XP is just a number


    holli, /regexed monk/
        Ahem (start at the second definition...)

      Just because somebody is smart and has done a lot for the Perl community doesn't mean he isn't a bit vain about XP. As for his ability to write a votebot, he didn't post the node in order to get somebody to do that for him. He posted it to call attention to the matter, publically.


      Sanity? Oh, yeah, I've got all kinds of sanity. In fact, I've developed whole new kinds of sanity. You can just call me "Mister Sanity". Why, I've got so much sanity it's driving me crazy.
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by bluto (Curate) on Dec 12, 2006 at 19:01 UTC
    It would be nice if down voting was disabled for posts older than a few days. The voter should be able to discern that a node is worthless within a short time frame, like the rest of the population. On the other hand, figuring out whether something is good can take a while.
      The voter should be able to discern that a node is worthless within a short time frame....

      Except for tutorials, meditations, snippets, reviews....

        I'm missing your point. If something deserves a down vote, it needs it now, not six months from now. If it's bad advice or just inflammatory, many eyes will see it and some will respond. A "Best Practice" post which seemed fine two years ago, may be down voted if posted today, but I fail to see the reason why one would hunt it down and down vote it now.

      I don't downvote posts often, but I don't want to lose that power. My votes are based on an estimation of its value to me and my opinion of what it contributes to a conversation. I want to keep the ability to downvote a post that really gets under my skin, even if it's been six years since it was written. If there's enough crap in a post, it's going to stink no matter how old it is.

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by liverpole (Monsignor) on Dec 12, 2006 at 19:42 UTC
    merlyn, I disagree with you.

    It's against the spirit of this site, it's been explicitly forbidden by vroom for more than 5 years (long before I joined), and it diminishes the worth of votes for nodes which really DO deserve to be upvoted.

    Please give up the idea.  Many people here are happy to have your wisdom and expertise available to them.  (I am definitely one of them).  Anyone as famous as you is bound to attract negative votes; just think of them as a sort of badge of honor.

    And if you ignore the few negatives amongst the many upvotes that you receive on a daily basis, won't that say all the more, in a positive way, about your character?

    Please just let it go.


    s''(q.S:$/9=(T1';s;(..)(..);$..=substr+crypt($1,$2),2,3;eg;print$..$/
      If tye is accurate in stating that the problem has been fixed as of today, then I won't be launching any scripts of my own.

      It's just that I had asked tye a month ago to look into this, and his reply was basically that people are free to spend their votes as they wish. So I figured I'd take matters into my own hands, and go public with it, and spend my votes as I wish, consistent with his position.

      I'll be watching over the next week or two to see if the situation has been rectified.


      update: Addressing the point in
      Anyone as famous as you is bound to attract negative votes; just think of them as a sort of badge of honor.
      I am fully accustomed to getting downvotes on individual postings (including the head of this thread). What isn't sensible to me is someone systematically downvoting many many posts per night. Perhaps the intention is to ensure that I'm removed from the top (second?) spot on the XP chart, but it's certainly not related to any individual post.
        merlyn, I understand it's frustrating.

        But maybe these things will mitigate that frustration:

        • Eventually, whoever is running a "votebot" against you will run out of posts of yours to downvote.  Then they lose.
        • You're 2nd on the list, but the list is just a game.  In real life, you're way above any XP list -- you're a magician (and I don't just mean your nickname, but your skills and insights, too), but you're a magician who is still willing and eager to mingle with the common masses in the sharing of that magic.
        • The more you show (through inaction) that it doesn't bother you, the more you inspire people to ignore the "small stuff" in life.
        • And if, for every downvote you get (even if it's not deserved), you get tons of upvotes, that shows that most people like what you write.

        Personally, I've gotten downvotes on a number of submissions; often my best ones (that's my own opinion, of course ;-)).  It's made me realize that I sometimes need to learn to say things in a nicer way, but in the end it's impossible to please everyone.

        And I've downvoted you a number of times for things you've said which seemed belittling, or stubborn in their refusal to acknowledge others' opinions.  And though I know you feel that it's more important to be direct (ie. honest) than to be polite, my own feeling is that you might consider trying to be both, where possible.  But again, that's just my opinion.

        Ultimately, my friendly advice is don't take it too personally.  The sooner you figure out a way to let it go, the sooner you'll find you can concentrate better on just the important stuff.  And I'll continue to look forward to the excellent help you give to all at Perlmonks.


        s''(q.S:$/9=(T1';s;(..)(..);$..=substr+crypt($1,$2),2,3;eg;print$..$/
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by marto (Chancellor) on Dec 12, 2006 at 20:05 UTC
    sir

    I do not believe your reputation or your efforts to help the Perl community will ever be in question. The person who is down voting your nodes will not change the opinion that others here have of you.

    Just my 2c

    Martin
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Dec 12, 2006 at 20:26 UTC

    Im in ur monastery downvotin ur nodez?</random-current-popular-meme>

      Where's the image of the cat?
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by webfiend (Vicar) on Dec 13, 2006 at 08:48 UTC

    I sympathize with what you were dealing with. It's no fun losing points based on no sane rationale, even if XP is pretty much a game. Glad it's sorted out.

    I'm not sure that asking for people to publicly post a votebot as an aid to your problem was quite the best solution, though. Aside from being a dubious solution in the first place - countering some of the points lost from deliberate attacks by scattering up votes to random nodes - can you imagine the potential for damage if somebody actually does post a working votebot? Now you'd have even more of these insects coming after you. Why you? Well, you're recognizable, and being a target obviously bothers you. Bothering people is apparently the best thing they can think of to do with their time.

    I don't know what a better solution would have been. Maybe another PM to tye, or a different sort of Discussions post, along the lines of "I'm getting hassled by annoying rodents with downvoting scripts. Is there anything we can do to make their lives difficult or miserable in any way?"

    But hey, I get angry and post before thinking too. Maybe you posted a similar question already. Maybe you've had several IMs with tye on the subject. Maybe you talked this through in the Chatterbox and decided that this was the best approach to getting the problem solved. It did get solved, after all.

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by Happy-the-monk (Monsignor) on Dec 13, 2006 at 09:01 UTC

    There isn't much to add from me the other monks haven't said before, so just one more thought:

    If we really didn't want "personality voting", we possibly could simply block if there was a counter for how many votes any monk casts on other single monks. If that reaches 30% of the monks votes on any day, he could still spend votes on the same other monk but those votes would go away without affect XP (or even reputation).

    Just a thought: We'd lose a little freedom (that is believed to be unwanted) and get some kind of justice.

    Cheers, Sören

      If we really didn't want "personality voting", we possibly could simply block if there was a counter for how many votes any monk casts on other single monks. If that reaches 30% of the monks votes on any day, he could still spend votes on the same other monk but those votes would go away without affect XP (or even reputation).

      Remember that for the first few levels 30% of the votes may be just less than 5. Also consider this scenario: I read interesting post from A; I wonder if the other posts from him are just as good, I check a few and yes they are, so I upvote them too. The same could apply to a particularly bad post: but then you may question about whether it's ethical to go hunting for particularly good or bad nodes for upvoting or downvoting respectively as opposed to stumbling into posts "randomly". My answer is that there's limited randomness anyway, and that you always search posts in some form or another, and eventually that there's nothing unethical in doing what I described as long as votes are applied with consciousness: i.e. upvote if an upvote is deserverd, downvote if a downvote is deserved, period. Is it worth to loose this freedom? IMHO, no!

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by syphilis (Canon) on Dec 13, 2006 at 10:48 UTC
    some idiot out there has been running a script against me once a night (for about the last 45 to 60 days) to lower my average score

    Hmmm ... that's "envy", not "idiocy".

    Now, if the same script were to be used to downvote me ... that would be "idiocy" :-)

    Cheers,
    Rob
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by blazar (Canon) on Dec 13, 2006 at 12:56 UTC
    The reason I ask is that apparently some idiot out there has been running a script against me once a night (for about the last 45 to 60 days) to lower my average score about ten or twenty points per day, and I figured my only recourse is to make sure all my votes are spent helping other people, in spite of the fact that this idiot is trying to hurt me.

    Just out of curiosity: are you sure that it is a bot? Some time ago I began being consistently notified at every login about XP loss. Appearently someone I must have argued with must have taken the deliberate effort to downvote posts of mine ad personam, which is as you know, sad because regardless of your own XP it's not nice to see a post in which you invested your time and which may be useful to others, having a negative reputation. However, in a few days it went away.

    If OTOH there's really a bot running against you, or anyone else, well sorry to repeat what others already pointed out and should be well known and clear to you in the first place, but it's plainly forbidden, and if there's any evidence that that's what's going on some action should be taken.

    I'll bring that further: ad personam downvoting should be strongly discouraged in any case. One can clearly disagree with others in voting a single node, but if there's a strong discrepancy in this sense relative to posts all of a specific user, then there should be an algorithm to easily detect it. Of course no automatic action should be taken, but the output may be of interest to the gods for further investigation.

    In any case fighting against ad personam downvoting by means of random bot-voting seems the worst solution for at least two reasons:

    • in and of itself, because it's only slightly less irresponsible;
    • it would cure only one part of the problem, which is personal XP (the one one should not care about), but it doesn't cure the other one, which is reputation loss on single nodes.
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by petdance (Parson) on Dec 13, 2006 at 20:56 UTC
    Node voting is an interesting game. The only way to win is not to play.

    xoxo,
    Andy

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by Argel (Prior) on Dec 13, 2006 at 22:43 UTC
    I think the recent alleged plagiarism incident is a good example of one of the very rare instances where massive down-voting is appropriate since it was in-effect community self-regulation. But in this case I have yet to hear of any good reason for the systematic downvoting of merlyn's posts.

    As for experience points themselves, they are what keep this site running. Upvoting, downvoting, voting for consideration, approving nodes, frontpaging nodes, etc. are all tied to experience points. And for many they act as encourgement for greater participation. Thus the experience point system is the underyling operational framework for Perl Monks and any abuse of it should be monitored closely.

      Completely AGREED.
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by Khen1950fx (Canon) on Dec 14, 2006 at 14:01 UTC
    I just wanted to thank merlyn for this post. I've been having the same problem. Some one was down voting me to the tune of around 7 points a day. It stopped when merlyn posted this. Also, merlyn is one of the reasons why I love Perl, and I think that we should should rally around him and show him more support. For me, he's a "shining star" and always will be.
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by polettix (Vicar) on Dec 14, 2006 at 18:11 UTC
Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by OfficeLinebacker (Chaplain) on Dec 18, 2006 at 09:19 UTC
    AFAICT, Randal, like you, I've made what one might call an "enemy" on here. It seemed for a while that every time I posted a new node, the first thing that would happen to it was a downvote. It seems to have abated and/or been absorbed by whatever other voting activity is going on. Frankly I think I brought it upon myself whining about it in the CB and in a msg or two. I think the first downvote was legit--bad title or too long or something. I was even more of a newbie than now, excited as a puppy about this whole deal and just as clumsy, and I asked in the CB what was up. I think I did that twice. Pretty soon, every post I made was getting a negative vote almost immediately. I assumed it was someone who was in the CB at the time but didn't investigate further. I didn't know the trick (it seems to me like a 'trick' since I didn't think of it) of checking who's on every time you get downvoted. But I don't know that I'll use it since I'm comfortably in Friar-land (and yet to use my moderation powers--need to lurk in that regard for a while longer) and whatever level of significance that would be next is so far out of reach as to be useless to think about. But I remember being pretty upset at the time, so I grok. I dunno, I think that a good attitude to take is that we're all adults here and disagreements and personality conflicts arise. Big deal. Whatever it is I am or was doing that offended one or more people, at least I'm getting it out of my system on an internet message board and not with my colleagues at work or my family (imagine some person who would discredit you to your boss and company management at every opportunity just because she didn't like the tone you took with her in a meeting once).

    Who knows, every one of my posts has something that will offend somebody--sometimes I don't post follow-ups in a timely manner, sometimes I'll get say five responses to a question and I will only mention four of the posters' names in a subsequent reply, out of laziness or because maybe most of what one person said was covered by the other responses, even if that person's answer was pretty good. These things happen. Life goes on, for better or for worse.

    Don't know exactly what I am trying to get across other than letting you know it appears you're not alone (I see another responder had a similar situation as well).

    UPDATE: a) for misspelling and b) I spoke too soon about the "situation" having "abated!"


    I like computer programming because it's like Legos for the mind.
      I've made what one might call an "enemy" on here.

      That appears to be a fairly common belief. I see it claimed rather regularly, and for nearly exactly the reasons that you have presented. You may well have made one or more "enemies". However, as usual, the evidence that you based this conclusion on doesn't actually support your conclusion. If you have enemies here, they aren't systematically downvoting your nodes right after you post them. (When I see complaints of potential abuse, I often investigate in part to make sure that I understand what problems there might be and if there are ways to improve things.)

      Human brains are great at seeing patterns. So good that they can often see patterns where there are none, which leads many humans to see conspiracies where there are none. It is also human nature to blame others before blaming oneself. So it is pretty natural to see yet another downvote and eventually come to the conclusion that some other single person is responsible and thus that they have some personal grudge against you.

      When (rarely but still too frequently) someone forms a grudge and starts systematically downvoting another monk, claims start approaching a real conspiracy, inventing an army of downvoting robots. (:

      The downvotes against you have been cast by a wide variety of monks. I did see that the frequency of downvotes against you was higher a while back, but they were being cast by a wide variety monks both then and now. So it seems more likely that your nodes have changed over that time (or perhaps your extra-node presence has changed, as you suspect).

      It is still true that (thankfully) most monks rarely downvote. But when someone downvotes a node, it is rare to contemplate the node and then come back and cast the downvote later. A downvote is more likely to be a snap decision or at least a fast reaction while upvotes often take longer. So nodes getting an initial downvote or few and then moving to a positive rep appears to rarely have much to do with who wrote the node.

      - tye        

        Thank you.

        I like computer programming because it's like Legos for the mind.
        However, as usual, the evidence that you based this conclusion on doesn't actually support your conclusion. If you have enemies here, they aren't systematically downvoting your nodes right after you post them.

        I know there must be instances where vindictive downvoting occurs, however -- and I know this for two reasons. One, human nature just makes it too unlikely that everyone in an online community is too benevolent for that. Two, it has happened to me on a temporary basis.

        I don't know that I'd use the word "enemy", but there have been a couple discussions here at PerlMonks wherein I clearly upset some people (the hazards of having controversial opinions, being willing to share them, and being reasonably good at defending them, I guess) after which I received too many downvotes and XP losses to be a coincidence. One case in particular that comes to mind is a discussion on a root node I posted that went wildly off-topic with gun control debate. For a couple days, I actually lost XP faster than my nodes in that discussion were downvoted, as I recall.

        I pretty much shrugged it off -- no biggie. I'm not saying that something should necessarily be done, especially since the downvotes on other nodes of mine were probably cast by a number of people who were just looking for reasons to disagree with me, and who quickly lost interest. It's not like it affected my livelihood. My only point is that it's not always just "conspiracy theories". Sometimes, even if the "victim" exaggerates circumstances in his/her own mind, there is a definite kernel of truth to the vindictiveness (s)he senses.

        Overall, I think the XP/voting system works well enough as is, as long as someone like you is dealing with anything like bots that might crop up from time to time. I don't know how common that might be, but it's good to know you have a way of dealing with it. It's not perfect, but I don't expect it to be.

        All that having been said, I think I've rambled more than necessary and said less of worth than I intended. Back to doing actual Perlish stuff for me.

        print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
        - apotheon
        CopyWrite Chad Perrin

Re: Looking for "random upvote" script
by OfficeLinebacker (Chaplain) on Dec 20, 2006 at 13:44 UTC

    Hi.

    demerphq, glad you found my sig thought provoking. I loved LEGO blocks as a kid. I love computer programming and problem solving in general now.

    tye, you mentioned that "For the, unfortunately too common, "fits" of attack downvoting, there is a plan for dealing with that passively that I think covers it well enough. I apologize for not implementing it yet, however." That reminds me of the voting system of another site I go to called "karma." The way that works is that you can't give karma (negative or positive) twice to the same person without giving it to something like 19 other people first (I think they've tweaked that number several times). If you try to give someone karma "too often," it says "you have to spread it around first." This seems like a good idea at first but then you get these loose cabals forming; all you need is 20 people who are common posters and "karma whores." And they just have karma-love-fests with each other. The problem there was with people inflating each others' totals with positive, not too much negativity. One thing that's different about here is that the posts have to be informational and at least of some value--you can't post single word "bump" or "in" nodes or they'll get reaped (probably after being downvoted several times). Is that the passive system you had in mind? Still not sure if it would work here; however, PM's members definitely seem more businesslike than on the abovementioned site.


    I like computer programming because it's like Legos for the mind.

        Aha! I wasn't even a member when that node was posted, and it's an interesting concept. I couldn't help but respond. I think discounting "late" DOWNvotes is a good idea, as a) presumably the author has learned his lesson (assuming there are already several other downvotes), and b) I gather some spiteful monks search for past nodes created by an author they personally dislike just to downvote them.

        However, I don't feel that late UPvotes should necessarily be discounted--nodes with a lasting positive impact are part of what make this site great. We're encouraged to use the super search. If a great node comes up as a result of a search that really addresses an issue well (for example a particularly well explained Q&A entry), I don't think the resulting upvote should be "discounted" simply because it came a certain number of weeks after the node was created.

        Thanks for the link, ysth.

        I like computer programming because it's like Legos for the mind.

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