Users gaming the recognition system RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I've seen a pattern emerging these past few months, several users that have been gaining an unusually large number of recognitions points.  Compared to their activity, number of answers they get and the kind of points earned by other contributors to these forums.

    I'll name names to let you see what's going on.  First is Ajith R Nair .  76 answers, 231 posts, 3141 points earned.  About 300% more than normal.  Another is Doug___ , 102, 376, 3987.  Yet another is A.m.a.L , a 5 medal contributor with 460 less answers than an MSFT employee (Xun Ye) with about the same number of points.

    When I browse their threads, I think I see a pattern.  Almost every post they made has "Helpful votes".  Most typically 3 or 4.  Bland and unhelpful posts too.  Somebody is consistently clicking the "Vote As Helpful" link on their posts.

    It is hard to avoid assuming that the "Vote As Helpful" features is being used for purposes other than intended.  Something ought to be done about this, it is very unfair to contributors that work on their recognition to be something representative and meaningful to the community. had the exact same problem, they came up with a good fix for it.  They ran a query on their dbase that correlated the originator of a vote to the recipient of the vote.  Patterns emerged, the same person always upvoting the posts of a certain poster, sometimes hundreds of times.  They deducted the earned points.

    Please put something similar in place.  Also consider traceability.  Or just stop awarding points for Helpful.
    Hans Passant.
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 1:59 AM

All replies

  • Interesting.

    I was expecting you to say that these were all people with sigs saying "if you like my answer, please mark it as an Answer" or similar.

    I didn't realise there were points for Helpful too. 

    As I ignore (I used to automatically un-mark but was "advised" not to) all self-proposed posts, I've been watching out for the same names proposing the posts of the same (but different) people. There there is transparency because you can see the name of the proposer. With Helpful you can't.

    So, yes, the MS forum team must either add your query or remove the points. I'd remove the points.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 4:30 AM
  • I've entered a Change Request into our bug tracking system to be triaged for June to address this issue.  While this in no way means that it will be fixed soon, it is the first step in (hopefully) addressing this issue.  Thanks for the suggestion!
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:11 PM