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    • CommentAuthorbucketbot
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
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    Hi everybody,

    a couple of days ago I got banned from voting.

    I had a few conversations with MisterZob, kinoute and Asmodai - you can read the whole story on my profile if you are interested. I'm not looking for trouble or to gather some pitchforks, and surely I don't want to get completely banned, so I will keep it as objectively as possible.

    Here is how it came to this. I joined whatthemovie in August 2016 and it quickly became a passion which many of you can surely relate to. In April 2017 I started voting regularly on every new submission. You can see a nice linear graph of my Buck earnings since then:


    Around September 2017 I gave a shot a rating of 1, which promptly lead to a short ban. I had a few words with a moderator and after I explained that this was an honest rating without any malicious thoughts, I was unbanned.

    More than one year of continuous voting later, in October 2018 I get banned from voting again without any explanation. Apparently "the data shows I knew exactly what I was doing" and nobody can give me a clear explanation of what I did wrong.

    I never voted just sporadically which could make it seem like I used this as an opportunistic tool for "payback", as I am being accused of. I don't even understand how I am supposed "pay back" anybody as votings aren't transparent for non-moderators, so how would I know who gave my shots a low rating? Who would I ever want to "pay back"?

    I even explained my "ethics" on voting and was assured that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it.

    There is one thing I can think of that might look a bit fishy - but even then, this shouldn't be the whole explanation:
    We have seen lots of shots in the last couple of months where you could see just the Beatles doing not much but holding their faces in the camera. It got old very quickly and since it never seemed to stop, I started giving a rating of 1 for most new shots of the Beatles. There was zero skill involved in solving these, except for recognizing the Beatles and looking up all the documentaries made about them. Seeing how rarely they made it to feature films, I reckon I wasn't alone with this opinion (SORRY Rigborg and JakeBlues, I usually like your other shots!).

    As soon as my ban will be lifted and I can start voting again (on April 15th, not sure about the year but I hope it's 2019!), I am exposed to the risk of getting banned for something I have no way of even knowing. That time it probably won't be just a ban from voting.

    So what can I do? Do I have to accept that I will never again be able to fully participate in this game again and completely stop voting?
    Do you know anybody who ever was in the same situation or were you even affected yourself?

    What is it that I could have done wrong?

    I am just so frustrated about this...
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      CommentAuthorefji
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    Hi man. Welcome to the club !
    You are one among many others, and you can now easily understand how WTM changed in a few years from this :
    https://whatthemovie.com/shot/167727
    to that :
    https://whatthemovie.com/shot/451379
    and divided its number of active players by more than 10 !

    The last "Awesome 10th anniversary" (haha) contest gathered 33 uploaders including the 3 mods. Guess how many will still be there for the "Intergalactic 12th aniversary contest" :)
    • CommentAuthorRabouinou
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
     permalink
    Hello man,

    I've found the previous fight you had with MisterZob on your profile, and I suppose he's blaming you for giving him bad rates while your navigation data shows that you've not given any other rates to the snapshots you've been seeing.
    That means to him that you've been navigating and giving a bad rate only because you've seen his name as contributor, which can be clearly be unfair and can explain the ban if it is an usual behaviour on your side.

    But I think it can be unfair too that a moderator can go through the navigation logs of every user to check who has been giving him bad rates, as it's getting personal.

    Talk to him to know what happened.
  1.  permalink
    Hey man,

    I believe everyone should be able to vote as they please. If you were to give me 1/10 for every single shot I uploaded, I couldn't care less. I think it's your right to vote however you like, even if it's only to give yourself an advantage. We give our own shots a 10/10 as well for our own advantage, don't we? Don't get me wrong, by no means I think it's ethical to do so and probably behaviour that's not to be encouraged, but to make a case you can actually measure unfair voting is a hard one to make. Unless you find it unfair if someone always gives bad ratings to certain people, which again I don't think is unfair. It's just not very nice.

    By the way, I'm not saying that's what you did and that's what your ban is based on. That's still unclear to me as well.
    • CommentAuthorbucketbot
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
     permalink
    Thanks for the replies.

    So efji, I take it that you also can't vote? Even though you joined this community over 10 years ago and although you don't seem to be very active, you are still #16 in Upload Score. That sucks... It's sad seeing how big wtm once was but whats even more sad is seeing more and more people leave over the last couple of months. There are some I would even call iconic to this site that left over minor things.


    @Rabouinou what do you mean by "while your navigation data shows that you've not given any other rates to the snapshots you've been seeing"?

    The chart clearly shows that I rate every shot without exception. I neither prefer nor disfavour any shots because of its uploader, as it should be.

    Also, I tried getting an explanation from MisterZob but he has better things to do.
    • CommentAuthorbucketbot
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    I agree yippiekayay.

    It's super evident that this is usual behaviour. It has often been observed and discussed that many ratings take a sudden dive once they hit Feature Films (or even before). I also sometimes noticed how my shots went down by 0.5 points and the amount of voters were almost the same (maybe 1-2 more). Many people have complained about this, yet there never were any investigations that I know of. But I also couldn't care less.

    And just to clarify: I didn't adjust my ratings of Feature Film shots.

    The easiest solution to all this would be if NOBODY could see the uploader until that days SotD is chosen.
    • CommentAuthorkinoute
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    We tried already and it didn't work. People can still share their shots' links on other platforms anyway if they want their friends to vote 10.
    • CommentAuthorbucketbot
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    If a group of people do this, it should become obvious after some time.

    And even if, so be it... I think this is much more fair than the current system. Not only is it a disadvantage to many, but it's also contributing to the fact that MisterZob is getting a dispropotionate amount of SotDs since people have to be afraid to get banned for not giving the right rating.
  2.  permalink
    Well, if we're talking about the sudden nose dives in ratings I think they did actually investigated it (https://forum.whatthemovie.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1117&page=1#Item_0).
    It seems it's rarely the case shots get downvoted by the same users. So it's people just playing the quiz (not uploaders) who come across shots they don't like. I felt a bit paranoid about this in the past, but if everyone experiences this, I guess everyone has the same "disadvantage". I just decided to keep uploading stills I like and make the best of it!
    • CommentAuthorRabouinou
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
     permalink
    @bucketbot I think that your ban is not linked to an overall behaviour (as your chart shows that you're used to vote everyday), but to one specific moment where you viewed several snapshots without voting, and gave MisterZob's snapshots only a bad rate.
    The system is logging which snapshots you've been seing, and the rates you give to the different snapshots.
    MisterZob's been concluding that you are voting to "spoil" his chances to have his snapshot accepted.
    • CommentAuthorAsmodai
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    This is all in general, not all for this particular situation. It is also my personal opinion, I am not speaking for MisterZob, kinoute, tliff, naut or WTM as a whole.
    Of course we do not "ban for payback" just because a user gave a mod shot a bad rating. Yes, we do check ratings on shots, yes, that includes our own shots, no, we do not "protect" our shots. However, if users have patterns of voting low on some users, or high on others, of changing votes depending on if they have a shot in NS or not, depending on if they solve it or not, or even depending on if they like the movie, that falls against the terms of use.
    I quote: "Refrain from using the voting or favourite tools to boost your profile and/or shots in any way."

    @bucketbot: I already said it on your profile, but here for all else to see: I took a look at your ban, and the things MisterZob documented in the mod part of the forum, and I agree that there was some suspicious behaviour regarding ratings on shots from certain users. I will not explain completely how we check things and what systems are in place, otherwise it gets too easy to avoid them. I also think that as it's Zob's ban, you should discuss it with hem mostly. But yes, that comes from both sides and maybe some more information and discussion should have been there. However, it is a voluntary job and we all get a bit busy sometimes. I will ask Zob te reconsider giving you a longer response with maybe some more details, as everyone can learn from that. Please know that my post was in no way meant to imply anything or insult, I just checked the data that I saw and I saw no unfair behaviour from Zob towards you.

    Regarding Zob's amount of SotD's: the guy uploads a LOT of shots, and they are mostly good quality, safe/inoffensive. I check his ratings, and the ratings on his shots, and he checks mine I hope. I do not think users are "afraid" for betting banned because of not giving the right rating on their shots, however it is certainly possible and something we might have to think about. Not something that I ever thought of, to be honest, but it's not impossible for sure. Let me be clear: please rate ALL shots fairly, based on the shot. Not the movie, not the uploader and not on how your dinner tasted. I hope everyone can do that and does not feel in danger because he/she did not like a mods shot.

    @Rabouinou: "Talk to him to know what happened. "<== great words!

    To everyone: I've said it before and I stand by it: if you suspect any weird behaviour going on regarding your shots, please feel free to send us a message and we'll happily check to the best of our capabilities. However, sometimes ratings just drop (or rise) without any malice or intent. It has things to do with certain users voting at certain times, how our voting systems work (shots from solvers count multiple times!) and certain users only doing NS or FF.

    Regarding the "keep username hidden": as kinoute said, we try it and it didn't work. Unfortunately there still are way too much users thinking WTM is a game they need to "win" and going against the rules for that. But I guess we can discuss reactivating it, as multiple people asked for it. We'll get back to you on that. Do not that a bit of social discussion will get lost,

    @efji: you know very well why you got banned, multiple times. We had those discussions with you,your bans are clearly your own responsibility and frankly I am getting quite tired of your constant blaming others instead of thinking in solutions. Yes, the usercount goes down, as you love to point out every opportunity you see, but I have yet to see any workable solutions or attempts to improve things from you. Sitting on the sidelines and complaining won't help anyone. You are only still banned on uploading shots by the way, your voting ban has expired by now.

    I just want to thank everybody for their honest opinions and helpful thoughts. We do really care about this, and we all want to work together to keep WTM alive and fun for all involved!
    •  
      CommentAuthorefji
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
     permalink
    @asmo I read and read again the two single messages I have posted in one year and I do not see any complaint. I only make some undeniable and numeric constatations and barely suggest that mods could be, at least partly, responsible for them. But maybe I cannot read. Anyway, I never red in your frequent and long self justifications, as well as in Mr Zob's litterature, any beginning of self-criticism about how WTM is ruled.

    Regarding my lack of positive propositions: I used to think about it, and had some hints to try to renew the game and make it more fun and attractive. But of course it could not be done while both of you are still around there.
    • CommentAuthorkinoute
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018 edited
     permalink
    I would like to give my opinion as a player as well, not as a "staff" or whatsoever. Maybe some of you guessed/saw my snapshots these last few months. There is a reason why I never upload shots to the "NS" section and always use Awesome Uploads.

    First, because I see WTM these days more as a "huge" movie database around shots than a quiz and I don't care about awards like SotD (AUs are not eligible to these awards if some of you didn't know). Secondly, because I'm completely against the idea of other uploaders (well most of them are the people voting) deciding if my shot is WORTH to stay on the website. It's a heresy to me. Imagine contenders to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival being the ones that also vote to pick the winner. That's ridiculous, their votes will never be objective. Just like here.

    The whole NS should be updated anyway, it's 10 years-late on anything. It's not adapted to the actual situation (low number of uploaders) and the overall way famous websites handle content submitted by users. Scruffy still accepts the same number of shots than 10 years ago, but the number of shots into the NS has been divided by almost 10. Some days the number of shots in the NS eligible to be pushed is equal to the number of shots Scruffy is allowed to push... It's pointless to keep that. The whole acceptation/rejection is to my eyes, pointless. First it frustrates people, secondly (and I remember an article on the blog written by naut/tliff about it) : it doesn't scale.

    If I submit a crappy picture on Flickr/Instagram/whatever, nobody will reject it (except things against the law of course). Sure it will never appear on the popular page, but it's still here, available to everyone, and not deleted. Pretty much every site does that as well. What changes? They just let the user visiting the website decide what they want to see. Just like in cinema, you're free to watch only competitors for the Palme d'Or, or "Hot Shots!" and "Titanic II". Nobody forces you to watch something. You choose.

    Websites do that too now. And here, quiz players should decide what they want to play on: top-rated snapshots (like now), or all shots. The NS section stays (because we need time to get rid of invalid shots and get enough ratings to decide in which category the shot goes). Best shots get pushed by Scruffy like now and are eligible to SotD/M/Y, the others get pushed after 48h automatically. and are available to people playing with the "all shots" option.

    The accept/rejection system is one of the main reasons why people leave, why they start to vote badly. People here are literally *fighting* to first, get their shot accepted, and after, get their shot awarded. How can you rate other shots objectively with that?

    Sure it's not a perfect solution and won't remove every bad aspect of the actual site (why my shot is not eligible to sotd?), sure it will decrease the overall "eyes-candy" effect of shots a little but it's a good thing since we NEVER wanted to be a beauty contest.

    You add one option into the "awesome button" for quiz players "top-rated shots only, or all shots". On movie snapshots page, you add two check boxes to decide what to see: "top-rated shots only", "hide DtM shots". done.
    • CommentAuthorkinoute
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018 edited
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    I forgot to add: there is a section on the website where we already (kind of), do that: contests. If your shot respects the theme, it's automatically accepted, no matter if it's eyes-candy or not. Everyone can participate, no rejection and best shots are rewarded. Why not apply that to the whole website?
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      CommentAuthorefji
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    @kinoute Great propositions ! My ideas about WTM3 were also to exploit the huge movie database.
    •  
      CommentAuthorefji
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
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    @kinoute This NS and voting system was not present at the very beginning of WTM. It has been introduced when WTM was very popular and up to 200 shots were uploaded each day. Before that naut and tliff were choosing the shots if I remember.
    • CommentAuthorlezard
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2018
     permalink
    Of course I don't know why there are fewer players, but here are just a few guesses:
    -there are less and less movie buffs (and more and more series buffs). That's a fact.
    -Modern tools (phones, internet, etc..) have rendered things almost immediate. Hence, people are not used to waiting anymore. Seeking is OK but the solution must be quick or it's boring (if not unbearable). But WTM is a quizz and may sometimes be difficult. People look for easier things, which they consider more rewarding. They don't want to play but to win. Ansd this could also explain why shots from blockbusters have more votes (and maybe higher ones, though I'm not sure).
    If these arguments are valid, finding a new (and interesting) WTM is a difficult task indeed.

    Another remark: in many discussions on the forum I keep reading the word "eye-candy" always in a derogatory, almost scornful way. Frankly, after 10 years on the game I don't see this effect and why it should be an"insult". I challenge you to look at the 1st months or years of WTM at random (including the SotDs) and prove that these shots were less "eye-candy" than today's shot (and supposedly more authentic or honest).
    As I previously wrote WTM is a shot quizz. And in ANY shot, there is an aethetic dimension, whether it comes from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien or Stalker. Why should this "beauty" side be a problem? If a shot is good for the quizz, I give it a good rating, but if it's visually interesting, then I rate it better. This is what awsome means to me.
    If there was a game called Whatthemusic, would you complain that the extraxts uploaded be "melodious". Yes melody counts in a song, just as much as beauty matters in a shot, whether you like it or not.
    Hope others players will contribute to this discussion, thus proving they care about the game.
    Have a nice week-end everyone.
    • CommentAuthorGelosan
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2018 edited
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    For me - usually solving 10-15% of the shots - it‘s very important, that shots are awesome in some kind of way beside they are good for a quiz and difficult to solve. When I look through all the shots and I can solve only one or two of them for me the most fun (after solving) is to look at interesting shots which make me think „I need to know which movie this is and I need to watch this movie!“. So for me both counts on the same level.

    To the votings: I think most of the users have a kind of shots which they upload usually - maybe unconscious. I even noticed that the shots I would rate very low are almost always from the same users and the same with the shots I want to rate very high. Since I registered the recurring discussion about the voting I feel like I always like have to check who uploaded a shot before I vote especially when I want to rate low. I don‘t want to hit the same users with my low votes and especially I‘m scared that this could be a pattern for a ban. Somehow same situation as with bucketbot and the beatles shots.
    So I would prefer the hiding of the usernames in NS as well.