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Farming rep using SE posts

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Is it a problem if specific users harvest highly-voted questions on SE, then self answer, to farm a huge amount of rep? And if so, what can we do to prevent it?

I haven't seen it happen, but asking this question on a coding site seems like a pretty straightforward way to guarantee yourself a lot of rep with minimal work

Even if this hasn't happened yet, I'd be surprised if it doesn't happen in the future

Why should this post be closed?

3 comments

Make all imports 'wiki' for both Q and all As? pnuts 25 days ago

To be honest... as long as everything is properly attributed, and as long as the content is good... I don't see a problem with this ArtOfCode 25 days ago

Reminds me of Livestream plagiarism of question titles from Math.SE onto Quora. If I set up a script to livestream copy/paste questions from Stack Exchange onto Codidact (with proper attribution), what would you do? [PS. I'm not going to, but someone might.] becky82 24 days ago

3 answers

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Do you have specific examples of this occurring? If you don't wish to call folks out here feel free to join our chat server and message one of the moderators or admins privately. We will not tolerate instances of abuse.

Otherwise... the vast majority (maybe all?) of imported material came in with a score of zero. Any "rep" gained here will be based on the CD community's judgement of its merit; a good answer will be up or downvoted on its perceived contribution, rather than on any historical value it may have held. If users are posting good answers, they should gain trust in the community from those good answers.

Please also be aware the the "rep" system should soon be replaced with the trust level system where users gain privileges based on overall perceived positive contribution. A single answer with high upvotes may not be as important in that scenario.

5 comments

ok, i've updated my question to answer your questions. I can see how a trust level system could help here joel 25 days ago

I keep hearing this about rep being replaced by trust levels. Trust is only one part of rep. We still need a nice and handy single number to show users who has a reputation for lots of good answers, for the gamification aspect, and to foster competition among the top answerers. Trust levels don't do any of that. Olin Lathrop 24 days ago

@OlinLathrop I don't think I've seen it phrased that concretely elsewhere, but concrete is good because it's a specific problem that can presumably be solved. Assuming I haven't simply missed it, would you care to post that problem description as a (likely discussion) question here on Codidact Meta so there can be a more visible discussion on how Codidact should solve that issue, ideally without getting bogged down in whether trust level as proposed or rep is more useful for other things? aCVn 24 days ago

We've said before, and I'll say again, that we're going to show some other stats with users, something to indicate the volume of activity and overall scoring. No there will not be rep because rep as it exists (both here and on SE) is a flawed model. It'll be something more like "17 answers (15 well-received)", but more compact. The user profile will show a richer summary -- questions, answers, articles, maybe broken down by category, and maybe other things like edits (TBD). Monica Cellio 23 days ago

@Monica: Rep is not a "flawed model", at least some aspects of it. It is the best measure of overall contributions a user has made to a site. SE used it for everything, including trusts. I can see the point of decoupling trusts from rep to some extent, but other aspects of rep are still useful. That single overall number is best for the benefits I mention above, such as gamification and competition to draw out more contributions from top users. Olin Lathrop 22 days ago

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I think that each sub community has to decide this independently.

Codidact's vision was created with the bad experiences on SE so naturally there are a lot of users who were (or are) regulars there. It's highly likely that now still many if not all users know Stack Exchange and participated somewhere in the network.

I for one am happy that we didn't import anything for the site where I contribute the most (which is Cooking) as I have no affiliation with the original site and didn't provide anything there. So a blank space offered me and anyone else to contribute from the start while knowing that questions and answers originate from Codidact. We therefore build up this community from scratch.

On the other hand, we have communities where power users have migrated here as well (Scientific Speculation, Judaism) so they do have a legitimate interest to import questions and answers as they have poured in significant time and work. As they know a lot of the imported content, they can navigate it, knowing somewhat precisely what's has already been asked and answered. So while these communities start over from scratch too, their situations are different as they bring in knowledge.

Basically, this less a general policy question and more a community question with policy-related effects. Communities should nevertheless carefully evaluate if they want to truly start from scratch or bring in existing knowledge and content (and be confronted with the mentioned effects).

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Is it a problem if specific users harvest highly-voted questions on SE, then self answer, to farm a huge amount of rep?

Eh, maybe, but it's not important enough to spend much time thinking about. If they actually add new content here, then I don't see a problem with it.

Ideally, rep here only comes from activity here, not from imported data. I can see how that might be difficult to implement, though. When importing a question, you probably want to preserve the votes on the answers that show which ones are good and which ones bad. It doesn't seem worth extra code and bookkeeping to treat imported votes differently.

The much bigger problem is all those posts from long ago showing up here. I remember seeing a new question on Photography or Scientific Speculation here, reading a couple of pages, then realizing down the bottom that this was asked and answered 3 years ago. Argh! Thanks for the wasted of time. I've been downvoting such imported questions ever since.

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You downvote questions because you disagree with a site's import policies? By the way, are you aware that imported questions are now labeled on the question list? Monica Cellio 24 days ago

@Monica: I downvote questions that I think are annoying. I don't think I've done it since it is now more obvious that questions are imported. The little warning sign makes it less annoying. Olin Lathrop 24 days ago

"Annoying" is a pretty arbitrary/relative criterion. mbomb007 22 days ago

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