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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamedog View Post
    Nah I agree with you too. I like that the staff are not cracking down on someone who is really doing no harm at the moment, but I do wonder where and when the line will be drawn. Can 10 people do this? 15? 20? 30? When will the line be drawn? When it starts to bog down the site or when someone inevitably (as we have seen with FA) uses it for malicious purposes?

    If and when this sort of thing does get nipped, there will be people whining and complaining about "well this guy JUST did it and he's not banned!" which isn't really a big problem but yeah.

    (Ignoring the fact that watchbots are essentially useless and done purely for fun and not because people are actually interested in viewing every submission from every user on the site.)
    Thanks. Yeah, that was pretty much the meat of the controversy over at FA - that it was OK and now it's not. Some people with pretty old accounts had their accounts wiped + banned over using a script posted in public. Yes, they should have known better but let's be honest - at first it was openly "OK". Then suddenly the ban-hammer is swingin'. Now, I'm not going to comment on what I think of FA's response - but I can certainly see the potential for controversy here too. Like you said, is 10 OK? 50? 1000? And when that line is drawn, then it becomes a problem.

    Auto-watching every single user just seems like a silly abuse of site resources to me. Nobody is actually going to go through all those submissions. And the argument "but they can collect useful statistics!"... Yeah, then do that at the site level OR give a small handful of users the OK to do it and ban everyone else from doing it.

  2. #12
    Senior Gamedog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsc26 View Post
    Thanks. Yeah, that was pretty much the meat of the controversy over at FA - that it was OK and now it's not. Some people with pretty old accounts had their accounts wiped + banned over using a script posted in public. Yes, they should have known better but let's be honest - at first it was openly "OK". Then suddenly the ban-hammer is swingin'. Now, I'm not going to comment on what I think of FA's response - but I can certainly see the potential for controversy here too. Like you said, is 10 OK? 50? 1000? And when that line is drawn, then it becomes a problem.

    Auto-watching every single user just seems like a silly abuse of site resources to me. Nobody is actually going to go through all those submissions. And the argument "but they can collect useful statistics!"... Yeah, then do that at the site level OR give a small handful of users the OK to do it and ban everyone else from doing it.
    Perhaps if it does get banned, a warning should be put into place that would "grandfather" the people who already used it. So people who used it pre-banned would get a slap on the wrist and told to stop it, anybody after that would get a harder punishment for doing it while they knew it was against the rules. I really do not like when things are banned and then automatically everybody gets a smack for it, so I think a news post would have stopped the backlash and accounts being wiped pre-ban on FA.

    I think that if useful statistics were needed, a staff member on an alt account could just do it themselves, that way there's no real way for someone to do anything malicious.. and who needs 30+ people getting "statistics" anyhow? lol

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamedog View Post
    Perhaps if it does get banned, a warning should be put into place that would "grandfather" the people who already used it. So people who used it pre-banned would get a slap on the wrist and told to stop it, anybody after that would get a harder punishment for doing it while they knew it was against the rules. I really do not like when things are banned and then automatically everybody gets a smack for it, so I think a news post would have stopped the backlash and accounts being wiped pre-ban on FA.

    I think that if useful statistics were needed, a staff member on an alt account could just do it themselves, that way there's no real way for someone to do anything malicious.. and who needs 30+ people getting "statistics" anyhow? lol
    Agree. Again, that whole "it was OK before it wasn't" thing... I also think the right way to deal with it would be, for example, ban the behavior and then for everyone currently effected, just wipe their watch list. I *think* that's what FA did for people who were using the script when it was "OK". Their watch list still got wiped but their account did not get banned.

    The real shame is that it would be great to have some site-wide statistics, like favorite species, % male/female, age distribution, etc. But those are best done at the site level or at best with some alt account so the administration could just blanket-ban automated access.

  4.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #14
    Quote Originally Posted by billsc26 View Post
    The real shame is that it would be great to have some site-wide statistics, like favorite species, % male/female, age distribution, etc. But those are best done at the site level or at best with some alt account so the administration could just blanket-ban automated access.
    site staff creating a user account for scraping Weasyl is pretty pointless; we have access to the raw data, so there's no need to scrape anything. if people want to see certain statistics, they can ask and we can provide them.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by weykent View Post
    site staff creating a user account for scraping Weasyl is pretty pointless; we have access to the raw data, so there's no need to scrape anything. if people want to see certain statistics, they can ask and we can provide them.
    Exactly. I think the right way to do those statistics is to hit the database directly, and not scripting it through a user account. My comments don't exactly translate across sites as, for example, both FA and Sofurry have a "species" for each user account. But still, the M/F and age breakdowns would be interesting. As would things like total numbers of users, total number of submissions, total number of journal entries, what percentage of users have friended at least one person, breakdown of distribution on submissions and journals (% of users with like <10 submissions, 10-25, 25-50, etc.). I think those kinds of statistics would be really interesting. And might even be a good way to gauge how "live" the site is if statistics were give like submissions and journals on a per day, week, month basis.

    Would be even better if they were automatically updated (could be once a day or even less frequently) and put on a page where everyone could access them...

    Just saying :-)

  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #16
    Quote Originally Posted by billsc26 View Post
    Exactly. I think the right way to do those statistics is to hit the database directly, and not scripting it through a user account. My comments don't exactly translate across sites as, for example, both FA and Sofurry have a "species" for each user account. But still, the M/F and age breakdowns would be interesting. As would things like total numbers of users, total number of submissions, total number of journal entries, what percentage of users have friended at least one person, breakdown of distribution on submissions and journals (% of users with like <10 submissions, 10-25, 25-50, etc.). I think those kinds of statistics would be really interesting. And might even be a good way to gauge how "live" the site is if statistics were give like submissions and journals on a per day, week, month basis.

    Would be even better if they were automatically updated (could be once a day or even less frequently) and put on a page where everyone could access them...

    Just saying :-)
    there is no way to get an 'M/F breakdown' because Weasyl does not subscribe to the concept of a gender binary. the rest of the stuff is trivial to display, but just requires some doing to make a stats page. feel free to open an issue on redmine with a list of statistics you think would be useful.

  7.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #17
    https://graphs.weasyl.com/ here's a first pass of some stuff.

  8. #18
    Senior Antumbra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weykent View Post
    https://graphs.weasyl.com/ here's a first pass of some stuff.
    I like the age jump at 110 years

  9. #19
    Regular avan's Avatar
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    Oh nice graphs!

    A follow-block I suppose would be nice for people who dont want to be bothered with that [I mean, it could be used to spam, and it is somewhat spammy]

    Anyways if watchbotting ever became too much of an issue, to avoid long time accounts getting banned, a possible solution would be to just wipe just all their follows starting at the date they began botting.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamedog View Post
    When it starts to bog down the site or when someone inevitably (as we have seen with FA) uses it for malicious purposes?
    THIS. ^^^

    I think it is just opening the door for new forms of trolling and harassment, because some people don't feel comfortable about it. People are clearly here to share their characters and/or various artwork, however nobody wants to feel like someone is collecting their data for some untold reason. Furthermore, due to privacy concerns which are, at present a "hot button" political issue, many people feel uncomfortable with the idea that someone may be doing these things to conduct surveillance.

    In my honest opinion Valdy Burr (as he is known on FA), came here intentionally to make other people uncomfortable. His name on this website even implies malicious intent, though I don't believe we should ban someone just because of their name. Furthermore, he made it clear on FA and other places, that he did not care if it made people uncomfortable and was going to continue to do it. After that Fender made a post on FA about the spam bots, during which they said they'd no longer be allowed, anyone whom protested this was then added by other people, whom did so just to make them uncomfortable. People with names like "iWatchU", etc. but also individuals whom I can confirm as trolls from their other comments. I have screen shots galore of this and more if someone wants to see them, or cares.

    The COC on FA clearly states that people should not exploit the rules, disrupt the normal flow of the website, nor harass (which is clearly what most of them were doing) other users.

    I think it is foolish to believe that this won't create a problem, and I will not simply "let it go", or give in to people who say "why should you care?". Because I do, and it's the principle of the thing. If I was causing other users to be targeted, harassing them, or causing a disruption to any website they'd be all over me about it. Time these people learn that the rules apply to them too, instead of turning a blind eye to this sort of blatant harassment.

    ~Aidyn

 

 

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