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Drawing attention to a specific user and their detrimental behaviour
#1
Music 
Hello everyone on the LMD portal,

This is my first post on this forum, and I would really have liked it to make my entrance here on a more positive note. However, there is one issue I would like to address about one specific user who has been abusing the system that this website has been built upon for YEARS. I am not going to specify their name in this post to keep the anonymity aspect, but I am confident that most portal users who read this post will recognize the user I am talking about pretty much instantly. That is how notorious this name has been around this portal, especially in the most recent years. I am honestly surprised that when I browsed the Rätselportal forum section entirely, I have not seen a single post regarding this user's behaviour. (If mods have closed / deleted such threads because it creates tension and drama, that is also understandable, and if that is the case, I apologize already for making this post. But I still wish that this post gets read in its entirety so at least my points come across.)

One quick disclaimer that I want to address straightaway is that I have no issues with any user of the puzzle portal who solve puzzles there and do not rate puzzles highly. I completely understand that not every puzzle will suit all solver's tastes, and every solver has the right to rate any puzzle they solve in any way they want, and they do not need to rationalize or validate their decision to that puzzle's author. This principle is also strengthened by the website's rating system, where ratings are shown in an anonymous manner. Yet it is still possible to deduce pretty much any solver's given rating on a certain puzzle after 10 solves if a person checks carefully / frequently enough. Now, if this is a good or bad thing, or the fact that so many users were able to identify this user's notorious behavior and if that should be allowed is a completely different discussion, and have been discussed in many other forum posts that I have skimmed through before making this post. I am making this disclaimer at the start of this post, because this user I am accusing in this post has already caused multiple discussions in other environments and the discussions have always swayed to the direction where people argue about why people make so much fuss about their puzzle's ratings, and that the solvers have the right I described above. However, the core of the problem is not the ratings themselves.

The main problem is that this solver DOES NOT solve the puzzles legitimately.
Maybe they do solve some of them, but there are many occurrences where their solve times are either incredibly fast, or their solve time corresponds very suspiciously to a solve video being released/streamed at the same time. More on this point later / below.

This alone would also not be a problem in itself. If a user of the portal wants to cheat both themselves and other users by just entering solution codes from other sources (which are commonly available with the resurgance of so many amazing youtube and twitch channels and their videos/vods, plus solver softwares available) and boost their stats that way, that is also their own problem.
What causes me to open a forum account just to make this post, is the combination of the two actions I described above. This user does not solve the puzzles in a legitimate way, but also rates these puzzles in extreme ways, and in almost all cases, extremely negatively, causing a significant drop in said puzzles' ratings. (Which, by the way, are A LOT.) On this portal, when a solver sees a puzzle for the first time, they are able to see 4 main points:
1) The puzzle's author, which will or will not have a reputation in the solver's eye
2) How many times the puzzle has been solved
3) The puzzle's difficulty rating (after 10 rates)
4) The puzzle's beauty rating (after 10 rates)

Among these 4 visible points, 3 and 4 are the most likely to influence if the solver checking will actually attempt the puzzle. So while it may not have too much of an effect for the well-established names of the setter community, the puzzle portal has seen a big influx of new setters over the last years (myself included), and the puzzles' first impression is a big deal. The fact that this user is rating such puzzles in terms of beauty while not having solved the puzzle themselves to actually have an opinion on the matter, is in my eyes ban worthy. And while it may differ in users' eyes about what rating is good and what rating is bad, a swing of 4-5% beauty rating (of course depending on how many previous solves said puzzle had, and this user's decision to rate, since they do rate in a big range of 1-4 out of 5) caused by a singular user who did not even solve the puzzles themselves, is extremely detrimental for all the users of this community.

Therefore, to protect the integrity of the community, I want the moderators of the portal to investigate this user's profile, evaluate their solves and take action. If moderators want specific details about this user, I have gathered many data from my own puzzles, plus various other users of the platform that I will gladly share privately to them. None of the data I have is 100% proof that this user is cheating, but when there are 20+ points which 95%+ indicate that their solves cannot be legitimate, I think a thorough research and action is required. 

If you are still with me until here, thank you for reading. Any other user that thinks they have data that fits this "suspicious" category, can freely private message me either here or on Discord (Niverio#8958 is my tag.), or reach out to the moderators themselves. Aside from that, if this post stays up and causes drama, I want all the discussion below to be civil, and stay on-topic. Which means, I don't want the discussion below to devolve into either:


         1) Asking why I (and so many other users) go to extreme lengths to check ratings on puzzles, and care too much about them:
Personally, I do care about ratings because they are the first impression any solver will get from checking your profile. And I do set puzzles with the goal of making people have a good time solving them. If someone does not like the puzzle or certain aspects of it, I think the most optimal way is to communicate and learn what parts of the puzzle are not liked, so that I can improve as a setter for my future creations. And as a solver, I try to leave as much feedback as I can, especially on puzzles that I will not rate "very nice" myself (then I opt for hidden comments), and which aspects of the puzzle I did not like. Although, as said above, I know that no other solver is required to do this, it is just my style.
         2) Why is it possible to thwart the system so that the anonymity is not guaranteed to be kept after a puzzle gets rated:
This was discussed in other forum threads, and I do agree that more steps can be taken to keep anonymity to a higher level. However, this will not stop me from exposing such detrimental behaviour if I notice them happening.

Thank you, and I hope all of you puzzlers have a great time creating and solving puzzles!
Best regards,
Niverio
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Drawing attention to a specific user and their detrimental behaviour - von Niverio - 04.10.2022, 15:57

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