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philip

45 months ago

Quick contest update:

We're in the process of vetting voting on contest build guides. That started this mid-morning today.

SkyCorsona's guide, which was the point leader at the close, was disqualified for rampant vote manipulation. I'll consider posting the details later. Meanwhile, vetting will continue on the other entries.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Does getting your brother to make an account and finally do something for my good count as vote manipulation? :) Seriously, though?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, that's fine.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

So does that mean Jipster is in the lead now?!?!?!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep. Far in the lead. He's likely going to win unless jipster did something.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Lets go random selection!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

One should know they can't get away with things such as this... I made the mistake a while back believing I could get away with vote manipulation for comment karma, much less than trying to cheat my way to the top of the build guides (in a contest that is heavily monitored none the less) to potentially win $2,000...

I have to say that I don't understand where people get the idea that their deceitful actions are invisible to everyone but themselves and they won't be caught, especially when there is a physical prize involved.

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm convinced there's a lot of self-rationalization that happens, even sort of self-deception. Some people get so into the lie that they make up whole storylines of how things happen, then pass that along to anyone who will listen. They fight for their fake story the whole way, but the key is they ask more questions than they provide answers. And the questions are aimed at trying to find out what information I know and how I identified them, though they're never phrased that way. Then I lay out the cards for them and they disappear without a whimper. First couple times it was amusing, but now I see the same thing over and over.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I will agree that it is very hard to lie straight to someone's face (or Mr. Burns avatar in this case) when they have solid evidence proving the actions you claim to be legitimate to actually be false. My grandfather sometimes says that people will make up lies that make their actions seem acceptable to the vast majority and then eventually believe those lies to be true and forget about what their misdeeds were thus only knowing one side of the story.

I have learned that it is best to confess to your actions because if you don't, you are only digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole and all of your lies will eventually surface in the end.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, you know, I'm not a fan of cheating. But I hate the lying. If I catch someone cheating and I call them out, I'll have much more leniency if they just fess up and handle it properly. But if it's lies to cover up lies, pretending like I don't know the truth, then they get banned for good.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Philip, look up malignant narcissism on the web and read about it, people that you catch doing something wrong and have this psychological glitch, they will fight to no end. Even if you ban them, they'll find a way to come right back.

The way I look at it; if someone cheats, regardless if they lie to you directly or not. Cheating in contests is actually a form of lying to the public and promoters. I wouldn't tolerate this in a contest at all and I wouldn't keep their accounts around even if they confess. A cheater is a liar in disguise and will continue to do such even if they're caught. Cheaters tend to have an addictive personality. If they enter a contest they will cheat, lie and back stab to get to the top. These people have no empathy.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

EVERYTHING is recorded. Lets see those IP traces!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Philip,

I have an idea I can bounce off you. I have a feeling the alt accounts are driven by bots, so let's make it harder for them to operate. Put in CAPTCHA challenges of many different kinds when someone wants to up or down vote a particular build or comment. Bots won't be able to auto-complete these challenges, so a human has to enter the security phrase to vote. Sure, it slows down the normal users but at least you'd know you're getting more honest up or down votes.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Nearly all of the accounts appear to be from real people at not bots which makes the captcha an added annoyance for normal users to deal with that doesn't actually address the problem.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, if that's the case, I'd understand. If it's coming from real people. How does it constitute cheating then? Curious of the logic. I'll wait to see how this is explained later.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I should have been more clear. Most of the vote cheating we saw was users creating tons of accounts to upvote their own build guides. Talking with Philip about it though I believe we are going to add a CAPTCHA after all in case someone tries to automate the process.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay. Well, in any case. I don't / won't consider it a nuissance to have CAPTCHA on this site. Well, I didn't know if it was automated or not but I wouldn't put it past some of these people. As this idea has happened on other site that have run similar contests.

I apologize for my assumption earlier.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a good idea if u don't want take too much time, say it's my build who have won after all it's hard to cheat with so less vote ^ More seriously i have think about a thing, why not make a part only for contest ? After all it will make more visibility for the build and guide build who are not on the contest

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I just realized that SkyCorsona commented on my post regarding build guide part pictures and ability to comment disappearing a few days ago.

http://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/138229-is-it-just-me-or-did-pictures-of-things-on-build-guides-disappear-along-with-the-ability-to-comment-on-them

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Contests like this are never "fair." You're always trying to compete against some internet celebrity and their massive followings.

At least this contest has a random draw to go along with it (and one that doesn't give 10x the entries for every referral).

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Pshhhh...you know you got half of your votes because you're celebrity here ;)

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not taking anything away form your win. You had a great guide :)

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree with both sides but in this case, his guide was indeed good. I wouldn't change a thing myself. Good thoughts on both ends.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Which is why people were congratulating you before you even posted a build, right?

Also helps when the contest holders actually answer your questions (like the inclusion of that mini-itx board--which by the written rules should invalidate us both).

I still don't know if they want total after shipping and rebates or just the base total. Or what we're expected to do if our builds go over $2000 or if a part stops being available and thus stops having a price (BOTH of which happened to me).

As for me, I decided to just put together something I'd actually want as a prize. The way I saw it "Build Your Dream PC" and "PC Guide Contest" were always mutually exclusive anyway. Besides, it's not like I was going to win a popularity contest.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious now. After this fiasco...what are the chances of there being another contest like this in the future?

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

Slim to none.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

That is quite unfortunate :/

Either way, thanks for the opportunity. I didn't enter myself, but I loved looking at all the build guides that got created because of this. If there's any contest like this in the future, regardless of if there's a prize or not, I'll be sure to enter!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

This is sad to hear but understandable. I can see how it affected some of the contestants and can only imagine the burden it placed on the mods. I would hate to add to the "do this instead" list but if there ever a possibility of doing this again, make it a majority vote between 3 pcpartpicker reps and 2 MSI reps. This would completely eliminate the need to cheat by removing the upvote and celeb status.

The only drawback is the personal affiliation between the reps and the contestants but I would imaging that not being an issue amongst the mature and just.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

I think it was the complaining that killed it.

MSI and PCPP make a fun contest and you have the nerve to sit there and complain about free stuff? No wonder they'll never do it again.

(Not saying you jipster, just ppl in general.)

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Maybe fiasco isn't the right word. Either way it was dissapointing.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It sucks we had so many people cheating. I figured it was gonna happen. Thats why the only participating I had was 1 vote and two comments related to the contest. Didn't want to get caught up in the drama.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey Philip, I had a question about the contest and I didn't know where to put it, so I put it here. I included two Acer monitors in my contest build that were priced around $100 each. As of noon on February 15 (when the contest ended), my build was still under $2000 by around $50 (so a total of $1950). Within the next 16 or so hours after the contest ended, those two monitors went up in price by $40 each, causing my build to be over $2000. You should be able to validate this using the part list price history. Would I be disqualified now, even though my build was under $2000 when the contest ended? Here is the build.

Thanks in advance Philip, you do a great job here and I feel bad for the crap people give you. You do what you can and people need to realize that. Anyway, thanks.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Oops, my bad on the times, but the prices of the monitors changed on the 16th or 17th from the look of my part list price history. It would still suck if that means I can't win. I am only hoping for the random win.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

While on the topic of vote manipulation; what exactly counts as vote manipulation? Can you give a few examples? Would linking your build guide around, asking for peoples opinions count as vote manipulation?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Asking people for opinions isn't vote manipulation at all. An example would be, say, you creating ten alternate accounts and then using them to upvote yourself. If it's just one or two extra accounts and it happens repeatedly, we'll probably just send you a note to stop. If it's ten accounts then it's definitely abusive, and that will typically result in a ban. (And just so everyone knows, it's pretty easy for us to tell the difference between multiple accounts from one person, and multiple accounts from different people.)

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Aside from the heartache and extra work for you guys, it's actually kinda funny... Hear me out, I mean, I could never be stuffed going to all that effort doing it manually, imagine the time required, not to mention the calibre of person required for that kind of thing - it's immense! How many votes would be needed anyway? The [potentially] winning build had something over 600 votes was it? Lol, how would that NOT be hilariously obvious, even with bots speeding up the process or something?

I picture it as subtle as the Pink Panther creeping to steal a gi-normous novelty sized diamond at a busy museum - you know, cheeky music playing and everything..

"Dun-nun... Dun-nun... Dun-nun, dun-nun, dun-nun..."

I just wanted people to read mine and have a laugh.. Or throw a tomato. Either way I get something right?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I feel for you guys trying to deal with the whiners on this forum. This contest turned this place ugly for a while. I even got a pm from a user asking for me to vote for another users build. I didn't even respond to it. I didn't know about the random portion of the contest until just before my phone got shut off. Should have put in a build for myself and hoped. I haven't had a computer for quite a few years. I have wanted to get the parts for over a year now, but financial constraints have left me wanting. :( When I do get the money, the build will be a project for my son and I. I have wanted to teach him to build for a while now.

I love this site, but got fed up with all the contest crap. Can't wait for it to be completely done. Keep up the good work Philip. Thanks for putting this site up for us dreamers. :-)

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes I was right all along muhahahaha

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

This is why the contest should have been 2 random winners :P. The entire contest isn't really about who can build the best computer for 2000$ using msi parts, but who promote their build the best through social media.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Its really nice to see that you are capable of identifying the bad guys. But i have a doubt in the "Random Selection". If someone made like >1 alt accounts and posted build guides with them, wouldn't he/she have a better chance of winning (probability increases with the number of accounts)? Sorry i just wanted to bring it in light. and congrats jipster..)

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

MSI has already picked the random selection, and I have vetted it against the other entries to ensure that that user has not entered other alternate accounts. (We'll announce very soon. I'm finalizing the top 5 of voting now.)

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to send over the final five to MSI tomorow, then will coordinate with them on contacting people.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

ya. Would be really funny if you lose now lol :D

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It's always disappointing to find out people tried to manipulate the votes, but not really surprising. I knew I didn't stand much of a chance with the votes as I haven't been active on here much since I joined (other than to create some build lists and update them sporadically) and my social media campaign fell almost completely on deaf ears, but it was fun to put a list together and then get feedback from others on what I had done. I found there a LOT of helpful people on this site and I wouldn't have realized it without the contest. I will tip my hat to the winners and continue to work towards being able to build my own PC in the future.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Disappointed, but not surprised, to hear that something like that was going on for the points leading choice.

I still hope that mine is chosen for the random though. crosses fingers It had to go through a couple of revisions on account of fluctuating prices, but I trust it managed to stay under the $2000 budget constraint.

Still, I am at least glad that it sounds like this site is doing its best to pick legitimate winners here. :) Kudos to the staff for that.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Possibly so. We're still vetting the other top entries, which should take another few days.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

Philip, that you said to not worry about rapid up-voting on the MSI Build Guides. But perhaps we should've been worried.

No, you don't need to worry, because like I mentioned before - I've got this. Just trust me. I've got this. Yes, SkyCorsona's account was banned for this. Along with a couple hundred other accounts used to prop it up.

Being a new member had nothing to do with it. It's quite possible that anyone, particularly at a university as they were, could round up a decent contingent of people to vote for them. That's completely legitimate, and absolutely not ban worthy at all. SkyCorsona said he had support from family and friends across the US. Appears that was accurate, and his voting does partially reflect that. But that wasn't the whole story. Maybe when things settle down I'll explain what I saw.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they act when they get busted. There seem to be a couple distinct types of responses, from remorse and repentance, to short-lived mock outrage (followed by just walking away quietly).

And for what it's worth, vote spamming another account in the attempt of getting it banned was something we were looking out for. Again, when those situations happen it's pretty obvious. When you have enough information, everything is obvious.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Obvious?

Me?

No way!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Brand new to this site for this contest but since I've been on everyday just scouring builds and forums. Clear that I didn't win anything but this site is awesome! For building for years I'm seriously surprised that I never heard of it before!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

It's not too late to win via random selection! ;D

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

This is true. I will keep up hope of being able to build the Duality then :D

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Maybe when things settle down I'll explain what I saw.

I hope this thought manifests into reality. I really want to know what type of network forensic techniques you guys employed in order to determine who was cheating. Or perhaps it was just good old detective work beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

C'ya!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I need to add this to my list of 404s.

Thanks for the link.

Do you have the one for syntaxvgm?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Wait, who were they?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

jip's thread

Pretty much did the same thing Sky did.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Rest in pieces.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

So it's not surprising at all to learn of this at all. I do hope that, even if a similar thing has happened on Jipster's Build Guide, that you can just remove the fake votes. Because, and this isn't me being bias, Jipster wouldn't do anything like SkyCorsona did. He even told people not to do it, as he said above.

I know you want to support Jipster but these type of comments raise an eyebrow. Just let the solid evidence do the talking and congratulate whoever wins. There is no need to vouch for someones character on a forum as if you know this person by heart. If you just remove the fake votes, you might as well bring Sky back here and remove his fake votes as well. People who get caught cheating during a test do not have the privilege of omitting just the answers they cheated on, they get an instant F on the whole test.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, this is understood without having to explain. The fact that one would attempt an explanation only strengthens the case for the opposite. I'm not accusing, I'm just saying we need to let the mods do their job.

Any guy/girl can run their own average website. Luckily for us, this is no average website and because of this, we can confirm that the guys/girls who run this site are above average themselves. I'm sure they can handle the perpetrators.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

trust it was without my knowledge

https://i.imgur.com/xLTDVt9.gifv

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  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Can I call u Jerry :)

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

WOOO. JIPSTER I THINK U WON! WELL DONE BUD! (Awesome build guide incoming!)

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Was he cheating as well?

I second this comment but only because his name was too similar to mine! :P

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add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube