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SpaxOrion SpaxOrion posted March 21, 2017, 19:58
CHEATING: Bot inflation to improve ranking.

I have noticed there are places which are using BOTS to inflate their rankings on Opensimworld. I am not pointing fingers at anyone in particular because I think we all know who they are. This gives some people unfair advantage over how they are listed on the Opensimworld HUD and possibly this website.

The FAQ/HELP page clearly states the following: "Non-NPC bots need to be added to the exclude list, so that our beacon does not report them as real visitors. Please add the names of your non-NPC bots in the notecard "exclude_list" , one at a line."

One way we can improve this community is to play fairly and not employ spam tactics to promote brands. Penalties should be awarded to those who engage in such practices. As community members we should bear this in mind before visiting these merchants.


Replies


Maximus_Lear 6 months ago
Is there a difference between a bot or a npc ? I know the bots in second life act like a real avatar but npc i dont belive works the same way.
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
NPCs are scripted agents powered by OSSL. There are no "Real" accounts associated with NPCs, rather they are summoned by scripts. BOTS on the other hand are actual avatar accounts (alts) which can do anything a normal avatar can do. Mostly they are used as greeters but they have other legitimate purposes. Unfortunately, there is potential for abuse. Many BOT accounts are created with the intent to SPAM the system and inflate traffic/popularity scores .

The difference is that the Opensimworld beacon can detect NPCs and exclude them from the visitor count. Bots are treated as REAL avatars and need to be added to the Opensimworld "exclude_list" inside the beacon so they are not counted as real traffic. I hope that answers your question satisfactorily =D
oopsee 6 months ago
thank you opensimworlds cleaning up the universe -- they may have been using lite viewer and their alts left to stand 24/7 but is still gaming your awesome website -- kudos to you for keeping opensimworlds reliable and accurate by reporting their traffic as inaccurate
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
I can see that things are looking much better now, THANKS OPENSIMWORLD and kudos to everyone who contributes to this community. Lets hope that we will not have to revisit this discussion again. Cheers!
oopsee 6 months ago
I have reported three regions using "fake" avatar counts to shamelessly promote their region ... Since no action was taken i have posted this in the region comments ..
NO REAL VISITORS HERE - FAKE AVATAR COUNT IS ONLY A SHAMELESS PROMOTION OF THIS REGION - PER OPENSIMWORLDS GUIDELINES ...
Non-NPC bots need to be added to the exclude list, so that our beacon does not report them as real visitors. Please add the names of your non-NPC bots in the notecard "exclude_list" , one at a line. (Always make sure you are using the latest version)
Comments are there to use so use them ... let others know what these regions are doing
http://opensimworld.com/hop/7727...> http://opensimworld.com/hop/7693... http://opensimworld.com/hop/7793... ... (more)
BillBlight 6 months ago
There are also certain places that pay people to stay in their listed regions .. While this may be under the guise of "Helping" people, it serves to artificially increase their regions popularity .. Maybe any paid people should be added to the exclude list as well.
Echelon 6 months ago
I disagree, personally. While the user may be getting paid, it's not artificial because you're still showing that a user is in that region. Ultimately I suppose it boils down to whether OSW is a "where are the people" service or a "who is the most popular right now" ranking service. It can be both, but it has to serve both needs.
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
I am with you on that, Echelon. I have been to several grids where there are mentors in their welcome areas. If the grid owners can afford to pay their staff, more power to them. It brings value to the region because there are live people you can interact with and learn from. LBSA Plaza and the Genesis Welcome center are excellent examples of this.

When I am bored and looking for someplace to visit, maybe seeking a nice conversation, I find the Opensimworld HUD to be an excellent tool. It is unsettling to see spammers taking the top spots on the menu.
BillBlight 6 months ago
So essentially , what you are saying, because of how this site treats popularity, money makes you popular. Got it ...

Have no problem with paid promotion, but paid popularity is a different story ....
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
This has to do with honesty and fair play. There are ways to attract attention to your sim without using bots to cheat the ranking system. Hosting events, offering exclusive content or news snippets are acceptable methods of attracting visitors. This site needs capitol to run so there is sponsored listings available to those who wish to take advantage of it. The bottom line here is: If your region shows there are 5 avatars, then there should be 5 living breathing people you should be able to talk to, not scripted algorithms designed to mimic human behaviour.
BillBlight 6 months ago
I fully understand where you are coming from, but my point of view is this ..

Let's say I can afford to pay 10 people or 20 people to sit in my region, and my region SUCKS and never get's any real visitors, should my region be counted as a "Popular" region, or just "Active".
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
I think it would be cheaper to purchase a sponsored listing. Paid staff members are there to do a job, most likely educating newcomers or welcoming repeat guests. If you are ever bored you know you can visit that region and engage in a conversation with someone. If your region is as bad as you say it is then all the virtual currency on the grid will not be enough to force people to stay.

Active = Region with working beacon.
Popular = Locations trending now.
BillBlight 6 months ago
I guess what I am thinking, is maybe the beacon as it has an exclude list ..

Maybe it should have a Helper list as well ..
List how many Helpers are online on a particular region.
SpaxOrion 6 months ago
That is overkill. I would expect welcome centers to have consistent, higher traffic rankings. Second Life has a requirement to register scripted agents so they are excluded from ranking results. I would imagine that Opensimworld has adopted a similar policy to combat abuse we see rampant on other platforms.

For the sake of argument, lets say that Opensim only gets one half of one percent of the visitors that Second Life gets in a day. The audience at present is probably a little too small to have the additions you propose. I suppose you could put that one in as a feature request, might be a good idea to add a "Newbie" or "Welcome" category.
BillBlight 6 months ago
We'll just have to agree to disagree .. But that is the Metaverse ...

Have a nice day ...
BillBlight 6 months ago
That is exactly my point, but the "good" regions that are actually good, could get buried by regions with a few "paid" flunkies ..

When a region is paid "promoted" you know that is paid advertising. But if there are "paid" people there , that does not mean the region is good or even actually popular, just has bodies there.

I know what you are saying about the Active vs Popular, but if you ALWAYS have paid people there you appear to be trending when you are not. (I could give examples, but I am not really trying to call anyone out)

I agree that paid helpers are a good thing for grids that can afford it, not disrespecting that fact, just in how it is misrepresented on this page.
BillBlight 6 months ago
On the main page there are "Active" regions and on the Regions tab there are "Popular" , I'm not sure those two should be the same thing.
BillBlight 6 months ago
I don't disagree with your thoughts, but here on the site, the tab is called "Popular" not "Where are the people" ..
opensimworld 6 months ago
Hello, please report regions that use bots. We will check with the owners and make sure all the regions comply. Thanks
oopsee 6 months ago
I have reported 3 regions that are gaming this site by reporting "fake" avatar accounts ... http://opensimworld.com/hop/77278-Open... http://opensimworld.com/hop/76932-GIL http://opensimworld.com/hop/77933-FULL...
I just visited "3d models" and only 1 avatar present (the owner) who was "away" - the "nearby" showed only 1 avatar present while opensimworlds reported 4 avatars in the ... (more)