Contacted TMC about elevated votes on March 3, 2018

Started by Nathvaan, March 09, 2018, 11:52:43 AM

I contacted TMC on March 3rd, 2018 to ask them to look into what appeared to be elevated votes. 
Here is what I sent:
Good Morning,

We have noticed some strange numbers with regards to our historical vote counts on TMC and wanted to bring it to your attention.

Usually we see good voting from our community but in this months voting it seem very excessive and out of the norm.  We had issues last month with someone elevating our vote counts on Top MUD Sites.  We think it is someone who may be trying to make it look like we are fraudulently elevating our counts to get punitive action from the site owners.

Also we have been seeing increased player numbers do to a magazine article that was published so this could be legitimate but we are rather dubious that it is.

Could you take a moment to review our voting records this month to see if there are accounts being made that look fraudulent if possible?

Thanks in Advance,

Shortly there after I got this reply:

There does not appear to be anything odd that I can spot! If somebody is using a bot it is not immediately evident from the logs...

That is all we can do as a game to attempt to verify that there is nothing amiss.  If they do see things that look out of order of fraudulent we are happy to work with them but at this time they don't see any obvious issues.


March 28, 2018, 10:02:07 PM #1 Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 10:43:47 PM by Nathvaan
Quick update on this one.

Hi, I wanted to update you about this situation.

I can confirm that there was definitely bot activity involved with the vote system and that
although it cast most of its votes for Armageddon it did spread out some votes for other
muds already in the top of the rankings.

First, everybody involved with TMC believes that the bot was done to hurt the mud rather
than help it. I am going to post on the forums about the discovery and make it clear that
we believe there was no wrongdoing on your part and that in fact you were the first to
point us to the problem.
I have adjusted your total vote count based on confirmed bot votes, there may have been
more but they could not be confirmed and so were not adjusted. Armageddon still leads
the vote for this period.

I made changes to the voting system to attempt to counter bot voting in the future and
all forum moderators will be looking out for suspicious signup activity as that is tied to
the bot voting. This info will also be included in the post.

Thank you for reporting the problem and please continue to monitor the voting, as we
will also be doing, to help us spot any new attempts.