User relationship management

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kestasjk
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User relationship management

#1 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 5:47 am

Hi,

Dealing with cheaters is a large part of what the mod team do to keep the site fun to play on, and I think we've been reminded recently how important mod time or the lack of it is to the site.


So we're trialing a system that aims to let users take more control over relationships between users. "Relationship" could be group of friends who might get mistaken for meta-gamers/multi-accounters and want to make it clear they know each other, or it could be a suspected relationship between people who are behaving suspiciously in a game.

The idea is to let users register their relationships with other players, and their suspicions of other players, so that known relationships don't distract the mod team, and people's suspicions can be logged in a more structured way so that e.g. multiple people suspecting the same relationship can be analyzed.


It also allows users being suspected to respond and give their side, the person with suspicions to give theirs, in a way that a mod can then go to a single place to track an accusation/suspicion.

There is also the possibility of allowing other players to see members which have minor relationships, and know the relationship, so that they can either account for that in the game / avoid games with related users / configure games to not allow related users to join.


Finally it will allow moderators to require users to respond to accusations via a formal channel before they can continue to game, preventing mods having to spend time chasing people up etc.
Someone that has questions for mods to answer will be required to promptly respond before continuing, and this should give better outcomes for suspected cheaters and moderators.


At the moment it is set up to just collect data so that we can test how the system performs, whether it's usable and straightforward enough, etc.

So: If you have any relationships with other players that you want to lodge, or any suspicions about other players you're in games with, please give it a try and let me know how you get on.


You can see your user relationships (created and related) via Account > User Relationships : https://webdiplomacy.net/group.php

To create new user relationships just go to the profile page of the user you would like to create a relationship for and go to the User Relationships section. You will be able to create a new relationship with a label and description, and assign a strength to the relationship based on how close it is or how suspicious it is.
The user can also assign a strength, either agreeing with it or denying it, and moderators can also assign a strength which is what decides the result.

You can set relationships to inactive, and at least to start off with we are happy for people to play around etc as we put it through its paces.


Note the idea is that eventually all cheating accusations will require submitting via this system, so it is worth giving feedback while it's still fairly open to change.

BR,
KEstas
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Aristocrat
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Re: User relationship management

#2 Post by Aristocrat » Sun May 15, 2022 6:28 am

I think this is a decent idea, but there may be some bugs in the implementation.

First, I tried to test reporting a relationship with you, with the intent of withdrawing it after report, but I couldn't do that. It errored out once I tried to report. So not sure that part if working yet.

Second, reporting thinking that other users have a relationship appears to be limited to active, non-anonymous games, which is a problem since most games are anonymous. If this is just a pilot, I suppose that's fine, but a lot of times a suspicious relationship doesn't reveal itself until after the game ends. It's just too hard to distinguish incompetent play from suspicious play in all but he most egregious circumstances, until you see who is playing. So I'd suggest, if the point is just for mods to collect accusation data, to allow people to report based on finished games.

Just my two cents.
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kestasjk
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Re: User relationship management

#3 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 7:42 am

Aristocrat wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 6:28 am
I think this is a decent idea, but there may be some bugs in the implementation.

First, I tried to test reporting a relationship with you, with the intent of withdrawing it after report, but I couldn't do that. It errored out once I tried to report. So not sure that part if working yet.
Hmm, yep I can see that error in the logs, I've sorted that out thanks. Bugs in a chunky piece of new code on a hobby project is practically inevitable so don't worry about that ;)
Second, reporting thinking that other users have a relationship appears to be limited to active, non-anonymous games, which is a problem since most games are anonymous. If this is just a pilot, I suppose that's fine, but a lot of times a suspicious relationship doesn't reveal itself until after the game ends. It's just too hard to distinguish incompetent play from suspicious play in all but he most egregious circumstances, until you see who is playing. So I'd suggest, if the point is just for mods to collect accusation data, to allow people to report based on finished games.
Good point, didn't realize the most games were anonymous, hmm. The system was going by games where you and the user had logged into the game in the last 7 days, no anonymous games. I've changed it to you and the user logged into the game in the last 14 days, no anonymous games unless the game has finished.

Let me know if that looks any better (in particular if you have any suspicions about recent games you want to lodge). I don't want to take it back to say 1 month, because then you're talking about cheating that happened weeks and weeks ago and it gets harder to investigate.
If it really is a problem and you need to be able to accuse people within an anonymous game I'll have to have a think about how to allow that without revealing the user.. It'd be doable but would need some work to enable the system to use member IDs while the game is active.
Just my two cents.
Yup thanks, the more feedback and testing the quicker it'll get where it needs to be

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Re: User relationship management

#4 Post by Aristocrat » Sun May 15, 2022 8:09 am

I tried to report us in a relationship again, but got another error. Happy to work off message board if it would be better. That said, I suspect most metagamers won't be too concerned with voluntarily reporting themselves, and the bigger item will be collecting data on others' reports...

kestasjk
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Re: User relationship management

#5 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 8:58 am

Aristocrat wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 8:09 am
I tried to report us in a relationship again, but got another error. Happy to work off message board if it would be better. That said, I suspect most metagamers won't be too concerned with voluntarily reporting themselves, and the bigger item will be collecting data on others' reports...
Gah, the commit didn't apply.. I just tried it after applying it and it's working.

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Re: User relationship management

#6 Post by kestasjk » Sun May 15, 2022 9:01 am

Aristocrat wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 8:09 am
I tried to report us in a relationship again, but got another error. Happy to work off message board if it would be better. That said, I suspect most metagamers won't be too concerned with voluntarily reporting themselves, and the bigger item will be collecting data on others' reports...
That is true re: self-reporting, but I'm hoping that with more people who might be mistaken for meta-gamers declaring that they know each other it'll mean more focus on real cheaters, and perhaps if meta-gamers can be registered and it's harder for them to create convincing new accounts.. We'll see

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Re: User relationship management

#7 Post by Claesar » Tue May 17, 2022 10:00 am

I successfully added two relations, I think. Though my profile seems to suggest I'm in a relationship with myself (until you click on it). Is that the desired representation?
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Re: User relationship management

#8 Post by gimix » Tue May 17, 2022 10:48 am

Re anonymous games, the usual email we receive says something like "I think Italy and Austria are cheating in game #123", not "Player Foo and Player Bar are cheating". So if the system allowed for reporting countries in a game instead of players, anon games would not be an issue.
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Re: User relationship management

#9 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Tue May 17, 2022 4:57 pm

gimix wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 10:48 am
Re anonymous games, the usual email we receive says something like "I think Italy and Austria are cheating in game #123", not "Player Foo and Player Bar are cheating". So if the system allowed for reporting countries in a game instead of players, anon games would not be an issue.
Perhaps adding that through the "Need Help?" Contact Us page would be the best place
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kestasjk
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Re: User relationship management

#10 Post by kestasjk » Wed May 18, 2022 5:21 am

Good ideas all, next dev cycle in 2-3 weeks I will work through these and improve things based on the feedback so far
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Re: User relationship management

#11 Post by Hamilton Brian » Wed May 18, 2022 10:03 pm

Love the idea of this. Almost sounds like we're a step closer to that function of searching games played "against" players. I've been here so long I don't remember them all.

Anyway, well done. A good feature!

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Re: User relationship management

#12 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Sun May 22, 2022 3:08 pm

Hamilton Brian wrote:
Wed May 18, 2022 10:03 pm
Love the idea of this. Almost sounds like we're a step closer to that function of searching games played "against" players. I've been here so long I don't remember them all.
We already have that!

Go to Search > Advanced Search, then 'Search Games by User', and check 'Show games the user and I have in common'. It'll bring up any finished games you and the user have been in together.
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Re: User relationship management

#13 Post by Hamilton Brian » Mon May 23, 2022 6:43 pm

Peregrine Falcon wrote:
Sun May 22, 2022 3:08 pm
Hamilton Brian wrote:
Wed May 18, 2022 10:03 pm
Love the idea of this. Almost sounds like we're a step closer to that function of searching games played "against" players. I've been here so long I don't remember them all.
We already have that!

Go to Search > Advanced Search, then 'Search Games by User', and check 'Show games the user and I have in common'. It'll bring up any finished games you and the user have been in together.
No kidding!!! I never saw the announcement. My prayers have been answered! ;) I am going to lose hours reliving the past.

How've you been, btw?

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Re: User relationship management

#14 Post by A_Tin_Can » Tue May 24, 2022 11:48 pm

Since 2019, it looks like! I didn't know we could do this either.

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Re: User relationship management

#15 Post by jmo1121109 » Wed May 25, 2022 5:45 am

I think I slipped that one in after hearing it asked for enough times :)
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Re: User relationship management

#16 Post by kestasjk » Fri Jun 03, 2022 1:31 pm

First case of users who were found to have a relationship outside of the site using the new system:
https://www.webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=410747


Peru and Florida, which were detected as possible multis and banned, but appealed with a plausible excuse, were warned about declaring relationships outside the site, then later an accusation came in and looking them up it was them.

Need to make it easier to set suspicions and relationships, make it work with anonymous games, and add a marker so people can see relationships between players, but it's encouraging
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Re: User relationship management

#17 Post by JF1981 » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:18 pm

kestasjk wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 1:31 pm
First case of users who were found to have a relationship outside of the site using the new system:
https://www.webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=410747


Peru and Florida, which were detected as possible multis and banned, but appealed with a plausible excuse, were warned about declaring relationships outside the site, then later an accusation came in and looking them up it was them.

Need to make it easier to set suspicions and relationships, make it work with anonymous games, and add a marker so people can see relationships between players, but it's encouraging


Thanks Kestasjk.

Some thoughts:
(1) This is a tool I have to now use and put my hands up for not using when it became clear I had 1 relationship I should have flagged. Am a committed player of several years and am very happy to be a case study/test case for whatever makes things better for the site

(2) A good initiative and whilst nothing is perfect, we need to be clear, fair and quick. People can't just make accusations willy nilly and bog the game down in mud throwing, but we probably need a useguide to outline:
- (i) what is an actual relationship self declared,
- (ii) what is an investigated relationship which was accused and is fals. Part of me feels this should be shown to put aside fears of other players if people keep thinking X and Y are friends, but mods have looked into it and found not to be the case
- (iii) what are the categories of relationship investigation so we are clear what we mean by "other" etc...

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Re: User relationship management

#18 Post by Johnny Big Horse » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:38 pm

I don't get it. I agree with the intent that multi's and people purposefully collaborating to screw the rest of us is bad and should be punished somehow.

But, suppose I played a game against someone, and either liked or hated them, and now I am in another public non-anomimous game with them... I would be more likely to trust them (if we worked together well in the past) or want to target them (for revenge).

Is that punishable?

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Re: User relationship management

#19 Post by Johnny Big Horse » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:39 pm

There are a lot of folks I have met once or twice or three times in ftf tournaments... then I cannot play them anymore?

Sorry, I don't get it.

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Re: User relationship management

#20 Post by Gwyn » Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:43 pm

I don't think that you can't play them, more that other players should be afforded the knowledge that there's an a-priori relationship that may influence the game.

I personally love anonymous games for this reason - provided people respect them and don't communicate outside of the game.

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