Thursday, April 22, 2010

Proposal: Balance of Power

Failed per CfJ - Blocking all similar scams. Josh

Adminned at 26 Apr 2010 01:47:08 UTC

In rule 1.4, after the text “The vote will count as the same as the Expedition Leader’s vote”, insert “unless enacting the proposal would modify Section One or Section Three of the Ruleset”.

While I’m perfectly happy letting the Expedition Leader get extra votes for dealing with Dynastic Rules, I think that deferential votes should be abstentions when it comes to changing the core rules.


Josh: he/they

22-04-2010 05:28:57 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

22-04-2010 09:39:34 UTC

against If people don’t care about a core rule change, someone who’s paid enough attention to win a dynasty seems a reasonable enough tie-breaker.

The trickier thing is that this could be used to eliminate DEF votes on any proposal, simply by having that proposal change an arbitrary word in a core rule. I’m sure we’d get fed up and vote down anyone who was doing this openly and habitually, but there’s some juicy potential for a scam where the DEF-elimination is subtle (“replace all instances of X with Y”), and only revealed after voting has closed, in a way that means an abstained-and-failing proposal actually passes.

Kevan: City he/him

22-04-2010 09:45:02 UTC

Great piece of comment spam that I’ve just deleted: “Balance of power is very much important. This will prevent conflicts among others. There are many issues we must resolve than being selfish in accumulating the desired power. Anyway, the Iceland volcano eruption has caused chaos around the world and has even stretched to the premier of the Iron Man 2 movie. The movie was slated to be premiered in London, but as a result of lack of air travel accessible, they have moved the Marvel Studios film to premier in Los Angeles, California. Iron Man 2 is expected to be one of the top sequels of the year, so nobody is expecting this move to make a difference on gross sales. I know I will be watching the movie on the big screen regardless of where the premier is held.”

I don’t know whether these are appearing on old comments, I’ll check to see if I can disable comments on posts more than X days old. (I’ll also implement a custom CAPTCHA type question - “Who invented Nomic?” or something - to stop these spammers getting in.)

Kevan: City he/him

22-04-2010 09:48:12 UTC

Okay, commenting on posts older than a month is now disabled. Which is probably a good thing anyway, if genuine users ever try to talk to us on old posts which nobody gets comment alerts for.


22-04-2010 12:01:40 UTC



22-04-2010 12:10:27 UTC

for The scam that Kevan mentions could be blocked by requiring a core-rules-changing proposal to be tagged as such in the title, or whatever.


22-04-2010 14:36:41 UTC



23-04-2010 15:19:23 UTC

Wait, who posted that spam? Was the account deleted and the IP banned?

Kevan: City he/him

23-04-2010 15:28:48 UTC

[Wakukee] Yes, the account was deleted and the IP was banned. We’ve got a lot of spam accounts lining up, though, I’ll try and find time to sort out an alternative to the CAPTCHA (which, even if it wasn’t broken, would still let through the kind of human spammer who tries vainly to be on topic in their first two sentences).


23-04-2010 15:32:07 UTC

Maybe we could change the activation email so that the link it gives you to complete registration has a space in it which must be deleted and copy/pasted? Easy to do for a human, but for a bot…

Kevan: City he/him

23-04-2010 15:52:15 UTC

Low-wage human spammers exist, who take a few extra seconds to make a spam comment look like it was related to the blog post, and I assume “Balance of power is very much important. This will prevent conflicts among others.” came from one of these guys.

We’re actually in quite a good position to respond to them, given that we only want BlogNomic players to post comments and don’t have to worry about turning away innocent one-off visitors. A little trivia question like “Which professor of philosophy invented Nomic?” or “What was the currency in the First Dynasty of Elias IX?” would be enough to put off a human spammer (who doesn’t want to have to spend five minutes understanding the context and working out the answer, when they could spend that time spamming other blogs), but anyone who seriously wanted to play BlogNomic would take a moment to jump through the hoop.


23-04-2010 16:02:34 UTC

Alright, but I’ve gona ahead and added a ... to the end of the activation url in the email sent out to complete registration, as well as instructions to dele it. We’ll see if it works?