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Ideas for SteamRep

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by meffordh, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. meffordh

    meffordh New User

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    There are not enough people willing to contribute to review material. I got scammed and bumped my post like 100 times. My situation is similar to so many others and I wish there were a way I could help.

    The scammer who scammed me found the report and realized it was not being followed up on and was a lost hope and even bumped my post, trolling to show he doesn't give a s✿✿✿ and knows this system doesn't stop him from scamming people.

    http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/...rike-global-offensive-items.67791/#post-18983

    There's actually a whole network of scammers and quick sale buyers that's really easy to track if you look at things like the item ownership history / backpack updates. It's almost always, scammer > scammer 2nd account > middle man scammer > quick sale buyer getting it at 40% below market price > sale

    These guys are efficient at getting items moved around quickly but they operate in networks you can pretty easily track.

    Anyway, given that, I'll toss my hat in the ring to review posts but I think you should consider a concerted effort to begin raising funds monthly to cover the costs of staff, or at least in a more obvious way if you don't.

    So many people who are scammed would be willing to pay multiples of the value of what they lost to prevent the continuation from the same party. A fundraising system I think could quickly net $XXk a month given the sites traffic and the subject matter and it wouldn't be at all unethical to operate that way, a bit like wikipedia does.

    Just my 2c.

    Thanks,
  2. Ninja Otter With A Taco

    Ninja Otter With A Taco Retired Staff

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    All the Steamrep staff are volunteers and do not get paid.
  3. Clive

    Clive SteamRep Admin

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    People doing good things for the wrong reasons is never a good idea, it could lead to corruption etc.. We do have a donation system, but it is not currently available. As for applying to join the SR staff people can do that here: http://forums.steamrep.com/forums/staffapps/ assuming they meet the qualifications that are laid out here: http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/steamrep-moderator-application-updated.13213/
  4. gukingofheart

    gukingofheart New User

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    What would happen if it was changed to get a little small payment if you handle X amount of reports with proper procedure.
    Sometimes money gets people more motivated.
  5. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    .
  6. Ninja Otter With A Taco

    Ninja Otter With A Taco Retired Staff

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    that could lead to admins/mods not following correct procedures when it comes to reviewing reports etc. as they just want some money (although I'm sure none of the admins would do that normally, in some circumstances it could happen) and they want it as fast as possible so they might miss key details. This would cause too many problems as you'd get people only applying for mod/admin in order to get money so it would be very hard to distinguish between people who generally want to help and people who are only in it for the money, which would make hiring staff even more difficult.
  7. meffordh

    meffordh New User

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    The money doesn't have to be paid directly to the staff - the idea that taking donations would lead to corruption doesn't even make sense. My example was wikipedia, people who make entries and edit them aren't paid directly.

    Or, think about other organizations that take the fundraising and use it to build awareness which in turn leads to more people who care about helping for the right reason building homes for people less fortunate. The examples of where fundraising works to improve delivery of an organization designed to help its community are so huge, not sure why it was interpreted the person reviewing would be getting a stipend for a report being finished?

    The money ccould be used for things like a queueing systems to prioritize entries for admins rather than relying on software like XenForo not designed to handle this type of system in the first place. I'm sure the admin who asked me for more information wanted to respond to me when I replied the same day just as I'm sure he/she has wanted to reply to me the 10 times I've bumped the scam report and the scammer has but that's just one example of how the funds could be used on better technology to manage reputation, marketing to spread awareness of the effort and all of that stuff in the first place.

    The examples like mine are so abound on these forums that it should be clear we could use some community organization and fundraising to help progress the project, not corrupt it.
    http://forums.steamrep.com/threads/...rike-global-offensive-items.67791/#post-18983
  8. Ninja Otter With A Taco

    Ninja Otter With A Taco Retired Staff

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    Donations don't lead to corruption, I never even implied that, I was more pointing out the problems with paying the staff, currently donations are disabled so that SR can work on a system that doesn't need an admin to constantly check (whereas the old system required Diego (I think it was Diego at least) to constantly give people SR donator tags, which in return meant that he couldn't spend as much time working on improving SR) The problem with paying staff is also the fact that there wouldn't be enough money to pay for the servers to run SR and to pay all the SR staff, the money that SR does have is better spent on improving SR as a service and to make sure that the servers are paid for regularly.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  9. meffordh

    meffordh New User

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    I don't mean to insult this service at all. I think it's a huge value add to the community and I think you guys are pouring a lot of effort into making it work within your means. I am just trying to toss out ideas to make this service organization better and one way I thought the service could use help would be more funding for more app development / etc.

    I just get a bit befuddled when I see the scammers themselves post things like this ridiculous message below bashing the site directly into the very threads where they are being accused of scamming.

    upload_2014-7-5_1-28-24.png
  10. meffordh

    meffordh New User

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    Yeah the guy I screen capped is an ass, and one among many being countered by SteamRep alone it seems.

    The real point of this thread I realize is that I wanted to make the site better, I think the SteamRep team could decide how to make it better more than I could so a donation was my next thought. I clicked to make one and bloop, disabled. So I decided to post. I know I and many others would be donating not under the presumption that we would be treated differently but because we are relieved to see that a service like this exists and is trying to combat the plague of people that are scamming.

    I think donations to the service for the purposes of enhancing the service in the best way seen fit by the organization could really help and I think should be hyped up in a mild way like wikipedia does / lots of useful forums/site with users asking for more but giving less. As long as there aren't any expectations behind the donation for special treatment on the users end with respect to reporting I think that the system would be really beneficial for the SteamRep team to make a call on investing the funds in better technology, paying for additional servers, new apps to scan reports, social review like over watch type systems, etc. etc.

    There are a hundred ways the funds could be used to further the site and I realize that's all I want as a user, a way to give some resources to the site to make it better in the hopes that it will prevent more people from getting scammed in the long run and to say thanks.

    I'm also surprised that Valve hasn't tried to tackle the problem directly or acquire SteamRep but with their support ticket volume they have struggles of their own but at least they get the profits of sales to offset those high labor costs and technology investments they have to make.

    Anyway, I'll keep an eye out if donations are coming back up or is there a thread I can sub to be notified when they do come back up?

    Thanks again for all the hard work and effort you admins and contributors are doing.
  11. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    I'll answer on the Valve thing you mentioned.

    For that we need to look first at Steam Support, Steam Support has less then a minute per steam support ticket to "handle" them. That means that they glance it over fast, do a very quick check internally, and copy/paste a pre-made reply on the ticket. Some of those trigger automated handling of stuff (say in case of a hijack, the password will be reset, and the email will be reset back to earlier email address, but this is a assumption for it would be possible to do that). They answer the majority of their tickets with such replies.

    Also as you might know, A Steam Support Ticket is private, all information given there is private between you and Steam Support. Only the creator of the ticket and Steam Support can review that information you provided. Valve is NOT allowed to share ANYTHING from that with anybody. So if somebody accuses somebody of something, they cannot tell the accused of that information. They may ask about things to that person if that person inquires about maybe a trade lock or trade ban, but they cannot even be specific about that. So if the reporter says he got scammed by the accused for a unusual flaming gibus, all they can ask is "There where problems with trading in the recent past, care to elaborate on them?". This makes it very hard for anybody to appeal their trade ban or w/e.

    Somewhere last year they decided to not handle scam reports anymore. Reasons are various, time, not within their "supported scope", etc. So they ejected it to profile automation where ppl can report it on the profile of somebody.

    In other words: they simply do not have the resources to handle fully such reports, and make a decision about them. To research them they would have to ask for information they aren't allowed to ask. (payment information etc). Also it falls outside the scope of their supported system (ONLY trades within the steam trading window).

    The other part is, legal problems. Mainly to do with people that have Steam, bought games/DLC/Items on it, etc. the problem would rise with unjustified measures, which may lead to been dragged to court by its users. They can automate on certain thresholds for issues been reported to them, but that has still to be within reason that they extensively discuss with their legal department.

    Then their stance vs SteamRep: As I said above, steam support has requirement of being fully private, while we are exactly the opposite: Almost all is public. What we have in the hidden forums is just information that links users between with the various methods we have. Almost always the reports are public, or if not, its most times in the partner/friend community. Its part of our policy to have as much as possible public about the case itself.
    We only hide our methods and information to find more information about the offenders, which helps to find alts, to gauge their appeals, etc. But those aren't really relevant to others then us. Publicizing them would damage our ability to use these methods, and also that information could be abused by community members to launch more personal attacks. Also privacy etc would be an issue. The reports are done by community members with their personal experience with the accused. And we ban if we think the case has been proven to be enough for that.

    Those bans are then used by friend and partner communities to keep their servers/sites clean of scammers as much as possible, and allows them to help us out as well, with their own bans and providing their help in banning offenders.

    This all means we are utterly incompatible with Valve/Steam in policy, ideas, legality, etc. If Valve would take over SteamRep, they would have to close it down basically and utterly change it to something unrecognizable. Hence they will not do that.

    Valve did introduce a lot of things to alleviate in this area:
    - SteamGuard (against hijacking)
    - Trade Lock, Trade ban, Trade probation (scamming).
    - Made a lot of UI and policy changes, some suggested by me personally, others from other members of SR/partners/friend communities, or the steam community.

    I just wish that they started to use 2 step authentication with a mobile device or selling a separate USB dongle to block hijacking. I'm sick and tired of the phishing and hijacking of accounts by now, SteamGuard was nice for a while but the sites just added the same dialog box to authenticate with SteamGuard for their bot to activate steam on their machine.
    meffordh, Roudydogg1 and Sjru like this.
  12. meffordh

    meffordh New User

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    All really great points. With 100% certainty it would take a philosophical change and a big shift in position and how they treat tickets and terms of service updates and all that to take the SteamRep approach.

    They are clearly looking more for scalability and risk reduction while SteamRep seems to be looking for more tactical progress on finding little networks of scammers as it stands.

    I would imagine Valve is probably pursuing things like algorithms that, based upon clusters of data encompassing everything they know about the profile, they could ascertain with some level of confidence the chance that an account is a scammer then monitor closely or pass that on to SteamRep in some sort of API.

    Anyway, keep up the work and let me know if I can help in any way.
  13. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Valve cannot make that kind of stuff public. Not via a API, not indirect or w/e. Its not for nothing we have on the bottom of every page saying that we are NOT affiliated with Valve in any way. To get access to such we would have to get a affiliation, which means a NDA and other agreements/contracts, which means we would have to oblige to valve's policies etc... and the same would happen as if valve would take over SR.

    The current steam API is only about the profile and the owned games and all that as far as its not private. If set private, the api only gives very few information points: Valve Trade ban info, nickname, custom URL. Maybe I forget some there, but its not much more.

    Sure they have other API's (steam market 6050w form blah is for instance handled by a third party), but those are as I said above very closely guarded, and only available to that purpose. But valve doesn't even give much information out there to that handler either.

    SteamRep will almost certain never be a affiliate with Valve.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  14. HissTheHeavy

    HissTheHeavy New User

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    Here's my opinion on the 'paying for faster report processing'.
    I am against it. For the reason that I, and I am sure there are others, do not want to pay money, reasonably enough. The people that do will be the ones that get the reports processed, while mine will collect dust on page 256/257. It means that those reports will be prioritized, meaning someone who cannot afford to pay this since they have just lost items or money has a report that isn't processed.
    There's nothing wrong with the way they process the reports, though it does take a while to be processed.
  15. [SS]N0spex

    [SS]N0spex New User

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    this discussion has give me lot of ideas..
  16. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    care to share 'm? it is after all the topic for it, lol.
  17. snh

    snh New User

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    Paying users for voluntarily moderating a community is most definitely a terrible idea. My main backing for that statement is that, money is one of the biggest passion killers when it comes to voluntary positions. Good moderators have a passion for helping users and keeping environments rid of trash and volunteer purely to help out, but as soon as money gets involved, it becomes a job and that passion slowly gets driven into the ground.
  18. SIVARTZ

    SIVARTZ Retired Staff

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    Being a Moderator I can tell you that I would not want to be "paid/compensated" for what I do. Reports that come in are all equal until moderated. When processed by moderators we put them in the correct location for reviewing by an admin. I do think that Paypal,Bitcoin,Webmoney, ect. should be handled first. Impersonation and fake Middleman should be second. Steam Wallet scams 3rd. All others stay in a queue until the assigned admin has had a chance to review them. The higher the risk for money loss the higher the priority should be. imo.
    SilentReaper(SR) likes this.
  19. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Same for me, never did it for money or w/e. I started out to genuinely help ppl back in 2010 when TF2 Trading came out.
    If this was a paid job, I'd have resigned fully LONG ago, for I really would not stand it to read reports/appeals for 8 hours a day. True, I did way more in the past etc, but nowadays I write guides at times, do some reports, do some appeals, and yap around.

    Administrating a site like this is quite stressful, and most admins do so with a bit of trepidation after a while.
  20. SIVARTZ

    SIVARTZ Retired Staff

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    Personally I would never want to work on any part of SteamRep other than handling reports. Admin or Mod I just like the aspect of helping people. Being a Moderator is like having a huge fish on the line but no way of reeling it in. Admin hold the dip net.:)