1. There is no such thing as a "pending" ban or Steam admin. Anyone threatening your account is a scammer trying to scare you. Read more.

Announcement Major SteamRep Announcements - OFPF, Donations, and much more

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by Xenophobia, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Mattie!

    Mattie! SteamRep Admin

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    :oops:

    WA is possibly the most awesome! The awesome meter is broken for all of our partners, so it's hard to compare the awesome levels. ;)

    I recalled FoG and HG specifically in that context because they reached out privately to volunteer to handle caseloads for us where they were able. You've been of immense help as well, HD. And we've had a lot of help from other Friends and Partners... and we'll need more of it in the future. Sorry I didn't mention you!
  2. Roudydogg1

    Roudydogg1 Neonheights Co-Owner Friend Community

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    Apologies if that came off rude, but that is exactly the solution that I was providing. My original suggestion was to "hire more staff" or "stop offering the service". If the job cannot be done, and dealing with these issues will take a while to deal with, and if traffic will be likely to only increase, then --having that in mind and contrary to what I originally said-- I imagine a scenario where reports and banning wrongdoers are focused less on, and where there is an increasing focus on growing with partner communities and helping them by providing the helpful tools that they would need to deal with things on their end.

    I don't think there's an absolute solution yet, from anyone. But I do believe that we need to keep thinking about these new and exciting ideas that you and others have brought forward. :)
  3. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    You cannot program in such a tool the understanding that in countries where a lot of those scammers reside, ISP's have their IP's change in 6 hours or even less, making matching very hard. As this goes up for good portion of the scammers, that ends any tool's usefulness. For after a few changes, the chance of hitting another player that is not the same person becomes quite high. Other factors become key. That flow chart of yours is then literally shredded. Cannot program in human behavior.

    But anyways, here part our ways. Its useless to talk to the likes of you.

    Think you misunderstood some very basic understanding there. Scamming prevention is a whole different thing then a scammer database (warning xxx is a scammer), and as part of that, the number of reports against someone is also shown on the site, which is a warning to let people research for themselves if need be.
  4. Leon Hunter

    Leon Hunter New User

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    Before I get started with my war and peace epic of the day, I feel the need to remind users on this forum that when you like a post you are effectively endorsing what the person is saying – at a holistic level. In this post I am going to demonstrate how one risks appearing rather ignorant and benighted when liking the post of someone who has made a vast array of scientific assertions without any citations to back-up his claims. For those who do not know, a scientific assertion is one which can be observed, scrutinized and found to be false.

    It is possible to program a tool which takes into account the geo-location information of an IP address registration, the rDNS information as well as user-defined ip-block overrides to enact different outcomes in some circumstances.

    In conclusion: The statement quoted above is scientifically false.

    Ahh! I see you tried to smite me with an outstanding example of hyperbole. Thank you, it goes down well with the snide remarks and sarcasm the staff dished up to me earlier. Jokes aside, at no point did I say that player IP Address data was the only source of decision-making information available to a hypothetical alternate account detection tool. It is possible for a program to use any source of data, which you currently use as an Administrator. I imagine you record what servers people play on, the address they use, when they joined and how they joined (Browser/History etc) as part of your siphoning of player data from the SteamRep plugin. (If not, you might want to look into that. It would be useful.)

    If that is indeed the case, then that data can be used by a tool when making decisions. If you use ANY information from a user’s Steam profile as part of alternate account detection, then again, a tool retrieve and use that as well. Maybe you even check for item history on the third-party backpack viewers, which shows unbalanced trading between the two suspected accounts. Well, again, a tool can do that too.


    In conclusion: The assertion that highly dynamic IP addresses would make any alternate account detection tool useless, is not only an mind-numbing feat of hyperbole, but also lacks any intellectual basis. I strongly suspect the quoted person did not stop to consider, "Well s✿✿✿....if we can check IP addresses automatically....we can also check other things too!" Though this should have gone without saying for most people.

    I’ve already addressed this in my above comments. And in addition to the above you could take into account the Steam profile information of all accounts which have used an IP address when checking for probably alternates. I would also point out that the resulting system doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect. As for this is one of the reasons you have an appeals process in place. Rather, it just needs to be on par with or better than the current human-driven way of doing things. I would finally point out that your current alternate account detection methods do generate frequent false positives and oversights – so do not pretend as if we’d be replacing a perfect human-driven system with a potentially flawed one, because doing so is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

    In conclusion: This statement has some measure of truth if you assume that only SteamID <> IP Address cross matching would be used in the course of making automated decisions. But it isn’t relevant to this discussion, because at no point did I rule out using other sources of information.

    I didn’t give you a flow-chart demonstrating exactly how a such a system would work. I merely buoyed the idea of automating alternate account detection, with one of the example criterion being two IP based algorithms. Would that be representative of the complexity of the resulting system or what sources of information it checks? Of course not. So perhaps you might want to refrain from making premature judgements and instead start using a little bit of critical thinking. If you were doing just that, you would have realised that there is a lot of missing information as to how it would all work in reality. That’s because, again, my reason for bringing it up was to throw around basic ideas which could then be built upon – Though I can see that some of us are not inclined to work constructively at this point in time.

    In conclusion: The quote above cannot be asserted to be fact or truth, given the absence of specific information at this point in time.

    Oh boy…I think you’ll regret saying that, but we’ll see. First, let us define what human behaviour is exactly. Wikipedia defines human behaviour as any behaviour exhibited by people, which is influenced by “creativity, culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, authority, rapport, hypnosis, persuasion, coercion and genetics”

    I am not going to argue as to whether or not these things can be effectively programmed into a computer, as it is completely irrelevant. Instead I’m going to assert that human behaviour should not be a component of any decision making process involved in the detection and tagging of alternate accounts.

    To suggest that that human behaviour is part of the decision-making process is to suggest that the following scenario could possibly be true:


    John handles a stack of scammer reports and tags a several accounts as alternates in the process. That night, during John’s sleep, God appeared to him in a vision and said, “John, you’ve been tagging an awful lot of alternate accounts lately… don’t you think that’s somewhat judgemental of you? I mean, doesn’t the bible say Judge not, that ye be not judged?” (Matthew 7:1]


    As a result of the sudden appearance of God in his dream, John decided he needed to change his behaviour. Hence the very next day, when John was presented with two accounts with identical evidence to one he tagged just the day before, he decided not to tag it because he feared God’s wrath. Though the accepted process indicates that he should have.

    That is an example human behaviour and I do not believe it has any place on StreamRep much the same as I don’t believe in God.

    Now with this being said, I realise you might not be referring to human behaviour on the part of the decision maker but rather on the part of the scammer and how they go about abusing alternate accounts. But threat not! I come prepared with a contingency for that scenario as well! You, as a decision maker, have a process you follow in this cotnext. You check various sources of information and then make a decision. The human behaviour of a scammer is only relevant to how the process is designed rather than to how it is executed. Hence, a computer does not need to be aware of human behaviour because a human would have designed a systematic set of processes which takes into account common human behaviours.

    In conclusion: Human behaviour is not relevant to the execution of a process to determine whether an account is an alternate of a known scammer, rather, it is only relevant to how the process is designed. If this were not true, then robots would not be able to build cars (which are the product of human creativity)

    I’m glad that you have opted to depart this discussion with a parting shot that was representative of your overall attitude towards the users who stridently feel things could be done better. “I don’t like this person. So f✿✿✿ anything useful he might have to say!”

    But no, in all seriousness, I think I’ve demonstrated time and time again that you are looking at these feedback and idea posts in a destructive manner. Even if a fully automated system of alternate account detection was not viable (which I do not believe that is the case), then there would still be value in a system which collates evidence from various sources in an easy to digest manner (possibly along with overlap statistics) for you to then make quicker decisions with.

    Yet the stark contrast between you and me is that I would rather try to get an idea to work through a process of evolution, whereas you seem rather eager to “If the initial idea didn’t work, throw it away and f✿✿✿ trying to see if it can be made to work.”

    So yes, please feel free to refrain from replying further as I much prefer discussing matters with Mattie who, unlike yourself, seems to be acting in good faith with a genuine desire to get user constructive feedback so he can consider every way in which the project could possibly be improved.
    Hitman Sparky and Roudydogg1 like this.
  5. eLiTeSnIpEr

    eLiTeSnIpEr Banned on SteamRep

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    man this program is useless i got tagged by sr admin and i didnt do anything wrong alt and then pending case from 1 year kinda hate steam atm cuz of some bad people who do ban with closed eyes
  6. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    You are the one that aren't following our rules. you keep making appeal after appeal, you have 5 now. How else do we get across to stop that? Like we don't have so many cases that need attention TOO.
  7. Fire ̷̨●̷̨°

    Fire ̷̨●̷̨° New User

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    Would be nice of you guys if you went into a bit more detail on what exactly you plan on spending the donation money on.
  8. You Are The One

    You Are The One Appeals SteamRep Admin

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    As an NPO, ofpf.org expenses will be publicly available via tax returns. We recently upgraded our server hardware as mentioned already, its somewhere around 2.5x as much as our old hosting costs.
    I mean are you asking for a itemized list of current expenses or what exactly? As I see from our current donations/expenses their is nothing "extra" in the pot so to speak.
  9. Mattie!

    Mattie! SteamRep Admin

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    Sure thing-- I believe I did talk about it earlier, but the gist is what You Are The One said above. It's important to note that it's a nonprofit org, so none of it can go to any of us. (If we get enough donations, we might one day have enough to hire a part-timer to help with tasks/backlog or offer extra training for our volunteers, but that's a long way off.)

    Right now it all goes towards maintaining SteamRep and OFPF:
    • Monthly server costs (our biggest expense right now)
    • Business costs (filing fees, etc.)
    • Domain name fees
    • Other technical fees: DoS protection, API for services we use, Software licenses/addons, etc.
    • Expansion hopefuls would include (if we ever get enough donations to cover our basic operational costs):
      • Certification/testing service fees
      • Media creation for educational videos, etc
      • Integrating more 3rd party anti-fraud APIs into our tools (fees for those)
      • Awareness / community improvement giveaways
      • More servers to run more SR tools
      • etc.
    Our tax forms will be available each year like every nonprofit, as YATO said.

    If you have ideas of other improvements you guys would like to see with your donations, do let us know!
  10. Fire ̷̨●̷̨°

    Fire ̷̨●̷̨° New User

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    I didn't realize your costs were so high right now and there were so few donations. I wasn't really concerned with a itemized list of current server expenses, though I guess it's nice people can look them up via tax returns. I was more interested in what your plans were if you did have excess cash to spend. I think Mattie gave a OK response to my question. Also, you mentioned in the top tier donator perks that those members will get Beta/early access to future SteamRep enhancements. I assume you have some future stuff in mind and was curious to find out what your plans there were.
  11. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Yeah, and Mattie covered those costs by personal expenses for over a year during that donations where closed (in preparations of the charity org).

    I cannot discuss which tools are in development, for that would mean telling what future tools for us would do and only after it is developed its discussed among SR admins what user level can get access to it. Some are for all, some only for logged in users and higher, some for donators and higher, etc. etc.

    We must guard against SR becoming a stalking tool. Some information is really not for lower levels of access, for we do have privacy issues with non-tagged profiles, and cannot allow that somebody can access all of that information.

    It basically means that donators with such access will be able to research a profile a bit deeper via SR than other normal users.
    Roudydogg1 likes this.
  12. tom10168

    tom10168 Donator - Tier V

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    MERRY CHRISTMAS YALL

    It would be super cooliez if it was possible to embed this
    [​IMG]

    dynamically somehow so that way when it says 34 days it's still current. Not sure how easy or difficult that would be, though.

    also, can we get a "log in through Steam" at the top without first clicking the login button? would save a whole click! :)
    Xenophobia likes this.
  13. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    You do know we need to test your mouse, right?
  14. tom10168

    tom10168 Donator - Tier V

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    I do not know what you mean by that.
  15. ForteSP

    ForteSP New User

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    If I donate say $20 today. then $20 in a year (when it expires) and then $60 in 2 years would I be donator tier 5? or does the full $100 for tier 5 have to come all in the same donation period.
  16. Thomas Matthias

    Thomas Matthias Retired Staff

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    20 USD donation is Tier II and it expires after 24 months... So if you donated 20 USD in a year from first 20 USD donation, your second donation would be made within the period of your donation Tier II being active. Anyway...
    I need to mention that we do NOT accept donations from caution tagged users.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
    Hitman Sparky likes this.
  17. King Aleksandar

    King Aleksandar New User

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    Have you ever considered having the value of the donation in middle of the shield with blue around it?
  18. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    Why would we? just tiered donations for a certain amount is good. Showing amount will not improve much. The only thing that would happen is that some will want to have some very high amount on it. That of itself is obviously good for SR/ofpf, but increases more risk of chargebacks, even more problems of people seeing being donator as "reputation". Other sites may be doing this, but I'm seeing too much downsides for SR to consider it.
    Hitman Sparky likes this.
  19. Aslan_

    Aslan_ New User

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    I thought about donating, but what's the point? I've been hit with over 50 people trying to hijack my account/ my computer. Valve refuses to do anything about it despite my reporting all of them. I came to Steamrep to report them, and you won't do anything about them either. What would I be donating for?

    Anyhow if you want your account hijacked by "policeman" http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198174629895/ then copy and paste this link in your browser
    " 5:04 PM - policeman: I want to trade with you this item
    ADMIN EDIT: *SNIP*"

    I mean you're cool with that just like Valve as you won't take any action against "policeman" right?
  20. Mattie!

    Mattie! SteamRep Admin

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    @Asian_ We stopped processing hijacking reports and phishing attempts. (1) It's really not related to trade reputation and (2) 90% of the time, the account that is phishing you is some other poor person who got phished and they're abusing a stolen account. Banning that account simply makes the victim's problem worse. We will ban accounts if it's a high-profile account that might otherwise cause damage on trade sites, but these stolen or throwaway accounts that are used for phishing aren't typically worth the time to ban them.

    It's up to Valve to handle phishers, and up to you to avoid phishers whether they are coming via your email, forums, IM, or Steam. They're a fact of life these days.

    I've also not seen any reports by you, so I can't really review them to see how applicable they would be. Hopefully Valve will add additional tools to help protect people from phishing bots and hijacked accounts.
    Hitman Sparky likes this.