Disincentivize Extreme Moon Farming Spam

Disincentivize Extreme Moon Farming Spam

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Summary

Moon farming strategy has recently become about posting as much as possible, with no regard for quality. This type of spam harms the subreddit experience for everyone and reduces the moons going to people who are actually contributing quality content to the subreddit. To disincentivize moon farming spam, I suggest a small and gradual karma deduction beginning at a user’s 50th submission (post or comment) for the day. This will benefit the subreddit by reducing spam and everyone who is not spamming an extreme amount of comments every day will earn more moons.

Problem statement

Many moon farmers have recently adopted the strategy of posting as much as possible without any regard for quality. Some of these users are posting hundreds of times per day, which is almost half the amount of comments the entire subreddit would get on a given day last year. You can see how comment volume for the subreddit has exploded in 2021, exponentially more than increases of our other traffic or engagement numbers:

r/CryptoCurrency Comments Per Day. Source: subredditstats.com

This has resulted in a notable drop in quality for the subreddit and negatively affects everyone else’s experience. This has highlighted a flaw in the Moons incentive system, where submissions are not being awarded proportionally to the value they add to the subreddit. In my view, this spam is detrimental to the subreddit and should not be incentivized. While engagement is great, this type of activity is almost always off-topic spam which does not genuinely engage with other users, nor does it attract engagement from others.

It also increases the work of moderators drastically. This is not just a manpower problem, but the comment volume is overloading some of our moderation bots and hitting reddit’s API limits.

To quantify this situation, I have been collecting data on all the participants in the Round 16 Moon distribution. Below is a chart showing the participation curve. You can see the full data here and methodology details in cell K2. Usernames were redacted from the dataset for privacy and harassment reasons. However, if you would like to know your own SPD (submissions per day) in this data as a reference point, please reply and I’ll respond with your number

r/CryptoCurrency submissions per day (posts or comments)

Some highlights and insights from this data and other sources are listed below:

r/Cryptocurrency is seeing approximately 80x more comments and 10x more posts than previous years (This has since decreased slightly since these proposals were released and mods began cracking down on spam) r/Cryptocurrency is consistently the #2 subreddit for comment volume (https://subredditstats.com/) (This has since decreased slightly since these proposals were released and mods began cracking down on spam) The subreddit sees approximately 80,000 submissions per day, and submissions above 50/day for approximately 24% of the submissions on the subreddit The highest number of average submissions per day was 473 Of the accounts that maxed out their karma last distribution, the average submissions per day was 139.7 Only 0.7% of participants in the subreddit reach an average of 50 submissions per day We can see other extreme examples in threads like this one with a user posting 800+ times in a day

Proposed Solution

To address these problems, I suggest we add a small, gradual deduction beginning at an account’s 50th submission per day. This deduction would start at 1 on the 50th submission and increase by 1 every 5th submission after that. The deduction maxes out at 25 on the 170th submission. The deduction will also never take your submission below 0 karma, so they are never punished for posting an extreme amount, it is just a reduction in rewards. Only 0.7% of participants in the subreddit reach an average of 50 submissions per day, so the vast majority of users would never see any kind of deduction and would likely see an increase in their moon rewards.

To see the full deduction schedule, see this google sheet and select the Deduction Schedule tab at the bottom

Because a set amount of moons are distributed monthly and they can be considered a zero sum system, it will not mean that everybody earns less moons. Instead, the users posting extreme amounts will earn less and everyone else will earn more.

Technical Details: The submission count and deduction would apply to posts and comments alike. It only applies to each individual submission starting at the 50th in a day, and the first 49 submissions are never affected by this deduction. It should factor in before other modifications, such as the 2x comment weight. Admins should not disclose when a new day starts, so spammers have less information to game the system. Deleted submissions still apply towards the submission count. Submissions which are not eligible for moons (pinned, distinguished, removed, etc) do not count towards the submission count

Decisions:

I chose to make the deduction gradual so spammers would not just hop onto an alt after their 50th submission because there is still the ability to earn karma, just slightly less I capped the deduction at -25 so there is always a chance to earn karma if you post something good. It goes up to -25 so it would be difficult to covertly overcome with other forms of manipulation like vote farms The deduction starts at 50 so it minimizes the amount of affected users, but we could vote to begin the deduction sooner in the future if needed I do not like the idea of preventing someone from posting after a certain number of submissions. This problem arose due to the incentive system, so I believe it should be solved by correcting the incentive system I chose a daily system because sometimes you can get caught up in a conversation with a lot of users, especially if you’re the OP of a popular post. I don’t think that should carryover for the rest of the month and disincentivize your participation on subsequent days There are concerns that spammers will just use alts, but managing many alts and vaults will add work for them and they will be banned for exploiting the moon system when they are caught

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submitted by /u/CryptoMaximalist
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