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Kudoz agrees used to build Browniz points = Dilutes value of Kudoz answers
Thread poster: Shane Wall

Shane Wall  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:55
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
Mar 15, 2008

Not sure if this has been discussed before, but I have just viewed an instance in my language pair (Vietnamese/English) where a person gave an "agree" to 3 separate, different answers ... one of which is totally wrong!

This person now gets some Browniz points for this!!! I don't care much about trying to 'suck in' the Browniz points, what concerns me is that the Proz Kudoz system will now give 3 different answers some credibility simply because of the "agree" used by a person for a different purpose!

Am I being paranoid/stupid? Is it only me? Is this the first time this has happened?

I welcome all comments and viewpoints in the spirit of open discussion and debate.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:55
German to English
Agree Mar 15, 2008

No doubt about it, Shane. This kind of behavior is very wrong and harmful to the process. It used to be quite common, but at least in the pairs I visit, I don't see it much any more. I see goofballs frequently agreeing with poor answers not because they're trying to earn BrowniZ points, but just because they don't know any better or they want to be "nice".
A few years ago moderators started cracking down on this abuse of the system when they see a pattern developing. Why not contact the moderator for your language pair and call their attention to it?


[Edited at 2008-03-15 01:48]

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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:55
Member (2007)
English to Russian
Why? Mar 15, 2008

Why would anyone want browniz? Unlike Kudoz they do not give any particular advantages, there's a small discount for membership, that's it. And we all have thousands of those.
It can be useful for non-members, who can pay for platinum services with browniz, but I am sure, that every member would gladly donate browniz to anyone. So getting browniz is not a problem at all.
I think it's a simple stupidity, not some kind of swindling.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
English to Polish
+ ...
There is (was) use for Browniz Mar 15, 2008

I'm not sure if it didn't change since I was a non-paying (and later partial paying) member, but back then browniz could be used for seeing full BB profile of a company, or for quoting a job. So they had real value, and I was collecting them by voting in polls. So they at least used to have value. I'm not sure if they still do today.


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Niels Stephan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:55
Member (2009)
English to German
Value of browniz Mar 15, 2008

It is still like Anna assumed.
Non-members can use Browniz to quote on jobs and look at BB entries. In fact I do as long as I'm not fully convinced of the websites model (as long as I don't win a job here that is, I assume) and I believe others do that as well. If you use browniz for that, the account runs empty pretty quickly, so it is imaginable, that people do such things to get browniz.

[Edited at 2008-03-15 17:42]

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Contact a moderator Mar 15, 2008

Shane Wall wrote:
Not sure if this has been discussed before, but I have just viewed an instance in my language pair (Vietnamese/English) where a person gave an "agree" to 3 separate, different answers ... one of which is totally wrong!

Your concerns are fully justified. Some users start racking up BrowniZ without regard for the consequences (agree with everything). Their purpose is to use the BrowniZ earned with such questionable method to quote for jobs (it costs 100 BrowniZ for non members) or to consult the BlueBoard (it costs 50 BrowniZ for non members).

There are other methods to earn BrowniZ and contribute to the site content (creating personal glossaries, write articles, and more...) but that would involve more brainpower...

This is not the first case. It has happened already and we have discouraged or blocked a similar misuse of the KudoZ features. Please contact me or any other moderator. If there is a pattern of indiscriminate peer-grading this user will lose its ability to peer-grade, for a short period of time or permanently, depending on the extent of the abuse.

Thank you

[Edited at 2008-03-15 16:29]

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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:55
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
one more category Mar 15, 2008

There is one more category of people who "donate" their "agrees" after the question was already closed. They, of course, give "agree" to the selected answer. I am not talking about people who use this practice once in a while just because they did not have enough time to express their opinion eariler but they want to show that they support the answer. I am talking about people who are doing this on a regular basis. One person gave 10-11 "agrees" to my answers (already selected, some of them around 2 weeks ago) within 2 hours!

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IwonaASzymaniak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
English to Polish
+ ...
Perhaps I'm blind Mar 15, 2008

but I have not noticed such practises in my language pairs.

I do give my "agrees" and/or "disagrees" to closed questions if I spot them by chance and only when the selected answer is wrong in my opinion. And I try to explain why I do it.

Sometimes I also give more than one "agree" because often a time, there is more than just one good answer.

If people abuse this feature I believe it is not difficult to find them and penalize as Gianfranco suggests.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
English-Hindi kudoz has this problem too Mar 16, 2008

I have noticed this problem in the English-Hindi forum too. Some translators methodically agree with all the entries to a question, and earn 40 to 50 brownie points from a single question, enough to see a blue-board entry. And if they do this three or four times, they can earn enough to bid for a job!

So I think it is worthwhile for them.

But what they don't realize is that it becomes too obvious and their undiscerning behaviour can also be interpreted as insufficient understanding of the language (Hindi) because they are unable to distinguish between good answers and bad.

This can fetch them less jobs and even fewer high-end jobs where the clients are looking for translators with better understanding of the target language. Even a cursory examination of their kudoz record can tell prospective clients that this is a no-good translator, and they begin looking elsewhere.

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Kudoz agrees used to build Browniz points = Dilutes value of Kudoz answers

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