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Fake Blue Board entries
Thread poster: Solana Rosa

Solana Rosa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 20, 2007

I recently posted a negative Blue Board rating for a larger translation agency and they replied with all sorts of threats. I was not worried about this until a negative rating was posted on my Blue Board profile by an unknown translator with an empty Proz profile (non paying member). Since we have 28 very positive ones entered by well known paying Proz members who have been working with us for several years, and we do not know this translator, this was quite a shock.

It made me wonder so I checked the larger translation agency's Blue Board record and noticed that after every negative rating (12 - all by well known paying Proz members) they have 3 or 4 very positive ones entered by translators with empty Proz profiles (non paying members) most of them registered very recently in 2007.

My conclusion is that this agency is registering fake profiles to post fake BB entries (positive ones on their own profile and negative ones for the translators who have placed non-payment complaints against them).

Is there a way to confirm this? Is there anything Proz can do to prevent it?


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:23
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yuk! Jun 20, 2007

If this is indeed the case, Solana Rosa, it is horrible!

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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:23
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Your BB Record is wonderful Jun 20, 2007

And although I didn't work for you, I am ready to give 5 points to you, which will raise your point again

I believe someone, a moderator or Henry, should delete that naughty 1 as a first step. And then measures should be taken to prevent such unprofessional attempts.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 19:23
Spanish
+ ...
ID verified Jun 20, 2007

I've also seen very suspicious entries, but there's no way to know which ones are real which ones aren't. This situation poses a big problem for agencies and translators as well, so why not make it compulsory to have one's ID verified in order to post entries on the Blue Board.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
French to English
Contact a jobs moderator? Jun 20, 2007

I dunno if it's exactly a jobs moderator's role to deal with this kind of thing, but I think it might be worth contacting Ralf Lemster - he's good with this kind of thing - as no mod is assigned to this forum.

I would like to think that someone on the staff could probably trace the IP address that these members were created from, and if it's the same one, well, the evidence would weigh heavily in your favour, I would think, on the face of it.


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Solana Rosa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ID verification and investigation Jun 21, 2007

Thank you Selcuk for your support. I notified moderators about the entry made on our BB profile and they have deleted it.

However, I believe there should be a thorough investigation regarding the fake ratings on this larger agency's profile. Otherwise, they can keep cheating translators who very naively trust the BB.

I did notify moderators of these ratings about 5 months ago but they replied that the entries were not fake. At the time there weren't as many so maybe they were not able to prove that they were fake. Now there are 7 ratings entered by translators whose profiles were created very recently in 2007, as if solely with the purpose of increasing this agency's BB rating.

Claudia's idea of making ID verification a compulsory step before posting a BB rating sounds like a very sound one.


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:23
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Fake BB entries Jun 21, 2007

Good morning,

You touch a problem which ProZ.com is very well aware of.

However, if you have an issue with a BB entry, please refer this to any of the Jobs/BB Moderators, as you have done in the past, or submit a Support Request.
I can assure you that such matters are taken very seriously.

On another - more general - note, I'd like to point out once again that messages which contain personal names, names of companies or organisations are not permitted in the forums. Neither are hints which lead to immediate identification or are too obvious, which is why I had to hide a previous message in this thread.

On a last note, Claudia Alvis' idea is definitely worth considering and will certainly be discussed.

Kind regards,

Evert


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Solana Rosa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Identification? Jun 21, 2007

Could you please let me know which phrase made you identify anyone? I specifically used very general terms such as "larger translation agency". I am asking you to please be specific so that I can avoid it in future postings. Thanks.

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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:23
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Identification Jun 21, 2007

Solana Rosa wrote:

Could you please let me know which phrase made you identify anyone? I specifically used very general terms such as "larger translation agency". I am asking you to please be specific so that I can avoid it in future postings. Thanks.


I was not referring to you (as I didn't hide any of your messages).

Best,

Evert


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:23
English to German
+ ...
Issue taken care of promptly Jun 21, 2007

Just a couple of points to add...


However, if you have an issue with a BB entry, please refer this to any of the Jobs/BB Moderators, as you have done in the past, or submit a Support Request.
I can assure you that such matters are taken very seriously.

They are indeed, and I believe it's worth pointing out that the entry concerned was removed promptly by one of our fellow moderators.

And a general comment (not related to the case at hand, but nevertheless relevant, I think): when you need to contact a moderator, please contact one at a time. That will save us some time and effort.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:23
English to Czech
+ ...
Why ID verified? - "paying-member" requirement is better, IMO Jun 21, 2007

Hi,

I would like to point out that - on personal note - my ID was not verified for months just because I had not the chance to meet any of my colleagues who would verify my ID. It was verified only after I went to the Budapest International Conference. But I have been a paying member of ProZ.com since April 2006.

Therefore, I suggest to establish the requirement of being a paying member to be able to post comments in BB records. I doubt that the agency that Solana mentioned would bother to set up fake profiles and pay for them only for the purposes to revenge for negative feedbacks.

Best,

Veronika


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:23
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
ID-verified users Jun 21, 2007

Veronika Hansova wrote:

Therefore, I suggest to establish the requirement of being a paying member to be able to post comments in BB records. I doubt that the agency that Solana mentioned would bother to set up fake profiles and pay for them only for the purposes to revenge for negative feedbacks.



Hi Veronika,
I have to disagree with you on this one. There are plenty of ID-verified users who contribute to Proz in various ways but are not members for one reason or another (like me!).
I don't see why we shouldn't be able to contribute to the BB, as these postings help paying and non-paying Prozians alike. As long as a user's ID has been verified, that person should be able to add ratings to the BB.
Catherine


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:23
Italian to English
+ ...
ID verified and/or paying members only Jun 21, 2007

That covers it all!

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 07:23
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Excellent Idea Jun 21, 2007

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

That covers it all!


An excellent idea, Marie-Helene. It conveniently accommodates both paying and ID-verified members. In addition, it deters a cheater from posting a fake BB entry.

Best Regards

Hipyan


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some BB entries really puzzle me Jun 21, 2007

Since I became a Proz paying member, I found BB to be well worth the cost of the whole thing. But some entries really puzzle me.

(all score-1 examples below were fabricated from my recollections)

Example 1:
Translator's comment
- These guys are con artists! I did a job for them 18 months ago and haven't yet received the $ 2,000 they owe me. Stay away from them!
Outsourcer's (with an otherwise perfect record) reply - We thoroughly checked our records, and ascertained that we never had any contact with this person, nor s/he ever did any work for us.

Example 2:
Translator's comment
- Extremely low rates. [Why did s/he take the job, then?] Payment received 90 days after due, in spite of insistent e-mails.
Outsourcer's reply - Our accounting manager embezzled money from our company. We had a hard time getting things sorted out. [Pretty lame... especially if it's a one-person outfit.]

Example 3:
Translator's comment
- Upon receiving it, they praised my work. Then it took them 10 months to pay me... and with a 40% deduction for poor quality.
Outsourcer's reply - We'll never hire this translator again. S/he delivered 4 days late, and the translation was fraught with errors all over. We had to hire another person to redo it, and lost a valuable client because of the delay. We should have paid nothing.

Example 4:
Translator's comment
- Extremely rude and arrogant PM.
Outsourcer's reply - This translator refuses to follow instructions. [Outsourcer praised by other translators for their good communication skills.]


When the outsourcer's good scores are overwhelming, it's easy to see when something of this kind was an occasional incident or fabricated. But when they have less than 5 WWA ratings, such inputs might starve an agency from translators.

So, my votes are for:

a) Rejecting WWA inputs from unidentified translators, regardless of paying or not. I see some that just have a nickname and nothing (or very little) else. IMHO these should have a grace period after which ther records should be deleted from the system unless they provide some basic info.

b) Giving paying members some Browniz-like benefit (maybe in sorting their bids) for outsourcer-replied WWA inputs, as the BB is definitely a benefit for the whole Proz community. In this case, outsourcers should get something for their replies as well.


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