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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

Abuse - Reporting it Works

Here is a user earning 2300XP
in one minute:

I was tempted to give this user the
benefit of the doubt. This is assuredly
some kind of computer problem of
the sort, in any case, and should be
addressed.

I just emailed this screenshot and
a few like it to abuse@duolingo.com .

After emailing data with the
user´s duolingo profile to the Sysops
at abuse@duolingo.com, they responded
that the account would be deleted.

Once they verified the screenshot, on what
they call "the backend," the account no
longer exists.

That is all it took, a few minutes, and a
day later, the account had been removed.
The name vanished from the leaderboard.

This leads me to think that much of the
issues on the leaderboards are our own
faults for the failure to report abuse of
the XP system and XP farming with "bots."


It should be enough to just email a link to
the suspected account user's profile to
the Sysops at the abuse computer.

Also you can just go to the bug report page
and put in the account user's profile
link along with the user name.

Example email:

TEXT:

HEADING - Suspicious XP Readout on a
User's Raw Data

Hello Abuse Sysop,

Please review this user's account:
XxxxXxXxxX
https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XxxxxXxXxxX

The raw data shows him earning 380XP within
a three second period:

Please help to keep the leaderboards
clear of abusers and misfits.

Thanks!!


בס״ד

December 1, 2019

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

It would be interesting to see a Cheats League, and see how they all get on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/latinofluency

lol, I'd tune in to watch that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cultureclash3

My friend was in a league where the top 15 had over 20,000 XP in less than 3 days. the top was in the 50,000 XP range in less than 48 hours. And there were still 3 days left.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jordan_Leeper

That's an awesome Idea I think Linda7Italian. Or they could just be banned from participating in the Leagues.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

I really just dont get the point of cheating for XP

To win lingots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IslandGirl.2019

I think:
(1) Some people just have an obsessive need to win at all costs.
(2) They just enjoy using their computer skills to beat the system.
(3) Maybe they get a perverse pleasure out of knowing that others are also (legitimately) desperately running themselves into the ground to get XPs.

Whatever the reason, Duo is taking measures to put a stop to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bir_kedi

well,
if duolingo wants to stop the bots from farming XP and worsen the lingot hyper-super-duper inflation, they can just cancel the leaderboards.
just
cancel them.
delete them whatsoever.
and then... boom!
no more bots. no more grinding. no more farming.
and the most important ― NO MORE LEADERBOARDS!
ㄟ(ツ)ㄏ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Td5X7hNj

I think it might also be the fact they can do it without punishment.. They can get away with it, even when they are caught


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

... can do it without punish ...

The user account that I emailed to
abuse@duolingo.com is GONE.

They said they would delete the
user, and it is no longer on the
board and it is no longer in the
site at all.

So, I see what you say, but this
time they terminated the user.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bir_kedi

but that user (and other farmers) can open new users and harvest XP once again.
best option is cancel the leaderboards whatsoever.
no need for them.
they are just useless.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Bir_kedi,

Duolingo is partnered with a research university, Carnegie Mellon. Likely, every feature on Duolingo, loved or hated, will be replaced at some point. Internet and app education is a relatively new field. And every feature tested here produces meaningful data to education researchers. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Td5X7hNj

What I meant was without real cost :D no irl punishment. Deleted account? Nothing really affects them


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaxMarti1

In the right mind, there is none.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/santiagonield

I'd imagine they probably also sell some of the accounts on afterwards to someone who wants to pretend that they've achieved more than they actually have


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaborandras

To win the league!!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpengluehen

I don't think this kind of abuse is for winning. A few years ago, when heavily programming I was very interested in leaks and malfunctions of other programms and explored them to excess. Just to make my own code safer. Without leaderboards nobody would bother. Their abuse is to learn other things than the site is developped for. Hopefully these reports are going to make this site safer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babak143903

They are just cheating themselves out of an education which is free and good quality as well. Duo enables one to get started on a language of choice from any corner of the world. That is how education should be, free, high quality and available to all. Why throw away this chance or ruin it for others!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luna-Lovegood26

How can you find out how many xp a user is earning per second?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

... how many xp a user is earning ...

Sorry, I didn't point this out in the
OP. You will be able to get it from
your DUOME.EU page.

See this graphic of your page:

Great question. Keep up the good
work. Thanks for asking.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Staff needs certain information in order to respond to people's reports of abuse. So many people weren't intuitively providing it when they were emailing the old abuse email which you've posted above. So staff created the abuse report form (which you've also posted above) to guide people through providing the needed information. So, I recommend folx use the form for faster results, rather than the old email. ^_^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zia177448

Thanks, I'd been wondering what the stats of a cheater would look like.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

It's April fools? They hardly ever fix them, I've only seen it happen twice. Once it took to 500,000 xp in a few days ( https://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/d4rezq/this_is_ridiculous_most_of_this_xp_was_gained_in/f0izsd4/ ) but they waited until it got that big. They could clearly put blocks on this stuff. The other took months. The rest of them keep at it. Today the guy in the top spot did 5,000, yesterday 4,000, 22,000 for the week. He's getting 24xp a minute (and that 22,000 is half of his total xp...). Second place is 38xp in groups of three to the the same second. They're clearly not looking to fix it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

@TeribleT

... it took to 500,000 xp in a few ...

Thanks for the link. It was dated two months ago.
I just entered into Diamond this week is my first
week, and it looks like the abusers have been
cleared from the system. The top person has
around 1100XP which I thought was questionable.

The user scored 1004XP within a two hour
period, with seemingly perfect scores of
24XP per drill. I emailed the Sysops so they
could check on this. It seems possible,
41 drills, in 01:43 minutes, and 1,004XP.
24XP per drill, except for the 18th and the
34th drills which were 22XP. That is an
average of 2:31 per drill, which is pretty
much what you would expect from a user
shooting through a lot of drills.

The quickest drill is 1:53, the slowest
drill is 6:42. Out of 41 drills, there is one
drill over 5:00, three drills over 3:00, and
all of the rest are over 2:00 with six
under 2:00.

So, I will update you on what the Sysops
say after they look into this. It might seem
unusual, but I have done similar results
myself. Just without such consistent scores.

Thanks for adding to the conversation!!

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmberLenno

How do you tell the difference between this and, say, someone who had no internet connection for a week and their XP uploaded all in one go?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

... tell the difference between this and ...

Good question. I gave the user the
benefit of the doubt, in my email
to the Sysops. I said in my email
that I thought it was probably a
computer error.

The reply was that they were going
to "look at the back end." I assume
that they knew how to rule out that
kind of upload in the system.

Great question.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmberLenno

I think you are right. Now that I think about it, you can maintain a streak even when offline, so the dates that you gained the XP must still be logged in some fashion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

Good point. Also, it is true that
the particular user had a PLUS
membership. I am wondering if
that was why all this activity was
possible within one minute. It
could have had something to do
with the upload feature of the
PLUS membership.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skamiikaze

its so crazy that people do this... like whats to gain???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_USA

Why do people even bother to do write bots to game duo's system? Seriously. Do they actually consider getting somewhere by cheating to be an accomplishment? I would feel it was anti accomplishing anything. It's hard to believe anyone is so low they would do it. But i see we have that kind of literally swamp crawlers here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BossElijah

How do you check the user's raw?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

BossElijah, you get their username (the name in parentheses on their profile, or the name after Duolingo on their profile url (website address). Like yours is https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BossElijah Then you take the username and you insert it like so: Duome.eu/bosselijah

Then right before the chart of daily activity there is a button that says RAW. Other info is obtained by clicking on the words/exclamation point: lessons, crowns, skills, etc.

You can investigate further by clicking "progress" at the top of the page. (It will only show the language currently using/last used).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janetdunga

so I was right? I reported people who appeared on board out of no where with 5000 points in 3 days. I counted how many minutes I take if I buckle down and it meant that the other person was doing duo for 15 hours a day or more. I had a feeling it was a script or they were hacking their way and cheating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

... how many minutes I take if I buckle ...

The person that is beating me in the
leaderboards earned 1702XP in under
sixteen hours and I looked at the RAW output.

I think you will agree this does not
seem to be a "bot."

2019-11-25 02:09:17 · 13XP
2019-11-25 02:13:19 · 32XP
2019-11-25 02:21:35 · 40XP
2019-11-25 02:34:26 · 34XP
2019-11-25 02:36:21 · 15XP
2019-11-25 02:38:23 · 15XP
2019-11-25 02:43:03 · 24XP
2019-11-25 02:48:53 · 34XP
2019-11-25 02:53:22 · 28XP
2019-11-25 02:58:17 · 32XP
2019-11-25 03:07:28 · 40XP
2019-11-25 03:10:10 · 15XP
2019-11-25 03:12:06 · 15XP
2019-11-25 03:17:34 · 30XP
2019-11-25 03:26:33 · 32XP
2019-11-25 03:32:53 · 26XP
2019-11-25 03:37:51 · 32XP
2019-11-25 03:42:18 · 28XP
2019-11-25 03:47:36 · 34XP
2019-11-25 03:52:07 · 32XP
2019-11-25 03:58:18 · 34XP
2019-11-25 04:05:08 · 30XP
2019-11-25 04:09:58 · 28XP
2019-11-25 04:18:50 · 34XP
2019-11-25 04:20:22 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:22:12 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:24:30 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:26:04 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:27:49 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:29:27 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:31:08 · 15XP
2019-11-25 04:35:55 · 32XP
2019-11-25 05:32:00 · 26XP
2019-11-25 05:35:54 · 28XP
2019-11-25 05:40:23 · 38XP
2019-11-25 05:44:06 · 34XP
2019-11-25 05:47:21 · 26XP
2019-11-25 05:53:53 · 30XP
2019-11-25 06:02:27 · 32XP
2019-11-25 06:07:34 · 24XP
2019-11-25 06:16:12 · 32XP
2019-11-25 06:19:31 · 13XP
2019-11-25 06:22:20 · 13XP
2019-11-25 06:24:44 · 13XP
2019-11-25 06:28:41 · 14XP
2019-11-25 06:35:57 · 13XP
2019-11-25 06:38:39 · 14XP
2019-11-25 06:46:36 · 13XP
2019-11-25 06:55:16 · 30XP
2019-11-25 07:01:03 · 34XP
2019-11-25 07:03:30 · 15XP
2019-11-25 09:25:04 · 15XP
2019-11-25 09:29:19 · 13XP
2019-11-25 09:34:01 · 26XP
2019-11-25 09:39:31 · 30XP
2019-11-25 09:45:39 · 24XP
2019-11-25 12:00:45 · 36XP
2019-11-25 12:04:20 · 24XP
2019-11-25 12:18:38 · 22XP
2019-11-25 12:36:07 · 22XP
2019-11-25 13:10:54 · 32XP
2019-11-25 13:33:55 · 28XP
2019-11-25 14:08:15 · 28XP
2019-11-25 14:12:30 · 22XP
2019-11-25 14:16:35 · 26XP
2019-11-25 14:19:43 · 20XP
2019-11-25 17:03:08 · 15XP
2019-11-25 17:10:08 · 15XP
2019-11-25 17:17:19 · 24XP
2019-11-25 17:36:14 · 24XP
1702

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

Janet, it depends. It really does. What you need to see is what they are doing, duome.eu/USERNAME put their username where username is, and click on RAW. Then you can see how many points they are getting and how long each xp "hit" is taking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben400

How does one earn 2300 XP in one minute?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

... earn 2300 XP in one ...

I will guess that it was some kind of
computer virus that was programmed
to trick the Duolingo computer.

Great question.
Thanks for posting.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarryAlways

Why do people do that? What benefit do they get from cheating on this site?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Senorita_Trejo

It's like cheating when you're learning how to swim.
When you later need to swim to save your life - what have you gained?

Pointless.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

And in fact, it could be the difference between life and death. Even just a little language, not anywhere near fluency, can save a life. I learned that a couple of years ago. In this account I talk about how the language community here on Duolingo helped save someone's life. It started out with an error ridden message in Spanish alongside my native language in English, getting shared by Duolingo friends around the world. It ended with finding a life-saving blood transfusion. This next account, is about the time a friend and I ended up with a dead battery in the middle of nowhere. My friend is diabetic, so, it could have been very dangerous if we hadn't found help. And we did find help. If I had been cheating my way through for points instead of learning, two people could have died. Instead, two people lived because of Duolingo and a little bit of Spanish. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janetdunga

how did you find this out? Nancy (Nancy456974) had over 1600 in first 2 hours off this weeks scores. she is a huge cheater and duo needs to delete her


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

According to you, but her RAW DATA
from Duome.eu shows that between
7pm-midnight she collected 2170XP.

7-8pm - 21 drills (2x15, 3x24, 1x26, 15x28)XP
8-9pm - 24 drills x 28XP
9-10pm - 18 drills x28XP
10-11pm - 10 drills (1x26, 9x28)XP
11-MID - 06 drills x28XP

She was on for five straight hours with
one break, between 10:23-11:40,
getting perfect scores on
every drill. Have you reported this?

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

How can you get 28xp a "drill"? I've seen people get up to 38xp for one? How is that even possible?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

I don't know. Some of the raw data
shows 100XP scores, 40XP scores,
(not necessarily from this user).

I myself, have done a few of the more
advanced stories that earn over 30XP,
so I am wondering if there are some
stories that are 28XP. I find it likely.

The reason that these are suspicious,
is that the same XP gains are repeated
over a period of hours. It makes me
wonder if the same drills are being
repeated over and over. The time
factor is possible for a human to
accomplish, but you can see, there
is a five hour session here without
any breaks for over four hours, then
an 1:15 break, and another
twenty minutes at a relaxed pace.

From 8-10pm there were 42 drills
and every drill was 28XP. It is either
a bot or a person repeating one or
two of the same drill over and over.
If she did 24 drills between 8-9pm
that would mean one drill every
2.5 minutes, at 28XP. That's pretty
grueling.

Yesterday the user registered 570XP.
For 29 minutes, between 9:42 and 10:12,
the user registered 360XP:

DATE ------- TIME ---- XP - DURATION
2019-12-03 21:42:48 28
2019-12-03 21:45:14 28 02:26
2019-12-03 21:47:31 28 02:17
2019-12-03 21:49:42 28 02:11
2019-12-03 21:52:16 24 02:34 * 24XP
2019-12-03 21:55:05 28 02:49
2019-12-03 21:57:14 28 02:09
2019-12-03 21:59:45 28 02:31
2019-12-03 22:02:10 28 02:25
2019-12-03 22:04:16 28 02:06
2019-12-03 22:06:37 28 02:21
2019-12-03 22:09:25 28 02:48
2019-12-03 22:12:17 28 02:52

13 DRILLS 29:29 TIME BLOCK 360XP
00:02:16 AVG DURATION PER DRILL

Thirteen drills, 2:16 each at 28XP
per drill, except one drill, you see
up there that was 24XP. That is
really grueling for a person to do
manually. Not impossible, though.

You can see that the drills all took
varied amounts of time, the shortest
was 2:06, the longest was 2:52. A
bot would probably complete drills
at a more consistent rate.

If someone is really working that
hard, they deserve those points.
I guess repeating the same story
over and over for 13 repetitions
might be a little odd though.

בס״ד


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

100 xp is a progress quiz, or if it's during double xp time - a checkpoint. But I'm not sure how often you can do a quiz or how long they take, and I am pretty sure it's only for PLUS subscribers.

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