This is in continuation with the cheating cases saga that has been keeping us busy since the last whole week. We use MOSS to find the plagiarized cases and it gives us good comprehensive results. However, the results still need to be manually verified since there may be some false positives. For a Medium to Hard level problem scanning through this list is relatively easy. However, the Long Challenge has close to 8000 successful submissions for the easiest problem and this is likely to increase. Scanning through the cheating cases in these problems is extremely frustrating and time consuming.
So, we thought we will go by some benchmarks and block and reduce the rating points of those people whose solutions match other solutions by greater than a certain %age. This can be different for different problems. While this worked in most cases, some people got penalized and got blocked wrongly. This is something we want to avoid. While we gave our number and email to everyone who got blocked so that they can call us and explain their case, it became extremely difficult for us to go through the emails as we got more than 200 of them already!
While we want to maintain the sanctity of our contests, we do not want to penalize someone who is not guilty. Even a suspension to a user for a couple of days for no fault of his can be frustrating. So we decided to unblock all the users and because of lack of better alternatives, we have decided to not block anyone from now on for a contest! However, we will still go ahead and reduce the ratings of anyone whom we find not adhering to our Code Of Conduct.
A repeat of this offence will result in permanent ban of the account. Ignorance of the Code Of Conduct is not going to fetch you any reprieve!
To be honest, we do not want to do this. But we are forced to. This is indeed frustrating. We did not make CodeChef for this. After every single contest, a big chunk of our time goes on in finding the cheating cases and banning people and then talking to them and replying to their emails. Should we better not invest this time in building a new feature or improving the website? Some plead guilty, some plead ignorance of the rules, some show arrogance while others try and make us believe that we are fools.
Yes, we are fools. For trying to come up with a platform that is only to help you all. For envisioning a place where we can learn by competing rather than cheating.
For now, after a lot of contemplation we have tentatively drawn the following plan of action:
- The accounts blocked on suspicion of cheating will be unblocked.
- The ratings for all the said accounts will be dropped.
- The ratings for all the accounts found clean will be reinstated. (This may be take us a while)
- If you think that your account has been penalized for wrong reasons, kindly get in touch with us and we will sort it out together. The onus of proving that you have not cheated lies on you.
While this may or may not be the most befitting alternative to deal with plagiarism in our contests, it is the only thing that seems feasible at this point.
If you have any suggestions or better way to deal with such plagiarism cases, you can write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or can call us at: (022) – 30797709