What is happening?
In light of the recent discussions in the community over plagiarism charges and how this has affected our users and their ratings, we are taking a few steps to restore order in the universe (and to maintain fairness on our platform). Below, we outline the actions we are taking and the motivations behind them.
What action is being taken?
For users whose ratings have been dropped to zero following plagiarism charges, we are increasing the rating by a maximum of 800. We have also ensured that user is penalized by at least of a rating difference of 750.
Formally, we are increasing the rating of all those users by X, where X = minimum of 800 and (Y-750) and Y = previous rating before dropping their rating to 0. We guarantee that X is non-negative.
Why is this action being taken?
You may have been following the discussions taking place in our community over the issue.
Multiple users whose ratings had dropped to zero following plagiarism charges came to us with the concern that such a massive drop in ratings reduces their incentive to participate in contests.
The second concern was that it would take quite a long time for such users to regain their previous ratings.
Finally, some of the users with zero rating who had performed better than those with much higher ratings were getting less rating increments, which they found demotivating.
We understand that many of you felt that the decision to drop ratings was harsh and hasty. It was also pointed out to us that because the drop was not implemented after every contest, it was essentially unfair and did not give all users a fair chance to regain their ratings. After hearing from you all on the issue and brainstorming with our panel and moderators, we have come to this decision. We believe that it is the best way to address your concerns while maintaining as much fairness as possible.
How will plagiarism cases be handled in the future?
For all the future plagiarism scenarios, with each cheating attempt, we will decrease the rating of the user by 750 points flat (however ensuring that the rating doesn’t become negative). There will be no reconsideration or changes in our rating system to handle users with zero rating. No requests for leniency in this regard will be considered.
Further, we will be handling the cheating cases month by month without making any delays in the penalty.
We understand how much it affects our community when we have to take such actions. There is also a likelihood that many honest users get unnecessarily affected by the actions of a few. Do understand that plagiarism is an issue that deeply affects us all and we are trying our best to come up with new ways of combating it and making our community a better and safer place for all of you. As always, we’re there to listen to your suggestions.