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We had a long forum thread discussion on this topic last month. Here is my answer, pasted from that discussion:

If you think about it, in a world with instant notifications sent instantly to cellphones, the reviewer who publishes a cache has very little advantage over anyone else, except perhaps to pack their kit and have car keys at the ready. Now, if the reviewer drove to the City Park and published the cache from their smartphone while parked 200 feet away, that would be different.

 

Reviewers refrain from being first to find on mystery/puzzle caches or multicaches that they publish, until enough time has gone by to give others a chance. By then, the reviewer has likely forgotten the details they studied while reviewing the listing.

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Hi,

Is the Reviewer allowed to do a FTF on his own published Caches?

Okay, now that the complete official answer has been published, let's hear the interesting backstory that lead you to ask the question.

 

It does look suspicious if the reviewer gets FTF. Not only does the reviewer know a moment before publication that it is about to be published, but the reviewer in some cases has details of the hide that the average player does not have.

 

It's the old "avoid the appearance of impropriety" issue. There are two serious FTF-hounds near me. They often cache together. When one of them published a cache recently, I felt better seeing that the caching-buddy was not FTF. It could have been totally legit, but it would have looked fishy.

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There was a previous long thread on this topic.

 

Of course FTF is not an "official" part of the game, but we all know it is important to many.

 

My view is: A reviewer should be allowed to be FTF on a traditional cache. However, I think it would be a bad idea if this happened often. Even if done totally fairly, having a reviewer who gets the majority of FTFs on caches they publish is going to cause some angst in the local caching community.

 

And reviewers do have some (slight advantages). They can publish at times which are convenient for them to find the caches. They could even plot out their route, determine where to park, pack their bag etc all before they press "publish".

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If it was just a traditional cache then I don't see any issue, as long as they didn't head out to find it before they published it.

 

Instant notifications give everyone chance to head straight out on acceptance of the listing.

 

Reviewers are cachers too, they volunteer to help review the caches, they shouldn't be stopped joining in the fun.

 

Now, few exceptions, one being if they're heading out before accepting the listing so they can get any FTF prizes, and the second being puzzles or multi's where they have a huge advantage so early on due to the additional info.

 

But as far as a traditional cache goes, its very rare they'd know anything the other cachers don't know too, people listing a cache can leave info in reviewers notes, but this will likely be things such as "permission granted by owner" "cache is 200 feet from nearest cache" etc... people aren't going to post a reviewer note saying "cache is behind the 4th post, the one with the red paint on it." hence, no advantage on traditionals.

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Reviewers often have additional information about the hide that regular cachers don't have.

I find it weird if they make a find on a cache they publish - an FTF would be even weirder. I'd call it fishy. Not necessarily illegal, but it draws the fun from everyone else.

Regarding the statement that I made bold above, I don't agree at all. If local reviewers didn't find the caches they published, they'd have to travel to other states/regions just to find caches. Of course they find caches that they publish. In my experience, most won't FTF caches, especially puzzles but can and sometimes do. In my area, it is truly a rare thing and usually only after the cache has been out for more than a day or two without a logged find.

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If it was just a traditional cache then I don't see any issue, as long as they didn't head out to find it before they published it.

The issue is that no one else can tell whether they headed out to find it before they published it. Or whether they received inside information about the hide or how to get to GZ.

 

The answer to the OP is, yes, reviewers can FTF caches they publish. There's no rule against it, nor should there be. But they should think twice about it, and they shouldn't make a habit of it. That would just look bad.

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If I'm a reviewer, and I review and publish a traditional cache that is just a mile from my house, why shouldn't I go out and try to get FTF?

 

I suppose, for those who choose to use the three initials, it might depend on whether a reviewer published a cache at a particular time, knowing that the timing would give an advantage.

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Hi,

Is the Reviewer allowed to do a FTF on his own published Caches?

 

Whew,, I read the question wrong. Thought it was asking if it was ok for a reviewer to log ftfs on his own placed caches. Was going to reply that this would be a silly (i was actually thinking the other s word) thing to do but now see that this is not even the case.

 

There is no rule/guideline stating that a reviewer can't go for ftfs. However, i figure that most reviewers realize that questions might be asked by members of the local community and therefore refrain from doing this. Personally, i like the occasional ftf but there's no doubt i'd give that part of geocaching up if i somehow ended up becoming a reviewer.

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If I'm a reviewer, and I review and publish a traditional cache that is just a mile from my house, why shouldn't I go out and try to get FTF?

Since you know that there are people that covet FTFs, and you recognize that those people don't know whether you, as a reviewer, have some unknown advantage for this cache, you're big enough to let someone else find it first.

 

My question is why would you go out and try to get FTF?

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My question is why would you go out and try to get FTF?

Ummm, because it's a cache and I'm a geocacher?

 

I'm also a geocacher working on a consecutive days caching streak. I am at my church three days a week on average, and it's super convenient to score my find for that day while traveling to or from church. In the other thread I gave a current real life example: I published a cache from my office downtown in the afternoon, packed up my stuff, commuted 45 minutes to my neighborhood, parked at my church and walked across the street to the new cache. I scored an FTF and extended my streak by one day. Good thing, since I've cleaned out all the other caches in that area where I was traveling.

 

You seriously want me to not look for a cache right across the street from where I was already going that evening?

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My question is why would you go out and try to get FTF?

Ummm, because it's a cache and I'm a geocacher?

 

I'm also a geocacher working on a consecutive days caching streak. I am at my church three days a week on average, and it's super convenient to score my find for that day while traveling to or from church. In the other thread I gave a current real life example: I published a cache from my office downtown in the afternoon, packed up my stuff, commuted 45 minutes to my neighborhood, parked at my church and walked across the street to the new cache. I scored an FTF and extended my streak by one day. Good thing, since I've cleaned out all the other caches in that area where I was traveling.

 

You seriously want me to not look for a cache right across the street from where I was already going that evening?

 

Of course, you could have gone to the cache a week later when you were also right across the street - that is, if FTF's don't matter!

 

Rightly or wrongly, the caching community will question an FTF of the reviewer who published the cache ... even if the reviewer goes to church 3 times a week! :)

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Hi,

Is the Reviewer allowed to do a FTF on his own published Caches?

 

Yes.

Except that the strong consensus here is NO!

I don't see that at all.

You do if you only consider the views of non-reviewers!

Probably if only consider the views of the FTF hounds who believe that reviewers have some unfair advantage in their unofficial game.

 

Once upon a time FTF just meant that you were the first to find the cache. The cache owner may have acknowledged this or even left a prize because, as anyone who has ever hidden a cache knows, that first find is at least as important as getting the cache published in the first place.

 

A group has decided to make the FTF a competition, where everyone has an "equal" chance to be the first to get to a new cache. They may view anything that hints of an "unfair" advantage as something that should disqualify someone from claiming the FTF. I doubt there is much of a consensus, at least in the forums, that would support this view.

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I don't see how there is an advantage on a traditional cache if the reviewer waits until it is published before searching.

Unless the car is packed, the schedule is cleared, Google Earth is viewed, & the route is mapped out ahead of time. That prep, & the elimination of the surprise-of-publication, gives the reviewer a 10-minute head start, which can be decisive for a nearby cache.

 

Occasional FTF for reviewer? Maybe. FTF after cache unfound for 24 hrs.? Absolutely.

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Is the Reviewer allowed to do a FTF on his own published Caches?
Sure, as long as he publishes it with his volunteer reviewer account, and then with his player account (which is often, but not always, different from his volunteer reviewer account) he navigates to the cache site, finds the cache, signs the log, and replaces the cache before anyone else does.

 

Hi,

Is the Reviewer allowed to do a FTF on his own published Caches?

Yes.
Except that the strong consensus here is NO!
Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence.
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A reviewer could potentially park himself in front of a new cache and publish it, then grab the FTF. That would be unfair to the FTF hounds, but I doubt a reviewer who was unfairly using his position for any reason would remain a reviewer for long.

 

There are some reviewers who where FTF hounds who gave up the race when they became reviewers. For the sake of appearances I think that is the right thing to do. However I don't think that there should be a blanket ban on reviewers getting a FTF. Chiefly because FTF is a side game that a small segment of geocachers created and particpate in and has no official standing.

 

I've been FTF on maybe half a dozen caches since I've been a reviewer even though I never go for FTFs. I assure you I had no advantage on any of those, especially when I was FTF on a cache that had been placed 4 months earlier. Why would anyone want to tell me I had no right to hunt that or any other cache until someone else found it?

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I'll chime in and offer my 14.7¢ (price adjusted for inflation) opinion as a reviewer. Since I took over the job 2 1/2 years ago, I've been FTF on about eight or nine caches, including 1 puzzle cache that took me 3 months to legitimately solve and verify the solution with the cache owner. That one was 300+ miles away. Each of the traditional FTF were found anywhere between 15 minutes (a 5 minute drive from the house) and 2 days (an hour's drive) after I published them. None of them I felt bad or guilty about being FTF. Nobody screamed foul, no hand wringing, no angst with the locals (many of whom are my friends in real life) They were all legitimate finds, with no "unfair advantage" involved in the hunt. Publish, load GPS, and go. Just like everyone else.

 

I have no problem with any other reviewer going for a FTF on traditionals immediately after clicking the publish button if that's what they chose to do. Keystone has clearly documented the policy and standard that reviewers hold to. I'm positive most other reviewers, at least the ones I know and personally met hold themselves to the same high standard. And briansnat's comment about reviewers unfairly using his or her position echos my feelings as well. Anyone that would cheat and use an unfair advantage won't be a reviewer for very long.

 

Reviewers are cachers, just like the rest of us here. We love to find caches, just like everyone else. But if I was forced to stop finding caches and stop having fun just to be a reviewer, I know what my choice would be.

 

Cheers... :D

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I think reviewers have NO said advantage over anyone else. I get instant notifications on my phone and can go as quick as any of them from where I am to the cache. The people that SHOULD be banned from getting FTF , is the old people who are all retired and keep getting them all and wont wait till after 5 o'clock and everyone's else is out of work to make it fair. They have an unfair advantage over the working caches out their. Theirs local retirees in this area that claim 8/10 of the FTF's in the area. I think we MUST immediately BAN!!! them from getting them thru the day while we all work. Time to petition to Geocaching headquarters asap.

Ok you can see this was tongue in cheek , but point made??

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I don't see how there is an advantage on a traditional cache if the reviewer waits until it is published before searching.

Unless the car is packed, the schedule is cleared, Google Earth is viewed, & the route is mapped out ahead of time. That prep, & the elimination of the surprise-of-publication, gives the reviewer a 10-minute head start, which can be decisive for a nearby cache.

Most FTF hounds I know are packed and ready to go all the time. Many will drop any schedule to cache. Google Earth (or other sat view's) and route are done on the way - it only takes a couple of seconds for the GPSr to route to a cache and many of the new units can download sat photo's to be used with the map. Smartphones don't even need the load time, everything else is already there. So where is that "10 minute head start"?

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Rightly or wrongly, the caching community will question an FTF of the reviewer who published the cache ... even if the reviewer goes to church 3 times a week! :)

This member of the caching community doesn't agree with you, and please don't claim to speak for me.

 

How can you possibly know the consensus of an entire community? Got any proof, or even evidence?

 

Sorry, but this sort of blanket claim always mightily irritates me.

 

--Larry

Edited by larryc43230
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My question is why would you go out and try to get FTF?

Ummm, because it's a cache and I'm a geocacher?

Why would that induce you to try to get an FTF specifically? If you're intentionally going for an FTF in order for it to be the FTF, then it's because you're competing for FTFs.

 

I'm also a geocacher working on...

 

You seriously want me to not look for a cache right across the street from where I was already going that evening?

When you tell me all the good non-FTF reasons you happen to be the first to find a cache, you are demonstrating to me how you are thinking twice, just as I requested. I said you should think twice and not make it a habit. I did not say you should avoid ever being FTF.

 

Some personal statistics for my player account:

 

FTF's between June 2002 and May 2003 when I became a reviewer: 20

FTF's after I became a reviewer, May 2003 to October 2013: 14, including 4 that I didn't publish.

These statistics seem to prove conclusively that you agree with me 100%: reviewers should not compete for FTFs. Why do you argue with me every time we talk about this?

 

If anyone is aware their reviewer is pulling FTF shenanigans, they should report it.

How would anyone know that their reviewer is pulling FTF shenanigans?

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How would anyone know that their reviewer is pulling FTF shenanigans?

Because they get all the FTF's. This happens when they push the publish button right after signing the blank log.

 

Really, I don't see reviewers using their position to scam the FTF game. They like being reviewers to much to put the job at risk by taking FTF's they did not legitimately earn.

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How would anyone know that their reviewer is pulling FTF shenanigans?

Because they get all the FTF's.

All the FTFs? What about half the FTFs? What about 10% of the FTFs? At what point do you know?

 

To me the subject of a reviewer using their position to gain FTF count is basically ludicrous. It really is not worth wasting effort to think about it. First off the reviewer will need to be an FTF hound. Shocking as this may sound, some of us could care less about FTF. Not that I would refuse to claim a FTF, but it is not something I seek. I suspect a large number of reviewers fall into that category. So for the few reviewers this leaves, I'm sure they can defend themselves against those that would accuse them of pushing the publish button just after putting the cache back after signing the blank log.

Edited by jholly
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Rightly or wrongly, the caching community will question an FTF of the reviewer who published the cache ... even if the reviewer goes to church 3 times a week! :)

This member of the caching community doesn't agree with you, and please don't claim to speak for me.

 

How can you possibly know the consensus of an entire community? Got any proof, or even evidence?

 

Sorry, but this sort of blanket claim always mightily irritates me.

 

--Larry

You are technically correct. What I meant, and what I should have said more precisely, was "a significant portion of the caching community." What percentage? I don't know. But I'm certain it's more than a few outliers.

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To me the subject of a reviewer using their position to gain FTF count is basically ludicrous. It really is not worth wasting effort to think about it. First off the reviewer will need to be an FTF hound. Shocking as this may sound, some of us could care less about FTF. Not that I would refuse to claim a FTF, but it is not something I seek. I suspect a large number of reviewers fall into that category. So for the few reviewers this leaves, I'm sure they can defend themselves against those that would accuse them of pushing the publish button just after putting the cache back after signing the blank log.

 

Didn't read that other thread, did you?

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=315256

 

Our new publisher is a FTF hunter but said when he took on the role that he would wait 24 hours after a cache being published before hunting for it himself.

 

 

B.

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To me the subject of a reviewer using their position to gain FTF count is basically ludicrous. It really is not worth wasting effort to think about it. First off the reviewer will need to be an FTF hound. Shocking as this may sound, some of us could care less about FTF. Not that I would refuse to claim a FTF, but it is not something I seek. I suspect a large number of reviewers fall into that category. So for the few reviewers this leaves, I'm sure they can defend themselves against those that would accuse them of pushing the publish button just after putting the cache back after signing the blank log.

 

Didn't read that other thread, did you?

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=315256

 

Our new publisher is a FTF hunter but said when he took on the role that he would wait 24 hours after a cache being published before hunting for it himself.

 

 

B.

 

Yes I did and the OP did say ...

Amryall, I agree with you. I think most people (including me) thought there was an unfair advantage but there really isn't. And I apologise to you Chwiliwr. (Your username is now in my auto correct so I hope I got the spelling right haha)

 

I still say the reviewers don't really have an advantage on traditionals as long as they are not pushing the publish button as they are putting the cache away after signing the blank log.

Edited by jholly
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Rightly or wrongly, the caching community will question an FTF of the reviewer who published the cache ... even if the reviewer goes to church 3 times a week! :)

This member of the caching community doesn't agree with you, and please don't claim to speak for me.

 

How can you possibly know the consensus of an entire community? Got any proof, or even evidence?

 

Sorry, but this sort of blanket claim always mightily irritates me.

 

--Larry

You are technically correct. What I meant, and what I should have said more precisely, was "a significant portion of the caching community." What percentage? I don't know. But I'm certain it's more than a few outliers.

 

I know a LOT of cachers and the vast majority don't give a clam's patootie about FTF, nevermind a reviewer getting a FTF. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that a significant portion of FTF hounds may care, but they are still a small segment of the caching community.

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First off the reviewer will need to be an FTF hound.

Exactly. There's no possibility of a problem if reviewers refrain from being FTF hounds. That's what I'm saying.

 

I know a LOT of cachers and the vast majority don't give a clam's patootie about FTF, nevermind a reviewer getting a FTF.

As I said in the last thread, this observation is a much better for arguing that reviewers should not try for FTFs than for arguing that those people, however much in a minority they are, that do really care about FTFs shouldn't worry about a reviewer that's an FTF hound.

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First off the reviewer will need to be an FTF hound.

Exactly. There's no possibility of a problem if reviewers refrain from being FTF hounds. That's what I'm saying.

 

I know a LOT of cachers and the vast majority don't give a clam's patootie about FTF, nevermind a reviewer getting a FTF.

As I said in the last thread, this observation is a much better for arguing that reviewers should not try for FTFs than for arguing that those people, however much in a minority they are, that do really care about FTFs shouldn't worry about a reviewer that's an FTF hound.

I don't give a clam's patootie (love that phrase) about FTFs, and I certainly don't give a clam's patootie about reviewers trying for FTFs. Those folks work hard for low pay (actually, no pay), and I say more power to them. Good reviewers are pretty hard to come by, I would imagine (you couldn't pay me enough to take that job). Assuming they're also active geocachers, they deserve to participate in the game the same as all the rest of us, including going for FTF if they're so inclined.

 

--Larry

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I could qualify for a challenge or two if I could be bothered to keep track of FTFs. The only thing they mean to me, on my caches is validation or my coords, placement and solvability (where it may apply) Regarding me getting an FTF - unimportant. A definite non-motivator.

 

The worst to come of FTF-madness is watching a squabble develop over park times, rules, trails taking, blah, blah, blah which amounts to handbags on a forum. Really. The only way I got it settled was threat to delete all finds.

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I still say the reviewers don't really have an advantage on traditionals as long as they are not pushing the publish button as they are putting the cache away after signing the blank log.

That's just silly.

 

What if a reviewer pushes the "Publish" button when they are parked 20 yards away from the cache location? What if a Reviewer Note provided detailed information about or a picture of the hide? What if a boat was required to reach the cache and the reviewer strapped a canoe on top of their vehicle before publishing the cache? What if a reviewer publishes caches only at times that are convenient for them to go geocaching?

 

I'm not saying that any of this actually happens. But I think it's silly to suggest that it's impossible for this to happen.

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What if a reviewer publishes caches only at times that are convenient for them to go geocaching?

 

This is the only real advantage that I see that a reviewer has. They control the time of publication .

 

So what. Geocaches are meant to be found and I hope reviewers can still enjoy finding caches after having to deal with the bickering that comes to them daily.

 

What is the cache or caches that this thread was inspired by? Let's talk about the specific situation.

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