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AllstarSS

False Discoveries - This is getting old!

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There is a trackable on our van that does not leave North America. We have never shared a photo of it, nor did we hand out the tracking number to anybody. But somehow, some way, someone got ahold of it and added it to a list of over 3000 TBs and shared it at the Giga-Event in Mainz, Germany. We have been deleting logs ever since.

 

Now this isn't the first time this has happened. In fact, we've been deleting false discoveries on an intermittent basis for at least a year, if not more than 2 years. To say this is getting old and that I'm tired of receiving email after email is an understatement.

 

I would consider this behavior equivalent to armchair caching. Geocaching HQ/Groundspeak has made numerous efforts to combat armchair caching, including allowing CO's to delete logs and even go as far as banning members from the site. So this begs to question. Why hasn't Geocaching HQ done anything to combat logging false discoveries? I can't imagine I'm the first person to complain about this.

 

As mentioned before, this has been going on for awhile now. The solution can be as easy as allowing TB owners to lock/unlock their TBs from being discovered. That way if the van is sitting on our driveway, we can lock the TB, preventing false discoveries, and can unlock it if we're taking it to an event. If the TB owner doesn't care or if the TB is one that's meant to dropped in caches, they can leave it unlocked. On the other hand, the ones that are only for personal mileage can remain locked. I can't imagine that would be hard to implement.

 

What probably irritates me the most is how little power owners have. The only power we have is deleting logs. That's it. Marking it as "missing" or adding it to our collection does not solve the problem as they are still discoverable. Adding a note saying "False Discoveries are not allowed" doesn't do any justice either. There's also no way to "archive" a TB. Deleting logs may be a solution, but only to a certain extent. Owners still receive emails of every discovery, and it would be a lot less work on the owner if these logs were prevented electronically.

 

I hope someone from Geocaching HQ reads this and strongly considers what I have said.

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I also have this problem. My van which has never left the USA is currently being discovered at the Giga in Germany because somehow the trackable number has gotten on a QR code list which contains 3000 trackable numbers. Last month, my van was being discovered in Belgium. These lists seem to circulate mainly in Germany.

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I'd like to see a few more options for TOs besides simply deleting fake logs too.

Kinda surprised that Groundspeak hasn't realized that if folks continue to get upset over these items belonging to them, that cash cow may not go on forever. :)

- But there's a lot of other (sorry) more important things I'd like to see get fixed first.

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I see you have attended lots of Events. My bet is that somebody took a photo and that has (possibly) posted that photo somewhere -- most probably Facebook. Seen that happen a number of times. It's almost impossible to find what/whose FB page it is on.

 

Oh yes... have also seen a couple of blog pages that also have displayed such photos. Same problem in rooting it out.

 

Once it is on a list... forget about it. Sad to say, but true.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I'd like to see a few more options for TOs besides simply deleting fake logs too.

Kinda surprised that Groundspeak hasn't realized that if folks continue to get upset over these items belonging to them, that cash cow may not go on forever. :)

- But there's a lot of other (sorry) more important things I'd like to see get fixed first.

 

I wouldn't say I'm upset. It's more the annoyance. Tired of getting so many emails from those who to me don't play the game with integrity.

 

It may be true that there are some more important issues, but as I said before, this has been going on for awhile now. To me, this seems like a fairly easy change that could have been included in an update several updates ago.

 

Overall, I just hate deleting logs. I really do. But I don't want to reward this behavior either.

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I'm not sure what you expect them to do. The point of a trackable is that if you come across the tracking number, you can go online and put that number in to log it. There is no way that the website can determine HOW someone came across that tracking number in the first place. There is no way to know if someone parked next to you and took a picture of the number so that they could log it later, or if someone came across that picture and also decided to log it, even though they never saw your van in person. As far as the code/website is concerned, they are both doing the exact same thing: typing in the tracking number.

 

If your number is out there for anyone to see, then I don't understand getting mad when people log it. I have a travel bug that I use just to track my own personal miles and I have never had someone else discover it, because I've never shared the tracking number with anyone.

 

Those seem to be the only two realistic options: either never share your tracking number with anyone, or do share it and assume that anyone in the world will be able to find it.

Edited by ZeekLTK
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I'm not sure what you expect them to do. The point of a trackable is that if you come across the tracking number, you can go online and put that number in to log it. There is no way that the website can determine HOW someone came across that tracking number in the first place. There is no way to know if someone parked next to you and took a picture of the number so that they could log it later, or if someone came across that picture and also decided to log it, even though they never saw your van in person. As far as the code/website is concerned, they are both doing the exact same thing: typing in the tracking number.

 

If your number is out there for anyone to see, then I don't understand getting mad when people log it. I have a travel bug that I use just to track my own personal miles and I have never had someone else discover it, because I've never shared the tracking number with anyone.

 

Those seem to be the only two realistic options: either never share your tracking number with anyone, or do share it and assume that anyone in the world will be able to find it.

 

As I stated before, the trackable is on my van. It does not get dropped in caches and only gets discovered by cachers who see it at events. It is NOT for all to see! Only people who attended events I also attended are supposed to see it. I NEVER shared the tracking number on an online forum. But yet someone overseas managed to get ahold of it and added it to a list of 3000+ tracking numbers that has been distributed to hundreds, if not thousands, of cachers.

 

I disagree with your point of the trackable. Having the tracking number does NOT mean you saw the trackable, and I strongly believe that the point of a discovery is to physically discover the TB in the field, NOT just loading a series of numbers into a program and having the problem do all the logging for you, as is the case mentioned. Regardless of what you think, this is NOT good caching etiquette and travel bug owners should be able to avoid getting hundreds of emails from frauds! As of right now, there is literally nothing I can do to prevent this, and surely you can understand why this frustrates me. Taking the TB off my van would do absolutely nothing to stop this.

 

I thought the solution I provided was a reasonable compromise. Those that don't care can just let it go, while those who do can lock and unlock their TB to discoveries as they wish. It's a simple solution that should be not be hard to implement. Geocaching HQ does not need to have an update specifically for this, but it can included as part of a major update.

Edited by AllstarSS
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The solution can be as easy as allowing TB owners to lock/unlock their TBs from being discovered. That way if the van is sitting on our driveway, we can lock the TB, preventing false discoveries, and can unlock it if we're taking it to an event.

If you wish to make it possible for real logs to be made, locking the TB is no good. Some people log TBs a long time after they actually discover them. If I actually did see your car TB while passing through, I may not re-log if you delete my log, or if I can't even make the log. It may likely be the same for someone visiting this week from Wherever in the world. You're likely to kill legitimate logs unless you allow them to be made, and you individually review them.

 

How about this, for TB Owners who seem to have an overwhelming number of logs they don't like. Have GS make a checkbox option where all of your TBs may be logged “upon approval”. Place a notice on your TB page “sorry, but due to many fake logs, I require more info in your log about where and when you saw this TB before I will allow the log to be publicly posted, including the 'Attended' log for the Event you were attending, if applicable”. Whichever logs you allow, become viewable on the TB page, and all the rest can be dumped en masse.

 

Or, GS can have its system review the logs for you, and highlight suspicious logs. The site is getting a ton of identical logs from cachers in one region who are “discovering” TBs all over the world, from lists of recurring TB numbers. The site can compile that kind of thing. Or you may submit your TB to the database once you determine it was compromised, and that TB can be added to the algorithm. When your TB is logged with the list, it could be automatically flagged for you. It's a bogus log.

 

Would that cause too much server load? Then have GS make something that works kind of like a Pocket Query for TBs. The TO could then, say, “Select all Discover logs from cachers whose Home Location is beyond 1000 miles”, and you may delete them all, or keep the 1 or 2 that might be real. Or (for someone living in the US), “Select all TB logs from cachers in Europe”. Or “Select all Discover logs from persons out of country who never logged a cache in this country”. Or combinations of things. Just some ideas.

Edited by kunarion
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The solution can be as easy as allowing TB owners to lock/unlock their TBs from being discovered. That way if the van is sitting on our driveway, we can lock the TB, preventing false discoveries, and can unlock it if we're taking it to an event.

 

If you wish to make it possible for real logs to be made, locking the TB is no good. Some people log TBs a long time after they actually discover them. If I actually did see your car TB while passing through, I may not re-log if you delete my log, or if I can't even make the log. It may likely be the same for someone visiting this week from Wherever in the world. You're likely to kill legitimate logs unless you allow them to be made, and you individually review them.

 

How about this, for TB Owners who seem to have an overwhelming number of logs they don't like. Have GS make a checkbox option where all of your TBs may be logged “upon approval”. Place a notice on your TB page “sorry, but due to many fake logs, I require more info in your log about where and when you saw this TB before I will allow the log to be publicly posted, including the 'Attended' log for the Event you were attending, if applicable”. Whichever logs you allow, become viewable on the TB page, and all the rest can be dumped en masse.

 

You bring up a legitimate concern here. I think maybe we can combine ideas. For instance, if the TB is locked, that would mean that all discoveries are subject to TO approval, and not automatically denied. If unlocked, people can log it as they wish. All logs waiting for approval can show up as notifications on geocaching.com, and not emailed.

Edited by AllstarSS
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Hi!

 

This is an email i wrote to Annie Love today in the morning. I will let you know, if or what answer i get.

i think, now, after even Jeremy noticed the problem, we have to take action!

Feel free to let GS know, how you think about discover-lists! ;)

 

... hi Annie!

 

I write this letter to you, because you are the only person in GS i now. ;) In person and from different mail contacts.

In the morning i saw the facebook posting from Jeremy. He was annoyed about the illegitimate discover logs.

And i have to say, we fight about this problem since last year. This was the first time, the list showes up (with our codes), after the Mega Event in Ulm, the Geocoinfest. But i hear from people which are having this problem since first geocoin event in cologne, but even earlyer with this one. http://coord.info/GC2055M

Since Ulm, it seems someone shared a qr code with a link to a text-file with 3200 codes. 350 of them belong to only one cacher. So you could imagine, what happens after the mega. And again and again after the next megas, not only in germany, even after the Event in Brugge.

And to make it worse, there must be more than one list, because some of us get several logs from the same cacher, different text. So, happens when "he/she" run´s several lists i guess.

And they use always this automatical tb-logger ... and we think, this "device" in context with challenge caches which you need thousands of discoveres trackables are the reason why this got "viral".

And we think, the limit is now, we are getting sick ... we hope, that you (as Groundspeak) will step in!

Help us, please!

 

Some people suggest to get owner the possibility to "block" the coin listing for a certain time, but, i don´t know, if this would help.

To disable any challenges, which need discovered trackables, nah, i don´t know, the owner will get pissed.

If there would be a possibility to stop this tb-logger, i guess, this would be a great help. No one discovered thousands of codes by own hand.

At least, some informations, spread by GS, how to act with list´s, codes and so on, would be helpful.

 

As far as i can tell, the owner of the codes going mad. Some wrote angry mails to the people which discovered their coins. But most of them apologize, because they didn´t know that it was not ok to "use" that list. This is why i say, we need to inform people.

Some owner logged also found logs to the caches from people, which discovered, (and delete them later, of course) just to make their point.Also a few of the US cacher which codes are involved, logged an "attended" in Mainz, because they say, if all my coins where there, i have to be there too. They deleted it too, of course. But you see, things going crazy.

 

We really really hope, Groundspeak shows a reaction in any kind of way. And for my opinion, it is not done to find the person (if it is even possible) who shares this list and block him/her ... we need more. Otherwise the next list´s will show up.

 

We love our hobby geocaching, we have a great community, we also love to collect coins and trackables, to design them and everything else.

Now we need your help!

 

Please, don´t let us down! :)

 

Respectfully, Maja

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.

Edited by cerberus1
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Still no reaction of Groundspeak?

I'm deleting the logs of all these liars and cheats day and night, and at GS no one cares? Oh I see "Jeremy is annoyed", amazing!

None of these silent gods even deigns to leave a note here, not to mention an idea of how to fight the Hydra?

If it would help to archive or to burn all my TBs and coins, I surely would... At least one thing is definite, I'll nevermore spend good money for that junk.

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Still no reaction of Groundspeak?

I'm deleting the logs of all these liars and cheats day and night, and at GS no one cares? Oh I see "Jeremy is annoyed", amazing!

None of these silent gods even deigns to leave a note here, not to mention an idea of how to fight the Hydra?

If it would help to archive or to burn all my TBs and coins, I surely would... At least one thing is definite, I'll nevermore spend good money for that junk.

 

It's only been 3 days, since the initial topic was opened. with so many topics every day, I would personally give GS a wee bit more time before "rage-quit" threats.

As for the topic itself, I personally can see the official answer going both ways.

 

One: Discovering may be allowed anytime, because some folks only log after a trip or other delay, who's to say they are real or weren't seen when they visited friends in the US? (I agree the chances of that are VERY slim, but the argument could be made that it's possible)

 

Two: some sort of filter or "approval" process is implemented.

 

I don't see Option#2 as a priority though, as the current climate of Trackables is they are a "side game" layer to Geocaching, with support from GS, but not the Main playstyle. Yes, it is irritating for owners of a TB/GeoCoin/Trackable. In my experience, the onus is generally on the owners of such things, not Groundspeak. :/

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I have the same problem as OP. One of my trackables was also on the list at the GIGA in Mainz, and I've received 46 emails of bogus discoveries so far.

 

How do I know? I started contacting the people and asking, "Do you know which cacher brought my trackable to this event? Because it's still logged into a cache in the Houston area." I got this response from user swasti:

 

"hi, sorry, cant tell you. i was not @mainz. i picked your tb code from some of the many pictures on the web or from some floating tb-code lists you can find ..."

 

original tb log

 

I want a way to disable my trackable. I don't want to get emails anymore. I can't delete it, get rid of it, nothing. Groundspeaks needs to provide TB owners a way to stop getting dozens of emails.

 

UNSUBSCRIBE!

 

UPDATE: I contacted Groundspeak support, and they said they could archive (actually lock) my trackable. Now, if someone tries to post a new log, he'll see this message:

 

56e6e957-e06a-4888-8bda-d3aeb954d6a4.png

 

I realize this does not solve the issue of giving TB owners more control, but it's something if you are fed up and want to abandon the trackable.

Edited by strontium87
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I haven't run into the problem yet...

 

It seems that some people want a way to prevent phantom logging. I will assume that there are also a lot of TO's that don't care who logs their trackables. What we need is a way that the TO can exercise some control, but not cause extra work for TO's that don't care. Some kind of authorization scheme seems like a lot of work.

 

What if the TO could enter (and update) a 'logging allowed radius' on a trackable? Initially, the default would be world-wide. Logging of a trackable would not be allowed if the trackable is farther than the radius away from its current location. Just a flat denied, no pending approval state, or anything like that. For trackables released into the wild, I would leave the radius as world-wide. For trackables in my collection (such as the car decal mentioned by the OP), I could set them to a 1000 miles (and because they are in my collection, they would use my home location as their current location).

 

Is this perfect? No, it is not. I'm going for the 80/20 rule, and trying to solve 80% of the problem, and to minimize the impact caused by the other 20%. Here are a couple of scenarios of the impact. If I travel to an event that is close to the radius, there is a chance that legitimate people would be denied. Or, a foreign visitor to a local event would have a problem. And of course, there is the case of the travel bug decal and I travel outside of the radius. At the risk of making the solution more complex to implement, we could expand the definition of 'current location' to be my home location, and the location of the last event that I attended. This would catch a few of these issues.

 

One other thing to consider is the phrasing of the 'not allowed to log this trackable' message. It should contain someway for the logger to contact the TO so they can make arrangements to log the trackable (by temporarily changing the radius).

 

What I am suggesting should be (moderately) simple to implement, not affect TO's that don't care, not create much, if any, extra work for 'legitimate' tracakble logs, and not create a lot of work for the TO's that do care.

 

Skye.

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This sounds quite good, Wet Pancake. :)

 

My thought was, that you can only log the trackable/coins as discovered, when it is logged into the event. That would avoid any bogus logs to trackable/coins which are safe and sound at home, in the box. Just that simple.

 

What do you think?

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Still no reaction of Groundspeak?

I'm deleting the logs of all these liars and cheats day and night, and at GS no one cares? Oh I see "Jeremy is annoyed", amazing!

None of these silent gods even deigns to leave a note here, not to mention an idea of how to fight the Hydra?

If it would help to archive or to burn all my TBs and coins, I surely would... At least one thing is definite, I'll nevermore spend good money for that junk.

One: Discovering may be allowed anytime, because some folks only log after a trip or other delay, who's to say they are real or weren't seen when they visited friends in the US? (I agree the chances of that are VERY slim, but the argument could be made that it's possible)

 

 

That is a possibility I consider. Recently though, most of the logs have been saying that it was discovered at the Giga in Mainz, and since the TB is sitting in my driveway, I can probably say with 99.9% certainty that those logs are fake. In previous scenarios, I checked their profiles and see if they've done any caching in the area where my car has been and if they have, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. If not, I delete them. Most of the time it has been the later, unfortunately.

Edited by AllstarSS
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There's more than one problem. Two at least. And the both of them are completely out of control.

Firstly the lists (printed or what, I don't know) circulating at the events. For me, it started with Brugge (about 20 fake logs), then came Mainz (minimum 60 so far). This will never stop - why should it? Once on the list, forever on the list. After the Giga is before the Mega, after the Mega is before the Tera ;)... Whoever tells me its my own responsibility to analyze the whole crap and delete it log by log didn't understand the dimension...

Secondly the lists and collections which are published at Facebook. Shortly after the last FB scandal about the published lists of Mystery cache solutions, there are new groups of cheaters who share every single TB code they ever found in the world. This is a real perversion of the idea of the game itself. Maybe of a 'side game', but of a part of our geocaching game, and it IS frustrating to face this without any assistance from the GS folks.

I've read a lot of very nice proposals here, really. Manual approval of logs, automatic preselection by distance rules, or at the least a possibility to lock (well, or archive) the own TBs... I'd appreciate ANY of these ideas to be implemented, to get rid of the mail flood. But how can you all bear (and sometimes apologize?) this inaction? Possibly, watched from Seattle, the problem is still too small and unconsiderable (what's 3000 TBs here in Germany...)? Sorry friends, this is about to grow and it WILL become yours.

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I got mail from gs ... maybe not enough for some of you. But I still have hope. ;)

 

 

Hi Maja,

 

I too share your concerns. I just wanted to let you know that we're discussing this internally and I've shared your email with our team.

 

Thanks for reaching out to me on this!

 

Annie

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I got mail from gs ... maybe not enough for some of you. But I still have hope. ;)

 

 

Hi Maja,

 

I too share your concerns. I just wanted to let you know that we're discussing this internally and I've shared your email with our team.

 

Thanks for reaching out to me on this!

 

Annie

Cool! My team is discussing that response. :anicute:

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It May be getting old this topic, but my long lost Tb was discovered the other day, imagine my delight? And in America some distance from it's last reported location, LOL. well on further investigation the chap who claims he found it has also found, 21,566 tractable's in 1,602 caches. do yo name n shame these guys or is that harassment? if anyone interested, e-mail me and I could forward the details.

Question? how was he able to log the TB? is there access to a register of TB ID's.

I apologise now if I am going over the same old ground, I did read (quick scan ) most of the previous posts on this subject.

regards Y'all Pete (marmota monax)

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It May be getting old this topic, but my long lost Tb was discovered the other day, imagine my delight? And in America some distance from it's last reported location, LOL. well on further investigation the chap who claims he found it has also found, 21,566 tractable's in 1,602 caches. do yo name n shame these guys or is that harassment? if anyone interested, e-mail me and I could forward the details.

Question? how was he able to log the TB? is there access to a register of TB ID's.

I apologise now if I am going over the same old ground, I did read (quick scan ) most of the previous posts on this subject.

regards Y'all Pete (marmota monax)

Even though I've openly discussed these bizarre characters who find it fun to create this excitement in our lives, unless questioned by another on something similar ("so-and-so hit mine - same guy?")in PM, I don't publicly shame 'em by name.

- That odd bird who uses a random number generator to get "hits" on coin-like tokens and my little pony figures in Mommy's basement, is easy enough for others to identify with a slight nudge. ;)

 

Guess I've seen enough instances of things turned around and now biting you in the can.

When a nut job cacher is identified by name here in the forums, their names often get edited out by Mods. I believe it's considered as a personal attack.

- Not sure if the poster got a warning...

 

And who'd want to take out a second mortgage because this clowns feelings got hurt and his attorney/new stepfather's now sending you notices anyway. :laughing:

Edited by cerberus1
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One possible solution:

If the website would allow just one discover log, let's say every 10 seconds (or a randomized period of time), and faster trials are denied, the number of these fake logs might decrease, because the users have to spend more time. Those who are logging manually would have no problems at all with a ten-second-limit (or even longer).

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I feel your pain. I too have made the list with 4 of my trackables. Perhaps if a log is deleted the person who logged the item would get a time delay on their logging of future trackables and each time they get another log deleted the wait time gets longer...and longer.

Edited by Lostby7
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One of mine, a old 6 digit numeric was marked missing when a cache was muggled in British Columbia. That was a couple years back.

 

After a comment on facebook, by another cacher, that his long missing trackable was discovered by someone in Miami, I thought it odd that mine also was discovered by someone in Miami.

 

When I looked at this cacher's find/discover stats, he/she has over 7,500 on dog tags and looking at them, there are pages of these on the 25 of May.

 

:-\

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The problem is sites like Log them all. I contacted the owner and suggested an opt out feature for people who don't want to be abused and his reply was basically "deal with it" perhaps if others make the case to him it would sway him to do the right thing.

 

Michal Canecky

2:35 PM (37 minutes ago)

Add Note

to me

Hi Chris

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Early version of this tool used geocaching wap interface which (I guess it was a bug in their interface) did not send any emails to the owners. Everyone was happy, well not everyone. Groundspeak contacted me that it violated their rules and I need to use their API or take it down. So I made the necessary changes.

 

I remember when I found my first trackable, they were very rare and until up then I only read about them. I was very excited to find one and help it to move towards its goal. Trackables are not what they've used to be anymore. They are worthless, they are everywhere, they are mere annoyance. I made this tool to deal with the flood of trackables at every event I went to.

 

There have been many trackable lists circulating since forever. Some made by the owners to save people's time if they want to discover their whole collection. If I limit number of trackables per session that can be logged, they will just split it into multiple parts. If I allow owners to opt out, that would defeat the purpose of this tool. What I suggest is that anyone who doesn't like the notification emails from Groundspeak, should set up a filter for those emails or contact Groundspeak to implement opt out feature from those emails.

 

Sorry I can't help you with this.

Michal

 

On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:45 AM, Geocaching <noreply@geocaching.com> wrote:

Geocaching

CANO,

I've used your service before to log tb's and for the few i have logged it has been helpful, however I would like to request 2 things

 

1) an opt out for tb owners along with messaging in the discovered log on how to do so

2) a limit on the number per submit, 50 or 100 would at least slow down those who are submitting 3500 at once

 

my tb http://coord.info/TB2TGQ9 trk # XXXXXXX

has received 500+ logs from the GIGA in germany, I've talked to another person who got 40,000 discovers and corresponding emails.

 

imagine how this would affect you, and please have some mercy on owners, I beg you. PLEASE. The next German Giga comes in 2 weeks so this will result in another tidal wave of discovers. PLEASE HELP US!

 

Chris

aka CNLSON

 

PS here is what i received from the other owner:

 

Hello,

I’m contacting you concerning the “3200” discover list that was to been seen at the latest Giga in Mainz.

Same as you, I have 200 to 300 trackingcodes of mine that are on that list without my knowledge or authorisation. I am also fed up with it and together with some German cacher we are trying to stop this unwanted list. My mailbox has now about 40.000 discover logs, from 4 events where my coins never been nor did I distribute a list myself. the next German Giga Event comming in about 2 weeks!

Regards,

Dirk aka Johnny Lightning

 

<Personal info removed by moderator>

Edited by Eartha
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...perhaps if others make the case to him it would sway him to do the right thing.

Did you send any of this info to Groundspeak?

Perhaps they could sway him to, "do the right thing"...

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...perhaps if others make the case to him it would sway him to do the right thing.

Did you send any of this info to Groundspeak?

Perhaps they could sway him to, "do the right thing"...

 

they do not care. pm a mod and you will find i am absolutely correct.

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I also just emailed project GC which also has the same functionality here http://project-gc.com/Tools/DiscoverTrackables, their email address is info@project-gc.com:

 

I've used your site before to go geocaching with friends and to validate my qualifications on some challenge caches, however recently I've had a problem caused by those that are logging my travelbug using a bulk logging service. I have never given permission to anyone to include my bug on these lists and others are even more affected with thousands upon thousands of logs pouring in. I had to delete 500 logs by hand from the recent giga, others i've talked to are planning to archive their whole trackable collection, simply because they are being bombarded by emails and cannot enjoy their trackables any more. There is no point at which they benefit from fake logging discovers and for those of us that enjoy seeing our bugs go places having to go through pages of liar logs just to see what cache it went to this week or images that someone took the time to take of our trackable out there in the world are frustrated.

 

I'd like to think your site is an ethical one and technologically you have no equal in the cool features you provide, So I would like to suggest 2 things:

 

1) an opt out for tb owners along with messaging in the discovered log on how to do so, kind of a black list basically so owners could say to log this on gc.com only.

2) a limit on the number per submit, 50 or 100 would at least slow down those who are submitting 3500 at once

 

my tb http://coord.info/TB2TGQ9 has received 500+ logs from the GIGA in germany which I had to delete by hand, I've talked to another person who got 40,000 discovers and corresponding emails from the various events and others on the forums mention logs on long lost tbs and other issues http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=332177&st=0&gopid=5509030entry5509030.

 

imagine how this would affect you, and please have some mercy on owners, I beg you. PLEASE. The next German Giga comes in 2 weeks so this will result in another tidal wave of discovers. PLEASE HELP US!

 

Chris

aka CNLSON

 

PS here is what i received from the other owner:

 

Hello,

I’m contacting you concerning the “3200” discover list that was to been seen at the latest Giga in Mainz.

Same as you, I have 200 to 300 trackingcodes of mine that are on that list without my knowledge or authorisation. I am also fed up with it and together with some German cacher we are trying to stop this unwanted list. My mailbox has now about 40.000 discover logs, from 4 events where my coins never been nor did I distribute a list myself. the next German Giga Event comming in about 2 weeks!

Regards,

Dirk aka Johnny Lightning

 

User's Profile: http://coord.info/PR258VQ

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I have but one trackable, and I haven't had it long enough for this to be a problem. However, I intend to get more, and will likely (eventually) run into this problem.

 

I would suggest a response to that site along the following lines:

 

I understand that the emails come from Groundspeak and that you have no way to specifically prevent the emails. However, while the volume of the emails is significant, they are not the problem. As a TO, I want those emails when a person legitimately finds my Travel Bug. The problem is people who are abusing your "service" by logging discoveries on trackables they have never seen.

 

My suggestion is this:

1) allow Travel Bug (and Geocoin) Owners to "opt-out" of your service. You can accomplish this by allowing the TO to enter their trackable code (TBxxxxx) and storing it in a database.

2) before you log each discovery, get the TB code from the API and check your database. If the code is in the database, DO NOT LOG that discovery.

3) notify your user (or not). For those that have opted out, provide your user with a list of TB Codes (NOT the tracking number, just the public code) and the TB Name; along with the message that the TO has opted out of mass logging systems. You can include instructions that they log into the Geocaching.com website to individually log those trackables.

 

This will not defeat the purpose of your tool. Those TO's who circulate lists of their own trackables will not choose to opt-out of your service. Those of us who do not publish our tracking codes might opt-out, and will be very grateful. In fact, we might use your site (and possibly donate), when we receive such a list from a TO at our next event.

 

Think of the service this provides to your fellow geocachers: reduced email load from false discoveries, reduced effort of deleting false logs and a more meaningful tracking map and log for their trackables. Heck, we might even recommend your site as a responsible, conscientious geocacher.

 

If you are certain that this site is facilitating false logs on your TB's, you might also send an email to Groundspeak, documenting their (ab)use of the API. If phony logs are coming from registered API partners, GS should take action against or require action from them. Explain to GS, that if the Trackables segment of the game continues its downward spiral, people will stop buying Trackables from GS.

 

Well, that's my USD 0.02 worth.

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...perhaps if others make the case to him it would sway him to do the right thing.

Did you send any of this info to Groundspeak?

Perhaps they could sway him to, "do the right thing"...

 

they do not care. pm a mod and you will find i am absolutely correct.

That's odd.

Maybe trackables aren't the cash cow I thought them to be.

If they were, I'd think you'd want happy people buying more. :)

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One possible solution:

If the website would allow just one discover log, let's say every 10 seconds (or a randomized period of time), and faster trials are denied, the number of these fake logs might decrease, because the users have to spend more time. Those who are logging manually would have no problems at all with a ten-second-limit (or even longer).

 

I would love a bulk deletion option. go in check mark the logs that are bogus and delete them all.

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...perhaps if others make the case to him it would sway him to do the right thing.

Did you send any of this info to Groundspeak?

Perhaps they could sway him to, "do the right thing"...

 

they do not care. pm a mod and you will find i am absolutely correct.

That's odd.

Maybe trackables aren't the cash cow I thought them to be.

If they were, I'd think you'd want happy people buying more. :)

 

$7.5 for a dog tag with a few numbers probably is a cash cow, but if you look at how primitive things are for tb's it's obvious they do not spend much time on it.

Until the API I don't believe you could log more than one tb at a time, since the API release bulk discovering has been possible but the owner controls have not evolved at all. you can't even opt out of emails for your bugs, even bugs marked as lost.

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I have but one trackable, and I haven't had it long enough for this to be a problem. However, I intend to get more, and will likely (eventually) run into this problem.

 

I would suggest a response to that site along the following lines:

 

I understand that the emails come from Groundspeak and that you have no way to specifically prevent the emails. However, while the volume of the emails is significant, they are not the problem. As a TO, I want those emails when a person legitimately finds my Travel Bug. The problem is people who are abusing your "service" by logging discoveries on trackables they have never seen.

 

My suggestion is this:

1) allow Travel Bug (and Geocoin) Owners to "opt-out" of your service. You can accomplish this by allowing the TO to enter their trackable code (TBxxxxx) and storing it in a database.

2) before you log each discovery, get the TB code from the API and check your database. If the code is in the database, DO NOT LOG that discovery.

3) notify your user (or not). For those that have opted out, provide your user with a list of TB Codes (NOT the tracking number, just the public code) and the TB Name; along with the message that the TO has opted out of mass logging systems. You can include instructions that they log into the Geocaching.com website to individually log those trackables.

 

This will not defeat the purpose of your tool. Those TO's who circulate lists of their own trackables will not choose to opt-out of your service. Those of us who do not publish our tracking codes might opt-out, and will be very grateful. In fact, we might use your site (and possibly donate), when we receive such a list from a TO at our next event.

 

Think of the service this provides to your fellow geocachers: reduced email load from false discoveries, reduced effort of deleting false logs and a more meaningful tracking map and log for their trackables. Heck, we might even recommend your site as a responsible, conscientious geocacher.

 

If you are certain that this site is facilitating false logs on your TB's, you might also send an email to Groundspeak, documenting their (ab)use of the API. If phony logs are coming from registered API partners, GS should take action against or require action from them. Explain to GS, that if the Trackables segment of the game continues its downward spiral, people will stop buying Trackables from GS.

 

Well, that's my USD 0.02 worth.

 

both sites i am aware of have heard from me, hopefully others in this discussion will also contact the site owner and project GC and any other site that offers this service. if anyone knows of other sites i would love to know about them so i can email them.

 

As far as GC.com this is intermittantly raised with them and to date they have not been interested. People keep buying bugs, so their bottom line has not been affected.

I don't want to stop buying and I will likely purchase more in the future, I just want to stop the liars discover logs.

 

as far as the phony aspect, there is no way for any site to know that a specific cacher hasn't seen my bug but I know when they say "discovered at the giga" and my bug has never been to europe.

Edited by cnlson
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Jeremy Irish posted this to his Facebook page on 5/19:

 

"I spent part of the day deleting discovery logs on my name badge trackable at events I didn't attend. Some geocacher thought it would be fun to upload and share a list of 50,000 trackable codes for users to auto-log. Generally I'm fine with playing the game the way you want to, but this isn't acceptable gameplay. If you didn't see the Trackable, don't log it."

 

and said in the comments...

 

"We were talking about adding the ability for trackable owners to lock them. That capability is there on the admin side of things, so we'd have to figure out a way to support the action for owners too."

 

"Hopefully" that means something is coming soon.

Edited by AllstarSS
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Thanks for that, AllstarSS.

Someone mentioned that in another thread and I couldn't find it (and they never responded).

Sad that ya have to tick the boss off to get things (maybe) fixed, but if that's what's needed...

- The little people have been going through that for some time. :)

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I find it very interesting that the only time (as far as I know) anyone from GS has been bothered by this whole mess is when the Boss has to deal with it.

 

Now, it's a big deal.

 

I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

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I find it very interesting that the only time (as far as I know) anyone from GS has been bothered by this whole mess is when the Boss has to deal with it.

 

Now, it's a big deal.

 

I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

 

Even then, I'm not sure if Groundspeak still thinks of this as a big deal. He posted that on the 19th. You would think they would have done something by now if this was a priority.

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I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

 

deleting 500 at a time or just the 1 or 2 that it used to be before the bulk logging?

what has changed with the api is the bulk logging. before the past few years you didn't see cachers with 20,000 trackables logged that don't even have 1000 caches found.

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I find it very interesting that the only time (as far as I know) anyone from GS has been bothered by this whole mess is when the Boss has to deal with it.

 

Now, it's a big deal.

 

I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

 

Even then, I'm not sure if Groundspeak still thinks of this as a big deal. He posted that on the 19th. You would think they would have done something by now if this was a priority.

 

I doubt if it'll ever be a priority. IMO, Jeremy was just mad at the time he had to spend.

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I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

 

deleting 500 at a time or just the 1 or 2 that it used to be before the bulk logging?

what has changed with the api is the bulk logging. before the past few years you didn't see cachers with 20,000 trackables logged that don't even have 1000 caches found.

 

So far, the most in one day was 4-5. I haven't been hit by the latest list floating around Germany so far.

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I find it very interesting that the only time (as far as I know) anyone from GS has been bothered by this whole mess is when the Boss has to deal with it.

 

Now, it's a big deal.

 

I've been deleting bogus logs for years.

 

Even then, I'm not sure if Groundspeak still thinks of this as a big deal. He posted that on the 19th. You would think they would have done something by now if this was a priority.

 

I doubt if it'll ever be a priority. IMO, Jeremy was just mad at the time he had to spend.

 

It is my understanding that there was another Giga in Germany recently. I haven't received a single log yet. Not complaining, but this is a bit surprising. Sure, there's a possibility that the list just didn't make it to that event. But I hope maybe something was done that we don't know about, such as figuring out some way to block those auto-logging programs. Who knows?

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It is my understanding that there was another Giga in Germany recently. I haven't received a single log yet. Not complaining, but this is a bit surprising. Sure, there's a possibility that the list just didn't make it to that event. But I hope maybe something was done that we don't know about, such as figuring out some way to block those auto-logging programs. Who knows?

 

it's not an auto-logging "program" it's part of the GC.com API that can be used by GSAK, project GC, logthemall.com, http://tblogger.gcinfo.de/ mygeodb.de and so on.

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This activity seems to have been around a long time, although it does seem to be increasing in activity. I contacted one such individual, why they were doing this, and there reply basically confirmed what several people have stated above:

 

Sorry to say they were on a list, delete my log if you want too... Sorry you lost your trackables, I have lost a lot too!

 

I took him up on the suggestion, but it's a pity that buying a trackable also entails babysitting the page in this fashion. Maybe Groundspeak can invent some side game for these folks, so they can happily bang away at their keyboards making these virtual finds. Hmmm...maybe there's a puzzle cache idea in there somewhere :laughing:

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OK, well, this explains why a travelbug that I released 11 years ago, and hasn't been seen at all for 10 years, is suddenly getting "discovered" log entries. The entries always use the same wording, "Discovered it. Thank you for sharing." which fits with what people are saying in this thread about some program automatically making the log entries.

 

I'm not as annoyed as disappointed. When I got the first one I was really hopeful that maybe it actually had been found and was in circulation again. Not so. I can't see how making bogus log entries helps anyone. Why do people even bother to do it? What value is it?

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OK, well, this explains why a travelbug that I released 11 years ago, and hasn't been seen at all for 10 years, is suddenly getting "discovered" log entries.

 

- snip -

 

Why do people even bother to do it? What value is it?

You ever find out, please let me know. :)

Cache find count's pretty-much a given, maybe there's still a future trackables record to be had.

- Or maybe it's just a requirement for one of those challenge things.

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OK, well, this explains why a travelbug that I released 11 years ago, and hasn't been seen at all for 10 years, is suddenly getting "discovered" log entries.

 

- snip -

 

Why do people even bother to do it? What value is it?

You ever find out, please let me know. :)

Cache find count's pretty-much a given, maybe there's still a future trackables record to be had.

- Or maybe it's just a requirement for one of those challenge things.

 

Well it has discouraged me from purchasing more trackables to be released. If the abuse of their intent is not important it lessens their worth from my viewpoint.

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I found it rather disturbing today (at the Geocaching Block Party) to see people laying printed lists of 50-100 trackable codes on the trackables table. I watched dozens of people just picking the list up and photographing it. To me that's not finding a trackable, that's just spreading trackabke codes.That's asking for abuse of those codes. It seriously bothered me and to think that Groundspeak allowed lists to just lay there on the table. I was half tempted to grab them and destroy them.

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We have a project involving hundreds of TBs so we are very much aware of the nuisance caused when a number of them appear at mega events, or on circulating lists, etc. Think we have a different view than most of you. We are not really interested in a solution that helps 80/20 or 100% get rid of FALSE discovery logs. What we'd like is a means by which we could turn discovery off completely for our trackables. It is our view that discovery serves no useful purpose whatsoever for a travel bug owner, who wants their bug to MOVE. That being said, if there are those who do care, they could leave discovery turned on, and maybe some of the solutions proposed here could be implemented for them. But we think the TB owner should have the option of whether or not the option to discover appears in the logging menu at all for their bugs. That would give us the level of control we desire.

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What we'd like is a means by which we could turn discovery off completely for our trackables.

That's frequently suggested. There is currently the ability to block all logs, "discover" included.

 

A switch to turn off "Discover" will increase the posts in this Forum. People love to checkmark checkboxes, and there will be an increase of posts about "My friend can't log 'Discover' on my TB, why not!" And it will be because there's a checkbox for "Discover" where it's not at all clear what the checkbox causes. RE: "Collectible".

 

Other than that, if it allowed a Discover log to be made, yet just hid all such logs from view, that might be viable.

 

Note that when I make a Discover log, there are photos and stories about the item. If you're not interested, placing something on the TB page about "No Discovery logs, please", would be a start. While we wait for the checkbox. :anicute:

 

If GS wanted to actually do something, they could slap an instant ban cachers who make those fake logs. We can already easily tell which cachers they are (GS can see it even plainer), make them cut it out. At least make cachers go to extra work after fake logs. But if you've been paying attention, you know that nothing proactive will happen. :ph34r:

Edited by kunarion
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