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What is the point of bot accounts and how to deal with their logs?


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I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with bot account logs. I've asked some of my cache owner friends but they said they don't have the same issue. 

My caches get a large amount of bogus logs that I figure are robot and not actually human powered accounts: usually they only have one or two finds, the profile isn't set up and they haven't visited the website. The logs don't make sense and/or are very short and the cache logbook isn't actually signed. 

 

These bot logs also tend to happen in waves. I'll wake up to a slew of log messages that supposedly happened during the night with none of them being real. They tend to happen more often after some activity happened with the cache; either when a real account logged it or when I post, or just after I have used the website. So I suspect the cache activity is a trigger for the bots somehow. 

 

I've been deleting these logs because it affects the health of my caches, but it's super annoying. As you can see, this morning someone listed the cache as NM with a nonsense remark, which is the first time this has happened. (Cache is fine, just checked.) Usually it's either found (like the ones below) or DNF logs - super random. 

 

Does anyone know what the point is of bot accounts that are just used to fake log a single cache once? And why fake log as DNF or NM? Is there anything I can do to make it stop? 

 

Edited by geoawareUSA9
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I removed the screenshot to avoid privacy issues in case any of the alleged bots are not in fact bots. This is the cache in question, for the record.

 

Since all of the accounts that appear to be the problem are basic members, you could make any affected caches premium member only, even for a short time, to see if that stopped it.

 

But I would also recommend contacting Groundspeak through the help center. You may get some assistance here, but more specific action can be taken if you provide more specific information to the help center team - dates, times, team names, etc., which should not be posted here.

 

Edit: Isonzo Karst may be in to something here - not bots, but newbies. Going PMO would definitely help.

Edited by geoawareUSA9
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2 hours ago, teamdassie said:

Does anyone know what the point is of bot accounts

This is happening more and more it seems. It happens because it is possible. There is no point usually, just like there is no point in bots writing nonsense in forums or viruses spreading without a payload. Sometimes it is a matter of testing bots intended for some purpose, sometimes the creators just enjoy seeing their bots in action. Forum bots can be used to agitate people, probably very amusing to the bot owner. I sometimes think this happens also in this forum once in a while.

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7 hours ago, teamdassie said:

I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with bot account logs. I've asked some of my cache owner friends but they said they don't have the same issue. 

My caches get a large amount of bogus logs

Interesting - I looked at a couple of yourhides,and they do seem to get a lot of logs from basic members with few to no finds.  You can try making your caches Premium only and see if that slows or stops the bogus activity, as @geoawareUSA9 suggested.

 

I, personally, have not see this or anything like it.  My hides are either Premium Only, or puzzles and multis that don't show on a basic members app (though they can be seen on the website).

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It's never happened to me and when I've seen or discussed them in the past it's a very rare occurence, you've had more on that one cache than I've seen in the last 18 years added together. I wonder if it's someone you've annoyed who's targeting you.


Report it via the contact us link Geoaware posted, then Groundspeak can have a look. They might see that all the accounts are coming from the same IP address and have in the past been able to block the source address so they can't create new accounts though whether they would still do that remains to be seen, that's also only effective until the offender changes their IP address.

 

 

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Novices downloading the app who do not offer a home location will see the app open in Seattle WA.  They'll see Events, Trads at ratings of  2/2 and below,  and GeoTours.  Around HQ  you'll see of this type of random logging, trying out the app. Tougher to detect now, after the HQ Celebration, a lot of legit logging there.

 

If the app user is outside,  the app will relocate to their current location. If they're inside, fiddling around, they may keep  logging in and around Seattle. 

 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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I've had groups of new accounts find my caches, often times a group of kids who discovered the geocaching app.  I welcome all finders and I'm happy when a cache of mine gets attention like that.  

 

I don't believe those are bot accounts you're talking about, they're just app users who never logged into the website.  

 

I have this premium member account but I also have at least one other basic account with zero finds because sometimes I want to be able to see what a basic member can see.  I'm actually working on a video for my geocaching YouTube channel which will help basic-level app-only users, so it's good to have that account.  But it's not a bot account.

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On 9/5/2022 at 2:11 PM, teamdassie said:

 

 

Does anyone know what the point is of bot accounts that are just used to fake log a single cache once? And why fake log as DNF or NM? Is there anything I can do to make it stop? 

 

Why do some people drive 10 mph  under the speed limit in the left lane? Why do some people sit directly behind  you in an almost empty movie theater, then talk throughout the movie? It's because they're jerks, and they're doing it because they can. If they get a reaction from you, it's all the better for them. Sadly, there's not much you can do about them - jerks will always find a way to be a jerk.

 

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