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FB page giving TB codes uses PGC as website !

+4 votes
366 views

My main point here is - Has PGC 'owners' become aware of this group and dealing ......
**Update  -  PGC owners are aware and have commented below - thank you....**

Has PGC become aware of the facebook group called "Geocache TB Spoiler" 
This group/page has decided to publish 1000's of TB and geocoin codes with the misconception that all TBs/coins are meant to be discovered
It has as its reason for being

"Among geocaching activities, two fundamental principles reign supreme. They are: (1) caches are meant to be found, and (2) trackables are meant to be discovered. It follows that finding caches and discovering trackables do NOT constitute cheating. Without these two activities there would be no geocaching.

Little-known factoids. Groundspeak considers solving puzzles to be an unsupported "additional logging requirement". This is why puzzle spoiler pages continue unfettered. Groundspeak pays lip service to complaints but they do nothing to slow the proliferation and continual use of puzzle spoilers. Similarly, as noted above, trackables are meant to be discovered. Groundspeak will never prevent the discovery of an item which garners a lucrative profit. Believe it. It's true!

If you do not wish your TBs to be discovered, please use the tools provided to you by Groundspeak. That is, visit your trackable's page and lock it using the drop down box in the right-hand column."

Already this has upset a lot of cachers who have not given permission for their codes to be handed out in this fashion. Locking the TB page as described above will prevent any genuine logging of TBs that are out in the wild genuinely travelling from cache to cache - so this is not a viable option 

On its page the link to https://project-gc.com/Tools/DiscoverTrackables?  has been added in two places - this is giving the impression that PGC is the website for the page and that PGC is in support of this activity -

Where, as I know this tool, is for the purpose of mass logging of TBs/coins discovered at meets etc, I am sure PGC will not be happy to have it used where the information has been gleaned from sites like this. 

GC HQ have already been informed and looking into this too

Currently this page has details of nearly 8000 codes and that will grow if the page is not removed (Many have reported the page) 

Personally - though I am aware of the usefulness of the tool - I do wonder if, in light of this sort of activity, if removing the tool thus requiring cachers to log each TB/coin individually may go some way to assisting in reducing this sort of activity 

asked Jan 5 in Miscellaneous by Deepdiggingmole (8,250 points)
edited Jan 8 by Deepdiggingmole
I have noted that the logging tool now identifies potential spurious list logging - However with the limit at 1000 This wont stop them surely

6 Answers

+4 votes
Unless the owner has given permission for the code to be shared and logged, I am not a fan of trackables being logged.  The point of these trackables is actually going out and finding them.  I would view it the same as someone logging a cache without actually finding the cache
answered Jan 6 by ormustr (4,020 points)
+1 vote

Thanks for this thread!

As far as I know, Groundspeak is taking some measures against the release of mystery / multi / letterbox solutions.
Log entries that spoiler solutions may be deleted by the owner, the same applies to pictures:

Statement of the german reviewers - cachers could be banned:
https://www.gc-reviewer.de/ich-haette-da-mal-eine-loesung/

In my view, there is a lack of respect for mystery owners & creators when solutions are spoiled and shared.

It is also a sign of weakness and nonsense for me if someone logged hundreds or thousands of such mystery caches, just for the sake of statistics only to have the corresponding number of mystery finds. no

 

TravelBugs with published tracking codes can be locked by Groundspeak. Especially with expensive geocoins, such cachers harm the owners - even financially, because these coins are no longer worth anything, e.g. in exchange transactions.

It is an absolute insolence to write, someone can lock the own TB / Geocoin to prevent logs!
WTF ??? angry

I bought my Geocoins to let them be discovered by friends - not by asholes like those facebook group members. Therfore I will delete such unwanted logs!

These are all reasons why I hate such manipulating statistics cachers and why I describe myself als pleasure-cacher. I am very happy that I have already found many true cacher friends with the same conviction.

I have some geocoins that I haven't activated yet. My friends admire this without being able to discover them. Simply out of respect for the collection itself.

Project-GC could blacklist the tracking codes from the spoiler pages / facebook groups:
Then if e.g. some codes abcd001, abcd002, abcd003, ... occur at the same time in one discover job, this could simply be canceled with an indication of "There is suspicion of fraud, your account ID has been registerd, in the case of repetitions you will be excluded from PGC an be reported to Groundspeak".

It could also be dangerous for PGC if those fraud published tracking codes are supported in future by the TB discover tool. Groundspeak could deprive PGC of using the API, because it is supporting such a scam.

Those facebook groups simply offends the Terms of Use Agreement.

answered Jan 6 by Onkel Benny (2,340 points)
+6 votes

We became aware a few days ago. We are of course not affiliated with this group in any way. We have done two things related to this topic.

1) We have implemented counter measures that makes their lists very hard to use at Project-GC. However, there are other sites that will be used instead. The problem is that we will have to maintain this, it will cost us time.

2) We have reported the site to Facebook, since we do not wish for our domain/url to be used as their website in their contact information. Sadly, the reporting tools on Facebook doesn't allow us to leave exact details of our complaints, so we are 99% sure nothing will happen.

Sadly we don't believe HQ will be able to do much either. The group isn't illegal in any way we can see it. Facebook won't really care what HQ thinks or wants. The whole fake discovering of trackables has been an issue for HQ for years, yet they haven't resolved it. And we don't blame them, because we do not have any suggestion of how they should do it.

answered Jan 7 by magma1447 (Admin) (219,030 points)
Thank you - you answer several queries - but pleased to know that you andPGC are aware and have done what you can to assist
+5 votes

HQ have now added a post to the FB TB group page

 stating the following :-

"To any geocachers who are thinking about logging these trackable codes...
Logging trackables that you have not seen, without consent of the trackable owner, is not in the spirit of the game of geocaching. Those who log trackables in this way risk suspension of their Geocaching account. Of course, if/when we identify the person(s) who posted trackable codes on this page, their Geocaching account(s) will be subject to action.
It is very disappointing when people choose to create spoiler pages. Unfortunately, because this page is on the Facebook platform, it is up to Facebook to take action regarding the page. We encourage anyone who is concerned about the unauthorized sharing of trackable codes to report this page to Facebook.
Trackable owners can always delete any logs believed to be bogus or inappropriate. You can also temporarily lock your trackable, essentially taking it out of the game. It can be unlocked later. To lock your Trackable, visit the Trackable page and select "Lock" under "Actions." Confirm on the next page that you want it locked."

answered Jan 8 by Deepdiggingmole (8,250 points)
0 votes

I have noted on your trackable logging tool page it says

In the below input field you can enter up to 1000 trackable IDs at once.

Is it possible to reduce this figure to a much smaller amount (I would argue 20 is sufficient) 
Having 1000 - seems to lend sway to allowing this sort of activity to take place - if I go to an event I am not likely to see 1000 TBs
If I mass log 1000 TB/coins it is likely that I have got that number from an unauthorised list -  don't think it helps that they can do this so easily 

Tim


 

answered Jan 10 by Deepdiggingmole (8,250 points)
In addition - if it is around 20 - then if someone wants to log 1000 - they would have to do this 50 times - there could be a means by which this activity is noted and a halt put to that account
After a Mega/Giga I often return with 100+ TBs to be logged. Walk such a events parking lot and it's easy to discover hundreds of them in a short timeframe.
Limiting the discover tool to a very low number defeats the whole purpose of that tool and doesn't do anything to stop abuse.
logging 100 TB would take 5 separate logs - to do 1000 means 50 seperate logs - This site currently has over 12000 TBs listed - so that would be 600 instead of 12
and logging them 1 by 1 on GC.com will take 100 logs. Your point being?
I'm opposed to your suggestion of artificially limiting the number of TBs that can be logged, that won't be changed by more examples of what's already stated in your original comment.

If I have to do 20 logs (a 20) instead of 1 after a Giga I might not even log them anymore, TBs are not that special to me.
0 votes
Finally the FB page has removed Project-GC link as their website - Hooray
However they have replaced it with logthemall.org website  link - This is another mass logging tool website but does have and needs API access to GC dot com so I doubt that will last long
answered Jan 14 by Deepdiggingmole (8,250 points)
OK  -  sorry for this being unrelated to PGC - however
I have messaged the site owner for logthemall  - he is not on Facebook - he is not happy that this group are now using his website as the link
Is there someone who can assist in advising how he can get this group to remove his website
I ask as I presume it was as a result of something PGC did to get them to remove the PGC link
Well, others use smart ways to publish TB list in their own TB. I came across a WA for an event where the user has put a link to is TB, and the TB code is TB9D7RQ.
Strange conception of geocaching.... :-(
TB9D7RQ - this code is simply the ID code not the logging code - this code will take you to the TB page but will not enable you to log the TB - though I have noted that that TB does then go on to add the code on the page and requests swapping codes in logs !!!
hum.... just make a search for this TB and you will see, in the description of this TB, an impressive list of trackables to discover.... Maybe I wasn't explicit enough in my first post, so enter into the description to see this : former list deleted ;-)
Jessyleo - Please delete this - I knew exactly what you were referring to - I do not need a list of codes attached to this OP - thank you
according to your post, it seemed to me that it wasn't clear. Well, codes are deleted.
My whole point was to refer to other tricks people would invent just to log TB's. The profile who has this TB with the list, has approx 5 founds over a few year but also more than 2500 logged TBs... Just another way of playing the game I suppose, at least he's not armchair logging like others do.
Technically - he is armchair logging - all those TBs it would seem have been logged by him and he has not seen a single one of them, just the codes - yes others have freely given them to him. It isn't clear whether the codes he has received actually belong to the giving cachers or whether they are just proffering codes they have come across - either way it is no different to what is being done on the FB page - but there we go
...