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Teeny Tiny Cat

Open discussion on rules for trading with scammers (Part 2)

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Teeny Tiny Cat

Hello all. I have been thinking a lot recently about the feedback we received previously in this thread as well as this topic as a whole. I am putting serious consideration into whether or not this rule still has any place in our community. We are the only large site that actively enforces it. I don't believe that nowadays it really impacts scammers ability to sell their items that much. And, while this is a private site and we are not the police, the law doesn't even prohibit buying stolen items unless you're aware that you're doing so to a reasonable doubt.

 

What do you think? Is this rule outdated/archaic? Is this rule still needed? Would you get rid of it, or prefer to modify it in some way? If you believe it's still needed, what practical purpose do you feel it serves?

 

I may or may not participate here a lot, I would like to give the community time to discuss and feedback. If you have any specific questions for me, @ me. 

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HyperOmega

block fucking private inventories and inventories with no real worth or profiles with less than 100 hours on the game lmao its 🅱retty easy mang

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gilga

What are the BENEFITS of removing this rule...? That's all I have to ask.

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Headshotdoge

Hello Teeny,

 

Firstly, I appreciate that you openly thinking about changing this. 

 

I don't really think that allowing to trade with scammers is a good thing to do, but we have the problem that not even all cases are found. I remember people telling me privately that they traded with marked/obvious scammer alts to get a good deal and not getting banned. Currently, it's more of a luck system, where you don't get caught if you are lucky. Only the big traders who people regularly check, are found out pretty quickly. 

 

I don't think changing it would make things different. People are already and will continue to trade with scammers/alts if they don't get caught. I think we hit a point where it is a better idea just to ditch the whole rule. This would also make for less issues, which means that mods have more time to devote to other issues. (Reports)

 

~bp.tf 2nd most favorite doggo


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Random Coffee Table
2 minutes ago, HyperOmega said:

block fucking private inventories and inventories with no real worth or profiles with less than 100 hours on the game lmao its 🅱retty easy mang

I don't think either of those is fair. there might be someone with a private profile who isn't a scammer or wants to get a craft hat but has only like 72 hours.

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j58

Certain aspects of the rule are still necessary. Three strikes for small value trades may be drastic for a permanent ban, but the rule is more necessary for the traders who don’t find it wrong to recycle stolen goods (or items from scammers regardless) into the market. I don’t find the ‘unknowingly trading scammers’ argument valid when a user repetitively trades with scammers ‘unknowingly’. 

 

People buying from scammers get items far cheaper than those who trade legitimately, and buying scammed items gives profit to those who took advantage of others. I believe its practical use is warning potential traders against users who have shown that they are not willing to make profit fairly, and instead rely upon (or regularly use) banned users to do that for them. 

 

I believe the rule could use modified, but not removed outright. Not really sure what this could be, warnings instead of longer temp bans? Good to know this is being addressed though

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mrphil2105

Some people might not be aware that trading with scammers is forbidden, and they will be surprised by the consequences. If we are going to keep this rule, I feel like we should make it a lot clearer.

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Ashannabuda

If trading with scammers is allowed that wouldn't be very good, you'd be allowing people who scammed items to sell to someone else and make profit for their horrible actions

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cяσιss
3 minutes ago, HyperOmega said:

block fucking private inventories and inventories with no real worth or profiles with less than 100 hours on the game lmao its 🅱retty easy mang

Essentially this.

 

I always thought this was a pretty unnecessarily strict "rule", although I do see what it was trying to do.

Removing it would probably be for the better, it's just unnecessary in this time and age lol.

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j58
2 minutes ago, Headshotdoge said:

Hello Teeny,

 

Firstly, I appreciate that you openly thinking about changing this. 

 

I don't really think that allowing to trade with scammers is a good thing to do, but we have the problem that not even all cases are found. I remember people telling me privately that they traded with marked/obvious scammer alts to get a good deal and not getting banned. Currently, it's more of a luck system, where you don't get caught if you are lucky. Only the big traders who people regularly check, are found out pretty quickly. 

 

I don't think changing it would make things different. People are already and will continue to trade with scammers/alts if they don't get caught. I think we hit a point where it is a better idea just to ditch the whole rule. This would also make for less issues, which means that mods have more time to devote to other issues. (Reports)

 

~bp.tf 2nd most favorite doggo


 

@Headshotdoge

Compare this to a minor crime, would ditching a rule be right just because some people can find ways around the law? 

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Archimo

I personally believe that unless somebody trades very actively with scammers they should be let off the hook.

Everybody does slip ups for sure I've even gotten a few items off of steam community market from scammers without being able to look them up due to how steam is as an example.

Basically if somebody is trading very excessively with scammers they should be warned and if they go on that way they could get a ban on backpack.

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Freak4ever2000™

Im a big fan of punishing scammers as much as possible, but you are correct, a bp.tf ban doesnt hurt anymore. Atleast not enough to stop scamming. I am abit worried on how a lift of the scamming policy would increase scamming in the communtiy, but overall i agree that the rule is abit outdated. Seeing alot of rare items locked away in scammer backpacks is sad and i would love to see some items in circulation again. I would however, still mark people as scammers. Permanently. You are then allowed to trade with them, but you are aware that you are buying a scammed item. 

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Sakamoto

I think the only change in the rules is that knowingly trading with scammers should no longer result in a permanent ban. It should have the same punishment for trading with scammers regardless of whether the trader knew or not. But other than that, the rules should probably remain in place. backpack.tf shouldn't become a haven for cooperating with scammers (like some websites).

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Freak4ever2000™
1 minute ago, Archimo said:

I personally believe that unless somebody trades very actively with scammers they should be let off the hook.

Everybody does slip ups for sure I've even gotten a few items off of steam community market from scammers without being able to look them up due to how steam is as an example.

Basically if somebody is trading very excessively with scammers they should be warned and if they go on that way they could get a ban on backpack.

 

I agree with this alot.

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Headshotdoge
1 minute ago, j58 said:

 

@Headshotdoge

Compare this to a minor crime, would ditching a rule be right just because some people can find ways around the law? 

I know where you are coming from, but here the majority of the "crime" goes unnoticed. It's not very practical to just punish the few that you find by chance

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Teeny Tiny Cat
Just now, j58 said:

 

@Headshotdoge

Compare this to a minor crime, would ditching a rule be right just because some people can find ways around the law? 

 

I will also point out, as I touched on in the OP, that buying scammed items is only a crime if you're aware you're doing it and choose to do it anyway. Unknowingly buying stolen items is not against the law.

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Arbiter2209

If I may put my thoughts on this, anyone who's confirmed and marked as a scammer should be barred from trading on the site, but like some have already said they'll probably have alts to work on, it may be an outdated rule but it's one that's good for warning new traders about what's lurking out there.

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j58

Personally, I’m more worried about what would happen if this rule was fully removed - as I said before, scammers sell items for much cheaper than legitimate traders, and moral implications of allowing people to trade freely with stolen items aren’t necessarily positive.

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TheGlenCoco

I don't think the rule should be removed, scammers don't have it that easy to sell stolen goods and letting people make big profit of them without punishment wouldn't just be right. Although I do think it should be modified the way Julia suggested.

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Murs

Back when this rule was introduced, it was done so with the intention to track and restrict marked scammers from offloading their items. While I do not believe (most) scammers should be allowed to trade at all,  I do personally believe that some sort of change should be made regarding punishment. With the advent of "automated scammers" and bots, trading is far less personal than when this rule was introduced,  and the likelihood of trading with an actual marked scammer is unlikely, as they have probably offloaded their items by this point. Some people don't care, some people know they can take a strike and that's worth it for the trade they're making, and some believe that it seems backwards to decline legitimate pure offers from previous offenders. 

 

These days the rule isn't going to prevent scammers from ditching their items. They'll go through too many filters and inventories and sell them off for a quick profit. I personally consider it prohibitive to have to manually check every single trade to make sure they weren't marked (as backpack also bans for trading with users who aren't steamrep marked but are site banned for some reason) before trading. Removing it is another thing entirely, but the three strike system means people will just flagrantly ignore it twice over because they can. I'm pretty sure I've seen more bans for trading with scammers than actual scammer bans, and the only ones getting banned these days are the bots with hideous English that add you with the same script and phishing links.

 

The rule is pretty much ineffective these days and only serves to hinder legitimate traders. The actual scammers are still restricted from site use, so I don't consider it a good use of time and resources to bother tracking it these days.

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TheProcave

I believe the best you can do is a strike system, they are used in real life in certain countries for driving.

So take for example, in country A. you are caught speeding, that's the first strike, a slap on the wrist nothing more.

Then you are caught AGAIN speeding, a more severe punishment, but still nothing worse.

If you get caught speeding a THIRD time you will either get a very severe punishment (lose your drivers license for a while in certain cases, huge fine,...)

And then the fourth and final time you will be trailed.

 

I believe we should put in such a system, where as a person trades once it will be counted as a strike on their profile or such, and could be handed out a slap on the wrist as in a warning.

 

Hope you like this idea!

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OverduePixels
1 minute ago, j58 said:

Personally, I’m more worried about what would happen if this rule was fully removed - as I said before, scammers sell items for much cheaper than legitimate traders, and moral implications of allowing people to trade freely with stolen items aren’t necessarily positive.

 

I do not believe nothing much will happen. This is a very minor hurdle for scammers at this point. There are just numerous ways for them to sell their items. Can't sell here? Jump to Marketplace, Scrap, Bitskins, S.C.M (Steam Community Market), etc. Ways to sell for them is not limited anymore. We are the only site actively still doing this. The main purpose of this rule to exist is to limit the scammers, but it does not do that. What are we banning the users for?

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Teeny Tiny Cat
Just now, TheProcave said:

I believe the best you can do is a strike system, they are used in real life in certain countries for driving.

So take for example, in country A. you are caught speeding, that's the first strike, a slap on the wrist nothing more.

Then you are caught AGAIN speeding, a more severe punishment, but still nothing worse.

If you get caught speeding a THIRD time you will either get a very severe punishment (lose your drivers license for a while in certain cases, huge fine,...)

And then the fourth and final time you will be trailed.

 

I believe we should put in such a system, where as a person trades once it will be counted as a strike on their profile or such, and could be handed out a slap on the wrist as in a warning.

 

Hope you like this idea!

 

That's exactly what we have now...

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TheProcave

 

Just now, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

That's exactly what we have now...

Ah excuse me I must've mixed something up

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j58
3 minutes ago, OverduePixels said:

 

I do not believe nothing much will happen. This is a very minor hurdle for scammers at this point. There are just numerous ways for them to sell their items. Can't sell here? Jump to Marketplace, Scrap, Bitskins, S.C.M (Steam Community Market), etc. Ways to sell for them is not limited anymore. We are the only site actively still doing this. The main purpose of this rule to exist is to limit the scammers, but it does not do that. What are we banning the users for?

@OverduePixels

What are you suggesting should happen to the rule?

No longer ban users for trading with scammers whatsoever?

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