Harsher punishment for different offences

OGS should be harsher on obvious cheating. This should be an instant ban. Escaping or language could be warnable but what are you doing not instantly banning cheating. There should be diff tiers of offences.

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You can still care about offenders levels. I agree with you for players who understood what go is, but many attempts in the scoring phase are made by beginners.

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Well you can easily see it from a game stand point, you don’t go playing a proper game then lose all brain cells only in the scoring phase. And this is if you give a benefit of a doubt like for bent four. Many just maliciously select wrong groups intentionally AND repeatedly.

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Just some loose thoughts …

Criminal penalties do not just punish violators, but also discourage other people from committing similar offences.
What happens if a penalty is disproportional to the crime?
Discouraging may turn into oppression.

If that is what you want, you can’t make any mistakes anymore.


My personal way of dealing with this is the following:

  • if there is any way in which a player could be cheating due to miscommunication or misunderstanding, then I’ll always give the benefit of the doubt.
  • If the player had been warned previously for the same offense, I ban
  • If the player is clearly understanding the situation and it is evident that the player is aware of their behaviour being problematic, then I generally ban instantly (e.g. when they admit to being annoying on purpose in chat)

In the end, there are many people who show behaviour that could be interpreted as cheating, but who are not aware that what they are doing is wrong. Especially in the low ranks this is common, and it is also frequently seen with accounts belonging to children (who may or may not be aware of how serious their offense is).

It also depends how frequent the offense is: a player who has played 2000 games, and is only reported once for cheating, I’d generally give the benefit of the doubt.

Therefore I generally choose to warn instead of ban when there is any hope that the player can convinced to change their behaviour without a ban. Antagonising unknowing players by harsh punishment is also a way to breed new trolls, namely.


“discourage other people from committing similar offences.” That’s is the whole point. You want to encourage cheaters? -_-

@Vsotvep Well hopefully you guys can make a standard easy to follow cos some are really just pretty clear cut and is way more efficient and minimises wrong judgements.

E.g. Mine would be.

  1. Played more than X number of games against X number of opponents rated at least X rating? Meaning: No longer beginner.

  2. Played more than X number of games? Meaning: Low game count means less investment and less pain if wrong insta-ban given if it’s really a misclick.
    Insta-bans should be more liberal at this level to discourage making fresh accounts every time they get banned. Insta-banning doubles the ban rate and doubles their hassle, thus making it harder and likely to reduce cheaters.

  3. Check how many times the scoring page comes up. Meaning: If it keeps getting rejected multiple times, you know it’s very likely intentional cheating.
    Here’s some context, I have played thousands of games and the number of times I have gotten score cheating charge is zero. I’m more likely to lose by time playing one handed on the loo with wet hands that can’t press the touch screen properly than accidentally clicking dead stones as alive or vice versa REPEATEDLY especially when the autoscoring does a 99% good job at the end of the game. So some dude that just played less than 20 games can score cheat ‘accidentally’? What a joke.

You may be underestimating how clueless some players are.

Insta-bans result in more valid appeals, which are in itself more effort for us. We’d be both antagonising more players with good intentions and create more work for ourselves by blindly going for insta-bans based on numbers.

Also, instabans encourages people to create new accounts, if I were to speak from experience. The annoying thing with this is that such new accounts can disappear from our radar, which is unhelpful as well. Again this creates more work.

We’re not exactly short on more work, to be honest…


It is less work if you disregard appeals entirely. Insta-bans (for serious offences only of course). If you follow the logical framework of mine, I’d doubt you’d see any complains from real mistakes. As my guidelines only insta-bans new strong players with little games who play strong players so they know what they’re doing and it if it’s a real mistake, they have little to lose.

Disallow account deletions then. OGS already disallows game deletions. Why not that? Then at least they’d have to make a new account name and be creative and use a new email.

Why would we disregard appeals entirely?

Instabanning means we ban more people who, in the end, did not do anything wrong or didn’t know they were doing something wrong. Should those people not deserve a chance to play on OGS?

This does not matter. Before and after we had account deletion enabled, people could always just create a new account with little effort in a way that we can not really track them. That’s unfortunately just how the internet works…


Do you think dan or high kyu players who score-cheat can possibly belong to that category?

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As said, you may be underestimating how clueless some players are. I’ve seen genuine confusion from people about the simplest things, who then bettered their behaviour after a little chat.


If your guidelines had proper requirements that were properly followed, how would that even be possible in the first place? Regardless, if you’re against a stricter Insta-ban ruling, but the current more relaxed non Insta-ban rulings still has appeals then clearly there’s something wrong with what you guys are currently doing even without being stricter.

Not to mention you guys mention doing less work but disregard removing a, IMO, non-essential service (appeals) that if the banning process was done right in the first place as per the current perfectly fine rulings, would be unneeded.



Banning has a purpose as well, it shows that we are serious when we give out a warning. Often behaviour that wasn’t improved after a warning, is so after a ban was appealed.

Again, giving no option of appealing, would mean more people just create an extra account, which is harder for us to track than to deal with the original account.

I don’t believe that harsher punishments will get rid of those trolls who try to be annoying for the sake of being annoying (unfortunately we have a couple), but it will have the effect that more people who can be reasoned with, do not get the chance to be reasoned with.

The problem is not that it is impossible to stop malicious users from doing harm, it is that we need to balance our attempts from stopping malicious users against the harm we are doing to false positives. If we ban more readily, there are many more users who will find themselves banned, not just those who deserve a permanent ban. If we make it a lot harder to create an account, it will harm the ability of some innocent people to create accounts. And so on.


I’m finding this thread amusing and frustrating at the same time. When I was moderating, I followed the policy that @Vsotvep has enunciated, and I was considered a hard-ass. It is true that some mods are, IMHO, much too indulgent.

However, in my experience, about 50% of score cheaters do reform after being warned.

As Vsotvep has said, the innocent mistakes that occur are substantial. The autoscore does not do “a 99% good job at the end of the game” (ironically, the score estimator does a better job at the end of the game). The autoscore often marks stray dead stones as alive when they are not. Beginners see this and think it is valid because it comes from the AI, so when the more knowledgeable opponent marks them dead, the beginner starts marking them alive, hence a score-cheating dispute. Even more often, beginners and some much more experienced players misinterpret a seki, do not understand nakades, and do not know that players are not required to capture dead stones. Some real cheats exploit these situations by pretending to be ignorant, but as in real life justice, OGS gives the benefit of the doubt in most cases.

Score cheating is largely a phenomenon of the DDK-TPK level, and is very rare among strong SDKs and dans. Most of the latter are trolls who routinely create alt accounts.


Your opinion matters but i think you are not very aware of the huge hidden job moderators are doing here and how much difficulties they meet when they have to be helpers and at the same cutters of the bad weed.

Things are bit more complicated as you propose, trust me, they are quite experienced and do a great job (not forgetting they are benevolent).


I’m in favour of letting the moderators use their judgement.

“Zero-tolerance” policies have been tried elsewhere. They lead to reduced trust and to people feeling they’ve been unfairly punished for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings.

As a player, I see only what happens in my own games, plus a bit of gossip that suffers from selective reporting. The mods have a more complete picture of the world.


Also, this is a good place to say: I’m grateful to the many people who donate their time for helping to run this server :slight_smile:


Big problem with any automated actions is that if there is legit scoring disagreement on the status of some seki or bent-4-in-corner, then its highly likely that both players think that they are right about the situation, and opponent is in the wrong. So its very possible that the game gets reported by the person who was actually mistaken on the status of their stones.

I’ve seen a lot of reports where the reporter has thought that opponent is trying to mark their stones dead and cheat, and when i check the game reporter has huge dead group with 1 eye on the board or something similar. It would be really horrible thing to ban people just because their opponent has reported them, i think there should always be some human checking out what really happened.


You and many others misunderstand. I’m not vouching for auto insta-banning but insta-banning for obvious clear cheating done after mod checking. Same as current system but a one-chance system for cheaters. No need to give chance if mod is convinced the guy’s a clear cheater.

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