Valve puts a stop to ‘report botting’, says John McDonald

Home » Valve puts a stop to ‘report botting’, says John McDonald

John McDonald, a Valve developer just posted on twitter seemingly to have put a stop to report botting once and for all.

Report botting worked when cheaters (trolls, anyone really) would use abuse the in-game reporting feature and report legitimate players, sending mass reports in and potentially getting their account banned. The first offense was a 6 week ban, and a 2nd was a permanent ban.

With adversarial problems, it is impossible to say “this will be fixed forever.” It’s probable bad actors will figure out how to bad act again in the future. It’s an ever-escalating battle.

If you recall, back in April of 2018 John McDonald posted on reddit stating that ‘report bots do not work’:

“Report bots do not work. I personally did the work to prevent them about a year ago.

Edit: to clarify a bit, there was a time where report bots did work. They were causing a significant decrease in conviction rates for OW, so I did the work to prevent them from working any more. This work does not indicate failure to the report bot. I don’t believe there is a feasible workaround for report bots to suddenly work, and last I checked (about a month ago), I didn’t see any instances of cases in OW coming in from anything that looked like a report bot or report bot network.” 

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