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TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

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TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:32 pm
joshTheGoodsUser avatarPosts: 15Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:51 amLocation: Midwest, USA

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Alright everyone, this post will seem long and boring, but I didn't want to put it into the blog, so ... here are a few short help files I've compiled while providing support to the masses. Please be sure to read them to completion before posting a support request!

The most simple step by step is as follows:

1. Boot the program up, it should be in your start menu under TubeGuardian.
2. right click the yeti icon on the bottom right hand side of your screen near where the clock is (I'll call this the menu from here on out) and, click "Settings"
3. Type in your username and password then click "Add Account," your username should appear in the list on the right. Be careful typing your password, you wont be able to see it from here on out in the program. If you mess up, you can always remove the account from the list, and add it again. You can also add accounts that you don't know the password on in order to collect stats on other peoples' videos. To do that, you would enter their name, but for the password you'd enter a dash "-" (no quotes). The program obviously cannot enable and disable ratings on their accounts, so it will just collect data (cool for nerds like myself!)
4. Click the "Collector" tab in the settings form you have open. The setting you see is how often the program refreshes your video statistics. 10 minutes (the dafault) should be pretty good for someone with the sort of traffic you get.
5. Click the "Guardian" tab in the settings form. The program considers the most recent ratings that you've gotten, and the first option tells the program how many of the newest changes in ratings to look at. Again, the default value of 10 is pretty good for your traffic range. The second option on this form tells the program what kind of rating should set off the alarm bells. I imagine you get mostly 5 *'s seeing as you're awesome, so you might bump this setting up a little bit to say ... 2.5-3.0. This means that if at any time the program sees that the 10 most recent ratings were, on average, less than 2.5 the program will consider that video under attack.
6. Click Save & Exit
7. Menu -> Observer Status, this form tells you all kinds of fun information once the program starts collecting data, let's turn it on
8. Menu -> Enable Observer
9. Menu -> Enable Guardian

Now the program is running, and protecting your videos! You can confirm that it works by waiting for a moment after you've enabled the observer, then click the text to the left of the progress bar on the bottom of the Observer Status form to force the form to refresh itself (it checks if the observer has new data once per minute so as not to slow your computer down, but again you can force it to refresh on demand). By now, you should have videos showing in the Observer Status form. Most of the stats should be relatively obvious, the tough ones are: ANR, and ANR10, but they simply mean "average new rating over all data" and "average new rating for the last 10 ratings" respectively. From this screen you can right click the list of videos to enable or disable individual or multiple videos manually. Finally, click menu -> Toolbox -> enable all. A window "ED" should pop in a moment. This is what the program looks like when it's enabling/disabling stuff. Once it has enabled ratings on a video or two, click "cancel all actions" and close ED down, you're 100% operational!

If you fail to get videos, you've incorrectly entered your password. If you get videos and are unable to enable/disable video ratings, let me know as it may be a bug.

General Help

Settings Information:

* Accounts
You can add multiple accounts for the Observer to watch. If you'd like to add an account that is not capable of enabling or disabling videos enter a dash (-) for the account password. You can add and remove accounts while the Guardian is running.

* Collector/Observer
The collector is enabled through the main menu. You can change how often the observer refreshes your data. Recommended setting: 10 mins

* Guardian
The guardian is enabled through the main menu. You can change the conditions under which the Guardian determines a video is under attack. The Guardian figures out what the average new rating (1-5) was for a certain number of ratings it has seen. It will look at the most recent data, and you tell it how many ratings to look at, and how low of an average rating you think should trigger the protection. My videos (like most) usually stay around 4-5 stars, some (I thought my Electone mashup was cool!) get down into the 3-4 range, so I set my Guardian to look at the last 5 ratings, and to trigger if they are 2.5 or less.

Information displays:

For now, this is the main status page (statistics coming soon!). The Observer and Guardian are their own entities. They work independent of everything else in the program as long as you've enabled them through the menu. Because they do their own thing, the information displays simply "listen" to what's going on, and report the results every once in a while. This means that the information on a form may be out of date for several seconds to a minute depending on the timing of the updates to information and interface.

* Observer status
On this form, the events list is updated in real time. It is also emptied if you close the form. The information is more for debugging purposes than anything else, so don't worry about it being cleared. The top window displays all of the videos that the observer is watching, along with an array of statistics. This list updates once per minute, and the timer is represented by the progress bar at the bottom of the window. You can for the list to update by clicking to the left of the progress bar. You can select video entries in the main list, and right click to bring up options for one or multiple selected items. Here, you can enable/disable individual or groups of videos, and you can easily open up your default browser to the Edit/Insight/Main video page.

Statistics fields:
ANR - Average New Rating is the average rating of all votes the observer has seen
ANR10 - Average New Rating of the last 10 ratings Observer has seen (how am I doing lately?)
The numbers in parenthesis represents how much movement the Observer has seen total in a particular field)

* ED
ED pops up whenever a video needs enabling or disabling. Again, the list does not update in real time, rather it updates when something happens. As such, initially ED will report one action before the interface updates to show how many actual actions he needs to take care of. There have been minor bugs reported in ED (a blank message box pops up at times). If you experience this issue, please mark the time and contact me (joshTheGoods) on my YouTube channel. We'll get it ironed out!


* Tools
- Enable all / Disable all: this will enable every video that the observer is capable of disabling or enabling. If you have not let the observer update by enabling it for one data cycle, then there will be nothing for it to enable or disable. If you have multiple accounts in your account list, it will disable/enable them all!
- Open, Clear, Save collector log: Does what it sounds like :). Save saves all of the data the observer currently holds. This data is automatically written to the main log file in the application directory. Clear deletes the main data log. Open shows the current data log in notepad.

If you have any suggestions/comments/whatever, please visit my youtube channel: joshTheGoods, and leave me a message. Final note, the program will start with windows by default via being in the startmenu's "Startup" folder. This means if you do not want TG to autostart, just find it in the startmenu under "startup" and right-click delete the shortcut. Don't worry, you're not deteleting the program itself. TG will also automatically start up the observer and guardian with the saved settings under the condition that there are account details loaded. This way, if your computer restarts when you're unaware, TG will auto start and begin protecting your hard work.
Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:29 pm
monitoradiationPosts: 566Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:05 pm

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Although I don't post videos on YouTube, this is great.

Question though, and that is what if someone with a large subscribe base who is seriously despicable (say, VFX) posts a really lame video of ... say... "I shall disprove evolution by eating cheesy poofs"? Then in theory the rabid hordes of 1-star ratings would surely trigger the TG to disable ratings, no?
Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:07 pm
CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 929Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Probably but the difference is that, that video would be low rated from the start I guess
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:44 pm
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joshTheGoodsUser avatarPosts: 15Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:51 amLocation: Midwest, USA

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

monitoradiation wrote:Although I don't post videos on YouTube, this is great.

Question though, and that is what if someone with a large subscribe base who is seriously despicable (say, VFX) posts a really lame video of ... say... "I shall disprove evolution by eating cheesy poofs"? Then in theory the rabid hordes of 1-star ratings would surely trigger the TG to disable ratings, no?


This issue has been raised a few times. You can see a video from a Tuber expressing the same concern here:



I responded briefly in his comments section, and I will include part of my PM response to the video's author:


"It's a bad ratings countermeasure"

I object to this characterization for the simple fact that blocking all ratings prevent negative AND positive ratings. The user is making a trade-off, and that trade-off is only of value if the user typically sees more positive ratings than negative. In other words, if a user makes a poor video, they can expect the majority of ratings to be bad - disabling them AFTER receiving a ton of negative ratings would only freeze their video in a state of shambles. When a video that deserves bad ratings goes up, only illegitimate positive voting will save it. Consider the case of a creationist attempting to abuse TubeGuardian to achieve higher ratings... the only successful outcome would be that the people that agree with the video rush in and upvote it before those that disagree have a chance to trip TubeGuardian's protection. In this, very limited, case the creator of the poor video would be better served making the video private, and sharing with their friends before permanently disabling ratings to freeze the video at 5 *'s Many creationists have, indeed, used such tactics. Some have quite likely upvoted their videos with sock accounts before disabling ratings and making the video public (VenomFangX used to do this). So, is it really a realistic means for artificially bumping stats up? I think it would be extremely inefficient in that regard. As a matter of fact, the biggest issue during beta testing was that there were a few instances of false positives. This is an issue because a legitimate user wants their ratings enabled for the greatest period of time so that they can receive feedback. Having the guardian triggered is a bad thing to anyone that would see positive results from the use of my software.

In summary: gaming the system is tough when the only action my tool can take is to shut the entire system down.

"I cannot in good conscience use it"

...

You can still use the program, just don't enable the Guardian, and instead you will have a very nice statistical analysis program :).


I would further state that the the mathematical premise behind TubeGuardian's methodology is based on the goal being that a video achieves it natural average rating. In approaching this problem, a good means for guaranteeing the longest time at that average rating is to attempt to remove the statistical outliers in the distribution of ratings. In english, what the program does is eliminate spikes of votes that reach into an abnormal range and have a salient effect on the video's average rating. As such, one must consider which votes represent statistical outliers on videos that one would need to artificially bump up. In my opinion, the abnormal votes are the positive ones in that case, and therefore blocking ratings on one's channel would do much more harm, proportionally, to the amount of positive votes one receives as opposed to negatives.
Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:04 am
iSylvanPosts: 2Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:44 am

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Will TubeGuardian also be able to detect an attack if the votebots start distributing their votes over a long period of time? No, I'm not a votebot programmer out to thwart your efforts, just curious. Slowing the vote frequency seems to me like an easy way of stealthing the attack so that the guardian won't be triggered.

Nevertheless, great work, grats on the release :)
Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:51 am
joshTheGoodsUser avatarPosts: 15Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:51 amLocation: Midwest, USA

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

iSylvan wrote:Will TubeGuardian also be able to detect an attack if the votebots start distributing their votes over a long period of time? No, I'm not a votebot programmer out to thwart your efforts, just curious. Slowing the vote frequency seems to me like an easy way of stealthing the attack so that the guardian won't be triggered.

Nevertheless, great work, grats on the release :)


Yes, a votebot attacker could effectively make their attacks harder to detect by decreasing the severity of the attacks either by slowing down, or not so stupidly leaving only 1 star votes. The irony of this is that the original votebots were designed to uprate peoples' videos and to garner attention. The one piece of software I looked at while doing research saw that all 5 star votes might look fishy, and they made it clear that the votes could be randomized, and distributed over time. So, this is within the capability of some software.

Luckily, I've made the entire detection system variable. A Votebotter might slow his attack, or whatever, but we will have logs and will adjust the settings to catch the types of attacks they are launching. There might be a little cat & mouse for a while, but in the end their attacks will become so watered down that they have little true effect on peoples' vids.
Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:10 pm
holysinecureUser avatarPosts: 9Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:40 pmLocation: Texas

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

How difficult would it be to send via the Youtube message/mail system a message when TubeGuardian is triggered to disable ratings on your videos?

If this isn't possible, is there some way to tell that your videos which previously had ratings enabled are now disabled (besides looking at the TG logs) ?

Thanks for such a great tool!
The less a man knows, the louder he knows it.
http://www.youtube.com/user/holysinecure
Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:28 pm
joshTheGoodsUser avatarPosts: 15Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:51 amLocation: Midwest, USA

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

How difficult would it be to send via the Youtube message/mail system a message when TubeGuardian is triggered to disable ratings on your videos?


That wouldn't be hard to add at all; great suggestion! I've been working on a few different notification methods namely: automatically changing the title of a video that is under attack, sending YoutTube PMs (thanks!), sending EMails, Twitter updates, etc, etc. I am currently working on a web version of TubeGuardian that will be an always-on application that you wouldn't have to worry about at all. I will certainly include any good ideas for notification in the online version, and when it is up and protecting peoples' accounts I will add those methods to the desktop application as well.

If this isn't possible, is there some way to tell that your videos which previously had ratings enabled are now disabled (besides looking at the TG logs) ?


Another good point. My best excuse for not maintaining and displaying a list of the enabled/disabled status of your videos is that figuring that out is surprisingly non-trivial. I wont go into details, but for the sake of bandwidth and my mental sanity (consider the case of my maintaining a list, and the user manually enabling/disabling videos), I just sort of swept the entire issue under the carpet. I think your idea of adding direct notification via email/etc addresses this nicely.

P.S. I LOVE your video series! I'm absolutely honored just to be writing a response to a direct query from some1+ that I respect so greatly. :o
Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:09 am
ytjapanPosts: 2Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:06 am

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

Thanks, I have been recently bot attacked along with a friend YouTube user (Mac User) and wanted to try this out. It seems to detect the attacks well enough, but it runs into a problem disabling ratings...

I'm on XP for Japanese OS (it works fine apart from this) but when the threshold is triggered, or even if I click on "Disable All Videos" "Enable All Videos", I get a series of errors in Japanese saying the equivalent of:
"This website requires a separate Google Maps API Key. A new key can be created at http://code.google.com/apis/maps"

I went and got a key (not really knowing what it was for or how to use it) but it seems to be something either required in the software or on the YouTube site.

Any idea why I might get this message and be unable to disable/enable ratings, even with the correct login/password for my account?

Sorry to bother, but any help on this would be appreciated.

Peace
Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:11 am
ytjapanPosts: 2Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:06 am

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

By the way, especially because of this kind of issue, being able to configure an email message of a bot attack to go and disable videos ourselves would be a fantastic solution, and offer some flexibility for response.

Thanks again, this looks like a great tool and I can't wait to get it working.
Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:13 am
joshTheGoodsUser avatarPosts: 15Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:51 amLocation: Midwest, USA

Post Re: TubeGuardian has arrived, have we won?

I'm on XP for Japanese OS (it works fine apart from this) but when the threshold is triggered, or even if I click on "Disable All Videos" "Enable All Videos", I get a series of errors in Japanese saying the equivalent of:
"This website requires a separate Google Maps API Key. A new key can be created at http://code.google.com/apis/maps"


This issue has been resolved. Please visit the official download link http://www.tubeguardian.com to download the new version.
Last edited by CosmicSpork on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed url ;)
Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:02 am
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