Bad news for cheaters on Typeracer – and other new improvements!

Posted on August 4, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Hi Typeracers!

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In the heat of mid-summer, what could be better than sitting in the air-conditioning and playing some Typeracer? That’s how I feel anyway. Regardless of whether you enjoy Typeracing in the summer, or actually going outside, today I’m pleased to announced some recent changes on Typeracer. First and foremost, we’re taking new steps toward resolving the single biggest complaint that we’ve heard from racers over the past few years: people with too much time on their hands, and no respect for fair competition, have been getting away with cheating on Typeracer. It caused legitimate typists to lose races they should have won, and filled up the high scores with users who didn’t deserve to be there. In our defense, we’ve always tried hard to fight them. Here’s what we did in recent years:

  • Captcha-based anti-cheat test when users reach super-high speeds
  • Removing guests from the high scores
  • Back-end tools for identifying cheaters
  • The “Report user” button
  • Temporary banning of users flagged by admins
  • Back-end account deletion

Unfortunately it was never enough! I swear these people are like flies, and by the time you kill one, it’s already spawned multiple replacements. Cheaters could create two new accounts in the time it took us to delete one; the process wasn’t efficient enough. To make it worse, due to our database infrastructure, a simple deletion of a user’s account could cause minor database corruption in other users’ data if a single server timeout happened while processing the deletion. So, over time, I’d say we’ve been losing the battle to cheaters.  But starting right now, we’re no longer going to lose this battle: cheaters will be hunted down. Here are the improvements that have been introduced:

New Features

Right click a user and click

Right click a user and click “Report user”, click the link, and fill out the form indicating why you are reporting him. Note that Aram90 isn’t actually a cheater:)

  • Improved report-user functionality, which now integrates into back-end admin tools, making it even easier to identify not only cheaters, but users reported for profanity, harassment, and other violations.
  • Cheaters/abusers can be banned in 20 seconds, after which they will be logged out, and never be able to login again
  • Cheaters/abusers will be removed from the high scores immediately, without risk of data loss.
  • Cheaters/abusers will be automatically banned after enough reputable users report them
  • We can un-ban people if we ever make a mistake or decide to give someone a second chance, and their data will not be lost.

We hope these changes can help clean up Typeracer. Please actively use the updated “Report user” functionality and help clean up Typeracer. That’s about it, but before I wrap it up, I want to point out that this recent release contains other improvements too. Alex fixed many known bugs found in the past year, improved the auto-updating of the high scores, and turned the traffic light sideways (while you’re waiting for a race to start). That last part might seem odd, but it will make sense in coming months as other related changes are made. So, stay tuned! Hope everyone is having a good summer, and until next time, happy racing, and see you on the track!

-David Pritts (valikor)

More Screenshots

Love it or hate it (yes, we know it occasionally yields false positives), the anti-cheat test has eliminated huge numbers of cheaters and helped keep your races clean and fun.

Love it or hate it (yes, we know it occasionally yields false positives), the anti-cheat test has eliminated huge numbers of cheaters and helped keep your races clean and fun.

This cheater was incredibly annoying and persistent! At least he was creative with his user names, though, unlike some other cheaters who created lovely display names such as

This cheater was incredibly annoying and persistent! At least he was creative with his user names, though, unlike some other cheaters who created lovely display names such as “LEARN TO CHEAT MOTH*** F****R”.

If admins were online at exactly the right times, we could clean up the high scores in real-time. Note #7 and #10 on the list :)

If admins were online at exactly the right times, though, we could clean up the high scores in real-time. Note #7 and #10 on the list:)


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