Investigating the Igrinov Comment Farm

in utopian-io •  19 days ago



Source: Pixabay

Comment Farm Investigation

The "Igrinov" comment farm (named after its original main account) of 132 @steem faucet accounts has been taken down and delegation has been removed by Steemit.

The farm was first discovered during the month of September 2018 when it was first added to @spaminator. The farm consisted of over 100 @steem faucet accounts being used to upvote @igrinov posts, but now is being used to upvote nested comment spam; also known as a comment farm.

This group of accounts had fallen off the radar until recently when a handful of new accounts were found being upvoted by the previously caught accounts. The accounts in question were @zhivchak, @sumo1st, @lada.kalina, @frodo1977, @viki27, @kudesnikaltay and @gleb-jeglov.

I had found these using a new tool that I had recently created that is specifically designed for finding new comment farms. So far it has been pretty effective at finding them. Over the coming weeks many new farms will start to be taken down. Hopefully this will then make people think twice before trying to farm Steem rewards instead of producing quality content.

An Example of a Comment Farmer

Above is a screenshot of a comment farm for those who are not familiar with what they look like. As you can see typically they nest the comments by self commenting, then afterward the votes follow. In this case they are being upvoted by over 100 @steem faucet accounts which were created specifically for this purpose.

You will also notice that the main post that they are commenting on is their own account, this is done to avoid detection from notifying any accounts unrelated to their own. Then in 99% of the cases the comments are usually farmed on an old post, this is done to further the chances of being undetected. Using these methods the comments will not show up in any recent feeds and they are less likely to get noticed by anyone since it is happening almost out of sight.

Show Me the Money!

These new comment farms currently funnel their earnings to an account called @br0. This is possibly the actual main account of the entire group. Below you can see some of the transfers, there are many more from other accounts as well.

You can learn more about comment farming and other types of exploitative Steem reward farming here.

GitHub Pull Request (PR)

You can read more about which accounts were added here #68. Because of the PR, Steemit Inc removed the delegation to these accounts.

How You Can Help Stop Abuse

You can help by reporting suspicious activity like this to the @steemcleaners at our Discord or by filling out the form at http://steemcleaners.com/reports/new

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We meet again @pjau!

It is always frustrating seeing these faucet accounts getting away with profits. Sure, they are only tens of hundreds of dollars at a time, but there seem to be no end to them. Meanwhile, you have redfish that leave because they see no value in being here or powering up.

I do not usually enjoy this type of post, but it is good to know that you have developed a tool for tracking. Would it be a public tool, or is this a query that any savvy person could do for themselves? Then again, the interest of hunting seems to rest on the anti-abuse front. Most Steemians prefer no involvement in the matter.

They can hide, but their every move is on the blockchain. As mentioned before, there are solutions to people abusing faucet delegations. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any action.

Keep up the good fight! I will catch you around whenever.


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We meet again @pjau!

Who are you again? hehe. Hello again @enforcer48 and thanks 😁

Meanwhile, you have redfish that leave because they see no value in being here or powering up.

To be honest they just need a helping hand, a big brother/sister type that can guide them. I think it would be in the best interest of anyone that has stuck around to encourage or help the noobs, even if its just one person.

Would it be a public tool, or is this a query that any savvy person could do for themselves?

No, it's just something I have created for @steemcleaners internally. But the idea behind it is very basic, it literally took me 5 minutes to set it up. As for querying steemsql/blockchain, sure something could be made.

every move is on the blockchain

True dat!

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Thank you for your review, @enforcer48! Keep up the good work!

Great work done @pjau. I'm impressed on how commited you are to the (quite endless and boring) task of fighting abusers. Thank for keeping Steem clean.

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Thanks @arcange. Unfortunately for them I have insomnia and don't find it boring. 😋

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Magic Dice has rewarded your post with a 61% upvote. Thanks for playing Magic Dice.

The energy people put into creating illegality can be used to make good things and be free. But some people are formated to do evil and they'll never see the option of doing good. Nice wort @pjau

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Ha, I've said the exact same thing many a time. Maybe they could write a series on how they used to be bad, but have now changed for the better. 😊

Thanks for stopping by @ketcom.

Hi @pjau!

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