Tag Archives: CosmicSpork

DPRJones 24 Hour BlogTV Charity Donations Ticker

This is a semi-live feed of the donations for DPRJones’ 24 Hour BlogTV Charity Drive!

As you can tell, the target has already been SMASHED, but that’s no reason to stop donating!

You can donate at the following links:

http://tr.im/dprjonesfirst (FirstGiving)
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Votebot Anatomy 101 – Part 2

Following on from Part 1 of my Votebot Anatomy 101 series of blog entries.

Some of the software that can be used in order to perform a Votebot attack is in my opinion quite expensive at around $100 a pop, I don’t have $100 to spare, and I certainly don’t want to line the pockets of the people who make the software, but from researching demo’s, videos, information on the web and my own knowledge of web technologies I will attempt to explain how a person might perform an attack and how the software facilitates this.

YouTube currently does very little to stop you from rating a video more than once in a given period of time. When rating a video a cookie is stored on your web browser with a list of videos you have rated (I believe this is also the same for when viewing a video), I’m not sure if this only stores the last video you rated or all videos you have rated in that session, the cookie is encrypted so the information contained is not easily viewable. If this cookie is deleted, or you rate a different video or your session times out and then come back you are then able to vote on that video again. (Whether the repeat ratings get counted I’m not sure of, but it would make sense that they are due to the massive number of ratings some people get during an attack. Even if the repeat ratings are not counted, it’s possible that with enough Sockpuppet accounts the same result can be accomplished.) It is possible however that YouTube may do some sort of throttling on ratings if there is a large number coming from one IP address in a short period of time, or at least, I hope they do.

From what I can gather, the majority if not all the software being used to perform a Votebot attack essentially acts the same way as a web browser but automatically performs the actions needed to add ratings to a video the way you would if you were doing it manually, only the software is able to skip certain steps, like viewing the video, which is why most of the time someone who has been attacked will see a disproportionate number of ratings to the number of views (for the more technically minded, the necessary POST parameters are sent directly to the URL used by YouTube’s AJAX scripts when the rating is clicked).

When a Votebot user decides to start an attack in its most basic form, they find a video they don’t like, copy the URL to that video and paste it into the software, set how many ratings they want to add to that video and the star rating they want for each rating added (depending on the software you can set a minimum and a maximum rating to randomly add a rating equal to/between those two values), then click a button and leave it running whilst it does its thing.

Continue reading Votebot Anatomy 101 – Part 2

Votebot Anatomy 101 – Part 1

Hi, this is my first blog post on the League of Reason. In case you are wondering who I am, I am the League of Reason webmaster, and as such, my main area of expertise is web based technologies (among other things). I keep the server running, the website up to date, and so on and so forth.

My scientific knowledge isn’t particularly good, my grasp of philosophy is almost non-existant, and my insight on religion is limited. So I think I’ll leave those things to those far more capable than I.

I’ve noticed that there isn’t a great deal of information on how Votebots actually work, and would like to give what information I know and any theories I have for what I don’t know about these how dubious bits of software do their dastedly work.

I’ll start by giving some information about the Votebot software and its origins:

For those who don’t know what a Votebot is, it is a piece of software or script that someone runs who wishes to drop a lot of votes onto a YouTube video to alter its ranking and thus its visibility in things like related searches. The name Votebot has actually been made up by the YouTube community who have been attacked by these bots, rather than have any positive effects from them (I say positive effects in the sense that a persons video has had its ratings increased rather than decreased. In my opinion, the use of this software to manipulate the rating of a video in any way is wrong and should not be looked at as a good thing regardless of its effects).

The original purpose of these software applications/scripts was to promote a persons own videos in order to gain exposure and make money through various means, and people do that, and can make a rather large amounts of money. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s right, it gives the illusion of effort when there has been none or very little. The video in question may not even have anything worth watching, but can potentially out perform a video that is highly entertaining or informative.

Some of these software applications are not limited to simply casting votes on videos, they can also increase the number of views on a video or channel (YouTube have recently added a countermeasure that helps to prevent this, but also has some potentially harmful side effects to legitimate YouTubers which I will explain another time). On top of that they can automatically post comments,  add subscribers to a particular channel using Sockpuppet accounts, favourite a video on said Sockpuppet accounts, and also help create these YouTube Sockpuppet accounts with very little effort. Apart from the voting part the other features can only be used for ‘positive’ effects (except for the views countermeasure side effect I referred to earlier and will reveal in due course).

Well, that’ll do for now, I hope this information so far has been of use to you. If you already knew all this, then good for you 😛

In part 2, I will go into more depth about how Votebotters actually go about performing their insidious tasks and the inner workings of the software and its interaction with YouTube’s system.

Introducing My Face

Some of you may know me. I imagine that significantly larger numbers do not, so:


I’m Th1sWasATriumph. I’m an atheist, scientific pantheist and secular humanist, and my videos and musings tend to be on religion – specifically, how ridiculous it is, and how its exalted position in society can and should be challenged. I view religion, along with various related and unrelated pseudosciences and supernatural\paranormal beliefs, as at best misleading and at worst openly destructive and divisive.

I’m a moderator on this very forum, which is all very shiny – sort of like a tarnished sheriff’s badge I can flash at people whose seats I want to occupy. I have no real problem using my powers for evil. As for Youtube, well, TAKE THIS www.youtube.com/Th1sWasATriumph

My other passion is space, although I got into it pretty recently so my knowledge on the subject is bleak. I’m fascinated by the nebulous reality of very very big things a very very long way off, though I sometimes think that if I ever truly comprehended the scale of the universe my mind would simply implode, Lovecraft-style.

I’m also a musician\composer, primarily guitar-based. My music tends to be about the 80s and is completely unrelated to science, atheism or religion. It does, however, rock your face.

Common initial responses to me in conversation:

OMG you haf quote portal/I’m making a note here: huge success/Can I call you by your acronym?

Believe me, you can say nothing to me that hasn’t been said by wiser people in bigger fonts. Stop it.

I can name-drop the mighty AndromedasWake with legitimacy, as I appeared in his music video and he lent his voice to a couple of mine. Such company to keep. We’ll be blitzing TAM later on this year in League shirts and supercilious smiles.

Finally, give some kind of virtual handshake to CosmicSpork, whose digital mastery is the sticky web holding this whole shebang together. I find that looking directly at my monitor is impossible; the awesome can only be ingested in small portions. Any more than that and the world would crack in half like a clump of soil, spilling us all screaming into the core of space.

Stay tuned for musings of greater or lesser worth.

Welcome to the new League of Reason!

Hello, and welcome to the new and highly improved League of Reason!

If you’ve been a regular visitor, you might just notice a few changes around here. Actually, it’s rather a lot of changes, that have been planned for some time to be implemented together. You are now viewing the blog, but don’t fret, the forums are still here!

Firstly, before I get started explaining all of this, I would like you all to raise your glasses in a toast to our highly committed and brilliant webhamster, CosmicSpork. He has given many hours of his free time to designing everything you see here. He has also provided resources for you to promote the site, available to download from the Vault of Awesomeness! Without his help, this site would not be what it is today. He deserves all our internets. Thank you very much CosmicSpork for your hard work and dedication!

So, a blog eh? Just what the hell is this all about? We’re calling it phase 2. From now on, when visiting the site, you will be greeted with this page. You’ll notice a link to the forums (and chat) at the top left, as well a list of latest forum posts on the right. You’ll also notice that the forums look very similar to the blog, even though the two are running on different software. Again, we must stop to thank CosmicSpork for his wizardry.

Luckily, you won’t have to read this message every time you visit the site, as we have a crack team of bloggers who will be providing your daily reading material. I really am thrilled with all the people we’ve got onboard, but rather than go on about it, I’ll let them introduce themselves as they see fit. I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to see them here as well!

If you’re new to the site, head on over and sign up to the forums. You’ll not only be joining our community of Leaguers, but you’ll also be able to post comments on the blog and use the chat room. If you were a member of the old forum (still accessible in read only form at this link), you’ll need to reset your password. Simply fill out the ‘Send password’ form to do this, then log in with the password sent to you and change it back.

Don’t forget to point your readers to either the RSS or Atom feed. On behalf of all of us here at the LoR team, I hope you enjoy the new site and look forward to seeing you in the forums!

Clear skies,