Reporting Suspicious Riders [July 2021]

Racers!

You may remember that some months ago, we rolled out a new process to help capture your reports of riders you thought were disruptive to the overall race experience.

Right off the bat, I’d like to say that we have a new form for to be used for these reports, and you can find it at this link.

Please, use this form from here on out. If you submit to the old form, your report will go unseen.

After long deliberation and combing through reports, we’ve made some changes; the above form is one of them. The bulk of the change we’ve made, however, is internal. Specifically we want to do our best to ensure it doesn’t seem that your reports go into a black box which is then tossed into a deep hole out back, never to be thought of again.

What you’ll notice on your end is that the form still only covers ZwiftPower reports, and is slightly more litigious than it was previously.

If you’ve seen someone you believe is suspect and that person doesn’t have a ZwiftPower account, please feel free to report them to us either via the function in the Zwift Companion app, or by writing us an email through our support channel with as much information as possible. If your account is currently suspended on ZwiftPower and you are awaiting resolution, please write to us at zwiftpower@zwift.com.

Please note: This process is still being improved upon.

If you have feedback on how you feel this experience can be better, please leave it here in this post.

We are committed to keeping racing as fair as we can within the current infrastructure of Zwift, ZwiftPower and beyond, and this is one more step in that direction.

Ride On. :ride_on:

Umm all good that it appears to be moving in the right direction but asking for 3 examples of the reported issue?
Surely that encourages uses to go snooping/stalking other users so that their behaviour can be reported?

Is that not Zwift HQs job?

Just my 2ps worth but wouldn’t it be less antagonistic if ZHQ took ownership after the initial report?
Or are we going back to the community policing themselves to ensure there is enough in the way of examples to complete the form?

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I think it’s fair to expect a few examples tbh, otherwise there’s a risk folks get flagged out of spite. Most of the complaints are from people who are seeing others repeatedly taking the piss. So it should be pretty straightforward to list three examples IMO.

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I am with Lee , it shouldnt be for us to conduct the investigation just to report incidents (sinngular) , of course if we have multiple examples that can be helpful but shouldnt be the entry requierment to report.

The multiple report should come from many users reporting if there was any doubt or liklihood of sour grapes reporting .

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The Tab order needs sorting out. You can’t Tab-select “False”, and it skips over the “activity being reported” select control.

Also, the contrast isn’t good from an accessibility perspective, e.g.

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Isn’t the entire idea of this feature to uncover patterns in reporting of single occurrences. Now you are asking your paying users to uncover the patterns of abuse themselves. What’s the chance of riding 3 events with the same rider within a reasonable time frame?

This will simply stop people from reporting on cheaters… ah… yes, right. I see.

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Our thinking with asking for three races was to give racers the benefit of the doubt and find people who are serial cheaters, as opposed to times when people have had a bad race due to equipment, riders that may not be as aware of the intricacies of Zwift racing, etc.

Asking for three races - we hope - would prompt anyone making a report to look at that person’s profile and see if the report they were looking to make was more or less valid depending on the races. If someone is cheating regularly, for example, it would be evident from their profile as we would see a lot of data supporting their suspicious performance.

More often than not, racers on Zwift are not actually cheating, they simply don’t fully understand what w/kg being too high means, or have a way to quantify why their performance is disruptive. Call me naive, but I simply don’t believe given all the information we have at our disposal that people on Zwift cheat as much as people think they do. If they are cheating, we make them prove their legitimacy, and this is the first step in helping us do that.

That isn’t to say cheating doesn’t occur and that the process is also immutable: those two things are not true, of course. We can make changes to the form when needed, and that’s why I asked for feedback, so thank you for providing that.

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Whilst you may be right about the majority not knowingly doing it in the wider game, if someone has gone to the trouble of registering with ZwiftPower and has done at least 15 races (both of which are prerequisites of this new reporting form), they should know full well whether they’re entering the right category or not.

What you said is perfectly true but this form is not designed for that , that is currently handled ( or tather ignored ) in another way . This form is for reporting unrealistic or unlikely performances . i.e using the cadence exploit , olympian or unrealisitic performances (whether due to bad set up or making use of some sort of software or hardware device to zwift ) , or setting incorrect weight values ( or as is often found fluctuating weights very dramatically for races) .

While I don’t disagree with you, consider that many riders sign up for ZP because they feel they’re obligated to if they want to race on Zwift. And this might be the first time someone has ridden with power in their cycling lifetime, in which case simply seeing a range of w/kg and then all these numbers won’t help them further that understanding.

My goal isn’t to be contrarian here, it is instead to say: we don’t offer any data olive branches for riders that don’t already know what w/kg, FTP, or training with power means. On top of that, w/kg means essentially very little to anyone but the rider who is producing their own w/kg; it’s a contextual measure of performance, hence the WTRL autocat system that doesn’t categorize by w/kg.

Again, we can change the form in any way we need to make reports meaningful and it’s not permanent. The bigger issue is, of course, how do we change Zwift racing to be more fair, easy to understand and as a result, competitive.

For now, this is what we have and because of this steep learning curve, we’re asking implicitly for those of you with deeper knowledge of racing on the platform to help us make your racing as fair as we can with your reports. It will mean a little bit of work on your end, and the level of work can be changed; if linking three races is too much to report someone, we’ll tweak it.

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Agreed @xflintx reports by other zwifters cant really assess if a w/kg output in itself is realistically obtained other than by gut feel or circumstantial evidence . What we can report however if one component of that … the kg … has altered dramatically , or a rider who does not have a history of some sort such as real world pedigree knocks out a 6w/kg+ 60minute effort . Seen that one recently on an Alpe Race :slight_smile: for assessment only .

From that I think (actually know) you can check things about the data submission to see how it was posted and the profile etc .

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The biggest thing that is disruptive to the racing experience is sandbaggers. i’ve reported other riders that I know are managing their watts (zp silly power limits for light riders) or requesting category downgrades for easier races which have gone into the report black hole with no actions taken but they are not the biggest problem.

If i report a persistent sandbagger will anything be done, what actions?..and if you are going to take actions v sandbaggers why not enforce categories at signup and save us all the bother of reports and investigations plus rider abuse during a ride?

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After seeing several riders suspended and/or harrassed, I think the pendulum has swung further than it was before Zwift took over ZwiftPower operation. Riders are being reported for no reason other than being good riders, as near as I can tell. Dual recording is now apparently required to do any racing on zwift if you’ve been reported - and it also appears that dual recording with tight correlation isn’t enough if you continue to be reported.

Probably best the effected rider contact zp directly on that one. Sounds like a very specific example. I’ve reported riders with no actions being taken so sounds like there must be more to that case than what you are aware of.

As for continuing to be reported it would be nice maybe to have a marker or something to show that data has been verified. possibly lasts for a few months to try reduce the constant flagging.

While dual recording is not an option for the vast majority or zwifters it’s good to see from A+ rider who usually have access to multiple power meters. tricky though where to draw the line on what riders can do to verify performance

Why won’t Zwift implement auto-categorisation in order to stop the 99% of instances of sandbagging?

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I don’t understand this idea that an A or A+ rider necessarily has more or better kit. Unless they actually do IRL road racing, there’d be no reason for them to have anything beyond a trainer. Even if you do race away from Zwift, power meters are less common (though people do still use them) in MTB racing, and virtually unheard of in BMX - basically for testing/training only at the highest levels.

There isn’t - but they’re leaving Zwift, so no point.

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I think it’s still the case that A and A+ riders tend to have better kit although as zwift becomes more popular among non road riders I can see the case that more A riders might not have such kit. As you suggest MTB and BMX power meters would be pretty rare.

Right now i’d be quite surprised if the majority of A riders are not decent road cyclists and would be interested in their data both indoor and out so highly likely to have power meters or know other cyclists at least enough to obtain a power meter to provide verification data.

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@Gordon_Rhino-Racing Gordon - here anyway, the local road clubs definitely push anyone not spending a few grand on their bike out - I was told I probably couldn’t keep up because my bike didn’t have 11 speed. Which pretty much means I’m never giving them a dime, and they have a pretty expensive registration required just to do their mandatory ‘learn to group ride’ clinic before showing up for a ride.

The riders I know with the best kit are mostly D/C level. I personally don’t have the capability to dual record, even though I do have a powermeter for outdoors. An old PowerTap hub can’t work with a Kickr Core.

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