Joulebug is an honor-based system, and throughout the challenge, you may have participants that log actions suspiciously frequently. To help solve this, our sophisticated backend will alert participants when they are overlogging. Each action in the platform has a unique limit on how often an action can be logged. Participants that reach these thresholds will receive a notification reminding them of the fair play rules.
Before hitting a penalty, participants will be warned that they are logging too often. Joulebug refers to this warning as a throttle, which can occur when a participant:
Logs a specific action more times than is allowed in a set time period (unique to each action)
Logs more than 35 actions in 15 minutes
Logs more than 100 actions in 8 hours
This is the pop-up notification participants will receive when they hit the throttle.
If participants ignore the warning and continue to log actions, they will be notified that they are being placed in a timeout (Penalty Box) for a specific period of time. Repeat offenders will see the duration of their timeouts increase.
Penalty Box (timeout)
After a certain number of these limits are reached, a participant will be put in a penalty box for a set amount of time. The duration of penalties starts small (15 min) and increases each time a participant is placed in a penalty. These limits have been tested and formulated over years of researching challenge and app behaviors and are not shared in an effort to discourage gaming the system.
The penalties for hitting a throttle scale up as follows:
Level 1 Penalty
15 mins timeout
Level 2 Penalty
2 hours timeout
Level 3 Penalty
4 hours timeout
Level 4 Penalty
8 hours timeout
Level 5 Penalty
36 hours timeout
Participants placed in the penalty box will still appear on the leaderboard. When participants are placed in a timeout, their names will be grayed out, their rank removed, and an info icon will remind others to leave the cheating at the door.
Like any spirited competition, there may be a few players who would like to avoid the referee. Some may say others are cheating. Others may say they cannot log everything they did today. However, in the end, players have fun logging and sharing their sustainable actions, and the planet wins.
Reviewing Penalties as an Admin
We encourage admins to keep an eye on penalties throughout an active challenge and to send additional reminders to help participants avoid the traps of cheating.
To view penalties, navigate to Active Challenges and click the "fire" icon to the right of the challenge name.
Once on the penalties page, you'll be able to see participant names, their points, the number of actions logged, throttles and penalties. It'll look something like this:
Points: How many points the participant currently has in the challenge
Buzzes: Number of actions logged
Throttles: This is a log of overall throttles a participant received. As you hover over each number, you'll see:
Total action logging attempts throttled
Log attempts with per-action throttles
Log attempts with 35/15 mins throttles
Log attempts with 100/8 hrs throttles
Unique actions any throttling occurred on
Date of the most recent throttle
Penalty 1 - 5: Date and time when the penalty started
The date in the blue box is the date and time the current penalty will end
Warning: Number of times an admin sent the participant a warning
Info icon: Click to send a warning to the participant in a penalty
Selecting the warning icon sends an in-app and push notification that reads: “You are in violation of one or more rules of this challenge. Please review the Challenge rules, including the terms of fair play. If you continue in violation, you may be removed from the Challenge.”
Cancel icon: Click to remove the participant from the challenge