No. of Recommendations: 160
Hello everyone!

This is probably my favorite post to write.

First, I want to apologize to everyone for all of the angst this situation has caused. Whether you care about recs or not, having a system that can be gamed, and ruin the climate for others is just not sustainable. We originally thought this was due to a few doppels until we realized the sheer volume of the recs couldn't account for this.

We've been working diligently behind the scenes (and when I say "we" I mean I've been pushing, but it's the amazing work of our superhero techie named Max who truly solved the issue, and Julie, who put up with my whining about how this can't go on) and trust me when I say that your annoyance at me, us, and the situation was mirrored by myself and the rest of Fool.com.

The problem is resolved!

So here's what we discovered. None of us (with the exception of Max!) ever realized that just registering to fool.com allowed one to not only read the posts, but to rec them as well. What that means is that trouble makers out to cause havoc, registered tons of fake email addresses and went to town, both physically and with bots) to rec posts. The vast majority of the email addresses had a suffix that really helped to identify them, and it's better to not share what that was. We don't know who the perpetrators are as we only had the email addresses, but I suspect it may well be one or some of the more recently banned posters who have made it clear that they would like to cause us as much trouble as possible.

And those emails are nuked--gone--finished.

Now, you may ask, "But Tony, that's all well and good, but didn't you say something like this about fake emails a few months ago? What's to keep people from registering fake emails again and doing the same thing?"

I'm so glad you asked!

That's the big thing that Max took care of. From this point on, no one without posting privileges will be able to rec a post. They can read whatever posts they like, but until they have applied and been accepted to post, no recs from outside can be made. Is that clapping I hear? :-)

Finally, many of you will notice that many of the posts now have updated rec counts. That's because along with the fraudsters, the recs they made are gone as well, making the counts much more legitimate. There may still be some posts with numbers of recs that are not quite right, but please be assured that going forward, that will not be the case anymore.

We do realize, of course, that no system is perfect, and we may well come across new issues that cause problems on the boards. If and when that happens, we'll work to address them as well. In the meantime, I couldn't be happier to bring you this news, as it's truly a victory "for the good guys".

Again, thank you all for your patience thoughout this process, and especially to those who still continued to give support while this was going on.

Fool On!

Tony
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