more griping about bans

I know people regularly complain about things like this, but I wanted to share my experience too, in hope that someone can give me advice, or so I can bring more attention to the problem.

A couple weeks ago I started downloading an audio book from a user. Shortly after starting, I get banned. I noticed my portable hard drive which has my shared files is not plugged in, and assuming that lack of shared files was the problem, I messaged the user apologizing and asking to be unbanned. I got no response, but a while later the download resumes.

But as I continue to DL, I get banned again. I check my uploads configs and everything looks good. I message asking why. no reply. So I reconnect as a different username and continue downloading. He bans me again, and we rinse and repeat many times.

I understand that my behavior here is not necessarily the right choice, but I had tried to communicate, and in my mind, he had no reason to do this. And no matter how much he bans me, my progress bars fill up - albeit very slowly! They are one of very few users I have found to have the files I want.

They finally message me "fuck off", to which I responded that I would if they gave me a reason. No response, so back to the cycle of bans and reconnecting.

I decide to try an experiment: I waited a few days, reconnected under a completely new username, using a proxy IP, and start downloading something completely unrelated. They have no way to know it's me, right? And after a minute or so, I'm banned.

So what gives? This person says they're sharing files, but bans anyone downloading from them. I get the impression they're just trying to make it seem like they're sharing, so they can download what ever they want, taking but not giving. They could just unshare files or something, but they just ban, so they don't look bad having nothing shared.

Anyway, stupid situation. Needed to gripe.

MELERIX's picture

yes, the ban system is causing more troubles than benefits in the Soulseek network, because it allow some users become selfish and leechers.

for example there is some users that share a lot of files, but when do you want to download something from them, you could got banned (for no reason, even if you are sharing files) or the Download Queue always stay in 0, and the download never start.

I really don't understand what is the purpose of some users to show a lot of files shared in a P2P network, if later they don't allow others users download those files.

some of the users with this behavior are: DJ_SATANIK, DANCE ATTACK, and few others.

Indeed. Coincidently I recognized DJ_SATANIK as one of the non-sharers I also had issues with. He apparently changed his name now to DIABLO and is basically a non-responding user on Soulseek and a liar elsewhere. He still goes by the name DJ_SATANIK on IRC & Discogs. You can tell who he is because his shares always start with "d:\01.cdm, vinilos y álbumes\". Basically he set his upload slots to 0 (something you can apparently do in some (old?) client), so whatever you queue from him will never get downloaded.

I've seen one other guy do the same, but at least that one is communicating.

This, totally. Nir, is there any chance we could abandon the Banning altogether, or at least introduce some privileges to paying users? People who pay are premium users who respect the network and want to contribute. I see no reason why those couldn't be made immune to banning - honestly, I think an $5 or $10 donation would be a good benchmark. I'm struggling with a number of users who also seem to share but the queue never seems to go up, or they just ban you the whole time, which is uncool.

I went to download a single file (not a big file or anything) and was banned a few minutes after I made my request. My only alternative is to ban them in return, which tarnishes the soulseek as a tool for sharing. We need to keep these people on a list atleast?

I wrote a system a while ago that removes users who ban a lot from the search network. One power user made a case for having to ban a lot, but if it's as bad you say it is I might have to consider turning it back on. Are you outright being banned or are the files just being unshared from you (a-la SoulseekQt)? If the latter, this won't make a difference.

A system that removes users who ban a lot from the search network would certainly be unfair. I can show you the 100-150 empty share warnings I send out daily. That's only a small portion of the people who don't share, as they aren't sent out to people who have empty folders or only their Qt/Samples folders shared.

How about just including an option of showing your files in search results to only who people who actually share?

That would involve the client browsing the files of everyone you potentially return results to. Why not share your files privately but visibly? They'll still appear to searchers, they'll just have the lock icon next to them so they know they need to receive your permission.

I don't want to have to individually add everyone to my userlist that would need to ask for permission. I want a nice and manageable userlist that is more for my convenience in browsing people. I want to share freely, but just not with people who don't have anything shared.

I want the benefits of sharing with everybody. I don't want to make people to have to jump through hoops to download from me. I think people who are userlist only would be less likely to add me if they saw my files were private.

I know you seemed against it in the past, but what about automatic unsharing for those who don't share? They still would receive the empty share warnings with instructions on how to share. I would rather receive the messages from people who have decided to share that I can then re-share instead of all the please add me to your userlist messages.

It seems I'm outright getting banned.

although just now we were at it again, and they appear to have finally unshared.

If you are going to eliminate banning/unsharing, then you should also eliminate the userlist only sharing option. Isn't that against the spirit of file sharing? In a perfect world, everybody would freely share with each other. There's not much you can do about the people who ban/unshare. 40-60% of the community either shares nothing or restricts their files to userlist only. The userlist only people who download from you and either "forget" to add you or remove you as soon their downloads finish are just as bad as the people who unfairly ban or blatantly leech.

The bottom line is the current system isn't perfect, but it has worked well enough since Soulseek was created. I would love an option to have my files not display in the searches to people who don't share anything. That would eliminate 95% of the need to unshare and would probably encourage more people to open up their files to everybody. If somebody doesn't want to share with you, you just have to accept that move on to the next person who is hopefully more generous. I often receive those mass message type messages from people who warn about other users who unfairly ban/unshare. Spreading the word about those type of people is probably the best thing you can do, but not everybody has the same experiences with the same users. That's why a list would never really work.

You can't start putting restrictions on people who ban, share userlist only, limit their upload slots, limit their bandwidth, etc. You can't force people to communicate with you. Many people don't want to be bothered. Some people might have perfectly legitimate reasons for putting restrictions on their files. Unfortunately, there are others who are just bad apples.

Just my 2 cents in - I share, but the way I share is that I share with user list only - bear with me - and I always add people I started downloading from to my user list (which results in me being sent an automated notification numerous times, as I queue first, the user's app doesn't see any shares on my side immediately and sends out the warning; I guess I could add then queue first?)

the reason for me not sharing with everyone and/or sharing with only the user list is that I'm a power user - with a large collection of files, some of them quite rare. If I open my shares I get hundreds of people in the queue, some of them leechers, some of them not, but my upload is slow as it is and with hundreds of people queueing, even just 1 release per person, the queue becomes unbearable to anyone concerned. I'm all up for sharing, I'm just against people who outright ban, don't reply to messages etc. Unfortunately, quite a lot of those jerks seem to be power users as well, i.e. people with good files, rare releases etc - and that's why the whole situation is a bit of a catch 22 IMO

MELERIX's picture

you can put limits in the upload, for example you can limit the upload speed, you can limit the max files to upload per user, and you can limite the max mb to upload per user, all of these things are in SoulseekQt options.

Doesn't matter, I then end up with 100s people downloading 0.01 KB/s each or 100s people queued, each downloading 1 file at a time. No solution.

MELERIX's picture

no, all depend of how much slots you have opened, and you can adjust that too.

I don't see how that matters. I'm in the same boat, trying desperately to share as much of my rare goodies as possible, but being unable to meet demand. It comes down to bandwidth. I can afford only 130 KB/s upload capability. It doesn't matter how many slots I open; everyone has to share that 130 KB/s. The files are large and the content is very much in demand. There's just no way to pump the data out to everyone fast enough to meet the demand. So I aggressively patrol the upload queue, making sure people aren't getting duplicates, deleting/sending to the back of the line things I deem to be low priority, asking people to reduce their queue or just unsharing from them when they queue duplicates or huge folders. I have a 30 file limit per person, and could reduce that further, but many people want to get particular bundles of files and I don't want them to be unable to queue the whole batch, even though I make them download it in chunks in order to keep the line moving.

I do play with the number of slots open, varying between 1 and 5 (usually 3 or 4), trying to maximize the amount of bandwidth being used but also being low enough that people will get at least a few complete files every hour, rather than having a ton of slots open with everyone slowly downloading and never finishing even one file.

All of this does help keep the line moving a bit better than it would if I just left it alone, but it's still an uphill battle. Sharing a lot of in-demand files is just not easy to do. Even with all the manual queue maintenance I'm doing, the line gets super long and people gripe about how their downloads aren't starting fast enough. Just had one guy ban me over it. We got it sorted out but he's grumbly about it and thinks he deserves higher priority since I got to download from his relatively small collection without delay.

I like sharing with everyone, I want people to get what they want; I don't want to share my "good stuff" with userlist only. I also don't want to lose the ability to unshare from "problem" users, because it's one of the tools that helps me keep the line moving...

Downloading one song, I got banned like a minute in, realized I wasn't sharing music since my external HD wasn't hooked at the launch of program and then I hooked it up, not sure if that registers the files later on or not. So then I msged the guy saying "Sorry for not sharing files, I have hooked back up my external hd, can you please unban me? Thanks", but he said "haha nope" literally. I was like thinking to myself...okay, kiss my ass. I already dled the file on someone else btw. I just felt like if he ever had stuff I wanted in the future they would be available. Nope, so I said "That's unfortunate, thanks for your time" and he said "your welcome"...F you, it's you're btw. But I didn't say that and left it as is. This is like my first time being banned so I'm taking it to heart, as you can see with my longed winded post right now haha. So I tried to experiment, logged in as a completely different username, dled a completely different song from his shares...banned. WTF, I'm gonna try dling from him again when I use a different computer with my real collection, see if he's one of those pricks who actually doesn't "share" jack and just has that huge library from leeching others and used as a trophy display so they can continue leeching off others. F that guy, username is Ynnad (trying to sound smart for listing his name Danny backwards haha.) Still feeling sour though...

Bumping up an old thread with a bit of a rant, sorry. The banning is unbelievable now, words fail. I share my whole collection and add every single person I download something from to my User List, and started messaging people once in a while telling them that they're on my list and are allowed to help themselves to my collection, which is in the high tens of thousands files. And yet, I get banned the whole damn time! It's unbelievable.

I've been on SoulSeek for 10 years or so, and can't remember this being such a problem ever before. Either the mentality of users has shifted completely, or the userbase has dwindled so much that the majority of those who remain seem to be complete dicks restricting their shares or not allowing other to download their files at all. I just got banned by a person that shares a certain DVD, split into around 50 separate .rar files - obviously I've queued them up all at once, yeah, it's a lot of files, but who in their sane mind expects anyone to download one part of a package after another, 50 files or so? To make matters worse, the user seems to be the only person in the entire network sharing said DVD, and the DVD doesn't seem to be available anywhere else (I've tried looking for torrents as much as I dislike them, but, no - nothing comes up, anywhere).

As we haven't found a solution for banning and obviously banning has to be a part of the system to defend against obvious leeching, maybe we could at least introduce an obligatory message upon banning/a message preceding a ban? I don't know how complicated that would be, but if someone would have to at least privately message the person they want to ban, it would help and make the whole system more reasonable? At least give a damn reason, explain yourself and make it tougher to ban than one or two mouseclicks, and locking your treasure chest, "because fuck you, that's why". I messaged that guy telling him he's on my list, he's free to take whatever he wants, to no reply - and the chat logs show he's been available and away constantly so obviously has read the message. Or, I don't know, introduce temporary bans for users with Privileges: if someone bans a Privileged user the first ban is for 24 hours only, with an automated message saying that "Please make sure you share, otherwise you risk being exiled from the network?", to make sure the Privileged users are actually sharing. Anything, so that this lunacy stops - or makes it harder for Ban Abusers 'cause it's so frustrating. They seem to be as much of a problem as the Leechers are, if not more - as I'm pretty damn sure most people who are on the network as of today, are seasoned veterans with actual collections who are here for research/historical/collection purposes, actual leechers and chart-listeners have moved on to torrents, warez websites or just died down as a species and went on to stream music from Spotify or YouTube which are free and offer them the latest releases.

I won't even start on people who download from me when they see me queueing up their files, only to ban me as soon as their own downloads are done! (happened numerous times). So much malice and hostility these days, for what reason exactly. Thanks :)

Some of these dudes might also ban you if their understanding of "good music" does not match yours!
For instance, if you download good Jamaican reggae music, but all you offer is Bob Marley stuff and bog-standard radio-friendly lovers rock like UB 40, some might get annoyed and ban you because they feel like taken for fools. "I share my whole collection..." And your point? :) It also depends on WHAT you share. For the more specialized folks, the quantity of how much you share is second rank at best. To stick with the UB40 example: sure, if you share their whole discography you might easily exceed the boundary of 200 files, just for that. ;) But those that banned you were looking for something different, and, as usual, more underground, something meant for knowledgeable enthusiasts of the genre.

Or, as a lover of audio books, you will also annoy many folks if you keep downloading BBC dramatisations but all you offer is books read out loud by a narrator plus a helluva lot of OTR (Old Time Radio) stuff from the 1950s.

I want to end the banning feature, or keep a list of abusers off site. This is ridiculous, these users won't stop on their own. SoulSeek needs to get rid of this feature.

C U N T's picture

My only rule is to ban people that for example might download.... 30 albums at one time, I don't mind anyone DLing all night long BUT it must be TWO AT A TIME to not hog the line and end up pushing out other people waiting.