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Blog entry Can you ever have too much Freerice?

05 August 2011

On Freerice, we aim for one thing: more rice. However, there are times when more rice is not necessarily good for Freerice or the people we help. This may seem like a contradiction, but we’ve noticed that some Freericers are employing automated scripts, or Internet bots, to play the game at many times the speed of a human.

Only rice that is raised legitimately on Freerice, with real people playing the game and answering the questions, will help Freerice and do good in the world.

Rice that is raised through bots is actually damaging to the online game you love. Here’s a brief explanation as to why:

  1. Because of the massive number of questions an Internet bot is able to answer in a short period of time, the site can become overloaded and crash so that real people cannot play and learn. This means less rice is earned for the hungry.
  2. Bots can damage our reputation to the advertisers who support Freerice. If the banners below the questions aren’t seen by Freericers, the rice isn’t paid for – and we risk losing an important source of revenue.
  3. At times, the Internet bots raise more rice than we can pay for! We want to continue ensuring that every correct answer does in fact have a direct impact in the lives of the hungry. Bots disrupt the systems we have in place to pay for the rice.

While everyone naturally wants to raise as much rice as possible, please keep in mind that Freerice only works if it’s played by real Freericers.

If you notice anything you think should be brought to our attention (i.e. if you think you spot a bot), please don’t hesitate to email us at WFP.freerice@wfp.org!

Thank you for challenging yourself while feeding the hungry on Freerice!

Freerice is maintained by and supports the United Nations World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian organisation fighting hunger worldwide. To find out more go to WFP.org

Comments
Wed, 08/31/2011 - 17:23 cardinals5

I agree that the Internet bots are unfair, because they don't do any work or learn anything whatsoever! Thank you for posting this, Freerice.

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 11:11 Sendee

i have started to feel lil proudy at myself after being able to contribute lil to the world and hope my lil effort will make some difference

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 02:55 ahays31808

just in case you didn't get my email, i think doomsday111 has a bot

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 16:01 Princehomegroup2

I thinl there's a farm in Freerice (already)! :)

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 16:22 haleyyy_bug

wolke205 is a bot i think

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 16:22 haleyyy_bug

thannks soooooooooooooo much this is what i do after schooll

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 16:21 haleyyy_bug

well i agree its so nice of you too pay for rice i just want to donate im just a 12 year old learning about poor people and i think its nice that we can give to them what they dont have

Mon, 08/22/2011 - 18:56 Mira Barnes

hurray for real people! :)

Sat, 08/20/2011 - 02:53 Spencer Lawson

I spotted a bot I think but I lost the email address. This bot had over 1 billion rice grains in a day and quite frankly I don't know if that's possible without a bot.

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 20:11 iyong

Hello...
Does freerice have plan to help the famine in Somalia.
Thank you.

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 03:27 rangetwn3

Great website to help the poor. You should advertise or something for this!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:54 ayesha9.7

thats actually really true

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 23:52 TMAD

This answers the question for me, "why is Free Rice so slow at various times." Hope those who are using the "bots" give them up so we can legitimately get rice to those who need it. Thanks for uncoverning this dishonest practice as I really enjoy doing this and hope it aids those who are in need.

tmad

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 11:04 gbr

ok

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 04:59 AndyLundeen

Oh yes, and one more thing. This user apparently earned over 3 million grains in one day. A feat I think is quite easily written off as humanly impossible.

http://freerice.com/users/tommajlo

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 04:57 AndyLundeen

I suppose you have a system in place to prevent the bots from operating on the site? I've been effected by it multiple times then while playing Multiplication Tables. Is that why when I log out and back on I lose rice on my counter, since I am seen sometimes as a bot and all the rice I earn doesn't appear legitimate?

Is there a way to circumvent this rather than simply slowing down?

Other than that, thank you for all the work you do to keep the site accurate and bug free. I imagine the job is far from easy with all the thousands of users that come through every day.

Peace,
A.

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 07:38 nategodbolt

I love the fact that people want to earn a BUNCH of rice, but too much isn't a good thing. It just lets it go too far.

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 04:16 lmentzel

How can I find the Pronunciation symbol on Free Rice? Where is it?

Mon, 08/08/2011 - 22:41 cool101.3

ii dont think it is possible to have to much rice

Mon, 08/08/2011 - 04:44 stephanierose

what is a bot and how will i know when i see it?

Mon, 08/08/2011 - 04:28 ny_anom

How would you know if you'd spotted a bot? I have no idea what to look for--I usually just play.

Sun, 08/07/2011 - 22:15 Lea Maria Kielsholm

Maybe you should check out the people in the rankings. I mean, how many people have the time to donate more than 100.000 grains a day? My personal record for a day is 36.000 and that took hours! So be aware of them...

Sun, 08/07/2011 - 20:37 cookooj

How could anyone do that! :(

Sun, 08/07/2011 - 08:52 diondinosaur

i will never use bots as it is a form of hacking. so freerice you can rest assured! hackers sucks!!! they do not earn th rice honestly. maybe i will create a group called Anti-Hacking. definetly no hackers in it.

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 20:11 Rice 4 Free

Hmm... i'd noticed a significant decrease in rice donated as of about mid June, down from around 35-45k to roughly 5-15k. I wonder if botting could be the cause? I've also noticed an increasing number of "unexpected error" screens within the past week, preventing me from answering questions or feeding the hungry. I've had to try to find a break in the error screens so I can log on, and after that, i've encountered no problems. To anyone who is botting: I know your intentions are good, but you're causing more harm than help, preventing thousands of actual players from donating rice, and even causing Freerice to lose the sponsors that are the backbone of this entire program! Please, STOP BOTTING!

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 18:06 Hung4ry

Unfair to use these automated scripts as denying genuine players. And it might account for why I have kept getting blocks and errors on the site recently, and couldn't change subjects etc. Hope your blog will put an end to this kind of malpractice.

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 17:03 NaiNuh

What should we be looking for to spot a bot? I get pretty suspicious when seeing people answering over 1,000+ questions in a row. Or would sending you the links to the pages that promote botting on this site work even better? A quick google search turns up quite a few of them.

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 12:58 Donna M. Savin

I love challenging myself to learn and help feed the hungry. It is a shame that a few people have to ruin this respectful way to educate oneself by trying to beat the system. I work with altzheimer's/dementia elders and know that by playing this game as trivia, it exercises the mind and wards off memory loss and tones the mind. This is the best online way to improve oneself and feed the hungry. Thank you freerice for the opportunity and to the sponsors who pay for this rice. We need you and appreciate you for your donations in helping to end hunger in the around the world.

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 05:02 Humangenius

That's terrible! I didn't even know about automated scripts or Internet bots before, but now I do, I know that they are bad!

I donate myself at a rate of 1,000 grains of rice per four minutes.

In other words ... I can donate 15,000 grains of rice in a hour if I try!

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 00:23 Samantha Pierce

you can never have too much free rice because if your like some people you care about the ones who need food and yes i'm a real person and i know no one who uses internet bots by the way what is an internet bot?

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 20:50 soccergamer10101

Is that why it keeps saying error when I try to log in or donate rice ...... STUPID BOTS

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