Cheating can be a big problem in any game, it gives someone an unfair advantage over somebody else. In Hattrick there are strict rules about cheating. Having more than one team is illegal. Every team is personal and can't be given to someone else, not even to arrange a friendly when you're on holiday.
Your only duty as a Hattrick player is to follow the rules of behaviour. It's all about the user, and the HTs, and all the other Hattrick players having the right to be spared from a lot of problems, or having our integrity violated.
On global HT-Johan said the following about (the discussion of) cheating:
Well, the Web is a technology and it makes it possible for people to publish what they want, but there are always rules. Society have rules on what can be published - the fact that you can technically publish kiddie porn doesn´t make it legal. You still have a responsibility. It´s not only society, your ISP has rules as well, and in this case we are (at least) one of those things, probably both. All things we publish are covered by the Hattrick rules. Just like inside the Hattrick site, we can´t force everyone to follow the rules but that doesn´t mean we give up on them.
The reason we don´t want cheating discussed in detail (anywhere on the HT site, like here, red.) is that:
1. It will help cheaters and make GMs work harder.
2. There are privacy concerns involved with discussing individual cases
3. Discussions about specific methods or cases never work out. They are bound to be based on speculation only. They are never "the truth". They very easily become popularity contests where friends of the blocked users stand against the HTs and GMs, and whoever may trust their decisions. It´s not effective, for the blocked user or anyone else. It may fill a need for a blocked user to convince his friends that he was really innocent, or to convince GMs he needs a second chance, and I can understand that, but it doesn´t mean we will give it any notion. Every user can appeal his case to the GMs, but there will be a point where a case is closed and we move on, and every user has to accept that those are the rules. It might help to see that what we ban is seldom the users, but their teams - most times users are allowed back in.
There are a LOT of cheating in Hattrick, thousands of teams are blocked every week, and it´s hard boring work making sure we find as many of those as possible. Sure we make mistakes, and most of those are corrected after discussions between GMs and the user. But if we cave in and allow cheaters to go free because they are really nice guys and have lots of friends in the community, I think we will undermine the idea of fair play quite a bit.
Some of the more common ways of cheating include
- having more than one team
- managing someone else's team (even if you're trying to be nice)
- overpriced transfers
- automating certain activities on the site without CHPP-approval
It's among the resposibilities of GMs to penalize violators of the rules, but the whole community has a responsibility as well to keep a watchful eye for suspicious activities of any kind. When caught and found guilty, the GMs have several options of penalizing cheaters, varying from a fine (in Hattrick currency) to exclusion from the game. Check the Cheat-o-meter on the GM pages to see the number of caught cheaters last week. Typically around 3000 cheaters are caught every week, indicating the level of awareness in the community, but also indicating the vast amount of people willing to bend the rules.