Will blatant profit manipulation be punished by the Manifold admins?
Apr 2

For example, Alice cares about her profit numbers, Bob doesn't, ao Alice makes a market and agrees to bet against Bob, resolve it in her favor, and then manalink Bob mana equal to his losses.

The community guidelines prevent people from doing this with their own alt accounts, but not from collaberating with another person. However the manifold admins have been known to enforce rules that don't exist before.

This is a conditional market. If I become aware of anyone performing this action for at least M$10,000 (after market creation), it resolves to what happens there. (The admins delegating the decision to someone else counts as admin action.) Otherwise it resolves N/A at close.

If a Manifold admin states what they'd plan to do with someone who did it, I'd resolve to that statement. If they add a rule that makes this unambiguously illegal, this resolves N/A.

Making that profit not count towards leagues is not sufficient to resolve this to YES. Making it not counted anywhere, including the leaderboards and their profile, is sufficient to resolve this to YES.

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Looks like a rule was added, so this should resolve N/A. Any disagreement?

predicts NO

New guidelines are out. It’s broken into sections. The one most relevant for this market is Account & manipulation guidelines, where this behavior, including collusion between users, is made punishable:

From this market’s resolution criteria in the description:

If they add a rule that makes this unambiguously illegal, this resolves N/A.

So, you can cancel it now. Thanks.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing why isn’t it N/A yet? how am I misreading the criteria? Please note I mentioned my N/A assumption a month ago and you did not correct it.

predicts YES

@deagol Hmm. Creating a market, betting in it, and then resolving it in your favor is still not explicitly prohibited. It might fall under the general "exploiting loopholes" provision, but that's so vague I don't know if I should count it.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing It seems pretty clear to me?

Self-subsidizing your own league position is indeed malicious, the intention is to benefit yourself which inevitably would bump off someone else undeservedly “to the detriment of others”. And even if you don’t affect your league rank (say you did this to show off only your profile or leaderboards profits without bumping down anyone else), then the final clause “if they are the market creator” covers it.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and posit the unconventional opinion that this kind of behavior isn't wrong and shouldn't have any negative consequences. Both Ṁ and profit numbers are imaginary internet metrics which have no real world value except as reputation (and maybe some $ to charity). If two people apply different personal values to these two arbitrary reputation metrics and they are willing to trade with each other, isn't that just the free market operating like it's supposed to?

predicts YES

@DanielParker Profit isn't 0-sum, Alice can acquire arbitrarily high profit for only a small payment to Bob.

bought Ṁ1 of NO

@IsaacKing It would be 0-sum in the sense that whatever profit Alice gains is going to be a negative profit for Bob, right? If Bob cares literally nothing about profit (e.g. he's an alt of Alice or of someone else), then that's a problem, but don't most (if not all) of the actual Manifold users place some value on profit?

predicts YES

@DanielParker No. Alice can bet against the AMM and get profit with no other user getting a loss.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing Gotcha, that makes sense. Yeah, I can see how that could be a problem. I was envisioning two people with opposing bets which would basically be a trade between Ṁ and profit (which is something that would be against the new rules, but I'm not 100% convinced that it should be).

predicts NO

deleted (fixed)

predicts NO

Can you clarify these criteria in the description? My bets here hang on this:

If a Manifold admin states what they'd plan to do with someone who did it, I'd resolve to that statement. If they add a rule that makes this unambiguously illegal, this resolves N/A.

So the council (non-admins) deciding to punish @PC doesn’t count, right? And, if admins add the rule making profit transfers illegal (which @SirSalty has stated they will), then this resolves N/A, regardless of any other incidents?

predicts YES

@deagol I think admin delegation counts as admin action.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing that’s arguable but I’ll let it go. Another thing, this market is about instances of manipulation occurring after market creation, right? Else there’s old instances that already have been punished, including Levi, Catnee, and now PC to name just a few, so this would be YES right from creation.

predicts YES

@deagol Yes, the manipulation must have occurred after market creation.

If it makes you more comfortable with the delegation, I'm pretty sure none of the trustworthyish users are going to be given the ability to directly edit PC's balance, and they'll simply tell David what to do.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing ah but that manipulation happened before market creation, so doesn’t count.

I don't think I've actually fined anyone yet for only doing this with a friend. Levi and HMYS got fined and temp banned but there were other contributing factors.

I believe I have given warnings before. Regardless the intent is there for alts and friends to be treated equally with regards to funneling profits, manipulation etc. But I don't know if an moderative action has actually been applied yet that you should resolve this to yes.

That said I probably am going to ban https://manifold.markets/TheWiggleMan for doing basically this exact thing, but I need to actually look into it more.

bought Ṁ100 of YES

@SirSalty Thanks! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Is there any chance that could be added to the community guidelines and more actively enforced? I think it's causing some dissatisfaction in the leagues, as some people are choosing to do it and not getting punished, while others eschew it and get a worse ranking as a result.

It would also be helpful if a more clear definition were provided of what is or isn't allowed. For example, in my recent attempt to manipulate @firstuserhere to remain in masters, I ended up agreeing to a mutually-beneficial ceasefire with @8 where I got paid mana and they got to profit on the market, rather than us continuing to fight it out. That didn't start out as an attempt to manipulate Trong's profit numbers, but it had the same end result; I got paid mana at the cost of my account reflecting negative profit, and they lost mana in return for a higher leaderboard rank. This sort of thing happens all the time among the power-users, and if the intention is that it's not allowed, it would be good to know that.

predicts NO

@SirSalty shouldn’t the beneficiaries of WiggleMan’s wiggles be the ones punished? this is almost rhetorical since identifying them seems to me impossible, except for the most obvious cases involving huge amounts.

bought Ṁ70 of YES

@IsaacKing Yes I agree - I'm going to be doing a complete revision of the guidelines to make sure they are more compatible with leagues and non-predictive profit which have since been introduced since we last made any changes.

I doubt they will be fully satisfactory for every situation as there will always be new ones as people get craftier and even as the product changes. But I'll do my best to make it clear what the intent/spirit of the guidelines and expectations are.

predicts YES

@deagol Oh yeah they will be the main ones punished. But an account like wiggleman whose sole existence is enabling banned behaviour shouldn't be tolerated either. But that said I really haven't had the time to look into it much yet so don't want to say anything too strongly yet.

predicts NO


in my recent attempt to manipulate @firstuserhere to remain in masters […] This sort of thing happens all the time among the power-users, and if the intention is that it's not allowed,

Maybe I’m biased, but I really fail to see the distinction between those “business as usual” whale deals and the sort of manipulation you’re asking about in this market.

This has been going on since the very beginning season 1 five months ago, admins continue to look the other way. Months ago you asked about Levi’s tricks (I replied here) from back in May, widely reported and known by admins. There’s even accounts openly advertising it as a service, see bios and profit chart showing profit transfers of M$218k during June here and M$63k in a single day in August and another 15k in September here, still ongoing blatantly.

Never punished afaik, maybe a market or two were N/A-ed (which instead punished successful honest traders in those), vague statements and broken promises to enforce, the shadiness goes on as it’s nearly impossible to police. I can’t see why this market’s so high?

bought Ṁ100 of YES


Hmm, we got a statement here that it's not allowed, but was never actually added to the rules. Unsure what to do with this.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

I was viewing this as a version of the PC market with a much further out end date haha

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