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Old Yesterday, 08:12 PM   #1
KindofHere
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One Complaint

So, I put up an old story that was at a 4.84 when I took it down months ago.

I put it up and as all my stories do, it got hit by 1-votes.

After it reached 4.80 and higher, the troll would come back and drop me by .02 points each time. 4.84 to 4.82 more than once. 4.85 to 4.83 more than twice and now they just don't care, 4.86 to 4.82. I have 358 votes and they did the latest .04 drop in about 17 (all votes that didn't raise my score or drop it I'm guessing were 5s).

Well ... I reported it ... and now I'm just going to write and try to get as many stories out as possible.

This place .... some of you guys .... yikes.

Edit: It's kind of hard not to care about score when someone goes out of their way to make you.

I think I'll enjoy the rest of my weekend away from Lit and hopefully Monday, Laurel has ran the sweep I asked her to.

Edit Again: And my troll likes to tell me they wished I'd 'Kind of Vanish' in anon comments across all of my stories. I left the last one up on my latest story.

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Old Yesterday, 08:49 PM   #2
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In my experience, the first sweep only takes out a couple and you have to bug her to get more effective action, or she ignores you. One reason I'm out of here.
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Old Yesterday, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
So, I put up an old story that was at a 4.84 when I took it down months ago.
If you're getting upset over the difference between 4.86 and 4.84 or 4.82 then maybe you're too tied up in the score.

It may not be that reasonable to pin the blame on a "troll." With a score that high (and not an overwhelming number of votes) all it takes is a few 4* votes to change the score.
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Old Yesterday, 09:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
If you're getting upset over the difference between 4.86 and 4.84 or 4.82 then maybe you're too tied up in the score.

It may not be that reasonable to pin the blame on a "troll." With a score that high (and not an overwhelming number of votes) all it takes is a few 4* votes to change the score.
Agree this. Some folk seem to think any movement down is trolling, whereas, on a score base as high as the OP's, it's more likely 3s and 4s (that is, readers giving a genuine ranking). Tracking the movement between 4.86 and 4.84 after 358 votes is like worrying about the tint of gold being used for the star. Get a grip, I'd say.

And someone "out of here" because they don't think the sweeps are putting a story back to where they think it "should" be, seriously? Just maybe the story has been ranked by hundreds of readers and they've placed it exactly where they think it sits. That's the thing about the Lit scoring system, it's what readers think a story's worth, not its writer.

From what I can see from my own file, once a story is a couple of months old, and has had two or three sweeps, it is what it is. The only movement I see in my story file over time is an overall higher score. My little garden of Red Hs is certainly bigger than it was eighteen months ago (and I've hardly been productive this last year).
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Old Yesterday, 09:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Agree this. Some folk seem to think any movement down is trolling, whereas, on a score base as high as the OP's, it's more likely 3s and 4s (that is, readers giving a genuine ranking). Tracking the movement between 4.86 and 4.84 after 358 votes is like worrying about the tint of gold being used for the star. Get a grip, I'd say.

And someone "out of here" because they don't think the sweeps are putting a story back to where they think it "should" be, seriously? Just maybe the story has been ranked by hundreds of readers and they've placed it exactly where they think it sits. That's the thing about the Lit scoring system, it's what readers think a story's worth, not its writer.

From what I can see from my own file, once a story is a couple of months old, and has had two or three sweeps, it is what it is. The only movement I see in my story file over time is an overall higher score. My little garden of Red Hs is certainly bigger than it was eighteen months ago (and I've hardly been productive this last year).
It's not one story. It happens to all of my stories and I let it go. My latest story they just went overboard on making their point that they can do whatever they want. Today it got tiring.

I've been here long enough and have had enough stories up to see when stories are dropped on purpose and when they are not. There is always a little bit of jealousy in here, but that's life.
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
... now they just don't care, 4.86 to 4.82. I have 358 votes and they did the latest .04 drop in about 17 (all votes that didn't raise my score or drop it I'm guessing were 5s).
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
If you're getting upset over the difference between 4.86 and 4.84 or 4.82 then maybe you're too tied up in the score.

It may not be that reasonable to pin the blame on a "troll." With a score that high (and not an overwhelming number of votes) all it takes is a few 4* votes to change the score.
4.86 @ 341 votes implies at least 1656 total stars (max 1658, depending on what the exact unrounded score was).

4.82 @ 358 votes implies at most 1727 stars (min 1724).

So if I've understood KoH correct, the story had a run of 17 votes which totalled between (1724-1658 = 66) and (1727-1656 = 71) stars.

That's not just a couple of 4* votes there. For 71 stars off 17 votes, we'd be talking 14x4* and just 3x5* votes. That's not within the the normal range of expectations for a story that's been averaging in the 4.8s.

(Stats aside: if every vote has an 80% chance of being 5 and 20% of being 4, then the probability of getting no more than 3x5* out of 17 consecutive votes is about 0.000006%.)

Of course, it could be some other mix of numbers, e.g. 3x1*, 2x4*, 12x5*. But I don't see any scenario that would be plausible as just a bit of bad luck. Y'all know I'm the first person to say "you're reading too much into your scores and over-interpreting random fluctuations" but in this case, going on the numbers provided, KoH is probably correct in suspecting some kind of bombing going on.

With all that said... yeah, best not to get too invested in the score. 4.82 is still an excellent score, even if it's been artificially lowered.
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Old Yesterday, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
4.86 @ 341 votes implies at least 1656 total stars (max 1658, depending on what the exact unrounded score was).

4.82 @ 358 votes implies at most 1727 stars (min 1724).

So if I've understood KoH correct, the story had a run of 17 votes which totalled between (1724-1658 = 66) and (1727-1656 = 71) stars.

That's not just a couple of 4* votes there. For 71 stars off 17 votes, we'd be talking 14x4* and just 3x5* votes. That's not within the the normal range of expectations for a story that's been averaging in the 4.8s.

(Stats aside: if every vote has an 80% chance of being 5 and 20% of being 4, then the probability of getting no more than 3x5* out of 17 consecutive votes is about 0.000006%.)

Of course, it could be some other mix of numbers, e.g. 3x1*, 2x4*, 12x5*. But I don't see any scenario that would be plausible as just a bit of bad luck. Y'all know I'm the first person to say "you're reading too much into your scores and over-interpreting random fluctuations" but in this case, going on the numbers provided, KoH is probably correct in suspecting some kind of bombing going on.

With all that said... yeah, best not to get too invested in the score. 4.82 is still an excellent score, even if it's been artificially lowered.
You understood me correctly. Thanks for the math, again.
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Old Yesterday, 10:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
It's not one story. It happens to all of my stories and I let it go. My latest story they just went overboard on making their point that they can do whatever they want.
That always happens in the first week, even more so if it's a contest story. I wait a month before I pay much much attention to the score of any new story, and even then it's more a curiosity thing, "How did this story go down compared to the last one?"
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
That always happens in the first week, even more so if it's a contest story. I wait a month before I pay much much attention to the score of any new story, and even then it's more a curiosity thing, "How did this story go down compared to the last one?"
See things your way Blue. I look at the evidence, comments, emails. You don't have to trust me for it to be true. I need to log out of lit. I need a day away.
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Old Yesterday, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
4.86 @ 341 votes implies at least 1656 total stars (max 1658, depending on what the exact unrounded score was).

4.82 @ 358 votes implies at most 1727 stars (min 1724).

So if I've understood KoH correct, the story had a run of 17 votes which totalled between (1724-1658 = 66) and (1727-1656 = 71) stars
The average among those 17 votes is 4.

I have a very similar thing going on with one of my stories. I got 24 votes that averaged 4 and it pulled the story's rating down by -0.02. I had a slightly lower score than KofH and about twice as many votes to start with, but the effect was similar.

How do you interpret an average score of 4? If I assumed that most voters continued to vote on their original pattern then it might have taken five 1* votes to get my score down.

Maybe that happened to KofH, but what are you going to do? A high score is a high score. Getting a sweep to move the score back up by .01 or .02 is fine maybe (but for the person who has to do it, along with everything else she has to do) and if there's a troll then it does nothing to stop the trolling. The troll may just be energized by it.
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Old Yesterday, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Agree this. Some folk seem to think any movement down is trolling, whereas, on a score base as high as the OP's, it's more likely 3s and 4s (that is, readers giving a genuine ranking). Tracking the movement between 4.86 and 4.84 after 358 votes is like worrying about the tint of gold being used for the star. Get a grip, I'd say.

And someone "out of here" because they don't think the sweeps are putting a story back to where they think it "should" be, seriously? Just maybe the story has been ranked by hundreds of readers and they've placed it exactly where they think it sits. That's the thing about the Lit scoring system, it's what readers think a story's worth, not its writer.

From what I can see from my own file, once a story is a couple of months old, and has had two or three sweeps, it is what it is. The only movement I see in my story file over time is an overall higher score. My little garden of Red Hs is certainly bigger than it was eighteen months ago (and I've hardly been productive this last year).
You know, usually you have something worthwhile to say, but alleging that the Lit scores are what "readers think a story's worth" given the amount of gaming that goes on here about scores is incredibly naive.
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Old Yesterday, 10:54 PM   #12
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Can a troll vote more than once on a story? Wouldn't that mean somebody could sit all day and give himself thousands of "5" votes? Maybe some people do that.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandTeton View Post
You know, usually you have something worthwhile to say, but alleging that the Lit scores are what "readers think a story's worth" given the amount of gaming that goes on here about scores is incredibly naive.
Well, even a troll giving a story a 1 is giving it what the troll thinks it (or the author) is worth.

It's all relative and different categories have their different rhythms, but if I had a story slip from 4.86 to 4.82 (or even 4.58, as mine starting out even at 4.90 tend to do), I wouldn't complain.
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Old Yesterday, 11:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandTeton View Post
You know, usually you have something worthwhile to say, but alleging that the Lit scores are what "readers think a story's worth" given the amount of gaming that goes on here about scores is incredibly naive.
I don't agree. In fact, I disagree. The rating is a measure of the popularity of your story. It has little to nothing to do with the quality of your writing or anything else you might want to read into it. I don't see as much "gaming" as you do.

I'm sorry if you want to make it more than that.
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Old Yesterday, 11:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I don't agree. In fact, I disagree. The rating is a measure of the popularity of your story. It has little to nothing to do with the quality of your writing or anything else you might want to read into it. I don't see as much "gaming" as you do.

I'm sorry if you want to make it more than that.
Again, that depends on the category. Others here talk about their ratings going up over time. I have GM stories in multiple accounts, some with no relationship to accounts posting to the board, and all of my GM stories go down in rating over time. Many of them level off at around 4.49 (fancy that). One of my coauthored stories won a contest this year, with a 4.89. It's slowly drifting down, just like the rest, and now sits at 4.78. One of my accounts came in second in a Lit. contest with a GM story two years ago, registering 4.87. It now sits at 4.64. A GM story that posted earlier this month, "Fissure," came out of the gate with 15 straight 5s. Five days later, it sat at 4.47. The sweeps this month brought it back up to 4.64.

So, it does depend to some extent on the relative user response to specific categories and don't bother to claim there isn't gaming going on with the voting here. I see a whole lot of gaming going on in at least the GM category. If I want to get a handle on what readers think of the relative quality of my GM stories, I have to look at how they are doing at other, more GM-friendly, story sites.

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Old Today, 12:30 AM   #16
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I see a whole lot of gaming going on in at least the GM category. If I want to get a handle on what readers think of the relative quality of my GM stories, I have to look at how they are doing at other, more GM-friendly, story sites.
What do you consider to be 'Gaming'? To me that's an organized effort by authors or by the fans of authors to manipulate standings. We know it's happened before, but is it still going on? I can think of a couple cases where authors have off-site blogs that--intentionally or not--could be use for 'Gaming'.

Convince me and maybe I'll change my mind. I'm skeptical.
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My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
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Old Today, 12:35 AM   #17
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I think I may have mislead people about why I'm annoyed. It's not the .04 points and the others I lost yoyoing every time I went up. It's being deliberately screwed with (the pattern of dropping point .02 at a time, after gaining .02 at a time, is obvious) and not being able to do anything about it is what gets me the most. Asking for the sweep is the only defense, but even that doesn't do much. I put up the point number to show that I get screwed with.

I've had two stories that never rose above 4.30 and when I put them up again, I suspect it will be the same results. The results are about the same for the stories I've resubmitted, so why would that change. I won't be surprised when I get a 4 or 3 dropped on those stories because they've been there and the pattern of votes I get will be consistent. I know those will be valid votes based on people's opinions of the stories. I think those stories are just as good as any of my stories, but they have a different feel and aren't the best for the Taboo category, but that's how I wanted to write them. And I can accept a string of 4s if that's what comes in.

It's not the score. It's like getting your car keyed over and over again and you can't catch the little bastards who are doing it. (That's never happened to me, but I had a friend who kept getting dings in his car by the neighborhood kids, but what could he do without proof?)

Anyway, that's it.

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Old Today, 12:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
What do you consider to be 'Gaming'? To me that's an organized effort by authors or by the fans of authors to manipulate standings. We know it's happened before, but is it still going on? I can think of a couple cases where authors have off-site blogs that--intentionally or not--could be use for 'Gaming'.

Convince me and maybe I'll change my mind. I'm skeptical.
I don't see why that wouldn't be considered gaming. But, recently. Sure. I don't know what you would call 15 straight 5s out of the gate that five days later was made into a 4.47 and week after that raised back to 4.64 by site sweeps.

In another recent instance, I saw serious gaming in the Valentine Day's contest this year. One story went to number two (or one, depending on the day). It held there at 4.88 through the last two thirds of the contest, not moving in any direction, up or down, although votes were added. Anything that came close to it from behind it was knocked down. Whenever my story was number one, it got knocked down to three or four, where it was before the sweeps came in. Number two apparently misjudged the effect of sweeps. When there's a single anomaly like this, gaming comes into serious consideration. One steady high contender in a sea of highly volatile near contenders doesn't pass the smell test.


But I don't have to convince you of anything. I just give the horselaugh at the claim that voting games are not going on here that can be seen in certain categories that the Web site is tolerant of but not exactly friendly toward. In the GM case, better--much better--ratings can be gotten at more GM-friendly sites. But you can't get the volume of readers at those that you can get here and if you just accept the games here and a voting system that's easily manipulated, there's no reason not to post stories here. This isn't my complaint thread.
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Old Today, 01:28 AM   #19
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Can a troll vote more than once on a story? Wouldn't that mean somebody could sit all day and give himself thousands of "5" votes? Maybe some people do that.
A determined, Internet-savvy troll certainly can. And trolls are passionate creatures.
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Old Today, 01:47 AM   #20
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Out of idle curiosity (my favourite kind), a question on other authors' scoring habits.

For myself, I don't remember ever having scored anything a '2' or a '3' and only in a couple of extreme examples involving no plot, pathetic spelling and grammar, etc have I ever given a '1'. Generally, I just don't vote at all unless I can confidently give a '5', feeling the worst fate for poor writing is to simply be ignored.

Is this way out of the norm?
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Old Today, 02:06 AM   #21
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All your stories are in Incest Taboo. Don't bother requesting sweeps. All those stories at 4.84 and above that keep getting dinged down? Even though you have a personal troll ( as evidenced by repeated, duplicate comments ) the primary driver of the score drops is likely the stories showing up on the I/T Hall of Fame. Anything higher than 4.84 is guaranteed to show up in the Hall of Fame in the category.

That toplist is one of the most cutthroat of the bunch, and there are scores of people blasting stories that dare to inch above their favorites. It takes a large, group effort ( coordinated or no ) in order to affect stories with thousands of votes.

The toplist is also swept about once a month, and seems to reset to almost exactly how it was. Give it a couple of weeks, and all those dings will get wiped out.

Then, the process will start all over.

The good news is that if your personal troll is dinging those stories that hit the HOF, the turds flung at your lower-scored stories will probably get erased as well.
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Old Today, 02:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GrandTeton View Post
You know, usually you have something worthwhile to say, but alleging that the Lit scores are what "readers think a story's worth" given the amount of gaming that goes on here about scores is incredibly naive.
All I'm doing is giving evidence on trolling as I see it in my story file, which is minimal. Perhaps I'm lucky, perhaps nobody reads me, but I see maybe one or two score removals in the first 30-40 scores of any of my new stories, and then rare movements after that. My long term trend is higher scores across my whole story file, not lower.

But then, I don't write in LW, I have only three I&T stories, I don't write non-con, and I've only entered one or two contests in four years. I don't see evidence of gaming affecting my scores. I see lots of conspiracy theorists - but in my case, zero evidence of ass-hat writers and gangs of their supporters down-voting my stories. So for my story file, I do see it as evidence of reader response.

Edit: I've just read KeithD's comment re GM - I only have two GM stories, submitted this last year or so. Both have strengthened over time - but I don't know if that's typical of the genre or just me flying under the radar (they've only got 4k and 14k views, but again, I don't know how that compares to predominantly GM writers like KeithD).
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Old Today, 03:00 AM   #23
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Is this way out of the norm?
If the writing is truly terrible I won't score it at all. I don't read vast amounts here, but if I do score, it's generally a four or a five. Rarely, a three (depends on the weather, probably). If I give it a five, I'll often as not leave a comment.
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Old Today, 03:02 AM   #24
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I probably pay far too much attention to the scores on my stories. I have only been posting on Lit for two months now, so I have been keen to see what sort of stories people want me to write going forward. As a result, I have logged in shortly after several of my stories went 'live' and was able to follow the voting closely. The math isn't that complicated.
Most of the people who read the story and feel compelled to vote give it a 5* rating. Very rarely, someone actually gives a story a 4. Then it is easy to watch and calculate as a story is repeatedly 'two-pedoed' by someone who feels it has a rating that is too high.
Sadly, it is those people who really determine where your score will wind up. If they are determined enough, they can put in the time and grind your score down substantially. I'm operating under the assumption that the reverse isn't true--some rabid fan logging in to give your story 5* over and over.
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Old Today, 03:05 AM   #25
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May I suggest an alternative way of looking at those 1 votes?

For someone to get so upset with your story means you touched them on some emotional level. Your writing created that response which to me is a win, isn't that what we all want our writing to do?

Yes, there are always trolls who will just target a story or author but you have to ask yourself why they would keep coming back.
Is it personal? Do you truly know these people or they, you? or have you just hit a sensitive chord with them?

At the end of the day in a year or two's time the good will outweigh the bad and what you can see clearly as trolling in the first few weeks of a story won't even be a drop in the bucket of votes you'll end up accruing and the score will even out to its true rating which can't possibly be a 5 because let's face it we can't please all of the people all of the time. There are worse things than being hated. You could be seen as merely mediocre neither inspiring or creating feelings for the work one way or the other.

Celebrate the trolls because you made them react and that in itself is a talent
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You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing ~ Doris Lessing
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