Legit Challenge Framework

Since I have won the $100,000 Flight Chart challenge issued by Flat Out Hero on YouTube, I have designated half to charity and half to issue challenges.  Being frustrated with YouTube challenges being run and judged in questionable ways I see the need to have a framework to provide an objectively testable challenge.  There is also a need to resolve the judging problem where the person that would be paying the prize is also the sole person judging.  This is a clear conflict of interest.  This framework includes an arbitration solution to resolve this conflict of interest.
Any legitimate challenge has at least these 4 features:
  1. Clear, objectively measurable criteria
  2. Unmodifiable criteria
  3. Money in escrow
  4. An option for independent judging
The framework provides all these features.
All my challenges will use this framework.  I will also be encouraging any other people issuing challenges to use this framework.
I am requesting comments on the framework before publishing it as 1.0.  At that time, I’ll publish a video.  Send comments to mctoon@mctoon.net.

December 2018
Version 0.9c

1.0 Introduction

There are a lot of challenges on the internet including YouTube channels.  Unfortunately, many are not handled in a predictable and honest manner.  When challenges are successfully met they are rejected, parameters are changed after the solutions are submitted or the solutions are simply ignored.

The Legit Challenge Framework is intended to provide a guide for challenges to assist in providing a predictable and honest challenge.  This framework lays out parameters that allow an objective analysis of the submitted solutions and provides an arbitration mechanism.  The guidelines also provide a mechanism to prevent modifications to the challenge after being issued, for example, after a solution is submitted.

2.0 Process

2.1 Create the Challenge Text
The “Challenge Issuer” is to fill out the form in Appendix A.  All the parameters of the challenge are spelled out in the form.  This filled-out form is called the “Challenge Text”.

2.2 Calculate the message digest
Once the Challenge Text has been created it is used to obtain a “Message Digest”. After the Message Digest has been calculated any changes to the Challenge Text will change the Message Digest.  The Challenge Text cannot change after the Message Digest has been calculated.  If changes must be made, a new Message Digest must be calculated.  Use only the Message Digest corresponding to the correct and final Challenge Text.

2.3.1 Calculating the Message Digest
Online message hashes can be calculated on several websites:
2.3.2 Message Digest algorithm
SHA-256 is the preferred algorithm.

2.3 Present the challenge
Present the challenge using whatever mechanism is desired.  The complete and unmodified Challenge Text must be included.  For example, if a video is made presenting the challenge, the Challenge Text would be included in the video description.  The video should include a useful overview of the challenge, however, the official challenge is embodied in the Challenge Text.  If there are discrepancies between the challenge described in the video and the Challenge Text, the Challenge Text is to be used.  The Message Digest MUST be included in the challenge presentation. This guarantees that the Challenge Text cannot be later manipulated.

3.0 Submission mechanism
The Challenge Text specifies how “Challenge Solvers” are to communicate their submissions.

4.0 Judging
Judging is to be done according to the process as stated in the Challenge Text.  Since the Challenge Text cannot be modified after issuing the challenge the process used for evaluating the solution will be available for everyone to see.  Results will be communicated to the Challenge Solver using the mechanism stated in the Challenge Text.

5.0 Arbitration
If a submission is rejected by the judge and the Challenge Solver does not agree the arbitration process is activated.

5.1 Judge panel selection
Arbitration will cause a panel of three judges to be selected.  Full authority to evaluate the solutions is delegated to the judging panel.

Judge qualifications must be specified in the Challenge Text.  For example, for a challenge related to sea navigation the judge’s qualifications might be “Qualified judges must hold a current international shipping license.”

5.1.1 Challenge Issuer Judge
The Challenge Issuer selects one judge.

5.1.2 Challenge Solvers judge
All of the Challenge Solvers together select a single judge.  All Challenge Solvers must decide among themselves how to choose their one judge.

5.1.3 Independent Judge
A third judge is selected by a poll on a Reddit thread.  One of the Challenge Solvers is to create the thread. The Reddit thread has 2 weeks to assemble starting when it is created. All parties can recruit members to participate in the Reddit thread. In the end, a poll is conducted on the channel to select the third judge.

The judges review the challenge parameters and the solution or solutions.  They decide if any of the solutions appropriately satisfied the challenge and declare either a failure to satisfy the challenge or announce one or more winning solutions.

A. Framework form
The form below is to be filled out.  Sections in square brackets are to be replaced with challenge text.  Do not modify other text.  Do not remove any sections or leave any blank, if something is not relevant, state this or simply use “N/A”.

If additional information is needed, the notes section should be used.

Legit Challenge Framework v0.9c

Preface: [Optional introductory information]

Challenge: [Be very descriptive and avoid ambiguity.]

Acceptance parameters: [Provide clear parameters to define a successful solution.  Include appropriate evaluation methodologies and acceptable margins of error.  Real-world measurements absolutely require a realistic margin of error or do not qualify as a Legit Challenge.]

Submission method: [Video or web page or email or YouTube comment or whatever is desired.]

Submission communication method: [Method to contact challenge organizer when a challenge is submitted.  This could be a comment on the original YouTube challenge video, however these sometimes get missed so an additional method such as email, Twitter DM, SMS message, etc. can be specified to avoid missing a submission.]

Prize: [Clearly state the prize including the type of currency.]

Timing and Number of solutions: [If more than one solution is allowed, specify.  If it’s only the first correct solution, specify.]

Escrow: [For monetary prizes escrow is required.]

Judge: [Who is the judge and how it will be judged.]

Arbitration: [Arbitration is required, this is to state the qualifications of the judges.  See the Arbitration section of the framework.  Qualifications for the judges on the panel must be specified.]

Expiration: [When, if ever, does the challenge expire.  If the challenge organizer specifies the challenge can end anytime with an announcement, specify the method of the announcement.]

Notes: [Any additional notes or items can be added here.]