The example member you gave above doesn’t bother me so much for a reason (plus how do you know they haven’t been working their arse off on LingQ? Or whether they knew traditional characters or had studied Japanese before which gives them some character advantage). Some members put in many hours. It’s a different class of cheats I dislike…
But first, poking my nose into your example, it appears they have a space of a few days at least before racking up another thousand each time. Another thing, their statistical history shows they regularly make lingQs, learn lingQs and listen to audio, showing up a lot. The cheats don’t even bother. (Not to be confused with those who can’t afford membership but work hard off-site). But then, how are we to know?
My favourite example of a presumed cheat (by reading time stamps) was the person in the space of 8 minutes who’d signed up for a brand-new LingQ membership, joined a 90-day Challenge, plus a Hardcore 90-day Challenge for the same language and then ‘knew’ 1,000+ words (with thousands read) in something like the remaining 5 minutes. In other words, they ‘acquired’ the words faster than it would take by actual reading or lingQing. They had to be paging through with ‘paging makes words known’ in settings, in order to do all that in under 5 minutes.
The same person then “knew” 1-2,000 more words that day, sat back for days doing nothing as I recall, then logged in occasionally to keep their 1st place ranking it seems, dumping another truckload of ‘known’ words. Ha! Of course, the rest of us were working our arses off, and yeh, it was annoying. I was in one Challenge recently where that happened after I’d been burning the midnight oil and was so discouraged, I quit the Challenge. I suspect some cheats even have multiple accounts.
But I’m intrigued as to why so-called ‘newbies’ would wanna join LingQ and sign up minutes later for a Hard Core Challenge… Some fake new members immediately join multiple challenges, don’t actually complete any, then keep joining new ones after each expires - but sit on the top of the rankings.
There’s another group of people, not necessarily cheats, who already know thousands of words before discovering LingQ. Maybe it would be fair if they actually waited at least a month before joining a Challenge until most of their ‘known’ words are in the data base and they reach a stage where they actually start real learning. Otherwise, what’s so challenging for them to do a “Challenge”?!