Request: Action to be Taken on Incorrectly Graded Market via Polymarket

Background

I’m a new user on Polymarket who wanted to plead my case with the outcome of a market. A user advised me on the UMA discord to make a discussion for this case, so here I am. Let me give you guys a rundown of the situation. This concerns the market: “Usher’s first song in Halftime Show?”. These were the rules for the market:


Link to the market: Polymarket | Super Bowl: Usher's first song in Halftime S...

On February 11th, the halftime show occurred. “My Way” was the first song of the performance and played briefly for about 8 seconds. The first song that Usher sang was “Caught Up”. The rules on Polymarket didn’t specify that Usher had to sing the song, only that it had to be the first song of his performance. This would make the rightful winner, “My Way”. Someone proposed “Caught Up” as the winner though. New users were unable to dispute this and older users were not informed to make the correct decision.
Here’s the halftime performance for reference:
Usher’s Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show

The initial response from users

Initially, there were many arguments on the discord and the comment section of the market. Many people said that “My Way” should be the winner per the rules. On the opposing side, many users didn’t watch the halftime show or understood how it worked. These users claimed that “My Way” was a “sample” or a “remix” added to the song “Caught Up” and wasn’t a separate song on the setlist. For reference, a song only gets played some of the way through during a halftime show. This has always been the nature of these shows; this is why other bookies had proper rules in place. Usher has been using this song as the intro of his shows for the past few years. It’s a classic song from his second studio album. You’d miss it initially if you don’t know much about Usher’s discography. The “remix” or “sample” narrative would be later debunked when the official setlist was released by Apple Music (The service that funded and planned this event). This setlist showed that “My Way” (the original song) was the first song performed on the setlist and was not a “sample” or “remix”.

Here is a link to the setlist for reference:

After that information was released, users overwhelmingly agreed that this should’ve been disputed and that the incorrect outcome was won without due process. Unfortunately, this information was released about 30 minutes after the dispute window had already closed. Older users came out and agreed that they would’ve disputed this if this information had been released sooner. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and due to the short dispute window, this was incorrectly graded.

Why wasn’t this disputed by new users?

Many new users joined PolyMarket to bet on these Super Bowl markets. These new users had no knowledge of the dispute system or of UMA’s role in this process. They were entirely in the dark. PolyMarket does not put forth any learning tools for these new users to understand this process, and the 2-hour window was incredibly insufficient for this market. PolyMarket does not notify its users that a proposal was raised or that there is an opportunity to dispute it. New users were automatically excluded from this process due to these reasons. This is a process that can largely be taken advantage of by older users on the platform who understand it better. If someone proposes the incorrect outcome, only a small percentage of users can readily dispute this outcome. Since this was the first market of its nature, there was a lot of misinformation that led to the incorrect outcome being chosen. Additionally, some older users took advantage of the naivety of new users and chose not to inform them of the dispute process even though they later agreed that it should’ve been disputed. (obviously this should be Polymarket’s responsibility to inform users but it shows how this process can be exploited in it’s current state):

Hence, a small percentage of users who were unaware of how the halftime show works or Usher’s discography were left with the knowledge of how to dispute this. Of course, PolyMarket is more geared toward political markets, so naturally, the knowledge/experience to accurately judge this market was missing.

Problems with the dispute alert:

There was also many issues with the dispute alert sent out to UMA token holders. This dispute alert was sent out 13 minutes before the dispute window closed. The alert refers to “My Way” as a sample (misinformation) and claims every Sportsbook is treating this as “Caught up,” being the first song, not “My Way” (Also misinformation). Other platforms like FanDuel had rules such as the song must play for 10 seconds, and Usher must sing the song. This wasn’t the case for PolyMarket. PolyMarket only specified that the correct outcome would be the first song of the halftime show which makes “My Way” the rightful winner. BetOnline had similarly vague rules, which led to confusion; they decided to payout both “My Way” and “Caught Up” as winners. Draft Kings was another platform with vague rules and paid-out “My Way” ticket holders complaining about the ruling. So naturally, you can see how the misinformation in this dispute alert and how late it was submitted would lead to a lack of action from UMA token holders, the only ones who had a real opportunity to dispute this since new users were in the dark. The user that submitted this dispute alert would later admit that they did a terrible job and agreed that this should’ve been disputed. (This was after the Apple Music setlist was released which debunked the “Sample” or “Remix” theory):


Conclusion

Many new users who lost thousands of dollars to this incorrect outcome were outraged. There were many complaints in the PolyMarket discord about how they felt cheated by this decision. Finally, after about 15 hours, the PolyMarket team said they would review this market and give users an update. After 3 hours, they came back with this response:

As you can imagine, users weren’t happy with this response. The users affected by this want to be made whole since they didn’t have the opportunity to plead their case and, above all else, see some accountability taken for what happened.

TL;DR:

  • Market was held on what Usher’s first song of his Super Bowl halftime show would be.
  • The rules of the market only indicated that this would be the first song of his show which would make “My Way” the winner.
  • Instead “Caught Up” was proposed as the winner
  • New users were unaware of the dispute process and were unable to voice their concern
  • The dispute alert was submitted too late and riddled with misinformation such as “My Way” being a “sample”
  • This was debunked by the Setlist which released about 30 minutes after the dispute window was closed
  • This setlist confirms that “My Way” (the original song) was the first song of the performance

Expectations with this proposal

For many new users, this was their first and last experience with PolyMarket. Neither PolyMarket nor UMA have taken responsibility for what happened here, and no effort has been made to make users affected whole. I have hope that this will change. I’d like to propose a vote is held on wether or not the users affected by this should be made whole. I’d appreciate your feedback and assistance on this matter.

The outcome of this particular market is a red herring imho, I’ve reviewed the rules and I’d anticipate a dispute losing pretty heftily, so I’m unsurprised that no one took on that risk, but there is some good feedback above that I hope the UMA and Polymarket team will act on.

UMA is permissionless, so new polymarket users, or indeed anyone could have disputed the market, but it seems that the problem was that they didnt have enough info and know how to dispute it.

Polymarket is an integration with UMA, so its Polymarket’s responsibility to inform their users of relevant info about their resolution process (like when a proposal is made, how to dispute, explaining how UMA’s oracle works together with Polymarket etc), however I do think that UMA can improve its documentation on how to dispute to make it more user friendly.

Hey, thanks for your response. What in the rules do you think would make a dispute lose in this case? An important point is that the dispute alert was riddled with misinformation and the dispute window closed before the Apple Music setlist released which confirmed that “My Way” was the original song, not a sample or remix added to “Caught Up”. These are important details which undoubtedly confirm that “My Way” (the original song) was the first song of the halftime performance. If you take a look at the community, older users who were on the side of “My Way” agree that they would’ve disputed it if the Apple Music setlist released before the dispute window closed. I think a big reason that it wasn’t disputed by older users was due to the contention of wether or not “My Way” was a sample/remix or the actual original song. The dispute alert itself refers to “My Way” as a sample which is misinformation.

If the rules had specified the first song on the Apple playlist, it would almost certainly have been disputed and upheld, but that wasnt the rules.

We will never know if a dispute would be upheld because those who were knowledgable enough to know how to dispute did not take on the risk of losing and it appears that there were some who did want to take on that risk, but lacked the knowledge of how to do so.

Clarity and more communication is the solution here.

That’s the setlist of the show, not just an Apple playlist. This was the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. Apple Music funded and planned the event, this is the official setlist. This is as official of a source as you can get. Or better yet just the official footage of the halftime show where you can hear “My Way” playing at the beginning.

Yes, you are right. We won’t ever know what would’ve happened. But as of now, it’s clear that the wrong outcome was chosen. That’s why I made this proposal, to propose a vote amongst UMA token holders on if users should be made whole for what happened here. Unfortunately the time for a dispute has long passed and new users lost thousands of dollars in this market. I hope to see either UMA or Polymarket take accountability and attempt to make this right for the users affected.

Hi @nogums, thanks for posting here. I am speaking in my capacity as an UMA voter, and not as a representative of the UMA team.

I think that your post is interesting and well-written. Several improvements could be made in the UMA <>Polymarket integration, and I hope that this discussion can help to ignite a sense of priority here. However, I am not sure that this proposal is best intended for UMA DAO. The OO is a piece of infrastructure that is utilized by Polymarket. They control the markets and set the resolution rules. UMA’s job is to allow answers to be given to questions as they are asked, with the information available at the time a proposal is made. At the time of the proposal, there was no Apple setlist and no indication that one was needed for a resolution. Based on that, it is a lot less clear what the correct result should have been at that time- entirely subjective based on whether you think an 8-second clip counts. It is unfortunate that information later became available that may have changed the result, but that is not within UMA’s ability to control.

Thanks for your response. I agree and that’s why I initially submitted this request to Polymarket but we were met with this response:

Polymarket blames UMA for what happened here and it seems that UMA blames Polymarket. It’s unfortunate because users that fell victim to this are caught in the middle. I’m a new user myself so I don’t fully understand how that relationship works with Polymarket and UMA but I think users above all else want accountability to be taken for what happened. It discourages new users that instead of accountability being taken, fingers are being pointed. It doesn’t show good faith. Not to mention that older users have complained about the exact issues which led to this outcome but they were never acted upon. If they were fixed months ago when they were pointed out, this whole situation could’ve been avoided. So promises of changes frankly feel fruitless at this point.