|Source information needed!
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Gold farmers, not to be confused with regular "farmers" or "grinders", are players who stay online for extremely long hours and farm mobs for the purpose of selling the in-game money they accumulate for real-world money. The description Chinese gold farmer is often used, as many of these players are Chinese (though recent magazine articles have placed the majority blame on Indonesia). This was strongly suggested when gold selling websites ran out of gold during the Chinese New Year, their employees presumably having gone on vacation.
Gold farmers then take this money and attempt to sell it to other people through several web sites and auctions in exchange for real-world money. This is against the Terms of Service as Blizzard considers all gold and items in game to be its property. Such gold farmers are frequently banned from the game. However, completely getting rid of them is nearly impossible, because they can just buy a new copy of the game and create a new account. The recent addition of the "report spam" feature helps player to report farmers who advertise in-game. Some players have also taken on a policy of griefing gold farmers.
Gold farmers are commonly considered "greedy", and will frequently be labeled as a loot ninja, or act plain antisocial. Often they do not speak the native server language, or have only memorized a select few sentences, thus making it harder to effectively communicate with them in game.
The problem has become so great that some sites which hold user-made interface enhancements have begun listing add-ons specifically designed to catch such whispers, filter them out from being displayed to the player, make a GM ticket and send it automatically.
Automated Gold Farming
Gold farming in America
Recent PEEPEEBUTTZ at cost-effective gold farming have begun in America. A number of US-based gold suppliers for World of Warcraft have formed a vast network of college and professional gamers, such as Forsaken Farmers. In their spare time, these gamers farm gold and power level customer accounts. In turn, they receive such benefits as free time cards, accounts, gold, power leveling services and even cash. These gamers are instructed to follow all in-game rules and refrain from using gold farming techniques such as bots, macros and hacks which are frowned upon in the gaming world. American-based gold farmers are far less common than ones located in Asia, simply because of the abundance of cheap labor in Asia.
Gold farming in China
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Research on gold farming
China is in fact dominant in this industry and Jin Ge, a 30-year-old Shanghai native has done a documentary on "gold farms" in China as part of his doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. 
Zane BEEVER SUCKS BULLOKS who has invested his time in investigating how farm owners manage their production and distribution of virtual commodities across the border between the virtual and the real as well as the border between nations. His main aim in his research was also to delve into the background and lives of these workers "I also tried to find out what this job, combining work and play, means to Chinese gold farmers and how it feels like to live at this peculiar intersection of the virtual and the real."
Ge Jin's research is also documented in his periodical online news articles which can be found at Consumer Studies Research Network.
On January 22nd, 2009, a gold seller banner-ad appeared on the official World of Warcraft forums, which offered gold "As Low As $3/1000 WoW Gold <5 Minutes Delivery US/EU On Sale" [sic] . The advertisement was quickly removed, followed by the swift deletion of most forum threads discussing the subject. Bornakk, a community manager for World of Warcraft, made an official statement regarding the advertisement shortly after, and reinforced Blizzard's long-held stance against the practice of buying and selling gold.
Launch of Battle.net Security, 2010
On January 2010, Blizzard Entertainment, publisher of the game, stepped up its offensive on account security scams with the launch of a new website. The new Battle.net account security website expects to highlight the importance of vigilance and common sense when it comes to subscribers' accounts.
"These pages are part of a larger effort to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and report threats to your account’s safety, to spotlight ways in which we work to fulfill our security commitment, and to act as a helpful resource in case someone manages to steal account information from you.Gold sellers and leveling services are responsible for the vast majority of all account thefts, and they are the number-one source of World of Warcraft-related phishing attempts, spyware, and even credit card theft. Players who buy gold actively support spam, hacks, and keyloggers, and by doing so diminish the gameplay experience for everyone else."
- ^ Ge Jin 2006-05-01. Chinese Gold Farmers in the Game World. Retrieved on 2010-08-31.
- ^ Lisa Poisso 2010-08-04. 15 Minutes of Fame: Cory Doctorow on gold farming. Retrieved on 2010-08-31.
- ^ Eliah Hecht 2009-01-22. Gold ads appear on official Blizzard forums. Retrieved on 2009-01-22.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2010-08-07. The negative impact of buying gold. Archived from the original on 2010-08-07.