They have always known about this type of tactic. The developers regularly tweak their coding to discourage or encourage one or another style of gameplay, according to what they see happening. But players are human, and some of them are fairly smart, so they will always find ways to work around any adjustments the game throws their way. Such player response is a game within the game - a spontaneous phenomenon in every MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) that has seen any degree of success.
As I'm fond of saying, they make the MMORPG; we morph the MMORPG!
Keep in mind that many gamers have conditioned themselves to "beat" whatever game they play. For games that have no finite ending, finding ways to work around the system becomes a sport onto itself.
The players you refer to are not glitching a flaw in the system (which would violate the rules). Instead, they are taking advantage of a workaround WITHIN THE GAME's RULES. FM has responded in various ways, and the players have countered each time with their own adjustments. The disabling of alliance search is one such response by FM, and is why you are seeing all this number/emoji messages in Global Chat.
Why don't you try a little game of your own? Throw out some false signals and see whether you can mislead these players for whom you hold so much contempt. You may actually enjoy yourself for a change!
What kind of player are YOU?? Are your crowns that low because you're such a bad player? Or did you deliberately lower them (against the developers' intentions) so that you can "leach" resources from low-level players who would normally not appear in your battle matches? Those poor struggling people! They worked so hard for those resources! Not just for 12 hours but for days, only to have you swoop down and plunder their bases. Do you have trouble sleeping at night after you raid them with your overpowering troops?