The Community Flag Force-Multipliers: Flag'a'Whale and SteemFlagRewards

in abuse •  last year  (edited)

Flag incentivization has been my favorite buzz phrase in the era whereby blockchain abuse has grown more prevalent.

As such, I have been working on a number of projects to the benefit of the Steem Blockchain but I haven't really created any personal blog entries about it. Perhaps, I do the community a disservice for not taking the opportunity to get the word out about it so I'm changing that right here and now.

With my latest project, I was concerned about it being controversial at first. A communal flag account intended to target high order abuse which turned into something more with the commencement of the cave troll quest.

A bit of history...

The precursor to @flagawhale is @steemflagrewards. As far as I know, that was the first flag rank system that had been established on the platform. I don't remember the distinct moment where I committed to this idea but I will say that there was a particular witness that was pivotal in it and later witnesses and other respected members of the community rallying behind the idea. It was really something to be part of that and am thankful for all involved.

What spurred from knowing that downvotes, albeit a useful tool for moderating, are not natively incentivized on the system. This actually makes sense; however, as manual review is usually required to get a positive ID on abuse. As sophisticated as bots are, they are often prone to false positives. This is why it is good to have another set of eyes. (Or better yet a community of them)

Both projects can be thought of as two sides of the same coin or, as a friend of mine puts it, good cop and bad cop. They have similar approaches but very different scopes. One is the more clear cut forms of abuse such as spam, plagiarism, scams and schemes whereas the other enters the more subjective realm of reward pool abuse, collusive voting and manipulation.

I'm actually glad it worked out like that. Kind of makes me think of the principle of separation of duty in IT security. They both have their respective lanes and need to stay in them.

@steemflagrewards is getting too old for this shit.

Here is a glimpse into my technical activities behind the hood of these projects. I still have a lot to learn with Python, JavaScript and MongoDB but I've came a long way since joining Steem. It helped that I knew a bit of Java from CompSci and had a bit of PowerShell under my belt. Once you understand one scripting or programming language, a lot of the structures are very similar in others with usually subtle differences in syntax so they are not too difficult to learn at least at a rudimentary level. (the ones I've dealt with).

I go on a tangent in 3-2-1

It's remarkable how information has a tendency to converge and it is always cool when you can look back and have that eureka moment and realize it after the fact. This can apply to the relationships forming in your mind connecting the structures in code or knowledge of how the various protocols of the OSI model work together in a network. It took me some time before the lightbulb came on and I was able to better grasp the related concepts more holistically. Enough of me waxing about my experience learning things pertaining to my career.

Let's get to the nitty gritty.

Pulling Vote Data

@Flagawhale recent activity:

Recently, a number of flaggers switched sides apparently and we are trying to sort through the upvotes (which were previously not saved for efficiency) to determine the difference so that fair rewards may be calculated.

In other words, I need to subtract the upvote rshares from their downvote rshares to ascertain their relative contribution to those who have solely downvoted.

In terms of SP contributes to the cause, @fulltimegeek and @nextgencrypto have been very big supportive as our causes our aligned against abuse. Consider dropping @nextgencrypto a witness vote as well.

Querying mentions for flag reward allocation / retropay

Finally, determined proper query for pulling @steemflagrewards mentions with comment body and parent_permlink included to be approved by moderation community.

I have not posted an update in a while but am planning a appreciation project for supporters and just need to tweak the flagrewards script. The flag mention comment retropay campaign is also high on my list. A lot of the developments with FAW will actually transfer over to the SFR project so looking forward to getting things rolling again.

Witnesses that have supported Steem Flag Rewards. Please, consider placing a vote for these community minded witnesses.

@ausbitbank, @patrice, @pfunk, @reggaemuffin, @themarkymark, and @timcliff

Thank you all!

Keep in mind. These projects are very new and have long way to go to mature. We welcome newcomers and established members of the Steem community to be involved. The more the better. We have already demonstrated that together we can solve bigger problems than we ever could alone. It's quite a marvel to behold in my humble opinion.

If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me on Discord (anthonyadavisii#5095) or Steemit.Chat.

Ok. It's about 3 AM so I better hit the rack. Have a good night, morning, evening everyone... wherever the hell you are. 🙂

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Thank you everyone that is helping with this.

You do such great work for this community, I'm super proud of you!

I like very much where you are going

I'm wondering if there could be put in place a highlighting flag which doesn't actually downvote but can alert somebody with more power to then review the abuse in question and deem it worthy of a powerful downvote because minnows have no power to flag abuse and will only end up hurting themselves by downvoting. A highlight on a post or an alert would at least seek a 2nd opinion. What do you think?


You don't have to flag. If you find abuse, just comment as to what type of abuse and mention @steemflagrewards and we'll make it a point to follow up and upvote your comment.

Upvotes are another mechanism by which we promote self policing. @pfunk's delegation goes a long way for this and I hope we can build the account up so upvotes are decent on it's own SP.


I've had my whole current pending payouts flagged twice by @haejin. He took me to REP -2. He tried to take me down again & it didn't work. I think he gave up on me now. You have to not worry about getting flagged. I was upset at first when it happened, then people from @flagawhale helped me recover. I want Haejin to flag me so it drains his voting power. I am trying so hard to get some flags from him & he won't flag me anymore.

Awesome job for Steemians @anthonyadavisii.
After seeing so many brand new accounts comment spamming I finally got sick of it and started reporting what I came across to steemcleaners to help. Now after finding what you are up to I will do my little part to follow on flagging. Have a great Sunday, bluehorseshoe

I support you in your on going work, yet I feel I am still to new at this to really join the effort. Resteem, to speak to 50 more people. haha

Now, I know more about the history behind @flagawhale and @steemflagrewards.

Looking forward to more flagging action.

i think the initiative is good and couldn't have come at a better tme. the idea behind self policing puts the responsibility of keeping the blockchain free of plagiarizedd material and shitty post was thoughtful, especially how that one could earn some upvote for that! Good job explaining this. Resteeming, in the hopes that people use the mention feature the right way.


Yes, this is true. Things sure lined up.

I think in a manner of speaking how we deal with this experiment shows how we as a society would fare without having to rely on centralized authorities. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

Thanks for the resteem. Yes, I was actually pleased to find someone I never even interacted with had done a few recently on some comment spam. People I don't even know are getting the good word. Really cool.