@the.masses is a project that I started up a few weeks ago. Anybody in the Steemit community can use it to post/do whatever they want. The private posting key has been made public. If you would like to read more about the project, you can read about it here.
Last week, I posted an update on what the account had been being used for. Since the last report, tons of people have continued to use the account for lots of different things. Resteeming posts is very popular, although what people really seem to love the most is to leave anonymous comments/replies as "@the.masses". It's catch-phrase has become I am everybody. I am anybody. I am @the.masses.
Since the account's creation, it has been really fun to watch it evolve. It's use has even expanded to the Korean community now - one of the posts that was created by the account was made in Korean. How cool is that?!
It probably won't come as a surprise to many people, but a lot of people have been using the account to say negative things about Steemit. Everybody has lots of ideas on how Steemit could be made better, and I fully support constructive criticism, but there is a line between offering suggestions and trying to improve things, and just trolling / spamming the platform.
Last night, @the.masses posted another "Steemit Sucks" post, and @berniesanders flagged it. I can't say that I'm surprised, but I am disappointed. Not that Bernie flagged it, but that some stupid troll(s) would ruin the reputation of this really cool project for the rest of us. They have decided that Steemit sucks so bad, that they must post in as many places as possible, and as often as they can - how much they think it sucks here..
There is a lot of discussion going on about the "flag wars" right now, so I thought that @the.masses getting flagged down to a reputation of "1" would be a good opportunity to say a few things.
- The Steem blockchain is uncensored. Whatever you post on the blockchain is stored permanently, and anybody who wants to can read it. As far as actual censorship, this is a really big deal. There is a place for people to post information where it basically cannot be removed + shut down.
- There is censorship on Steemit.com. Steemit.com is a website that displays information from the blockchain, and they have the right to filter the information how they see fit. They have chosen to hide content that has been flagged by the community to the point that it has a negative score. If you feel strongly that this is unjust, then you can create your own parallel website that functions however you would like.
- Even though Steemit.com hides information that is flagged, it is not completely hidden from the site. Anybody who wants to can still click a button to view the content. Steemit.com is not restricting your access to view the information.
- If enough people in the community decide that something was unfairly/incorrectly downvoted, they can counter the downvote by upvoting. If the comment/post receives more positive votes than negative votes, it will no longer be hidden.
- I think that the Steemit Etiquette Guide provides a good baseline for how people should determine appropriate flagging. It is not a set of "rules" that we must follow, but it is a good set of general guidelines that we can all use to try and keep this place a happy community where for the most part people get along.
- When you are about to flag a post, this is what the website displays. Trolling is one of the reasons stated on the list.
- As @berniesanders pointed out - every person gets to decide for themselves what they feel is an appropriate use of their upvotes and flags. We can discuss community etiquette and best practices, but at the end of the day each person gets to decide for themselves what to do with their own votes. Whether you agree with them or not, it is their vote that they have bought/earned, and they can use it however they want.
- For everybody that is so upset about the "censorship" on Steemit, please realize that you are allowed to say whatever you want - but that does not mean that the community has to listen.
- By design, the system has given the largest SP holders the power and authority to determine what is in the site and community's best interest. They have the most to lose over the site going down, and therefore they have the most say as far as what gets promoted and ignored on the site.
- If you want more voting power/influence, buy more SP. I've heard it's gotten pretty cheap :)
If you would like use @the.masses account, here is the private posting key: