Self Voting is Killing the Community Aspect of Steemit. Let's Stop It!

in community •  last year

It is understandable that you are facing an issue; the scarcity of upvotes and voting power. But let's just pause for a moment and think. 

Aren't we the cause of that scarcity as well? When I self vote, it means a vote less for someone who put up so much effort to bring that last post out.

Note: - This and all subsequent images are linked from Pixabay.

I started avoiding self voting and I think I will better stop it. If at all I self voted, it was on my posts only. I do not self vote on comments.

I have seen people complaining of other people commenting on their posts just to create an opportunity to self vote. I have seen a lot of self votes on comments all over Steemit.

Understanding the Problem

It's not as if I do not understand your problem. I do and I face it everyday too.  Let's look at it for understanding point of view. 

Hard Fork 19 has changed the voting power depletion process in order to make single votes more powerful. It resulted in one full (100 %) vote consuming 2 % of remaining voting power. 

There's another big barrier too. People with less than 500 Steem Power (SP) can not adjust their voting weight so the only choice they have is to vote at 100 %.

And that means just 50 votes in 5 days or just 10 votes in 1 day. At 2 % power consumption per vote, 100 % power will be consumed in 50 votes.

There's is scarcity of votes and this had led to a scarcity mindset accross the minnow community, especially the people with less than 500 SP.

And that is why people self vote!

Solving The Problems

Self voting means that people are not getting upvotes from others no matter how much effort they put in or how brilliant their content is.

People like @sircork @msg768 @stackin @calamus056 and many more (including me) are ending up listed among the most undervalued authors consistently.

It means that they are not getting the rewards and upvotes they deserve. And can you guess the root cause?

Let's stop voting ourselves or at least vote only on one odd post of our own. Let's share our upvotes with others so that we not only appreciate their efforts but also earn a share of curation reward from their posts.

My Pledge

"I solemnly pledge that, starting from this post onwards, I will not self vote and will give my upvote to the most deserving content in my feed. 

I will not upvote big whales and trending posts only. I will look for new authors and appreciate their undervalued efforts."

Please spread this awareness and upload your pledges to preserve our community's fundamental value; generosity.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
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Haha. Let me see who voted on your comment. 😂

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This! 👆

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Haha. I saw his comment and then saw the only upvote and it was by none other than him. Funny incident.

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The irony is delicious, isn't it?

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I was pretty amazed.

Minnow? Shoot, I'm still at plankton level. if you ask me heh. I am just now starting to understand how all this upvoting stuff works. I thought you had an unlimited amount and they all contributed the same. So, yeah, for a week or so, I was upvoting my stuff and everyone else's stuff that I enjoyed.

Thanks for showing me the "light".

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@agcrypt you may like to learn more about stuff here. If you need genuine guidance on how rewards work or how to be successful on Steemit or how to write blog posts, my blog can be a good help.

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Much appreciated! I have you in my feed.

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I followed you too. Wish you best of luck!

(Note: Rereading this I see it looks critical and selfish. I feel, though, that it is the clearest way of getting my point across, so I will leave it as it is.)

I fully understand what you are saying, but I have to ask why would people invest in Steem Power if they can't use it to their own benefit? Or maybe we shouldn't bother investing in steem power at all.

The truth is that I can't make an income from my investment, I will simply power down.

The question also has to be asked what makes a post so valuable that I would effectively give the person who wrote it some of my own money. I say effectively because that reward would otherwise go to me when I vote up my own post or comment.

The argument that people should vote up their own posts but not their comments also doesn't wash. Of course, anyone producing a few posts per day will agree with this because they will benefit from it - they get to use most of their own power on their own posts plus they expect others to vote on them.

I feel that your post is more about blaming the users than blaming the system. Before the hardfork we had a system where whales had way too much power, now I feel it has gone too far. People don't seem to understand that for the system to work, people have to invest in it, not just by producing quality content, but by actually putting money into the system.

Unfortunately, money does make the world go round. Money in this case is what is attracting new users to the platform. There is very little altruistic about it.

One last thing.
How much content is there here which people would actually read if they found it somewhere else? You can get upvotes here simply by putting up pictures of cute little kittens. My point is that in the real world very few people pay for content. I do upvote content that is of interest to me, but there really isn't that much of it. And upvoting friends so that in return they will upvote you is just the same as voting for yourself in my view - it just looks better.

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On big takeaway from your comment is that the system is now designed so that people invest in Steem Power. I did not think like that earlier. Thanks for enhancing my perspective.

Speaking about self voting, it costs nothing except voting power. No money is moving from wallet of the person who upvote. The upvote is the only way to 'mine' Steem from the reward pool and distribute among authors and self via curation rewards.

So, it is not anyone's money but the reward pool which should go to the deserving authors. Anyone who upvotes an author is in a position to earn curation rewards.

It just takes a bit of generosity to take the Steem out of the reward pool and give it to deserving authors (and earn curation reward for that).

I disagree with the practice of self voting. I think is selfish and comes from a place of scarcity. This platform needs less people with that kind of mindset.

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"Speaking about self voting, it costs nothing except voting power. No money is moving from wallet of the person who upvote. The upvote is the only way to 'mine' Steem from the reward pool and distribute among authors and self via curation rewards."

While it may seem like this on the face of it, the truth is that voting value comes from the amount of SP a person has which in turn comes from investment. That investment comes with lots of risk. The value of Steem can fall, just like with any other cryptocoin. It is also trapped in the wallet because powering down takes a number of weeks. I could of course not invest in Steem power and give everyone the votes they want.

So, again the question is why would I invest in Steem and put it on the Steem platform?

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I don't think you even have to talk about the selfish motives for self upvoting when that's what the curation rewards are for. Not only that, this also means you get some of that as well, on top of the reward you assign to yourself.

While there may be no way to stop people using sock puppets to hide their self voting, there is no reason why it should be easy to do, either, because it is antisocial. As ilya says, generosity is a key attribute that distinguishes this platform, before we even get to issues about how in no other field of human endeavour is self-assessment considered valid information without, at minimum, and inclement upon, the assessment of others.

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Try running this platform without financial incentives. That is why people are here. We can all pretend that it's the quality content that drives it, or should drive it, but, as I have already addressed, people don't normally pay for online content, so why should people invest in Steem Power? No one has answered this point.

I've noticed a good number of these commentators have not invested in their own accounts. Why? And that's a really BIG question.

Expecting others to invest in Steem Power and vote for them whilst not investing in their own accounts is rather troubling, don't you think?
It's hardly polite or altruistic.

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I have addressed your false dichotomy about self voting being a valid mechanism for determining the distribution in my previous reply to your comment. The Steem consensus logic is designed to reward your upvotes to other people through curation rewards. So you are being misleading and deceptive by failing to mention this.

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"self voting being a valid mechanism for determining the distribution"

I simply did not say this.
Please, you have made a claim, substantiate it.

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The corollary of 'Why would people invest in steem when they can't vote their own stuff' is its logical inverse in question form of the statement 'People only invest in steem to make money'. Is it not?

Just because you didn't say something didn't mean you didn't imply it logically.

And in response to that, I would suggest you look at users like @berniesanders and @r4fken who put a lot of money into steem so they could stop people doing things they think are lame. Right there, is a motivation for investing in steem that I already have stated, and I will not state again in my dialogue with you.

I will instead point out that if it were not for such a non-monetary motivation I would not be attempting to show you the folly of your thinking, I am doing this both for your benefit and for the benefit of the community to show that my arguments and justifications are far broader than any weak attempt to destroy them can be, and that you can't just shut down a discussion because you disagree with it.

This is precisely one of the beautiful features of this platform. There is nobody between me and you, this is peer to peer, and all (most) participants desire the record to be kept faithfully. This even starts to dig at fundamental architectural elements of blockchains as a whole.

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"The Steem consensus logic is designed to reward your upvotes to other people through curation rewards. So you are being misleading and deceptive by failing to mention this."

You have absolutely no right to call me misleading!
Since when did what Steem consensus logic is designed to do have any bearing on the points I made?

Again, you are trying to introduce false points to try and deflect away from what I actually said.

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You were trying to close this debate without addressing this, which precisely is misleading.

Anyone can now also read through your comments on your profile and judge for themselves whether you were in fact misleading and in this assertion I am mistaken, or not.

It has a hell of a lot of bearing because your wonderous self-upvotes are part of the logic as it stands right now, which is why this is even being discussed.

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@davidnx I agree to the extent that if someone has invested in Steem Power, he/she deserves to earn from that investment even with self votes if required. Thanks again for enhancing point of view on the matter.

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But then this seems to go against the argument you are making. Did you mean to say "to SOME extent" instead of "to THE extent"?

Anyway, as I implied in my original comment, it is the system that needs changing and not the people in it.

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I meant "to the extent". The fact that investing money in Steem Power was not part of my post's content, I did not share an opinion particularly about the people who have invested in SP.

So, I am not going against my opinion although I would happily do that if my opinion is proven wrong.

As I mentioned in the post, the system is responsible for the changing behaviors. I agree that system needs to change.

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I would also like to point out that there are many people posting on here with expensive cameras or video equipment or going on expensive holidays and yet they don't invest money in Steem for Steem power. Why is that? They expect to make money from the fact that other people are investing in their own votes, but will not do so for votes of their own.

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Upvoted for the interesting discussion this created.

I appreciate this and have wondered the same. I never vote for my own comments but also never changed the setting on my posts that is automatic to upvote my own - I always felt this to be a bit too self serving but wondered if it was also best to leave it as such. After reading this, I am going to change that, it is not like I make much off my own vote anyway and would rather give others I find well deserving the precious few cents I have to offer.

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I gifted you 0.005 Steem for this wonderful comment alongwith my tiny upvote. Keep being awesome!

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Thank you very much @raincountry for immediately adopting the message. I will gladly upvote your comment for your beautiful response to my post and message in it. I wish my upvote was worth a few bucks but I will surely give whatever cents I can give. Wait. I'll rather send you some Steem. :)

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It was 0.500 SBD actually, not 0.005 as I mentioned mistakenly.

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How very kind of you! Thank you!

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You are welcome.

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This wins the comment thread hand down.

Along with cutting down on the self voting I know I for one have been utilizing the esteem app. Under the settings on the app you can adjust your voting power on a sliding scale. With the hard Fork changes I have noticed that this has been able to allow me to continue voting many people's things while not zeroing out my voting power. Because I'm one of a vote people's things that I like the problem is that I found too many of you to follow and you guys post awesome stuff! So I have found this to be a compromise where I can vote and still apply a good bump while not bottoming myself out. This is just something I found that is help me out and maybe it'll help out someone else. And with a hard for it changes voting on your own comments is definitely detrimental to the community.

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I literally backspaced where I mentioned the esteem app. I am using it for testing purposes only but I vote only from the website (100 %). It puts a lot of strain on my voting power and I am feeling the heat now. Looks like I have to use eSteem app for some time before writing about it.

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It is handy!

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You may bump into an issue with this where it says you exceed your bandwidth allocation, it may just say 'transaction broadcast error' and will flag again the same error when you try again shortly afterwards. This is an invisible value that you can see if you look at your profile on https://steemd.com/@rotfoot

This is also why as part of the campaign to end the consensus permitting self voting, we also have to persuade the top 19 witnesses, I'm not sure how many of them it has to be for this specific parameter, to increase the block size to 128kb (131072 bytes, as you see on steemd.com/witnesses on my and several other backup witnesses now).

I probably shouldn't even...but I will...my posts always automatically include an upvote when I publish them...guessing there's a way to turn this off ? I don't think self voting - on 1-2 posts is so horrible for minnows, I don't.

Upvoting your own comment - no matter what you are - is just...gag lol. Did you see the post by @aggroed on self voting depleting the rewards pool?

It's the massive self voting whales that really cause the mess. Plus, it just looks so...damn evil and greedy. if you're regularly making $500 -$1000 per post, is it really necessary to upvote yourself? Then, what always gets me is how their loyal followers are like 'don't hate on success'.

Gag.

Great post.

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In the comments and even in the post, the most concerning point has been self voting on comments. That's terrible and I think it amounts to misuse of voting power. @aggroed is a great Steemian. I'm surely heading over to his blog to be part of that discussion. Meanwhile, you can see detailed discussions going on in the comments too. Let's hope that the situation becomes better soon. An yes, the self vote on post can be an innocent mistake as well. It surely can be turned off.

Thanks for reading and commenting

Glad to see this! Several postings telling folks to ratchet back and use their upvotes sparingly is causing confusion to many just joining up, mixed messages are an issue. Upvote, yes no and what content needs it and being limited of how many you can do a day and lets not forget the don't go below 80% of your voting power and ya need to recharge it, yup lots of confusion going on....

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All these confusions are there, yes and they are confusing people. New joiners feel more confused. Reading more is a good solution I think.

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That is what I have been doing along with following some people to learn more.

Right on! And as you bumped into @smackdown.kitty's announcement post, and directed me here, I want to support your own discussion about the subject, because the more it is talked about the sooner it becomes an unbearable pressure on steemit, inc, and importantly, also the witnesses, who all will need to agree to increase the block size to 128 kilobytes to enable minnows to have a slider.

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Thank you very much for coming here and taking the time out for leaving a comment. People like you are much needed at Steemit right now. I hope more witnesses and Steemit Inc take notice of the situation and do something about it like @smackdown.kitty is going to do, thankfully.

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The initial phase of the campaign is only awareness building. The kitty does have to be delegated power to be able to vote often enough, but she should be able to flag 2500 posts a day, at least, at 1%, leaving red flags on all of them. So far this looks like it will be feasible, and we will be monitoring her.

It is probable that people will deliberately make bogus comments just to self upvote 1%, but this is going to cost them their bandwidth allocation, and all who can help, who want to add to her capacity to deal with this kind of retaliation and keep the red flags coming, will be able to increase her vote power, and we probably can lower her vote strength to the minimum the network will allow.

Note that we are also pocking sticks at steemit.com's refusal to allow a distinction between downvoting and flagging. The interface shows a flag. At reddit, it would be a down arrow and other sites I have seen like stackexchange and others, it can be thumbs up thumbs down.

In all seriousness, the flagging function should not be on chain, but a secondary database that steemit.com also makes available to other systems if they want to use it. Downvoting should not be equated with marking content as plagiarism or any other type of abuse. It's a complex issue that does really need to be addressed and the bot will really bring this to the fore.

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Looking at engagement levels on this post (50 comments already), I wonder if my post has helped in the initial phase of your @smackdown.kitty campaign. If you think it has, I would request you to please resteem it. I was hesitating to request that but I thought I should convey my request. Thank you. :)

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My apologies. absolutely resteeming your post because you really nail the essential reason why it is not good.

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Thank you so much. I see that you posted some more proposals. I'll read them now.

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Yes, the bot will need some support to start with and also regular monitoring.

I think if there's a downvote button, it may be used unfairly. Flagging is something users will only do when extremely necessary. I do not see a downvote and only see a flag so all I do is either upvote or not vote at all depending on post quality.

I joined in 3 weeks ago and all I want is to be able to vote generously and to get fair reward for the value I add. I hope Steemit becomes better as a platform. Thank you for your efforts.

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I want to second @l0k1 's response, thanks for talking about this 😁

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And I have been raising the issue with more posts as well. The discussions have been healthy and I have tried to get some heads thinking. Thank you for your support and hearing our voice. With your help, our voice will reach more people and they will hopefully solve the issues. Thanks again for all the support through upvotes, comments and spreading the word from a bigger stage.

"To preserve our community's fundamental value; generousity "

Well said!

Upvoted. Resteemed. Commented. Follower

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Thanks you very much!

I agree, and to be fair, it took me three days to notice that PRE-ticked vote on your own comment box. I really feel that the Steemit Platform could do everyone a service by changing the settings in the background, to unchecked. Then if one wants to check it they can...but unknowing newbies will not be draining the pool.

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The prechecked upvote on blog posts can be a mistake as you pointed out. Main concern is the self upvotes on comments/replies which can only be done after the comment is posted (or may be there is some automation). Self upvoting on comments must be stopped.

It's a big problem and I tried to warn against it, and not many listened.

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Thank you very much. I hope many will listen now that it is going out of control. Please keep supporting this campaign because we need it. Your support in any way is a plus for the campaign. May I request you to please resteem this so that our voice can be heard? I am grateful to you for your comment and concern.

I like your message and I think you are right that the community profits more from not self-upvoting. But I have one issue with this post:

Why are you attacking the coolest cartoon character of all times who went through the most daring adventures to own his fortune and has the most saddest back story and who influenced my life profoundly and who I adore to the core and also own a handdrawn original from the master Don Rosa himself?

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Thank you very much for you comment. So nice of you to come here and leave your feedback.

And I have to say sorry for hurting your feelings. I didn't mean your favorite cartoon character. I didn't know it was a cartoon and thankfully there's no picture of it in the image. So, I am clear. Haha!

Thanks again for coming here and commenting.

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Your image link is not working because of that weird extra dot that amazon puts in there. But I copied it and had a look at it in the browser. That is a great comic from Don Rosa. But the true gold and one and only comic about Scrooge is this one (I think it is the most popular comic in Europe):

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That's why I removed the link afterwards. I understood that there's _ _ in the link and it means italic in the markdown styling. I just learned to make better comments

Finally

I know how to bold , italic text in the comments.

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You could have tricked the system with html by wrapping it in proper img-tags. Bit more tricky than markdown but not much.

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I learned basic html 18 months ago. I think much of it is forgotten due to lack of practice. I do use Raw HTML editor for posting because normal editor sucks on smartphone.

agreed and feel same 😐😒

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Thank you so much for your feedback.

I've got the solution!

Let's ban Steem Power!

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It isn't so much a solution as a way to raise awareness of the subject. At first some people will be upset seeing red flags, and maybe they will flag the accounts of me and others supporting this in retaliation. But the flags the bot will apply are tiny, and with her low reputation, she will do little to either your reputation or rewards.

But the stain will be upon your self upvoted comment. It is a media/marketing tactic, based on the discipline techniques that my mother taught me, which she learned from developmental psychology, and her own experience and spiritual beliefs.

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As I see it, it is a part of the solution. Awareness and a little fear of losing progress can ber very effective. I hope people join this movement and Steemit becomes generous and unselfish again.

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by ilyastarar from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, and someguy123. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you like what we're doing please upvote this comment so we can continue to build the community account that's supporting all members.

This post has received a 5.06 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @ilyastarar.

I agree and support that and will follow it !

Thx @ilyastarar