Buildawhale is no longer selling votes effective immediately

in curation •  last month 

Effective immediately, @buildawhale is no longer selling votes.

Since the creation of @buildawhale, I always wanted to focus on good content producers and not spammers. This is why I implemented a blacklist that blocked around 44,000 users from buying votes. Each and every one of these were added by hand by myself over the last two years. I also implemented a Global Blacklist API that integrates other blacklists from Steem projects.

@buildawhale was also born with curation in mind, for over a year we created daily curation posts finding our favorite five authors who used our service and featured them in a daily post.


The time has come to turn off vote-selling in favor of curation. The majority of our delegation is from a single delegator and we have discussed this with them.

The few who do delegate I will send out a memo letting them know of the change although their total delegation adds up to around 500 SP.

Since hard fork 21, @buildawhale has actively been downvoting abuse and has stopped multiple large abusers completely. We will continue to downvote abuse ethically and without prejudice.

All votes from @buildawhale from this point forward is curation and without any form of payment.

The @buildawhale bot will remain on for at least a week in refund-only mode.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
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Good to hear this. We need to move beyond vote selling. I also really appreciate all you have done to fight abuse/misuse of the Steem platform. Those who attack you do not realise the good you do.

I managed to make most of the @buildawhale blacklist update posts visible again. I assume the downvotes there are from angry self-vote circle-jerk whales?

From Haejin, thanks but I'm not too worried about it. he can waste his vp on them.

Thank you for providing clarity during a time when it is sadly lacking. I have no doubt our active and engaging community on the Steem Blockchain is slowly realising what #newsteem really means and adjusting accordingly. But they need to know - the word needs to be spread and only then will the adjustment be understood. Communication - our active users not only deserve it - it should be a priority. For the Steem Blockchain to grow it needs every single active user on board - and every single one - accounts a few days old or years old deserve to know what is happening and understand it.

Bid bots turning towards organically supporting and promoting good content on Steem is something I love about the #newsteem. Its' not perfect but you can't overlook the good of it. Regarding @buildawhale I confess that I haven't ever used its services and my experience with bid bots and the way I see them now is much more detailed in a recent post of mine. Glad to see from now on @buildawhale giving some "free love" to steemians around here among other bots that changed their ways of using SP.
Steem on!

its not organic....its bs...

now undeserving posters will be followed because of curation trails.

WOW! This means a whole lot to me personally. The entire year of 2018 was amazing for me on steemit, I was creating great content and getting rewarded for it and it felt great. Big players such as yourself noticed my work and rewarded me for it. As the popularity of bid-bots / buying up-votes took off along side the bear market I saw my up-votes drop, rewards drop, and drop drastically!

I started to become skeptical and bitter. I felt like steemit was simply on a ugly and disastrous path and I seriously considered walking away from it all together but decided to ride things out through the hardfork, steemfest, and the end of this year.

So far I'm very happy to not have thrown in the towel, even with prices severely depressed I see positive changes all around and the one you describe here in this post should not be overlooked or under estimated in it's effect and statement to all content creators like myself.

I've noticed you have been supporting my efforts here lately and it means a lot to me. I feel a new sense of motivation and positivity to continue and put out better travel related content going forward.

You have really made a difference to me personally, and the platform itself.

Will you be at steemfest next month? If so, I would like the chance to thank you in person.

Wishing you the very best,

From Lima Peru,

-Dan "World Travel Pro"

PS. I just learned that you are a witness. You now have my vote along with a mention for others to vote for you on each of my two daily blog posts.

D'accord! Steemit has been so skewed in favor of the crypto-entrepreneurs it has stunted the growth of the platform. I've seen many quality content creators, like yourself, become discouraged and stop posting on Steemit. If Steemians want to watch currency manipulation, they can turn on the TV and watch Fox News. Thanks for adding real value to Steemit, Dan!

That is such a nice note, and I agree totally. I think it's been horrendous for the success of the platform; but who we really need to thank are those with enough power and courage to make the changes necessary to turn this whole thing around. I just hope it's not too little too late. We will find out. Your support and kind words mean a lot to me. Thank you for writing.

To be honest, I liked buildawhale since if a spammer did try to use the service he would be blacklisted in no time. But I understand the call. I am not certain that blind downvoting bots is a good idea.

I can understand if a content is not good and used a bot, then it calls for a downvote, but why can't a good content creator use the bot service?

Anyway, that's past now. Will be crossing paths with you soon. 😊

Posted using Partiko Android

"...why can't a good content creator use the bot service?"

Because this is a social media platform and not a Steem mine. Social media is people. Bots aren't people and shouldn't be voting. It doesn't matter if you can make money doing it. It's bad for society, and bad for the individual people in it. Bots voting degrade humanity, and I've been agin' 'em since they started up.

Well, I am sure your life on Steem has improved since this is a social media site and bots are no more.. So congrats! And all the best!

Posted using Partiko Android

I don't hold views because they improve my fate. I hold them because they'r factually correct, and I trust that knowing facts will enable me to take actions that improve my lot. Since I have simple needs that don't take much action to meet, I don't worry my pretty little head about my fate, and have more time to try to benefit others.

I expected bots to profit from HF21/22, and railed against the change volubly. My gast has been completely flabbered by how the downvote pool has worked out so far, but I am pleasantly astounded, and not dismayed. However, as all seasoned investors know, prior performance is no guarantee of future results, and things could change if popular will does.

I reckon the devs should be making Steem the best social media platform they can, and let the profits derive from that. I always put my horses in front of the cart myself. Looking at societies that have revealed many mechanisms of corruption and degradation of society by stake weighting should inform them on things to avoid. Buying votes is so 19th Century.

I have to say I am sorry to see that end and I understand completely why you are doing it. It really upsets me that even good thoughts with standards like yours are targeted. There is room for both curation and responsible Bots on the Block Chain. Sadly in their bid to destroy Bots they completely ignore good content that at times comes with it. I found this to be hypocritical and disingenuous. Just my view not going to change anything but oh well. Appreciate your frankness and hope all is well.

Posted using Partiko Android

Buying a vote for high quality content does not improve the quality of the content, for the content was high quality before the vote was purchased.

Negating the effects of a paid vote with a downvote does not diminish the quality of the content, for the content was of high quality before the downvote was placed upon the paid vote.

No it just drives the creators of that content away because they are not doing as you wish. Doesn't matter to me but it's hypocritical when I see post from you that use tipu and several others in the movement. Honestly you're never going to agree with me we've done this dance already. The point I make is valid content matters and a blanket statement that all Bots are bad is stupid and juvenile. Have a good one

Posted using Partiko Android

First of all, I don't purchase votes. Tipu has been supporting my work organically. Tipu made the decision to vote for my work, not me. You're accusing me of being a hypocrite, for no reason other than the fact you didn't realize I'm not purchasing votes. I don't purchase votes. It says that at the end of every post I publish. I do not purchase votes. Even if you want to accuse me of purchasing votes, that doesn't mean I purchase votes, it just makes you a liar. Don't use lies in an attempt to make me look bad, for all that does is make you look bad. You owe me an apology, and in the future, when you decide to accuse people of things, you better get your facts straight. Buildawhale is now curating, much like Tipu. If buildawhale decides to support a post of mine, would it makes sense to accuse me of being a hypocrite? Would it makes sense to say I used buildawhale if buildawhale came along and voted for something of mine? No need to answer that. You and everyone else reading knows that makes no sense whatsoever.

Secondly. The content producer who leaves because they don't want to work towards gaining organic support is in the wrong business. You cannot publish a book, purchase every copy yourself, and call yourself a success.

There was no acusation of you buying from Tipu; I said using tipu. You guys blanket all bots as bad but don't mind them when they benefit you whether they upvote you or you use their service. Thats hypocritical and as for me apologizing ypu can keep waiting since you misread what I said. By the way the reason minnows used bots in the first place was because Whale wouldn't pay attention to good content half the time. It's a creators right to try and get their work seen whether you agree with the method or not. Have a good one.

Posted using Partiko Android

"Using tipu"

Explain to everyone how I'm using tipu if tipu decides to vote for my post, or any other post.

If I vote for you, are you USING @NoNamesLeftToUse?

You do not make any sense at all.

If I support organic curation, and an account that sells or used to sell votes supports my work organically, how does that make me a hypocrite?

It does make sense. You label all bid bots Bad. If the devil gives you a compliment its still the devil. That's all I am saying. Told you mate we will never agree. Have a great one.

Posted using Partiko Android

That's ridiculous, and you don't make sense.

Have a nice day.

I totally agree with what you sa but i find this funny

Secondly. The content producer who leaves because they don't want to work towards gaining organic support is in the wrong business.

Because many of the ones that beleived in getting organic support left when they realized only a few of us were givin it and all the other hypocrites were leasing to bidbots.

Steem has made so many mistakes that i dont know if the honest users still here amount to any percent.

the scammers and farmers will always get a good return for their 0 effort.

i used to do a lot of shit and i used to like writting, but i consider myself wasting my time writting this comment.

Too little too late...

that should be the steemit motto.

i enjoy the steem blockchain code though

I know more people were getting paid to look away, in an attention economy, and that's doing it backwards.

Those people purchased "Visibility" and the more they paid people to look away, the less visibility they'd get, and they did that all to themselves. The people purchasing votes were offering others an incentive to NOT look at content, with every vote they purchased, and that behavior was marketed as 'visibility.' The more votes people bought, the more money people made for not being around here to consume the content. If you paid me to not come to your store and buy the merchandise, you would not be able to sell the merchandise, and slowly go bankrupt. How this basic business common sense flew over so many heads here has always baffled me.

One cannot purchase actual eyes no matter how hard they try. Just like commercials on television, many refused to look at posts with paid votes. The people purchasing the votes did not know that.

Now, more and more, people are being paid to look. That's what curation rewards are. People literally get paid to be entertained and that concept has enough potential to flip the entire entertainment industry on its head, yet that potential has not been realized yet because for some strange reason, people around here don't know about the billions generated by the entertainment industry, annually. They're sitting around waiting for investors and speculators instead of embracing the millions of people who sit on their asses all day consuming content online and spending money to do so, all while getting nothing in return.

If we're going to pay people, what they're being paid for needs to be beneficial to all involved.

You're right when you say many left when they realized there weren't enough curators. Thousands left. One cannot expect to feel successful performing in front of an empty venue every single day.

I've battled through everything here. Never purchased a vote. Curated manually 27568 times. That was a lot of content to consume, plus a few comment upvotes as well. I didn't mind doing things the honest way. I'll continue down that path.

I disagree with you're too little too late quip but I do know how frustrating this place can be at times.

Your stance resembles the tide of the community's will, but how can one draw attention towards some underrated content?

I wish I knew. This is a problem as I remember how it was for me early on and how I felt like I was posting into a black hole.

Now though people are trying to find good content to vote on that hasn’t been discovered yet.

Are they really? Or are they just trying to refocus on (and maximise) curation reward?

Well to maximize curation rewards you have to discover something before the crowd gets there.

you know the 30 minutes reverse auction was added to avoid the bots automatically voting known good reward authors dont you?

this problem will come back now, people will see the top authors and set them in the fan base.

solve one problem make a new one... wait no, bring back an old one...

steem is cyclic like the markets

Hf20 changed it to 15 mins
Hf21 changed it to 5 mins

The reasoning is that the early days of Steem long detailed posts were the norm. The 30 mins was what was expected for an average user to find and read a read a post.

These days content is shorter and users are frequently trying to vote content well before the 30 and then 15 minutes.

The original idea was 1 minute for hf21 but many felt it was just too short. Five minutes was the compromise.

The reality is, a bot will always be able to put pace a human, so 5, 15, 30 doesn’t really matter much in terms of preventing it. So the idea was to make the user experience better. Similar to the change of comments from 20 second delay to 3.

The idea is a human should never be inconvenienced under normal usage patterns.

When I started I was able to build a following by commenting volubly, as is my wont. However, the halving of author rewards, the dodgy VP curve, and the dust threshold now make that a pretty pointless endeavor. While, and don't take this personally (I've been trying to figure out how to comment on this event without sounding graceless, but I am sure you are aware I am against votebots, and always have been, so do not lament that yours is no longer selling votes) I am pleased that bots are no longer viable, I am inconsolable that engagement has been similarly dispelled.

For newbs without a following, comments are the best way to meet folks that like your style, and I have noticed engagement has fallen off since HF21.

I am sure you are not delighted to no longer be able to deploy @buildawhale, but I hope you are able to personally interact with folks more now, and find that more personally rewarding, if less so financially.

One thing that has been done in the past is that moderate delegations raising the VP of favored curators and authors so they are better able to distribute more Steem have been undertaken. My recollection of the experiment that became known as the Stewards of Gondor was that it was very successful. Many lesser known but high quality authors were encouraged by votes via those delegations.

A couple dozen whales with almost all the stake simply can't effectively curate out all the rewards from the pool, and such delegations enable that curation to be offshored to known and responsible parties. [Well, they can and will, but what they can't do is read 10k posts and curate informedly. I expect either they'll end up with crews of panderers that get their votes regularly, or something along the lines of moderate delegations will solve the problem.]

Folks like you. Given the higher curation rate, nominal decentralized delegations may return nominally, if not competitively with bots. Give it thought, or tell me to get bent. Whatever you think is appropriate.

I'm sure this is a trying time for you, and I am glad to see you are as sanguine and accepting of this turn of events as you could be. I hope this is the beginning of a people centered paradigm you are eventually able to look back on and be happy it happened, because you're better off, and so is Steem.

I guess that's what most all of us want.

I am sure you are not delighted to no longer be able to deploy @buildawhale, but I hope you are able to personally interact with folks more now, and find that more personally rewarding, if less so financially.

I actually engage quite a bit, on a slow day I make 4 comments, and on a busy one 51.

I'm sure this is a trying time for you, and I am glad to see you are as sanguine and accepting of this turn of events as you could be.

Not at all, I think hf21 has given Steem a chance to survive, the path it was on was doomed to fail. As I said many times in the past, I rather have no bid bots, but I do believe in promotion, every platform has it. When I was new it was impossible to be seen and many times I just wanted to quit.

I always felt if there was going to be bid bots, Steem is better if I run one. The SP I had was going to be used for a bid bot regardless if I did it or not. I put a lot of effort in running @buildawhale more ethically than others. I prevented a lot of garbage from being rewarded with my blacklist and spent over a year doing daily curation digests showcasing the best content that used my service. These both cost me a lot of time and money which no other bot chose to incur.

It wasn't perfect, even hf21 isn't perfect.

"...hf21 isn't perfect."

See? We are perfectly in agreement.

Ok, so maybe not, but I didn't come here to disagree with you. I 'spose I just can't help it. I'm apparently disagreeable. I'm sure we can agree on that.

Keep up the awesome work you have been doing

Time for buildaminnow to rise!


You are ahead of yourself. @buildanorca needs to happen first.

That's because I have bigger goals!

Hey @enforcer48, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

i'd like some beer

Fabulous news! I'm waiting for joe.public to chime in with a conspiracy! :)

Posted using Partiko Android


That's a very good news content creators let's do this.. ^^

Like and cheers !BEER

#newsteem rocks.

hey Oliver !BEER good to see you around

Yeah nothing like a blanket hatred for Bots and complete discontent and regard for

Posted using Partiko Android

Let's try again! !BEER

Hey @oliverschmid, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

you seem very touched by the disparition of bots... are you an owner or a leaser or just a heavily stupid bot client ?

You seem very touched period. Are you an idiot or just mentally challenged?

Lol seriously. I Just have integrity and know if I railed against what made a bid bot money I would be actively against taking the money from them. I also understand that in a free platform both bid bots and good content can exist.

I have no skin in any game in terms of bots. Think I have used one like four times but I also don't act like they are the most horrible thing in the world, ignore the good content within some post that have used them, and then am fine with taking the money they have made from a service I yell about. Have a good one and for the record since you don't seem to understand how actual discussion works you should probably not call people names during it since that's a weak argument for individuals that have no actual ability. Have fun and a good day.

Posted using Partiko Android

Buildawhale is what I thought Steemcleaners was meant to be.

So true!

Posted using Partiko Android

Thanks for a news

@themarkymark i suggest you to introduce your own tag so that people who want to get attention from your account can get it , tag like marky will be known as content attention for buildawhale

Not a bad idea, but generally these tags get abused as everyone thinks their contest is amazing. I see people posting stolen images using tags for curation.

Thanks for the post.

Excellent Marky. Appreciate all the good intentions you have. Hats off for that decision of yours

What about The app.... is it a good thing or bad ?

I like to be able to vote for excellent creators when I am not at my computer...

why do you need others to tell you what's good or bad ? put the bong down, grow a spine and think for yourself.

Steem Voter is an auto vote service, nothing really wrong with that as you choose who you vote for. Keep in mind they can use up to one 100% vote of yours as payment unless you buy premium.


Posted using Partiko iOS

Really really really really glad to hear this. Curation will save us! :D

This is a big, but very impressive and smart step! Thanks for all the good work supporting and protecting this platform!

Posted using Partiko Android

Kill all the bots!

wow, 44K of spammers identified is a lot.

That took a lot of time to build.

I will say the same as I said to @c0ff33a recently: thanks so much for such clarity and communicating this to the community. I always liked what you did with the manual blacklist, and your relentless fight against the abusers of bid-bots; thanks for that dedication. I'm still not clear on what to do about getting my own content more visibility, as I'm simply not able to spend too much time online; publishing one post a day, a promise I made almost two years ago now, is about all I can manage, plus sometimes read the posts of Steemians and Helpies I know create good content. Still, I'm all for the ideology behind #newsteem, so I wish you and all others involved all the best in your endeavors to make it a resounding success! :-)

This is great news. I have seen you around often helping folks out with information. I never voted your witness because I was opposed to bid bots. Now I can reconcider. Well done.

That is great news.

Out of all the bidbots this one felt like it was trying the hardest to curb abuse and fight it.

I’m really glad to see the direction many of them have been going after the HF.

yep, they are all jumping from the sinking ship

Thanks for all you do to help fight abuse on the platform Marky❤️

Great work....It's make me hopeful. Keep going on with your good work.

Posted using Partiko Android

that's great my friend

Not going to say I like hearing this, because the USE of bots has been one of the ways I made dolphin quicker than without. I even made the curation post a few times! Are you still going to be doing that? Putting out the top five you liked and manually curated? Are you going to hire a curation team?

I am considering doing the top five, but I won't likely hire a curation team.

hello @buildawhale I strongly agree and support your program to limit curation in any form of payment, step to do downvoting automatically is a very interesting idea. from the conclusion ABOVE can stop the activities of the abuse so that ethically detected is also very good, SO THAT MAKE THEM AWARE OF THE MISTAKES THAT THEY HAVE DONE. :)

It is good that something is done against taking advantage of the platform in an unethical way. This should be done by other platforms and I totally support this


This is very important news

I am very pleased to hear that and that people will be looked at and judged by there hard work and efforts 👍

BidBot should change there tactics from vote selling to Contest Making with a prize.of curation as compensation and a Portion of Steem to Winners.

Posted using Partiko Android

Man.. All the bid bots coming down makes me wonder, if this was the right choice, did we need a whole hard fork to do it? Conversely, would there have been no hope for an original content creator if there were no core changes to the system? The problem is obviously a unique and working one, so of course no one action will reverse the effects, but I have not purchased a vote since the upheaval. I have purchased votes before, believing it was profitable as I strength my account. I ended up doing a lot of active investment as a transition from this, but I want to know now, almost childishly, was this all for the better? These grand topics don’t suit me though; I like to post about photography.

  ·  last month (edited)

This is great news to see another bidbot turning off the bids and manually curating good content.

Well done 👍

Nice dude :)

Be honest here. How is the payout amount of this post not abuse? Small players get kicked around, even when they have a good quality blog post. And this post has an upvote value of almost 100 USD????? Oh and I see that the fanatic downvoters like to upvote you, so there is that.

Must be nice to have build up your account with bots, then lock everyone out from using them while you can get good curation rewards because of the amount of Steem you gathered.

But please don't call this 'ethical'.

i didn’t use bots all that often myself.

I am not locking anyone out of bots. They are free to use them but the current stance of the community will result in flags just for using bots.

How is it abuse? I didn’t vote it to $100. I didn’t buy a vote. I made a post, the community voted.

Well, you did get Steem because you had a bot. And you downvote people when they use upvote bots. Not just the community, but you yourself.
The community that is upvoting you is in large part a small group of people with a lot of Steem power and you are upvoting each other all the time.
Now I'm not against all this. Just don't like double standards.

I do not downvote people for using bots. I downvote for spam and abuse, regardless if bots were used.

You just downvoted me for giving my opinion here a few minutes ago. How was my comment spam or abuse?

I downvoted it because it was a duplicate comment. I didn't downvote your first.

Be honest here. How is the payout amount of this post not abuse? Small players get kicked around, even when they have a good quality blog post. And this post has an upvote value of almost 100 USD????? Oh and I see that the fanatic downvoters like to upvote you, so there is that.

Must be nice to have build up your account with bots, then lock everyone out from using them while you can get good curation rewards because of the amount of Steem you gathered.

But please don't call this 'ethical'.

Wow, I see what you did here. Someone gives a critical remark to you and IMMEDIATELY downvote. Why? You can't take any criticism? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Did I downvote you here? No, I did not.

I only downvoted it because it was a duplicate comment.

Looks like there might be a bug on right now (I know they did an update a few hours ago) that is causing comments to look like they didn't post, but they did. So it might have been a result of that why you posted the same comment as I am seeing it happening to me as well but I didn't post it twice.

Yes, that's what happened. Sorry no hard feelings.

Looks like editing comments also creates a duplicate comment, I contacted Steemit to look into it. That is the only reason I downvoted your second comment.

See, here is why I don't like automated votes, up or down.

@joe.public said:

"hey @themarkymark that is an action deserving of respect."

And you flagged him.


Go around trolling, libeling, and spamming, you are bound to get flagged.

So, having once offended, even quality, dare I say even humble, comments by that user should be flagged? Were you not autoflagging him, you would not be likely to have flagged that comment, and since you have automated your opinion, you have not potentiated engagement and disable rapprochement.

You may be fine with that. Upon reflection, you may not be. Can't speak for you, but you are now the kinda guy that flags people that say nice things about you despite having been flagged hard by you for a long time. He's clearly showing integrity despite his hard feelings. Maybe you don't have a moral bone in your body, but your avatar did, and that's not something he'd have done.

A comment like that in these circumstances deserves a personal reply, not an autoflag. Society is people, not bots. You're not a bot. Don't let a bot act for you and determine your socialization.

Or, do you. I reckon you're better than that, but you will decide.

Very cool! I think that it is clear that BuildaWhale´s intentions have been in the interest of the community from the beginning. To see this adaptation is great news. I am glad that power will be directed to curating.

Bid bots are falling too

Same spam, same reward pool abuse, same self upvoting, different name. Go #NewSteem! LOL

It has changed quite a bit actually.

That is actually pretty cool.

Buildawhale is voting on trash these days. Would rather have the account selling votes.

I noticed an upvote from it (I had got a random flag) so thank you

Grateful for the support @buildawhale @themarkymark well clarified

  ·  last month Reveal Comment

I'm hoping that will be solved with blending Promotion tab into trending, but it doesn't look like it will be any time soon.

Well i hope it gets there sooner than you think... @asgarth has already worked on it a bit.

Was going to ask you if you were considering doing it.

yeah we have already laid out how we plan on doing it and we've actually presented the idea to andrarchy if they get interested one day and how all platforms could work together and talked a bit to eonwarped who could possibly put in a pull request for condenser.

I guess we'll just jump in by ourselves at first and do the proof of concept and hopefully get the others interested.

This is A big change.
I support if it brings steem value up
Remains to be seen

So close to a proper haiku. So close...

Think if new steem wasn't so one sided then it would but doubt this will help steem.

Posted using Partiko Android