Updated thoughts on 'the whale experiment'

in #experiment3 years ago (edited)

After a discussion with @berniesanders I wanted to clarify my position on a few things regarding 'the experiment':

Just in case you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can check out this post first for an explanation of the experiment.

  • I understand there are lots of views on the experiment, both good and bad. I do not dismiss the concerns of the people that are against the experiment.
  • Not having practically any influence over the site (even if one spends months earning SP through hard work, or making a $1,000 investment) is one of the biggest complaints from users. I believe that is one of the main things holding the platform back from mass adoption.
  • I believe strongly that billions of users investing small amounts ($100-$1,000) in order to gain some additional influence is going to be one of the key ways of driving investment into the platform.
  • I thing it is a great idea for the whales to refrain from using a portion of their voting power, so that the dolphins and minnows can have more influence.
  • I do believe very strongly in principal that all users (including whales) are allowed to use their SP for whatever they want. This includes downvoting. This also includes not participating in the experiment, and continuing to upvote.
  • If any user feels another user is not using their SP in the best interest of the platform, then countering their vote is a valid way to handle it.
  • It is nothing personal against any of the whales or what they are voting on, but @abit and @smooth have decided that the whales using their full stake to vote is not in the best interest of the platform. Based on this, they are using their SP to counter any votes that are counter to that goal.
  • If you are not OK with whales using their SP in whatever way they think is best (including downvoting) then please go and read the (outdated) whitepaper. What it says still applies to this. The system is designed for the largest stakeholders to use their stake to steer the platform in the direction they feel is best. Users with more SP have more say over the direction of the platform than users with less SP.
  • I would prefer to see the experiment done without any downvoting.
  • I do not want @smooth and @abit to stop downvoting though, so long as other whales continue to vote with their full stake. This means that the only way forward without discontinuing the experiment, is for the whales who are still voting to reduce the weight of their votes below 800 MV (including any voting trails linked to the same vote). It is entirely up to them if they want to do this though.
  • There is no way to force whales to stop voting, and it would not be right/fair to try and do so. Therefore, we are likely going to need to accept that the downvotes will be continuing for the forseeable future.
  • Assuming the downvotes are going to continue for some time, it would be good for @abit and @smooth to create a post clarifying what their rules are for downvoting, and automate it as much as possible so that downvotes are done consistantly, and in the block right after the upvote they are intended to negate. This will greatly reduce the unhappiness that is resulting from the experiment.
  • Changing the rewards curve from n^2 to a more linear curve will have a dramatic effect on the whales influence. If/when the rewards curve is changed, then the parameters of the experiment will need to be re-evaluated. Having the whales abstain from voting with full influence may not be necessary under a new curve.
  • I see the experiment as a temporary solution. Assuming that the community and stakeholders want to make this a long-term thing, we need to have a conversation about how to achieve the goal in a way that is:
    1. Fair to the large stakeholders.
    2. Does not encourage the splitting of SP into smaller accounts.
    3. Does not require continuous downvoting in order to achieve the goal.
  • Regardless of which 'side' of the experiment you are on, I hope that as much as possible we can try to recognize that the people on both sides of this are pushing for what they feel is best for the platform. There are just differing views on what that is and how to get there.
  • I know it is a bumpy ride, but the platform is in beta right now. It is the right time to run these types of experiments, to try and find out the right set of parameters to allow the platform to grow. If we get it right, then a few dollars missed here and there from some downvotes will be chump-change in comparison to the millions of dollars our wallets will be worth when STEEM coins are worth $1,000 per coin ;)

Since the experiment started, I have seen a new sense of excitement with the platform from regular users that has not been there since I joined back in July. I have seen many users buying more STEEM, so that they can power up their accounts and gain additional influence. Many people are talking about how 'fun' the site is now. This is exactly what we want for the platform to succeed. This is why I continue to support the experiment.


I can sympathise with people's hurt feelings but this IMO is the key point here:

Since the experiment started, I have seen a new sense of excitement with the platform from regular users that has not been there since I joined back in July. I have seen many users buying more STEEM, so that they can power up their accounts and gain additional influence.

I have experienced that myself! My vote actually means something now and I know for a fact I am not the only one because I have talked to others who feel the same way.

As you mentioned before I think it may be better to give whale accounts "investor" status with a higher level of interest and automatically cap them against voting above the equivalent of say 250MV and we combine that with a more linear reward curve.

It may even be feasible to get rid of interest on regular accounts completely and use that to fund the investor interest rate.

It may even be feasible to get rid of interest on regular accounts completely and use that to fund the investor interest rate.

My thoughts exactly :) I'm actually planning to run the numbers on it as soon as I get some time.

Cool I look forward to it - these are exciting times!

I did the math on setting up an investor class by taking the SP inflation and only giving it to the SP that users hold over 800 MV. Unfortunately, it is a dismal amount. For each 1 MV of SP above 800, the users would only get 28 STEEM per year. It is not enough to incentivize them to abstain from using their stake.

That is disappointing. Thank you for doing it though. What about taking the Steem generated by the mining account which is going to be removed? That would be a lot more. Give that to the investors instead?

That is going to an additional top witness. There will be "top 20" witnesses if/when it goes through.

Yes I know, but it might be better allocated to investors. It is worth considering I think. Make the high level investors the 20th witness since they have the biggest investment in the platform.

From a technical standpoint, it is actually a major change. The block production algorithm has a 'round' of 21 blocks, which consists of 19 top witnesses, 1 backup witness, and a miner. It isn't a major change to take away the miner and add one more top witness, but to change the number of blocks in a round would be.

If we were going to go down that path, then a more practical change from a technical perspective would be to just slightly reduce all of the witness pay by the amount that the one miner was getting, but I don't think that is a good idea either. After HF16, the witness pay is also not very much. Many of the witnesses are doing a lot of work for the platform (plus paying to run servers) and they are not getting paid very much.

Also, it wouldn't change the numbers much either. All of the witnesses pay combined is than the interest on SP (which ass I said above is dismal), so taking 1/21 of that and adding it to the investor class would not help much. I'm just doing fuzzy math in my head, but it would probably add 1-2 STEEM per year per MV.

"Since the experiment started, I have seen a new sense of excitement with the platform from regular users that has not been there since I joined back in July."

ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me too!!! Voting power has been less centralized.

When I joined Steemit, I thought it was supposed to be "decentralized". It has been tightly centralized until the past few days.................................

It's like a noose has been removed from us......

me to..
please share for me...

I having fun again! Love it! Please keep this going!

In over the moon my little vote is worth a little more now, its great reading a post then voting it with a few cents instead of nothing

I totally agree! I haven't had this much fun in a while :)

Loving it at the minute, long may it continue :)

I get hit every post by @smooth, its all automated. I have not grown fond of it like some of the sheep around here. I am not going to lie, it pisses me off that real whales actually look at my post and vote on it only to have a bot whale downvote. I started to introduce my 95,000+ followers(travel related) on a fb page to this platform, but I am holding off for now.

As a long term plan for the platform, it is not going to be good to depend on the same ~50 people to decide on what gets rewarded. It is not scalable to a large number of users, and lots of good posts fall through the cracks. It is going to be better for the community if the user base can drive rewards.

What would you rather spend your time doing- trying to grow your followers and gain more interaction with the community, or spend your time whale hunting , hoping to be one of the lucky ones to get noticed by a whale?

It is my view that we need something like the investor-class accounts idea, to give those 50 people a slightly stronger incentive to step aside and not be (unintended perhaps) bullies when it comes to monopolizing influence just because they are the major owners of the platform. Zuckerberg could personally decide what gets displayed on Facebook and what doesn't, but for the most part he doesn't. Instead he makes a choice, as a major owner and ultimate decider, that the platform runs to a large extent on the basis of showing what users Like. We need something similar, where owners make a choice, for the success of the platform, to not micromanage content be bullies in the process.

You know you have my full support to head down that path :)

Smooth, I would support that. The "experiment" is no longer an experiment; it's a messy solution. We need a more permanent one.

I have always just posted and grown followers its the same here as facebook, gplus, instagram or any other social media platforms. Not sure what you are talking about with whale hunting, I am pretty sure they can think for themselves. Anyways we have no choice in the matter only handful of people are running the show now instead of your 50

The goal is for your community of followers to be the ones increasing your rewards, instead of relying on whale upvotes to be the deciders for the whole platform.

I agree, so why are my whale followers being punished?

It's a good question. If they use 800 MV of stake (or less) they will not be blocked, based on my understanding of what they are doing. 800 MV is still a lot of influence.

I agree with all three of your comments. I've said the same thing. They just don't care. Whale votes are bad and you apparently just need to accept that.

They keep saying that the distribution is "unfair," but I don't see them volunteering to distribute their own whale stake. They just want others to comply with their demands.

The only way that the "unfairness" can actually be resolved (and I don't even see this as practical or even "good") is for all of the whales to redistribute their own stake to smaller users. Anything short of that accomplishes pretty much nothing. They won't be able to keep other whales from voting forever and they don't have enough power to stop all of them when they decide to resume...or to stop new whales from participating in the future.

Unless the code is changed, this will remain temporary and arbitrary. In other words - it's nothing more than the same thing they complain about: a few users controlling the rewards/behavior of the platform's users.

I agree. The code needs to be changed to gradually reduce the voting weight as steempower increases. To offset this and to continue to attract large investors, high steempower holders need to be offered other incentives such as high interest rate on their holdings and the (exclusive) ability to vote on the structural and operational issues of the platform. Providing these additional incentives to large steem holders I believe may be enough to offset the partial loss of voting power larger holders will incur under a new voting system. Lastly the flagging system should be completely done away with for anything other than violations of agreed social norms....ie plagiarism, trolling, spam etc.

I like many others have significant amounts of steem, but will not lock it down into steem power until there issues are resolved. This festering issues (along with the question of how to monetize the attention created by this platform) have caused huge losses for investors in the past.

you can still hold it off. you got only 63 followers here and so hypothetically speaking, your fb fans do not give a damn about steem.

I think its more like they don't understand it, and I have not done anything to help them understand. I have been here a little over two weeks and a whole lot has happened in this short time. It looks like you average about 35-40 new followers per month and you seem to be doing well. Thanks for the comment

dont compare my followers with yours. most of them are my friends, not statics as you consider your own followers. My point is : with this experiment you dont need whales to get rewards. Grow your followers base here, and if you have thousands of users upvoting your votes, you will be in trending page. Check it out. not of all of them are flagged.

I am not really thinking in terms of rewards as much as I am thinking of invalidating someones vote with a bot. People need to think less about the reward structure and more about the social media aspect. Congrats on having so many friends, most people are lucky to have a handful of real friends in this world. I tend not to use the term friend so loosely .

to each to their own. unfortunately, steemit is the land of bots. get used to it.

Is it my imagination, or are you doing a post a day on how great this experiment is?

If it was really going that well, it would be self-evident, and you wouldn't need to evangelize so hard. Just saying...

If they say it often enough people might actually believe it!

I've been doing more than one actually :)

I personally love the experiment. For every unhappy whale I see 100 minnows glowing, buying Steem and spreading joy! This is exactly what Steemit was supposed to be in my opinion: LOTS OF HAPPY PEOPLE

i swear the only one who are butthurt from this experiment

The outcome seems to be on the right track if you're okay with the path being littered with the broken trust that @smooth and @abit generated. I guess us 'emotional' types are just pesky obstacles to be swept out of the way. Accumulation is the name of the game. Got it.

Thanks for the clarification.

Oh, and btw, I was never personally affected by any of the flagging / up or downvoting. What I saw was a couple whales throwing their weight around regardless of the damage to the TRUST of users by the ambush style deployment and total disregard for the people they were hurting in the process. Silly me to take take mere feelings into consideration when there's money and code at stake.

Eyes wide open and gloating in my new-found power.



Edited to correct typo

You are exactly right, what many people forget about is the social aspect of this "social network" called steemit. You cant employ bots to vote up or down and expect the social aspect to flourish with such a cold foolish method. If everyone could just employ bots to protect their interest then we would have no reason to ever logon.

The irony is that I landed here via a link on Twitter. Sigh.....

The human factor was not handled correctly. That part I totally agree with.

And there's nothing to say it won't happen again the next time a whale or two decide to lob dynamite into the pond for whatever reason.

Hence my trepidation.

Yep, very true. As I said in my post, I would like to get to a permanent solution where what you described is largely mitigated.

Honestly, good luck with that. I don't think that aspect is high on the fix it list for most devs, though. I sincerely hope you can figure it out because I've come to like it here. I'd prefer not to have to worry about 'incoming....!!!' every other week to do it.

Agreed. Discussions are in progress :) We'll see where they lead.

What you say makes a lot of sense to me. However, IMHO, I still feel that there is a semantic problem, that a change is needed in the existing Steemit naming conventions.

In standard English (in this context) the word "Flag" carries terribly negative connotations. A very simple change could remedy this (as you have done in this post) by having the name of that action changed to "Downvote."

There may be a need for "true flags," but if so, they should be a separate entity used only for flagging antisocial behavior, calling attention to user actions that damage or game the system.



you could call it a buttkiss if you wanted to.. it still has the same effect on the receiver. Changing the name does nothing

Sorry for the delayed response here...

I understand that a "down vote," "thumbs down," "buttkiss," or WHATEVER the function is called does not change the effect of the function.

My observation is that naming DOES matter in the overall scheme of things. Giving functions appropriate names helps to prevent confusion.

Additionally, I strongly believe that Steemit needs a DIFFERENT and SEPARATE function to signify truly bad behavior that falls outside of the pale of "freedom of speech."

I am NOT saying that those holding Steem Power should not be able to influence a payout in a downward direction, which I understand to be a part of the original design.

And so, respectfully, while I agree that "Changing the name does nothing" in regard to function, I believe that changing the name would help to clarify the purpose of the function, and would help to avoid confusion and ill feelings. ;)

I can agree with you that separating the functions has value.. at that point the flag would mean what it means... you screwed up... while a downvote is just a downvote.

I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!

Could not agree more.

I appreciate your affirmation. :)

I totally agree. There is actually a GitHub issue open for exactly that :)

I'm very glad to hear it, and Thank You for the GitHub reference. :)

jeez @timcliff why don't you save yourself the acrobatics and just publicly state that you support the concept of a couple of whales dictating the behaviour of the other whales in the name of the good of what is supposed to be a decentralized platform?

I've seen politicians use less double talking.

I'm not ignoring that the outcome has its positives.. but the method and the optics of it stink. You can spray all the deodorant on it you want, it still rots.

I've basically said as much already. It is a slight mis-characterization though.

If it was just 2 whales, then they would be outnumbered. There are a majority of whales that are participating in the experiment by not voting or voting with reduced stake (see link). There are just two that are doing the downvoting.

I support:

  • Whales telling other whales what to do with their stake (the other whales are still free to ignore it and do what they want)
  • Whales using their stake to cancel out the votes of other whales they disagree with.

you should be in politics ... oh wait, you are

I am ok with the experiment however initially I found it frustrating as it was not presented to the community in an appropriate manner. There is need for a communication channel for announcements. I also feel there will need to be an adjustment in the code moving forward. Maybe this could be a group consensus however this really is the responsibility of the development team and the stake holders. The people behind Steem. Again, there should be an open channel or feed where specific blogs can be created to better inform the community of events that will affect us. This would reduce the anxiety and emotional energy that was experienced, both positive and negative, from this experiment. No-one enjoys having their environment manipulated and no one enjoys seeing their payouts diminished due to an an experiment that had no boundaries and one that no-one really understood initially. Surely witnesses and the development team can create some better 'decentralised' and 'mutual' protocol here? Regardless.....Steem and Steemit.com have a very strong future and all it takes is unity and consistency. Some code changes, better communication, and specific platform advancements in functionality will be paramount. In the meantime...I will be contributing as best I can. :)

Ideally, more whales would join the effort. It shouldn't fall upon two people to carry the weight of reining in large stakeholders.

It is so much easier for whales to monitor the behaviour of other whales, rather than find 'quality content'. Finding content is for the masses. Once a clear vision has been formed amongst whales on how to promote new user growth and the 'middle class' on steemit, then that consensus should be enforced by the majority of the large stakeholders.

I hate to use this analogy, because I'm sure it will irritate anarchists, but the whales are like a noble class. When the nobility treat the people like crap, they rebel. They should act in a noble manner and be gracious towards those who are subject to their whims. They should also keep the excesses of other 'nobles' in check.

I made some small edits in the first sentences. I want to give you the opportunity to change your reply if you find it has changed.

Great experiment. Definitly resteeming this. Thanks.
Also, because of people like you, I am an optimistic.
See my post: https://steemit.com/steemit/@xwerk/why-i-just-bought-1400-steem-for-0-1-btc

Awesome! :)

Good post covering all the major points. I have definitelt saw an increase in the buzz on the platform over the last week and even in the comments which just gives me such a boost. Exciting times!

Exciting times indeed! :)

Grabs popcorn and waits to see what happens

Upvoted and followed you!

Thank you Tim!

It is a lot more fun to me. I like to know that my vote is worth more than $0.01. To me that makes a huge difference.

Making sure everyone in the community benefits is what's really important.

I agree with the sentiment. One thing I've found though is for pretty much every change that benefits, there is some group that is harmed by it. The challenge is to find the right balance that is best for the community/stakeholders/platform.

I believe strongly that billions of users investing small amounts ($100-$1,000) in order to gain some additional influence is going to be one of the key ways of driving investment into the platform.

I agree we got to far ahead and need to bring in the little people.

I fully agree with the experience. However, I find it unfortunate that a minnow is flagged because a whale voted for it. I know that and it is very disappointing.

Agreed. Keep in mind though - if a minnow's post gets flagged, but the payout is still above zero - then the net effect will still be a positive payout and an increase in their reputation score. It obviously sucks to get less payment, and less of a boost in reputation - but it is not really negative. Hopefully with the right information on how the platform works (see post) it shouldn't be too bad :)

I firmly believe that these misunderstandings tells us the UI is poor/inadequate. There should be better information being conveyed in a more understandable manner. That is easier said than done. The flag icon may be part of it, but I'm suggesting a deeper rethink of the UI. There is a lot going on in this system under the surface and the UI does a poor job in presenting it.

The user interface wasn't at fault in generating the chaos this 'experiment' caused.

It was abysmal planning and an ambush style execution by a couple of whales who didn't care who they stepped on until they got reamed for it. The end does NOT justify the means, skippy.

Revisionist history isn't going to work with me. You have permanently ingrained in me a mis-trust of anything you endorse from here on out. Congratulations on a thorough job.

'by a couple of whales' This is precisely part of the misunderstanding. Most of what is going on is a large number of whales (i.e. stakeholders who have every right to vote or not vote as they see fit) deciding not to vote (or vote low power) in order to leave the majority of the influence in the hands of the broader user base. The downvotes by @abit and myself are only a small part of it, though it is the part where the UI issues most come into play.

And you totally missed the point... you and @abit sprung this on us with no explanation, no warning. Just BAM, deal with it. You two were the public face of this effort from the start and I'm not going to let you wiggle out of that fact.

WHAT you did is the problem, not WHY you did it. I understand what you were trying to accomplish and for what it's worth, it looks like it's worked. BUT, the MANNER in which you handled it was HAM-FISTED, STUPID, AND TOTALLY UNNECESSARY. You threw dynamite into the middle of the pond and then act surprised when we bitch.

Like I said earlier, I will NEVER trust anything you and @abit say, do, or endorse. You trashed your credibility with me all on your own and it's not coming back.

The fact that you can't or won't take responsibility for the chaos you caused tells me that you haven't learned anything. Have you made the people you hurt whole? Have you even apologized to them? I sincerely doubt it. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised to see you pull this stunt again.


you and @abit sprung this on us

No @abit and I didn't. A large number of major stakeholders aka whales decided to stop voting or vote with lower power, or to downvote those who continue to vote with very high power thereby grabbing an even larger portion of the pool in the process. Whatever @abit and I did or didn't do was and is only a small part of a large number of individual decisions by stakeholders to vote differently (mostly, not at all).

'us' was referring to the larger portion of the community - aka the minnows - who were not privy to those conversations. I guess minnow input isn't needed, because you as said yourself - the whales decided... Which proves my point. Thank you.

Save your ongoing explanations for why you did it. I GET THAT and have from the start. That doesn't absolve you of the trust you mangled in process.

I would agree with the UI being the problem. We are exposing people to information that is just confusing them. Keep it simple for the users. The stakeholders all know where to find the information they want and anyone else that educates themselves can find it too.

Let's not display flags openly. Lets not identify voters openly. Let's obfuscate the payouts until a final figure has been arrived at (at the end of the voting period). Upvotes, downvotes ,a popularity indicator, hide the views (the real indication of engagement is comments). Get rid of all the shit that makes people ask questions that they are not going to understand the answers to.

People don't need the information when they first arrive. Once they have been here and they have learned the ropes, they can find it the same way the stakeholders can find it.

Agreed 100%

You would almost ask the whales not to vote on you post :)

Uum.. One thing for noted. Ask to steemians first when make experiment. Anyway experiment that held a couple days ago has positive impact. Nice @timcliff.

Agreed. I mentioned that in an earlier post, but the communication behind the experiment was severely lacking. Hopefully lesson learned :)

Seems like "the whale experiment" is positive judging from the recent price rise in Steem.

Agreed. It is hard to make a direct correlation, because there are a lot of factors that affect price - but I suspect all the excitement over users having more influence, plus a lot of them powering up must have helped :)

If the money gets distributed to a broader base, it'll attract more people in and the price of Steem will rise, even if a post makes 1 cent it's better than nothing. Plus you can't see a really good post make nothing and then another one discribing how to make a cappuccino $100. That really turns people off.

Understood. There is always going to be people earning more for seemingly 'unfair' reasons though. That person who made the cappuccino post may have spent countless hours networking and building friendships with people on the site. There is a social aspect to it as well - not purely content quality.

I'm not the type that usually says "I told you so" but so many people who were screaming about the flags are actually seeing better gains with their votes, and (in my opinion) a truer representation of their potential earnings at this point in their Steemit life/reputation.
I do not like seeing the downvotes but now that I know the experiment is in place I'm kind of making a mental game of how many flags can I get? LOL

Tim, when you get a chance, would you mind popping over to my last blog post and leaving a quick message or link? It concerns HF17. Thanks, love.

Thanks @merej99! That's a great attitude :)

Of course - I'll be catching up with my feed soon. I'll take a look and reply with what I can to help.

Thank you for sharing. I support experiment, because previous situation was terrible. I think it would be better to have some formal rules for such experiments: proposal, voting with stakes, duration, etc.
Then it will be possible to test proposal with quasi-linear curve, at first as experiment

nice post @timcliff

Assuming the downvotes are going to continue for some time, it would be good for @abit and @smooth to create a post clarifying what their rules are for downvoting, and automate it as much as possible so that downvotes are done consistantly, and in the block right after the upvote they are intended to negate. This will greatly reduce the unhappiness that is resulting from the experiment

Aye. And change the code. Flags are for squid livers. Childish to fight against what others value because U want to be valued more. Change n^2. Aye've seen much good as well, from this but flags are the wrong way

I fully support the proposal to change the n^2 formula to a more linear one. We don't know when this will happen though, and it may not solve the issue on its own. At least until it is in place, this is the only viable way to handle the situation (that I'm aware of).

@steemitblog already announced it would be in HF18

Understood. It still has to get developed/implemented/tested, and the HF has to be approved by a majority of witnesses though. This could take months. Until then, we work with what we have.

Well said! Glad I vote for you as witness! :)

Excellent post Mr. @timcliff very interesting your point of view, thank you very much for sharing

Welcome! Thanks for reading and supporting :)

Sorry for using this post for this question, you can upload more than 4 post a day right?
Again excuse the way and the place
thank you very much

No problem :)
Yes, you can, but under the current blockchain rules, if you post more than 4 posts in a 24 hour period, you will get a reduced payout on posts 5+.

They are planning to remove this limit in the next hardfork though.

perfect, thank you very much

I was very skeptic of the experiment at first though I knew it might very well turn Steem toward a more fair reward attribution. I'll read your post later. Thanks

If only it had happened earlier.. like when they proposed it last sept

It took a lot of time to build consensus around it. (Even now, there isn't full consensus.) Also, in a way it is good - because the platform has a lot more features now than it did back in September. It is a good time to build new excitement and drive more people / investment to the platform.

Yeah often you need to hit rock bottom before changing something

Doesn't the experiment make people less inclined to write well thought out posts which require more time? If you get flagged just because what you wrote was interesting doesn't that beat the purpose of putting an effort in the first place? I feel it is very demotivating.

The same thing could be said about writing content and never getting 'discovered' by a whale. There were lots of posts about that before the experiment. There are still lots of high paying posts - even after they receive flags. (Check out the trending page.) The difference is that the high paying posts now are the ones that have lots of dolphin votes.

So you believe that this has a positive effect on the 'quality'?

It's a great question. I don't have data on that, so I don't really k. As a long term thing though - if/when the site scales to billions of users, a wider group of individuals (dolphins and minnow) are going to be able to do a much better job evaluating quality than having a small handful of ~50 users doing all the evaluations and decisions themselves.

That is true. I doubt 'quality' was the leading factor when they voted anyway.

Not at all excited....

And once again, you're having a $80 post about how useful the experiment is. It's both hilarious and sad. Hilarious because it's so obvious this is just a gang war. Sad because this is obvious this is just a gang war.

In a few weeks from now, your $80 posts will draw the attention of another cartel, which will start their own experiment in which you will most likely lose some reputation as well, because you'll be their main target.

The first target of this stupid, childish and greedy behavior was @krnl. So now, every few months they will rotate another kernel on the platform: raise him from nothing, witness his growth as he is endorsing them and then burrying him once he's not useful anymore.

I'm really happy I don't have to witness this anymore. My witness and seed nodes are mining Monero and Ethereum now. Way less profitable than supporting Steem, but also more rewarding, in a subtle and more important way. Sleeping much better also.

Good luck with your PR! :)

After you pointed that out the last time, the post you pointed out was voted down to 0.00 before the payment window cleared. My other post on the topic which had a high payout, was also voted down to 18. (Still high compared to a lot of posts, but not excessive.)

I don't know what will happen with this post before it ends, but I really don't care.

I realize that it makes it look like I have a bias opinion, and it is hard to prove that is not the case, but I really do support the experiment because I believe it is the best thing for the platform.

I like @krnel, frequently upvote + comment on his posts, and did not support the targeting that happened to him. I told him this publicly though (on the blockchain) that I believed the reason that he got targeted was because he himself did the same thing to other users first. I was pretty sure that what was happening to him was revenge flagging.

I suppose that by supporting @smooth and @abit, that even though I am not flagging myself - it puts me in their 'camp'. If people want to revenge flag over that I suppose I am going to have to deal with that. If people want to flag me over other reasons (such as my posts making too much money) I will have to deal with that as well.

I posted my views on flagging here and those really are my views. I've been flagged a ton of times, and I've never had an issue with it. I'm still friends with most of the people that flagged me. Life moves on.

Anyway, as I said in this specific post that you are commenting on (not sure if you took the time to read it) - I do not dismiss the concerns of the people that are against the experiment. I realize that the flagging is taking a toll on the users, and that part of it is really bad for moral. If there was a better solution in front of me, I would support it in a heartbeat. Nobody has come up with one though (that I've seen, which will actually work) - so until then I support this plan.

I read the article before commenting, I always do.

This "experiment" and the targeting of users like @krnl are not separate incidents. They're just symptoms of a more profound undercurrent, a symptom of the "crab mentality" culture. This is so pervasive that it has become the norm, to such an extent that nobody thinks there are other solutions. Makes me feel like in my childhood: I grew up in a communist country, under the dictatorship of Ceausescu and everybody was acting like "there's nothing to be done". There is. It's always something to be done.

It's ironic to witness communities with a strong communist penchant, 27 years after the fall of Ceausescu regime. And where? In the US! And running on what? On the blockchain!

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get next :)