Downvote "Gangs" of NewSteem aka Flag Man Bad: Answering Common Objections + SFR Abuse Definitions UpdatesteemCreated with Sketch.

in #flaglast year (edited)


Has NewSteem become a digitized version of MadMax?

Are we just a bunch of mean ol' flagging factions running around "stealing" your rewards you purchased "fair and square"?

Or is there a bit more nuance to this story.

To set the stage, let's address a few misconceptions.

First and foremost, when you pay for votes, you are NOT entitled to those rewards until day 7 when payout occurs. It is then and only then that they are YOUR PROPERTY.

rubio rewards.gif
And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that pending payouts are your property

Objection 1: Downvoting is theft

    We've heard it and we've heard it again. The big bad downvoters are stealing our rewards! That's the charge anyway. I have heard it likened to taking money out of someone else's tip jar. What kind of monster would do that?! /s

     In the interest of not reinventing the wheel, I will quote a comment I made recently rebutting this claim. It's not the first time, in fact, that I had to do this. Hopefully, now that it's in post form, we can lay this common misconception to rest.

Strangely enough, someone has presented the tip jar analogy before but I think it would fit more aptly to WhaleShares which has an actual tipping system than Steem as Steem uses the 7 day window to payout model.

A rough example would be something like working a job where they build birdhouses and get paid every 7 days based on the quality of birdhouses.

If they start producing shoddy birdhouses that are falling apart and customers start complaining, your supervisor may push to have their pay docked as a stipulation of their employment.

So, now they receive that 7 day paycheck. It's not as fat as usual but it is now their property. Did the supervisor steal from them? On the contrary, they were paid less because they produced less.

If we want to have that "tip jar" filled to the brim on that 7 day, then we produce content that we believe possesses value that is difficult to refute.

Strive to add irrefutable value to the network!

Objection 2: Downvoting is Censorship!

     Every so often, we receive accusations of censorship when working to regulate rewards. Excuse us for wanting my investment to succeed and taking an active role in the matter.

buT [email protected] MaN bAD!

     Let's remember the Steem blockchain boasts censorship resistance. More often than not, the users' grievance is with how front ends opted to represent their content. That's the beautiful thing about the FREE MARKET!

Options and options and MORE OPTIONS!

     If you don't like how Condenser hides content with low rewards, just check out or another front end. Find the one that best meets your needs. I'll include a few below:


     In addition to the front end options, I wanted to point out that you may also access the content directly by interfacing with an RPC (remote procedure call) node such as For demonstration purposes, I will refer to the case in which @thedarkoverlord's content was blocked on

Don't believe me? Try to follow the link:

     @runicar wrote an article on the topic if you are interested in learning more. What I want to show you is how I am able to access that content directly using Beem, a Python library for Steem created by @holger80. Check it out!

There's the content, safe and sound!

     It doesn't matter how large the stake is that downvoted you. The content will endure on the immutable blockchain. I will concede that it is problematic (ugh I hate that word) that users do not have an intuitive option to flag but not hide.

     What I mean is I would like an option to remove rewards but otherwise not affect the visibility of the content. Such may be possible by having a front end recognize a certain custom JSON transaction indicating that option. Let's say a front end uses payout of comments to determine order but notices a "flag not hide" custom JSON for a certain comment. It can use that as a cue to display the comment as if the reward shares that had been removed are still present. I don't think this is a hard ask but I digress.

Objection 3: Downvote Gangs are Killing Steem!

     Sometimes, people are dramatic and, for that, we have DRAMA token. Yes, this objection follows "the sky is falling" methodology. I don't think it's the case and, if you are going to use price as a support, let's not forget that correlation does not equal causation.

     Yes, there are more downvote "gangs" running around. We got @curangel, @ocd, @steemcleaners and, of course, my favorite @steemflagrewards. (because I'm totally not biased.)

     I can't speak authoritatively for any of these other groups but I think we all have a mutual understanding of the kind of short-sighted self-serving behaviors that we would like users to turn from. As for @steemflagrewards, our mutual understanding is articulated in the common criteria known as our abuse definitions.

     Suppose this is as good a time as any to lay out these definition for the public awareness. Most of the definitions had been derived from @steemcleaners and, as such, we have often worked hand in hand to address abuse when our scopes overlap. There is at least category in scope that is more or less unique to us as an "abuse" fighting collective. We can talk semantics of abuse some other time.

     That category is bid bot abuse or more euphemistically misuse. This is known as promotion abuse in other circles. Doesn't matter if you call it Po-tay-to or po-tah-to. Think we all generally agree there is an issue with promoting content in a manner that greatly exceeds what would be a reasonable appraisal of value. SFR has been combating bid bot abuse before it was fashionable to do so.

Ok Ok, I'll step off my soapbox for a moment to share out new and improved SFR Abuse Definitions!

     Props to the SFR Admins that put this together! I know I don't say thank you nearly enough and really hope I can work out better compensate for our team putting in countless hours to #cleansteem. Hopefully, we can secure more decisive support and offer a reasonable proposal via the SPS. I'll try to make time to continue that effort to support our community moderation efforts. Without further ado, the new definitions are as follows:

SFR Definitions of Abuse

Bid bot misuse
Violation of promotional service TOS, use of promotional services for ROI, or overpromoted content.

  • Over-promoted content generally points to low quality content or self-aggrandizing trending spot hogging

Comment spam

  • Repeating generic comments multiple times without regard to the post.
  • One letter one number, one or two-word comments in multiple succession from a non-bot account. Comments repeated more than several times. Comments recycled/altered within a period.
  • Flag comments with rewards
  • If no reward approve up to 3, that should get the message across
  • If newbie, warn first before commencing above two rules

Contest abuse

  • Creating contests requiring votes for entry. SFR considers these tactics manipulative. Posts that require upvotes to enter or play in a contest or game falls under spam or abuse in the FAQ.


  • Copying material without adding significant original content regardless of attribution to original creators.
  • A post with minimal original content is copy/paste. A screenshot with few lines of text is also copy/paste.

Failure to tag nsfw

  • Post not tagged NSFW when they contain nudity, gore, extreme violence or anything inappropriate for general public viewing.

Identity theft/deception
Pretending to be someone they are not. Posting content from another source, claiming to be that source when they are not.

  • It can be any entity: a company, person, etc.
  • All content produced will be flagged regardless of originality with ‘identity theft’ being the prime reason.

The act of copying or stealing someone else’s words, ideas, content and passing them off as your own work. Posting content that is not yours without verified permission from the original content creators.This includes rewriting articles to circumvent plagiarism tools, which is known as "spinning" articles.

  • Simple case: copy and paste material without citation
  • Moderate case: copy bits and pieces of content from multiple sources
  • Complex case: rewording and spinning the content from one or even multiple sources
    Percentages of Plagiarism
  • Articles: review case by case
  • Poetry/images: none tolerated
  • Edited images are only acceptable if cited and/or part of an “artistic process” post
    DTube/DLive/DSound: must cite author or zero tolerance
    Please consider the following additional action(s):
  • Contact vote sellers and curators to have them remove votes and/or blacklist the offenders
  • If you are not comfortable of doing so, please contact an admin or moderator to do this

Posting a scam designed to trick or defraud others.

  • One example of that would be phishing, which is posting with intention of stealing account keys, passwords or credentials. Any post that intends to steal from another account is a scam.
  • Fake airdrops, pyramid scheme referral links etc
  • If you find a scam, bring to #flag-comment-review for discussion to establish consensus prior to flagging.
  • Phishing - Quickly take these to Steemcleaners Discord!

Repetitively posting the same and/or similar content, recyling content after a period of time, or across multiple accounts.

  • Spinning one's own, previously published content, is also considered spam.
  • Some spam is subjective and can be in the form of a single nonsense picture, word or phrase.
  • Same rules apply as comment spam

Tag abuse (not enforced)
Using tags irrelevant to the content, SCOT tribes, or using the introduceyourself tag more than twice.

  • Report SCOT cases to tribe moderators, no need to flag away Steem rewards under SFR

Testing for rewards
Claims “testing” but failing to decline or burn rewards.

  • A few development tests are ok. Posting tests constantly over a period of time is considered spam.
  • Consider allowing rewards if @steem.dao is set as beneficiary

Vote farming/Collusive voting
Churning out content in quick successions to receive unreasonable numbers and/or sizes of upvotes. Excessive self-voting and abusing curation trails included.

  • This includes faucet delegation vote farms, collusive voting farms and other large groups/network that are voting on spam-type content. This content can be automatically generated by bots posting pictures/videos from the web.
  • Reports do not count in this category as they represent work performed
  • Bring it to #review-for-flagging let Admins/Moderators help you to decide if its a flaggable post/comment.
    If found, please consider additional actions:
  • Contact source of delegation
  • Compile list in preparation to forward to Admins/Moderators to have STINC delegations removed

Other Updates:

It was brought to my attention by @steevc that there was a bug in our token distribution code. It was a late night debugging and testing but believe the code is sound after adjustments were made.

I will work on updating the Github and provide a more detailed code updates to include a module I created that uses JSON to more efficiently track our delegations greatly reducing the number of RPC calls to the blockchain. I have not integrated the above definitions into the code as of yet but I will put that on my to-do list.

In other news, I will be getting my passport on Monday if all goes well and this will be the last step on my journey to SteemFest. Look forward to meeting a lot of yall over there! Enjoy your Saturday! Peace ✌️


Would you like to delegate to the Steem Flag Rewards project and promote decentralized moderation?

It's much more fashionable than self-voting.

Here are some handy delegation links!

50 SP 100 SP 500 SP 1000 SP

Also, here is my SteemAuto fanbase link if you would like to be one of my consistent supporters.


Thank you Anthony for a thorough explanation of the downvote mechanism. I am at age 52 days, and this is the first post I've come across that fully explains the reasoning behind the decision to downvote or not.

I liked your reference to protecting your own investment in Steem. Yes, honest hard-workers need to be protected from the fly-by-night thieves that just want to rape and pillage. In that regard, I now support - begrudgingly mind you! - the need for a decentralized system to self-regulate the uncontrollable aspects we get in any community. Not really policing, more like upholding community standards.

From what I have seen so far, Steem has become an e-city and soon will be an e-metropolis, perhaps our own version of e-Gotham?

perhaps our own version of e-Gotham?

It's gonna be like e-Gotham. We have the good, the bad, and the ugly roaming around.

lol, where's our batman when we need it? :(

Batman can't hide on a blockchain.

Yeah, and let me know if you see Clint Eastwood around!

I like it. Although, It doesn't matter how well or how clearly it is explained, these people have a beef with their personal money machine being turned off and will always rage :0D


I usually allude to the goose that lays golden eggs. 🦢

Hehe, that's a great way to describe it!

I think one of the most important things to mention sbout downvoting to those upset is you don't get their rewards and you don't even get curation.

Have fun at Steem fest. I spent my budget on Steem. My downvote just got a little more powerful and maybe I will have a steem downvote fest instead.

Off topic, @anthonyadavisii

Are you on track to get to STEEMfest? I am getting a list together, and hope to meet you there :)

Sure am. Had my passport appt today. Should be getting it Friday. Had to pay the procrastinator fee of a whopping $205 and drive to Houston but hey I got to see some family so not a total loss!

Meant to get this thing years ago but didn't follow through. Expensive lesson! Anyways, all is looking to be in order. Look forward to it!

Dang, that's high. Everyone is supposed to have one, just in case, but in the us it's like 10%. I think.

Write a bunch of posts for this in the next few days, and you should get some great votes to re-coup a bit.

And now on topic, thanks for this post with all the downvote details. I write minnow tips and few small fish below have any idea of all they should be avoiding. I will be sure to reference this is a coming minnow tips posts. This is so helpful.

See you next week!

But I can't make a living out of Steem if I don't buy upvotes :'( /s

Lots of stuff to discuss, see you in Bangkok!

Lets just down vote everyone and kill steem yay

Posted using Partiko Android

Way to be dramatic.

Here, have a meme and some DRAMA! You earned it.



You've got DRAMA. You are going to be a Whale!

To view or trade DRAMA go to

newsteem nice post
Thank you!! @sahmed123
please Upvot&Follow ME!

Good posts

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi @anthonyadavisii!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
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In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 87 contributions, your post is ranked at #9.

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@superheroes is a Spammer, Plagiarist and Thief of Keys

Better start downvoting.

Also, maybe get the tribe owners to mute them.

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