in #flagging6 years ago (edited)

Nobody likes to be flagged. It is more fun to see your rewards go up, than it is to see them go down. It is easy to take it personally, and feel like you did something wrong.

Steemit lists these as some "common reasons to flag". This does include Disagreement on rewards, which is very subjective.

The list is not exclusive though! People are allowed to flag for any reason they want.

One suggestion: If you get flagged - don't take it personally. A flag does not necessarily mean that you did something wrong. They may have disagreed with your post, or thought your post was making more than they thought it was worth. It may not have even have anything to do with you or what you posted. If they did explain their reason, then you can determine if there is anything you could/should do differently.

There are many in the community who want flagging to be used only for 'abuse'. Not everybody is going to follow this etiquette though.

Don't flag content just because you disagree or don't like it

This is a big issue and I'm sure some people will disagree with it but I think the majority of the community agrees that the flag issue is for posts which are harmful or abusive and should not be used as a dislike or downvote button. Don't like something? Post a comment explaining why or if you can't be bothered to do that or don't have the time move on.

-The Steemit Etiquette Guide

It is entirely up to you if you want to follow this etiquette. Just because you follow it though, does not mean everyone else will. Every person gets to decide how to use their upvotes and downvotes. There are no "rules".

Personally, I try to treat everyone how I want to be treated - but that's just me.


An idea .. This may be possible... Two options:

  • Flagging or Downvoting

Flagging is for other more harsher things like: fraud, spam, trolling and can affect the reputation adversely beyond the reputation gains on the item being voted.

Downvoting is more for reward reduction and is limited to removing payout and reputation gains only as much as the item being voted.

a) Calculate a max negative weight for the downvote and allow limit the negative vote weight to this range. And b) A special flag weight (magic digits for the least significant bytes) to indicate intent (flag or downvote) and user interface detection and display.

If downvoting does not go below 0 (to negate their past reputation score) then a downvote is essentially not going to hurt the poster's reputation aside from removing the potential reputation gain on that particular item. So in this case the payout reduction and the loss of a reputation gain are one in the same.

This is a user-interface only change. No hard-fork needed.

The intended effect: This will give people an outlet to soften their actions and reduce the stress on the community.

That's a really cool idea.

The feedback that I have heard from a lot of people is that just changing the current 'flag' back to a 'downvote' and removing the counter that highlights how many flags/downvotes a post has right at the top, would go a long way.

If there was an easy way to actually have separate flag and downvote options with different degrees of severity like you have described - that would be even better!

I am not a techy guy like you guys but I commented here to @jamesc -- my idea.

I have always felt there should be both -- the DV button and a flag option.

I can DV a post and it carries less overall harsh consequences and save the flags for the super bad stuff or reasons, one does not always = the other on here. But currently --- they do.

I tend to agree, we probably going to use both downvote/dislike and flag buttons on Busy interface.

I totally second this. Downvoting should definitely be a part of the system - it has been so crucial for Reddit's success. Like I said elsewhere many times, criticism is as valid if not more so than positive opinion.

I'm not sure about the "Flag" metaphor - we can come up with something better. Centralized networks have "Report" - this would essentially be a replacement for that.

True, I think flagging and down-voting are two completely different things. Each has their own reason!

I think you are right on here! We need to separate the downvote and the flag... nice thoughts here James :)

I like being flagged. Shows that I have provoked a strong reaction. Sadly, never happened with me personally - somewhat a failure on my part.


I never flag anyone but I could not resists this invitation my friend seeing you are eager for it :D
Now you can claim success.
Note: This flag was given by request.

Thank you! Though it's only a hollow victory. I was too obvious - the joke would only be complete if someone actually got worked up and flagged like they meant it. Oh well, I'll try harder next time :)

hmm I am not too good for that part I am afraid :D I almost never get that worked up.

I'm flagging you out of disagrement on rewards for that comment... they're too low
; )

5 flags hahaha. ..I upvoted @liberosist I still cant find it in me to flag any one eventhou I was once flagged for no reason but that person flagged down to some negative reputation. Good post @timcliff

it seems as though youve been obliged

FLAGGED!!! only 1% don't hate me! This is only the 2nd flag I have ever given but hey, you asked for it!

Doubt you will ever see me flag unless its an obvious reason like plagiarism and cheetah did not beat me to it!

I understand your meaning, but it is not as fun as it sounds. I get flagged in the comment section, infrequently, but still, it is not something I would do to others.

Thank you for writing this. I am hoping that the user interface will be changed back to a down vote to help reduce confusion of how it works.

This as a start.

I never flag people to hurt their posts if they sticked to the terms of use. I think that this post is awesome, Tim.
Upvoted, followed & Resteemed!

Flagging is for plagiarism only for me. If I don't like something I will likely post my feelings, but I am not going to flag someone for that. However its within peoples rights to flag for what ever they want, knowing full well there may be consequences for those actions too.

Good post. I should pop up some popcorn for watching the conversation in Dan's post. This seems a good place for a little quieter discussion.
I've only flagged for plagiarism so far, but I have no problem with it being used much more arbitrarily. I'm in the camp that says we need to define it once more as a downvote to help remove some stigma.

I dislike when people complain about flags taking money away from them. The pending payout should not be seen as an accruing total. That number is not yours until payout time. Period. It also feels like the root of evil in terms of envy or frustration from new users. At this point I almost feel it shouldn't be displayed. Of course it would still be available if someone peers deeper into the blockchain, but far fewer people will take the time to explore every author and post to evaluate their relative position.

I'm not going to flag people, even if they deserve a flag right up their backside.
If they annoy me that much I just won't read anything they write in future.
the best way to deal with people you don't like or content you don't like, it to ignore it and it will go away.

You can focus on the negative and get all wound up about what other people are posting, or look at all the awesome content and marvel at the talent people possess.

Those are the posts that I look at, so I never have to flag anyone because I don't waste my time on crap.

Well, the argument would be that if all the quality posts that you are viewing are getting smaller rewards, but all of the 'crap' is making a ton, then people downvoting the crap would put more back into the reward pool for the 'good' posts.

The bigger question then is 'why are the crap posts getting all the votes?'

If this is user led i.e. the users decide, then the 'crap' posts are actually the good posts from the user's perspective because more people are voting for them.

To you (and me) they may be crap content, but to all the people that voted for them, it's good enough for a vote.

Isn't that what this is all about?

I agree it is very subjective.

You can have cases where whales consistently upvote their friends (crappy) content at the expense of all the posts that are getting tons of engagement and upvotes from 'regular users'. So here, the posts with 'more people voting on them' would be losing.

So maybe the solution is a very simple one.
We make the voting weight for everyone equal.
No more whales upvoting each other.
No more whale hunts.
No more power held in just a few hands.

Maybe even turn it around a bit.
The more SP you have, or more rep, the more you get paid, not the more your vote is worth.
So the algorithm works out what value you are to the Steemit community, and those who are of more value get more of the rewards.

So that should make people want to keep more SP and to create more good quality posts.
Not just based on how much SP you have

It is prone to Sybil attacks. There is nothing stopping people from just creating thousands of accounts.

Since the change in the flagging rules I have lost all faith in this platform, and see it only as practice for something better. The instant I see a platform arise that deals with this in a reasonable manner, I am right the f*ck out of here. I would rather work to better a platform where one is not penalized for being unpopular with the rich and powerful. I agree with your philosophy, but am looking for a community where more people believe it.

I agree, @timcliff. Getting your posts flagged for no good reason is a real downer. If I don't like something, I simply skip it and move on.

What needs to happen in my opinion is that we change the weight and treatment of the downvotes ("flags) and replace the flag icon with a regular downvote button. Flags can then be introduced separately if we want to.

The weight shouldn't change. The weight for both up and down votes is the same (it just depends how much rewards is already on the post) and it should be that way imo.

Then maybe we're not talking about the same total weight here. I'm merely suggesting that a single whale accounts fullest possible downvoting power ought to have a lower impact. If we still disagree, that's fine of course.

So you're talking about the n^2 curve that increases the rewards with every rShare of a vote. I'm undecided as I've never seen it done without that but I believe the point was so that posts with sort of "concensus" do a lot better than posts supported by one side or the other.


So you're talking about the n^2 curve that increases the rewards with every rShare of a vote.

Yes, well inverted because we're talking about negative votes. I think so, but I went to public school so you may still have confused me there. The actual outcome (the logaritmic curve, n^2?) needs to be changed so that a single whale account (or however large the number of whale votes might need to be, which makes me sound like a socialist for sure) has a lower an impact (no good objective level discovered so far) on a single average user than it has currently.

The exact goal to be reached needs to be an ongoing discussion. However, changing the weight is not a first priority to me.

First priority would be to separate Rep hurting flags (that then would only be used to call out other users on actual objectively defined criterias for what is considered anti-social "abusive behaviour" not primarily relating to the 'money' economical side of the platform) from the regular reward system in the form of down-/upvotes for the content based on individual taste.

I very rarely flag, even for plagiarism. Most of the time I prefer to (try to) chat with the user to explain why I dislike some post. We are supposed to be adults after all, which means open to discussions and being able to act reasonably. Of course this does not work all the time...

Yes, but there's a potential trap here. Cults, mystical or not, have unwritten rules too. In fact they're quite often the opposite of the written ones.

And maybe you've heard of the "social contract" that supposedly makes conscription legal. I havn't found it yet... but I'm searching desperately today. ; ) (presidential inauguration)

Unwritten rules aren't the same thing as a social contract. It's more like etiquette - there isn't a specific list of "Thou Shalt . . ." for it, but there are general guidelines and people know when it has been breached.

Sure, I can see the difference in practical everyday language. They're both cultural rather than contractual agreements, is what I'm saying. They both stem from an alleged contextually necessary agreement that can't necessarily be proved.

So it can be established over time as culture evolves/devolves without explicit consent given, rather than an actual contractual agreement, even though it may be far more harmful.

I disagree on how much this post is getting. It should be more!

sadly us minnows don't have the power to change that eh?

We need to flag it then ; )

I agree! I flag all post that I feel should get more money. The flag I use is the broken flag pole in the blue circle. I always say an up-vote is just the apposite of a flag.

When I joined I had no idea how this place works.I was just trying to get attention, not really contributing to the platform, and got flagged a couple of times. So I started to produce more relevant posts and the now I rarely get a downvote. Even if I get one is from some minnow.
I think flags are a great feature and if you get flagged just try to make a better post next time and move on. When I don't like some author's content I just mute him. I have muted more people than I follow, but it really cleans my feed.

tnx for this helpfull article, i am new here,so its good know how things work

Getting a flag means your post moved someone. they paid attention to you.

don't like something? leave a comment. haha i like that tidbit

I'm not one to flag in general, it should be used more for real problems with a post.

Since the changes to guidelines for "flagging" here on steemit, I now treat it like a regular down vote. The icon and vote weight should be changed ASAP.

Thank you very much for the information sir @timcliff, I do not know if it will be buna or bad idea, as I always say if it is good for the platform so be it.

This is a perfectly timed post, and a necessary one. I think it would be so much better if you could downvote the same way you upvote, without that unhappy little flag button calling out numbers like a scoreboard of shame. I haven't used it myself, but I do understand the need for it to be there, and I even understand the broader reasons people are choosing to use it now. It was explained to me by a member that it was like a right we have that we should exercise if we believe it will better the platform, that not using it could actually be harmful in some cases. If someone is using it just to be nasty or because they themselves are nasty, that's one thing. But any other reason and I think it takes courage. That I sorely lack at the moment.

Awesome, thanks for this great post.

If you disagree with the content of someone's post, tell them- maybe they'll do something different. Flagging is just a sneak attack by cowards who use it to damage people with whom they disagree. If it were up to me, it would be done away with...or at least don't allow it to be done anonymously!

It does show whoever flagged the post, so it is not anonymous in that sense.

I don't know if I've ever been flagged...how do you find out, or do they tell you?

With the current UI it shows up when viewing the thumbnail/preview of your posts/comments. You can try flagging yourself once to see what it looks like. (You can unflag once you are done.)

I usually go to steemdb.com to view the flags and more data. Personally, I've started flagging based only on if I think the rewards should be lower, since this is a reason mentioned in the infobox on Steemit.com and I no longer view it as a "flag", but as a downvote with too much power.

Can we really expect new users to research and take into account our little cults most current views on good posting, upvoting and flagging each and everytime they do something? I don't want that type of anarchism, because that ultimately only means chaotic mob rule. I want clearity.

If I did as you say, I would spend all my voting power, every day, flagging almost the whole trending page. It is, most days, full of the most monumental crap. I don't have the power to make a difference there, though, so I spend the little voting power I have encouraging the people who I think deserve it.

Thank you for answering.

As I think you you point out very well, there are clear limits to how much we can vote. But that's fine to me really. We don't need to vote on everything and if we want to vote on everything we still can.

Myself, I've got almost no means to influence the high paying posts what so ever. While I'm fine with that for my personal, short term economic gains, there's a big issue with that for the long term acceptance and survival of this platform if the intent is to attract good writers/content creators, because it won't allow the democratic community consensus to be expressed fully on platform that attempts marketing itself as (and to some extent, in my opinion, ought to be) a community for the average users to select what content they like.

Disagreement on rewards is a very new addition to this list and it's a bullshit excuse to manipulate the platform. I still believe that this platform tanked because of this type of attempt to control and dole out rewards equitably. Vote for what you like, then mind your own damn business.

Before the list even existed, it was done at the blockchain level and there was no 'reason' needed. It has always been the case that users can flag/downvote for whatever reasons they want.

I realize this. There are no rules forbidding it, but it's a bullshit reason to use that power against a contributor.

It's largely a matter of opinion. I tend to agree with you (at least as far as how I personally vote) but a lot of users see certain high paying posts as taking rewards away from other contributors that they feel are adding more value.

Basically a ton of people feel the same way, a lot left the platform feeling lost or unappreciated -- some before they really had the chance to get established and many days, I still feel like this after working hard on something and getting no views, votes, engagement --- and earning 30¢ and seeing some of what trends here daily.

If the same select people and problems continue on this way, they will only have themselves, -- the top 50 whales and authors and someone will go build the next Steemit and fix what has been broken on here.

Then they should drum up support for those posts they believe in, the votes would equal out the rewards, but this is just the exact same thing as whale stacking for rewards, but in reverse. It's utter bullshit and as a contributor I know when my rewards dried up, the minute everyone started talking about "sharing the wealth" instead of voting for content they liked.

I can appreciate that you are expressing your concerns so well, even with the occational too harsh for my taste expression.

The way I see it the downvote as such is not going away. I could probably give you my own argument for why it's likely a necessary part of the platform, but neither did you ask nor am I the best to speak of it.

However since the downvote will remain, I think it will always be used by powerful users for the very reason we're discussing here. That's why I suggest adjusting the total impact especially that single whale votes has on single accounts, but more than anything a separation between the regular downvote and the flag.

Come to think of it, in a sense it's actually similar to the idea of a separation of church and state.

I think of it like fiscal policy

This post has been ranked within the top 50 most undervalued posts in the first half of Jan 17. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $5.15 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

See the full rankings and details in The Daily Tribune: Jan 17 - Part I. You can also read about some of our methodology, data analysis and technical details in our initial post.

If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

There is always the mute button.

It is often more about rewards distribution than just not wanting to see the content.

Yeah, that's why I'm quitting this dump as soon as I have a better option. The people doing the redistribution are not as smart as they think they are.

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