@freezepeach: The Flag Abuse NeutralizersteemCreated with Sketch.


Introducing @freezepeach, the service that encourages controversial topics and tries to facilitate diversity of opinion on steemit. The aim is to add an effectively neutralizing vote to posts or comments on the platform that have been flagged solely because of a difference of opinion. With a plethora of possible gray areas to be explored, this service will be a serious undertaking to say the least. Take this introduction as a guide to understanding the philosophy and reason behind this service, rather than interpreting it as a concise volume of guidelines set in stone.

The Problem

Undoubtedly, the flagging feature is a net-positive to the community in many ways, but with those benefits come some severe drawbacks. Currently, it is sporadically being used by some members to punish users for expressing a point of view (instead of just rewarding the content they wish to see). Reminiscent of Pavlov's dogs, it seems some wish to condition a response in anyone who may engage in what they feel is "wrongthink".

Not only is this a proven formula for future stagnation in the community, it opens the possibility for corporations, governments, and other potentially nefarious actors to effectively control what is and isn't allowed on the platform. With the promise of a censorship-free blogging platform built on the blockchain, many of the people fleeing to steemit are themselves victims of censorship on the various social media giants. When people join in the hopes of freedom of speech, only to find their content getting flagged, they can become both one of the biggest impediments to the growth of steemit, as well as some of the most dedicated spammers.

Is Flagging really Censorship?

Time and time again, the issue of flagging and censorship has been fiercely debated on steemit, and time and time again, it always comes back to the blockchain being forever, thus nothing is ever truly censored. In absolute terms, this is correct. Whatever is said on here, even if hidden do to low ratings, will always be available due to the very nature of the blockchain. But that begs the question: Does an action have to be absolute to be considered censorship?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of censor (v.) is:

to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable
(emphasis added)

According to that definition, suppressing information is also considered censoring.

Does flagging plagiarists and spam constitute a form of censorship?

Is censoring necessarily a bad thing?

The short answer; yes, flagging is a soft form of censorship, and no, that's not necessarily something that's bad. We all use our votes, our stake, to decide on the content that gets put here, and that can be beautiful. But it's not likely to be sustainable if we allow dissenting views to be punished.

The Vision

With the need for witnesses to derive consensus on all future decisions that shape this platform, the very existence of steemit is predicated upon our ability to handle disputes as a community. By taking the proper steps and being vigilant, we, as a community, can help to ensure a flourishing open market of ideas while also keeping spammers, scammers, and plagiarists at bay.

The Mission

@freezepeach intends to neutralize "opinion flags" by (eventually) matching them vest-for-vest in the hopes it will dissuade users from focusing on the negative, and instead use their weight to reward content they like. This may also have the added benefit of incentivizing flaggers to comment with arguments or reasons they flagged, instead of letting the flag speak for itself. To provide transparency throughout, every post that is upvoted will be resteemed, and every comment that is upvoted will be featured in biweekly/weekly updates, along with other announcements or changes.

Defining a term like "opinion flagging" will be an ever-evolving process, but in general, here are some key elements to look for:

  • Flags on controversial topics
  • No comment from the flagger
  • No history of plagiarism, abuse, scams, spam, or flag wars for the flagged user

@freezepeach will like to help with all those who have been flagged for difference of opinion, but will likely abstain if the victim goes on the attack and becomes an abuser themselves.

With this service, users are given another avenue of dispute resolution, instead of feeling all alone and taking upon themselves, potentially escalating the situation.

How you can help:

  • Do not send donations. For the sake of impartiality, all donations will be sent back.
  • Follow @freezepeach to help upvote content that has been flagged, and to get an idea of what gets upvoted by this service.
  • Delegate SP only after you've seen the content that has been resteemed. and are sure you want to help.

If you have any posts/comments that you would like reviewed, or have any questions or concerns about this service, come join the discussion at freezepeach's very own discord server.

PLEASE NOTE: It is guaranteed that @freezepeach will upvote something you don't like. This isn't about deciding who is right, this is about allowing people to speak. This project is ran by @r0nd0n, or on discord as r0nd0n#5176.


I don't understand the need to "counter" downvotes that are cast by other users because they were cast based on an "opinion" (which is unknown, unless explicitly stated).

It sounds like you want to counter a downvote that's based on subjective opinion by casting an upvote that's based on subjective opinion...and often just an assumption about motives.

But here are my questions:

Why is there no desire to counter opinion upvotes?

Why are upvotes made with "questionable motives" not scrutinized or vilified like downvotes?

Do you think that a service is really necessary to hunt down and counter only one type of vote, and do you think there can be negative consequences from this that might end up being worse than people receiving downvotes?

What happens if another account is created to counter your upvotes that counter the downvotes? And what happens if another account is created to counter the downvotes that were cast to counter your upvotes that countered the original downvotes?

Upvotes aren't vilified like Flags because they cost no one anything.

A Flag can cost someone serious money (from the right whale) and many times the Flag is not justified or deserved. Convincing a whale (who flagged you) that he/she is wrong and should remove the flag is next to impossible most times.

I love the idea behind this service and welcome it to Steemit. The more diversity in opinions the better, if you ask me!

A Flag can cost someone serious money (from the right whale)

A flag can never cost anyone money. The estimated payout for the post isn't final (or indeed even allocated to the author) until all the votes are tallied.

I disagree, opinion flagging, with no comment as to why, is the single most dangerous problem steemit faces now. Some whales think it is noble to crush small accounts that express opinions that do not agree with their own views. The loss of income is sadly most telling when people leave in disgust, but flagging it to the point it can not be seen will reduce the income for any post.

The very core of this platform is the ability to have, and state your own beliefs. It also gives someone else the opportunity to to debate those beliefs, and to try to change those beliefs by that same debate!

Flagging for unstated reasons negates this possible advantage, and only serves to crystalize the initial person into a less receptive position for the next person who might actually want to debate the issue.

Flagging in this manner is why a lot of people left Facebook to begin with, and it has run off accounts that were producing good content, simply for offending a whale that most often makes no content at all!

This punitive flagging concerns me greatly! I placed at the top of the Engagement League this week, so I have a large commitment to steemit, BUT this single issue has led me to open a weku account, because I am not sure steem will survive this one issue.


@smithlabs - thank you for explaining things more to me (at least.)

I was flagged once for discussing something because I posted someone's video after I wrote my comments about the video & the person freaked out on me & just downvoted me.

I had the video taken down, but clearly that didn't matter & me learning didn't matter.

I'm still so uneducated about Steemit that I didn't even know what that downvote meant.

Also, I just found out that I'm not getting money from upvotes.

Someone pointed out to me that he upvoted me, I should have gotten something, & instead I got zero.

I haven't been making money on here & while yes I need the coin, I do my activism work for reasons that go WAY beyond money.

This can be why after being on here & posting somewhat regularly, I've made a whopping $5-7.

But still, why am I being targeted?

Even a kind soul who has helped me almost since my first time on Steemit just told me that steemit purposely tries to get rid of small accounts.

I don't know if that's the site founders or whales or what.

Is this true?

WOW if it is.

I believe that flagging may finish steemit. Every use of flagging I have seen is cyber-bullies using money to beat up on the little guy!

Post good content, every day, and it should break soon. When I started, I was making a penny at a time....

I also post on weku, it is like the old steemit:


@smithlabs - yeh I am not posting every day. Who even has time for that unless they do this f/t & they make a living off of it.

I did sign up for the weku, but almost all the posts are in Spanish.

What was the Old Steemit like? LOL


I try to post once a day, just because I am hared headed, LOL

Good, look me up, same name. You may have to change your settings if you are seeing all Spanish posts, mine are all English....

Old Steemit was a fun place, a pure blog post server. Lots of new accounts that were interesting. With each hard fork, less people are here. Almost no new accounts these days....

Be Blessed!


Hi @ats-david, I'll try to address this point-by-point and hopefully clear some things up.

I don't understand the need to "counter" downvotes that are cast by other users because they were cast based on an "opinion" (which is unknown, unless explicitly stated).

That's just it; people sometimes use a DV as a substitute for challenging an idea or opinion. This usually takes away any chance for meaningful engagement, and instead escalates things with negative interaction. If the very tool that is used to punish spammers, scammers, and plagiarists is also used to disagree with something, then not only is it a big "fuck you" to the person who was DVed, it also reverberates through to the little guys that are still trying to figure out their future on steemit.

It sounds like you want to counter a downvote that's based on subjective opinion by casting an upvote that's based on subjective opinion...and often just an assumption about motives.

The intent is to leave opinion of the post out of it, and basically judge whether it's a job for steemcleaners, or if it's something like tag abuse etc. The subjective opinion to DV a post is equally as valid as the UV that I may follow it with. And maybe, just maybe, the user will choose to leave his thoughts instead of a DV next time so nobody will have to assume, and discussion can begin.

Why is there no desire to counter opinion upvotes?
Why are upvotes made with "questionable motives" not scrutinized or vilified like downvotes?

UV reward nullification is a whole other topic, and one that other users like @smackdown.kitty are addressing. One of the main points of this place is the ability to be rewarded for making original content. Making the judgement call on what rewards to remove will have the strongest impact, and I think many are underestimating the ramifications of that.

Do you think that a service is really necessary to hunt down and counter only one type of vote, and do you think there can be negative consequences from this that might end up being worse than people receiving downvotes?

I do think that this service is necessary, and a glance around the comments here will show there are many others who agree. I do know exactly what I'm risking by doing this, and if someone were to obliterate my account for running this service, then I would take what I learn from that and move on accordingly.

I guess you could consider this my bellwether test to see if my future lies on steemit. My little vote isn't going to be anything significant without others chipping in, whether that's following resteems and UVing or delegating SP to the account. I want to know if the community thinks free speech is important enough, and also if this place is resilient enough against big moneyed interests using their swarm of bot accounts to control a narrative in the not too distant future.

As for you last question, I simply do not know. I can only do what I feel is necessary and see if the community support is enough to continue the effort.

@freezepeach - thank you for being a kind soul.

I really had NO idea that free speach was being thwarted here on Steemit.

I only started to get that feeling when no one was either voting on my articles, no one was following me anymore, & now someone just told me that when he upvoted my comment I got nothing.

Can you please explain to me how or why someone from Steemit would stop my account from thriving?

This explains a lot now that I'm beginning to learn that Steemit may be WORSE than FB.

At least with FB you know it's FB censoring you, but here it's actual people, not some EVIL CORP :(

Remember, acerbic does not mean wrong. I will take an acerbic anarchist over a smooth talking marxist any day. Little girls who get their feelz hurt should not be able to destroy the reputation scores of others.... Or vice versa! We need to stick together.

Great idea. I've had triggered leftists flag my content in the past.

I'm on board!👌🐸

Yup. Am there right now with ya my friend. Got someone flagging me, hopefully he will respond as to why.

Feel free to drop a link in our discord or over on steemit.chat if it ever happens again.

Great move - I was just making squawking noises about this!


Following you now

That post was one of many that helped inspire this idea. A really great read that challenged my ideas of the correct way to do things. Thanks for sharing.

I was able to unflag the democracy is communism post you just shared, which was cool, but I'm just small fry

If you want a look down the rabbit hole, have a look at this story - it goes deep and the money is mind boggling. This is one of Steemits dirty secrets, but nobody is going to be talking about this!


Can an author still get rep from upvotes on a post that is past payout?

PS - did you notice my other comment on this post was flagged? - but a $44000 wallet is way out of my league!
That is an example of a subject that is censored on Steemit and why I'm opposed to the flagging scam!

My understanding is that once the post is past payout the rep doesn't change either, but I could well be wrong about that.

This is an incredible initiative!!

I support this. Followed and resteemed, mostly because I think I'm going to need you at some point.

Be sure and drop links to any posts you think were unfairly flagged in the discord.

Well conceptialized @freezepeach / @r0nd0n

The underlying community will make or break Steemit. The more well-intentioned ideas the better. Hopefully a few get picked up and meaningfully built into releases.

I sure hope the devs can effectively put me out of business. Thanks for checking it out!

Sounds like a good way to make sure Steemit doesn't become a censored memefest like Reddit. Got my upvote.

That's exactly what this is for. Thanks for your support.

I like the free speech approach of this. Good initiative. It is yet to be seen of the community will use this feature. Thanks for trying to make Steemit a better place.

Thanks for checking it out @flauwy.

Great work my man.
Too many flags/downvotes have been appearing based on a difference of opinion which is unfair and not why they were created.
You have my support and vote buddy.

I couldn't do it without you. Thanks for the support.

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