Call for crabs / Where have all the minnows gone

in #newsteem4 years ago (edited)

Downvoting is a big topic since newsteem.
Some are very opposed to the whole concept, but most understand why it is a necessity on a decentralized platform without another option to regulate rewards.

Taken from reddit, no source found

The original STEEM whitepaper states on page 12:

Through the addition of negative voting it is possible for many smaller stakeholders to nullify
the voting power of collusive groups or large, defecting stakeholders.
The use of negative voting to keep people from abusing the system leverages the crab mentality that many
people have when it is perceived that one individual is profiting at the expense of everyone else. While crab
mentality normally refers to short-sighted people keeping good people down, it is also what allows good
people to keep bad people down.

Screencap from SouthPark

Unfortunately, most of the smaller crabs leave the responsibility to whale accounts. The notion "but what can I do, I'm just a small fish", which is so common in the politics of the outside world, seems to be very prevalent in this community too.

This thinking is really destructive. Let me give you a perspective: the @curangel project has upvoted nearly 2000 accounts during the last month. Even if each of those had a vote of only 1 cent, that would give them enough power to collectively counter the actions of the (probably) biggest abuser on here - @haejin (who switched from self-upvoting to downvoting people who care and upvoting other shitposts).
Most certainly the average power is higher than that, and you are not alone. Many whales stand by your side, and if the whole community works together the free downvotes alone would be enough to drown abusers.

Of course retaliation is a reality, and many refrain from taking action because of this. But with this attitude, you only push those doing the work in the focus. We at curangel are kind of getting used to all our posts being greyed out because of revenge downvotes by now. There were some attempts by bigger stakeholders to recover them, but they seemingly got tired a lot faster than the retaliators.
But as a community, we have the possibility to stop them from targeting individuals. If hundreds of minnows band together, there is just no way all of them can be targeted for revenge. You may receive a hit once in a while, but keeping out of it completely allows the retaliators to focus on a few good people like @adetorrent. Luckily he and others don't worry about it too much for now, but for how long will they stand when most of their posts get hidden on a constant basis? If everyone keeps out of the fight, and the abusers are successful, you might sooner or later be alone with them on the platform (exaggeration intended).

This is a call to arms. The EIP is based on the assumption that people care about this community, and that we all want rewards going to those who do. Self- or circle voters do nothing but extract value, and it's the job of all engaged stakeholders to stop them. With power comes responsibility - smaller SP may mean less of it, but it's still important to use it!

Let's get together and clean this place up. As it was said before - don't be afraid, they can't downvote everyone!

If you need inspiration, someone created the following infographic after analyzing one of the, or maybe even the biggest circle jerks to date. Our delegators currently focus mostly on the circle using the #steemschools tag, which is connected to this one too (basically consisting of @dobartim shown below and his brother @flysky). Steemworld is a great resource to check the behaviour of individual accounts. If you find someone else constantly rewarding himself or his circle and only marginally spreading the value, add them to the comments or post them with the #antiabuse tag.
For those who are not so active, there's also several (1, 2, 3) automation tools to trail downvotes of other users (for example @curangel ;) ).
// UPDATE: see the latest post on @pharesim's blog for a step-by-step tutorial for the official @curangel trail on steemauto!

creator unknown


I have to admit that I also withdrew from flagging abusive whales due to fear of revenge downvotes until now.

However, I have had this discussion at few times the last days and this post was the last bit of motivation it needed.

Starting in approximately 30 seconds, I will join the flagging against above accounts, even though it probably might mean that i won’t be making much post rewards in the future. Fortunately, I am not dependent on them anyways!

Happy flagging :)

I have been on the @steemflagrewards trail for some time and can not say that since then I have been getting a lot of high flags. And if it happens then at some point, I will not care and I will not change my attitude.

On the flipside, the collective upvote mana of the community is more than enough to rally above retaliatory downvotes when they come. That support has been getting better and better.

I usually wait for my tiny downvote until some big whales put their weight in:)

I have added myself to your SteemAuto downvote trail. I assume this will result in retaliation against me and will lead to the elimination of my small post rewards. Hopefully you don't get me in too much trouble.

Anyway, there's another 100K SP added to your downvote strength.

I started downvoting @dobartim and @flysky (alt @xboxguru and @hamletnow) for circle voting and for trying to extract the value from other accounts.

Ofc, they started to downvote me just because I started to downvote them. They are trying to scare me lololololo #wontwork

I wish more small accounts would be braver to counter the abuse on the blockchain.

We all want steem and its price to go up. Well, here's a secret nobody told you ever:

Act like it!

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Well I stumbled across this post after just coming from a post from the user you mentioned (@slowwalker).

For me, I didn't know any of the above and I'm not going to get involved with that part of the discussion as I'm most likely throwing my own account under the bus if I did (probably already have due to using the reward distribution tools available to me).

However, I take each post I open on trending as a "case by case" basis without factoring in any history or their affiliation with others and read through each of them using my own internal standards (based on 18 months of creating and curating) of what I think is over (or under) rewarded and use the rewards distribution tool how I believe it should be used.

Now, I've been in a big debate with a user called @xpilar this weekend and other users who have commented on that post about leaving comments on posts that I have downvoted. I used to comment but didn't for the last 4 downvotes I gave for one reason or another so I went back and commented my reasoning and will continue to do so in future but also trying to add constructive feedback on how I'd like to see betterment in that person's post.

I did that for slowwalker this morning because he posts travel posts, something that are close to my heart, and I want travel posts to feature more on trending but I'd like to see more from him and offered my feedback to include a map, directions on getting there, more research about aspects of the post so we can really immerse ourselves as he's frequenting the trending feed and I want to encourage more travelers to the platform as we'd ALL grow.

Long and short of it, don't just downvote and run away, offer constructive advice as to why you downvote and perhaps educate on what the rewards pool is or even have an adult discussion around it because this is definitely not like your conventional social media where the reaction buttons have no financial consequence.

Obviously, plagiarism, spam and other things like that are different matters but I'm talking about genuinely trying to help using the downvote tools but it does feel like maybe I'm an exception to the rule around using the downvotes in this way.

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When you have a look at the infographic at the bottom, or directly at his voting pattern on steemworld or steemreports, you will see the issue, and why "constructive criticism" won't help.
Most of his (daily!) high rewards come from all the same people, who he votes in return. This kind of behaviour is commonly called "circle jerking", or in the whitepaper "collusive groups".
They usually justify how they act with "everything they've done for steem", and that it's their stake so they are entitled to a certain amount of returns over the interest on SP and the curation rewards which are designed to be for them. It completely destroys the Proof of Brain idea this platform is built on, and if everyone behaved the same there would be even less going to small and new content creators. While downvotes probably won't make them stop and change towards a more community oriented approach (it did for some, but a lot are very resilient), at least it returns parts of their self-assigned rewards back to the pool from where they will be distributed to others.

"everything they've done for steem"

What exactly have they done for Steem anyways? I can't name one thing positive just from looking at the names.

If it's "propping" up prices, well, that's almost nothing. I'd rather them sell off and let other people take the reign of cheap SP to really make this place into something.

Hi @enforcer48

"everything they've done for steem"

do they really say that?

Sees a name I support here, yes I have been supporting that person for years.
He has a great blog with good info on his travel letters
and I like to see the pictures and read about them.
He also supports me back and why can't we.
I want to ask myself should I not give support because he earns a lot. That I am in a ring that only supports those who support me. Then you are thoroughly wrong. Then you have to check me well over the last 3 years to see all my upvotes
Regards @xpilar

do they really say that?

No idea. Just reading it here. That’s why it rubs me the wrong way.

What you call support is nothing but a "I vote you, you vote me deal". That's not beneficial to the platform itself, and so me and others use our stake to make it less profitable for you.

Thank's for your feedback @pharesim

And I thank you for the time you supported my posts before

They believe that buying STEEM and supporting their friends who also bought STEEM is what they have done to help. I tried constructive criticism too.. they truly feel entitled to the rewards and there is no changing their mind.

Yeah, just a bunch of bad amateur investors who have no idea how to cut losses.

I almost want STEEM to fail, so they can feel the foolery of their shitty actions.

Its funny with the big bad bidbots out of the way we can see how many of our “investors” have been abusing just as bad. Pretty sad for a dpos platform to have so many large stakeholders who are doing negative things for the ecosystem. Sure does make me question the dpos concept 😄

But things are improving and it takes time to find a balance.. maybe they will see the big picture eventually.

What exactly have they done for Steem anyways?

In the past many of these people were pretty involved in user retention efforts. However most have gotten jaded.

The steemreports link doesn't work for me. Is the URL wrong?

Oh yes, thanks for the notice. It's .com - corrected.

The blockchain rewards large stakeholders with the ability to draw extra rewards from the pool because when they bought in it either boosted or secured Steem's overall market value, not only that, by HODLing Steem (or keeping it powered-up) it creates a sort of artificial scarcity and thus prevents steem from easily flowing to the market which keeps prices stable and prevents market manipulation.

Investing in Steem vs. letting the money sit in a bank and collecting and APY is a risk as the market is very volatile. You're not going to get an equivalent APY on Steem. Based on Steem's rate-limited voting, it allows for stakeholders to draw only so much before the rate-limited abuse mechanism prevents overdrawing from the pool.

But, if you're going to disregard the merit of a stakeholder's stake by attacking the way they choose to draw rewards from the pool, your attacking the very foundation of why they may have invested in the first place. This action of downvoting has great potential to cause them to reconsider not only the HODL but also their investment.

You might think what they're doing is greedy, but the blockchain sets the stage for this behavior by giving larger stakeholders bigger votes. Truth is, even the "greedy folks" provided a service when they bought into Steem, and they continue to provide a service by staying powered-up.

Downvote these folks into oblivion, and they may oblige by selling to the market. Other investors looking from the outside in will take notice, and then you'll run into a real problem; Whose left willing to buy, and why? Show me an investor who wants to pay to be a crab in a bucket, and I'll show you 1000 more who want to be the crab who gets out of the bucket. Steem is already very niche as is, and we're lucky we have the investors that we do. Make it less accommodating to stakeholders, and fewer will invest.

P.S. Proof of brain cannot exist in a realm with unequal stake. What you have in reality is proof of wallet.

The blockchain also gives stakeholders the ability to redistribute rewards using downvotes. If someone acts only in their own interest, and not that of the other stakeholders, we can use our stake to redistribute the rewards.
Everything they take out isn't available for others, who could become the hodlers of tomorrow.

What you say is true from a technical perspective. What disturbs me is that STINC added reward disputes to the GUI after they realized they couldn’t do anything about the misuse of the flag tool. It was kind of a catch-all reason which allowed them to wash their hands of abuse of the tool. Then, recently, there is this push to normalize the use of flags by changing the GUI again, calling them downvotes and encouraging a culture of negative curation.

This type of negative curation doesn’t exist anywhere in the real world outside of socialist/communist hellholes, and it’s extremely odd behavior to attach to something financial. The more I think about it, the nebulous language in the whitepaper which encourages crabs in a bucket mentality but also discourages it in the same breath; This entire machination seems like a pretty twisted and sick social psychology experiment, and we’re the rats in the cage or the crabs in a bucket if you will.

If you want real proof of brain, you’re going to have to equalize everyone’s vote by socializing the voting power, and I don’t think you’d want that because then you’d be screwed out of the value of your fairly large stake. I mean, you can’t have it both ways; you can’t have proof of brain and wallet disparity at the same time. Let’s say, for example, you hadn’t delegated most of your stake, and you have a 100% VP at 7.71. As far as I’m concerned, this is fine. I don’t know how you came about your SP, and to be quite frank, its none of my business. I have to respect your large stake and what you do with it, but when you do something harmful to me or someone else, that’s where things start to get murky.

The machine of the blockchain is amoral, and it pits people against each other. It didn’t start that way on the GUI level, and I think when investors realize what it’s become, they’re not going to want to invest anymore. There’s a reason why socialism and communism fail every time, and it’s because people start cannibalizing each other, this is both figurative and literal in the real world. How this is represented on the blockchain is with downvoting.

I like how Steem draws creativity out of people, this aspect is very cool. The NewSteem Culture, however, is drawing negativity and envy out of people. The shift which is promoted and pushed from the top down is disgusting. It doesn’t work in the real world, and it will not work in the cyber world. People should have the opportunity to be generous with their stake, but it shouldn’t be some kind of mandate. When you try to coerce investors to behave in a certain way, nobody will want to invest. Then, all you have left is a worthless token that fails to re-launch.

I think what you'll end up learning is that the blockchain is a safe place to prove yet again that socialism fails every single time. Imagine if we had these nebulous rules which seemingly contradict each other in real life. Sure, you can go out to start a business and do business things, become successful, yadda, yadda, yadda. But if somebody doesn't like what you're doing or becomes envious of you, they can steal your shit.

The reason this doesn't work in the real world is that people end up killing each other. Fortunately, none of this will happen in the blockchain world, but I think you will see this business model fail, and how much proof do people need that this communist utopia can and will never exist. Encouraging a culture of sharing, value exchange, content curation, and appreciation is one thing. But this klepto culture of downvoting and the like, that'll be the end of Steem.

Content curators and investors alike will read the writing on the wall, and they'll get out while the getting is good. Then all you'll have left is a bunch of ne'er-do-well reward poolice officers/witnesses that'll continue to run the blockchain at a net loss as they bicker endlessly about the inflation pool as they fight over Steem that's only worth a fraction of a cent. That's your HF21 future in a nutshell.

Negative curation is part of the whitepaper, and it's even quoted in this post. Steemit didn't have to add anything later, and it surely doesn't need to be justified.
Downvotes were called downvotes before they were flags, that was renamed because they were used for disagreement with opinions. Turned out flags was a bit too harsh, thus it was reverted again. If you tell history, make sure you know all of it.

Constant self upvoting is harmful to everyone else, as the pool is shared between all users. Downvotes are not harmful, as they don't take anything away, they just give it back to the pool to be distributed differently.

By what you write, you seem to be in favour of a pure PoS model. Why would we need content then? There's hundreds of coins where you get your share of the inflation based on your stake.
Proof of brain can work to a certain degree. If the community makes it so. If not, we can save a lot of overhead and just ditch the content and rewards.
That'd surely help with attracting more people, look how all the PoS coins are thriving, especially those with a high inflation! /s

(ps screw autocorrect)

"Negative curation is part of the whitepaper, and it's even quoted in this post."

Yes, you are correct, this is why I said:

"The more I think about it, the nebulous language in the whitepaper which encourages crabs in a bucket mentality but also discourages it in the same breath; This entire machination seems like a pretty twisted and sick social psychology experiment, and we’re the rats in the cage or the crabs in a bucket if you will."

Page 14 of 32 starting at the VOTING ABUSE header directly contradicts page 15 of 32 which in summary says:

"Eliminating “abuse” is not possible and shouldn’t be the goal."

"A major part of minimizing abuse is the rate-limiting of voting."

Pages 14 through 15 and the beginning of page 16 are written in such a way where the language can be interpreted in two different ways. One which highlights negative curation and the other which says; Eliminating "abuse" is not possible. So what you end up with is almost a psychological optical illusion where you see either a young woman or an old witch, and so you're given a choice. You can do normal human behavior, live and let live and accept the fact that eliminating abuse is not possible and shouldn't be the goal. Or you can act like a crustation whose about to be boiled alive and try and make sure that everyone goes down with you.

Steem's a pretty impressive weird fucking thing, whatever it is. But I'll be damned if I'm going to adjust my behavior to act accordingly to an analogy that is historically used to illustrate one of the most negative traits in human psychology, and crustaceans alike, that being crab mentality. Just imagine, this weird and strange new invention which combines social media with blockchain tech has convinced you that for the greater good of itself, you should act like a desperate creature whose about to be boiled alive and ensure that harm comes to others. That is some trick, and it's probably on a par with what cordyceps fungi does to ants, or what the ministry of love did to Winston Smith.

If steem is the bucket and we are the crabs, and people are trying to recoup what they lost in what may arguably be at this point considered a shit coin. Why not just let them do what they need to do? Not everyone is going to come here for the same reasons. Maybe I do lean a little towards proof of stake, but steem allocates power based on stake, but I can't imagine that anyone bought in just for the power to hold others down. Can you? So there is a proof of stake element baked into this, let's call it power of stake. You can be a Mother Teresa or a Hitler with your stake power, or a schizophrenic cross between the two. One thing is for certain.

You seem to be doing this because people aren't subscribing to proof of brain "as they should be," but we've just determined that proof of brain is impossible. In a world of sock puppets and stake disparity, proof of wallet remains king. I think they need to rewrite the whole whitepaper, or possibly rewrite the code into something that's a little bit more harmonious.

But it's true, it's not possible to fully eliminate it. It can be minimized though. Why is this nebulous?
And yes, of course it is a (social) experiment. That's part of what makes it interesting :)

I don't see it as the negative as which crab mentality is seen usually, but a positive spin to it. It's nice in the bucket :P

I still believe in the potential of rewarding good content. That hasn't worked well with the system we had, so it has to be improved. If someone doesn't think that's possible, they should just accept that they made a bad investment and cut their losses, instead of making sure that those who try steering the ship around will fail.
I suggested to give those who prefer PoS the possibility to opt out of the reward pool. That didn't gain much traction, instead we have the EIP. So I support that.
If you invest in stocks and the company goes a direction you don't like, do you get out or try to sabotage the company?

Ah an upvote ring full of whales...? Well I'm fucked for getting involved then 🤣🤣🤣

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You're fucked if you don't too... maybe we all are. :)

Haha either way, fucked 😂

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Hi @nickyhaveyYea I kind of agree with you. Just dropping by to give someone a flag seems very counter productive if what we really want is a thriving platform!
Building Connection is the key

Building connections with existing users doesn't make the platform thrive. For me the key is to look out for new or unrecognized talents.

Yes people who can are create great posts are vital.
Maybe I am just a bit odd, the connection aspect seems to be an important part for retention to me.
Even your reply helps me feel a little more connected somehow. It increases the value for me on a personal level.

Hehe, happy to hear that. I agree, of course engagement is an important factor for retention too!
For (semi-)professional creators, a better distribution of rewards is more important though.
And I partly agree with your previous comment too. Simply dropping by to give a flag isn't productive in most cases. Those who self-reward all the time know what they're doing though, there's not much to be done in a productive way. Writing a comment to explain, or at least being willing to discuss later, is always nice either way.

Yes that's what I was trying to say but it took me a million more words 🤣

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I was wondering.. is buying steembasicincome day can be considered as buying votes to avoid self-vote?

Same old downvoters still doing that on my post, and I just ignored them because it's their habit and Im on their list 😂 but I don't think I will downvote those circle of jerks too... I wish the orcas or whales would do that for me

It requires a combined effort of all the community members. You are a shareholder too, don't give all the responsibility to others. That's exactly what this post was about.

The retaliate attitude really scarry for minnows like me, but I don't mind to join any efforts to downvote posts for the reasons that shows up anytime I will raisr my flag, thank you for your encouraging words.

It's only scary as long as all minnows try to hide :) When you show up together, there's nothing they can do!

And now you make me wonder @pharesim.. do you know trusted downvote curation trail that I can follow? Darn it.. I just checked on @curangel.. the downvotes were crazy!

We attract a lot of heat, yes. I wouldn't recommend small users to join our trail for now, as it's only a few users on there and we target a lot of people who retaliate, and they might go after you to scare you off.
Have a look at @howo maybe, he's involved with older trails that have quite a few followers already. You want to find something where you practically disappear in the group.

Dissapear in a group 😃😂 that's really my style. But I will wait for a little longer to grow up better and became a quite tough minnow to join forces😊 for now, I'd better join a curation trail to counter the dowmvotes first.

@steemflagrewards has a flag trail with healing function.

Our trail does not counter downvotes Rshare for Rshare. It just brings stuff into visibility.

First of all, thanks for the love and counter upvotes from everyone that came over from this article.

Secondly, yeah, Haejin/Ranchorelaxo has decided to be a bit of a toddler with his very large Steem Power. He could be spending the same amount of effort (or even less) to actually improve the platform for himself and everyone. Obviously he can do whatever he wants with his SP, it's his, but I believe we all have something to lose if the Steem fails.

Like you mentioned, I'm not too bothered by the downvotes - I expected them. Luckily I still do quite well with curation rewards, which haejin can't really do much about at the moment, unless he tries to flag everyone to zero, which is technically impossible. The hope is that one day he will just get bored and go away. Or better still, grow up and be the adult he pretends to be on his website He's supposed to be some kind of financial coach. Who will take advise from someone like this?

I love Steem and I'm here for the super long run! Steem on!

SFR has you covered from time to time.

It is about time this circle starts being pushed a little.

Those retaliatory downvotes are very childish and I'm now getting my own share of them from dobartim and cryptopassion. Have been through a lot worse though with haejin, so this has little effect on me.
This type of behavior is unfortunate, but it reveals a lot about the type of characters that engage in such actions, and it's only going to be harmful for themselves in the long run. They are stuck in #oldsteem. Evolve or die.


This post has the blessing of the #steempope.

On an unrelated note, that crab tank photo looks like an idea I need to steal for Warhammer 40K.

One of these days, we need to negotiate you selling that copycat account to me.

Possibly. Would require me to power down all my LEO there before that happens.

We both know who else is big-time into LEO, I think. Offer to sell for teh lulz.

If you are serious about it, hit me up on Discord.

I’ll need about one month to power down those LEO. Lol

If it's your sock puppet, I am only marginally serious. I don't even use my @goodguygreg alt account for anything at the moment. Maybe I should revive it and do something cool in line with #newsteem.

Do it. It’s all for kicks and giggles.

As nice as it all sounds, this banding together system, I feel it doesn't work out mathematically effective at all.

If 500 users can counter the effects of one big user, then we need 5,000 users to counter merely 10.

50,000 users all consistently banding together and dedicating themselves to a cause against merely 100 bad apples.

A real-world example would be like expecting a country's people to overturn its evil government, but it turns out there's actually a line of 50 evil governments in cahoots with each other, each as powerful as the last. There's only so much the population can, and is willing to, do.

If 'The EIP is based on the assumption that people care about this community ', then I fear it was a terrible assumption to assume, and makes an ass out of u and me.

As for alternatives... I dunno

If 'The EIP is based on the assumption that people care about this community '

It's like the lemmings misconception. lol

I agree with you on this one

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