How reputation works - Some Interesting Facts About Reputation on Steemit

in #reputation6 years ago (edited)


Since joining Steemit in what seems like June of 1995 (actually last year), I have always wondered how these things work. Like many users, I have many questions such as; How does a post end up on trending? What is the algorithm for the hot tab? How does reputation work?

Recently, thanks to a great post I found by @arcange, I was finally able to look at the cold unadulterated facts regarding how reputation is calculated according to the actual code. I found the information enlightening. It actually contradicted some of the information I had received from other Steemians. So I conducted some more research and testing in order to gain full understanding reputation. Some of what I found were just confirmations of stuff I already knew (or at least thought I knew). Others were new revelations to me. I have listed my findings in a list below.

  • The 2 digit number you see near your name isn’t your actual reputation. To find your actual reputation, you can go to your steemd page. It is near the bottom of the table on the left.

  • Accounts with a negative rep cannot affect rep in any way (neither by upvote nor downvote). So that high payout upvote from Bernie won’t help your rep, but at least it helps your wallet.

  • Self-votes affect reputation the exact same way that upvotes from someone else do. So you can vote yourself to 78 rep if you’re diligent enough about it and if you have enough Steempower.

  • Upvotes on old posts have no effect on reputation. That’s too bad. Old but popular posts should earn something.

  • Upvotes on posts with declined payout will still affect your rep.

  • As long as an upvoter has a positive reputation, their effect on your reputation is proportional to their SteemPower, not their rep. For example, an upvote from someone with a rep of 77 and 15kSP will be worth less than an upvote from someone with a rep of 25 and SP of 30K.

  • Reputation is a function of the condenser, not the blockchain itself. Meaning we don’t have to wait for a hardfork to change it. It can be changed by or another condenser such as

With all that in mind, I find the current state of the reputation system to not only be ineffective, but misleading. It only addresses one aspect, rewards received. It doesn’t offer any insight into behavior, trustworthiness, community involvement, transparency or even longevity (mainly in the case of the heavily invested). While I mostly agree that investors should be able to retain greater influence as a perk for their investment, I do not feel they should have an easier path to earning reputation than anybody else. The current system allows them to basically purchase reputation and actually encourages or rewards those who partake in voting abuse.

So how could we fix the system? Well, I think there are many ways in which we can address a problem. One way is by algorithm. In order to use this method, the first thing we would have to do is define behaviors that we feel should result in a positive reputation. So we would look at things like the number comments left, number of unique people upvoted, communities supported, number of downvotes/flags received, average length of comments, etc. Then we would have to figure out the weights of those factors on the algorithm. @steemchiller’s CSI might be a good starting point for such an algorithm.

The good thing about an algorithm is that it is usually based on good old quantitative analysis. So it takes out some of the subjectivity. However, isn’t reputation more of a subjective aspect by its nature? What are some good qualitative approaches we could implement?

Reputation whether good or bad is something that is earned from those with whom you interact regardless of their success on Steemit. With that in mind, I think a l simple rating system on the account itself will suffice. This way, the outcome of all interactions could potentially be captured.

The best thing about these changes is that they do not have to rely on a hardfork in order to change it.
They could be implemented at the condenser level. It would be nice if Steemit would take the lead though. What are your thoughts? @busy, do you have an opinion on this?

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At least it's consistent with the "Money talk" libertarian anarchy dystopian model of Steemit.

What's reputation? How much money you got.
What's SP? How many boot-lickers you'll get for your money.

What's content? An excuse to transfer money and a fig leaf to say this is more than just a money-driven platform.

Also, something you get rewarded for, now and then. But any correlation between content and its quality to rewards is almost random.

It's not that much in line with libertarian philosophy because it prevents the ability of the market to effect outcome. In libertarian philosophy, the idea is that unpopular actions and behavior will lead to a decrease in reputation and preference for competitors. In this case, reputation is shielded along the way.

To clarify, not actual libertarian philosophy, but more the philosophy of most self-professed "libertarians" now, the ones who can also be described as "neo-conservative," even though it's quite the opposite.

I did specify it's the "dystopian" brand :D

Yeah, nowadays, terms get thrown around so much that you can't really tell what people mean when they tell you, "I'm a ..." whatever. It's so confusing.

even though it's quite the opposite.


I pretty much agree on a whole post. There has been a lot of talk about financial ownership of a few whales, dolphins, and other 98% of users. So the system is not pretty much different as in western countries. If you got lot of money, you can make....more money with your money :)

yeah, but rep doesn't really necessarily mean you'll make more money.

I came across your article while searching for information about reputation - thank you for enlightening me!
"Upvotes on old posts have no effect on reputation. That’s too bad. Old but popular posts should earn something."
I totally agree and wish there was a way to reward people for old posts because I for one like to search for content relevant to the current questions / interests I have. Do you think resteeming has any value there? If not, they should totally "reopen" the earning capacity of a post once someone resteems your article after the original payout.

@wildwanderer, thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

Resteeming might be of some help if for no other reason than to get some name recognition for the author. Additionally, if the author is still active, new conversations (like the one we are having here) can also yield an opportunity to reward them. [Please don't take this as a hint or other passive aggressive suggestion.]

Rep is one of those things that a lot of people don't fully understand. Even people that have been here a long time have misconceptions about it. So I always think it's a good thing to spread that knowledge whenever can.

Thanks for pointing that out actually because I didn’t really think about that - I wish my upvote was worth more (still getting there) 😉

I love sharing the love wherever I can 💙

Yeah, i think its a good thing. In fact, Steemit is bringing back perpetual edits, or so i hear. Which will allow people to edit their posts and keep them relevant. Perhaps they could make comments to upvote as well.

I also wanted to tell you not to worry about the value of your vote. That will come with time. Until then, be frivolous with both your upvotes and your comments. Most of the authors here crave the interaction with humans, and your ability to provide that interaction is on par with any whale out there.

Upvotes on posts with declined payout will still affect your rep.

Do downvotes on posts with declined payouts still kill your rep?

No. They do not. (Sorry for the late reply)

Wait, I misread that. Yes they will.

Downvotes on old posts won't affect your rep.

So I got it all wrong from the beginning, I thought reputation determines the power of upvotes
Thanks for sharing

You're not the only one that thought that. A lot of people have that misconception.

Interesting @moeknows, thanks for the informative article. I had no idea it was pretty much based just on the financial aspect :/

I know, right? Kind of changes your perspective a bit.

Your article included a lot of information that I didn't know! Call me a critic but I don't think your proposals will take off...great ideas though. If there could be some kind of algorithm that determines behavior and integrity, that would be ideal. How to figure out who has integrity? One approach could be: certain key words would bring a reputation down... Abusive language, for instance.

I find algorithms fascinating, and in a recent article, I called for the use of them, however some people brought up the point that some algorithms could open the door to corruption and censorship. I realized my ideas on them would only hold weight in a perfect world! Thanks for your post! :)

You're welcome and thanks for the comment. I see I have a lot more to sift through.

I think an algorithm on abusive language would also be hard to gauge because it would be difficult to code in the context. People curse and say mean things in good ways too. I personally like the idea of a rating system and maybe the ratings fall off after 100 days or something like that. That way, if you have one bad rating and 50 good ones, the number will be favorable. It would be a true reflection of your reputation. If after some time, you had no more run-ins with anybody, your rating could improve to 5 stars or whatever. Currently, a war with a single individual can wreck your rating. If you have a ton of SP, you could also give yourself a high rating through self-votes.


I used to think reputation was a function of interaction within the Steemit space.

Like the more followers, upvotes and comments you get, the higher your score.

Don't know about all of the tech stuff but from your piece, the algorithm is a good place to start.

Thanks for sharing @moeknows

It's been a while


Hey Gray! (<====That's my first poem in a week)

Yeah, you would think, right. The whole experience was kind of eye opening to me. Now, you could say that the more you comment, the more opportunities you have to being upvoted. So in that sense, comments help. They also help you to make connections which will get you more upvotes as well.

Like this one?


PS: What poem? Those two words? Hmm


Yeah, I get



Yep, exactly.

I've always thought the impact of a vote from user a to user b, should diminish with each subsequent vote within an arbitrary time limit, both with reputation and reward.

That is an interesting idea. I like it because it stops people from just going by someone's blog and clicking down the line without reading.

And self votes.

I can almost guarantee myself a substantial return on my investment by simply upvoting myself 10 times a day. Each time I vote for someone else's post I am essentially reducing my return.

Of course I don't see it that way because votes also come from others, but you can bet that some do, especially those more substantially invested

Well said, including your proposals on how to make reputation more reflective of what a person does here.

In my opinion, anything that takes reputation away from solely being determined by an upvote would be at least heading in the right direction. It seems like everything we do is either motivated by or determined by the upvote, be it mine, yours, or a bot's.

If reputation was at least split between the upvote so creators earn it, and actual curation (which resteeming would seem to be more of a natural curation process than upvoting) so curators earn it, in my mind it would be better than having everything lumped together.

As you say, self-upvoting should not affect your reputation. For that matter, neither should bots.

I don't know how all of this gets implemented, but I'm all for some kind of change that actually makes reputation valuable. It's kind of senseless to have it, or any other feature, that can simply be manipulated by the account itself.

Totally agree. It's kind of obvious that they wanted to help the established group defend against newcomers (possibly spammers) when they created this. It might have been fine for a temporary bandaid, but now it is one of the biggest problems with this platform.

Which is another way of saying each action has a reaction, or each fix has its own set of unintended consequences. Aren't there folks that are supposed to war game these things, play them out to their logical, or not-so-logical-since-humans-are-involved ends? It just seems like we're either a part of a grand experiment, where they're seeing what we will do so they can actually build the real platform, or they're just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks because they lost control a long time ago. Either way, it's frustrating to watch.

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