One Way to Stop Spammers - Lock Transfers
Yesterday @timcliff wrote a post considering ways to deal with spam and this opened a great dialogue on the topic. Tim's suggestion was to increase the minimum payout on posts or comments as a way to make spamming less profitable. One of the largest arguments against this is the impact on new users, who are literally begging for those pennies to get established here. The real takeaway is that this is no simple topic, nor is the answer easy.
While reading through the comments on that post I had an interesting thought that I think just might work. Much like the dust threshold on payouts, we could establish a rep threshold on transfers.
Now, I'm only talking about transfers out from an account, others can send transfers to you and you can bring in STEEM from the exchanges, you just can't move anything out of your account. No transfers to other users, and most importantly, no transfers out to exchanges.
Even better, I like the idea of setting that threshold right at 25, so if your rep goes down at all you can't get your hands on the cash. Realistically, any human posting legitimate content could recover from a few downvotes if the rep was damaged, but bots and spammers could easily be dealt with and any funds essentially locked in the blockchain. Another thought is that with the recent phishing scams going around, this would give the community the option to push the receiving account to lower rep and lock those stolen funds.
And the idea of literally locking STEEM/SBD in the blockchain forever isn't ideal, so we definitely need options when you reach this state. One thought is to still allow transfers to @null and if you burn everything but a minimum of SP, then your rep could be restored to 25 and you can start over. Or rather than burning everything, since this is all hardfork talk anyway, maybe we could establish a way to make transfers into the rewards pool so the spammer's money is just distributed to the community. That itself is an interesting idea that I need to let sink in a bit, I think there could be other areas that is useful.
Does this make any sense? Would it even work or are there obvious flaws in my thinking?
Abusive behaviors on the blockchain are only increasing and that will ultimately scare away new users and decrease the value for those who are committed. I'd like to see some tangible steps around dealing with spam, otherwise these issues will only compound.
Let's keep up the dialog on this topic and see if we can find a way to stop spam on the Steem blockchain!