Ways to avoid @pleasestop
It's actually really easy to avoid me. Stop commenting, "great post" or "follow me" or anything like this.
I look for phrases the community has continued to reject as spam so all you have to do to avoid me is just write unique and thoughtful comments that add value and contribute to the conversation. And I only reply if you've used these phrases a lot.
If you want to let the author know you support their work, simply leave an upvote and that's enough. Commenting "great post" adds no value to the conversation and can be conveyed just as easily with a vote. The primary reason to comment on a post is to add to the discussion, so your comment should be directly related to the content of the post. The phrases I search for show a clear disregard for this point.
Bandwidth what now?
These comments are not just a distraction to readers, they also create bandwidth problems that harm the blockchain. Every comment written to the blockchain is forever stored and then must be maintained on every single server running the blockchain. Forever. There are a significant number of comments like these and if you've ever ran out of bandwidth then you've seen firsthand the impact of writing superfluous comments like this.
I'm taking a firm stand on comment spam to help sustain the blockchain. This is not lip service, the issues around bandwidth are very real and will only compound as we grow. If we ever plan to reach the scale of millions of active users, the entire blockchain would completely choke if the same percentage of users made these sorts of comments.
The major social media sites have clusters of geo-redundant databases with everything behind a CDN to make performance a top priority as users are fickle and will quickly abandon a broken site. Every comment you make is written to a block_log in a local file system, which is then served by an RPC node that basically abandons every best practice of web applications today and offers none of the scalability, redundancy, or performance boosts available with a traditional architecture.
The stability and longevity of the entire blockchain depends on the community flatly rejecting superfluous comments that add no value. The release of steem 0.19.3 was due to a spammer exploiting an obvious flaw that allowed adding tons of data to the blockchain. Every single thing posted must be stored forever, so it was just proven that adding tons of data to the blockchain will literally break things. The witness servers producing blocks, handling transactions, and feeding data to the sites on the blockchain were all affected and many went down. While that was a direct and intentional attack, there are so many users today showing up to say, "Beautiful pic, I like it" that these actual transactions have the same damaging impact on the blockchain.
Unnecessary comments harm the blockchain.
Let me say that again for full effect.
Unnecessary comments harm the blockchain.
The Steem Whitepaper sums it up clearly.
Blockchain technology currently depends upon transaction fees to prevent spam.
The whitepaper lays out the foundation for bandwidth, which was implemented to replace fees. One of the foundations of Steem is the idea that instead of using fees to manage transaction volume, we have implemented bandwidth. We are still proving out this theory and so far it is clear bandwidth is far from perfect.
The primary takeaway here is that bandwidth replaces fees, but if we find out bandwidth doesn't work we may see the Steem blockchain become like other blockchains and demand users pay a fee to post content. We need to post as if we are paying fees for every comment or we may be left with no choice but to actually start paying those fees. If users continue posting superfluous comments we may be forced to shift to transaction fees.
@pleasestop before that happens.
There's gotta be a better way?!
The correct approach is to simply engage with the community by writing specific comments that directly relate to the content of a post. More than that, there are many best practices to follow around here.
The Steemit FAQ offers this Steemit Etiquette Guide outlining better ways to engage with the community and gain the attention and followers you're looking for. Follow these tips and you're sure to find success here!
The larger story is that content creators must add value to the blockchain. Make sure everything you're posting will be warmly received by the entire community and is not just a complimentary remark seeking easy upvotes.
What's gonna happen if I don't stop?
Your reputation is at risk if you continue making comments like these. In more ways than one.
If I've replied to your comment, I will continue watching your account to see if these comments persist. If you continue making these comments I will ask the community to remove all pending rewards on any of these comments. If you're not getting rewards, there's no point to these comments, so let's avoid all that in the first place. Let me be clear, if I've replied to your comment, please expect that every pending reward on every single comment like this you've made is under consideration for removal.
After that, if these comments continue I'll ask the community to push your rep to zero to stop this behavior.
If I replied to your comment please take the time to learn the proper ways to engage with the community because you're on my list and I am persistent to a fault.
What kinda bully are you?
I am taking a somewhat hard line on spam here, but here's where the story gets a little more positive.
As I've mentioned once I reply to your comment I'll be watching you, but not just as an enforcer, I want to celebrate your growth and success on the platform so if you stop making comments like this I will offer my support to you, and not just with a simple upvote. I plan to showcase those accounts who take the time to learn, grow, and evolve to better engage with the community and earn our trust, respect, and support.
I'll write posts outlining these accounts and asking the community to send a few upvotes to the unpaid posts on these accounts. I want to make it valuable to properly engage with the community and make it well known and obvious that you are rewarded for good behavior. I hope this aspect of my work has the largest impact as I always believe a positive approach outweighs a negative.
Let's work together!
A lot of the accounts I see posting are very new and simply don't know any better. I hope to raise awareness and preemptively prevent users from posting like this. It is my hope that as a community we can circulate the message that comments like this are firmly rejected, but we still support and encourage real content.
Consider my a reply an opportunity to learn and grow along with the platform. I really hope to emphasize the curation and support side of things far more than the enforcement, so I'll leave you with this closing thought: