I would like to invite anybody who’s been here for more than a month to contribute a post that would be helpful to the mass immigration of new users from the past couple days!
Not everybody realises there are many unique qualities to this social media platform. A newbie’s online habits from other websites can lead them to learn lessons the hard way. As the system becomes more complex there is more and more for them to catch up on.
Things get a little hectic around here when our population has a sudden growth spurt.
It is our responsibility to pass on what we have learned and make the newbies welcome!
The Unwritten Rules of Steemit
There is only one real rule to steemit and it’s more of a universal law of nature which is
Do not lose your password, your account cannot be recovered if you do.
There are however some unwritten rules you should know about.
I’d like to break down the core principles of steemit and discuss risky behaviour to help you get the best experience possible from your use of the platform.
For clarification, there is no concensus on the rules of steemit.
The Core Principles are
- When posting, aim to contribute value
- Upvote material that contributes value
- Only flag material that is abusive
You are free to decide how to treat the platform. But of course, freedom doesn’t protect you from consequences.
In the real world, you are theoretically free to sleep with your neighbours wife, post a video of the two of you on a porn website (with her consent) and then email the link to all your neighbours.
This freedom however does not protect you from theoretically being attacked by your neighbours husband, scorned by all your other neighbours and recognised by porn connoisseurs for months afterward.
Reputation to Uphold
Because people are getting rewarded here for their contributions unlike any other social media platform, there are some major positive differences for online etiquette. Exposing yourself to the online world can be daunting. You could face criticism, ridicule and humiliation. With most social media platforms this is due not only to the anonymity of your online account, but mostly the lack of repercussion for having a harmful attitude towards others.
The steemit community is different!
Because of the consequences of nasty behaviour you are much less inclined to abuse your steemit allies. As long as negative behaviour is continuously 'nipped in the bud' nasty comments will likely be hidden by the users low reputation.
Though you might face some constructive criticism and feedback which you might consider, you’re much more likely to be encouraged than trolled!
Nothing that you publish can be deleted from the blockchain. It will be online forevermore even after editing. This is also the case for your commenters on your own posts, so you can easily be exposed for publishing misinformation. Whether you claim to be a doctor or a non-professional, if you make factual claims it is advised to link references from where the information was taken or a source that backs up your claims.
You have the right to remain anonymous, but if you choose to expose your identity on #introduceyourself, you could include a verification video.
It is not at all obligatory, the only reason you might be asked for this is because we want to discourage identity theft.
(Removing the sound from the video does not verify that you are behind the account)
War on Bots
Sockpuppets are multiple accounts controlled by the same user. Sometimes they come in the form of a bot. Different bots have different intentions. Some like to flag material for the sake of trolling, others automatically comment on posts with trivial comments like 'nice post'.
For this reason, you do not want to comment with trivial one-liners.
Don't make yourself look like a bot. There is a war on bots!
The steemit community prefers original content.
For that reason, we have a Robocop in the form of @cheetah. The purpose of Cheetah Bot is to detect plagiarism. If you like something you read on an article for example, unlike Facebook or Twitter, you cannot simply ‘share’ this material with the steemit community. If you choose to copy and paste the article into a steemit post, Cheetah Bot will detect your plagiarism in order to warn the steemit community. Not to mention, you could be subjected to copyright laws!
There are ways around this that most steemians deem appropriate.
For instance if you like something you read on an article and you want to encourage a discussion on it, you could format your post to link the article and outline your own thoughts on it in order to engage with the rest of the community.
Very often your articles can slip through the cracks and on occasion you might feel hard done by.
We’ve all been there! We feel you!
Spamming is not the answer.
If you really want to promote your post, there are ways to do that but you should link with caution.
Don’t think about how other people’s post could help promote yours by linking in their comments. Instead, consider what posts could use yours for their self promotion. Look for posts of the same topics, go about curating quality content as you go, you could even link to theirs in your post before you publish. When you find some articles whose posts are relevant to yours, start a conversation with them. Once you’ve made contact, you can establish an alliance!
You rub my back, I’ll rub yours!
You’re also welcome to spread the steemjoy across other platforms.
When curators are looking for # steem related content, they do not want to see posts about # food, # memes and # kittens.
You put yourself in a dangerous position if you try to use # tags that are irrelevant to your post. When you entice people to read your post by using popular # tags, the readers expect it to deliver, and you expose yourself to potential flagging if it doesn’t.
If you post anything explicit you need to tag it with # nsfw (not safe for work) if you don’t want it flagged.
Currently (as far as I’m aware) @tagging doesn’t notify the tagged that they’ve been tagged. I expect that will someday change and when it does, I expect whales will be doing a lot of tag flagging (perhaps after a warning, perhaps not).
If you can imagine what it’s like being a whale, getting tagged every minute, I'm sure you'll understand why they might choose to 'hide' you so as to never hear from you again.
Signatures are noisy
While I haven’t yet seen unnecessary flagging of gifs or signatures, I do think I’m not alone in saying too many images make a page noisy.
If the image or gif or video linked is relevant and you’re sure people will enjoy it as part of the thread, then by all means, express yourself. But if everyone were to use a gif or image for self promotion such as a signature everywhere they went, then threads would get messy and people who might otherwise offer valid points to the conversation might not bother sifting through the noise.
Hit & Run
If you’re going to publish a post or two (or three or four) and then go offline without voting for anybody else’s content, it’s quite possible that a whale of significant value could come across your post, consider giving you a nice reward, check how active you’ve been and then choose not to give you a reward because you haven’t been rewarding others.
Research, writing, formatting and all the other things you have to do to put your post together may take time, and seeking out valuable content does too. But in less than five minutes you could easily check your feed or enter an interest of yours into the tag search bar to read a couple articles to give your upvote to.
Curating for profit
It is in the interests of the stakeholders to curate valuable material in order to make this platform valuable for talented writers, bloggers, artists and other forms of contributors. However there is currently some gaming of the curation system going on. It is in the interest of the curating individual to find material that will likely do well, in order to gain curating rewards.
Minnows*, this is not your game!
If you are mindlessly upvoting things that are already trending, without checking the content to see if you like it, you probably think you’re getting better rewards when in fact you’ve completely missed the boat to gain any rewards after the post has been Whale-bombed.
Aside from that, as a minnow you do not have enough Steem Power to profit from playing this game. If you worked really hard, spending all day seeking out 99 “sure shots” you might make a dollar a day if you’re very lucky. This would not be worth your time!
It would be much more beneficial to you and to the platform to just like what you like.
Flagging is for abuse
There are no rules to tell you why you should or shouldn’t flag. There is no consensus and many steemers will deem other steemers reasons as inappropriate. You get to decide for yourself your reasons for flagging.
We steemians like to advise each other on having Flagging Etiquette.
Bad Reasons for Flagging
- Disagreeing with a post
- Jealousy of rewards
- Anything other than abuse
What can be considered abuse?
- Irrelevant spamming
- Verbal abuse
- Deceptive tagging
Dilution of rewards
If you do choose to flag posts simply because you disagree with them, which is not advised, you should know that you have a soft limit of votes (around 100 per day) and you may be wasting them by using them for negative instead of positive curation. After you reach this limit your curation rewards are diluted. Similarly if you post more than four times a day (apart from comments) you may not get as much reward as you would staying under that limit.