Steemit Newbie FAQ - Netiquette: How To Avoid Being A Steem Douche?

in #steem5 years ago

The last massive influx of new members on the platform is, by and large, exciting. But, along with this wave, a few other things are coming, which are not very well catered to the specific of the Steemit platform. Hence, I decided to wear my community witness hat more often and to write a series of posts about the nuts and bolts of this, seemingly familiar, but completely revolutionary (Im not exaggerating) social media platform. You can find the first two posts, about rewards and witnesses, at the end of this post.

Today, we'll talk about netiquette.

What Are That Basic Steemit Netiquette Rules?

  • be polite
  • post original content (we hate plagiarizers)
  • discuss ideas, not persons - all persons are, by default, ok
  • when you comment on somebody else's post, try to bring at least a minimal contribution
  • if you follow someone, try to really follow up and engage. Don't try to build numbers, instead, go for interactions, that's from where the power of the platform comes
  • this is a decentralized platform, so that means we're all equally responsible for what it happens here, based on our level of involvement
  • other than that, use sunscreen, don't text and drive, don't drive and drink, you know the drill

What Are The Dont's Of The Steemit Netiquette?

  • never, ever, under no circumstance, beg for reciprocation (of comments or of votes). We're free and we can express freely here, so one will comment or upvote only if he / she feels like. Don't try to force reciprocation using sentences like "I just upvoted your post, can you please upvote mine?"
  • avoid excessive tagging of other people. Don't put one hundred "@" usernames in your post, hoping they'll come by and support you. More often than not, the opposite will happen
  • don't follow somebody until the other person follows you back and then unfollow. We see you, you know. And this is not Twitter. It's 2017, for God sake!
  • don't fire up a bot with standard comments on all the posts published, hoping they'll come back. Steemit has a few built-in spam protection mechanisms and, rather sooner than later, your reputation will go down dramatically if you're caught. And you will be caught.

What Is A Flag And Why Is It Used?

A flag is a downvote and it has the same consequence as an upvote, only in the opposite direction. In other words, it will take from your potential rewards and put it back in the main rewards pool. You will see that as a decrease of your potential payouts. This happens for a number of reasons:

  • the downvoter didn't like the post
  • you used abusive or spammy language
  • you are engaging in a direct controversy with somebody else which uses his downvote as he sees fit
  • you're using plagiarized content
  • you try to game the platform in some way (luring people into clicking shady links is a form of gaming the platform, for instance)

I've Been Flagged, I'm Going To Cry All Day And Rage Quit

Better not. The psychological effect of seeing money disappearing from your potential reward is hard, I agree. But it's part of the game, just like illness and death are parts of life. We should rejoice in whatever we can get from life, despite of the trouble. So head up, and keep writing, engaging and creating great stuff. That too, shall pass.

I've Been Flagged By Mistake (Or So I Think). What To Do?

Contact the flagger - either by leaving a comment on one post on his profile, by sending him a message (transfer 0.001 Steem to him and use the memo field as a message, this is a common practice here to get in touch with somebody else) or by getting in touch in the

What's Whale Hunting? Should I Engage In That?

Whale hunting, in the Steemit ecosystem, means following obsessively and trying to win the favors of some large Steem Power holders (whales) in the hope of getting upvotes from them. While knowing as many whales as you can could prove beneficial to you, engaging in whale hunting, especially when you're doing it only to get back votes, is not.

Other posts in this series:

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running.
For the Steemit ecosystem I created a free tool for checking your potential rewards at

Dragos Roua

If you appreciate my contribution, you can vote for me as witness here:


Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in wiki page about Steemian. Thanks and good luck again!

Very good and practical information. I like the fact that, for the most part this platform is polite!

I don't think that merely disliking the content is a good reason to flag it. A flag from a whale can be very consequential (and, from what I understand, flagging is only available to whales and near-whales in the first place), so it is more appropriate for blatant spam and scams. That a whale might flag a legitimate post into oblivion just because they don't like the content doesn't sit right with me. Just ignore it, mute the poster if you can't stand them, and move on, please.

(and, from what I understand, flagging is only available to whales and near-whales in the first place)

flagging is available to everybody, and its effects are proportional to the amount of Steem Power one has. A flag for a minnow won't take out as much money as a flag from a whale.

With that being said, I agree with what you said but there can be circumstances in which a whale would like to "send a post into oblivion" because he doesn't like it (happened in the past and probably will happen again).

Life is not right. Nor is Steemit. But both are beautiful.

I am a sardine not a whale and this moment steemit is like fb for me, when i like content i vote up, before i would flag , it also would be like fb to unfriend, it must go against all my principles, but when i do.... i hope the power of my vote is destructive... but i think everyone is like that?

if you follow someone, try to really follow up and engage. Don't try to build numbers, instead, go for interactions, that's from where the power of the platform comes
and by that I mean
I learned it the hard way.
I screwed up big time on that one.
At one time I was following 1500 people.
And for why?
That was a very good question. Why was I following them?
I didn't know.
So I decided not to.
Then the purging began.
I'm following about forty now.
I know each and everyone of them on some leve.
they are US.
not THEM.
So Dragosroua is absolutely correct on this one.

I follow only people whose content I enjoy. Fortunately you are one of them..LOL!

It's tempting to run the numbers and assume the more people you follow, the better you'd be. More often than not, this is just wishful thinking: there's no time to meaningfully engage with so many people.

that's right...I discovered the very same thing. took me just four days to lose my way in a tangle of resteems and squawks in my feed...granted, there are many good places it's landed me...for instance here.

I do believe I'm going to have to sweep my broom...and soon. Excellent post...and thank you for setting me straight. This journey is the reward I've spent my life working towards. It begins...and ends with Steemit.

I have pictures to write...I've got no time to build bases. The platform is the foundation.

~may all hatred cease...let there be peace~

Hi @dragosroua this is a good article, but I am just not with you on the downvotes. In my opinion,everyone has the right to like (upvote) or dislike (downvote) an it affects your payout. Flagging is separate. If you flag someone it affects their reputation. Am I wrong in this?

As far as I know, these actions are combined into one, the UI is confusing.

Thank you but I still differ. I know I read a comment once from @pfunk . Possibly @pfunk could shed some light on this?

Look forward to it.

Good post. As more and more new Steemians arrive it's imperative to protect the culture of Steemit. This community is really special. I've never been a part of such a positive, nurturing and engaging environment. It's something we have to protect!

I am new and literally agree with you!! I posted something the other day about being unique to YOURSELF and this platform really allows the writer to express themselves and its fun in an arena that also rewards. You should not chase the money you chase the job. Sorry - not trying to soap-box on your post but it is simply refreshing and I am glad we agree on the true etiquette of Steemit, even if we are setting the standard! I am a follower, freely and resteemed to pass on the word!! :) Have an amazing day and "Happy Steeming!"

You should make a Steem Douche List Daily article. Would be funny. Get submissions from people in comments.

First submission = @nicnas

@dragosroua Excellent points in Your post AND I am still somewhat guilty of making some of the errors that You mentioned in Your post.... like asking what is written directly below:

UpVoted & Following... please consider following me ( now I don't do this very often any more and if I do it, it is with people that are generally close to my current level... not that this makes it perfectly acceptable.)

( There is a learning curve here at Steemit AND even a MUCH steeper "learning curve" regarding the crypto markets in general... even for myself with almost 40 yrs of a financial background in the Bond Markets ( institutional fixed income ie Commerical Paper, Overnight Repos, Mortgage Backs and of course US Treasuries, which may soon no longer been "perceived" as the safest securities both within the United States or any where else on the planet.)

We are currently observing a fast moving/ever increasing pace for the massive paradigm shift occurring in almost every area/aspect of life for the world.

I have been speaking with @aggroed & sharing ideas with him how the Steemit Community can better assist the new people (2 to 8 weeks or less ) so that they can not only move "up the ladder" but do so in an intelligent & effective manner. Aggroed is using one of the ideas I freely shared with him and is being currently utilized in the Minnow School 1 hour sessions that he is now conducting. I hope he is able to help 100's, then 1,000's, tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of 1,000's of new people that come to Steemit over the coming months & years...

Your points in this post speak to a growing problem amongst people that are new, excited to succeed ( and maybe because they desperately need to make an income ) whether they reside here in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, etc... ARE important & significant because most people, like myself are somewhat lost unless there is someone that is "guiding" them...

I am sorry for making this comment so lengthy, but I really want to help any way that I can... knowing that I still have a tremendous amount of learning to do... just regarding the appropriate behavior & the most effective ways to become successful, here on Steemit.

SO.... Thanks Again for this post. UpVoted.

Hope You're having a Good Weekend !!

Didn't know about the minnow school, sounds great :)

Yes... aggroed has done a really great job in helping new people ( minnows ) find their way when they first come to Steemit. Thanks Again Dragos Roua

@aggroed has helped me quite a bit in developing relationships on Steemit and allowing me to go with my gut to interact with other Steemers. Sorry to drop in your convo, but feel like I am a part of the demographic you are all trying to assist in this community ..... I think it is amazing to be a part of it and learn this way!

No worries Tammy... If You are available this evening at 10pm EST then follow the link below for @aggroed class for Minnow Support... Cheers !!

Watching the Stanley Cup, but going to do my best to multi-task! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond- much appreciated!

hey, love to you both. Would be happy to have you there!

new member here.! thanks for posting this, nice to reinforce the idea of netiquette <- first time hearing this word lol

Good read there on netiquette, all steemians have to role to play in building up this society, hopefully a society that future steemians can love. Good job there dragosroua!

These reminders should be ingrained into users' brains, for sure! Man, I hope this is part of the onboarding for new users. Nip the epidemic before it spreads. Of all the points you raised, these are my favorites:

  • post original content (we hate plagiarizers)
  • when you comment on somebody else's post, try to bring at least a minimal contribution
  • if you follow someone, try to really follow up and engage. Don't try to build numbers, instead, go for interactions, that's from where the power of the platform comes

I always preach about this, but I fear that a lot of users are just too hardheaded. Too often we see posts that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Sure, they mention the sources, but they earn for something they just shared and not the original creator. That doesn't really sit well for me.

I really hate it when people just leave a generic comment, hoping it would lead you to their account. Once you follow and support them, that's when they stop supporting you. That really sucks, and that's what made me put up a lot of restrictions in terms of following people. When you follow people, for God's sake, follow them, and not simply as a means to pad up your stats. Come on, people. Basic common courtesy.

Man, if we could enforce these three points, that'll be a real gamechanger. If anything, it would surely make Steemit a way better place filled with amazing interactions.

Great work compiling this!

Tanks, glad it's helpful and we're on the same page with this. Steem on!

Very well written article, its completely true that so many of new steemers don't really know much about what they are doing here. I guess we are in a type of phrase where we are getting mature.... Thanks for your post, big thumbs up and upvote!

Thanks for the article. I'm in my first few weeks of Steemit and I quickly noticed that my initial thoughts on the community needed some readjustment. I am more excited about the community here than I am about the potential of personal gain. One thing that did not need readjustment was that I felt I should take in more than I share at first. That I should lift others before I promoted myself. In my introduction post I did mention that if readers did me the honor of following that I would try to honor followers with quality content. I don't feel that was begging, I feel it was a statement to my commitment to contribute to the community.

I am still in the taking in more than I publish, getting a feel for the community, the UI of posting, ect. If I don't have anything good to say at this point I'm not saying anything. I have made some practice posts with original material I had on hand that seemed suitable, not much expectation of return at this point.

Thanks for the post and the new information that I can use. See you around!

It's a learning curve, indeed. Stay with it, and understand as much as you can. It's well worth it.

A very timely and much needed post! Thanks so much!!

I wish Steemit allowed you to bookmark things to your blog without posting on the feed wall. I want to totally replace reasons for going to Youtube and Facebook. I use Youtube a lot for music as an example while I work or do research. Id like to play the music from my page. Is there a way to add links to my blog without annoying the feed wall? I am not adding to make money or get followers, simply for more reasons for me to hangout on steemit more and Youtube/FB less.

At this point there is no interface for ingesting / consuming content the way you suggested, but I'm sure this will change. Many developers are working on their own apps on top of the Steemit blockchain.

Ok. I will stop posting my music links for now and deal with Youtube. cant wait to see where other developers take Steem. Makes me wish I was still coding, but have not written code for many years. Thanks for responding..

I would be honest here...even I made some mistakes in my initial couple of days when I didn't know much about how to make progress in this community...but then because of community members like you who make sure newbies are on the right track I have started posting more engaging posts/comments...thanks for the support and timely updates.

Some really god advice and reminders, not just for the newcomers. I didn't know about using the memo field as a message.

Thanks for the advice/information, especially the stuff about flagging. I've read bits and pieces about flagging here and there, but I still have lots to learn about this site. As much as I hope to never get flagged, if it does happen, it would be nice to be notified since I don't always pay attention to how much $ my posts are generating. It would be even better if the flagged was able to comment or send a message why they were flagging too -- kinda I keeping with the "when you know better, you do better idea."

I love this post. Thanks for covering the basics of steemit etiquette. I am one of the many newbies on here and I certainly appreciate the help. Keep up the good work. 😁

I agree with you on the begging of votes! Especially newer people tend to be for votes or follows. Thanks for sharing!

This is just what I needed! An assurance that authenticity is still the best strategy. I am not a fan of coercion, and when coerced, I withdraw all the more. Thank you for this!

Haha, This post sums up what I've been seeing here on Steemit lately with newbies. Great advice @dragosroua.

I'm new… i don't follow whales unless they follow me.. As it turns out the Whales aren't always putting up interesting posts. .. i have it in my mind to follow everyone who follows me.. is that o.k. ? i do look through the feed on the homepage and take a look at anything that interests me.. i also look at every follower's page from time to time, scanning for anything that might interest me.. i like having a variety of topics to read… i also use the search engine when i want to find something specific.. I do follow any Steemian pages i find interesting; usually they will at least make a comment here and there; but if a couple of weeks passes and they haven't followed me back, i'll unfollow… So that my follower / following is almost always the same or close to it.. the following will have one or 2 more usually .. You said….. if you follow someone, try to really follow up and engage. Don't try to build numbers, instead, go for interactions, that's from where the power of the platform comes… and that's the BEST Advice !! i do engage my followers.. i just feel if someone follows you… you should follow them back… if you only see the comments your followers are leaving, that limits the conversation to YOUR Posts pretty much… If you are not in turn Following your followers, there posts will not show up on your feed… Does anyone see where i'm going with this? anyone…. Bueller….. Bueller ….

Thanks Dragos for this concise and practical info. I'm new to steemit (haven't even done my intro yet) and I definitely don't want to start off making mistakes.
I may or may not have interesting content to share, that will be up to others to decide, but I'm excited to find out! Your guidance will inform my next steps, sending gratitude your way.

Thank you for this. It's a scary place here at first and I don't want to do anything wrong so it's nice to pick up some dos and donts !


What is your opinion on self-upvoting? I see many people on this platform who are dead-set against it.

Myself - I try to go for about a 50/50 split.

I believe the people who are against it do not see the value in using SteemIt as an alternate "savings account" which actually pays out interest - since big banks have quit doing that for most of their general customers some time ago.

I saw an interesting post by Jerry Banfield the other day where he was complaining about how he works so hard to be a good author, yet he's only the #4 author on SteemIt - and the #1 author is a massive self-upvoter.

I think that's fine. They had the foresight to invest enough money, early on, and they actively put in their time & work to upvote their own, "Nice Post" comments. Actually, that's the most hilarious thing ever, because I hear so much about how "Nice Post" comments are lame & unwanted - yet, here is the #1 author getting paid the lions share of the daily rewards pool for doing just that. So, as far as being an "author" goes, it really sucks. But, as far as using SteemIt for an interest-bearing savings account goes - it's freaking brilliant !!!

What say you???

Thanks for the link. I will read it now...

I think should be a "must read" for newbies (like me)..

I may have made some mistakes before due to not properly informed, and that's why I always try to follow through posts like this one full of useful clues, I really need to understand the system very well and I'm happy that many information has registered. thanks for sharing @dragosroua

Hey thanks for the great post i have only been using social media for a little over 3 weeks . Never used any kind before coming to steemit so i am having great difficulty understanding what to do and why others do what they do when it comes to general interactions. Im an old farmer and my son put mt on to steenit. so this has helped very much. I found you from one of the links on another post of yours and that idea alone is going to help me.
So good job and keep up the good work.


Love the etiquette guide.. Its too bad there is no "welcome guide" that gets emailed when someone signs up (maybe a link to this)... People are skeptical signing up to this site - they fly in - give it a test - and a lot of times walk away. I dont think there is much of a relationship between the Steem price and Steemit - I wonder what your thoughts are on that? If Steemit stays a small "niche" site - do you think the experience/value is any better or worse if it was 5 times the size?

Well, thankfully there is this:

and of course this:

These are shown in the user's home page 'blog' section, below "Looks like you haven't posted anything yet."

Agree some useful pointers could be emailed out upon successful account creation. I think there's a large learning curve for Steem/Steemit, particularly with the jargon that newcomers need to learn and get used to.

Lots to learn but I keep learning on your post and many others as well.

Thank you for that.
I'm enjoying so far in less than a week here at Steemit Community.

A variety of good, serious, interesting and wonderful contents is overwhelming.

Love it!

Great post - thanks a lot. I am still just lurking and commenting and have yet to do my introductory post, but this stood out to me:
"don't fire up a bot with standard comments on all the posts published, hoping they'll come back. Steemit has a few built-in spam protection mechanisms"

What are these mechanisms? I'd love to know, as I have spotted a lot of what must be simple copy and paste responses to build followers. Stock-standard comment spam, really.

Thanks very good info. I was feeling bad because I'm not following all the people that are following me. I do have one question, however, how does one become a big fish without any post, videos, or comments? (not that its anything I want to do) I'd just like to know how that happens.

Thanks for the info. It is an added knowledge to we newbies on how to thread cautiously on this platform.

Every new user of steemit should get this in the welcome email!

Great description! You've gained my following, kind regards :)

Upvoted and Resteemed. Great article. <3

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