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RE: Sample of "nothing at stake" peoples, empowered on 6th day by voting bots!

in #steem4 years ago (edited)

Yeah... those last minute votes are a shame... but honestly, what gets on my nerves much more is those early paid votes that clog up the hot and trending pages with shitposts.

imho it would be more important to prevent paid votes before the posts are a day or maybe 2 old. I get that this initiative targets improved correctability (if that's a word) of post rewards but I think re-enabling organic discovery through "normally" curated trending/hot sections would be of greater effect!

just my two cents!


edit: oh and blacklists... why can't we just get all those meme-re-posters blacklisted in the big voting bots... damn, i forgot again, they all just care for the ka-ching and couldn't give less shit about the health of this ecosystem...


editagain: and just to be clear, yes I do use voting bots, it would be silly to let the shameless walk away with all of it by themselves... but I do play it fair and vote my stuff at 3-5 days - my "real" supporters get their curation and you get your chance to correct me if neccessary...



can someone please explain what this is all about? a newbie question obviously, but seems like some folks are doing some kind of unethical voting?

It is possible to pay for receiving upvotes. Recently there's been an explosion of these paid voting services and it is skewing the game (reward distribution and content ranking) on steem quite significantly...

There's a big debate about this lately and the community is struggling to find a productive consensus about it... welcome to steem politics. This is a full fledged economy here with all it's bright and dark sides.

My bigger problem is the amount of spam on the platform. Just read a few comments down and you will see what i have in mind. "Woah great comment" being spammed over and over.

fight spam comments is easy - we need just attach 0.01 steem fee on comments.

i think that won't solve the problem.

In your case if bots are paid to post and like comments so they will get paid more to cover posting fees...

Im new to steem but the way i understood it was that its the goal of steem to be completely free and without any fees for the currency?

It's an interesting idea to explore. Maybe each post should take away some "posting power" like each vote eats at our voting power.

Or perhaps ‘voter confidence by peers’ add a Downvote so if everyone downvotes your post you lose money for those & if you get a very high number to if downvotes you get banned. Something for accountability. Otherwise there will be monopolized ‘gang’ up voters just for da 💰

I agree with the downvotes!

that would discourage people from commenting. Perhaps some clever filtering on comments that get no upvotes. Suppressing them...not sure

Yeah "love your post..;P keep it up see what I have too!!.!"

If Steemit needs anything it's more consumers and commenters. More people bringing interesting discussion. Look at how people use reddit, they don't just scroll down the front page and click article links, they read through the comments to see what people think. Reward pool or no, the discussion is what makes people feel like there is a real community, and comment spam ruins that.

This is an excellent point. At this stage the people on Steemit are largely creators. They don't mind having a read of someone elses work but there is always the underpinning goal of getting them to head over to their own blog and upvote.

I agree that spam is a serious issue of it's own... but as long as the spam doesn't get the majority of the reward pool it won't have damaging economic effects... it's when spam meets paid upvotes where we really enter difficult territory!

Instead it lowers interest in the site, people leave, steem goes down becomes worthless.

Yeah, the spam comments definitely do still have their own downside. Turning people away from the platform because all they see is bots and spam. However, it doesn't have the direct economic affects that these vote bots do.

The long term affect of the spam may be a bigger problem, but I think that attracting newer users isn't the biggest problem right now... It's keeping the current users. The ones being affected by these bots.

It's current users I'm talking about... I know more than a few who are fed up with the constant spam and are powering down. They aren't getting votes anyway, since everyone either upvotes themselves or uses their vote to pander to whales in the hopes they'll notice them and upvote their post one day. Actual users outside the whale pool are mostly ignored.

(Including a published writer who was using Steemit as prelaunches for his books/stories/etc... a sad thing for us to lose as "content" goes.)

His view on it, when conversing on how he should move his power down to USD:
"i've decided to power down my account on Steemit. i'm bored with the site; i average about 5 people viewing each post and the drama there is just...stupid. i've had my fun. time to cash out."
then later:
"yeah, i can't get shit for interaction out of anyone any more, which is why i'm good on just bailing on the site in general. move it out, do something else with it."

So is it appropriate to label these comments as spam? Many reddit communities avoid low quality comments this way.

great comment

Woah great comment!

yes, 100% agree,
If you have nothing to say: say "Nothing"

As a minnow in the current system, even if you make great content that does generate a lot of natural upvotes once it gets noticed, you will very frequently find your posts getting little to no traction if you don't buy an early upvote. The ability to buy upvotes actually transfers power from whales to minnows, without it, whales have 100% complete control over what content gets seen.

I wanted to test steem out from a minnow perspective so I made a new account and slowly have built up a reasonable amount of follows / steemit (still small bet steady progress) and I literally was getting nowhere until I started reinvesting my post rewards into early vote buys to get my posts noticed. Often after that initial investment they would go on to make $20+ but without the initial bump the exact same content would make 2 or 3 cents.

I don't think its a bad thing to give people who are confident that their content is good a way to pay for it to get noticed and the ability to reap the rewards if there investment in an early upvote does in fact pay off. This is actually a very simple and effective method of early curation that removes power from the whales. Without randowhale/booster/steemlike/etc my guess is I would have gotten nowhere.

Early on, I thought that vote buying was a huge problem with steemit, but I've come to believe that in reality, without it, a small number of whales would dominate the front page even more than they already do and keep most or all of the platform rewards for themselves.

Yeap, I agree!

But, as it stands, vote-buying is being heavily abused, not by minnows who try to get good content seen, but by spamposts buying heavy votes for stolen meme's and plagiarized content.

Buying upvotes on post shortly before payout, making correctional downvotes impossible, is the best way to abuse this mechanism "safely". I think that's what @grumpycat is trying to get at, and I can see that making sense.

About the issue I've raised myself here initially, the skewed discovery due to paid-for-votes dominating the trending and hot sections... I wouldn't complain if those were usually quality posts.

Imho. Paid-Votes for ROI and increased visibility, that's fine for posts older than a day and younger than 4.

Oh and... have you looked into the functionality of "promoted"? Initially there was a concept of "buying" visibility that actually benefited the reward pool. Too bad it's so poorly implemented that greedy whales can just sell their votes to greedy spammers nowadays...

It's a complicated issue, and I find it exciting to see the community dealing with it. I am not against vote-selling, it's part of the game and I'll much rather have it done openly than under the counter by some big players. But I also support putting pressure on vote-sellers to do their business in a way that's not harmful to this ecosystem.

Sadly, when I've tried the "promoted" feature I didn't see nearly the payoff that I get from 1SBD to randowhale or similar.

As a minnow myself I totally see this, I don't post often and would love to get those early upvotes, I even tried some of the earlier services but they didn't get you much more than what they cost, so now I refuse to use any of these services and rarely even hit the promote button. I'm in this for the long game so I don't feel the need to earn everything over night.

I am new so still trying to learn the ropes. I am not keen on the idea of buying upvotes and haven't done so far but it seems that I may have to try that out. Thanks for helping me understand the system.

@fraenk thanks for the explanation. I came across something like this today and it seems that many people use this. I think if others at much higher levels are using such services then why should I not use it. But I also see that this can potentially reduce quality and reward those who can spend more.

Should it not actually be banned entirely or at least limit the number of such votes each user can buy in a given timeframe? This number can be limited to a fixed upper ceiling for all accounts irrespective of steempower. What do you think?

Sure, such "safeguards" could be implemented and would help a lot, but here's the catch:

Steem is an open blockchain protocol, it is impossible (well, impractical) to enforce such rules on the blockchain itself. They will have to be implemented by those who run the bots. Only very few operators do so, because of course this would limit their turnover. And that's why projects like @grumpycat try to enforce such rules with "economic" and "social" pressure.

I guess that's how anarcho-capitalism plays out?!

What would happen if people with a lot of SP start flagging them?

That's a GREAT idea. The question who would have the mettle and willingness to forego short term gains to do. Most whales probably rationalize "Well so-and-so is running a vote selling service so why shouldn't I?"

I think in terms of ethics this is utterly fallacious reasoning but I doubt most of them really give enough of a shit. I think there has been a decided correlation between my cynicism and awareness of how prevalent bid bots have become. I think that steem has become a stake-based cash grab rather than a community intent on producing quality or adding value to the blockchain.

Thanks for your input. At the end of the day it's what we make it. Even if the whales cash out and things come crashing down - us little people have to all have to stick with it if we truly believe in the platform.

@mikeycolon - but our belief in the Steemit platform is based on the success the whales have achieved here. If there are such services made available by the very same people and being used by whales and minnows alike, then I think usage of voting services will increase.

For example, why should I not use it at my level given the obvious short term benefits though the long term consequences are not yet clear.

Hmm - true.... 🤔

I am just starting to understand all of this, I guess :) A lot more to learn

it's a deep deep rabbit hole ;)

So in a way, crypto is slowly creeping towards the same vices that it seeks to remove from the economy?

Yes, except maybe not slowly.

People are people.

Such a wide range of human attitudes surely makes it inevitable.

This is a full fledged economy here with all it's bright and dark sides.

If we want a uncensored platform all of us have to deal with the dark sides.
Thats the thing in a free internet we want, or not?

Thanks for the explanation. Also very new here and trying to understand how it all works.


woah! you don't have to scream!

but yes, I DID upvote this post. I actually found this post because @grumpycat overbought several bidbots for this very post. Doing so they actually pushed the vote ROI into the negatives... I don't think that was by mistake?!

I honestly don't know if they act hypocritically, but what I do think to know is that they try to make an impact on the community ethics and they push a necessary debate about the state of steemonomics. I cannot say whether I agree with their methods but I do understand the motive.

They might line their pockets, but they do have a message, too. Votesellers usually lack the latter and don't do shit to prevent abuse for it might reduce their bottom line.

Oh, so those with mass account worth, and steem to pay for voting bots, should be the only ones to profit from voting bots?
"Doing so they actually pushed the vote ROI into the negatives," for everybody else. For the one guy that might take some of his hard earned steem, to try and get some exposure for a post he spent a lot of hours on; that's a CRIME!
Whether people like it or not, the steemit system is late stage capitalism at it's finest. It takes money to make money. The top 1% have all the wealth (whales), and some of them can throw their weight around and try to set "rules" on a decentralized system like a dictator trying to stay in power. You have those minnows who wallow in envy, because they aren't willing to risk some of their own finances to help them succeed, and hate to see others succeed before them.
Don't get me wrong, there is abuse, and a lot of spammers might use this abuse, but there is a lot of hypocrisy going on at the same time, in the name of justice.
The Irony; the ones profiting off this "WAR" are the ones creating all the drama around it in the first place, regardless of what side they are on. People are following either side like lemmings, while they are just getting played.

I must say I agree with your statements here in principle.

Regardless of that I probably evaluate the situation differently. The late-stage-capitalism aspects are "enabled" on the blockchain but that's something that we can't effectively change. Well, as I stated in an earlier comment, it's anarcho-capitalism.

It's a big experiment and the social aspects on the platform are playing out like it should be expected.

I cannot agree with with "aggressive" methods but I do embrace a heated debate about such subjects, even if it takes a lot of controversy to get there.

The unjust accumulation of power on this platform is probably intrinsic with the system, the democratization and social adjustments that shape the "culture" here will be what will turn it into either the distopia of greedy capital or the utopia of abundance...

I'd definitely be careful with the word "crime"... the "laws" here are made by the blockchain, and neither buying votes for shitposts nor flagging campaigns are forbidden.

It's ideologies and moral sentiment clashing.

And I'll reiterate, I personally believe the vote-sellers are the ones who need to step up and "moralize" their business.

Message would be better received if payouts were declined. Otherwise it looks just as scammy as anything else on here. I used all caps to get attention because this post is overloaded with spam comments: another tasteless irony.

Thanks for your post!
Please Follow, Upvote & Resteem my post to help us to travel & explore more

WTF... ad spam half way into a serious conversation...

sorry bro... 10% flag

Why bro you give me flag? what fault?

it's only a 10% flag, I doubt it's been hurting you much at all...

but if you continue rudely interrupting other people's threads with shameless self-promotion you'll better get used to it.

come-on... this isn't even on a post but on a comment that you probably didn't even read.


Thanks for asking exactly what i was thinking.

Thanks for asking because I was afraid to ask!


I've opted out because I honestly don't believe in them as a matter of principle. Something greasy about my having money to employ vote buying to put my post above someone else who may not when it's not strictly about quality.

It's not just greasy. It's GRE-HE-HE-HEASY!

But I can hear what you're saying about letting the shameless walk away with all of it themselves. It's rather tempting but I cannot go against my own conscience on the matter.

I started a program to hopefully curb the overvalued post issue through incentivized flags but it's still in the process of getting hammered out. Personally, there's enough reason to go after bid botted blockchain diarrhea more than anything else. I dream of a whale setting up an anti-bid bot. I absolutely hate what bid bots have done to this platform.

I respect that a lot. There's too few people of principle, but really THAT is what should actually matter!

Anyways, I have made my peace with buying votes (though, yes, it does still feel a bit filthy) as it is part of the current economy. And really, if "the shameless" are left to it by themselves, they'll be the ones gaining influence and power to shape this community... and THAT is the real danger here.

I believe there is an ethical way of trading votes, if it is done transparently, without skewing the organic discovery too much and with reasonable caps and quality standards. I hope some bot-operators will see this eventually, they are the ones who can and must use their power responsibly.

We can't really blame minnows trying to make a buck and get seen. But bot operators tolerating hundred dollar upvotes on shitty reposted memes and stolen facebook pictures, that's what needs to stop!

If you're investing in promotion of your product (your content), it's not some sort of sin. It's not objectively good or bad. I would assume that most people who spend money to promote low-quality products will eventually get weeded out.

People act like it some sort of sin to PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT! That's what steemit is! It's you, promoting yourself (the product) with the idea of gaining some $$ for your time.
I hope the people complaining about this NEVER watch TV, as it's full of companies PAYING for ADVERTISING! They are filling a service that you pay for already with spam! But hey, have to watch my shows, and stuff...
It's no different than paid votes on steemit.
I couldn't stand paid adverts on TV, so I canceled it, and got netflix. If you don't like someone posting spam, USE THE HIDE BUTTON FOLKS! and let them waste their money.

I sure hope so, too... but it wouldn't hurt if voting bot operators tried to have some sort of guidelines and abuse prevention

I never thought about it this way... "my real supporters get their curation"... I always used the voting bot off the hop just to make sure it was known and fair... I will rethink my approach. Thank you.

Because the self appointed hall monitors care more about people making more money than them than they do about actual shit content making the site unusable/unviewable.

They'll expend infinite amounts of voting power and time slagging off a handful of people who self vote while ignoring the thousands of spambots. All why saying they're doing it "for the community", when what they mean is "for their own ego".

Yeah... those last minute votes are a shame... but honestly, what gets on my nerves much more is those early paid votes that clog up the hot and trending pages with shitposts.

imho it would be more important to prevent paid votes before the posts are a day or maybe 2 old. I get that this initiative targets improved correctability (if that's a word) of post rewards but I think re-enabling organic discovery through "normally" curated trending/hot sections would be of greater effect!
just my two cents!

Nice POV. I like it. Of course, I would rather they just created a better algorithm in which SP weight didn't matter, or mattered less when determining what posts trend.

a better algorithm in which SP weight didn't matter

but that kind of negates the whole purpose of staked voting for rewards?! I dunno...

I'd rather they fixed the almost abandoned "promoted" feature to give weight in "trending". That would be good for the reward pool AND the curation on this platform

The rewards would still be stake weighted, they just would have nothing to do with if something made it to trending or not. But, you could still have it so that other channels did? Maybe give the whales their own tab. Let that be the promoted tab. People would go there to interact with whales anyway in order to bring attention to their posts. Whales could make it to trending as well, but they would have to write quality content in order to get there.

Not sure what to do about curation, but that is another issue that would need to be fixed.

imho that all sounds very convoluted and impractical.

why make a complicated solution to a simple problem, responsible vote-selling (promotion&investment) policies.

I am absolutely pro vote-selling, if that's not "publicly available" it's just going to happen under the counter and will be even less accessible to the "average-joe" on steemit, leading to even more reward skew towards the established players.

Making overly complicated rule-sets (that would have to be implemented on the chain to be effective) is just not practical when the problem at hand is really mainly an ethical one stemming from quality expectations and economic understanding about this platform. It should be solved as such.

Wait.... What... You can get last minute $20 votes??

Well, I think this problem nearly is unsolvable, because as long it's free to vote posts up there will be people abusing this system by botting their posts.
The only thing we can do is hoping that most of the newbies understand vulnerability of this complex system.

@fraenk wow a nice i was just thinking about it whats going on is it against thee rules of steem community getting a vote from a its important for that what i am people know me according to that i dont need an upovte by a bot <3

oh and blacklists... why can't we just get all those meme-re-posters blacklisted in the big voting bots... damn, i forgot again, they all just care for the ka-ching and couldn't give less shit about the health of this ecosystem...

I know a lot of bot owners are actively working blacklists of their own and possibly looking at sharing with/from steemcleaners.

yeah... like months later after a few movers and shakers finally started stepping up the game.

well, better late than never, right ;)

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