The Heck is going on with Steem?
From a community standpoint and the way things work here, Steem was never a perfect place even if the technology is working perfectly, it’s a finished product, but the community still has issues. We have a lot of people investing their time, the most crucial resource, into building communities, helping others and just having genuine conversations with people for fucking nothing but they are outshined by those powerful ones that handle the money.
If you take a look at the Trending page right now it’s filled with shit, anyone that has even a bit of common sense will realize that many of those posts are overvalued and not deserving to be there and even more than that, some don’t deserve a dollar. Of course, the quality of a post is subjective, but I think we can all conclude to the fact that some posts are just not worthy enough of their rewards.
Disclaimer: This is just a rant, I have no idea what I’m talking about, do your research.
I wanted to make this post for a while, and with the latest things happening in this space, I realized that it is about time. I truly hope that @BernieSanders after writing this post will start flagging more trash because, for fuck sake, nobody deserves that many rewards for contributing with nothing through their post.
I think we can all agree on the fact that the upvote-selling bots are cancer for the platform because a dollar bought by someone else on their posts it’s a dollar less for another person since the money is being taken from a common reward pool. It is a zero-sum game; if someone abuses the reward pool the whole platform suffers to some extent, it’s a bigger deal than you may think.
I bet that when @Dan designed this platform, he didn’t visualize people buying/selling upvotes because the whole fucking idea of Steem was that people are rewarding other people through upvotes if they find value in the content they provide. But if even one person is buying votes, then the whole system is rigged because it is not organic anymore.
Of course, I’m not that naive to think that this whole issue will end at some point, the bots may remain here forever, we won’t be able to kill them. The best for everybody it would be if someone would create a bot that rewards quality content and it’s run by humans. But, we’re still far from that.
Coming back to reality, as @Steeminator3000 said, the whole fucking Trending page is for sale and that is damn sad and all that is thanks to the people powering up the bots. But of course, they don’t mind the fact that they are hurting the platform as long as they get their buck and everybody else is doing that; it slowly becomes the norm.
But the bots are not directly the issue they are the symptom of a rigged system since many minnows and dolphins can’t earn shit if they are not using the bots thus that’s their only option. Sometimes I don’t even blame them since many whales decide to keep the VP for circlejerking instead of helping the overall community, but almost no post is worth fucking $800+ especially if most votes are bought.
The (Lack of) Flagging
Flagging is not an issue, but the lack of flagging on this platform is a big issue because when people are posting worthless shit and are getting paid for it, they are getting paid from the money that someone who’s helping the community could receive, from your potential money.
The whole purpose of the flag button is to take away the rewards from shitposts since there’s no central entity on the blockchain that can delete a specific abuse post. Flagging is very healthy for the whole community because the money removed from the posts go back to the reward pool and are eventually spread to more deserving people.
In fact, there’s an interesting experiment started by @abit that I know of from @exyle, that you can read more about here but the idea is that if whales started flagging instead of voting, the minnows and dolphins would have a significant influence on the platform. What I took out from there? If people start flagging more, everybody else wins. I was chatting a bit about the experiment with @whatsup, and she said that it was one of the most peaceful times she experienced on Steem and that even the minnows had influence, an opinion shared by @exyle too.
But of course, why would people flag and earn nothing when they could just upvote and earn rewards either through curation or post rewards, so there needs to be a separate VP for flagging, you can read more about this idea initiated by @Transisto here.
In a utopian world, there would be no need for flagging since no one would be abusing the platform and be posting worthless crap but we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where people are abusing the reward pool in all sorts of ways, and the flagging is a much-needed action.
The overall idea, I think we need more people to start flagging the crap, it’s healthy for everybody especially if the content flagged is only upvoted by bots and is complete crap. Nobody deserves an $800 post, besides maybe the big projects that help the community. Most issues Steem has are from a community point of view, and that is because people are people, people like instant gratification, they think are entitled to huge payouts and forget to think long term.
Many people are looking forward to @Dan’s new social media platform based on EOS thinking it will solve all the problems and as far as I know, it may solve a lot of stuff, but I’m afraid that people will fuck it up regardless. Anyway, this whole ecosystem is still new, and it has to grow up, to mature and I still think we have a long way until we get there but in five years we’ll all be looking back at this moment laughing, hopefully.
I have no idea if Steem will be like MySpace and EOS like Facebook, or the other way around, or both succeeding but one thing is certain, this thing still has issues, and we need to fix them. Hopefully, more will start taking action and stop pretending that everything is fine because it's not.