Can we have downvotes and at the same time prevent 'flag wars'?
Hi Steemians, recently I already touched the delicate "DOWNVOTE" topic, but I think I have to dive a little bit deeper as it really concerns me. Also a discussion via discord with @hashkings was very interesting and convinced me to present my ideas in a new post.
In my opinion flags are necessary, but ...
In the post "Where do we take STEEM from here?" I already mentioned how some users are exploiting the rewards pool, and in a recent research I found out that the number of users who are writing posts or comments just for farming purposes is even higher than I expected.
Because of this problem, but also to be able to combat for instance spam, plagiarism or even worse, such as child pornography, I think the option to flag (now called downvoting) is necessary and helps to keep the 'STEEM organism' healthy.
Users who are against flags or at least against a limited number of 'free' flags ('free' until the downvote level has reached zero), couldn't convincingly explain me how to protect the rest of the community against the 'farmers'. For example, just consider the fact that @haejin is farming on STEEM, but he isn't farming on HIVE (even if he tried) ...
The crux, however, is that downvotes are often set for the sole reason of pursuing other users, solely because of their dissenting opinions or even completely independent of what they write(!), and denying them permanent visibility and any rewards. This is counterproductive to say the least and makes a devastating impression on newcomers who happen to observe such 'flag wars' or even get into them! We should be aware of this.
... if I am in favour this option I also have to offer ideas to solve the problem of personal 'flag wars'.
To contain 'flag wars' waged purely for personal motives, I think there should be a committee of respected users elected by the community and equipped with sufficient delegated STEEM power by Steemit, Inc.
This arbitration court could be called in cases when a user feels unjustifiably attacked, and then had to decide whether the flags were justified or not. In case the arbitrators agreed with the complaint they would counter the flag with an upvote (and possibly downvote the attacker).
My idea means that apart from curation accounts who reward quality content we would have arbiters to decide about flags. Then it would still be possible to fight abuse but as well curb unjustified personal attacks.
Of course details had still to be discussed. I imagine that the committee wouldn't have to discuss and get active because of every little flag, but in serious cases, if for example a whale hunts a small user and automatically flags every of his posts, then it would be time to step in.
If for example I flagged anybody who posted about dogs because I like cats, then the arbitors would counter my action, but when I downvoted him because of plagiarism they wouldn't interfere (or even add an additional downvote) ...
In addition, the arbitrators could also actively take part in the search and combat of spam and plagiarism.
So what do you think? "Great idea!" or "Typical jaki01 nonsense!"? :-)
I add an additional question as it fits the topic perfectly: a while ago @glory7 suggested that there should be the necessity to give an explanation for every flag. Would that feature be feasible and useful to curb flag abuse?