Anonymous Post / Comment Voting & Instant Scalability SolutionsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #steem3 years ago (edited)


Not rocket science and pretty much off the cuff:-

  1. Most successful social media platforms don’t show the usernames of upvoters. Facebook is the exception here as far as I know, so it’s likely okay to have transparent upvoting. Anonymous is alright as well, considering that’s generally how it works everywhere else.

  2. All successful social media platforms don’t show the usernames of downvoters. I can’t find any exception, so it’s likely sound to have anonymous downvoting.

  3. With anonymous downvoting at least, we may get a better representation of our subjective evaluation which is a key ingredient in a functional content discovery and rewards platform. And there’s less friction?

How to achieve anonymous voting?

If we stick to shoving and computing every post and vote into the blockchain until the end of time, I’m sure there are legit ways to make votes anonymous. But it may be too expensive for the chain.

Or maybe an easier way to achieve this with the bonus of great upside and little downside:-

  • Take Steem’s posting / voting / reward mechanisms off the blockchain. Funnel the current reward pool into agreed upon central layer(s) via SPS. This central layer acts like Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, etc dealing with posting / voting / reward calculations off-chain.

  • This way, we can already have the usual massive scalability, manageability, and rapid iteration-ability of successful social media platforms without too much of the unnecessary burden, bloat, and cost of the blockchain. No more account creation problems and just about anyone can immediately engage with the platform. Users can link up their blockchain account with the off-chain account anytime to have their SP accounted for.

  • The central layer doesn’t have to show the names of upvoters and downvoters. And votes are not logged and not computed on the chain. Anonymous, except to the central entity as usual. Problem solved. Virtually instant voting and posting too without that couple of seconds delay.

Shouldn’t we avoid too much reliance on trusted third parties for a blockchain project?

I’m only talking about the removal or reduction / minimization of the posting key stuff here: posting and / or voting related to the author / curator reward pool side of things. Not the active key stuff: DPOS witness voting, SPS, and the rest of the basic blockchain functionalities that are pretty much the same as Bitcoin will remain intact.

Sure, we lose the censorship resistant part of posting and voting by having it off-chain, but the transactions / memos on the blockchain will remain to be uncensorable, of course.

Perhaps the worst thing that could happen with the reward pool being funneled to a one-party central layer solution is the mishandling of funds (voting power and order scorekeeping, reward calculation and distribution, etc). But that’s just about 6% (or less in the future) inflation risk for so much upside. It's more likely the central layer will do their job properly. Plus, the community can re-vote where the reward pool goes to if the central layer is compromised.

Steem would still remain to have utility on curation rewards and Bitcoin-like blockchain functionalities on the account level, along with transactional bandwidth. And perhaps the SMT stuff. Still a blockchain with a decentralized currency. With this solution, we just pretty much decouple the app side of things away from the chain and have minimal interaction with it other than for validating SP amount and to distribute rewards, etc.

If anon voting sucks, then what about the other point on having the posting / voting stuff off-chain with the gain of scalability regardless?

Good idea? Bad idea? Everything must be on the chain? Your thoughts?

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Disclaimer: Not to be taken as financial advice.
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well to put it really simply ... if the transparency leaves, so do I.

I am not real happy seeing the abusive downvoting now. Being able to hide actions will embolden behaviour not improve it.

I've always treated this place like the public internet. In public, there's to be no expectation of privacy.

Here we have a name rather than a body. Seeing my name here and these words is much like walking past a crowd of people and overhearing a conversation. One can chime in if they want or they can keep going.

In public, as you walk along, maybe you'll drop a few coins in busker's guitar case. People see that. They don't know who you are, but they see you and your actions. There's nothing to hide and no reason to hide it. People might see me pay an establishment for a few drinks or a meal. People might see me rob a bank. If I was invisible, I could rob all the banks, all the shops, all the people. Who would know?

The public is the biggest social network in the world. I'd consider modeling this platform around that, which for the most part, it is.

The public internet doesn't pay you new coins out of thin air to do anything. It isn't the same problem space.

Maybe not, but maybe it does now.
Being pioneers is hard...

I certainly first came in seeing the value of a totally transparent social network, for reasons that it can be very valuable for anyone who wants to be valued based on their honesty and integrity, ie, anyone can check whatever you've communicated on the chain, even the ones edited out. However I kinda find there's little network "memory" to make that work. For the most part, one can still easily get away I think, especially considering the effect of upvotes. There's also another side of users wishing to have at least some control over their privacy (think about some crazy stalker ex).

But okay, let's remain with the current setup (decentralized or not) and say if we just anonymize downvotes (maybe kinda like letting ppl wear masks), would that alone break this "public space" thing?

Maybe we also need a home here, where we can go, to enjoy our privacy, and invite guests or kick them out if they're acting drunk and putting ham in the fish tank again.

Do we need either, or? One thing or the other? Wouldn't there be more potential in having the best of both worlds?

I'm thinking about this anonymous downvotes stuff and my mind keeps travelling to something like being blindsided by some anti-social menace of a drive-by shooter then waking up in the hospital with most of my blood missing, not knowing what happened. This society would be full of cold cases. It could end up being like a plague, posts dropping left and right, and nobody knows the cause or the cure.

Maybe the rights of a voter could be revoked by a set of guidelines enforced by a panel of judges if the behavior of that individual is deemed unfit for this society? We're free to create our own society here. Just because billionaires who like to start wars and sell weapons to both sides exist on the planet, that doesn't necessarily mean we need to cater to that element of society here?

You are one of the last voices of reason on this platform.

There's still plenty of reasonable people here though, but I do realize the place can be frustrating at times.

I'm all for anonymous voting; At least for the downvotes. But maybe also for the upvotes; But then for the public only, the one getting the vote shall be able to see who upvoted. This would likely open the doors to abusive behaviours. I would think, when bringing the service offchain, in an centralised entity, it should not be that difficult to create a governance body (semi-centralised, or de-centralised) that tracks whatever happens and fight abusive behaviours. Owww and such centralised service owner shall be almost 100% transparent to what it does ( I say almost, since the anonymous downvotes should still stay anonymous, forever).

But then for the public only, the one getting the vote shall be able to see who upvoted. This would likely open the doors to abusive behaviours.

How does showing upvotes publically open the doors to abusive behaviors btw?

I meant the none-public downvotes will lead to abusive behaviours, maybe different abusive behaviours as we see now happening. Public visible upvotes is not driving abusive behaviour, not as far as I can rationalise this.

Abusive fighting: What if we would get some governance bodies in place with a more-or-less decentralised structure, with the ability to hide or downvote a post to zero without the need to collect the enormous amount of SP? ie some kinda of super user accounts with high SP? The way these bodies are created needs careful design to make sure these bodies in itself will not become abusive.

There are some interesting ideas here but I don't really see the need to throw them all together. Removing content and removing voting from the blockchain could each be done without the other.

Yes, that'll then be a matter of reducing the posting key function, I'll edit the post.

Then again, most successful social media platforms don't pay you to post/comment/upvote but they steal from you. So we need to take that in consideration.

I don't want to imagine what can happen if we get anonymous downvotes. It will only give power to egoistic people who just want to downvote out of revenge and make them bigger bullies.

I am not tech guy but I understand Ego, so it feels to me that anonymous downvoting would be really bad. Dunno tho', will be interesting to see comment section of this post.

Peace yo!

You already can downvote anonymously by setting up a separate account for that.

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That's a good point but not everyone will do that - less impact. Still, the point is good imo.

But revenge on who when its all anonymous?

Let's say I commented on this post:

This is totally wrong, I don't like your thinking and your attitude will only make Steem price go to 0.

If you have anonymous downvote and you are butthurt, you would downvote me into oblivion. Then I would not know who did it, but I would probably think that's you, even tho' this is not the only post I commented on.
Then you can say you didn't downvote me which will make me question other authors of the post I commented on...

You know how it goes...

Sorry, as @shadowspub says, removing TRANSPARENCY from transactions, voting, up or downvoting, and I am gone as well.

That is the single fastest way to make this place a violent nasty flag war!

Sure, we lose the censorship resistant part of posting and voting by having it off-chain.

This is a big red flag for me. As a content creator (not highly technical) immutable control over my content is the main USP/value proposition of steem. Take that away and there is literally no reason for me to stay here.

It's a bad idea to fork out the thing that is the value proposition for the majority of the users. I also think that it maybe opens up the possibility of administrative entities pushing certain content out to favour other types. At the end of the day it seems what you're suggesting would give someone somewhere the 'keys to the kingdom' in regards to access to everyone's content. Trustless is a big buzz word in blockchain... I think for good reason!

I think there is a big discrepancy between what a lot of the devs here would like to see and what those who aren't involved in any of that (the consumers) want.

I get that these are all only ideas you're putting across in this post, but these are my thoughts on these particular issues.

To clarify, I think everything must remain on the chain.

Lol, if I've got anything massively wrong in my analysis let me know, like I said I'm not strong on the technical side of steem 👍

Sure, I think immutable "posts" would still be possible with elaborate memos, or we don't exactly remove the whole part of the posting key, but minimize its functions and still accommodate immutable posts, just not in the sense of what we currently have atm that's coupled with the voting stuff. Plus there's no privacy controls at all on Steem, so I'm not sure what control you have over your content. One of the only benefit I can think of for large posts on the chain is having a timestamp for your text-based content for dispute resolutions. That can of course remain. My guess is most users don't actually care about shoving texts on the blockchain. The main aspects of the chain are still trustless.

Sure, I think immutable "posts" would still be possible with elaborate memos.

Do we want to make it all more complicated for the average person? Lol, it took me 6 months on steem to learn how to do everything I needed in regards to producing and promoting my posts. I was an average person in regards to how little I knew, I'd say I've had to learn all kinds of things... but I'm stubborn. Making it so people have to use the memo section to post immutable content seems counterintuitive to decreasing the learning curve.

I'm not sure what control you have over your content. One of the only benefit I can think of for large posts on the chain is having a timestamp.

That's exactly it... a timestamp is a big part of it. I think I'm one of the few people on here who actually puts a copyright sign on some of my writing, and there is a reason for that! It's completely possible for me to retain creative rights to my work here in the instance that I become successful as a novelist, which is my goal in life.

I guess what I'm trying to point out is that for me, and I'd guess some other content creators, it's important to retain full (key) control over my content. So that I can edit it, pull it down, and still keep a full record on the blockchain. This has big implications for creative ownership and copyright claims. None of this might matter much at the moment, but if this platform goes in the direction of attracting serious mainstream creatives then it will. And it will be important for all that information to be on the blockchain so that everything can be accountable to the owner of the the keys. Importantly, this timestampped record would be invaluable in copyright infringement cases.

That can of course remain.

I don't see how if someone else had access to my posts as it's no longer on chain but administered in some centralised way. Any type of centralised data base has the potential to be hacked!

Making it so people have to use the memo section to post immutable content seems counterintuitive to decreasing the learning curve.

This can be made easy through the front-end abstraction of course. Just like when you decide to post, you can choose either an immutable post on the blockchain or not, if that's the case.

Ha ha, fair enough. That clarifies things and answers to all my concerns in regards to timestamps for proving digital ownership in cases of copyright infringement.

Cheers for spelling it out for me kev 👍

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Indeed that can be a very powerful use case!

I agree with this. This is the case I tried to make for private voting from the start. Pseudoanonymity can reduce the risk of coercion and this can help make votes more honest but on Steem there are problems with this. Whales can create many puppet accounts to distort the market.

Whales can create many puppet accounts to distort the market.

But how without 1 account, 1 vote? Or you meant the posting side of things?

If you can achieve 1 account 1 vote using KYC or other means then you solve all these problems. I think maybe EOSVoice can solve it with that approach where you verify your pseudonyms.

I see reasons for and against anonymous voting. Facebook, Reddit, 4chan, Twitter, and others have all found their niche. It really depends on what we value more in our social media

Vote selling is as old as humanity, see it in the ancient Rome:
But anonymous voting makes it almost impossible. Nothing new.

Yes, for sure, but what do you mean by your last sentence? What becomes almost impossible?

Almost impossible sell votes with anonymous voting. You can't sell something invisible, uncertain. If vote buyers can't know who votes them, they won't pay for it.

Exactly! It can’t scale if thats the case.

I think everything should be encrypted and users should set public/private parameters, authorize/revoke UIs to decrypt for every transaction/operation from their account.

However, since reward pool is a public resource any action affecting distribution of the rewards would have to remain public.

anonymous voting, off chain? what ever works :)

With down votes, i'm starting to wish i could reallocate rewards from voters 50% payout only, in a lot of instances.

wish i could reallocate 100% of rewards from voters payout only in a lot of instances.

What do you mean here? Able to unvote and use the vote elsewhere without effectively using up voting power?

naw, meant if a post payout is $10, $5 for author $5 for curators, downvote $2.00 lowering curators amount to share to $3.00. See a lot of posts lately with high rewards based on silly auto voting

Interesting idea! I think it'll be good in changing autovoting behaviors once in awhile, although it can go both ways. Definitely something worth considering once the price goes higher if ever

Facebook is the exception here as far as I know

Twitter also shows the names of likers and retweeters.

These are both upvote-only systems though, not necessarily comparable with upvote+downvote systems.

This post has been included in the latest edition of The Steem News - a compilation of the key news stories on the Steem blockchain.

I came here for financial advices and am disappointed.

If you’re talking about the disclaimer, it’s something I use for my crypto-related posts just in case. Hope you’d consider removing the downvotes.

Hi @kevinwong

This ocean of Steemit is very varied in everything that happens, I think if it would be well seen a little privacy.

But then I realize that it is favorable for stemiants to take notice when they are given a positive vote in a specific and quality publication.

There are already accounts that are dedicated to giving negative votes and only those accounts that do so are enough.

I also think that everything should continue to be within the blockchain

I'm sorry for the late reply but your post caught my attention.


Yours, lanzjoseg

I hesitate to make a bad comment. and I don't want it to be transparent. I'd like to know who criticizes me badly.

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