Changing the Code to Incentivize Curation

in steem •  8 months ago  (edited)

In a recent Hard Fork, code was changed to the voting curation time to curb self-voting advantages at 0 minutes after a post. Similar changes can be done to change other undesired behavior and effects in the system, such as buying or selling votes, and promoting the curation of content again instead.


Made by @krnel from source: Marco Verch/flickr, CC BY 2.0

The Problem

The problem of vote selling has been mentioned by many recently, like @kevinwong and @trafalgar. They suggest a 50/50 rewards split to authors and curators as a solution. I don't see that as a real solution to the problem of people selling (or buying) votes to make money. They can still do that after a 50/50 split, as they will get even more for selling their votes from the curation reward returns that pays out to them for selling their votes.

Vote seller returns from curation rewards will increase by 100%, from 25% of a post to 50%. That is not going to get the vote selling to stop, but only promote it more as a means to make money without doing anything. Finding content and upvoting with a click of the mouse is not much work, but it's still work compared to just delegating your SP and getting easy money in return. While those who create content do the most work, and will be most affected, with a 33% reduction in payouts from 75% to 50% author rewards from a post.

Those who create content and do more work will get less, while those who do no work and sell their votes will get more. Does that seem right? But that is would happening in 50/50, where the stated goal would be to incentivize people to stop selling their votes where they get returns for 0 work, and instead get them to do work and curate themselves. It doesn't make sense to me, as it will incentivize more 0 work vote selling, not the opposite, because they just get more curation rewards in the end.

Delegation

Why do people sell votes with no work, rather than do the minimal work to curate? Because delegation of SP and voting authority exists which allows them to get paid for selling their votes. But delegation is used in better ways and is useful. Getting rid of delegation would remove both the positive and negative aspects about it. There is an alternative that can keep the good and disincentivize the bad.

Vote Buying

People also sell votes because others are willing to buy those votes. Why do they buy those votes? Because they can make money. And, as some claim is the primary reason, they want to promote their post to gain visibility, eye-balls and attention. The making a profit is supposedly "secondary". Is that really true? Or is that just a facade and false justification many use in order to appear less profit-driven in their motives? Let's find out by changing how the system works!

Many people have claimed that buying votes is mostly to "promote" their content and get eye-balls on their posts, attention, etc. It wasn't about making money by buying votes, they said. Ok. Then lets make the mechanism really about promoting posts, and not buying votes to make money.

If they really want to promote their post, then they will be willing to take a loss from buying votes. Just like regular advertising, you pay to get promoted, to get visibility, to get potential attention for your product or service. Then if your product/service is good, people buy it over time. It's a loss then, at that time, with potential to make money in the future. If the product -- or in the case of Steem, content -- is worth it in the future, they will get support from real curators who want to reward them for their valued content. Their actions when buying votes and not making a profit or gain but taking a loss, will determine whether it's about making money, or getting attention through paying for advertising.

How?

It's simple really. Just like votes that are made before 15 minutes aren't given to the author, and are re-allocated to the reward pool, we do the same for those who buy votes. We re-allocate a portion of their rewards to the reward pool when they buy votes.

They can still get their post promoted, since that's what most of them claimed it was for in the justifications I have heard months ago. And when the post pays out, 100% of the paid-for-votes, (or maybe even 90% of their author rewards total (75% of post total)) can get re-allocated to the reward pool. Then it will only be about promoting their posts, and the profit incentive is completely gone. Or if that's "too strict", then it can be varied to whatever. But I think it's a good way to penalize the behavior that is being objected to by bringing in negative incentives. Maybe 100% author rewards removed is the best.

If people really want to buy votes to promote their post, they can. They just won't be making back the money they spent on that posts. They can get visibility, eye-balls, and attention from others to comment and maybe support them in the future where they can choose to not buy votes and keep their rewards.

As vote buyers stop buying votes, since they really wanted to make money by buying votes, then vote sellers will have to start actually curating themselves by doing some work and take back their delegations if they want to make some money. This is how we incentivize vote sellers to stop and engage in curation again. If vote buyers still buy votes, then there are additional things we can do to get curators to go curate instead of selling their votes.

Implementation

For Vote Buyers

Vote buyers send SBD or STEEM to accounts that they want to vote on their posts. Those transactions have a link to a post in the memo. If the post is voted on by the account being sent money, then the code will recognize it as a bought vote, and change the way the post payout is done. Instead of 75% of a post going to the author, 100% of the bidbot votes can be returned to the reward pool. There will be more rewards in the pool for other authors who don't buy votes.

EDIT: If memo encoding is used to hide the URL, we just use a list of bidbots and annul the rewards for authors who receive votes from those accounts. Then it's all about promotion, and no rewards are kept for buying votes, or using alt accounts to buy votes.

For Vote Sellers

The same could also be done for those who sell votes. We can't do it directly to the vote sellers themselves (unless it's from authorizing voting through keys), but we can do it to the account which they are delegating to. Instead of the vote sellers getting returns for selling their votes from the account they delegate to which gets curation rewards and payments made for voting, the account doing the voting would have their curation rewards reduced by say 90% again (or even 100% meaning no curation rewards for engaging in vote selling).

The curation rewards would then we sent back to the reward pool, instead of being paid out to the voting account that is being delegated to, and then those rewards would no longer be sent back to the vote sellers who are delegating because they never get them in the first place. This provides more rewards to all the other posters/authors who aren't buying vote, as well as curators who aren't selling votes.

No one needs to flag either. It's all taken care of in the code as a behavioral consequence mechanism, just like self-voting at 0-minutes was taken care of. A solution at the code level. Rather than require people to go flagging all over the place, they can keep applying positive voting behavior and go curate what they like, not negative voting of flagging what they don't approve of.

Double Incentives to Change Behavior

This would apply a double-incentive to stop selling votes. Not only would the authors feel the pressure and stop buying votes to get vote sellers to stop selling votes and engage in curation again, but vote sellers would have pressure to stop as well. Even if people wanted to buy votes at a loss, vote sellers could still delegate and not curate themselves. If we apply negative consequences to vote selling by removing a percentage of curation rewards for those that are selling their votes by re-allocating it to the reward pool, this would apply more pressure to get them to go out and curate content themselves.

Everyone who doesn't buy votes or sell votes will benefit. This creates a positive incentive to not buy or sell votes as you get a greater portion of the reward pool allocated to your author or curation rewards, and a negative incentive to not buy or sell votes where you lose part of your author or curation rewards.

Authorized Proxy Voting

Delegation isn't the only way people sell votes. There is also giving authorization to an account to vote for you and being rewarded for it by those who buy votes that are paid to that authorized account. Plus you get curation rewards for your vote cast. This could also have negative consequences implemented in a similar way to incentivize those people to go curate themselves. Any account that authorizes voting from their posting or active key to another account, can be known. When the account that has that authority makes a vote on behalf of the initial account that gave the authority, redistributing the curation rewards can be implemented following that recognized action. The code could also look at who receives transfers of SBD or STEEM for their voting authorizations to the same accounts.

In either case of delegation or authorizing voting by proxy, the vote buyers are the ones driving this system, and they are the ones that will be pressured the most to stop buying votes in order to simply make money. That's the root of the whole system. Without vote buyers, there are no vote sellers. This is the primary area to target. But as mentioned above, vote sellers can also have negative consequences and disincentives applied as well in order to promote real curation of content again.

Future Problems that Bypass this "Fix"

If there would be ways to get around the negative consequences in this new mechanism, we could understand it and find a way to combat it once more by implementing new code to deal with it. But so far, this proposal seems to start us on the path to fixing the broken system, don't you think?

Objections?

The code has already been changed to change the behavior on the platform, in the system. Code can be changed again. Negative consequences have been applied to self-voting at 0-minutes of a post, in order to promote positive alternative behavior. This has been accepted by the vast majority of the platform. The proposal I'm giving is more of the same.

Making changes to the code that make people change their behavior on the platform. This will replace the negative behavior we don't want with positive behavior we do want. Who is really against that?

All other cryptocurrency have people invest and make profits by holding for the value of the token to go up, which they can sell to reap the earnings. That's it. Steem has people posting to get rewarded, and people curating to get rewarded. The excuse that people should only invest in Steem if they can make even more money than what curation offers, is a joke. As if the option of curating isn't already more than all the other cryptos provide. You're already able to make more from Steem than other cryptos, as they only offer you holding, while Steem gives you the option to curate if you wish.

I think that whatever can be automated in the code to promote positive behaviors should be, rather than expect people to do things in a better way of their own volition (or rather than flag them). The desire for making money is too strong. Only when coded alternative ensure greater losses through certain behavior compared to greater gains through other behavior, will the behavior change. That's what was done with self-voting at 0-minutes. We can do it to more of the platform/system to "make Steem great again" :)

What do you think?


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Many people have claimed that buying votes is mostly to "promote" their content and get eye-balls on their posts, attention, etc. It wasn't about making money by buying votes, they said.

Well, that's bullshit. I don't like the idea of vote selling in general, but as long as it's allowed and as long as I can do it, I'll buy votes from markets instead of bots. That way, I grow users instead of contributing to the growth of a bot.

However, I'm not that type of guy who spends 100 steem/sbd to buy votes, even though I could really need money due to my current situation. I spend a handful of steem/sbd, because I want to earn more.

I don't really care about exposure and visibility, because manual curation is slim and the only way to get more exposure is by buying votes for literally hundreds of dollars to push your content to the top of trending. Anyone buying votes for 0.10-50 is not interested in exposure. They don't do it in an attempt to advertise. They do it for the profits. Just like I do.

However, I've seen people talking about the fact that vote buying would stop due to 50/50, because buyers would earn less when voters would earn more. And even though I somewhat agree with those statements, I don't think it will stop or be prevented completely. In fact, I think people who're buying votes, will continue to buy votes as long as they profit. No matter if they earn 0.1 or 10.

If the profits are smaller, they would ultimately just buy more votes to cover up the loss from 75/25. Most people are buying votes to earn and to grow their accounts, just like users are circle-jerking. They do it because it gives them as much as possible.

50/50 would only increase garbage posts and automated means to vote, because truth is, that rewards is not the problem. The problem is engagement. People are passive on Steemit. Just look at the netcoin competition...

50/50 will reduce the overall quality on the posts and ultimately, there will be no more content to vote on... So 50/50 is a good way to earn today, for large stakeholders and for vote sellers, meanwhile it's yet another nail in the coffin for Steemit.

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  ·  7 months ago (edited)

All vote sellers or bots have to do, is reduce the cost for the same amount of upvote % that gives less return, and bring back the same proportions that are profitable... Curation and bots are pretty passive compared to creating content. Clicking with a mouse, or autovoting and selling your vote is what many do to not have to do even a mouse click after looking for stuff to upvote. Money rules.

So many people only care about the investors, trying to draw in more investors. The claims were numerous about how "Great" vote selling would be to draw in more investors. Where are they now? Why isn't Steem filled to the shit with investors who can just take advantage of selling votes rather than give them out for content they want to reward? atsdavids posts is more about that, about how 50/50 is a good thing to try because we need to bring in more investors, because they matter and maybe will want to invest if they can make more with curation... maybe... but like you say, it's another nail in the coffin for the primary app of posting content.

Those who create content and do more work will get less, while those who do no work and sell their votes will get more. Does that seem right?

No, it doesn't as I have been vocal about on a few posts i have seen recently on this. I spend 10-20 hours research on many of my posts, and the idea that those reading it should get the same amount as I is insane. I sometimes sift through a lot of lies and crap to find what I believe to be credible sources. I can only imagine what artists, musicians and such can think of this, the idea that those enjoying their talent deserves the same cut as they do for enjoying their talent.

I like your idea, sadly the fact is this is a thinly veiled move to grab more of the pool by those who have been profiting from the vote bots and seen the downturn due to lower valuation (and for awhile no SBD being printed). They don't seem to understand (or maybe just don't care) that most here make jack on curation due to dust, and using Jethro math Not times NOT is NOT.

Under this proposal, I stand to lose more from one post than I would gain from doubling curation rewards. And unlike many here, i love the idea of a gifting economy and since being here have donated roughly 20% of my earnings. The proposed loss would evaporate that from my abilities here, as I would like some left for me after paying the taxes next year on my earnings here. Greedy people gonna greed though, no matter the cost to others.

Did you notice that they want to push the idea of flagging, yet I still here crickets about adding the ability to downvote witnesses. Wonder of that would be a game changer for those who are witnesses yet don't get the large votes as those entrenched in the top get?

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I don't think trafalgar or smooth are in it for the greed, far from it. I see kevinwong as being frustrated and giving into the philosophy of Bakunin when it comes to electing poor judges and voting for the most corrupt characters so as not to prolong the immorality of the State and outrage the populous to act, whether he's doing it wittingly or not I do not know.

The suggestion of incentivized downvoting is a great one, but honestly, the whale experiment showed us one thing above all else: that major stakeholders care and in combining efforts they can make a big difference. I remember my vote went from less than a fraction of a cent to about 10 cents during that time. The community was very engaged despite the low price. This could happen again but the downvoting is not enough. If we dissuade stake splitting and incentivize stake concentration we will kill two birds with one stone: delegations wouldn't be as profitable under non-linear (n^1.2) as concentrating stake, and bidbots won't have any way to calculate the risk and rewards with certainty, while the later is great, the former is the most important I believe. Along with that, free downvotes ought to be delegated so in turn a large stake can crash without effort on anyone using bots and cancel that out. These changes are minimal in amending code and based on the whale experiment I think it will allow people to have a new-found appreciation for downvoting/flagging which could be done so that it won't affect anyone's reputation if the community delegates to an account with no reputation and preferable downvotes at the last moment before payout based on a curated list by a dedicated team that's kept off the chain to avoid any retaliation where people can post links to abuses and the team can update a database with them while the bot will do the rest.

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I don't know any of the top witnesses to know the motivations and can only base my conclusions on the affect the proposed 50/50 idea would have on my account and those I follow who have not been as fortunate as myself in finding support. It seems obvious to me that this would increase the take of those at the upper scale at the expense of those at the lower end. Perhaps it is not so obvious to those at the upper end, however I find it more credible that they do know it would increase their share of the pool and at whose expense it would be at. I saw another user (@glenalbrethsen) make a comment that summed up my feelings on this proposed reward cut they would have me receive.

At the same time, I want people to have a chance to make it on the lower end, too. I don't want to be a gerbil in the wheel of someone's passive income stream, though. If they're so concerned about curation and the long term health of the platform, why aren't they curating now, rather than delegating or running bidbots?

As for the flagging, I will admit I have never been much of a flagger, only doing it to one person who has a grudge against canadiancoconut and familyprotection who couldn't stop trolling month after month. I will admit I am in a bubble here, having found my favorites for my feed and finding new people of interest from their comment sections. Which is how I found you as well. When I log in, it is more of a mind to read posts that interest me, curate them and when I am ready to post after researching to do that as well. And to support causes that I align with. I don't see myself changing this approach regardless of any proposed changes to the flagging system. I have enough people in my life who I oppose to desire seeking them out here. For me, there are enough blessings here to spend my time on. You being one of them. I appreciate your knowledge, even though at times it falls far into my ignorance zone. You are one I wish would post more on subjects as you have much you could share that deserve light stronger than in comment sections. You are one of the brightest I have encountered here on the platform.

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People will have more incentive to curate organically more, meaning profits should even out if not increase for authors as people are engaged in curating others more, especially if the combination of nonlinear and free flags goes through. You see it as losing a third of your potential rewards and making it more profitable for others to bidbot but you need to consider that the witnesses and major stakeholders, for the most part, aren't in it for the short sprint to the bank. I don't know if you were around when @abit and @smooth among others (ftg I think, maybe even berntheburn) were all either actively flagging another dolphin, orca, and mostly whale votes in order to distribute the power to the masses but it was by almost all accounts a success. The problem at that time wasn't bidbots, as Bernie basically capitulated on the idea first with @buildawhale or some similar bot that worked on a "lottery" by sending it one Sbd and having a chance of getting anything from 3% to 50% vote, the numbers are probably off but that's beside the point, the problem was the curve of n^2 which meant someone with 100 SP had 100 times more voting power than someone with 10 SP, while someone with 1000 SP had 10kx the effective SP compared to someone with 10 SP and the experiment dealt quite effectively with that disparaging gap in power without waiting on Stinc to actually change that. Most of the large stakeholders do have the foresight to see that by devaluing curation they effectively shoot themselves in the foot. Yes, some have caved in and seemingly abandoned principles for the FOMO and who's to say that their 'earnings' won't be used to curate instead of being dumped on the exchange? Ultimately they aren't dumb and they want to see their investment baby grow up and mature as many dropped their life savings into the promise of this genial manifestation of incentivized/tokenized social media. It doesn't require faith that they will use their SP to curate if Curation is more incentivized instead of Selling it, especially if nonlinear is implemented which dissuades stake splitting and consequently delegating to bots. If they have an incentive to flag, instead of wasting their VP, then it's a trifecta which bots won't be able to defeat. If we take it a step further and allow people to delegate the free flags then we could return almost all self-voting, shitposting to the reward pool/distribute it along the rewarded posts evenly, thereby increasing the value of content platform-wide.

Your concern about not earning as much because of the cut into author rewards is short in considering the intent of the proposal for the assumption that this is a money-grubbing scheme. Yet the proposal isn't pushed by characters that readily support bots and as I mentioned, kevinwong is wittingly or not exasperating the situation so that the issue of bots is addressed because you don't see bot-owners jumping at this proposal and rightly so, they don't want any light shined on them because invariably everyone recognizes that by invalidating curation the whole system implodes. In reality, curation is as important if not more so than content, and without a functioning curation, content becomes a joke as it will compete on the level of the biggest pocket and the shitpost farming that will dominate the spotlight.

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You prefer a community flagging effort that is managed by a centralized off-chain dedicated team, than an automated in-chain algorithm that determines who is a bidbot and removing rewards for authors that get voted by them? Anyone who delegates to a flag account, will be known, and they can have retaliation applied to them. Applying a change to the code takes care of it without anyone needing to put a target on their back.

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  ·  8 months ago (edited)

There's no way to automatically determine whos a bid bot as I tried to point that by asking how the consensus will form for who's a bot and who's not and will it be determined through stake or account voting or a combination. Retaliation can be countered by upvotes. A simpler way would be to burn your free flags and they will be distributed among your witness votes, with witnesses then being able to funnel the effort into one account creating a massive stake with enough weight to deal not only with bidbots but all self-voting abuses.

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  ·  8 months ago (edited)

Promoting more flagging, and rewarding it, is a horrible idea as far as I'm converned. Anyone can flag others and get paid to do it. It's a recipe for disaster that feeds trolls and bullies. I don't agree with downvoting witnesses either. Anyone with lots of SP can have a grudge and effectively remove someone else in the lower ranks from being a witness at all.

I think this way of re-allocating rewards for posts that get upvoted from vote buying by vote sellers is a good way to get everyone else who doesn't rewarded. There are just some technical issue with implementing it, like determining who is a vote seller or bidbot to annul the rewards on a post and re-allocate it to the reward pool instead.

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Flagging with a low rep bot that doesn't affect reputation and doing it at the last minute before payout, removing only the bought votes power will have exactly the same effect as your proposal and won't require code changes or centralization on the chain. It could simply be a community effort with the only change needed besides the free flags/stake is to be allowed to delegate those flags.

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That still requires a centralized account to do the work, and a centralized team to manage it, with delegated power from accounts that can be traced and retaliated against. The changes I would like to see are coded in and don't require anyone doing anything. The community is an ideal I like, but it isn't as fool proof as a coded change that just takes care of it all.

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I too am not a fan of the flagging ( I have only used it on one account that was trolling both Family Protection and Informationwar), however I notice that they are good with it as long as it does not hit them where it hurts.

This feels to be about rewarding those with the highest stake (the top witnesses and their supporters) at the expense of the lower and middle class. What person of talent or person who researches deserves the same share of the rewards. I will use you as an example. You are a researcher/experimenter. No way do any of us (myself included) deserve the same cut you get % for benefiting from your time and effort. We already benefit from the 25%, and we benefit as well from your sifting and presenting your conclusions.

I would like to think the top witnesses would consider your idea if they think there is a problem here greater than their current decreased bidbot profits. However, it feels to me that is really where they and their largest supporters are seeing the problem that needs corrected.

The simple way to bypass that is by sending the memo encoded.

I proposed that the homepage get changed to the promoted tab to actually incentivize people to burn SBD in order to gain exposure without inflating their Rep. It will remove all excuse for using bid bots for promotion and in doing so people will feel more ok with flagging abuse, which is why flagging exists and seems like the way to go about it.

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Yup, a good workaround. I'm not sure that can be countered... what about a correlation between who pays and in return get's voted on a post? That would remove most of the efforts, and only those who use alt accounts to bypass it would be doing so. Or just have a list of known bidbots, and annul the author rewards that get applied through bidbot votes and re-allocate those rewards to the pool. Then you don't even need the memo at all.

The homepage change is so simple, yet why haven't the top witnesses agreed to change it? I think most of them are indifferent to vote selling, or actually want it. Also a change of trending page to be measured some other way would also be easy to do. Yet, it's not being done...

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  ·  8 months ago (edited)

I don't know why other than that being an Inc-front end change and not a backend thing. Keeping lists requires centralization, and how would the consensus form? I think that Steemit and @ned needs to step up and rename the index.html to trending and rename promoted to index, then it will remove all excuse for using bidbots for promotion and those that run them will face the music.

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Accounts that have large or many delegations can be suspect as a first filter to look into. Then, transactions can be looked at to see if they receive transfers often and upvote same people who send the transfers. This would identify a vast majority of bots. Checking for refunds/returns is also a cross validation. All it takes is some activity to catch a bidbot account.

Changing the default front page is something that should have been done a year ago... :/

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Yes but then we are dealing with centralization, so the question is once more, what will form consensus, one account one vote, stake, a combination?

As for the incredibly simple yet profoundly earthshattering changing of the homepage I haven't heard any contentions to it. If the change happens people will actually have a reason to promote posts, instead of them being obscureAF in a place that seems like the armpit of the community which is avoided by all who sing the "I'm promoting my content" or dance along to "I'm getting exposure".

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It would be interesting to see content posted with an attached pot, much like a bounty to read the content. There would have to be some way to ascertain it was a genuine click through and engagement before getting the payout. Maybe a captcha of some sort at the end of the content that poses a question about the content. If the reader engages, answers correctly, gets a payout and likes the content, they could upvote to help reimburse the creator for establishing the pot.

Buying votes seems too iffy for guaranteed engagement, if that is what people really want. Isn't the monetary value of the upvotes what gets a post pushed up in visibility, not the number of votes a post gets? If a post gets 100 upvotes that give it a $1 value, it is still less visible than the post gets with a single $2 vote, or am I wrong? I don't see a solution for that aspect of things.

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Yes, that;s why they buy votes to get higher in the rending page to be seen quicker, and attract people who will think they are popular and should be voted on because they make more money that others :P

The questions to upvote has been suggested before, but can't be decentralized in the code... A bounty to read the content would be hard to implement on the chain, but a site could do it.

This could be bypassed by selling votes through a website, as you can already do. You can deposit funds to Minnowbooster and then upvote posts directly through their website. Additionally, any code to detect a post link could be bypassed trivially, and of course people would do that. It would be in the best interests of the buyer and the seller.

You could also exploit this to reduce the effect of a user's vote. For example, let's say that you don't like UserA, but UserB does. Since you dislike UserA, you downvote their posts. UserB always counters your downvotes with upvotes. You could send 0.001 SBD to UserB right after flagging UserA's post, and since UserB's vote would be counted as a promotion upvote, you effectively silenced UserA for just 1/10th of a cent, for reward calculation purposes.

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So paying outside of the Steem blockchain to upvote posts, yes that would bypass it. Depositing funds to a site like monnowbooster still is a transaction on the Steem blockchain I think. But that would involve extra steps that most users wouldn't do, still stopping the majority of vote buyers.

Using an encoded URL would also be a workaround, that is a problem. I'll have to think about that heh.

If you only remove the rewards for a vote from a bought vote, then it doesn't matter if someone pays 0.01 or 1, or 10. The only to lose is the vote buyer who lost money buying a vote for someone to get promoted. The author won't lose money if it's only 100% of the purchased votes that get re-allocated to the reward pool.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Well depositing funds to minnowbooster is a transaction on Steem blockchain, but then you can purchase votes from Minnowbooster without visible transactions. It can be even done months after the deposit.

Also, when you use Minnowbooster, you earn rewards which are automatically othe minnowbooster "deposit". This way you can sell votes to earn rewards and then buy votes for yourself without any blockchain transaction between you and minnowbooster. Even the votes typically come from vote-selling accounts.

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How are they note visible? You send to a crypto address? And they pay you via a blockchain address? But a bidbot account is still voting on your post so it can be seen...

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If you send money from your account to Minnowbooster it's visible, of course, or if you withdraw money from there. But otherwise you can use their webpage to purchase the votes: you just enter the post url on Minnowbooster page, so you don't need to give the post url in a blockchain transaction.

Also back in the days when Randowhale was the only vote selling bot, people used to buy more votes for friends and great posts, if they were unable to give high votes themselves and wanted the post to get a good payout. So I'm assuming people could still use purchased votes to support friends, as it's easier to spend some SBD to buy a vote for a friend than get enough SP to give it a big vote.

But on the third point, Minnowbooster is also using the "vote seller" accounts. If I would purchase a vote from minnowbooster, it might not be minnowbooster account who upvotes me. Instead they're using bunch of accounts who have given permission to sell votes to upvote them.

Like I'm currently having the vote selling on for MB whitelisted users. If I'm having more than 90% VP (which never happens when I'm active), my votes can be used for vote selling. So this would work only on times when I'm completely inactive for few days, when I'm manually upvoting I'm usually around 60-80% on VP.

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Dang it! :P Implementing the change would force them all to adopt that model I suppose and it couldn't be traced...

I'm a huge supporter of @kevinwong but this idea of changing the reward system/ratio doesn't sit well with me. First of all let this be an ongoing conversation for a while as we evaluate it's merits and demerit and just maybe we can find better solution.

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I can see the potential for it working better, but as I see it peopel who don't want to curate and keep selling votes will still get their $ from vote selling, albeit less, and just get more $ from curation... it won't change the dynamic since they already don't want to do work, so they would just go do work when they can still get paid to have someone curate for them by selling their vote. The logic of the argument in favor of the 50/50 is flawed.

I'm assuming this could be easily avoided through websites like Minnowbooster, like someone already stated.

However I just wanted to comment one point: if the 50/50 curation rewards would increase the profits of the vote-sellers, it would also quickly reduce the interest in purchasing votes if you clearly start losing money when purchasing votes - unless you are "buying to promote yourself".

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Yes, I see what you mean there. But the vote bots could just change how the payments reflect in vote returns. Instead of charging X STEEM/SBD for Y% upvote, they can just lower the cost and it will return to what it is now... and nothing changes there. Easy to bypass as the proportion of ROI stays the same.

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I see your point and have to agree, I can't argue with that. Not at least right now.

I might return if I'll become any wiser.

These issues are quite difficult to flesh out as there are benefits as well as negatives to both situations. I personally don't use any of the bot services and have been tempted to do it in order to increase my rewards. Some people would feel that it's not right to infringe on their ability to make money while others think that its best to do so in order to further the platform. I think that both are correct in their thoughts and it's up to the person to choose what to do. I choose to not do that and manually curate however the next person would choose otherwise. Both are right.
I am glad that I'm not a witness though, these topics are difficult to pick a side to be on because both are valid.

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Well that's part of the problem with the world, where many see that any way they can make money is valid and justified :/

Really interesting thoughts. Many thanks for sharing. I will need some time to process all of this information.

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This is good work, friend.

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Thanks.

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