"Code Is Law (Only When I Want, Otherwise It's Abuse)" - The Shaming Syndicate Of Steemit - Our Own Brand of SJWs & Social Repression

in steem •  12 days ago

Steemit has its own brand of social-justice warrior, and rest assured, their positions are just as illogical as their more well-known, real-world brethren who busy themselves agitating for anti-meritocratic hiring quotas and gender-or-ethnicity-based favoritism.

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How exactly does one get an approved blogging license around here, anyway?

Like their real world counterparts, these Steemians obsessed with controlling the behavior of others always operate with the ironclad personal "feeling" that they are the final arbiter of all subjective disputes. The claim that they are "fighting against abuse" or "protecting the reward pool" grants them the same self-righteousness that the cultivators of identitity politics use to institute mob rule, and they use that cloak as a shield for their own endless violations of both the golden and silver rules. (Note that there are, indeed, many true and great reward-pool crusaders, as well.)

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Got a question whether something is abuse? They know, and they'll force their view on you. Perhaps they'll code a flagging bot to follow you around and regulate your behavior if they do not like it. They have an opinion on everything, and it's never "I don't like it, but I don't want to regulate it forcibly." They don't believe in the free market's ability to resolve most disputes, and they are the primary proponents of "criminalizing" activity with no discernible victim, provided they do not like it.

Often, they make some excellent ethical points that I fully agree with, but refuse to look at real world implementation and thus create the exact same kind of offensive attempts at "regulation" that have brought us the endless Drug War in the United States (and wherever we've exported it to...sorry, actually sorry.) They tend to implement methods that cause more harm than doing nothing, and in particular, create toxic social and cultural atmospheres that drive out established users and prevent the addition of new ones.

They operate in a utopia that doesn't exist, where a suggestion being impossible to implement should not be a reason to ignore it. The idea that block-chain technology is an amoral construct and "code is law" is foreign to them. They are OK with scattershot, ineffective regulatory measures that create highly profitable black markets which funnel profits to the worst possible actor(s), creating a worse outcome than no regulation at all.

They are the types who insisted that the Ethereum DAO was "hacked", despite the entire point being that code was law and the code was executed properly. Today, people still incorrectly call this a "hack" when it should be called "genius," albeit unethical genius without a return of funds. Eventually, the DAO may prove to be Ethereum's Waterloo... or at least, it's Candia.

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Only 18 years to go...

Rest assured, this is no defense of fraud, and in most cases if one tries, ethics are not too difficult to discern. For example, are you taking something that is not yours? Are you reaping reward without comparable effort?

However, the human willingness to set explicit rules that all "players" must adhere to "no matter what", then immediately break those rules as soon as a favored group or demographic would benefit, is both highly regular and hugely damaging. Look no further than the mess that is the US financial system, rife with croneyism and bailouts which socialize risk while privatizing gain, to see how the practice of selectively repealing the rule of law on a subjective basis "for the greater good" eventually destroys any system upon which it is allowed to fester.

Ultimately, the best enforcement a scattered social coalition of shaming can achieve is to render the most benign targets disadvantaged, leaving a larger pool of booty available for true abusers.

Here are some common characteristics that let you know you may be dealing with one of these people:

They want to control how you vote.

They have decided what is an acceptable reason to vote, and what is not. Conveniently, they are also the final arbiter of the subjective value of everything they observe. It's not important to them to consider if others have placed value on a piece of content for their own personal, subjective reasons. It's only their judgement that matters. They are not interested in hearing about off-chain reasons for votes, and they do not like the freedom to allocate stake as an owner sees fit unless they would have done it the same way. If you question them, they will cherry-pick data sets until they find what they need to "look" correct.

Despite explicit statements from @dan that people should be free to do anything with their vote, (including sell it,) and a strong anarchist undercurrent across the platform, there is frequent push-back against a number of inevitable services that, much like the trade of drugs, cannot ever be stopped.

They'll also shame you for self-voting, even on your own posts. This comes in a subtle and more insidious form from some top Steemians, whose vote often constitutes 1% or less of their own earnings and whom are guaranteed to Trend regardless. In other words, they have nothing to lose, while a minnow who needs $1 to hit "Hot" in an obscure tag has everything to lose. That won't stop them from posting about how they've gone "no self-vote," frequently for virtue-signalling points, subtly implying that you, too, would be a better person if you would only disadvantage your own chances of reaching Trending by removing your votes from your own posts. After all, who wants competition?

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Here's the result of top-down, virtue-signalling.

Notice the unsupported assumption that rewarding good content and encouraging creativity can not be done by purchasing one's own stake to promote one's work? No reason is provided for the arbitrary belief that one is unable to accurately assign value to one's own work. We tolerate politicians and private bankers literal access to a printing press, and the right to murder extrajudicially to (at least) the President, but we cannot conceive of a user accurately valuing their post for 13 cents?

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Quick, make sure this generous guy doesn't vote himself $0.13 a post!

I suspect @pennsif has not perused the blockchain, and seen the many $1000+, 6-word comments for doing effectively nothing that existed during Steemit's first year. Most stakes on Steem were not created by painstakingly providing "creativity and good content" funded by outside "donations".

However, arbitrarily holding one's self to limiting standards definitely provides huge advantages to established players...I wonder what cultural influence led to a willingness to tolerate unelected bankers creating trillions with no oversight, but 13 cents is too much responsibility and power for one, invested person to handle?

@Pennsif, I love you buddy, I hope you don't mind the wallet stalking. "It's for your own good, because I know best." (Aww, crap, that's my proverbial "opponent's" argument.)

They want to control how you use your resources.

They will shame you for promoting your work, unless you are literally burning money using the promotion function, or hitting the streets with a sandwich board. If you choose to purchase bot votes to get into Hot or Trending, they may shame you for it while ignoring your valid points that the Trending algorithm alone renders most of the platform unable to be seen until they have established a strong whale-autovote following.

One of my followers ( @theleapingkoala ) recently posted in frustration that she felt unable to compete on Steemit. I empathize with the complaint.

Until recently, I have written to a mostly-absent audience for what would amount to $3 an article without the support of those with real-life, hands-on experience with my Beautiful Mind-like genius. In other words, take off the two people I impressed greatly in real-life, and most of my posts would be paying me well under half the minimum wage. I can't sustain the quality of content or motivation to post, given it is a great deal of hard work and research, at those levels, and you can rest assured, if my experience in pitching Steem is any indication, that few millennials will be more willing to than I.

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Repression, anger, disengagement - the end result of most SJW-style shaming tactics. Also, this image is why I wrote this post.

@Theleapingkoala is a phd who managed to escape fucking SAUDI ARABIA where her legal standing as a woman was roughly comparable to a male bullfrog. Does anyone even realize what a unicorn a user like this is compared to the average social media poster? If we can't even retain successful people, will 99% of Facebook and Reddit look at Steem long enough to form a thought more complex than "lulz"?

They want to control your opinion or how you post.

Technically, all posts may be committed to the block-chain, but in reality the difference between a post sitting on Trending and one sitting on your Blog at $0.07 payout is the difference between the New York Times and your 8-year-old's weekly 3rd grade newsletter. If your post or reputation is flagged negative, that newsletter becomes a flier for Chinese food relegated to a dumpster in the ass-end of Brooklyn.

Hell, even I am a bit worried that the content of this post might bring me attention I may later prefer to avoid, and I'm already the size of user most would be either fearing or ingratiating themselves to.

I could be that one on the far right.

You've got employees of Steemit flagging new users for misunderstanding the tagging system. I know, irony right? By implying this is bad I'm trying to control how users vote. Truthfully, I don't want to control anything but encourage others to be more welcoming, even if that means them simply not wasting several seconds a day to flag fools making nothing on their mis-tagged posts.

Is not this task ultimately just as pointless as trying to ignore every spam email sender you get? The flow is endless and they simply use a new address of near-infinite permutations each time. All you are accomplishing is the feeling of self-righteousness as you add them to your spam filter while you permanently shame them off the platform.

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How shall new users make educated decisions when the very ToS is at odds with the clearly established, day-to-day culture?

It's hard enough to have any success on Steemit as is, and if the platform remains impossible for all but the well-above-average to acclimate to and achieve on, it will never become a relevant social media platform. I had to invest the better part of $100,000, have 20 years of writing experience, and be an obviously humble polymath to experience "success" that still does not qualify as more profitable than a below-average job.

What do you think your Halo-on-Xbox-playing-boyfriend's, or America's Next Top Model-watching-girlfriend's chances are?

TLDR: PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF + MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

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Anyone feel good about this?

If you have any additions or errata for this post, please let me know! I will see that they are voted to the top of the comments, and will make the appropriate edits (if possible).

Try SteemFollower today and get rewarded for every vote and follow!

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Special Thanks / Apologies To: @TheLeapingKoala, @Pennsif, @LauraBanfield
Sources: Wikipedia, Google, @ura-soul
Copyright: Cleverism.com, https://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ggm070816, Patheos

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Sort Order:  trending

I'm not going into great detail about why I basically stopped putting great effort into the content I share here.

I'll only say that you have listed many of the reasons in your amazing article.

Great job here. You have basically covered most of the main reasons why a lot of valuable members have given up.

I hope that tons of people see this article for the wake up call that it is.

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I would be eager to hear more if you would consider elaborating. (I'll also "pay for it" with votes ;))

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You don't have to pay. I'll be glad to elaborate a bit. Basically, my main problem is that I see most of the whales stick together and basically support each other, regardless of what type/quality of content they put out.

Mostly, I'm just sick of the "good 'ol boy" system that I see developing here. This project was meant to be a way for all members to be able to be rewarded on the basis of the quality of content they produced. At least that's what I thought.

Instead, all I see is a bunch of back scratching going on between whales and everyone else is just in limbo.

For instance, I get really upset when I go and spend 4 hours to put together a post like this: https://steemit.com/nature/@contentking/the-beginner-s-guide-to-catching-huge-largemouth-bass

It only got 31 votes and made $1.61. Then I look around and see someone post a YouTube video or a couple of Pixabay images with a sentence or two and make $100.

Here's a great example. I have no problem with the author. Good for him if he can do it, but this is what I mean when I talk about low quality posts making near $100. This person wrote 3 or 4 paragraphs about SteemIt changing it's logo. The article made almost $100 so far.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@zeartul/new-steemit-logo-users-are-upset

I mean, come on. REALLY?

Again, no hard feelings toward the author, but compared to the article I put together to help new bass fishermen catch fish, I think it's pretty sad.

It gets just a little bit discouraging after a while. That's why I powered down and am withdrawing all of my Steem.

I've also noticed I'm not the only member who feels this way. There are lots of people who have given up and are "cashing out."

It's too bad, because when I first joined I was all about keeping everything in Steem Power, promoting and helping to grow the site, etc. I didn't care about the money, and I still really don't. It's not about the money. It's about getting rewarded properly for the quality of what you post.

If that is actually happening here, it's not happening near as much as it should.

I hate to say it, but things need to change, or else this is not going to make it.

I still love SteemIt, but what incentive do I have to put in 3-4 hours work on a piece of content when I know chances are that only 10 people will see it and I might make $2 if I'm lucky?

I've done curation posts where I grab videos from YouTube, but I always add my spin on them and try to make the article interesting. I guess what it comes down to is that nobody likes to feel underappreciated. Right now, lots of Steemians are feeling very underappreciated.

I mean, what incentive do I really have to post on SteemIt rather than my own website? There needs to be a good reason why someone would share their original content here rather than posting it to their own web properties. Right now I'm not seeing any.

That's why I like your article so much. You came out and told it like it is. I respect that.

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"I see most of the whales stick together and basically support each other, regardless of what type/quality of content they put out."

In order to remain ideologically consistent, it may be necessary to allow this. That is what I mean when I say Steemit, like life, is still partially a popularity contest.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@lexiconical/steemit-like-life-is-a-popularity-contest-embrace-it-or-devote-your-efforts-to-other-pursuits-your-problem-is-not-the-reward

The best solution may be to make yourself valuable enough to the community to get into the back-scratching club. I can't say either way.

"It only got 31 votes and made $1.61. "

Your post is well underpaid and high quality. However, having work like this is practically a requirement to be an artist/writer throughout all of history. The lack of appreciation based on quality rather than eyeballs-you-get-in-front-of is a rite of passage few artists escape.

"This person wrote 3 or 4 paragraphs about SteemIt changing it's logo. The article made almost $100 so far."

https://steemit.com/steemit/@zeartul/new-steemit-logo-users-are-upset

As noted by @onthewayout below, Zeartul runs Bellyrub. His largest vote is Bellyrub. I am not going to go looking through the blockchain, but it's quite possible he bid for this vote publicly. I have personally seen him bid publicly on the bot, no problem there.

I have belly-rubbed posts and taken loses of over 15 SBD on a post after curation. We can't say for sure what he made on this post, it could be more or less than $100.

Also, he has over 2100 followers and 68 rep. It looks like he would hit at least 3 times as many eyes when he posts, plus he used the bellyrub promotion to get to trending. Your post might have done equally well if bellyrubbed, or even better.

However, more to your main point, there are indeed poorly rewarded and low effort posts. We can find some that are practically indefensible. This, however, is not one IMO.

"It's too bad, because when I first joined I was all about keeping everything in Steem Power, promoting and helping to grow the site, etc. I didn't care about the money, and I still really don't. It's not about the money. It's about getting rewarded properly for the quality of what you post."

I understand exactly what you mean, although it is difficult to express it in a non-contradictory fashion, isn't it?

"There needs to be a good reason why someone would share their original content here rather than posting it to their own web properties."

There are definitely rewards to be had here, but you must be rather exceptional to accrue them. I'm not sure that's a good situation for a "social media" platform to be in.

"That's why I like your article so much. You came out and told it like it is. I respect that."

I'm glad it resonated with you. Thanks!

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I hear you. But I don't think I really want to go bidding for votes, buying resteems, etc.

I tried that, and to me it seems to go against the whole concept.

Another thing I don't care for is that people can vote without even opening an article. So, you just go right down the line and vote without even opening the article, much less reading it. No advantage to the writer there at all.

And as far as not getting any Steem by publishing to your own site, there are lots more ways to make money by publishing to your own site. For instance, when I publish to my own website, I get organic search engine traffic. Many of those people end up subscribing to my email list, where they then buy products from me and I make great money. Also, I can make money from ad revenue on my own websites.

I'm sorry, but if I'm not going to be judged for the quality of my content, then I'm afraid I'll be taking a break.

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He bid 60 SBD:
'from': 'zeartul', 'to': 'bellyrub', 'amount': {'amount': 60.0, 'asset': 'SBD'}, 'memo': 'https://steemit.com/steemit/@zeartul/new-steemit-logo-users-are-upset', 'type': 'transfer', 'timestamp': datetime.datetime(2017, 11, 1, 4, 41, 30), 'block_num': 16831183, 'trx_id': '22dae26669c46b2b6fadf0a423fd0f58857de85a'

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A person is definitely better off maintaining their own blog rather than wasting time here on Steemit posting good content. Not only for the reasons you stated, @contentking, but also due to the limited 7-day payout period.

The standard way is to create a great post on your own blog and then spend time promoting the crap out of it. You write really well, @contentking, and that's what I would do if I were in your shoes.

One great post on your own blog can earn income for years, gain new subscribers, build your reputation in your chosen niche. The benefits greatly outweigh any benefits Steemit could ever give you.

Imo, Steemit is only truly beneficial for app developers, service providers, and investors. If you don't fall into one of those 3 categories, you're just here for the fun of it (which is perfectly fine too). I wouldn't put any blood, sweat and tears into a platform like this - not worth it.

And yeah, there are a few exceptions - a few straight bloggers who have done well here. But most of the ones I've seen accomplish that do a lot of ass kissing, egg shell walking, and pretending.

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Your reply is very true.
The limited reward period is a make or break really.
If your posts doesn't get noticed right away it's off to the scrap yard.

Only thing though.
The example provided by the OP can't be criticized so harshly.
The @zeartul posts is essentially what would make the 6 o'clock news.
While the post by @contentking of fishing is what comes after the news..
And unfortunately, it's not for everyone so the audience is much smaller.

There is little difference here than what's on other social networks.
Popularity and fads and exploits are well embedded into the system.
You must also first pay to get noticed and start to get a slice of the pie.
Nothing really decentralized here. Steemit.Inc is chasing profits ferociously.

People will argue, "but you get paid here while getting zero elsewhere".
The average user is still bent over. Just because steem used lube means little.

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SteemIt has a new logo would make the 6:00 news? I mean, really? I could have put that little article together in 10 minutes.

It's totally unimportant. I think the average user can see for themselves that SteemIt changed their logo. Who cares?

Honestly, writing a few sentences about SteemIt's new logo doesn't sound very newsworthy to me. It seems like a complete waste of time and a way to take advantage of some kind of popularity gained by building some app for SteemIt that I've never even heard of.

I want to produce good content that helps people. I don't want to report the "SteemIt news." If I wanted to do that, I'd just pull videos from Facebook all day and post them. Maybe that's what I should do. That seems to be what people around here like.

But hey, I guess if you can get away with writing 200 words about something completely ridiculous and make over a $100 more power to you.

Personally, I'll stick to producing top quality content and posting it to my blog, where I'll make thousands from it over the course of years.

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I agree with you completely man.
You got to look at it from their perspective though.
The users who don't see beyond what is in front of them.
That might sound a little harsh but it's fact.
The masses aren't as engaged as you would think.

Lengthy articles such as this one and your fishing guide.
Most would be.. "damn too much to read!" That's fact.
Articles that communicate in a few lines generate more traffic because the attention span of a person online is very minimal.

This is not a reflection of all that are here on steemit though.
Obviously there are great writers that produce lengthy content.
Comparing the two is like comparing a game of chess and a game of connect 4.

That's my observation.
I follow you and appreciate your content.
You have my support for sure!

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I agree with you 100%. I actually read somewhere that the average human attention span is around 7 seconds.

In other words, if a person does not become engaged with your content in 7 seconds or less, they move on.

What's actually funny about that is scientists say that the attention span of a goldfish is actually longer than that of a human!

In other words, you're right. It's probably better to produce articles no more than 400-500 words. Either that or just curate images and videos like most everybody else does on here.

For some reason, though, I always feel guilty when I just post curated content.

I guess I feel like if someone is going to take the time to read what I've written, I should give them everything I've got.

Thanks for following me and supporting me. That means a lot.

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You are 100% correct. I have review posts on my blog that I wrote 3 years ago that are still bringing in sales and subscribers.

I guess this platform is just not for me.

And that's sad, because there are loads of great bloggers that will never share their content here.

I'm not saying I'm a great writer by any stretch of the imagination, but I put out better stuff than most people I've seen here. Sorry if that sounds arrogant. I didn't mean it to be.

It's a shame that unless you develop some kind of app for SteemIt, you basically have no chance.

At any rate, I made around $1500 in the last year from SteemIt, so I'll finish cashing out and go buy myself something nice.

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Even if you are thinking of leaving, I clicked on Follow, so that you know there is one more person who appreciates those who try to create quality.

I used the word 'try' because, anyone who is an unpublished writer has to have doubts about their talent, but, on the other hand, they should be encouraged to keep trying.

I've been thinking of starting a blog and make it available to all authors of FS & Fantasy, as long as they are reasonably talented. In that manner, I can remain here, while offering the opportunity to those who have zero readers to post somewhere else where people will read them as the site becomes known for having free stories written by bright and talented authors.

I'll see what I do, I don't feel I've given Steemit a real chance, though I have certain issues I've mentioned to a few who seem to have a sort of Admins position here, but I've been told I am wrong - and that is it.

Not much point of trying to debate when the other side has that attitude.

My 3 complaints:

  • Why can't I reward someone who wrote something I consider brilliant, just because x days have gone by.
  • Why am I not allowed to edit after x days? It is my article, supposedly on my blog, so how am I causing them problems if I edit whenever I want - even after 5 years? There should not be any limits.
  • I hate being bullied and this business of downflagging because I have more rep points, is not right. I believe people should be able to downvote, but only one point and ALL downvotes should be monitored and if it was unfair, an abuse of the system, then that person should have 2 or 3 points removed and passed on to their victim.
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Guess I may do the same. I give myself some more time but after only two months I feel like I am burned out. I did a lot of quality content and I must say even though people told me I am doing fine in comparison with other beginners I feel frustrated.

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The difference between your post and the one from @zeartul is that his has a lot more engagement. Just look at the amount of views and votes. On top of that the author manages @bellyrub.

Also, did it occur to you that maybe a post about an event that affects the whole community would receive more attention than one about fishing? The comparison is not valid. A better example would be to compare two posts that touch on the same subject.

In the end this is all about the attention economy not about how much effort is placed on the content that you produce. That is just a fact.

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I mean, what incentive do I really have to post on SteemIt rather than my own website? There needs to be a good reason why someone would share their original content here rather than posting it to their own web properties. Right now I'm not seeing any.

I can give you a reason...if you post your content on your own website you will not earn steem.

What if you do both? What if you connect your website to the steem blockchain and get the benefits of both worlds?

What if you power your website with an SMT? Your token..your rules.

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I couldn't agree with you more. This can totally be seen as a groupie action. I feel as to hoarding content is a temporarily solution. But I see an increase of low quality post.
Best wishes, - @splendorhub

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.95. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

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Yes! I fully agree with this! We represent a media agency with hundreds of thousands of followers and we want to bring them into steem.... However we have been met with a lot of negative energy by using the mercenary steem bid bots that are part of steem culture.

Fortunately.... there seems to be more positive enegy here then negative. I think we have the power to shift the steem culture to one that is more supportive and loving.

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can you upvote me.. becasue my reputation is very low due to my own mistake.. now i learnt

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If you construct a quality post and link it to me via DM in Discord PAL/MSP, I'll give it a full upvote and fix your reputation problem.

Note that I may prove to be a harsh critic of what quality is.

I will give you 1% as an assumption of good faith here.

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I would be so glad if that full up-vote of yours reaches to my house. I tried to create a unique article each time I publish a content since day one and all I've got is peanuts.

I hate seeing people copy-paste documents and what is even more heartbreaking is when you see that the copy-pasted materials perform better than your self-proclaimed masterpieces.

Wondering how the legitimate contributors be able to survive in this current scheme of things.

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One of the reasons I stopped posting right there. I spend 2-3 hours on some of my articles and they don't even make $2, and then somebody with a reputation over 70 comes along and posts one image (probably not even theirs) and a few sentences of text and makes $200. Bullshit!

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There is a reason for this, and you might not necessarily like it.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@lexiconical/steemit-like-life-is-a-popularity-contest-embrace-it-or-devote-your-efforts-to-other-pursuits-your-problem-is-not-the-reward

The solution is more persistence, more networking, and the willingness to, like all other artists, work for shit for awhile (at least.)

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I think @contentking has a valid point. Of course to a certain degree it is normal and OK that popularity plays an important role in a social media platform, but in my opinion since HF 19 self-voting (or using multiply accounts which upvote each other) or kind of 'circle-voting' (A upvotes B and C, B upvotes A and C, C upvotes A and B) between big account holders has become much more beneficial. The reasons for that I described here (your opinion would be very appreciated).

In the same article made a plea for implementing 'diminishing returns' which I described like this:
"How about if after each vote on a specific account (including ones own account) each further vote on the same account would lead to significantly less curation reward for the voter and less profit for the upvoted account? Thus, when upvoting an account which I had already upvoted before, my voting power would be smaller than in case I upvote an account which I didn't upvote before."

it is completely normal that a system will be exploited if possible, so I don't mean to blame anybody for doing anything. However, I think a system which makes self-voting less attractive would be better than the current one because it animates every user to upvote many other users and not always the the same ones (respectively oneself) again and again.

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I understand, but I already have a successful online business, and like any other business venture, when one starts a business one has to look at whether or not the risk/reward is worth it.

I'm also not exactly convinced that persistence is the answer here.

I worked for 3 years on my online business, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week before I saw any return. I am certainly no stranger to persistence and hard work.

Right now, the question is whether or not I'm willing to put in valuable time here when I know that I can put it in elsewhere and see a reward for my efforts.

I guess it's just a personal choice.

You asked me what I thought the issues were here on SteemIt, and I told you.

Now, there will always be people who expect an easy payday from the Internet and will give up immediately and blame the platform instead of their own lack of effort.

I've been a member here for over a year, and for the first 6 months things were great. Then I began to see a pattern of low quality posts being rewarded better than those that were of much better quality.

Im not giving up on SteemIt, but I am going to back away and observe for a while.

I don't mean to sound arrogant, but my time is valuable, and at the current time I simply cannot put effort into something and simply hope that it's going to be fulfilling, both intellectually and financially.

I guess I'll see what happens.

At any rate, I do appreciate your insight.

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Yep. I also have an ongoing business, and I'm having a HARD time ramping up the motivation to try to write content on steemit. Only get paid for 7 days, have to fear getting downvoted/having account destroyed by someone with more clout if they don't like you (with no protections against that), etc.

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you did not read the full article. don't put false comment here. you should do comment according to post.. best way is downvoted to you.. and be care ful again

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Yes... Some people are popular or something and everybody and their pets upvote them.

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I rarely see true abusive/copypasta being voted. Are you also referring to what contentking is saying below? If so...

Apologies for basically pasting this comment unironically, but...

There is a reason for this, and you might not necessarily like it.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@lexiconical/steemit-like-life-is-a-popularity-contest-embrace-it-or-devote-your-efforts-to-other-pursuits-your-problem-is-not-the-reward

The solution is more persistence, more networking, and the willingness to, like all other artists, work for shit for awhile (at least.)

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Take that upvote and go write yourself a quality article.

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Thank you so much for that! It really made a difference. It's been a tough blogging journey since I first joined last month.

But there is no better alternative for the moment so I guess the show much go on. I have already started this, let me complete.

I only wish steemit.com won't evaporate into oblivion any time soon, else our handwork and time wasted would be utterly meaningless.

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.94. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

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You and me :)

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Any photograghy post i can't make due to my low reputation. on which topic i will make q quality post

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Here is the discord information:

http://minnowsupportproject.org/discord/

I'm willing to reveal your images (images are hidden, but not deleted, at low rep.)

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thank you sir.. i checking this site

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i am registered on above link.what i do now sir

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Yeah..I like ur everypost

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DM in Discord PAL/MSP.. what is this and how i link it .. please guide

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You clearly haven't learnt, as vote begging is a good way to get your reputation heading southwards..

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.83. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

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You said about simply superb contenking , nice one.

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Thanks. I'm glad you got some value from the comment. I was only expressing my true feelings. I'm sure others feel the same, and maybe some disagree. It's all good, though. I respect everybody's opinion.

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Sir this I also I feel the same as you.

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Ok cool , take it easy and make it easy.

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Yeah, I know what you mean. I pretty much agree with this article. I hate it when I run into these self appointed "paladins of justice" that will lecture me endlessly if I ever did something they consider a mistake.

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you only want money.. you should do comment according to comments.. just don't reply blindly. best way to downvoted to you and be careful in future.

this is a awesome post and obviously well received by the comment engagement.

When I started to read this post, I felt you were talking with me and taking some digs, not understanding the motive of some posts.

People need the to be able to make a choice, and what information does is give them choice and question their ethics

I self vote - always have done, why? well I have worked online for so long, the concept of social proof is build into me, so that first vote gets the ball rolling. Now I am also in a hurry to build my power so I can be seen and respected here on Steemit

Not everyone has the luxury to buy steem, and I am one of them. Should I be less respected because I can not afford to invest 'cash' but can invest time? Should I not be able to reward myself with a upvote for the time I have invested?

There are people here on steemit that have shown real entrepreneurial spirit and for that, well lets just say they have been 'bashed'

I dont know how often I have 'not' posted some of my data analysis because of fear of backlash. Free speech lol I don't think so, I can see from your comments you are watching over your shoulder for that downvote. I know that feeling well

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"the concept of social proof is build into me, so that first vote gets the ball rolling."

This is so important, and people totally ignore it.

Why do these people think there has never been a tip jar in human history with less than $1 in it? Magic?

"Should I not be able to reward myself with a upvote for the time I have invested?"

Only if it meets with the arbitrary approval (or, perhaps, lack of disapproval) of the feudal overlords.

"I dont know how often I have 'not' posted some of my data analysis because of fear of backlash."

I'm aware of this and wish I wasn't. It is dismaying. Data should speak for itself.

"I can see from your comments you are watching over your shoulder for that downvote."

Not well enough, it would seem.

" I know that feeling well"

I'm beginning to wonder if it is worth it, or if I should perhaps stick to posting about clouds or...doing something else entirely.

I have posted good content and I am guilty of posting crap. What I find strange is that my crap does better than my actual skill ed writing.
I get pretty out there sometimes. I am fed up with people copypasta 20 articles in different 'categories' hoping to sham their way to the top.

I have been delegated into being a minnow for, like 2 months. It sucks hard to be a minnow however seeing.the platform from their point of view is a way I can.reserve compassion for newbies and users fumbling to earn.

Vote your own stuff unless you are selfvoting single word comments then go mine shitcoin.

I don't mind people with alternative accounts. Just don't be a jerk. It brings the jerk out of me.

This post is a breath of fresh air. I am glad you are such a Rockstar by helping minnows and other users get their head.in the game.

Hope to see more people like you come out and be real.

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"What I find strange is that my crap does better than my actual skill ed writing."

There are so many variables here it is almost impossible to pin down why this is. It could be your time of posting, or your tagging, or the topic itself, or the problem could be with others.

"I have been delegated into being a minnow for, like 2 months. It sucks hard to be a minnow however seeing.the platform from their point of view is a way I can.reserve compassion for newbies and users fumbling to earn."

I had the same experience. I overbought Steem at a much higher price than current, then overextended my liquidity. I delegated my Steem out to a friendly investor until I shuffled money around. Having near-worthless votes for comment curation is a wake-up call.

"Vote your own stuff unless you are selfvoting single word comments then go mine shitcoin."

Agreed. I'd suggest Ripple if it wasn't all pre-allocated, haha.

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.85. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Brilliant post.

Code is law: To me means that if something is possible on the blockchain, then it’s allowed. If it’s harmful to the platform, then we need a fork to fix it, not reliance on the good will of the masses not to take advantage of it.

Self-upvoting: To me, this just means you value the effort you put into your post. Unless you’re spamming or plagiarizing, I see no reason to second guess someone’s motivations for a self vote.

Vote buying services: These exist to increase the chances of content being seen. If you value your effort enough to take the risk of buying a vote that will put your content in front of others who may also find value in it, that is your decision. Some people see this as cheating, but I’ve never seen them mention the Promoted page, which does basically the same thing as pay for upvote services, except that it puts the post on a separate page that nobody ever looks at. Pay for upvote services are like the Promited Page only better.

Voting Bots: Some people seem to think these will destroy Steemit. Everyone’s going to have a voting bot upvote for them and never read the posts. I use Steem Voter and I still read posts, and vote manually as well. There are humans behind every bot. And when I did manually upvote everything, I still had the option of not reading, which I’m sure a lot of people are still doing. We don’t need to get rid of bots, which is pretty much impossible anyway. We just need better bots.

Cheers.

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I love your points.

" then we need a fork to fix it, not reliance on the good will of the masses not to take advantage of it."

Agreed. Steemcleaners, Spaminator, Cheetah, manual rockstars of varying repute or notoriety such as pfunk or Berniesanders...they can only do so much. We must minimize the time and efforts of these people that we allow to be wasted on abuse with hard code, and not fight an endless battle against what can't be stopped. Remove the economic incentive with intelligent restrictions rather than "send our best men to die in the trenches for years". As a wild, off the top of my head, example, what if new accounts could not cash out any rewards for a full power down cycle? What does that do to abusers?

"Self-upvoting: To me, this just means you value the effort you put into your post."

I would argue if you aren't producing content you see worthy of whatever your stake's share of the rewards are, you've already dun' screwed the pooch.

Large users who feel they have enough to do this I, of course, applaud as much as anyone else who gives "charity" to something they believe in.

"These exist to increase the chances of content being seen. If you value your effort enough to take the risk of buying a vote that will put your content in front of others who may also find value in it, that is your decision. "

There are also valid reasons to use these bots that are not solely selfish. At the behest of a Steemit friend, I began using these last week and the difference for the curation rewards for my followers is mammoth. My post times don't always sync up with the bids on the bots, but when I can add votes to fully curated posts I am giving huge rewards to my loyal voters and followers who have stuck with me for months through what I am sure were not game-theoretically-optimal curation rewards.

I've also lost over 15 SBD on a single bid for boosting bots, as a result of last minute bidding antics. Depending on the time of day and the bot, there can often be no way to get these votes without actually taking a loss. I work hard on my posts, so it's still totally worth it, and I often do OK.

"Voting Bots"

I agree. These are a scapegoat for the real problem - voting without any real interaction, whether that be reading or in a side community in discord, etc.

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.85. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

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I self vote, I know my effort and why not. Best wishes :)

This post, combined with the crap responses to the questions asked of steemit inc at steemfest, are a little worrying to say the least. It is not inspiring much confidence in the platform at the moment. It's no wonder the trend in the steem price is down with no signs of a turn around at this point.

I agree, people shouldn't be shamed into upvoting their own posts. It's your vote, it's your money, and you should be free to do with it what you please.

The bots are also helpful, especially if you put a lot of work in and there's an economic incentive to use them. Why wouldn't you use them? (You are killing it with the bots, by the way.)

Also, how the fuck did Laura Banfield go down to 4 on her intro post? There's some unjustified hate/jealousy right there. Jesus. No wonder she hasn't been back! Adding to this, I'd really like to see some stats on user retention and engagement given the type of shit that is going on at the moment.

Excellent but somewhat depressing post @lexiconical.

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"Why wouldn't you use them?"

It's also worth noting that a lack of competition for the bots renders them increasingly "profitable", and therefore open to abuse. More bidders lead to the bots being used for promotion, instead of profit. I've lost 25%+ on several bids, but my curators get a big boost.

"(You are killing it with the bots, by the way.)"

A result of being asked to give them a try by a friend, and a refusal to go to bed or stop writing.

I really hope my followers will starting seeing the benefits after curation payout.

"Also, how the fuck did Laura Banfield go down to 4 on her intro post? "

Being a Banfield was apparently enough, despite her seeming quite nice and eloquent enough.

"stats on user retention and engagement"

They aren't good. Try @paulag 's blog, maybe? Or @me-tarzan .

"Excellent but somewhat depressing post"

Hah, sorry to be a bummer. I'm pleased we have gone unflagged so far.

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Hi @choogirl, this is a question I actually know the answer to! Haha. @laurabanfield had the misfortune of joining a few days after her husband, @jerrybanfield, pissed off select members of the community for creating a steemit registration service that cost more money than someone else's steemit registration service, and apparently @laurabanfield was immediately deemed guilty by association. This all went down a day or two after I joined, and was essentially my introduction to the steemit community. Needless to say, I almost bailed right away.

For the record, I'm making no comment or representation of opinion here on @jerrybanfield, @laurabanifield, or the community. (lest I be downvoted into oblivion)

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Thanks @doctor-onion. That makes sense. What a shame for Laura. This is not the type of behaviour that encourages new members and growth in the platform. Working your way around Steemit is hard enough as a newbie, never mind dealing with a sea of downvotes that destroy your reputation on your first post. That would be quiet soul destroying. I hope she comes back in time.

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" select members of the community " ... bashed my rep during the first few weeks when the platform launched . I was stunned regarding the dedicate whale nickle and dime button clicking. That experience gave Steemit a Vap fail vibe feel to me. I only started reposting a year later. I have a build it and they will come mentality. Good content providers will hopefully dominate user feeds one day. I really do enjoy creating the content I post on Steemit. I just try now to block out all the poo poo fluff hoping this "gaming" eventually works itself out.... I'm not gonna let my negative experience at the start effect how I share on Steemit..... If new users keep having the initial same negative whale experience that most steemians eventually experience , Im sure a competing platform will surly take the lead in emerging new space. I like Steemit . I really hope all this all works it way out... honest open dialogue will help keep self perfecting the platform

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Wow, that's a shit story as well. Thanks for sharing. I will check out your profile.

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The revenge flagging is a seriously worrying issue for me on Steemit. It's pretty messed up that one person can flag your account into oblivion basically forever just because you said something they didn't like. :-/

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.95. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.93. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Another awesome post @lexiconical.

You've given voice to so many of the things I've been feeling over the last few months.

When I started back in May, Steemit was my creative outlet. I was spending 10-12 hours a day here, both writing and curating. There seemed to be so many more people who you could actually engage with in intelligent conversation.

When I started back to work, my time here shrank to the occasional log on and maybe a comment or two.

Yesterday, I spent the better part of 3 hours here, mostly winnowing through my follow list. I went from something like 170, down to less than 100. I wasn't just randomly dumping people, I actually went to their blogs and looked to see if they had been posting, and if so, what they were posting.

Yeah, you made the cut.

But I also noticed that there are people who's content has gone from being thought provoking, intelligent pieces that I couldn't find anywhere else, to simply aggregating news or serialized fiction or just photography. I'll confess that my posts have become mostly news with a little proselytizing as well.

Partly because I don't have the time anymore but also because I don't see the point.

People complain about "corruption" or "abuse of the system".

Maybe I missed the part where someone guaranteed that life would be fair?

Maybe I've become jaded but, good for you @jerrybanfield.

Good for you @berniesanders.

We used to admire the people who were smart and clever enough to figure out things and get ahead.

Remember the Kobayashi Maru.

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"I was spending 10-12 hours a day here, both writing and curating."

I remember. You might have been the first person on my "talented up-and-comers like me" list.

"When I started back to work, my time here shrank to the occasional log on and maybe a comment or two."

I noticed this as well. =/

"But I also noticed that there are people who's content has gone from being thought provoking, intelligent pieces that I couldn't find anywhere else, to simply aggregating news or serialized fiction or just photography. I'll confess that my posts have become mostly news with a little proselytizing as well."

This often happens when one feels one must post regularly to maintain an output for an audience. I've struggled with avoiding it in the past as well.

"Maybe I missed the part where someone guaranteed that life would be fair?"

I was also absent that day.

"Remember the Kobayashi Maru."

What happened to commendations for "original thinking"?

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You might have been the first person on my "talented up-and-comers like me" list.

I'm truly honored for that.

You've inspired me to recommit more time and I'm even going to start posting more postitive pieces.

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.92. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Hello @lexiconical, thanks a lot for this article. It keeps me thinking about it again and again. I read it already twice. I mostly agree with you. But I am still really confused. I started on steemit to raise funding for our conservation program. We are really small NGO trying to save and restore Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. I guess you know our bot @treeplanter. I decided few days ago to ban self-voting. Because I believed it could help us to get the attention of some whales to get more SP delegated to be able to plant more trees. I also prefere if our tree planters vote for some good content than themselves, but I do not mind much abou it. I really like the way you are thinking I would really appreciate some advice from you. If you have any. Help us to gain more funding to save the forest please. Thanks a lot.

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@martin.mikes

I am giving thought to your predicament. It may be better if we discuss further on Discord.

However, we must first establish your ultimate goal. If saving the forest is it, then you need to maximize profitability, even if that comes at the cost of you or your bots reputation or public perception.

I suggest nothing sinister or immoral, but both increasing the bot voting limits while also allowing self-voting would drastically open up the market of users who would send "donations" to the bot. You could still restrict self-voted comments. At the current RoI of your bot, you would be a great alternative when Randowhale is sleeping.

Delegations to improve the voting power of the bot will be very difficult without offering profit-sharing, which may ultimately be necessary. Unfortunately, it is tough to compete with better rates of return elsewhere on the morals of saving a forest on a continent your target market is only about 1/6th likely to live on.

I am continuing to think up concrete suggestions for you. We should discuss this further. I am always in the MSP / PAL Discord. We may be able to assist you further there beyond what I can do alone.

http://minnowsupportproject.org/discord/

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Thanks a lot for you points and advices. The goal is really to protect the forest.
Ad. selfvoting. Yes, I would ban selfvoting on comments, but allow selfvoting on post but only from users having less than 5000 SP? So it will be as minnow support.
Ad. delegations. I do not have much problems to offer profit-sharing, but how much? I am going to connect to discord.
Thanks again. I hope we will find out the best way for our conservation program. I still believe we could use steem to save the forest.

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I am going to get you a proper response asap. For now, here's a tree.

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ok, thanks, I will be waiting.

I’m a little confused about the statements regarding how you were rewarded or not rewarded for your subjectively good content. This seems to be a common complaint for most users. Is this not simply a natural consequence of “popularity?” Most users across social media in general will never have “popular” content. The same will be true for users here as well. Expectations of new users are mostly unreasonable.

As for the rest of the post - stakeholders can have opinions about anything discussed here...and they can even vote accordingly. One may call these opinions “shaming,” but they’re still just opinions by stakeholders about what they think the platform should be. If we’re talking about anarcho-capitalist ideology or an economic platform in general that’s built around stake-based voting, then that’s just the nature of the beast. And to be clear, “shaming” the “shamers” is just as valid, but make sure you can recognize that this is essentially what you’re doing.

People can do what they want with their stake and others can criticize that behavior. The only thing that matters in my book is whether or not the behavior is actually censored by some central “authority.” I don’t consider a user or any affiliated group of users as a “central authority.” Some might disagree with that opinion.

On that note - there is a group of accounts that have a considerable majority of stake in the blockchain/platform that have indeed “conditioned” behavior around here and have decided to pick “winners” and “losers.” They have also stacked witnesses in the past and have attempted to silence their critics. They can do that if they want but it’s still not helpful in any way whatsoever. Speaking out against these people - or criticizing any person or group in general - shouldn’t be considered “toxic” either. Criticism is more appreciated and needed than blind praise and continual fluff, especially when there are actual, persistent problems.

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"This seems to be a common complaint for most users. Is this not simply a natural consequence of “popularity?”"

I would have thought so. However, it is such a persistent complaint I have written about it rather bluntly in the past:

https://steemit.com/steemit/@lexiconical/steemit-like-life-is-a-popularity-contest-embrace-it-or-devote-your-efforts-to-other-pursuits-your-problem-is-not-the-reward

"One may call these opinions “shaming,”"

Just to clarify, I agree with the clause preceding this one, and I'm not calling voting/flagging shaming. I'm talking about a softer form of more cultural enforcement, although I think flagging users for tagging mistakes is capricious at best.

"And to be clear, “shaming” the “shamers” is just as valid, but make sure you can recognize that this is essentially what you’re doing."

Agreed, I did point the irony inherent here out twice. However, I am mostly arguing for inaction, rather than controlling other's actions. Silver rule.

"I don’t consider a user or any affiliated group of users as a “central authority.”"

Eventually, a large enough affiliated group is indistinguishable fro a central authority, no? Can appropriate limits be defined?

"Speaking out against these people - or criticizing any person or group in general - shouldn’t be considered “toxic” either. Criticism is more appreciated and needed than blind praise and continual fluff, especially when there are actual, persistent problems."

I couldn't agree more.

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Maybe it is "the nature of the beast" (as initially started up and implemented now) to concentrate Steem and therefore power into the hands of a few, making them a de-facto central power block against which any other sub-group of any size is powerless yet depends on for votes. I would argue that the effect on the whole group of Steemit users is as similar as makes no difference, and that only the good will of whales can break this effect, not the system itself, no matter how many disagree with it.

Thank you @lexiconical for bringing up this discussion!

In my opinion steem is a self regulating system, so users should use their own power to change the system in a direction they feel is good.

Problem is that the power is in the hand of a few. What to do if one of them hates you for personal reasons?

This is a blessing and a curse of the blockchain. If you allow the full range of human social behavior, you get the full range of it. The good parts and the bad parts.

I confess I am not perfect. I get tired of explaining the same thing to a thousand people: Posting spam under other peoples post when they did not ask for it is not nice and some people may not like it. But should I flag it when my 1% flag is 23 cents and will push them from 25 rep to 18 rep? Should that be my decision alone? And if not, who would check with me?

I am glad that the MinnowBooster whitelist allowed you to make that point and bring it to many eyes. I am checking back in on the discussion in a few days, bookmarked!

This is a solid read and something which should be classified as historical literature. I am highly appreciative of the effort you put into this post. The chants of questioners must get louder and louder for change to be implemented.

Not even change. To just deliver what was actually outlined.
The system is broken and needs addressing. Steemit has great potential but watching a vlog from @exyle made me see that even hard believers and investors like him are starting to wonder how it will be able to go forward. The proposed fix for scalability, even left him with a lump in the throat.

I do hope steemit can evolve and truly give power to the users.
Not just the select few who find themselves favoured.

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Thank you for the high praise.

"but watching a vlog from @exyle made me see that even hard believers and investors like him are starting to wonder"

I would love to see this, would you mind linking it here? Thanks in advance.

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I found another video which you might be interested in.
The part which I direct focus to is 8:33 - 10:49.


It makes sense now.
Their target is not at all the user starting out from scratch.
Their target is big business and those bringing financial input for result.
Steemit may essentially become the classifieds section tailoring to advertisers.

From a business point of view I see the stance taken.
However, why then present this as an opportunity for the little guy. By design, your chances of getting reward are slim if you don't first put in. The little guy is clearly getting used and abused just like in the existing networks.

We are an audience only. Fooled to think we make the network. Am I reading this wrong or what. This video has shattered any optimism I had left.

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Yeah here is the vlog.
Proposed scalability fix is at 2:24 - 4:32.

Viewer can make up their own mind.
His words and body language say plenty.

Thanks for the source link. At first I thought I was being held up as an example of an interfering SJW here - I'm glad to see I'm not. Real balance means no aspect or individual is being overpowered and it is quite a rare occurrence on Earth. It's my main aim in life, both as a system architect and as a human.
Anyone wondering what was in the rest of the post about the Terms of Service at Steemit, can find the post here.

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"At first I thought I was being held up as an example of an interfering SJW here"

Apologies for the scare, not at all my intention. I wanted to give your post on Utopian.io a bit of visibility bump, but neglected to link it, which I will now. You provided a very relevant piece of information that I had forgotten about.

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OK, great, thanks a lot - I'm following you now.. but not in a creepy way. :)

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"but not in a creepy way. :)"

It's ok, I won't judge!

The unspoken human rule of "it's only creepy if you are ugly" is always there to help, too.

Hi @lexiconical,

I've got some real behavioral psychology and freakonomics pet peves on this topic, I was trying to convey a different idea, mostly benefits to @transisto about how some perceived necessary evil can actually help attract the masses/mainstream (much like porn for the internet and silk-road for bitcoin in the early days)

but honestly, I think my ideas/thoughts are either ahead of its time because no doctorial thesis had done a dissertation on this or maybe I'm just bat-shit crazy.

Well its not like @ned & @sneak will pay any attention and read them. Let me know what you think:

The article below was also a good read for all newbies to steemit, well at least it was a good read for me when I started last week. Also do realize optimization with bots only bring max value especially to Minnow accounts (<10,000Steem) as most bots pay between $1-$100 and that limited resources needs to be shared....this is currently a working model for most 3rd world country bloggers that need some leverage without an establish reputation (<60) and without knowing a single Dolphin or Whale to assist:

https://steemit.com/steemit/@michaeldavid/what-the-hell-a-fucking-rant-by-michael-david#@dj123/re-transisto-re-michaeldavid-what-the-hell-a-fucking-rant-by-michael-david-20171031t131127275z

This other one below was a more technical respond, but I did illustrate an example of how balance can be brought to the force....ahem I mean balance between allowing bot upvotes and downvotes (along with supply reduction and interest penalization for delegation)

https://steemit.com/blocktrades/@blocktrades/blocktrades-now-offering-steem-power-delegations#@dj123/re-joepublic-re-dj123-re-blocktrades-blocktrades-now-offering-steem-power-delegations-20171105t144004510z

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"about how some perceived necessary evil can actually help attract the masses/mainstream (much like porn for the internet and silk-road for bitcoin in the early days)"

The general idiocy on Facebook was certainly not an obstacle to adoption.

"maybe I'm just bat-shit crazy."

I think you sound like you have some interesting ideas.

" bot upvotes and downvotes"

I wrote an article on the drowning whale downvote bot. It's an interesting idea, but obviously, financially disincentivized by its very nature.

Eventually, competition for bots will leave them at a RoI loss (perhaps, even if you front-run curators) and their "abuse", too, will be mitigated by design.

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I feel less crazy when I reply to your post lex.

Up-Voted for Reducing Occupancy in the Asylum

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14273.96. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Perfect!

This is the best article about Steemit, went straight to the point, without talk to please the whales.

I only read truths, and that's why every day Steem loses more value.

The project initially aimed to bring freedom to the individual, but what we observe more and more is that a minority wants to control everything. The more the situation gets worse, the more they invent other motives to further control and make the situation worse.

This reminds me a lot of socialism, where state control leaves the population poorer, then the state blames the capitalist and starts to control the economy more, worsening the situation more and more.

Congratulations, you are a true Steemian.

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" but what we observe more and more is that a minority wants to control everything."

This isn't necessarily bad. Mob rule isn't great either. I'm not arguing for Steem communism.

What I don't like is the hostile nature of this platform, and the failure to attempt to help new users genuinely into success, creating a feedback loop of new users quitting and the site losing engagement. I also don't like the nebulous cultural shaming attached to behavior, rendering the place a minefield for new users like @laurabanfield, who had the audacity to marry a man who tries to sell things for a profit.

Thank you for the effusive praise.

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You show balance in your judgement @lexiconical, if someday you decide to run for witness let me know, I'll support you and help spread the word amongst us newbies.

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I notice that as well...the underling whale smooching people do...some folks have no shame...truth will win in the end.,,,... and that might be the wave that washes out the Steem ecosystem

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I don't know ... maybe is better to create a "new steem" ... maybe ...

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Why do that, when you can simply check:

@newsteem

(Shameless plug for a friend.)

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Hahahahahaha

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14274.09. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

What a load of horseshit.

Let me put it simply, as we've been around this before. Down voting / flagging is part of the free market, it is not against it. It's not censorship etc. etc., but disagreement. It doesn't really matter what you or I say about it, it works without us.

Code is law, period, but that doesn't make the particular laws just. And laws can be changed, but thankfully not easily. So saying code is law doesn't do much when discussing ethics and change. We literally can't go against the system here, it's rock solid - the single exception would be unintended holes such as the DAO. For the record, this was a hack. You fail to understand that exploiting a bug is still a hack.

The shaming and virtue signalling I could care less about, you find all kind of social arguments in social situations, some fair and some unfair. We're all free to exercise our own judgement here.

One other particular point of contention, the Terms of Service relate to steemit.com, so point 17.1.3 applies to the website not the blockchain, which is what all bots run on. I know you know that if you'd bothered to think beyond one step.

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"What a load of horseshit."

Thanks for starting out on a constructive note. I expected better. Taking this personally for some reason?

"as we've been around this before"

Have we?

"Down voting / flagging is part of the free market, it is not against it"

Please highlight where I said otherwise. I will wait.

"censorship"

You are litereally the only person on this page to even use that word.

Care to actually dispute this fact?: "the difference between a post sitting on Trending and one sitting on your Blog at $0.07 payout is the difference between the New York Times and your 8-year-old's weekly 3rd grade newsletter."

"Code is law, period"
(except when I say so, like the title of this post)
"unintended holes such as the DAO"

You clearly fail to understand what code is law means. "The smart contract code in question worked as programmed." I pointed out clearly it wasn't ethical, and therefore an arguable exploit, but it is not a hack.

"Terms of Service relate to steemit.com, so point 17.1.3 applies to the website not the blockchain, which is what all bots run on."

Yes, and where do 95%+ of new users interact with that Blockchain? Is it Steemit.com? How do you think they will interpret it?

"I know you know that if you'd bothered to think beyond one step."

Your bias against bots is showing. I doubt you will look back on this as one of your finer comments.

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I usually spend longer crafting but I'm going for a looser style. You did point out some mistakes. I think beyond the minor errors my points are clear. You'll be waiting a long time if you want more than that.

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I think you think that I'm arguing against flagging, which I'm not, or calling it censorship, which I'm not.

If you pay close attention to the exasperation cited in TLK's image I used, I hope you will understand the crux of where I am coming from.

Thank you for a more even handed reply, it sets my mind at ease.

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I'll make myself clear. It was my mistake to say "censorship" when you used "regulation". To me this amounts to the same root thing, but it does lose nuance, and of course you only said what you said so my appologies there.

But I'll make myself clear. To quote you properly:

Got a question whether something is abuse? They know, and they'll force their view on you. Perhaps they'll code a flagging bot to follow you around and regulate your behavior if they do not like it. They have an opinion on everything, and it's never "I don't like it, but I don't want to regulate it forcibly." They don't believe in the free market's ability to resolve most disputes, and they are the primary proponents of "criminalizing" activity with no discernible victim, provided they do not like it.

Am I incorrect that you criticize regulation, which can take the form of flagging? Perhaps you are only criticizing those that would do it, or their attitude, or some other subset.

For the record I do not regret my original tone. We did go over all this before, I met you in fact through these kinds of discussions. It is horseshit, not only the points but your attack on peoples' character wholesale. You asked if it was personal; this aspect was.

This is the free market, like it or not. You're seeing regulation in opposition. To call it regulation is to stretch the definition to meaninglessness.

--- EDIT: btw, aren't you glad you got a response that wasn't from someone who just agrees with everything you've said?

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" Perhaps you are only criticizing those that would do it, or their attitude, or some other subset."

Correct, my intent is to criticize a specific subset, who I chose not to name examples from, because really the specific issue I am writing about here is a cultural undercurrent as much as the work of any specific actor(s).

I certainly am not arguing against abuse control in general. I mentioned "Code Is Law", specifically and a bit tongue-in-cheek, to highlight the disconnect between what many will tell minnows, and what is actually in their best interest. Often they are told to follow many potentially-arbitrary cultural or philosophical guidelines, while much of the rest of the platform operates quietly, right out in the open in Trending, in pure vote trading for APR maximization. For them, "code is law", as long as you get away with it.

I think we can both get behind that issue.

Flagging, at least currently, is absolutely critical for stopping some cut and dried abuse - plagiarism, spam comments like "1", "2", "3", and those are just for starters. I'd support strengthening it, which I have in the past. I've suggested making them back into down-votes with a more easily accessible button, and more importantly, adding a downvote-power (potentially with a different # of uses per day) so we can remove the game-theory disincentives for downvoting to help get more people to contribute.

I actually got flagged by lok1/elfspice for that post. 1 of 2 flags I've ever gotten on a post, and the first.

"It is horseshit, not only the points but your attack on peoples' character wholesale."

Who is it, exactly, for whom you are taking on the responsibility of being offended for? I named no names. Are you "projecting" presumed "targets" onto my meaning?

"This is the free market, like it or not."

I am arguing for the free market.

I don't think we're nearly as far apart on this as you seem to think we are.

"You're seeing regulation in opposition. To call it regulation is to stretch the definition to meaninglessness."

Yes, but I don't think we're talking about the same kind of regulation... I'm mostly talking about the kind of social shaming (which often comes from a distinctly "Do as I say, not as I do" position) that @theleapingkoala noted in her post, and I have seen other minnows lament.

I am not talking about downvoting garbage, for which I am on the record, getting flagged, for trying to post suggestions to help with.

"EDIT: btw, aren't you glad you got a response that wasn't from someone who just agrees with everything you've said?"

We all can learn completely different things from the group which agrees with us and the group which does not. That is why I try to respond to (close to) all comments.

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What you call regulation is not regulation, I don't think you can couch it as different kinds. It's just not regulation.

I think you should correct the ToS error in the post.

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What did you disagree with when flagging my post 100% with denied payout? Just curious. And was the resteem intentional?

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All intentional. Just messin' with you @beanz, I wanted you to wonder and maybe shake you out of your funk 😉

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lol. You're a strange one lol. Good to know there are people still having some fun.

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😎 hope your day is now that little bit stranger and maybe brighter 😁

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14274.08. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Despite explicit statements from @dan that people should be free to do anything with their vote, (including sell it,) and a strong anarchist undercurrent across the platform, there is frequent push-back against a number of inevitable services that, much like the trade of drugs, cannot ever be stopped.

Have you read Dan's most recent comments? They suggest otherwise. In fact @dan designed this system to prevent the type of market your defending from happening in the first place. Unfortunately we made changes after he left which removed those protections.

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Thanks for bringing those to my attention.

I don't think vote-selling is a good thing.

However, I personally agree with @Reggaemuffin (if I may paraphrase his stance, received second-hand) - since there is no way to prevent this behavior, the option that reduces the most harm is conducting it out in the open with clear guidelines. Hence, you get Minnowbooster.

This post is really a response to @theleapingkoala 's image I included and encouragement to stop shaming other's behavior.

After reading Dan's comment, I agree philosophically, but again refer to the main point of my article. I see no suggestion for how to stop this behavior. Shaming it drives it underground, relegating it to higher profits and mostly abusers, without even a typical "police" to attempt to enforce.

Perhaps most importantly, this shaming goes on towards minnows while whale voting rings farm the reward pool. That's probably more relevant than the rest of my comment above.

Profit privatization at the top, barriers erected to protect territory.

Ps - I watched your recent vlog on Steemit politics. I think we're roughly on the same page philosophically.

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I see no suggestion for how to stop this behavior. Shaming it drives it underground, relegating it to higher profits and mostly abusers, without even a typical "police" to attempt to enforce.

You can see that from my most recent post. It is completely shamed so far underground that I'm actually more comfortable there.

According to dan this is the result of the linear reward curve. And so I think it has proven unsustainable.

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"According to dan this is the result of the linear reward curve."

I think he might be dead on. Who could know better?

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"underground that I'm actually more comfortable there."

Ah, yes, I am familiar with the VOTU acronym!

I've been witness to a lot of flag wars. Someone with an massive amount of Voting power upvoted me regularly, and so I followed them. I was exposed to feeds about these voting wars regularly. And while I'm definetly not trying to name drop them, I felt really uncomfortable with what I was being exposed to. Wars about who should be flagged and who shouldn't insults and extremely vulgar stuff.

As a creative and active content post and blogger, Seeing that kind of stuff really disturbed me. I thought that steemit was about creating content and community, you know?

Although I never experienced being flagged, I did lose a bigger follower when I posted a freebie for posters. He thought that I was part of a problem with steemit when I was simply trying to help promote steemit as a platform. I wasn't flagged or anything like that, but it really sucked... I worked hard on that content to help everyone, not just myself, and it felt terrible to be penalized because of it.

When I look at steemit, I see a blog. A way to get rewarded by sharing content and experiences at no cost to anyone. And Idk, I guess it really sucks that other people don't see it that way.

Either way, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing. Content creation and showing off that steemit is an excellent platform for sharing creativity.

Thanks for the post lexiconical.

Interesting perspective! Many valid points. I also noticed that it is really hard for a newbie to actually get noticed. Some of my crappier posts get more votes, and some of the stuff I'm actually proud of barely earns a few cents. I don't get it...I guess it's all about which influential steemer or whale decides to give me a chance in the right moment.

I also got flagged once for no apparent reason by somebody (I asked a question about issues with dTube). Scary that someone can just decide to make your post disappear because they didn't like it.

I didn't even know that it was frowned upon to upvote your own posts. I always do it (the box is ticked on automatically, and I don't even pay attention to it). Could that be the reason why some posts do worse?

Finally, it is indeed discouraging to see posts that are clearly total crap earn hundreds of $! How are they doing this? If there is a secret to success (besides all the other recommendations I'm already following) please share =)

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"Could that be the reason why some posts do worse?"

I would say, probably not. There are simply so many variables. The most likely explanations for most people, when they ask this, is they are:

  1. Not networking
  2. Not posting high enough quality
  3. Haven't been persistent enough
  4. Have unrealistically high expectations

"How are they doing this? If there is a secret to success (besides all the other recommendations I'm already following) please share =)"

Ask, and ye shall receive.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@lexiconical/steemit-like-life-is-a-popularity-contest-embrace-it-or-devote-your-efforts-to-other-pursuits-your-problem-is-not-the-reward

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Thank you, @lexiconical =)

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Good job! Thanks to @lexiconical you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14274.08. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

I have no clue about why some people get so upset by self-voting.

My feelings about it are that is an extremely rational thing to do in the short run but may well be somewhat counter-productive in the long-run simply because it somewhat reduces opportunities for engagement in that if you use all of your Steem Power voting for yourself, you can't be using it to vote for others.

But some self-voting may be an optimal strategy.

Meh. As far as I'm concerned people can use their voting power however they choose. Life is too short to worry about whether or not @somerandomdude gave himself a thumbs up.

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I must agree with you wholeheartedly. We should construct incentives for desired behavior, not attempt to shame and control others into it.

The main reason there still exist so many issues is that there is no dedication department for whale abuse.

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I agree. It certainly seems like even one full-time employee with some delegated stake could do huge work on this front.

But, then again, I'd hate to take them away from the ritual animal sacrifice keeping the site running properly the last week or so.

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I mostly have not been digging into the pit of human trash recently, and instead, have been only focusing on things in my direct control, and trying to figure out how to best utilize my own energies. These human problems will continue on, as conflict is actually a driver of change. Without conflict and contrasting viewpoints, new things would not emerge. It's only when the system is improperly designed (as it appears so with the abuses of power), that it will fail. We almost need AI to take on the issue of whale abuse, as it appears that no human wants to go to war with a whale. In this, we see that Steemit is actually more similar to the real world of corruption, as we have not yet found a way to properly handle the human mind and all its frailties, illnesses and cancers.

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"and instead, have been only focusing on things in my direct control"

I think this is a wise practice, generally speaking.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can change; and wisdom to know the difference."

"We almost need AI to take on the issue of whale abuse, as it appears that no human wants to go to war with a whale."

I guess an AI's inability to be monetarily threatened, or held hostage by reputation, might indeed be necessary.

Vote SkyNet/HAL in 2020.

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"conflict is actually a driver of change" I've had that tucked into the back of my brain since I was whale attacked a month into the platform launch.....I'm back a year later and jumping into your bubble and will just focus on things in my direct control. I think Steemit will gain traction when Steemians start accumulating interesting and informative writers on their feeds... they will naturally continue to organically grow this ecosystem because their brains will know where to go to find the content it enjoys... at the moment Steemit is still about penny hustlers ...it will work it's way out in the wash..... just keep sharing good info.....

I will have been on here for a year later this month and work by butt off trying to create quality posts (not today... I have an abscess tooth). For example a chapter of my serial will generally take 8-10 hours to complete. Overall, I can't complain-I started with nothing and am staying alive on what I make here. So as far as upvoting my own content, I have no qualms. I don't upvote my comments- that I disagree with on a personal level... I have no problem with people that do- it's their choice.

As to the SJW's... Those I have a problem with. When I came on here it was heralded as the last bastion of free speech. Still, I get flagged from time to time for articles on the global warming scam. I enjoyed your perspective- enough to give you another follower!

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"For example a chapter of my serial will generally take 8-10 hours to complete."

I can empathize with this problem.

"I started with nothing and am staying alive on what I make here. "

I'd say you're doing phenomenally.

"When I came on here it was heralded as the last bastion of free speech. Still, I get flagged from time to time for articles on the global warming scam."

There still seems to be a (community) question as to whether deplatforming someone is censorship...

"I enjoyed your perspective- enough to give you another follower!"

Thanks, I'm pleased to have you here! I have read your blog in the past, and now I will check in again.

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Thank you... You might check The Night Gods series... It's really my best work.

Steemit seems to be nothing more than rule by caste system. They complain about abuses to the reward pool endless, but only those abuses that do not directly benefit them.

Great post.

Yes I also feel the same. Upvoting yourself or self-vote should be discouraged. Actually i tried applying it to myself,although my vote worths nothing. But its much discouraging when you spend time creating something but that gets you o vote or views? And then again I started self voting without shame.
Yes you heard me right I m contineously upvoting myself without any shame because its the only thing that gives Self-estem..lol
Additionally it matters nobody ayway since only bots come to my post when I could manage to pay them. And who gives damn about bots?

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I understand the frustration. I would spend hours on posts that would make less than a dime. I attribute my success to a combination of persistence, talent, and having money to throw at the problem.

I will never begrudge you your small upvote, but remember, giving is also necessary to create community and network.

This article is not an argument for unbridled selfishness.

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No one on Steemit has put such a well written article on the facts about making good posts and earning peanuts while being told not to upvote your posts as you have. I'm a minnow and I have been here since June but my voting power has never grown to even a 0.1 decimal while my so called reputation is 51. My posts get upvoted by few minnows at best and if I don't buy even a 0.50sbd upgoat I will end up making less than 1$ on many posts. I asked around and I was told to create good content but not to upvote my own posts and my voting power will increase, that was total bullshit because I always try to make decent posts but get nothing back in return unless may be I put $10,000 in my account then I might have a voting power of 1$ and earn over $10 a post. Unfortunately I've noticed what you talked about on this post to be exactly what's wrong Steemit and my opinion only the top 10% will succeed but the rest of us will definitely fail or never grow much as a content creator. Thanks big time for this post and the way you've helped us all to relate to the problems of steemit and why many of us really can't do anything to help things become better in the future as we don't have a say. Cheers mate 👍

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"only the top 10% will succeed"

This may be true of most human social structures, but we should at least attempt to allow that 10% to be chosen on merit when possible, rather than shame potential challengers out.

I empathize with the rest of your post.

"we don't have a say."

We do...it's just proportionate to our stake!

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Agreed, it's apparently easier to shame those who don't know better rather than teaching or helping them to do better. Thanks for the insight mate and wish you a positive week ahead, cheers.

awesome post man. Needed to be said.

*upvotes own comment. :p

Well said!

very horrible, but I still lack understanding, it is because the google translation is wrong to translate or indeed I do not understand your writing, either. the obvious conclusion is very horrible.
It is a good content and a brilian post, goob job...