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.
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.)
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.
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 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?
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?
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 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.
@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"?
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.
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.
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
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).
We also have a Radio Station! (click me)
...and a 5000+ active user Discord Chat Server! (click me)
Special Thanks / Apologies To: @TheLeapingKoala, @Pennsif, @LauraBanfield
Sources: Wikipedia, Google, @ura-soul
Copyright: Cleverism.com, https://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ggm070816, Patheos