"I Got Downvoted!?! It's Not Fair! Can You Help Me???"

in #steem3 years ago (edited)


As a witness trusted to secure the Steem blockchain, I try to be available for anyone who has questions or concerns or wants to better understand how things work here. I got a message in Discord this morning that led to a conversation I thought might be helpful for a lot of people and the platform itself.

I only made some very slight edits to protect the identity of the person involved.

[redacted] Today at 10:40 AM

hello r u online
could you help me?

lukestokes Today at 10:40 AM

Yes and it depends.

[redacted] Today at 10:43 AM

today someone downvote me, but i can't contact with him
i can't find what did wrong

lukestokes Today at 10:43 AM

get over it

[redacted] Today at 10:43 AM

the downvoter is [redacted]

lukestokes Today at 10:44 AM

downvotes aren't emotional things
they are just part of the protocol
just like an upvote, but in reverse
some disagree about rewards so they downvote. no big deal.
the sooner we get the whole community thinking that way, the sooner we can get more people downvoting to better protect the collaborative commons that is the rewards pool
we don't debate upvotes nearly as much as we debate downvotes
but they are the same thing as far as the blockchain is concerned
all pending payouts are just payouts until they pay

[redacted] Today at 10:46 AM

someone vote me with very little amount which was revers by the downvote

lukestokes Today at 10:47 AM

that's how these things work, yes. It's stake-weighted voting
once I was downvoted for months by a huge whale from a script that brought all my posts to $0
I would have otherwise made many hundreds of dollars (I think it would have been well over $800)
but that's just how the system works
those with the most stake get to determine how the rewards pool is distributed

[redacted] Today at 10:50 AM

someone can dislike my post, but who like me and give me some reward, but how can is possible other one reverse it, is it fare?
i think it is not fare

lukestokes Today at 10:51 AM

What we think doesn't matter. How the blockchain is coded matters. An upvote is technically the same thing as a downvote. It's a way to take your stake and tell the blockchain how rewards should be distributed.
The rewards aren't yours until after all votes are counted 7 days later
the display of pending rewards is misleading
they are just pending until votes are counted
if a downvote is not fair then neither is an upvote
every upvote takes away potential rewards from every other post on the platform
every downvote adds potential rewards to every other post on the the platform
that's how it actually works, regardless of how we feel about it
The feelings we have are part of primitive human psychology, not logic or reason

[redacted] Today at 10:54 AM

thank you very much for nice counselling

lukestokes Today at 10:58 AM

It's important to know what you feel is normal and natural. I've felt it many times over the last two years. The key is recognizing it and evolving past it

I was a bit too blunt in the beginning, but sometimes the raw truth can be difficult to deal with at first. This sense of feeling wronged when we see our potential rewards go down is completely normal and common on Steemit. Flag wars start when people take these negative emotions and turn them into retaliatory actions. Instead of disagreeing about the rewards pool, they want to cause others emotional harm because they don't like them or they are upset.

The solution, I think, is to just get over it. The truth shall set you free and the truth is, as far as the blockchain is concerned, downvotes are the same as upvotes. It's only our emotional responses that are different. Our emotional responses are not based in mathematical logic, but on more primitive systems evolved to ensure our survival. When survival is not in question, we shouldn't be ruled by these primitive (especially negative) responses. If we look to potential rewards on Steemit for our survival, then maybe we should work towards getting a more stable income, but that's a separate discussion.

I blogged about flagging back in April of 2017: Hey Steemit. Let's Talk About Flagging. Again.

Again in September 2017: Flagging. Someone has to do it.

And also in December 2017: Whales: You Have Some Flagging to Do

Some things just need to be repeated regularly, both for new users and as a healthy reminder. The rewards pool is our own shared collaborative commons. Proof of Brain works to decide how that pool gets distributed using both upvotes and downvotes. When some people see Steemit trending and think "crap" content gets all the rewards, that's on us as a community to fix. We can use tools like Clean Trending from @heimindanger or delegate and participate with accounts like @steemflagrewards. As I've discussed before in the posts above, the similarities between "flagging" and a "downvote" are difficult to tease apart. To have healthy Proof of Brain, we need more downvotes. We also need flags to combat spam and such, but that's a different intent and intent matters.

Many people don't downvote regularly because it's more profitable to vote up content to earn curation rewards and downvoting currently drains your resource credits and voting power. There's talk of creating a separate voting power pool just for downvotes along with related issues in the Github (examples: 3096, 500, 857) with the hope of getting more people to steward the blockchain rewards pool using both sides of Proof of Brain. These software changes won't work unless we first upgrade the software in our brains.

In preparation for future changes, maybe we should read up about Loss Aversion and Negativity Bias. Let's realize getting "flagged" or downvoted is just part of the system we're voluntarily participating in. As mentioned in the conversation above:

Every upvote takes away potential rewards from every other post on the platform.

Every downvote adds potential rewards to every other post on the platform.

This is math. Math is fair. It's our own expectations which get in the way.

Luke Stokes is a father, husband, programmer, STEEM witness, DAC launcher, and voluntaryist who wants to help create a world we all want to live in. Learn about cryptocurrency at UnderstandingBlockchainFreedom.com

I'm a Witness! Please vote for @lukestokes.mhth


a lot of the issues with the downvotes is also partly due to the fact that people feel entitled to the upvotes they get...

I do not go around and downvote but I do when they spammers come to my account and give out really random comments. Although that I have to say that HF20 has really taken down the amount of spam I am receiving.
So that is really a good thing from the HF that achieved its goal.

Yep, entitlement is an issue.

Very cool to hear HF20 delivering on promises. :)

Yep, entitlement is an issue.

your right there

early exploiters and top witnesses fit this category perfectly,

in the manner they feel "entitled" by the extreme rewards farming of posts in the early days also the days pre HF19 fork

and now they feel "entitled" to the majority of rewards regardless

Please don't use "they" to broad brush an entire group. I don't fit this "they" you speak of, nor do many others I know in the category you're describing. I bought STEEM at $3 and $4 in 2016 and watched it go to $0.07. I held.

I want to point out another aspect of this issue .

I highly doubt anybody here gives a rats ass about shit posts or spam , what is going on here is and you will often here that from all those who are flagging people is 'they are raping steem rewards pool with their shit posts'

So lets make things perfectly clear here :
At the end of the day all that matters here on steemit is who gets the steem , it has nothing to do with spam or shit posts its all about money .

Some 'cleaners' / 'flaggers' here on steemit are highly organized , sophisticated groups that do downvoting on industrial scale .

Folks , when you take funds from users in order to put it in your own pocket , that is called THEFT .

And I suggest all users affected by this criminal groups not to contact @lukestokes but to file their complaints with law enforcement


Hahah. Are you for real?

Please, understand how this system works before you start thinking theft is taking place because of a downvote. I suggest reading the white paper to start. Any value displayed in the UI prior to the seven day payout is just a potential reward. It’s not your property so no theft happens when votes (up or down) determine consensus for the payout amount.

And no, that’s not “all that matters” because the quality of the Proof of Brain outcome impacts the value claim of the entire blockchain. If it works well, STEEM may go up in value. If not, people may sell and go elsewhere. We all have incentive to see curation work correctly to bring good content to the top.

Also, it’s kind of weak to give an unrelated reply to a upvoted comment just to get visibility. Keep in mind, everything you say on a blockchain is recorded forever. Reputation matters.

I think my comment is very much related to your post and deserves visibility . Because what is taking place on steemit is not laughing matter .
We are seeing industrial scale downvoting operation by certain users and channeling all that STEEM back to their accounts . If you don't know what I am talking about , I suggest you take a better look at so called 'cleaners' ...

Are you referring to steamcleaners? I remember how much spam, identity theft, and ridiculousness was around here prior to cheetah and steemcleaners. It was a total mess. If you have a grievence, these systems have appeals processes in place. The fact that you think "theft" was involved already tells me you don't understand how this system works and are a bit confused. That said, I'm willing to hear you out. Send me a link explaining what you're so upset about.

as much as it may not seem like the conversations work, they do, and specially so when they come from leadership.

I remember not that long ago some people feeling really hurt, emotionally crippled almost from flags that had absolutely no weight behind them. This of course, was the steemit defense league attempting to disrupt peace if you will, but as annoying as they were, they held no power at all.

I took my time to council some people on this, dig deep into their reasoning and it became apparent that the big loss here was not monetary or even real ironically enough. In other words, they were not too concerned with the downvote amounts as they were hurt by the simple fact that they were downvoted to begin with.

Naturally, we all want to find our place in the tribe and within our social circles establish meaningful relationships, hence we attach a lot of interactions on here as social opportunities. It may sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be, the veil can be removed from this whole thing.

People put themselves out there, they share a song, a poem, something they care about (sometimes) and the mental preparation prior to that action, at least in most cases, is the equivalent of someone casting a net into a pool for social value. This is to say, they hope that their post, their ideas, their songs, are found worthy by the community and that this valuation gives them currency in return.

It's because of this crazy little dynamic that so much emotional currency is spent on the action, and when expectations are not met, they literally feel short changed, unappreciated or rejected, depending on the situation of course.

I've jokingly said to many people in @helpie to self flag, and as ridiculous as it may sound, because it sounds as a joke, there is some method to the madness. Once they realize that there is no loss, and that the emotional investment followed by the apparent feeling of loss is self imposed, they've actually become more resilient, because that is the word, to downvotes.

At any rate, we will continue to talk on the subject until we are blue in the face, but it will always be necessary, because there are always new users being onboarded.

Very well said. I like the idea of self-flagging. Hahah. What a fun, interesting way to get us past our own thinking. I totally hear you in terms of how much emotional energy and social currency people wrap up into their interactions here. In many ways, this blockchain helps people get past insecure aspects of their own ego. At least, I know it's done quite a bit of that for me.

Thanks for this post Luke.

We do need more downvotes, especially for the abuse we encounter. Ignoring abuse suggests that it's a healthy thing. If we're more generous with our flags as well as upvotes, we can all collectively help the platform thrive.

Thanks for your support to Steem Flag Rewards.

What is abuse? This whole steem blockchain?

We also had a similar discussion when I was relatively new on steemit and your words really helped me.
You are real and one of the only top level witnesses that are accessible.

well flagging is voilent to me
it's all there, and can be viewed with a click of a button
using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
you can misuse words if you want, but those who use them correctly will disagree with you
flagging is not violence.
I wont argue with you
Sounds like flagging causes emotional reactions in you. Okay. That's not violence.
You're pointing fingers all around. My suggestion would be to look inward and see what buttons you have that you allow others to press.
if we all improve ourselves, the world improves.
I won't defend the shitty actions of others
but also won't play the victim

I cant even believe I said those words to you and you were quite patient with me LOL
Thanks Again!

Wow, bringing it back 7 months ago. :)

Yes! And sounds similar to your post doesn't it? Hahahaha

Glad you haven't changed but we have grown a lot since we came on this platform. I think you're a big part of our growth. Thanks a bunch.

On a side note, I just realized. That if we can educate the new comers early on about the need for reverse curation (negative curation and flagging and downvote seem like trigger words hehehe), then maybe we can make progress faster.

It's the promise of rewards that makes many come here and try earning - so short term gains is in the forefront of many minds. If there was some way to reach them first before they dive in the deep end before learning to swim. Then maybe we can minimize abuse before it happens.

You have a great thread going on here...

Educate newcomers to invest some fiat and powerup, don't tell them they started a race to just break even. Explain to them, that self-votes are frowned upon, and that they need to vote for good content and flag bad content.

Their fiat powered up into steempower = rewards-pool

lol, why is everyone running from the steem blockchain like the plaque!!!

This post needs to be at the top of trending for a full year. And then added to a Steemit FAQ, or something.

Upvotes and downvotes are tools to allocate stake. They are the same action, just opposite of each other.

This is the way I've tried to explain it in the past:

If a user feels a post is under-rewarded, he will upvote.

If a user feels a post is over-rewarded, he will downvote.

There's nothing more to it than that. It's a huge double standard that people feel people have the "right" to upvote their content with their full stake, allocating them STEEM, but somehow lack the right to use that same stake to allocate STEEM away to other users.

There have been several members who have enjoyed the regular - sometimes automatic - support of heavy-stake users for every post. They've said nothing. But as soon as another big user has noticed this, and countered with a downvote, all of a sudden it's a huge problem that one user has this much power of the post payouts.

But one user upvoting the posts to big payouts was never a problem. Go figure.

That's the whole point of STEEM power: a say in that particular portion of the reward pool.

Payouts are not your money until the voting window closes. I think this is the biggest hangup a lot of people have.

They are potential payouts, subject to community consensus.

I've tried my damnest to say this so many times. In so many ways.

I agree with everything you said and also wanted to add (as I've mentioned in previous posts I linked to) that a full flag does have other side effects such as hiding the post by default and impacting the reputation score. If people just used them to adjust payouts, that would be great, but they also use them to blow away all value on a post vindictively. I hope we can improve all interfaces to the Steem blockchain to encourage the former and discourage the latter.

lol, what about a flag also costs you money!!! You start with -8.66% on your steempower. If you spend your votes on flagging, you will lose the inflation/dilution game. But hey, better not tell the community this, and keep the mantra alife, don't selfvote, vote on others good content, and flag bad content.

That way, the rewards-pool is distributed to the very few in the know, that sing this flag and don't selfvote mantra for 2 years now...

"Costs you money" implies money is yours or owed to you in some way. It costs you opportunity cost, for sure. No one is denying that. Please reference the Github issues I mentioned in my post which are attempts to change that.

People are free to do what they want with their stake, even if it means demonstrating the Steem blockchain is short-sighted, the rewards system can not curate valuable content via Proof of Brain, and (if we continue with this thought experiment) investors should sell and move to other projects (which destroys the value for everyone). I personally prefer a different path forward. We all have a financial incentive to make Steem work and that includes protecting the value of the rewards pool as a shared collaborative commons. If we don't use the tools at our disposal to do that (including downvotes), then we'll get what we deserve and other projects will be more successful.

Thx for your reply. I agree.

Yes, I've been preaching flagging, this is our only tool to fight abuse.

Stop flag cuddling. Flags are part of the system.

Make a post, people react with upvotes and or flags, at the end of the week the rewards go in your wallet. That is all there is to it.


No one downvotes because it's -ev everytime. However, little minnows who make 0 from curation could downvote but they don't because they are pussies and don't understand that they have freedom of speech on this platform.

Instead people would rather just pretend to be friendly, spam shit contents daily, and collect upvotes from dolphins/whales they charmed.

The big issue is the original design of the monetary distribution on STEEM. It's heavily exploitable (and exploited). Adding a downvote pool instead of properly adding a logic to reward downvotes in the same pool is yet another quick hack that will add code debt to the STEEM chain.

Anyway, I have no idea how you can still be motivated to talk about these subjects on STEEM. Community has been talking about that for years now, and no eco change is coming or planned for the upcoming future by steem it inc. Basically, we can talk how much as we want, gather as much support as we want, my hopes of ever seeing an eco change on STEEM again are pretty much abysmal.

If you have no hope, then I would agree talking about it is pointless.

I still have hope, so I keep talking about it.

I think a separate downvote pool is potentially a step in the right direction. As you can see from the comments here, many are emotionally disturbed by downvotes. If we financially incentivize that process (beyond the existing Incentivization of protecting the long-term value of the rewards pool) then it's possible so many new people would be harmed by bad actors who are not financially motivated to flag that user adoption would fall and eventually value would be destroyed that way as well. There is no perfect solution, just steps in the right direction.

Witnesses are talking about this stuff. Steemit is listening and we have a community repo as well. Improvements are being explored.

Either way, thanks for caring enough to leave a comment and build a tool that helps people flag bot content on trending.

Well, witnesses are talking, but it's a bit like the roman senate, it will end up never taking any decision. Witnesses hold different interests. Many witnesses are involved in the bidbot industry and will never want something like that to take place. And any decision by witness needs to have a large majority to pass.

I agree, it won’t be easy.

In psychology and behavioral economics, the endowment effect, also known as divestiture aversion and related to the mere ownership effect in social psychology, is the hypothesis that people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them, or in this case perceive they own them.

Seeing your potential rewards without realizing that they are only potential rewards and then seeing them taken away from you plays into this dynamic and exaggerates the feeling of loss. But, as you so clearly described, it's just part of the game we are playing here. Not everyone is going to like your posts every time and your advice to just 'get over it' is spot on.

I used to sell timeshare and we would use fear of loss and hope of gain to get people to buy things they were mentally committed to not purchasing before we even met. The techniques we used leveraged these triggers people have unconsciously and they would start negotiating for things that only a few hours ago they were convinced they didn't need.

People don't get too bent out of shape when someone likes or unlikes a Facebook post they wrote but attach a reward to it with the accompanying fear of loss and we get flag wars and downvote campaigns. I find it so interesting to observe from the sidelines but not enough to really get involved in them as my focus here is all about building community, not tearing them apart.

Triggers, they're a bitch, but they can also be used to get people to take action and do some good in the world.

Heh. Yeah, just about every tyrant (and shady salesperson) in history has always used aspects of our primitive emotional response system to get us to do things we later regret. Timeshares are notorious for burdening people with things they regret for many years. It's not always the case, but usually.

My hope is we can all learn to inoculate ourselves from our irrational, emotional, primitive triggers. When we can master ourselves, then we can master our life and environment. Instead of centrally controlling the masses and pointing them towards doing some good in the world, how fantastic would it be if everyone independently worked towards a better outcome for everyone? Nash equilibrium type stuff.

That would be truly beautiful. That would involve the most advanced parts of our evolutionary path.

My hope is we can all learn to inoculate ourselves from our irrational, emotional, primitive triggers.

Have you been watching the news lately? I don't see this happening any time soon but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

how fantastic would it be if everyone independently worked towards a better outcome for everyone?

This is the best we can do on a personal level and there are, thankfully, many of us around the world doing just that. Perhaps we'll reach a tipping point one day that will change the world.

I don’t generally watch the news. Why would I? The current form of mainstream media news is specifically designed to tap into the primitive emotional response. It’s not journalism anymore. It’s entertainment which thrives on logical fallacies, fear, and emotional manipulation. Every once in a while I’ll catch the news while in a hotel lobby and think, “To people actually buy this shit?” I can almost count logically fallacies by the minute. It’s ridiculous.

Turning off the news and learning logical fallacies is step one. Reading books like Thinking, Fast and Slow and Predictibly Irrational helps as well.

When you move to Puerto Rico it will become even clearer how the US media pitches complete BS and amazingly people buy into it.

The amount of times I have told people the funds aren't theirs until the week is over. Most don't even realise there is a pool and those who do think it is unlimited.

Free moniez!!!

Heh. Yeah. It's important for all of us to continue educating people.

If a user has steempower, this steempower = reward-pool.

With his interaction on the blockchain, he can get a piece of this reward-pool back, to fight inflation/dilution and break even on their investment into steempower.

So you guys are repeatedly singing a scammers mantra.

Did you take the time to see what he got downvoted and why, or do you just not care? I'm thinking maybe he did something that he is unaware would cause a problem and maybe you could have helped by looking at it so he won't repeat. He can't "get over it" if he keeps doing it. Get advice though. We all need to get over everything in order to progress.

Luke specializes in effective communication. When he says “get over it” it’s different than when others say it, because he is more intelligent than you.

I'm sure this guy is taking the detailed rewards pool info to the bank right now. It's best to learn the intricacies of this nuthouse as soon as possible. Later you can figure out how to not offend people who flag - if you are still here gasping in the sludge at the bottom of the pool.

Thank you for the shout out Luke!

The members of @steemflagrewards appreciate your support to our project.

Luke I hear what you are saying, but I don't think you really understand the effect of some of the down voting that occurs. People and their feelings are not math. I have a very thick skin, but I have been disturbed by some of the down voting that occurred with my account. One troll user decided to go through my posts and comments and remove almost all of my rewards for 7 days because they did not like one comment that I made on their hateful attack post they had created. They also used bots to help them do this. They then went on to call me a motherfucking retard on my future comments not related to anything to do with them. Just imagine how a new person would feel if this happened to them and they did not have the thick skin I have. Bullies can use written abuse and down voting to not only emotionally hurt people but financially hurt people. That is a powerful combination.

Each same thing happened to me. Especially as a small account with about 500sp it's was a huge turn off from the site. Being targeted by people with 100k sp and losing everything I had worked for that week. Luckily I have a thick skin but it would definitely force some people to leave altogether with abusive behaviour like that.

I have no problem with flag used for the purpose intended and keeping steemit clean but used maliciously the can be dangerous.

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I get that completely. As I said, I was downvoted in an automated way for about three months from a big whale. They even did it in the last 12 hours before payout because, previously, those downvotes couldn't be offset by new upvotes. It was done with the purpose of being vindictive. They included plenty of name calling as well. We can't force others to be nice to us, like us, or treat us with respect. Everyone can use their stake-weighted vote to reward good content or cause people emotional harm. The problem I'm hoping more people realize is that the "financially harm people" is just an incorrect perception and expectation. The money isn't "yours" so it can't be taken away from you (regardless of what the interface displays). Until it pays out, it belongs to everyone.

One way I've found to get around this limitation of the interface is to simply hide payouts for a while. See this post for more on that: Do You Care Too Much About Steemit Blogging Rewards? Find Out Here.

Either way, you were treated badly and that's terrible. I hope more of the community will come together to counter that behavior and give corresponding upvotes to combat these vindictive downvotes that have nothing to do with good content discovery and rewards distribution via Proof of Brain.

While people and their feelings are not math, the blockchain is. This is a blockchain. If we choose to interact with and be governed by it, we'll do well to recognize that reality instead of fighting against it. The problem isn't the code, it's our emotions and the fact that some people express their needs poorly.

"The problem isn't the code...." I would disagree. It allows bullies to use the system to abuse the rewards people would normally receive for their efforts. This can have a massive effect on people new to Steemit. The bullies almost always have more SP than the new people they are abusing. They are able to crush the little recognition a new user has received. Again this is not math it is psychological and powerful.

Without downvotes, those same bullies can take too much of the rewards pool for themselves because no one can disagree with them. It sounds like you want your cake and to eat it too. Downvotes are an important part of how this system functions. I linked to the white paper in my post. If you haven't read it lately, you may want to give it another read to better understand where I'm coming from.

I get how this has an effect on people new to Steemit. I'm simply saying, if they want to interact in this new blockchain world, they may need to understand some fundamentals, even if their own emotional responses, initially, reject them. If you're implying the answer is new small accounts shouldn't be downvotable by the blockchain rules, then take a look at the reports of account farms which create thousands of accounts and use those tiny upvotes to take rewards from all of us, including those new users. If we don't protect the value in the collaborative commons, it won't survive as value.

The value we have here isn't magical. It exists because of the story of value this blockchain creates. If there's no downvote to protect it and prevent people from extracting it, then the value will be extracted over time destroying it for us all.

I understand you are trying to explain how the code works. What you are not understanding is the code has a problem when it comes in contact with bullies. I do not have a code solution to offer you. I can just offer you a real world example of how the code is being abused.

I do not have a code solution to offer you.

And that's the problem. Many say "Look, this thing is broken!" without bringing any solutions. This is a blockchain. That's the reality. Until we change the rules of the chain with code, reality doesn't change. I never denied people get harmed by bad actors. I don't yet know of any code changes which would make that any better. Therefore, it is reality right now. Accepting reality is the best thing we can do.

Bricks can be used to build houses or break windows.
Cars can be used to get us around or run people over.

Blaming an object for how it is used makes no sense. If we can improve the object (make cars safer, etc) then let's do it! Pointing out that we have to live with cars and bricks as they exist right now and adjust our expectations accordingly doesn't mean those things aren't used by bullies.

The answer, IMO, isn't to ban bricks and cars (or downvotes).

Thank you for blaming me for not having a solution. I wish you the best.

It’s easy to complain. Hard to solve problems. I’m not blaming you, just holding you to a higher standard of bringing solutions, not just problems. I wish you the best as well. The very best.

Hopefully we can revisit this conversation in the future and evaluate whatever solutions have come up and if they are working or not to improve on the problems you and I both understand.

??? Code Change, it's by design. Who are those bullies?

I bet, they are not these thousands of newcomers, that came, saw, and run for their lives...

Its the 1% on the steem blockchain, right?

I certainly think this is an opportunity to learn more about people and their actions. I do see both of your points of view.

When it comes to being damaged by others actions, that say a court of law might recognize, especially in the case Ethan mentioned. I could see some basis but if we look at the bigger picture, which is where I think Luke is suggesting it does suggest we each need to spend a little more time building a community that participates regularly.

I learned a great deal from this post and appreciate the time and the discussion.


Thanks for reading. :)

It's interesting to me how much the conversation here has a broader context in terms of social justice, trigger warnings, word policing, micro aggressions, etc, etc. Most of these topics are understood academically and connected to actual human pain responses and harm, but also widely misunderstood (and abused) in culture at large. Instead of inoculating themselves, some try to control the actions of others and create a bubble reality for themselves. In the long run, IMO, it ends up being unhealthy. We have to find the balance of protecting those who are vulnerable while also helping people fully heal themselves and not be victims to every action of others, allowing others to control their emotional state.

Having just reas this (very interesting thread) I basically agree.... so many people are brought up being overly protected and shielded from the harsh reality that a minority of people are bullies.

If we were all interacting equally with another 100 people a month (hypothetical e.g.) and not shielded from the unpleasant ones, at least 1-2 interactions would be thoroughly unpleasant.

I guess steem just brings us into a wider network and makes our exposure to assholes more likely.

It's an unavoidable consequence of the freedom and opporrunity it also brings.

As you say, getting over a flag (or letting it go) is best....while maybe keeping a dispassionate reign on the assholes in conjunction with others.

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Well said!

Thanks... I could have gone on, but suffice to say for now that this is all food for thought for sure!

Also easy for me to say when I've only ever had one teeny tiny malicious flag.

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Thanks... I could have gone on, but suffice to say for now that this is all food for thought for sure!

Also easy for me to say when I've only ever had one teeny tiny malicious flag.

But I'll certainly keep this mind if I ever get worse treatment in the future.

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Well said!

And again, thanks!

Just call it what it is... why are you still so decent. :)

I have experience a downvote recently because someone did not want my voice heard on a scam they were pulling. So they got their whale to downvote me to the point my comment was hidden. I just copied the comment and posted it again, determined to let people know.
A situation where it is used to bully others is not right.

A whale, is stakeholder. You wanted your voice to be heard against a scam by a whale? lulz...

I really like the conversation you shared and I think everybody on steemit should read it and understand how upvotes and downvotes really work. If we have a logical understanding of something, it can help modulate the emotional reaction we might naturally be inclined towards.

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I couldn’t agree with you more.. sadly many large accounts abuse this when I think they could be quite influential in how they use their flags.

I think flagging is something we all should practice when necessary. I have seen a few times where a flag was used, in my own opinion, inappropriately but ultimately think they are just another part of the system and can actually be beneficial.

Luckily I have seen some large stake accounts rally behind those who are flagged for reasons that could be seen as trying to silence someone or just for petty reasons.. and I guess that gives me a bit of hope.

Thanks for all you contribute here. I don’t comment often, but I do enjoy your blogs and appreciate your realistic and non dramatic take on things here on the chain.

Steem on,


Hi Lukestokes
This was a hard post to read, but I must admit it’s logical. I still remember my first flag a newsblast to my followers about a hard fork 20 revision which I sent out as an important change to the resource credits issue which would allow many of my followers to post and comment again because they were suddenly silenced.
I was posting in English and French back then to both practice my French and grow my audience. A Triplet of French dolphins downvoted the French version as useless to the community. I reached out and explained the effect resource credits had initially on the minnow community and why the post was important. Two of the dolphins reversed their down vote but the biggest one said he couldn’t figure out how to do it. I was both angered and disappointed because I felt like I lost the upvotes on the post to someone who judged the post without understanding its importance. It was a “Marie Antoinette” moment where the dolphin thought the minnows could eat cake. But I digress. The importance of this post to me is that these are rewards not earnings and the rewards are the flip side of downvotes. They are logical components of the system needed for balance. I may think it’s unfair, but my feelings while understandable are still illogical. I must understand and remember they are both parts of the deal here and I must accept them and move on. This is a big pill to swallow but it’s reality based. Life is not always fair and just from our perspective but our perspective doesn’t rule the world. We must accept it and move on. We live here, so if we learn, adapt and not only will we survive, but we can thrive.
Thanks for the life lesson

It really is not fair to get downvote especially when you are not really putting anyone down or trying to start any kind of trouble, but like you said, there is nothing we can do about, but let it go and just keep on doing what you are doing.
Thanks for sharing.

It really is not fair to get upvote especially when you are not really lifting anyone up or trying to create any kind of value, but like you said, there is nothing we can do about, but let it go and just keep on doing what you are doing.

See what I did there?

Or run from this place like there is no tomorrow.

You would, I am sure of it if you perceive the realities of the steem blockchain.

OK, I'll bite. In your view, what are the realities of the Steem blockchain that would encourage you to run from here?

It's funny I haven't really seen it that way yet, so thanks for bringing this up in that way specifically. I mean, I totally understand what effect up- and downvoting has on the reward pool, but I haven't spent thoughts on thinking how that's actually a very natural thing. It's also funny that while up- and downvotes are generally symmetrical in their effect, but not in how you can issue them, e.g. as some frontends don't allow this at all.

On YouTube or Reddit it's totally normal to downvote stuff you don't like, just because you don't like. On Steem, downvoting will get you in a position of fear of retaliation. I think I've never flagged anything myself, possibly because I didn't want to "disturb the silence". I thought that if I just don't vote at all, that's enough (not that my votes would have a huge impact, but anyway).

Thanks again for bringing this up, it changed my view on flagging!

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Our emotional responses are not based in mathematical logic, but on more primitive systems evolved to ensure our survival.

Not that I am an expert at this Luke, but this is social behavior, not math, and yes, occasionally it's quite irrational.

Ask yourself, as a species, do we want to increase irrationality or rationality if our goal is to increase human well being?

Regardless of our emotions, the math doesn't change or lie. The math drives this blockchain. We can rage against it, but it won't be changed. I'm simply suggesting we move forward and evolve our more primitive, survival-based emotions to be a little more subject to the control of reason. It can be done, but it takes self-awareness, practice, meditation, education, and more.

I'm a reason-oriented person, and math played a big role in my life. Today it seems to have emerged a paradigm shift in which EQ plays a higher role than IQ, because our capacity to interact is basically determined by EQ and not by IQ. So emotions and the capacity to interpret them in others are very important in a highly social culture online and offline, and they don't have to be about raging against something.

Otherwise I agree, sometimes we need to take a step back, take a breath and analyze things unemotionally, based on logic. We rarely take the time to do that these days and are driven in a "talk first and think later" scenario.


I like. Straight to the point but backed up with reasoning at the same time.

Thank you for a great sum up Luke bro! You are helpful as always!


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Wow, that's a really annoying generic comment (spam comment?) just to say "Hey, we gave you an upvote."

These are the types of things I consider downvoting. They don't add value. They are just advertisements. They are somewhat annoying (animated gift? Really?)

@steemtuner does not advertisement for themselves. They try to add value to author by their ability.

IMO, your ad is far too big and annoying. Some may flag it and I wouldn't blame them.