History is a great teacher

in steem •  7 months ago

https://steemit.com/funny/@kevinwong/embracing-linear-equality-on-steem-unlearning-the-sucker-and-maximising-the-arsehole-in-me

This quote from @trafalgar perfectly sums up steem current state of affairs There is a clear incentives mis-alignement on this platform and very few people/devs seems to give a damn about it.I do though, and I'm always thinking about how we could solve this difficult but critical issue.

This is something you and I have been discussing for months in private, so without a doubt I agree with what you've said.
We're currently at a point where most SP are claiming back their vote rewards one way or another (bid bots, self votes, delegation market, vote swapping etc). It's not longer a problem of bad actors, if it ever was in the first place. It's a problem of misaligned economic incentives causing individual profit maximization strategy to be harmful to the entire system overall.
I'm guessing many whales are in the very same position as myself: we don't want this to continue. Unfortunately, we also can't trust other large stakeholders to refrain from the allure of profit maximization, so we all protect our own stake by partaking in the very activity that's deteriorating our investment. It's tragedy of the commons in full swing.
The issue isn't that bots or individual actors are malicious or greedy; very few people invest in crypto for altruistic reasons. When designing an economic system, you must assume everyone will attempt to maximize profits. When individual efforts to maximizing profits contribute to the value of the whole, then it's a successful system. But when the optimal profit maximization strategy under your system undermines the value of the whole, then you have a flawed rewards structure, that is to say misaligned economic incentives.
The entire economic system cannot be designed to depend on the selfless sacrifice of moral saints paying a high price in order to just keep in check the perfectly rational actions of individual profit maximizers, which is where we are now and why the battle is failing.
In short, readjust the economic incentives to alter profit maximizing behavior. Under other systems such as superlinear and higher curation for example, profit maximization does not involve direct or indirect self votes and bid botting market have difficulty in price discovery. Of course other alternative economic incentives/curves/curation rates etc can be explored.
It's unfortunate that you were the only person I was able to convince that this was the correct approach, and you weren't able to convince anyone else when you reached out individually either. The scope of the problem is at the level of economic incentives (I believe Linear, despite all its advantages, is the predominant cause of this), not at the level of individual bad actors. And trying to fight it on the level of individual bad actors would likely fail.

Today I was re-exploring the idea of having a limit on how much vest can be allocated towards a post. I think it would improve the current situation a lot.
What the vote selling concept has done is basically made something taboo (seff voting )acceptable. We need to go back to a system where self voting is discouraged.
By limiting vest per post ( say max $1 per post) whales will have to vote on many posts in order to use their voting power which would encourage diversification of votes and make it harder to self vote.
This will also make it more difficult for people to abuse vote buying bot.

When we had 40 votes per day self voting was mitigated and vote diversification encouraged, people used to vote for random stuff and comments a lot more back then because they knew they wouldn't be able to vote for themselves 40 times a day.

I expressed my concern before the change was implemented here you can read the discussion on top of this post https://steemit.com/steemit/@steemitblog/proposing-steem-equality-0-19-0-as-the-next-fork but apparently the devs didn't think it was an issue.

here is a quote from one of the steem developers at that time

I actually think a "mega" vote makes it less likely self-voters would hide. When we consider attacks such as these we often ask ourselves what we would do to pull it off.
So, what would I do to pull off a self voting attack with linear rewards? I would make sock puppets that would post and vote on each other. I would post a lot so that I could spread out my stake without the posts ever getting paid enough to draw attention. I would never want to have large payouts but I would slowly siphon off the reward fund. Frankly, I wouldn't care how large someone's vote would be because I would probably not vote with full weight anyways.
If you have an attack that does rely on larger votes, I am eager to hear it!

I guess he didn't anticipate that the whole platform would turn into a giant self voting ring.He also didn't anticipate that people wouldn't waste their power moderating, he was warned for both tho...

The only benefit that reducing votes from 40 a day to 10 introduced is that it gave minnows higher upvotes. This issue would have been partially solved by the linear curve change ( same fork) and could have been improved simply by adding a decimal in the UI.

I think we should go back to something like 40 or more vote per day and/or limit vest per post which would effectively achieve the same thing while keeping the concentrated vote ( 10 per day) for minnows.

Also encouraging/rewarding moderation is key. Don't expect users to get rid of the spam/selfvote without rewarding them.

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This would also solve whale flag abuse and censorship. A whale would only be able to downvote - 1$ which means the community will have the ability to unflag the post even if they are not whales.

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Hi @snowflake While looking at data from self voting whales the amount was only about 10%. I think vote selling bots need to go and how process of removing them or blocking their actions seemingly would be solved in a H19.

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Congratulations, you are coming to gentlebot, I hope he also come to my comments.
thank you

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hi @snowflake am your prestigious follower but your upvote to me is always very low.....please try and make it much better ,its always a nice time to have the whales come around our post because that will always be lot of joy

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minnow don't have much voice I think thats the problem...

I think we should go back to something like 40 or more vote per day and/or limit vest per post which would effectively achieve the same thing while keeping the concentrated vote ( 10 per day) for minnows.

I arrived after 40 votes per day was a thing, but yes limiting vest per post makes sense.

It's tragedy of the commons in full swing.

In the book 'Governing the Commons', Elinor Ostrom suggests one solution would be to allocate resources to institutes (in our case programs) that support government, market, and community. By investing in programs that strengthen these three particular areas, there's checks and balances in place.

Currently we have government (witnesses), it isn't perfect, but it's in position to improve with time. We have market (bid-bots), while bots aren't the root of all evil as they have a place in the economy, they're without a doubt overly invested in. This leads us to the lack of investment for programs that support community.

If we can push the culture of bot owners delivering a portion of profit to community-driven causes like @youarehope or @schoolforsdg4, then there's a chance of correcting the tragedy of the commons issue. Yes, the challenge is in convincing the bot owners to do such a thing, but there are some responsible bot owners and those that are, understand that the system is broken and needs some fixing.

Like you said,

When individual efforts to maximizing profits contribute to the value of the whole, then it's a successful system.

And when steemit is a successful system, then everyone wins - government, market, and community.

Thank you for this informative article. I'm still trying to gain a better understanding of this issue - at this point the distinction I draw is between bid bots that auction their vote in a way that pulls in a lot of naive minnows, and vote selling services that guarantee at least a range of ROI (after curation this usually amounts to a gain of SP). The question I always ask myself is: can it help a minnow grow? But the larger points in regards to sustainability of the platform are well taken.

Hi i just followed you
Please follow back and lets help each other succeed

The only thing that can change the current state is a fork. It's what changed the last stale-state steemit was in about a year ago. Though I assume people will adapt someway to "maximize their profits"
I agree though. The voting bots have destroyed the whole structure of community engagement :( Things were more 'community driven' back when whales were in control of post payouts. But all the minnows complained then too.
I think the voting should scale to how many vests you have along with a max cap on vote weight per post. Say, 1x vote can only give a post a maximum of $10-20, universally.
I'm not a developer though, just a couple cents thrown in the bucket.

I think 40 votes would make it harder to run a bot/self vote but there are many bots that already vote 40+ per day i.e. not at full weight.

The extra decimal in the UI I love the idea of though. I remember when I started I had very few votes and those I did were of 2 cents or less. These rewards are not even paid out to minnows. If minimum to get a rewards was 0.001 SBD or less it would encourage people just starting. Not with money, just encouragement that they are getting something for their efforts as opposed to nothing.

Good post...

Good article.keep on bro. Enjoy steemit

Woow a bright future for us who only have a cents, and not being noticed anyhow though we also do our best to create what we can show and.comtributed in the community. I hope and we are hoping sir that what u have proposed and post will open the heart and mind of the people who are behind steemit. And they will share your thoughts of giving some hope to us small fish who happens to be noticed. But still i am still happy even if i only getting cents on my post for as long as i am.happy and feel fulfilled to show others my talent in poetry. I still keep going even if no u.v or gained from it, for i felt that i am not wasting my time for posting, commenting and replying for steemit help others changing their lives. Good luck sir @snowflakes and God bless for this matter! For this will be fair for all of us, thank you.

Hi @snowflake ! It is good to hear there are several people like you thinking on ways to make the economy of steem work better for the growth of the blockchain in the mid and long term.

The solution you communicate may indeed be very helpful.

I believe that giving more value to curation for instance will make whales to start upvoting other posts and more user posts.

Thanks in advance for communicating this, and hope you are finally heard by the decision makers and other devs.

Regards, @gold84

How they didnt anticipate this would happen is truly beyond me. They set up a feudal type ecosystem that isnt sustainable. Not only that but it brings down the reputation of the platform. Instead of spreading out the votes and attracting new users many whales, not all of them, fill their own pocket and are risking to bring the whole platform down by alienating the small creator like myself. And without us steem is nothing.

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This is a good strategy but we have more of the greedy folks here, so they won't listen. The level are which people buy bid votes is alarming. The dev didn't know it will be abused. It should be moderate so everything will be balanced

What if the blockchain tracks votes and linearly decreases the reward based on repeat votes. So if bob votes for bill/or self votes once, he gets 100% of reward. If he votes twice in the same payout window, 80%. Etc. And to discourage repeat votes, the same linear decrease in VP still applies. This would effectively make it so that people can still choose to self vote 10 times a day. But a $100 vote would only be worth 10c by the end of the week. And the reward pool would be distributed among smaller voters too.

ps. none of this is mathematically correct, but im sure you get the gist of it

N^2 is a fundamentally better system than what we have today. I've been talking about it publicly now for months. I'll eventually make a whole post about it. I totally agree with @trafalgar.

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And we also hopes this thing will be matter to them too. Hoping they will listen and think the possibilities of fairness for all, and must changed what they have to changed for the better of the community too. God bless to you all sir! Steem on.

This comment might came late.. but I perhaps to add to subject subjects matters, i had about two or three friends who was no longer here as a result of made a post that fire them, whales has power, you can't just talk anyhow I warned them but, their stubbornness made them off from here... whales are in control, a kind system should be introduce so even minnows could have a little strength to defend themselves.. you say something here

blockquote| When we had 40 votes per day self voting was mitigated and vote diversification encouraged, people used to vote for random stuff and comments a lot more back then because they knew they wouldn't be able to vote for themselves 40 times a day.

If what you suggested above could be introduce or implemented here on steemit, then I can see atmosphere of changes, freedom and profit for everyone... hopeful this post could made a change about this system and hopeful this post get to appropriate and seen by those who will thought to make change about it... steemit is a best place, a new world to be.. thanks...

I definitely see where you are going with this. I try to never self vote now, my vote isn’t huge yet. I do my best to spread what I have.

In the meantime you should totally put me on your steemvoter list hahahaha.
But really, if you enjoy my content, by all means feel free to do so.
Would love to talk more & discuss how we could work together in some way.

I am new to Steemit, I opened my account in August 2017, but really starting posting in March 2018. Initially, I did a lot of self voting, however, I realized that it is not really what I want. I really want to build an audience and it does not matter if it takes me forever. I am pretty busy with my regular life so I cannot dedicate a lot of time to this. I do want though sincere follows and upvotes. Money will come afterwards.

Very god your post

hello bro follow me please :) hey @snowflake My post upvote please I am a student help me please

Thank you so much for the support @snowflake, greetings from Kenya..
Xo

Yes my friend,
History always repeated itself ,and that is the point we can let it be .. it's always remembering that what with u before days. Nd makes u ready to go with the past to present, present to future..

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Still, thanks for the support all the way. Hope they change the algorithm one day in the future.