A Proposal for Reputation Scores [Let's Add Color]

in steem •  9 months ago


Adding Color to the Reputation Score

The reputation score is an incredibly useful point-system embedded within the blockchain ecosystem. Through it, we’re able to learn more about the relative value a single user has contributed to the community. [Learn more via this @sndbox article.]

There are a lot of exciting benefits of pairing a scorecards within a social network. Trust, accountability, history, and stewardship to list a few. But - right now - this can very easily be abused. Through upvote services - you can essentially purchase a higher reputation score. A new user can dump thousands of Steem or SBD into the system and rapidly manipulate the rewards pool to achieve a 70+ rating using garbage content. This is not a healthy precedent for the blockchain community as it continues to grow. Right now, there are simply too few whales (stakeholders) at the top with the resources necessary to track abusers. We need a smarter scorecard.

Before going further, let’s look at the reputation score rules as they exist today via Steemit’s FAQ page -

Every user has a reputation score next to their name.

Your reputation goes up when accounts vote on your content.

Users with a lower reputation score are unable to affect your reputation.

The Problem

Reputation can be bought with little consequence. A big Steem stakeholder with a high reputation is essentially immune to the judgement of the masses. Even if a huge number of “minnows” are flagging continuously, it will do absolutely nothing.

Flagging an Abusive Whale from a Minnows Perspective:

  • No incentive - you can’t earn Steem through flags (in the way you can with upvotes)
  • Minnow flags have little effect on the Whale’s post payout
  • Minnow flags have absolutely zero affect on the Whale's reputation score


Counting Upvotes (blue) and Flags (red)

What if the reputation score was color coded? Let's count the flags just like we count the upvotes. The more flags a user receives, the warmer their score becomes. This way, a red 70 would mean something very different than a blue 70. Here are some typical examples:

User Reputation Score + Color
180415 Reputation Score-03.pngZero content, no flags or upvotes received
180415 Reputation Score-04.pngTypical user with a normal # of flags received
180415 Reputation Score-05.pngClearly spammy or abusive user

An honest 70 vs. a dirty 70

As we've seen in recent months, users can easily buy their way to the top. Achieving a 70 rating is an exciting milestone for many Steemians. But, not all 70's are created equal. Some get there with A LOT of flags, others with fairly few. We should be able to tell the difference... here are a few scenarios where the number doesn't tell the whole story... but the colors do:

User Reputation Score + Color
180415 Reputation Score-06.pngRare case of a user achieving 70 without flags
180415 Reputation Score-07.pngUser has likely abused upvote bot services
180415 Reputation Score-08.pngUser is controversial but not wholly destructive

Through a simple filter of color - the reputation score could more fairly represent the history of upvotes and flags that a user has received. Ultimately, this allows minnows to have a stronger voice while also giving the public a useful indicator that becomes increasingly difficult to manipulate.

What do you think?

Would Steemians still abuse upvote services if they knew that a handful of minnows could dent their beautiful-blue reputation? Could these same services begin to filter out (blacklist) users who are knee deep in the red-zone? Is this feasible?

follow / @voronoi

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Should size matter ;-)


Size would change the UI elements and force things to move which is very bad UX.


The size idea wasn't meant seriously, although I do think the color changes would be worthy of consideration.

An interesting way to add more dimension to the reputation. I think it is helpful to see whether the indicated reputation is indeed accumulated by genuine usage or by 'brute force & abuse'. In addition to this, if could add in a reward system like maintaining a certain level of blue could have multiply reward and getting red will have discounted reward could drive the culture better?


That's a really interesting idea! So users with red reputations would have a harder time tapping into the rewards pool, correct?

Perhaps the color scale could also be reflected in terms of which applications / upvote services a user could even have access to... which could help filter out abuse and spammy transactions.


Yup, to discourage those with bad behavior to tap in the reward pool. With the recent pool rapping issue happening repeatedly, it is saddening but an expected one. That could be a way that Steemit could adopt and implement.

Whereas for bot service, the authority is still up to the service provider to set the rules right?


Yep! The bot services would have to decide how to interpret this. But perhaps (since the colors are 9 in all) the lower 3 colors would be blacklisted from using upvote bot services... or something along those lines.


Yup, that would help the whole ecosystem to grow better. Reward flowing to the right place :)

I like this proposal a LOT because it would add a dimension to "trustworthiness" to reputation scores that we just don't have now. As you point out, right now someone can pump 500,000 Steem into the system, engage in dodgy voting and vote buying, and be at 72 in a couple of months... without really having contributed much to the community.

As opposed to someone who earned there 72 as a result of leaving 10,000 engaging comments over a 12-month period. That DOES make a difference! Now, would some (unscrupulous) people find a way to game and abuse this? Probably yes... because some people make full time careers out of "messing with the system."

Great idea, though!


Absolutely @reddragonfly! We need more dimension to better judge just how well one has "earned" their number here. A pure blue should be sought after and celebrated. A warmer tone would give readers a healthier sense of a user's past without having to dig and dig (and scroll) down their feed for context.

Yes yes yes GREAT idea!!!!!


Thanks Ruth! We desperately need some color on that dreary scorecard! :)


totally agree

Totally logical for those of us that gives to the reputation the value it deserves....

The more flags a user receives, the warmer their score becomes.

I think it’s a great proposal. I also think some high score individuals would not be happy at all lol. It sounds like a detailed score and I like it. I don’t know if that would impact any of whom I follow, but I’m sure there are many of them in steemit community.


Thanks @milano1113. Absolutely, just another layer to help us sort the good, the bad and the ugly :)

It sounds like a great idea and I would support it. However I would point out the following. At some point any negative associated with the reputation should be forgiven. Sometimes it is not the fault of the person.

Example. I was scammed by good-kama and gtg.witnesses as were others. I lost 663.843 in steem dollars and my reputation suffered as they spammed comments in my name. I have since recovered my reputation but in the system you are proposing I would forever have a tarnished reputation for being flagged for comments I did not make.

Forgiveness should be made and the slate clean in certain instances. God does that for us and we should do that for others. A color coded system is good if one can find eventual recovery of the reputation. Thanks @voronoi


Perhaps there could be an algorithm attached to it where - old flags would impact the color bar much less than new flags. This way, past incidents wouldn't matter as much as present actions.

I like this proposal.

The idea is great and, in a simple way, it provides a small idea of ​​how the user's interactions have been on this platform.

Besides, those colors look much better :)


I like the colors too ;) thanks for your feedback @dedicatedguy

Great application proposal. Hope to be a success

Well color coding looks nice but I think a lot of people would get on more Steemit fights if that happens. But who knows, maybe ned will think it's good and his team makes the change. Or maybe Busy... Let's wait and see.

Thankyou @vironoi for the enligtenment article, this is can be the referrence for me as the minnow. I really appreciate it #reputationistheproofofthehardwork

I think the whole reputation score needs to be replaced with something like User Authority. (Sorry, I'm on my phone so I can't find a good link yet) you can see what that is in some of the posts I've written and resteemed. If you're interested I can find you a good link later.

Basically it scores you based on who is voting for you. If several people just upvote each other they will have a lower score than someone who is voted on by more reputable people. (Simple version to give you the idea)

I like the visuals, but reputation is seriously broke, flags are a poor metric (I've had almost 1,000 in the last week since I actively fight spam and plagiarists and they act like babies when caught, and using bots isn't a bad thing to all people.

A great innovative idea. It can be a sword with two dwarfs, but it seems fair enough to try such a system. I am sure that those members who have rightly come to their reputation and have quality content to support this idea! Bravo, a great proposal!