How to stop almost all abuse on Steem (Edited)

in steem •  3 months ago

Too often I have read posts about abuse and reward pool rape. Some users try to exploit Steem and get more than they actually deserve. I am talking mostly about bot upvote abuse. The solutions so far didn't really work.

With some users trying to exploit the dMania bot as well, I have to deal with it somehow. I want to shed some new light on the problem and make it clear for everyone where the actual problem is.

Why only bot upvote abuse?


I would argue that bot abuse is the only real abuse that exists on the platform atm. Every other post that receives high rewards was upvoted by some real person. That person invested a lot of money so that he is able to make those high upvotes. He can use those upvotes however he likes. If he likes to upvote his own comments to $200, that's his choice. It's probably not the best idea or a good strategy for an investor, but it's his choice.

It isn't any different when a low stake user upvotes his own posts and comments all the time. Nobody complains about that, but it is actually the same thing.

If some user upvotes content of the same user all the time (@haejin or others), it's not abuse either. Looks like it and a lot of people don't like that, but not really abuse. Some users with a high stake choose @haejin as their special friend and upvote all his posts. They have invested a lot in the platform, so they can do that. It's their choice. It's probably not the best thing to do if you are interested in the long term growth of the platform, but if they think @haejin posts are their letters worth in gold so be it. 

People can use their own stake to fight that kind of Steem Power use or they can let it happen. Again it's their stake and they should use it as they see fit.

Where the real problem lies


Most people don't  realize where the actual problem is. For me it is as clear as day and I wonder why I haven't seen any posts about it. The only real abuse that happens on Steem is by paid upvote bots. Not their existence, but how they are designed at the moment and the amount of power they have on Steem.

People normally use paid upvote bots to boost their posts a little and make them a little bit more visible. Nothing wrong with that. On Steem there is already a feature for that -> Promotion. The problem is that nobody really uses it. Mainly because of the way it was designed. Promoted posts on Steemit are only visible in their separated tab. There are a lot of ads and stuff by ICOs. Most people don't want to look at that. The quality of content is lower in general on the promotion tab. 

Other platforms had the same problem and they integrated ads and paid posts into the regular content. That way those posts would get more exposure and people would only see ads/paid posts from time to time. Bad design by Steemit in my opinion.

That was one of the driving factors why paid upvote bots came to existence. There was a demand for it by the users. They are willing to pay so that their posts receive more exposure. New users don't have many followers and it's hard for them to get started on Steemit. I had the same problem at the beginning. Paid upvote bots can help you with that. They provide a valid service to their users, so there is no real problem for paid upvote bots in general.

The actual  problem


There is a big problem if people use paid upvote bots who don't care about the content and just want the rewards. They just create random posts and use paid upvotes to collect rewards. 

Some upvote bots received a shitload of Steem Power in the last few months. The reason is because they are  money printing machines for their creators and everyone who delegates to them. The rewards that those bots generate are huge. It's hard to find the actual numbers, but you can guess from the amount of Steem Power that those bots have. The big upvote bots generate tens of thousands of USD every day. That is more than any witness, author or app on Steem receives.

By delegating Steem Power to a paid upvote bot it becomes suddenly legit for whales to self vote all the time. Before they had to create posts and upvote them. If those posts provided zero value, it would be visible to others. Like I said before not real abuse, but probably not the best idea. People who don't like that could downvote them with their stake. Normally people would never upvote with 100% of their stake themselves all the time. Almost nobody does that. No whale would do that who is interested in the growth of the platform.

Except with paid upvote bots that sort of behaviour is suddenly legit. People delegate to upvote bots and receive almost 100% of their investment, without getting the bad repuation of exploiting the reward pool and selfvoting. That is the real problem and it's bad, really bad. Can't be the only one who sees a problem there.

What can be done?


There is no way to stop or regulate the paid upvote bots. They are part of the system now. We have to deal with it. People who delegate to them should ask themself if that is  really in the best interest for the growth of Steem.

There is one simple change that would resolve the issue of abuse with paid upvote bots: Reduce the amount of Steem Power delegated to paid upvote bots and make the use of paid upvotes more expensive.

The price of paid upvotes depends like everything on an open market on supply and demand. At the moment the supply of Steem Power for those bots is very high. So high that using them on any content can generate profits for their users. If the supply would be less, the price of paid upvotes would rise and there wouldn't be any auto profit anymore. People who want to use paid upvotes would only use them if they think their posts are valuable and will generate future rewards for them. Abusers would loss money if they use them at random content.

So all it takes is a few whales to stop delegating to paid upvote bots or just delegate less. One simple click for a few users to stop almost all abuse on Steem. Easy as that.

I hope that some whales see this post and think about what they are doing and how bad those actions are for the Steem platform. Stop thinking only about short term profits and think about the future of the platform.

Final words

I am on vacation now and I actually don't want to deal with stuff like that atm. Nevertheless I think it is very important that people understand where the actual problem is.
I am pusing this post with paid upvote bots for maximum visibility. Like I said not the paid upvote bots are the problem, but the amount of Steem Power they have.

To stop abuse of the dMania bot by paid upvote bots, I could ban all of them. That would solve the problem on dMania, but not in general. Like I said paid upvotes provide a valuable service and are important to new users. A ban isn't the best solution.

You don't stop abuse by punishing the abuser. The only way to stop abuse is to make it impossible in the first place. Like I said, just reduce the delegations. One simple action that would change everything. Paid upvotes should never generate auto profit for anyone.


This post turned in a shit show and that wasn't really my intention. I wanted to bring attention to a problem and provide a solution. That problem wasn't recognized as such before. At least I achieved one of my goals by starting a discussion about the problem. At least now more people know about it.

I am going to remove the dMania upvote from this post. With the amount of SBD that I have used to promote this post, I will lose money.
I will stop caring what happens on Steem and Steemit from now on. I will focus my attention on dMania. Now you have one less person who gives a shit. Some people here turned this post and discussion in the complete opposite direction. Some of them just don't like dMania, some of them have a personal dislke for me and others were paid upvote bot providers who felt attacked by my post.

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How to stop almost all abuse on Steem:

Undelegate to Dmania.


[EDIT] - Upvoted for visibility and self-aggrandizement. Also...Streisand Effect.

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I was hoping you could upvote my posts as well for visibility and self-aggrandizement. Also for Streisand and Butterfly Effects. Thanx!

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Plus he paid for upvote bots to get the post noticed.

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This is Streisand abuse!

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OMG, no!!! I love Barbara Streisand!!!!

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Streisand effect! I would vote up this comment, but I'm too busy voting up NNLTU, lol.
You fucking rock man,

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How to stop almost all Streisand abuse:

Undelegate to Dmania

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LOL! That word!

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The reason DMania upvotes above average posts is that it has value. People will always pay upvoting bots because the system is designed towards that path.
The solution is to direct those wasted SBD to DMania itself. Pay to become a curator of DMania.
This way you create a quality meme platform and increase its value.

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Your funny Edit comment made me laugh. upvoted, but not a big one.

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thank you D:/@ats-david
excellent comment
please come in my blog

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Weird, I posted this video earlier today (in fact, it was still in my clipboard!). It was in response to someone saying "Doge Sauce". Looks like Streisand is everywhere.

Elvis is everywhere as well! :)

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Well, it's may be one of all solution to solve the problems. Delegate only for important things and to person who needed as instead.

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Hey zombee I just wanted to kindly ask for a boost (upvote) on dmania.lol, because I genuinely want to contribute to a funnier dmania by posting only the funniest, high quality memes I find on a regular basis. If you are interested in helping a minnow grow on dmania, in order for him to make dmania grow further, you can upvote my post if you wish: https://steemit.com/dmania/@johnnydabaus/rofl-zg1hbmlh-7tbh9

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wow excellent comment

Delegations are not the problem, neither are upvote bots. If neither of these existed, you'd still see the same problems with self-voting of bad posts.

The primary problem is the current blockchain rules combined with the rise of SBD above its intended value has skewed the incentives drastically towards self-voting versus voting for content you actually like. I wrote a post about this some time ago: https://steemit.com/steem/@blocktrades/voting-abuse-and-ineffective-curation-a-proposal-for-blockchain-level-change

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I disagree with this statement:

Delegations are not the problem, neither are upvote bots. If neither of these existed, you'd still see the same problems with self-voting of bad posts.

Minnows self-voting themselves would never be able to move the same amount of VP as voting bots and delegations are able to do on their behalf.

Please consider the following chart as evidence:

Source: Steemit Statistics by @arcange

This graph shows the cumulative distribution of the voting power on this platform and proves that minnows have effectively very few to no influence.

I know that you have a personal interest in keeping the image of voting services high, but we should be honest about the correlations.

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Also, it's not to say I don't think there are some problems with vote bots. This post is actually representative of what I consider worst about them: they cumulatively allow someone to upvote a post to the top of the trending page without much if any support. I'd like to see the bots put more limit s on how much they will upvote any one post. Lately I've been thinking that I should downvote posts like this that hit near the top of the trending page and just seem to derive most of its rewards strictly from the bots.

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I fully agree with you on that point!
What's completely missed here is curation. We have no control of what gets trending anymore, and then high amounts of downvotes are needed to balance the rewards out again. That's a lot of lost energy, time and money after all.

I'd love to see content and quality becoming a priority on this platform again!

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Well said!!!

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@surfermarly SOO well said!
💖

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Lately I've been thinking that I should downvote posts like this that hit near the top of the trending page and just seem to derive most of its rewards strictly from the bots.

This is exactly the solution that the Steem blockchain intends for these situations. If an author pays for upvotes and then receives a large amount of downvotes they will lose a significant amount of money, which in most cases would discourage the behavior in the future.

Steem is supposed to be a self-moderating community and downvotes are the primary tool for that. Unfortunately there's a number of downsides to downvoting that cause it to be used much more rarely than I think it ought to be.

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Actually, down voting is like putting a chainsaw into the hands of a 6 year old. I've been following the flaggers and their flag wars. They follow no one, have massive SP, run bot farms for upvoting and generally degrade the quality of steem. No quality value is added. Only massive amounts of money flow their way.

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Somebody took a lesson from Goldman Sachs with them stats

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Yup. And to prove them stats, I just upvoted you for an entire .24 cents. Wooppeee!!!

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Haha thanks! Welcome to prove it any time ;-)

I haven’t come up with any solution except to work towards becoming a whale myself and support those who prioritize a smaller wealth gap.

Let me drop a little tuna upvote for you too :-)

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I do think voting bots have a useful place on the platform and I do profit from them, but I watch the value of my account pretty regularly and I can say that I'm much more interested in the price of Steem than I am in profits from vote bots. I just don't think that getting rid of vote bots would really improve the problems with good curating right now.

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Hi surfermarly,

Thank you for sharing the graph. We all have visions on how this will develop. Personally, I am happy to see new end-users getting some of the Steem as I would like to see a better distribution of Steem. I see this as a good thing even if some of it is sold it at least has the possibility of ending up in some different hands. I realize this is not a popular vision.

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Hey @whatsup good to see you again! :-)

If that Steem was really ending up in different hands, I'd fully agree with you. But if you do the maths the people who spend hundreds of SBD in order to promote one single post, lose money and don't win at all.

Minnows buying votes is not the source of the problem, and whales selling them neither. Minnows not being seen is the source of the problem :-)

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The demand and popularity of the voting bots IMO is a direct result of the lack of a wider distribution and inability of other users to get views.

The amount of spammy posts are a direct result of "fear of using flags" and more human eyeballs on the site can help correct this if we provide either safe reporting or safe flagging of questionable content. (obviously it is going to be arbitrary)

Per the white paper the large stakeholders are going to have to "police" the large-stake holders or backup those who are actually trying to use the site to find, curate and post.

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I don't agree. The use of bot come from human nature wanting to get an advantage and human nature wanting something easy. If we want to get attention, let's just pay a bot for votes... But what about quality posts that add to the community. Many of the flagging fools follow no one, run upvote bot businesses and then downvote those who they think are taking too much of the rewards. No added value at all.

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Yes. I have considered going back to using bots just to get real users to actually see my posts when someone like you doesn’t need notice them because not everyone spends 24 hours on their feed and only 20 of my 1400 followers have any real weight.

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Agreed. Most people aren't on the trending page or feeds. A lot of the weight comes in bot votes.

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It is the whole "I don't wanna get caught flagging" thing going on. It would be interesting to see what would happen if there was a way to program in a kind of deflector shield that prevented against retaliatory downvoting. It would be tricky to implement, but theoretically worth discussing.

Incentivizing the good content and curation is one thing, but bot votes aside, we are still left with the problem of self-voting at a whale level. And I think @blocktrades says it best. Incentivize curation of others bringing it back to a 50/50 split of curation rewards.

At the VERY least, it will break up the earning capacity of the bigs, and leave more for us littles to swim in. If we can take a breath and see the bigger picture, we won't be annoyed by our lack of self-vote points.

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If the wealth were distributed well, we would be able to regulate self voting and upvoting bots and counter delegation that we didn’t agree with as we saw fit, as a community, and neither would be much of a problem because the many peoplple with a real stake in the platform would act to prevent abuse or selfishness, if not by downvoting than at least by not upvoting, which would make a bigger difference if the distribution were fair . But don’t talk about that, let’s only talk about the problems which allow those at the top to stay firmly planted at the top ;-)

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Sure minnows couldn't upvote themselves or sockpuppets for much, but certainly whales could and did. I stand by my statement.

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Whales do not use vote buying services, do they? This discussion is about whether vote buying services are abusive or not.

There are minnows burning thousands of dollars in SBD to promote their posts and to be seen at least for a couple of hours. The only winners in that game are those who sell their votes to them.

Attention - our most valuable good in this economy - is no longer earned, it can be purchased. Also quality doesn't matter anymore, since visibilty is provided to those who are able to pay for it. That's how the currency attention will constantly lose its value, and the vision of Steem to give value back to those who create value is no langer valid.

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Attention was always available for purchase under the rules of the Steem blockchain. This idea, whether you agree with it or not, was one of the fundamental design elements and its use for things such as advertising was intended.

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The idea of selling attention to advertisers (which was presented by Ned Scott at the first Steemfest in Amsterdam) is a completely different scenario. That has nothing to do with the eco-system as it is designed right now. Selling my attention to a product advertiser (which has never been able so far) is a completely different thing than selling my VP to a minnow who wouldn't be seen in the network otherwise.

From my point of view the future design of Steem shouldn't support these trades.

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I don't see what you think is different from a regular person buying steem to get attention versus an advertiser buying steem to get attention. Maybe you're arguing that the "regular person" is only doing it as a way to get additional rewards, whereas the advertiser isn't. While this could certainly be true, it certainly isn't necessarily so.

And in any event, both scenarios were considered in Steem's design.

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When the advertisers buy themselves in it's contributive to the whole network. When a vote trader sells VP it's only contributive to that one vote trader. That's where I see the main difference.

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No, the post was claiming that vote buying services and delegations were the root of steem's problems. I don't think it's the root issue, I think it's a problem with the way rewards are handed out currently under the blockchain rules, and I think the only realistic solution is a change to those rules.

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You mean, to the 50/50 curation share, and the 5 minute idea? That makes more sense to me, for all of the reasons you have gone into.

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Oh, and yes, whales certainly do use voting buying services. I've seen a number of such posts...

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We should ask @aggroed to invite us to a panel and discuss this explosive topic with a couple of more people in detail. I'm losing track of the comments thread already :-)

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I just don't see more discussion really achieving anything. In my opinion, the only viable solution is a change in the rules, and there is already a plan to make some changes (I'm not in full agreement with the version of the changes proposed, but I think it will be better than what we have now).

Unfortunately now it's a matter of waiting for the new rules to get implemented, and they're delayed by other coding issues that are arguably even more serious (e.g. bandwidth issues).

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Yep. Cut the chat. Change the rules. Bandwidth shmandwidth. :0)

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Well by talking about these issues we make clear where we see the priorities.

I'm off, thanks for the valuable conversation! Appreciated.

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I actually love the discussion. This post -- this thread in particular -- is vital for Steem and necessary to explore now, while this platform is small. This is a really an existential question. And one I'm wholly unqualified to offer an informed opinion.

I would only point out -- as long as you allow people to buy votes, you will always have a market for upvotes. Votes are a commodity on Steemit. @zombee has proposed a solution. The upside is, this solution will almost certainly curb the use of bots. The downside is, this solution will almost certainly curb the use of bots. Bots do good things -- for whales and minnows. But they also create problems.

I would ask how you can achieve the goals of Steemit by allowing bots to exist. By their very nature, they're antithetical to the idea that "quality content" will organically get the most rewards.

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I totally second this

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Minnows self-voting themselves would never be able to move the same amount of VP as voting bots and delegations are able to do on their behalf.

Which is basically the whole point of this discussion.

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Ban self-voting and revenue from delegated SP (that is, make it a voluntary DONATION) and watch these problems disappear.

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Oooh. What a great idea!

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Ban self-voting

How are you going to implement that or say it another way, is there even a way to do that?

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This makes sense, like congress won’t change the rules that benefit the people with the true power.

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No it would just go underground and more secretive. You really think it would stop selling votes? If so I got some lake front property for sale, interested?

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I agree, some loopholes will still exist, but buying votes is not half as bad as what was described above.

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I personally try my best to make good content and I only ever upvoted myself when I originally started, my vote carries no weight, my voice is often not heard and it seems unfairly to watch memes get hundreds and something I put a lot of effort into go without likes because there is no real incentive to upvote a minnow other than site expansion and keeping people involved just enough? Where do we go from here @blocktrades @berniesanders @zombee

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@dizzyjay This one of the problems; the platform wants to be both an investment and a social platform, so how can it be fair to both the shark that came in with $100K and the Minnow that started with nothing? Since some Whales give themselves $100+ votes for a 5 minute blabla video that took all of a half our to make, I refuse to feel bad about my paltry $0.03 self vote for a video that took travel, 2 cameras, 4 microphones and an entire day+ to record and edit.

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I understand that. But one whale is also all it takes to destroy many of the minnows, all it would take is for one of them to see you bitch or downvote them their bad behaviour and you’re done. Upvoting is only the tip of the iceberg so far I truly hope SMT make a difference in the delegation aspect. I love this site it would devastate me to not be able to use it. I check everyday for comments and been interesting stuff. All this makes me sad and really it’s unfortunate that the way we want to decentralize wealth but are unwilling to give an inch in solidarity to that.

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I know of this German guy that took on Hey-Dginn who retaliated with $90 flags on his posts right away. I made it a point to follow him and up vote him whenever I can. I have some ideas, but they would require the solidarity you mentioned and some privacy.

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No.
The rise of SBD has nothing to do with this problem.
As a user of upvote bots I admit they help promote spam.
Another problem is that curation does not work:
https://steemit.com/curation/@stimialiti/what-you-need-to-know-about-curation
Curation is a donation and yields little to none benefits to the curator.

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This comment has received a 20.75 % upvote from @steemdiffuser thanks to: @stimialiti. Steem on my friend!

Above average bids may get additional upvotes from our trail members!

Get Upvotes, Join Our Trail, or Delegate Some SP

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Yep. Curation rewards are designed to be pretty comparable to author rewards, but with SBD being what it is, they're pretty worthless. If SBD were $1 people would have a renewed interest in curation trails and the like. Right now, there's no point in voting for anything, far more profitable to sell your upvote to a bot.

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I think it comes down to high value accounts/users getting a bit greedy(if you can even call it that). I mean it’s natural to like your own posts and such but what’s self promotion and what’s too much?

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Thank you, new follower and upvote from me

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i read youre post and you are right in everything you say

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Says the account obviously making tons of money using them.

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The current situation here is no different from the real-world politics. The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. But those poor who are willing to suck the rich's long dirty dick are blessed with leftover foods sometimes. The reality of this overrated illusion we called life!

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I read your post. Impeccably written. I think it is by far the best proposal I've seen, and easily implemented. Give the first five minutes the same curation points, take the 30 minute standard away and make it 5, split the rewards 50/50 so curators are more inclined to upvote OTHERS, thereby incentivizing some of the money back into the community rather than self, which is essentially the ticket to keeping this thing going. Bravo @blocktrades. Bravo.

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Your old post is great!

I see you got caught scamming hahaha! At least you got upvotes from @jerryscamfield and @haejin (The Steemit Donkey) you're only missing upvotes from @craig-grant and @trevonjb to fully complete your scammers circle jerk.

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This comment has received a 37.39 % upvote from @steemdiffuser thanks to: @stimialiti. Steem on my friend!

Above average bids may get additional upvotes from our trail members!

Get Upvotes, Join Our Trail, or Delegate Some SP

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Hahahahaha!!!

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I’m so behind on this. I thought some of these were good bots/upvoters...

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whats Jerry Banfield guilty of?

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He overcharged people whom wanted to open a steem account quickly.
He was in a good position to commit such abuse due to his relative popularity and aggressive marketing of Steem.
I wonder what haejin did that ozchartart (a.k.a berniesanders, a.k.a nextgencrypto a.k.a rewardpoolrape did not do)

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Thanks, I'll be withdrawing my witness vote from him

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This comment has received a 1.96 % upvote from @steemdiffuser thanks to: @stimialiti. Steem on my friend!

Above average bids may get additional upvotes from our trail members!

Get Upvotes, Join Our Trail, or Delegate Some SP

Don't you think that it's a bit weird that you paid some voting bots in order to bring the problem with paid voting bots into focus? :-)

Most people don't realize where the actual problem is. For me it is as clear as day and I wonder why I haven't seen any posts about it.

There have been uncountable articles about that. The reason why nobody cares is that those who hold larger stakes in SP profit from these services through delegation.

Shit rolls downhill. As long as the most powerful are fine with this situation, nothing will change. End of story.

If I were you I'd take my valuable SBD to invite my girlfriend for dinner or something like that - but I wouldn't ever spend it in a voting bot :-)

Steem on!

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I already said paid upvote bots provide a valuable service. Using them is not the problem, but the price of paid upvotes. I can't and should never be possible to get auto profit by using them.

I am promoting this post so that many people see it. I want that the problem is recognized by more people and maybe somebody will change their mind.

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I know that you boosted the article in order to get more visibility. But as long as people pay for these services they won't see any need in stopping to offer them. Building a followership takes a certain time, people only need to be a bit more patient. Nothing worth comes easy.

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Whats the reasoning for flagging those bot comments?

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@netuoso, can you tell me how to perform a declined payout? Thanx!

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https://condenser.steemliberator.com lets you choose payout options on comments.

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I can't and should never be possible to get auto profit by using them.

Maybe I'm missing something, but the ROI after curation rewards on the larger bots is almost always slightly negative these days...so as far as i can tell most of the time people are not profiting directly from the bot's vote, but rather from the increased visibility, which is exactly as it should be in my opinion.

Vote selling is a market just like anything else. If people can get instant profits from bot votes then that just means it's an inefficient market. That's exactly one of the problems I aimed to solve with the bot tracker website and as I mentioned above it seems to be working most of the time.

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But you promote ALL of your posts. So people can see them? I mean, I guess if I were in your shoes, I might do the same thing occasionally, but I'd like to think I'd spread the love.

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How do we feel about using force to MAKE him spread the love? I'm not sure this is about love at all...

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Right there with surfermarly on this one, you made a massive post about bad upvoting bots and then used them yourself to bring attention to your post.

This is why myself and others use these services right now because the system internal here on steemit called promotions is utter garbage in terms of getting you viewership and any type of return value on your investment. And yes paying to promote your post is an investment.

I see no issues with it at all and in many cases the bots operate at a lose for voters. The ROI is always always in the negative. Good for the bot owner but then again they are providing a service. Its all fair game I say.

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From my personal point of view the fact that they offer the service doesn't legitimize the service itself. It's all just for their own benefit and the gap between rich and poor will be growing and growing. This platform pretends to be the alternative to governmental structures, but in fact it's just a copy of that. The power is in hands of very few, and so the money is.

We can sit and watch... or stand up and opt for a different world. It's our choice.

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I love you! :-) Nobody ever realized that money is power? And we don't have issues with that in the "real world" yet? Can Anarcho-Capitalism ever be Anarchy? The operative term here is Capitalism! And in Capitalism there are few people very powerful. That's what we already have in our western society. And those who are powerful are the rulers. But in Anarchy there shouldn't be rulers?

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Haha, sweet :-)
This is the real world. There is no new world as long as we copy the old one...

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You are more anarchistic than you think!

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Haha, maybe :-))

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How would you change it though you would have to flip everything making minnow votes count more then whale votes. I just don't see a way of correcting it honestly unless every single person had the same vote weight. But then what would be the power of holding more steem power etc.

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I'd invest the money in curation projects like @communitycoin.
What we need is a better user experience in order to improve the user retention.

Do you see these curves drifting apart?

Source: @arcange

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Bring back the whale experiment at 100mv.

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I'm glad that you're brave enough to tell it to everyone sir @zombee :)

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Good thought @surfermarly, you have well captured my thought, "The reason why nobody cares is that those who hold larger stakes in SP profit from these services through delegation". This sums it up.

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Exactly. When you only have gas and matches chances are you are going to start a fire, but when the fire starts they think they can put it out with gasoline. No one really goes back to roots of how things work in real life they think they can make some sterile online platform and people will come and write quality content so they can draw in more and more people that way. That never works. So they basically want this to be like reddit but with rewards for your time that can only work if you take cash out of the equation and make a system that will split rewards somehow not make it public so anyone can manipulate it not a single content creator will benefit from this nor will the platform. No wonder most of the titles this days are click baits and other ugly shit. This platform at this point in time is like when you see a starving artist on the street playing some instruments trying to survive another day, but still i think talented guy on the street will still make a better buck since people understand situation even if they dont like hes music they still might give him some money. Here you need to not speak about platform or other people even if they are scamming or doing other illegal shit that doesnt do good for anyone, or they will make you invisible. Only shit that gets promoted is stuff that makes them more rich they dont have community interest in sight. Its sad but true. And i think they have no vision.

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Hypocrisy at it's finest.

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How would you approach this issue? I'm new here so I'm not yet familiar the politics of this platfarm.

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SHOTGUN!

This response sits well with me @surfermarly and you have my Follow now.

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If I were you I'd take my valuable SBD to invite my girlfriend for dinner or something like that

How much SBD for a Happy Meal?

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With the SBD burnt in this post you could invite a whole group of friends.

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I wouldn't use them too, only if I had a little more followers who upvoted my content. Sometimes it's really painful when I spend so much time generating some content and get nothing out of it. While sometime I just boost a random photo and actually make some money on it.
Guilty as charged on the abuse of bots, but hey, I need to survive too.

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you are a user with a reputation of 56 so you already earned some money at steemit. Just be persistent and keep posting good content.

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not really, I got a lot of rep by voting bots without actually making money out of them

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The reputation-function is exponential so there is a big difference between 45 and 56.
Nonetheless, if you do not get upvotes you have to change something. Work harder, persistend, put more effort into your posts, take steemit more serious, give 110%
You can have success or excuses, not both

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Send me a message at steemit.chat or discord @tagsplanet, I can give you some tips on how to build a followership if you want :-) Voted your last two articles, hope that helps a bit.

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Do you mind sending those tips to someone else? haha. I haven't had much luck developing views on any of my content yet. Not that I have a ton yet, but I'll take any help I can get to build a following. Thanks! Love your posts btw, been following a little while.

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Haha, sure! Text me in one of the chatrooms referring to our conversation.
And thanks for the compliment regarding my blog :-)

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Thank you so much @surfermarly. Will get in touch with you as soon as possible. Thank you again.

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Totally agree on this why are using the bid bots with a large quantity if you just explained that isn't the way to go. Ur contradicting yourself sir!

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There has been tons of articles about it. Powering up your SBD would be better than spending it on an upvote bot too but I like the taking my gf out for dinner idea so if you see me cashing out some SBD to my bittrex this year it's cause we're hungry :)

organic traffic and exposure is my favorite kind. As lon as shit continues to roll down hill they'll never have to smell it but we can try to fling some poo up there every now and then and eventually it may help.

In the case of the bots, I think we're in too deep to stop them. The guys profiting the most from it will never agree to stop them.

If you are going to flag upvote bots with free stake you have been gifted while preaching about upvote bots being abuse, don't bother using them.

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Good call :-)

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I second that motion commander @themarkymark! That's pretty much contradictory to one's ideology. The bots rep suffer in the long run.

the problem is capital accumulation lol, the literal basis of captialism. It's almost like capitalism fucks everything up or something

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Capitalism is just supply and demand, not a scam on itself. Sellers simply make it seem like their services are far more expensive than they need to be, and buyers have no problem with it, since they think if something is expensive, it's good.

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capitalism is based on the private ownership of capital (the word is literally fucking in it)

other systems with markets exist lmao

@zombee - how should I take anything you wrote serious, if you buy votes to promote your post?

You used the services yourself, which in your words: are abusing the system. See the irony in there?

Oh and - how about you stop abusing the delegated SP from Steemit by upvoting your own posts with @dmania.

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Hilarious and So true!! Now I get what you were trying to say ... Good one @therealwolf!!

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The irony is strong on this one. Is showing the bad of bid bots then uses said bots and delegated SP in dmania to upvote himself to the trending page.

You got a 14.87% upvote from @upmyvote courtesy of @zombee!
If you believe this post is spam or abuse, please report it to our Discord #abuse channel.

If you want to support our Curation Digest or our Spam & Abuse prevention efforts, please vote @themarkymark as witness.

Hey, great idea!

So, you'll be giving your profits from the $200 in SBD you spent to rape the pool today, yes? Because powering your moral high horse with the blood of bot profits, smacks a bit of hypocrisy, don't you think?

I wouldn't agree that bot abuse is the only abuse on the platform at the moment. There is still plenty of good ol' plagiarism and identity theft going on.

There is plenty of bot abuse as well though, coming across posts like this one or this one definitely grinds my gears.

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Hmmm....you are saying right and do respect and take respect...

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Wow, this shows exactly the problem of bot abuse. If I had enough power, I would downvote that posts to death but unfortunally I can not do it at the moment. Maybe delegating to Steemcleaner or similar projects..

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Unfortunately with steemcleaners we will only deal with stuff that is plagiarism, ID theft, etc.. Those pictures they are posting are original, we can't just flag it because we don't like it, there would have to be some form of abuse.

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See a flag just as a downvote. Everyone can do on the plattform what he wants because it is free and decentralized. So every person can also flag/downvote content like that. Call the abuse bot-abuse to boost crap content into trending if you need one. Might is Right, simple as that

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So why didnt you downvote it ?

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Because I have just 10 votes a day and downvoting 200$ articles with my 0,10$ does not change anything. I am giving 110% at the moment to grow big by posting interesting content and when I get the power that is needed I could start thinking about how to make the community better by downvoting.

What I hate the most are people upvoting their 3 words comments and If I had the power I would downvote every single one of them because it is raping the rewardpool, but at the moment I have other problems then cleaning SteemIt from people like that. If I would be a whale I would delegate my SP with greatest pleasure to a service fighting against these people.

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No . you would upvote them as well.

I would go even further and say that any type of automated voting (even the white hat bots like the busy.org or esteem one) are toxic. The upvote bot are just the worst type of cancer we have on the platform, and linear rewards made their model work really well sadly

I agree with you that upvote bots are not an enrichment for the platform and too many people upvote their crappy posts, which give the platform no added value.

However, we are on a decentralised blockchain, more or less on a free market where the set "Might is Right" applies. There was an opportunity to make money and people have used it. Everyone would like to earn money in this way and lies like anyone who denies it. Some individuals are concerned about the future of the platform, but most came to SteemIt because of the money. I would also prefer SteemIt without bots, but as you said before, this is currently unthinkable.

I had also delegated SP to a bot once, because my activity decreased and I found it great to earn some money with not doing so, quasi interest rates like at the bank, only much higher. However, people who take the platform serious and post daily and work hard earn more if they actively use their own SP instead of delegating it to bots.
I therefore recommend to all those who actively participate in the platform to withdraw their delegations and to enrich the platform with their own high-quality content.

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Totally true !
Steem must take some action about those bot :/

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You are Steem. I am Steem.

Let's take action then

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Although Steem is still in Beta it will get updated from time to time, I really don't think we need to focus on bots today, because at some point bots will vanish and there will be a other kind of market to deal in with. Let the forks be with you all!

For low stake users like us,using bots can actually be more expensive. The bidding system often leaves no room for profit and many bots are on the negative.

What is the difference between paid voting bots and what is @haejin doing? None. What @haejin is doing is far worst in my opinion. When you use upvote bot you invest some SBD once and that is it. In case of @haejin, he only had to invest once in @ranchorelaxo and have in fact free upvote bot in from him every day. If that is not bigger abuse than using voting bots from time to time, than I don't know what is abuse.

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Yesmen who pay each other with an outside source, basically. Circular reasoning at its finest.

4985C70D-0B86-4626-B141-F4497D92FB3E.jpeg

@zombee Thanks for the thoughtful post, shining a light on this problem. Follow me back for great opinions about crypto and markets.

Uhhh, this is a fascinating topic you wrote about here, my friend. I was literally this week learning more about how people get these huge upvotes and thus I learned more about upvote bots...

Straight away I could see that system can be abused in a way you described. What I am curious about is how this platform will evolve.

With this crypto-boom that is happening now some stuff seems just ridicilous, not only regarding Steemit platform.

...When for creating a fucking mem you get payed 100$+

xD COME ON!...
Well, it is definetely an interesting time in history <3

I am not technician regarding providing solution to problem you described, so I will just enjoy seeing where this platform/movement goes.

Thanks for informing more people. fist (1).png

Personally, I don't think the voting bots are the problem, just as big stake holders can use their stake how they want, they have chosen to sell some votes. In my opinion it can happen transparently on the blockchain as it is now. Or it can go back to being done the way sweetsssj and others are going it in "Off Chain" deals and via wallet transactions. I would rather give them a legitimate way to do what has been being done anyway.

We all know bullshit posts when we see them. I saw one with with a dirty snapshot getting $40.

I thought about this last night, and I think it will be a self correcting problem as the voting bots are getting busier and busier and many are sending large bids. Wait until they are so busy that people start loosing and it will sort itself out. (maybe)

Using upvote bots is the only realistic way for minnows to give their post some visibility. Most times the use of the bots ends in a loss as the sender would most likely get back less than the sbd sent as rewards for the post after factoring curation and 50/50 split. So I do not see where the abuse is in using them.

Actually, the terms and conditions for Steemit state that all bots are prohibited - which means that Steemit Inc could change Steemit to simply block all bots from their site.

It is an interesting problem that I must admit to having not paid very much attention to. I post content that I hope people enjoy seeing. And if I get good votes on it then that is very cool. I have never used a bot, and frankly I am not even interested in what I consider to be "false" votes because I want to grow an audience for my work and bots don't really constitute a real audience imho.

I do understand the issue with diluting the rewards pool though and I have often thought that if the steemit community at large would simply abide by the rules of the platform then a lot of these issues would go away. One thing for certain is that with more people joining steemit it seems it has convoluted the platform overall, somewhat. However it is still possible to find good content but you have to look harder.

The reason I joined steemit to begin with back in 2016 was to post original content and to read original content by others. I have thought that it might be a good idea to do some sort of steemit spinoff for original content ONLY... where it is done by the rules in order to promote and foment the posting of only original content.

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You made some great points here! I completely second your approach.
Unfortunately, content has never been a priority here. Just consider steemit's design and the trending page for instance. All eyes are on payouts.

But money follows passion, and not the other way around :-)

I’ve never used a bot. I’ve tracked a few posts from others that use bots and I can safely say the bot is the only one that made money. This is not an advertising platform. If you want to advertise and get an ROI then Facebook might be a better bet. This platform is best for organic sharing of content in its current state. If you have used a bot and profited on it, please drop me a link so I can check it out. My voting bot witch hunt is over!

This post has received gratitude of 24.03 % from @appreciator thanks to: @zombee.

All I see here is little wannabe dictators!! Thank god Steem is decentralized.

It's terrible! There is more and more Upvote bots had introduced to Steem community! Just recently, 2 more bots were introduced to Steem community! LOL!

any object that involves money will always have people trying to scam the system

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Or, it will have people actively engaging the system as it is designed, and it will have others propping themselves up on claims to victimhood. All perspective I guess. :)

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actively engaging means all bots and no humans? lol

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No, it means humans learned tool making a long time ago. It is an intrinsic ability. Use it.

Great information, thank you

The point is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
By Meja

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Well said and human nature is wired to put in the least amount of effort for the biggest reward. Enter bots.

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Ya but Not good 4 me
My religion 4bidden it
I'll do the straight way
I just consider this steemit like a game. All the steam I use just to raise the level

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steemit.com/@elgordoloco

This post has received a 21.71 % upvote from @boomerang thanks to: @zombee

It's difficult to reduce rewards to upvote bots. It's hard to tell what's a bot and what isn't and you don't want to cross the dangerous line of censoring certain users.

So much drama on steem atm.

The real problem lies in: People post for rewards not because they are interested in posting it.

There are thousands of posts about how to earn more money on your posts, but rarely I see that anyone posts how to increase the quality of your post.

Unless people stop posting for money and start posting because they love what they have created and think rewards as an added bonus, there will be a problem here.

Just an opinion though, what do you think?

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This is definitely a factor, but I don't know how to easily disincentivize it.

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It depends on people's morale. The more people with good morale in power are here, the easier it will be.

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how to make good posts is just good writing and good music playing and good film making and good investigative reporting etc. no way to teach that easily.

there is some pretty gang-oriented upvote patterns i've noticed that give me the idea that something else is afoot...i have been investigating some patterns i have seen in some of these popup news sites that don't look legit to me. I get into it on my blog. Then my latest is about steem itself. Curious what you'd think.

I know my content is quality, just every avenue there is to post is over run with bots, spammers, or accounts that try to troll. I think maybe 2 people have responded about the ideas of my post in comments, the rest of the responses i have to wonder who that person really is.

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Your opinion is valid, maybe if you'd vote for a post on a quality measurement and not a quantity measurement this could solve it.

"Excellent, Great, Average, under average, poor". (Or a similar well thought scale). And the rewards would be calculated after the 7 days following the grades of the post.

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Its not even about quantity if a content is good and has value. But if you upvote post or comment that only says "hi steemit" and you earn money thats just stupid and people will abuse the fact

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Quality measurement would require quality people to measure it.

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I think that for most honest people it's a combination of both. You can post about something that you're truly passionate about, but at the end of the day, you'd also want to earn something with it.

Personally, I like posting about stuff from my day to day life, it doesn't earn that much, but it's fun to do so. On the other hand, I'll also post stuff that I think might do a bit better than the usual day-to-day stuff, because it's fun to see your work being appreciated.

Fu