Self voting will now NOT be default behaviour

in steemdev •  last year

A little update on the pull request (change to code) I made recently and talked about in my witness update.

It has been accepted!

This change will become part of Condensor, AKA, and will set that little up vote check box to "off" by default instead of "on".


The change should come into effect soon when they push code changes to the production servers. I also closed the ticket I opened related to this as it is now solved.

It must be the smallest code change on record, just changing the letters "true" to "false 😂 But meaningful beyond that.

This is part of #project-smackdown, the initiative @l0k1, @the-ego-is-you and I have started to question self voting on Steemit. You can check our blogs for the other announcements on that but to summarize, we have a few ideas:

  1. Change the default self voting behavior when submitting a post - DONE!
  2. With @smackdown.kitty flag self voted comments with a 1%, incrementing for each self vote recorded up to but no more than negating the self vote
  3. Publishing some kind of self votes report, most likely ranked by highest total value of self votes in a period (probably a week)
  4. Engaging the community to promote the idea of voluntary refusal to self vote
  5. And ultimately a hard fork change removing self voting as an option from the Steem blockchain

Change of plan and reflection

HOWEVER there is to be a change of plans specifically regarding point 2 above, the flagging bot.

We ran a test where only the three above mentioned users were flagged and the bot performed well after some teething problems were fixed. But we noticed that small value flags do not show prominently up on the interface. This goes for the others too except eSteem, which obliterates the comment if the flag has moderate value.

As we don't want to flag a lot of comments hard (and it's not practical to either) we feel it would not be effective.

As a revised idea what do you think of this: flagging the top rewarded comments every day, let's say the top 4 or so, depending on how much delegated SP we have at any one time. In the end of things the most broad agreement we had was over so-called "abuse" of self voting, where authors are able to reward themselves sometimes hundreds of dollars worth from their comment.

To be clear, it's not that these comments may not be deserving of rewards. However we feel it is widely held, we certainly do, that these rewards should be awarded by peers, not the commenter.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who as engaged with us in discussion about this. As you can see we engage with you too, take it on board, run tests and revise our plans. This is no different and is not set in stone.

Steem Cooperative

This is broadly under the banner of the Steem Cooperative ( #steem-coop ) a group of likeminded users experimenting and trying to make tools and discussion to benefit Steemit in the Co-op style, for common benefit. Join us on in channel # steem-coop-general.

I have started making a tool to allow us to easily make posts which share rewards between members which is an ultra simplified version of my Team Work app idea from a few months ago. I realized there is no easy front end interface to shared rewards yet so I'm working on one simply called Rewards Share app.

It doesn't work yet but I'm hoping to have a beta release in a few days. 🤓 👍

You can my witness account @personzzz at the witness vote page if you what to support me on this journey

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Sooo... this is sort of related... I am pretty new here and was trying to figure it all out. I was on typing in usernames out of curiosity when I noticed that someone had a bunch of upvotes from usernames that sound familiar or somehow relate to that of the user being upvoted. I looked at some of these users that looked kind of suspicious to me and they were all very new accounts, all had blogged nothing...It looked super suspicious to me, like someone created a bunch of accounts to upvotes themselves. Not sure what do to with this information..I know there are no "rules" but I feel like that kind of thing sort of breaks the code of conduct, right? And, I could be totally wrong... But if I am right, what should I do with the information?? Thanks!!


There's no explicit code of conduct for voting, it is completely up to you how to vote and with which accounts. There's nothing for creating multiple accounts either, though implies you should only have one account by disallowing new registrations to use previously used authenticated methods (i.e. phone number and email). However it is easy to create an account, you just have to pay for it yourself (check out Anon Steem).

However self voting was explicitly disincentivized in the founding plan of Steemit (which you can read here, though it's not an easy read and a bit out of date). So the idea was not to ban it but to make it not as worth while as voting for other people.

When the recent changes (known as hard fork 19) came in this incentive went on it's head for a few reasons:

  1. The votes of people with less Steem Power became more valuable
  2. Voting power depletion increased by 400%, so people could vote less at full power

Suddenly it became really attractive to vote on your own posts. Since people do what makes sense based on the evidence they have and box they are in, lots of people started doing this.

But we think this is not a good thing for the Steemit project as a whole so we're looking for solutions.

A long way to say it, but what you should do with that information, in my opinion, is talk about it like you are now and support people who are trying to do something about it.


Thank you! I really appreciate the explanation and history!!! When you get a chance, please let me know of others I can support.

I strongly disagree with the idea that self voting is wrong and should be discouraged, and I strongly would oppose any hard fork that removed it as an option. Steem Power is valuable because it represents influence on the Steem blockchain. More Steem Power = more influence. The ability to self vote is one of the things that makes Steem Power influential and therefore desired and valuable. Prohibiting self voting will make Steem less valuable than it otherwise could be. Yes, some people abuse the self-voting privilege, but the community can easily respond to such abuse via flagging.


If self voting is going away, so will I alongside my Steem Power. No point in supporting another Reddit. This is why I love Steemit, the freedom here compared to other sites.. but this would just piss me off endlessly.


Self-voting is allowed on Reddit. In fact, your posts there are upvoted by default.

Being able to self-vote is not what makes Steem distinct and it is certainly not a merit of the platform.

On the contrary, I believe it retards the rate of adoption by people who understands the natural bias of self and how that affects actual quality and the level of effort authors put into their work. Self voting lends to complacency (especially higher stake holders ) don't necessarily have to work as hard whereas a minnow busting their ass creating content is under rewarded. This is centralization and has the tendency to result in less diversity of content.

I have seen a ton of low effort content receive inordinate rewards because of rampant self-voting and vote-buying. Because of this and other problems, I agree with this initiative of @l0ki and @personz 100% although I am not sure of it's current state.

To be frank, it is the nature of the self voter to oppose this because it undermines the very mechanism by which they are profiting in a manner that MANY believe is ethically questionable. They are making relatively easier money which is precisely why they don't want to level the playing field. Well, the end result is Steem is "pay to play" not unlike politics. I will say it and will say it again. Self voting is antithetical to decentralization and is why I have been apprehensive about investing any more money onto this platform and I would venture there are not only a few of us that feel the same. We are many but are voices muzzled while the voices of self voters get louder.


I think you're forgetting that self voting from the same account only just became really lucrative, since hard fork 19. You and several others talk about it like it's some kind of institution but the truth is that it has exploded since hf 19 when everyone realized it gave them so much.

Are you aware that self voting was something the creators of Steemit explicitly tried to incentivize against? Check this out from the whitepaper which I'll quote at length in an attempt to deal with this criticism generally:

2.5.2 Voting on Distribution of Currency

The naive voting process creates a Prisoner’s Dilemma whereby each indi- vidual voter has incentive to vote for themselves at the expense of the larger community goal. If every voter defects by voting for themselves then no cur- rency will end up distributed and the currency as a whole will fail to gain network effect. On the other hand, if only one voter defects then that voter would win undeserved profits while having minimal effect on the overall value of the currency.

In order to realign incentives and discourage individuals from simply voting for themselves, money must be distributed in a nonlinear manner. For example a quadratic function in votes, i.e., someone with twice the votes of someone else should receive four times the payout and someone with three times the votes should receive nine times the payout. In other words, the reward is proportional to votes^2 rather than votes. This mirrors the value of network effect which grows with n^2 the number of participants, according to Metcalfe’s Law.

Assuming all users have equal stake, someone who only receives their own vote will receive much less than someone who receives votes from 100 different users. This encourages users to cooperate to vote for the same things to maximize the payout. This system also creates financial incentive to collude where everyone votes on one thing and then divides the reward equally among themselves.

Some something has happened here, either this is no longer relevant as Steemit has changed, or the current situation actually amounts to a bug. I believe it is the latter.


The Steemit guys talk about collusion and giving those with most votes a disproportionate amount of rewards as if it's a good thing, but they don't really explain why.

In what way does it help Steemit that 99% of its users get close to nothing but 1% get the vast majority of rewards?

It also creates some kind of perverse incentive, which makes quadratic voting even worse than FPTP voting, if it were to be used for politics. Think about it - with FPTP you're already incentivized to only vote for the two biggest parties/two most popular candidates, due to the spoiler effect.

With quadratic voting you're super-incentivized to vote for the two most popular candidates/parties. Can you see how bad quadratic voting would be for a democracy, by creating a permanent super-duopoly? If so, then you draw the same conclusions for why quadratic voting is bad for Steemit.


And you can still game the system by using another account :)


It's literally the other way around. Self-voting removes value from SteemIt. Every single cent you aren't spending on good content creators is lowering the overall value.

Curators can make more money by finding undervalued posts (30 minutes+ old) and resteeming it or otherwise promoting it. That's a win-win, because the content creator is happy, the curator is happy and the curator didn't remove value from the platform.

The value of STEEM will rise anyway if you never self-vote, in fact it probably will rise even more in the long-term!

Self-voting is so terrible for the platform that there should be a hard fork to disincentivize it on the blockchain level.


You assume that the people who are self voting aren't "good content creators". If indeed they are not, then we can counteract their overindulgent self-voting by flagging (and people are already starting to do that, myself included).

Banning self-voting can only undermine the price of Steem. For instance, I have personally purchased thousands of dollars of SP (and I know many others who have done the same) so that I can influence what content gets visibility on the Steem platform, INCLUDING ESPECIALLY MY OWN. I (and many others) would have NEVER purchased so much, much less held it for so long, if doing so didn't increase my ability to get more exposure for my own content.

What you are overlooking is that it's NOT the authors and curatiors that give Steem value. The authors and curators come here only becasue Steem HAS value, and Steem has value not because it's "earned" by posting and curating but becasue people like my are willing to BUY it with money and HOLD it. It has value because capital (money) is flowing into it. That money flows into it in large part becasue people who acquire and hold Steem have a greater likelihood gaining exposure for their own content. The more Steem one holds, the greater one's voice on the platform. If we only allow that voice to be heard when it speaks of others and not when it speaks of the Steem holder himself or herself, then Steem's value declines.

Were there no other way of dealing with inappropriate self-voting, then I would agree that the damage done to capital inflows by banning self-voting may be worth it. But when the problem is easily solved by other means (like flagging), banning self-voting will do nothing but limit capital inflow and thereby reduce the value of Steem. Lower Steem prices means inferior authors and curators.

Look around, friend, Steem is healthier than ever. New users are way up. The price of Steem is way up. Alex ranking is way up! Growth is exponential. Your panic over self-voting is completley unjustified and unneeded.

Here's the bottom line: Those who want to ban self-voting are mainly folks who seek to acquire Steem by posting and curating rather than by PURCHASE. But it's only the latter that gives Steem value. And folks who are willing to purchase Steem do so in large part becasue they can influence the exposure of their own content.


true... if you want influence buy/earn steem power that's it

it's the same as hashing power, you need to invest and have skin in the game


From the whitepaper:

Eliminating “abuse” is not possible and shouldn’t be the goal. Even those who are attempting to “abuse” the system are still doing work. Any compensation they get for their successful attempts at abuse or collusion is at least as valuable for the purpose of distributing the currency as the make-work system employed by traditional Bitcoin mining or the collusive mining done via mining pools. All that is necessary is to ensure that abuse isn’t so rampant that it undermines the incentive to do real work in support of the community and its currency.
The goal of building a community currency is to get more “crabs in the bucket”. Going to extreme measures to eliminate all abuse is like attempting to put a lid on the bucket to prevent a few crabs from escaping and comes at the expense of making it harder to add new crabs to the bucket. It is sufficient to make the walls slippery and give the other crabs sufficient power to prevent others from escaping.

More from the whitepaper:

The impact of this voting and payout distribution is to offer large bounties for good content while still rewarding smaller players for their long-tail contribution.
The economic effect of this is similar to a lottery where people over-estimate their probability of getting votes and thus do more work than the expected value of their reward and thereby maximize the total amount of work performed in service of the community. The fact that everyone “wins something” plays on the same psychology that casinos use to keep people
gambling. In other words, small rewards help reinforce the idea that it is possible to earn bigger rewards.


Thank you very much for the truest words

I like the idea of limiting the use of self-voting, however, that would mean that minnows will have to try much harder to publish great content to garner a following. I suggest hard coding per user, an arbitrary amount of 5 self vote a day would be more useful. This would reduce the amount of abuse while not deny those people who actually put time and effort to shine through over the years to reap the benefit of their work.

After reading half of the comments it's very clear a compromise needs to be made. The fix is very simple, self voting on comments should be banned, however self voting actual posts should remain! If for some reason the community at large is interested in being allowed to up vote comments, steemit should go back to the 40 full strength up votes rather than the 10. To make those people work for it!

Self-voting doesn't add value to the network!

Great work @l0k1 and @personz and everyone behind this!
I stand behind you for this as I believe that self voting isn't standing for what steemit stands for. Steemit should be about adding great value instead of massive content, and self-voting doesn't add any value what so ever.

Punishing the top self-voting comments to the extent that they are loosing what they would earn from that vote is a good way to do it. As many point out, the comment can be good enough to deserv any possible earnings, but they shouldn't gain any benefit from voting on it by themselves.

Voting should be for finding other great content, not for self-voting.

And no, it's not hard to make a second account

But you need to lock your steem in some way on either account, so it will be more costly to do it this way. You will need to sacrifice some of your curation power if you do it this way, cause the SP you lock in your self voting account could have been in your own account making you a more powerful curator.

They will loose this battle.

Vote @sc-steemit for Steemit Witness.

Proud Supporter of the Cryptocurrency Gridcoin


You sure about that?

Self voting on an average of 1 post per day was how i paid to have whaleshares built.

This is like telling a miner...he cannot mine tokens for him or herseld and that u and the community will take away mining rights as soon as they get jealous. Meanwhile there re real sock puppet accounts that upvote everything from a distance.

Something tells me people wont care.

Also...what about people who are witnesses AND post. Maybe since they are earning sp from being witnesses...we just make it so they cant make money from blogging...cause how is it right they get to double dip?

See how easily this can get out of hand?


Well, I still think that a post/comment should be rewarded based on its value to the community. If people vote on it, it obviously have value to the community. Earning shares from the pool because you're a wealthy entity isn't what I think is good practice.

Sure, the issue has been very much more pressing since the rewards curve was flattened and the power per vote increased.

I understand your view to. But one full vote per day isn't the same as just using all your votes for voting on yourself, which is what I think is pure wrong. And there is, as you point out, more issues as sock puppet accounts to. I will reflect on this some more 👍

Also...what about people who are witnesses AND post. Maybe since they are earning sp from being witnesses...we just make it so they cant make money from blogging...cause how is it right they get to double dip?
See how easily this can get out of hand?

I hear you man. Thanks for your reflections as well!

You're a supporter of the community and I know you're using it for good. Maybe I should have larger trust in the greater whole? Self voting is a way to earn, but it's contradictory to what I think steemit stands for.

We need to discuss it more though
Maybe you're interested some day.


The ability to self-vote absolutely adds value to the system. Specifically, it makes the Steem token more valuable. People want to own the token, and will pay good money for it, in part because they can self-vote their content and thereby gain more influence and a larger voice within the Steem community. Steem was never meant to be "fair". Rather it was meant to reward holders of SP with INFLUENCE, thereby increasing demand for Steem and raising its market value. Deny SP holders this influence and all you will do is diminish the desirability and value of the Steem token itself. That's short sighted.


Yes, SP designed to reward holders with influence, and for their investment to appreciate over time. But this appreciation comes at the cost of the other purpose of Steem which you have not mentioned - distributing rewards to other members, not yourself. Every token that someone allocates to themselves is necessarily not allocated socially. Steem is not simply an interest deposit where you can post any old thing and self vote to get your "dues".

Increasing the value of the Steem token is not a simple cause and effect, it's complex. There are a lot of people bringing up the concern that self voting is in fact scammy behavior and this might actually go against adoption and the value of the coin.

Nobody is proposing to deny SP holders influence, it's pretty much gospel here. But letting their influence increase too much is not the goal either.


@sean-king You're so unbelievably wrong. Buying STEEM makes the token more valuable. Having SP gives you the ability to earn curation rewards. That's how the platform was intended. It was intended to be fair, as in that everyone would be making money.

If you are self-voting, everyone is making less money and it becomes less "fair". The more people self-vote, the less people will earn, until everybody is earning hardly anything and the price of STEEM will drop like there's no tomorrow. It's as simple as that.


And why do you think people buy Steem, friend? Just so that they can upvote OTHER PEOPLE'S stuff with more influence? NO! They often buy Steem because owning Steem ensures that their own content gets more exposure.

Steem was NEVER intended to be "fair" (read the whitepaper since it's quite explicit on this point, analogizing Steem to a "lottery"), and it most DEFINITELY wasn't intended to be a place where "everyone would be making money." Again, read the whitepaper! Steem can't afford to produce enough tokens to reward everybody "fairly". If it did, the system would be flooded with tokens, and those tokens would be relatively worthless. Instead, Steem was designed to pay huge, outsized rewards to a few lucky people. And it's the HOPE of earning one of those outsized rewards (and not a "fair" distribution of those rewards) that keeps people posting, just like the HOPE of winning the lottery (and not a "fair" distribution of winnings) keeps people buying tickets. Again, read the freakin whitepaper.

People acquire Steem in part so that they CAN upvote themselves and get more exposure, just like advertisers acquire air time so that they can likewise get more exposure. Airtime is limited and desired because it gives influence, and STeem is limited and desired becasue it gives influence. Therefore airtime is valuable and Steem is valuable.

Imagine a system where people who purchased airtime could ONLY advertise OTHER PEOPLE'S products and not their own. Would airtime be as valuable as now? Of course not. The value of airtime would decline greatly b/c people are not all that altruistic. They are not going to spend their hard-earned money only to provide exposure for someone else.

This is not even a hard question, man. It's really quite simple. Depriving Steem holders of the right to self vote is the equivalent of depriving purchasers of advertising the right to advertise their own products. It's insane, and it will kill the price of Steem.





That's a good point, I hear you.
I feel the need for it to be more openly discussed, this is good.

I'm mearly expressing my view in my previous post, but my view may change as I discuss this topic. Nothing is fixed.

Thanks for your view of it, I need to think on this more 😀


Deny SP holders this influence and all you will do is diminish the desirability and value of the Steem token itself.

I agree with you. I hope you and I are both wrong. :)


I disagree with the term "punishing" but yes, letting our opposition be known and felt is the idea 😄

Thanks for the support!

And no, it's not hard to make a second account
But you need to lock your steem in some way on either account, so it will be more costly to do it this way.

To be honest this was more effective under the square rewards curve, and I think the reason @ats-david previously suggested actually rolling back hard fork 19. I'm going to consider the multiple accounts argument more. It was something we explicitly said was outside the scope of the project but it's becoming clear to me that support for this project may be contingent on an answer to this too.


Fully agree. Maybe punishing isn't the word, but at least set a statement.

This issue has arrised much more after the new rewards curve system AND a higher voting power. Many smaller witnesses where pointing this out.

I've resteemed this for exposure. I don't know if I like it or dislike it yet.

I think the idea is good, but the possible workarounds are endless, which could penalize small new users who are trying to buy STEEM to power their accounts so they upvote their own posts and get noticed.

In order for this to work these same new users will have to be using the promoted feed instead, and the various whale upvote services. (Or spend a long time getting a following through commenting, etc).

I don't know. I'm on the fence.

By the way, there was an extensive commentary on this subject on an old blog post I wrote 14 days ago. I'm not spamming the link... (it already received its payout)

Look through the 127 comments on this exact same subject about how people feel.


Self-voting and clique-voting (aka circle jerks) can never be wholly eliminated, but rules can be put in place to make it less effective compared to the overall aim of max social utility - assuming that is the primary objective and Steem price is the manifestation of that objective.


It seems silly but I think there actually is some disagreement on that assumption, that the aspect to maximize is social utility. I think for some people the investment (or rather return on it) aspect is the most important.

Perhaps this should be the topic of another post, it's coming up a lot.


mmm... a post on the philosophy of monetised social communities - not so different to a big city. I could write it.

There is room for multiple strategies - we are not bots, I assume - but the underlying algos must promote the "common wealth". If there are only the vote-miners then earnings as a percentage will drop until such "income" reaches an equilibrium which may still be good but no longer great.

What then is the role of newbies?


The common wealth!? Socialist! It's that misunderstanding that would be good to unpack because it's what many people hear when you talk about social good here. Add to that the idea that a change in the rule set is more regulation and you're well on your way to a comparison with Marx.

What then is the role of newbies?

This might be the touchstone of the rebuke.


Less politics and more analysis would be useful.

The common wealth is a term used by Francis Bacon, philosopher of science and advocate that science and technology should improve the lives of everyone. Technology is thus a wealth multiplier not a redistributor.

The Steem White Paper is not crystal clear as to the ultimate metric of success; as a startup it talks a lot about the number of users, but can that be a valid metric: to maximise users?

Steem's purposeful realignment of economic incentives has the potential to produce fairer and more inclusive results for everyone involved than the social media and cryptocurrency platforms that have gone before it. This paper will explore the existing economic incentives and demonstrate how Steem's incentives may result in better outcomes for most participants. {my italics}

That's as close as we get to a "maximal social utility". We may call this whatever we want but what it amounts to is the total wealth within Steem. So it may make it easier to drop the economics jargon and call it essentially "maximal market cap of Steem and SBD". Possibly more useful is "total market cap per member". For highly skewed distributions such as Steem wealth, a median of earnings is a better measure.

The White Paper also mentions the Prisoner's Dilemma but, I think, makes an error here:

The naive voting process {meaning the proportional N reward curve now implemented} creates a Prisoner's Dilemma whereby each individual voter has incentive to vote for themselves at the expense of the larger community goal. If every voter defects by voting for themselves then no currency will end up distributed and the currency as a whole will fail to gain network effect. On the other hand, if only one voter defects then that voter would win undeserved profits while having minimal effect on the overall value of the currency.

The current problems were foreseen but the algorithm was not created to mitigate them. Indeed, the subsequent paragraphs are used to justify the N-squared rewards curve, now changed to proportional N.

Looking at this more closely there is a hidden variable that should be changed: rshares or vests. Changing that formula will allow us to return to more votes per day.


Well put, thank you for that.


Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

I'm not sure the new users argument has any weight. A minnow self voting their own post will have minimal effect. The best way to get noticed is to comment on other people's posts.

But the worksarounds, sure they are a problem too. I'm thinking more about it now and will have more to say on it soon, it's the best hole in the plan 😉

  • Minnow makes new account. Worth under $50 SP

  • Minnow makes comments, makes a post, gets unnoticed since he doesn't have a lot of followers.

  • Minnow buys $2500 worth of STEEM and powers up his account.

  • Minnow creates new post, and votes up himself. While looking under the "new" feed, people notice this post is already voted well above 25 cents and wonder why. They read the post, and upvote it too.

When this happens, it encourages those tho can afford it to buy STEEM to power up. We want that..


Interesting narrative, I hadn't thought of that. Here's the clincher:

[...] people notice this post is already voted well above 25 cents and wonder why.

The hypothesis here is that post which are already highly valued are of greater interest. I think this could be correct but perhaps not.

In any case the bot (as it currently is configured) is only interested in comments. That's what I tried to say in the post, that I think there is broad agreement that high self vote payouts for comments is not beneficial to the platform.

This feature had pissed me off quite a bit. Thank god it's off.


Couldn't agree more, maybe they should even get rid of the checkbox as well.


"And ultimately a hard fork change removing self voting as an option from the Steem blockchain"

Not productive. Will simply punish the low level users. All large abusers will simply recreate sock puppets, delegate, vote trade. I do not support this.

"However we feel it is widely held, we certainly do, that these rewards should be awarded by peers, not the commenter."

I'm concerned this is turning into a witch hunt. I don't feel this premise has been proven.


How will it punish low level users? For low level users they have only had any kind of self voting effect at all since hard fork 19, which is a matter of weeks.

Whether the premise is convincing or not this is not a witch hunt. The idea is to be only minorly discriminate in flagging (if we end up going down that route).


I think this is a better reply to your first question than I will generate here in an ad-hoc fashion:

I had to say this.

While I don’t encourage self-voting, I definitely don’t think it’s right to look at someone who self-votes as a criminal and flag that person. All of us are here to make money, and we all choose our own path to achieve our goal.

Some of us who understand that the health of the community is important, make sure we follow the etiquette that such a community demands. But when people from all backgrounds are ENCOURAGED to sign up, it’s not right to degrade/demotivate them purely on the basis of self-voting.

I have come across many wonderful people who self-vote, even those that are doing everything they can for this community. By flagging such people, we are only harming the community.

As we all agree that self-voting does not serve the purpose of Steemit, we should be looking at other options:

  • Restricting the number of self-votes per day, OR
  • Completely removing the self-voting option

Look outside the Steemit doors and see what’s happening. People talk about Steemit as a way of earning money from comments and posts. People are flocking in by the thousands each day – hoping to make some dollars.

Please don’t misread or misinterpret what I wish to convey. I am NOT AGAINST RULES. All I’m saying is that it will help if things are done by not hurting anyone's self-respect.

If someone is behaving in an untoward manner or posting stuff that should not be posted – deal with them – because inappropriate behavior is not acceptable anywhere.

I hope you don’t mind a minnow jumping in with opinions, but I think the flagging option should be reconsidered.


No I don't think "criminal" is appropriate either, but it is selfish, and a kind of selfish activity that is not aligned with the goal of some benefit for all. For example, previously because of curation rewards it was win-win to vote for someone else. Now we have win-lose, a zero sum game if we self vote too much.

Perhaps etiquette and social norms will be enough to encourage restraint in self voting by and large, and I feel that flagging some users will add to a culture of this. I don't think flagging self votes is harmful especially when we decide to only flag those making the most. We aim to do this until there is a blockchain level solution in the form of a hardfork, or until we are satisfied either it's not effective or has had it's effect.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to post, especially as a minnow. But flagging is always an option and I defend its usage.


Being a minnow myself, my opinion is based on the fact that flagging may be demotivating and hurting. I'm placing myself in other minnows' shoes.

However, I also understand and appreciate that your opinions/decisions will be based on your experience here, having seen thousands of us enter and abuse the platform.

Thank you for being so patient with your response. :)

These changes are interesting. Thank you for writing this up. While being relatively new to Steemit and having only just posted an article for the first time today, I already feel like Steemit is on uneasy ground when it comes to this self-voting stuff.

I've seen a lot of opinions on the topic representing a few sides. Personally, I think this update is great – if self-upvoting is false by default, it basically requires you to stop and consider why an upvote is necessary before checking it to true – instead of just doing it automatically and leaving no room for further thought.

Do I think people NEED to be considerate about self-upvotes? I don't know. But, I do believe the following objective you/you guys are working on is pretty interesting.

Engaging the community to promote the idea of voluntary refusal to self vote.

It's not simply a promotion of voluntary refusal to self-vote, it's effectively promoting the discourse of an honor system(s) on Steemit. And honor is a pretty darn good thing, right?


Personally, I think this update is great – if self-upvoting is false by default, it basically requires you to stop and consider why an upvote is necessary before checking it to true – instead of just doing it automatically and leaving no room for further thought.

Exactly the point, well put summary.

It's not simply a promotion of voluntary refusal to self-vote, it's effectively promoting the discourse of an honor system(s) on Steemit. And honor is a pretty darn good thing, right?

There could be an argument that honor in this sense could work for your own self interest, as it might increase your reputation, garner followers and ultimately votes. But if self voting is easier and very effective in the short term, we are going to see it I think.

I just don't see why anyone would think that self-voting is wrong in any way.

In the short-term it makes perfect sense for someone to do so even if in the long term it may work against them since every self-vote you do means less curation and less engagement with other members. People who do nothing but self-vote will fail here in the long run.

But I see nothing at all wrong with some voting for yourself as long as you do some curation and engagement too.

For what it's worth, I think that Project Smackdown is a solution in search of a problem.


I think you answered your own question - self voting is not beneficial to Steem in the long term (or even medium term I would suggest).

For what it's worth, I think that Project Smackdown is a solution in search of a problem.

Hardly, the problem is very clear - self voting! As we've laid out, it is counter to the purpose of Steem which is distributing Steem by the votes of others. The problem is that since HF 19 the old incentives against which discouraged self voting have been significantly weakened. We are looking for solutions to that if it was not clear to you.


I said that in the long term it's not good for them, self-voting is not a good long term strategy for members. That's very different than thinking that it's bad for Steem/Steemit.

Oh, it very clear to me what you're doing. I just think you're wrong.


I see, I read you wrong there. Quite possibly it is not a good long term strategy either but I don't think that is obvious enough for it to have an effect.

So it sounds to me that you we are correct in this point, that self voting is not beneficial. What then do you say we're wrong about?


It's my opinion that self-voting is not inherently a good long term strategy for users and that its existence is not inherently bad for Steem/Steemit.

But, and this is important, I also don't take issue with the idea that kitty would be using its Steem Power for Reason X, even if X is flagging self voters. Users should be able to use their SP as they see fit, whether it's for self voting or for flagging other users who self vote. A flag is just a downvote or thumbs down by another name.

As an aside, I don't like the idea of any bot voting, either positive or negative. But I realize that bot voting is here to stay.


It's not an opinion. Self-voting is reducing the (Dollar value of the)
remaining reward pool and therefore the value of the platform. It's a simple measurable fact.

Also if people have to spend voting power on flagging to counter it, they can't upvote content they want themselves.

Self-voting should just be eliminated, it's best for everyone.

Nice move! I didn't vote on my own comments before, didn't start now, and I stopped voting on my own posts before HF19 came out. I was going to make a post today called "Only-Upvote-Others-Athon" to emphasize that it's others that should be evaluating our own content, not ourselves. Peace.


@personz Wow i literally was thinking about setting up a bot to counter self-voting and here it is ;)

Also setting the default self-vote on posts to false on is great!

Good job


Thank you! I appreciate it.

So I guess if / when @smackdown.kitty goes live we can count on your support?


Yeah i might delegate some SP.

I am looking forward for your new app rewards share app
Thanks for sharing


Thank you, still waiting on the key information but hopefully I can find some time to experiment more and perhaps the solution will come to me 😄


I wish you good 🍀
Keep it up 👆

I wonder how you will handle someone setting up another account to upvote themselves, or groups of people agreeing to upvote each other. I don't have any issue with people upvoting their own post. I think people should have to pay to upvote their own comment, just like a post promotion, because it changes the rank in a comment stream. I have, once or twice, upvoted my own comment to rank in higher in a comment stream. It didn't seem right that I was rewarding myself for increasing my visibility.

woah i just thought i must have posted on chainbb...but woah this is cool!
i hink self voting on a post is ok if u are just posting a few times a day....i meean its your steempower

upvoting alll ur own comments might be seen as different but nope its totally ok if u arent making enuf money (in your mind)

i dont self vote comments (on purpose) but i will self votte posts! why not? i also give out way more upvootesto other sers than i ever give to myself!

but if u are struggling but u gave the steempower u have everyright too pay urself

its all good tho this change is good! ANY few optiions are welcome!!!

i hoope we have more optiions foor all sorts f stuff! like option to post private messages via pgp encryption lol that will be fun

i guess we can alreasy do that now

wow steem witnesses have alot of power if they work together! i love this syatem!

ppl coomplaining about whales having too much powrr are just alll super jeloys and envious that they didnt buy steempowr when it was 110 cents!!

its ok everyone will be EXSTATIC once steem goes to $3 again! peopel will be SO happy like during the hard form everone will asicaly have thri money double!

I cant WAIt to see all the peopel who are in fights right now all becoming friends thanks to everones wallets dooubling in size! for anyone who has a thousand bucks in steem they will be making the easiest thousand bucks ever! (if they havent ben in crpto before)
and then ppeopel with $10,000 or $100,000 will be on cloud nine! making $10,000 to $100,000 all in one day , it will be glorious! so many whales will be giving out powrful 100 percent upvotes!


Short term rewards versus the long term benefit of engagement will win out in the end, as my own account history testifies.


My account testifies the same thing. But i upvote myself and pay to build stuff. So which is it?

I refused to get a witness unlike some even though i could have had one. Because i oersonally thought it was unfair. In a world where force is used to dictate action, everyone..including idealists like me are FORCED to cheat and be criminals in a system built to help us. So in game theory u are giving people less incentive to do anything good VOLUNTARILY because their good deeds may put them at a distinct disadvantage against people who find ways around the systems put in place.


"flagging the top rewarded comments every day, let's say the top 4 or so"

I disagree with this. Flagging top 4 comments without review is abuse of power and discourage those who provide quality comments. I suggest do a manual review first and see if they deserved the pay.


On the contrary, a manual review would rely on our subjective judgement of what abuse is. While there's nothing wrong with that, we aim for this to be impartial. It operates under the premise that all self voting is bad, and that those who gain the most from self voting are having the greatest effect on the reward pool, which is one of the problems of self voting.

Personally I don't agree with the idea that comments "deserve" pay. Reward is decided on by votes, which are given freely. Further, no one deserves to pay themselves, that is our core position on this.


noone deserves to pay themselves? WHy not? What if they booight steempower and havent beenmaking much off it, steem price tanks, and they just want to make some money back?

if self voting was "undeserved" or somehow bad we wouldnt be allowed to do it at all!
Buts ory, if u can self vote, you can! and please dont make peope feel guilty for doing it!

its your rightto upvote yoru own comments! U CAN pay yourself and so why not?

Hopefully control freaks wont ever end up with very much steempower and flags from jelous people wont ever amount to much!

I really just wish people would stop this whole nonesnese of arbitrarily deciding how much someone is allowed to make everyday

Not all posts are created equal! if someone is getting a ton of upvotes, and those upvotes are from accounts with high steempower, why would you try to stop that?

Noone deserves anything here!

Im tired of minnows acting like it would be better if everyone just got the same amount of money for their posts, yeah that would createa sitruation where noone would ever try to make uality posts!

some posts can explain how a developer wrote some AMAZIING nw feature for steemit! Or someonee can sppend 1 year on a documentary about steemit and release it on ONE post

SO that post ddoesnt deserve to make tens of thousands of dollars?!?! A post releasing some dnew feature programmed from scratch for months and months and fnally released in one steemit post with link to the github post, that kind of post doesnt deserve to make it on top and earnthousands? what if someone actyally works so hard that they release a new upgradeto steemit or a new steemit documentary veryday for a week! and they getto the front page 7 days in a row! Are they not allowedto reap the rewards of all their hardwork ?

its ddoesnt MATTER how often someone is succeesful! thats ther choise!

some peopel work harder than others and f they can get thousands of dollowersto upvote everyone of their daily posts, thenmaybe you should try harder instead of trying to find some fundamental problem with steemit to just explain the inequality away as a symptome of som larger problem with free markets....yeah we need more free maret mre freedom NOT more control!

This is just elitist. Anyone who knows how to code and has extra steem can create a self voting bot and another account to vote up himself 100%. This change shuts out minnows from self voting.


That's a contradiction. If someone has extra Steem to have an effect they are not a minnow. Minnows are shut out from self voting as it stands in that the effect is so small as to be negligible.

The issue of multiple accounts though is valid and we are considering it.

· true. Is this a steemspeak initiative? I have heard many times people talking about upvote bots and even heard this ats-david guy from there is bitching.

Just remember one thing here...everone circle jerks in here in some way. Pitch Forks will change nothing. :/


@fuzzyvest can you tell me what happened?

From lawrence-lyken
To whaleshares
Quantity 100 BEYONDBIT
Memo U


With @smackdown.kitty flag self voted comments with a 1%, incrementing for each self vote recorded up to but no more than negating the self vote

Care to translate that into English?


Sorry I was trying to keep it brief but maybe it's too compact 😉

The kitty does the following:

  1. Every 10 minutes look at the new votes on comments and puts them in a list
  2. Of those votes, it keeps the votes which are self votes on the list and discards the rest
  3. It then discards any self votes from accounts which have less than 1000 SP, i.e. red fish
  4. For each self voter it checks it's own database (or catabase 😂) to see how many previous self votes are on record. It decides to add a flag of N %, where N is total number of self votes it has witnesses since coming to life
  5. Before it actually flags though it makes sure that N % will not have an effect greater than the self vote itself, i.e. it will only counter the self vote, and not flag with power greater than that

I hope that's a bit more understandable.

Please bear in mind that this is the old plan though. We are now proposing just flagging the top few self votes per day.

Good. This default setting had already bothered me a lot.

Thanks for sharing!

Personz as I read through the comments and your patient & thoughtful answers I'm impressed. I'm so new I hadn't yet voted for a "witness", but you just got my first witness vote. ;-) & my upvote for this post & follow

Thanks for all your effort! @roused


Wow thank you! 😊 I appreciate you voting for me as witness and following this discussion here.

Great job on the pull request!


Thanks! Couldn't be simpler 😉

I am just a red fish
So I have practically no power

But let me explain some thoughts
Fact is that the majority of our community is consuming much more than 10 articles a day but they have only the "payment" for 10 articles

The rest of the "journalists "get not payed anything for there work

Let me suggest a small basic income on the base of how many community members are reading the article and on top the possibility to upvote

In the moment it happens every day that I spend my votes
But I read more even if I want to vote I have nothing left
That means that the articles I read later ,have no chance of being upvoted

Please take this in consideration
Wouldn't it be nice if we could see how many people reading our articles maybe we could have this info included


All very confusing for me a new Steemit blogger. All I do know is Selfvoting is dishonest - kinda like bragging - a trait I never appreciated in any forum. I guess what you're telling us is this practice will be coming to an end. Great!

Thank You for sharing and updating us on this, looking forward to the future here! Resteemit!

What about people like me who upvote their own content, but also upvote other people's work? I don't think self-voting should be taken away. Too much regulation and change can take away from what many enjoy about the system.


If you're a quality content creator then a self-vote wouldn't be that bad, but the problem is that you're not the best person to decide how good your own content is.

But the problem currently is that comments which are contributing hardly anything or even spam comments are being self-upvoted.

It's best if self-voting is eliminated almost entirely by the protocol itself.


I can see that, but wouldn't a self-voting from someone without much SP be negligible? If someone is self-voting, but has a lot of SP, wouldn't that mean they either paid a lot into the system or have had other people give them upvotes?


1 time it's negligible, but not if everyone does it. It also doesn't matter how someone attained a lot of SP, it's just way better to always vote on others. Nothing good comes from selfishness.


You make a good point, but you don't think that self promotion is in anyway built into the platform? Why would it be created that way? Look, I don't have anything to gain from upvoting myself other than maybe a penny, but that might be a way people help to make their content more visible. I haven't done so, but what if someone were to invest $10,000 into Steemit and buy a ton of Steem Power. Why would that be terrible if they wanted to self-promote? Maybe if all they did was self-voting, but I guess I don't like the idea of totally taking away the ability to do self-promote. I've been wrong on many things, but I just don't see how self-voting is really bringing things down.


The more you self-vote, the less rewards others get. It's just simple math. The reward pool is limited.

I don't like how the protocol is designed, there's already post promotion so i don't see any need to self-vote. The problem in the protocol lies with curation, people can self-vote, flag good content, upvote bad content with hardly any repercussions.

I already disable self voting a long time ago, since people get stuck in the quest for money and forget to interact with the community.

Steempower is valuable because people have the freedom to use what they have invested in the project to do things they deem important.

But lets just be honest here as to why this is a terrible idea.

Ill just make a bunch of sockpuppet accounts and have them upvote me! So how does this fix anything?


Yes upvotes are not what we want to be valuable here! if we do that we will nd up like reddit or youtube where vote and view bots have alot of influence and you can BUY upvotes!

Reddit could have become a steemit like system or evolved into one if they would have made karma transferable! And then reddit notes would have made karma a crypto curency ina way....
Now here on steemit, you have to PURCHASE steempower so u cant just creeate vote bots!

I see your comment here is to exlain how Direct Number of Votes is a BAD idea to base the rewards on!

Number of Votes should NEVER mean ANYTHINg because evenif we could prove that one human is one vote, we would have voting blocks and political parties promoting evil people !

what about a self conscious AI do they get a vote? why not? Today on steemit if a bot has money it gets influence!

I am now off topic but rememeber 10 in the Animatrix?

WOAH youtube just ffucking changed thei whole inteerface!

And so we shoul worry about votiing bots becoming self aware instead of other humans hahaha

MONEY is the way you ENSURE that people cant just vote bot! because WHO is gonna spend their money on a vote bot just for votees when u can leeave it in your own steemit account and upvote ur posts this way anyway

i think we should get interest in these topics by bringing up AI and the Animatrix ideas of robts creating their own cities and dominating financial markets hahaha


Good point


SP is valuable because you have the power to curate content and earn monetary rewards in the process.

It's not a terrible idea, it's a good idea until there's a hard fork that addresses the self-voting issue (by increasing the incentive to curate others).

@personz interesting to note upcoming changes

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Hello all. Some people give themselves a lot of self-vote, and I struggle and I'm bothering myself, and I do not understand why my posts are not more visible. I have one vote, a maximum of three for each post, either in Romanian or in English. And I'm really working hard. I write in Romanian, and I hired a student to translate into English. I do not necessarily care about money, and even spend money on translations, but I would love my articles not to be read by myself and two or three others. Do you think you can help me with some advice ... @personz or anyone else who sees this comment.


My advice on gaining more exposure for your work is to comment meaningfully on posts by authors in your interest area or that you admire. It's tough at the start but hopefully you'll get there.


I understand. thank you for the advice. So I will.

Self voting is not cool!

Through the eyes of a friendly hard-working minnow...
I invested my savings with hopes I could upvote my own post and gain visibility.
I'd have no incentive to buy Steem if I wasn't trying to buy visibility.
If I had less visibility my incentive to create content would go down.
If I wasn't creating content I wouldn't be active in the community.

In short without being able to upvote my own posts, my incentive would be to buy Steem tokens on the open market and sit on the sidelines.

On the other hand, it does feel spammy to upvote my own comments.
I put in little work to generate my comments.
I comment because my incentive is to build relationships.

My proposal is to let me pay for the opportunity to upvote my own posts with the hope I will gain visibility for my work.
Don't let me upvote my comments because I'm not providing the same high value and I'm already incentivized by making friends.

Cheers. Thanks for your thoughts.

So self voting has been around since the inception? Why now is it just going away, is it the hard fork is it that there are more users, is it political? I just find it strange that when the amount of users jumped up all these changes happened!
I still don't know everything I need to know about this platform, and because of my ignorance I don't know if this system can be gamed and to what extent! I came online just before the hard fork 19 and it seemed to work well, but maybe that was only from my perspective. After the hard fork stuff just seems to be working against all users of this platform! I guess I just have not been here long enough!


Self voting has been around since the start, the system makes no difference in a self vote or a outgoing vote. But it is only since HF 19 that it has been much more tempting to vote for yourself.

This is definitely a problem which has gotten worse since HF 19 so it does kind of work against users, but the debate will go on 🙂


I see, thank you for the reply!

Great thing u do, have been waiting for this.
Upvoting urself in comments without even reading a persons post is rude I think.
U never get to know anyone that way.

Psstttt.... I'm looking for 6 other Accounts to be members of my Midnight Crew Network, must be heavily Vested for maximum damage***
***sarcasm font, this is what I've been fighting against and losing.

~ You can set up two different types of Networks, a bot or a human one.
~ Each Network should consist of a set of seven Accounts.
~ You can have 7, 14, 21, or 28 (and so on) Accounts, logisticaly each set of seven would be considered it's own Network.
~ Concentrate each Account on a specialty target - usually blogs about how great the steem platform is, cryptocurrencies, and the markets themselves. Each Network should also focus on recruitment, new user registration (the bread & butter), & encouraging mass investing into the steem system. Best results when your Market is the majority of people who basicly have no clue about finance, marketing, or running a wallet (who treat steemit like facebook and might or might not figure out the markets later).
~ A Network Schedule would be set, most probably in variants of 7 as well.
~ All 7 days of a week each Account would refrain from upvoting or flagging anything, save for one scheduled Account (acct. 1 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday....). ~ Though doing as little upvoting as possible, the other 6 Accounts would primarily comment/engage only with other Accounts in any other of your Networks.
~ The scheduled Account for it's particularly scheduled day would follow the following script:
  1. Allocate the first 72-100% of 100% of your voting power to upvoting your own content. No brainer.
  2. Allocate the next 25- 72% of 100% voting power to upvoting content of other Accounts in your Networks.
  3. Allocate 11-25% of 100% voting power to flagging (this metric can be applied further up or down the allocation chain depending on the value of the post/comment flagging).
  4. Allocate 4-11% of 100% voting power to upvoting Red Rish/Minnow accounts outside of your Network.
  5. When voting power reaches 0-4% (the second an upvote's value is nearing $0.01), discontinue upvoting and let it recharge for the next 6 days.
    ~ Account posting should be limited to 4 per day (remember, any posts after 5 in a 24 hour period exponetially decreases the payout value of all posts in that period).
    ~ The only day any Account should do any active upvoting would be only on it's scheduled upvoting day.
    ~ Occasional flagging of high value content is encouraged to maximize the rewards pool for your Network's benefit. Being careful not to over-use it, most of the time it may even go un-noticed in the longer voting lists. Though not exactly "flying under the radar", maximizing affect in relation to rewards pool is to flag posts/comments who's value are less than your vote's value, essentially only returning all those rewards-from-others to the rewards pool in exchange for your 2% voting power....
    Anyone running this set-up will make a pile while only leaving a little bit of scraps left for the rest (just enough to keep the masses chasing it).

    Battle of the Bots

    Not even a good, gentle bot can stand up against a bad, malicious Network.