What if Steemit was a democratic system?

in steemit •  last year

In a democracy, each individual vote carries the same weight. It's one. One vote, a value of one. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor. Every vote carries the same weight. Pretty much all voting is like this, in society and also on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Quora, Reddit, they're all the same. It doesn't matter if you call them votes or likes or upvotes or whatever.

So why is Steemit different? Because there's a direct monetary value attached to each vote? And since there's money involved it's a good idea to make each vote's value relative to a person's "wealth"? How is that a good idea? It's a system begging to be abused. It's a system where the rich easily get richer. Is there any wonder why we have vote buying and bidbots?

The current system is built around making money. If that's the purpose of the system then fine, let's all buy/sell votes and/or build our own bidbots. However, I was under the impression that Steemit was about content and community, and being rewarded accordingly based on the quality of your content and also your level of community engagement. But that's not the case. Sure, that's how some (even many) people use it but that doesn't seem to be how the system was designed. To me, Steemit is a system designed for making money through voting. Content is simply something to vote on.

I could pick up a random rock, place it on a table and vote for it with all my money. Does the rock matter? No. What matters is how much money I have. Why? Because how much money have I dictates how much my vote is worth. And how much my vote is worth dictates how much money I will make from my vote. What if I want even more money? Easy. I just get my rich friends to vote on my rock. Why would they do that? Well for starters, we're friends. But also, we get to split the proceeds so voting (whether it's on a rock or whatever) is a profitable activity. Would they still vote for my rock if they made no money from it? Good question. It would probably depend on how good our friendship is or how good my rock is.

But let's say I don't have friends. How do I make more money? Well, I can buy votes directly from other people or from some automated system (let's call them bidbots). This is a fantastic business model for the vote seller. They make money directly from casting their vote AND they still get to split the proceeds of that vote. Double payout!

Hang on, that doesn't seem fair. Why would I buy votes if that's the case? Well, you may make money too and who's going to complain about making more money? Wait, "MAY make more money?" If it's not guaranteed then why buy votes? It depends on who you ask but some say you don't really make money from vote buying. Some say you even lose money doing it. What I believe though is that even if it's unprofitable for some, it's still profitable for enough vote buyers for the business model to thrive. Maybe it's a bit like gambling. You win just enough to think that you're winning in the long run. Like with gambling though, irregardless of whether you win or not, the house always wins.

"Geez, okay, I get it. When will this guy get to the point?"

Here's the point. What if each vote carried the same value for everyone on Steemit? Reputation doesn't matter. Steem Power doesn't matter. How long you've been on the platform doesn't matter. It's all the same. For everyone. Obviously, this will be a fundamental change in how Steemit will work. I believe this will change Steemit to be more content and community focused. Let's think about it...

If all votes are worth the same then how do I make more money? Simple, I need more votes. The more votes I get, the more money I make. Okay, so how do I get more votes? Well, I'll need lots of people to like my rock (content) enough to vote for it, or I'll need lots of friends (community). So, content and community. That's the goal, right?

What about vote buying? As it is now, I can pay 50 coins and get more or less that much value back in a single vote. But if all votes are worth the same, I might need to pay 50 coins to 50 different people just to get the same value back. Someone (or some bot) with a lot of voting power can't just come in give all that value with a single vote. So at least it makes the system of vote buying more difficult. Demand dictates supply. If vote buying is a hassle, less demand. Less demand, less supply.

That's the basic principle of my idea. I'm sure this is not a novel idea. It's probably been discussed to death already. But as they say, "the devil is in the detail." Ideas are easy. How the idea is implemented is what makes or breaks it. I have ideas on how to implement all this but this post is already long. Maybe I'll share more of my ideas in another post. In the meantime, perhaps those with much more knowledge and experience than me can share their views in the comments on why #onevoteonevalue (that's what I'm calling it) will or will not work.

If you've read up to this point, I truly thank you for your time.


The photos are of my son when he was in 1st grade. He was elected president of their school (1st to 6th grades) and had to give a speech during the Finnish Independence Day celebration.

pres_nico_3.jpeg

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I do not have an expert's perspective. But as a Steemit and crypto noob, the current system is disappointing at times. It's true that all these have given opportunity for anyone to earn. You don't even need to put in a capital when you start. But then the system mirrors the way the real world works- the rich getting richer. The gap between a whale vote and a dolphin and what more between a minnow is too big, like the gap of the rich and the poor.

And someone told me that some people treat you based on your SP and I have observed that happening. If we have the same vote value, this could also change the way some people treat others. And there will be real decentralization because everyone has the same influence and power isn't concentrated to a few.

I feel that it will still be the same. The only difference will be instead of pursuing whales for upvotes, everybody will be pursuing everybody. They will be people with 500 account whose sole objective is to upvote, there will be people who would expect you to upvote them because they upvoted you. People would rather upvote their friends than upvote strangers... It goes on and on.

The issue with steemit remains the money factor. Remove the financial value of votes and see how calm it would become.

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The only difference will be instead of pursuing whales for upvotes, everybody will be pursuing everybody.

I think that's a huge difference. But for me, I would not use the word "pursue". Sure, that's one strategy. You can try to pursue everyone for upvotes. Instead though, I would rather use the word "attract." That's how it works on all other social media sites, right? On YouTube, the most successful users do not pursue other YouTube users for likes and views. They create content that attracts users. I think there is a key difference between "pursue" and "attract". Currently, to make money on Steemit, you don't need to create content that attracts many users. You just need some rich users to support you.

They will be people with 500 account whose sole objective is to upvote

As far as I know, it's already difficult right now to just create 1 account. I can't imagine creating 500. Plus, there are ways to make it even more difficult to create dummy accounts.

there will be people who would expect you to upvote them because they upvoted you

Sure, but that's how it is already now. That will always be the case no matter what. With the current system, you can make lots of money like that. But that won't be the case if all votes are equal. Again, think of YouTube. Those who play the "scratch my back if I scratch your back" game won't make much money. To be successful, you really need to attract a lot of followers.

People would rather upvote their friends than upvote strangers

With the current system, my vote can be worth a lot of money. When it comes to money, I would rather give it to my friends than to strangers. This could be different if all the votes are the same value. Or it might not be different. But one thing is for sure. Nothing changes if the system doesn't change.

The issue with steemit remains the money factor. Remove the financial value of votes and see how calm it would become.

Well, the money factor is the whole point of Steemit. So if we remove the financial value of votes, how do we decide who gets how much money? Because if we completely remove money, there is no reason for Steemit to exist. We can just all go back to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. In other words, saying that we should remove money altogether from Steemit is the same as saying that Steemit is a failure and we should just shut it down.

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Yeah 'attract' is the correct word but they will still be the pursuit.

The dummy accounts will be created all right. Give man a reason to be desperate and he will surprise you with how innovative and inventive he can become.

It's not like I want the financial benefit removed but it would be better, as far as I am concerned, that the platform is designed in such a way to encourage community building as a way through which growth and wealth can be shared and calculated. The more invested one is in time and skill in the development of the community, the more rewards will follow.

Community programs like mentorship, curation shows, community account programs etc help to foster the sense of community. Such programs should be encouraged. Participation and interaction between whales, witnesses and minnows should be a part of it. There should be no isolationism as it is now, where you have whales with tons of knowledge who speak once a month.

When these parts are put together and people realise that you can be better by being an integral part of developing the steemit platform, then there will be improvement. When all people do is think of cashing out, it is difficult to deal.

I think I am running circles around myself. 😂

I can't disagree with this.

Just today I realised the problem with the inequality and the gap between rich and poor on steemit. I thought it was a good alternative to facebook and all the other suckers, but actually it is NOT a SOCIAL platform at all. It contributes to the world's problems and psychological issues of lack of power and self-esteem of the poor and incentivises an antidemocratic system that hasn't been seen in this form so far.

This platform is actually an evil playground for control, power and shows how societies should not work. And the user interface sucks very much, so it's not even worth it, I don't know where all this money goes.

And now, let's not talk about the monetary aspect, but the impact on objectivity. This platform will never provide neutral news to the world, as the trending and hot content will always be controlled by a small group of people with defined political, religious views and determined norms and values.

So how can we blame facebook for not dealing with the spread of fake news and favourising certain content, if we will NEVER be able to make steemit a neutral place for any information or view?