What is Steemit reputation and how does it work?

in steemit •  2 years ago  (edited)

All you wanted to know about reputation

A lot of users found themselves confused about what reputation is, how it is computed, how it changes, which effect it has on what, ...

I have compiled here all the information I found about reputation and tried to make it easier for everyone to understand how it works on Steemit.

What is reputation for?

The reputation has two roles:

  1. It is an indicator that shows how “trusted or appreciated by the community” you are.
  2. It is a tool that prevent user with low reputation to harm other users.

How it works

Reputation points are calculated using the mathematical function Log base 10.
Here is a representation of this function. (note for the purists: I know the X-axis scale is not correct for reputation. I made it as is for simplicity)

As you can see, is it very easy to raise your reputation at the beginning, but the higher your reputation, the harder it is to increase it. In fact, each time you want to increase your reputation of 1 point, it is ten times harder!

The main effect is that a reputation of 60 is 10 times stronger than the reputation of 59.
It is the same for a negative reputation. A reputation of -8 is 10 times weaker than the reputation of -7.

People with a low reputation cannot harm the reputation of someone with a strong reputation.

This explains why creating a bot that systematically flags other posts is useless, unless the bot has a high reputation, something that will be hard to achieve for a “flag bot”. In no time, the bot’s reputation will be ruined and it will become harmless.

There is no lower or upper limit to reputation.

About Reward Shares

Before continuing to see how reputation points are “computed”, you need to understand the concept of “Reward Shares“

When you vote for a post or comment, you tell the system to take some money (the reward) from the Global Reward Pool and give 75% of this reward to the author (the author reward) and to share the remaining 25% of the reward between the people that voted for the post (the curation reward).

The more votes for the post from people with high voting power, the higher both rewards will be.

But the curation reward is not distributed equally among all voters.
Depending on the timing of your vote, the voting power you have and how much you allocated to your vote (percentage gauge), you will get a tiny part of the pie or a bigger one.
The size of your part is called the reward share

Here is an example of the distribution of the reward share on a comment:

You see that, despite all users voted with full power (100%), they have different Reward Shares.

OK, now, let's go back to the reputation. All you have to do is to keep in mind this Reward Share value exists.

How reputation is “computed”

Each time some vote for a post or a comment, the vote can have an impact on the author reputation, depending on:

  • the reputation of the voter
  • the Reward Share of the voter

Let's have a look at the code that is executed each time you vote for something.
You can find it on github here

 const auto& cv_idx = db.get_index< comment_vote_index >().indices().get< by_comment_voter >();
 auto cv = cv_idx.find( boost::make_tuple( comment.id, db.get_account( op.voter ).id ) );

 const auto& rep_idx = db.get_index< reputation_index >().indices().get< by_account >();
 auto voter_rep = rep_idx.find( op.voter );
 auto author_rep = rep_idx.find( op.author );

 // Rules are a plugin, do not effect consensus, and are subject to change.
 // Rule #1: Must have non-negative reputation to effect another user's reputation
 if( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation < 0 ) return;

 if( author_rep == rep_idx.end() )
 // Rule #2: If you are down voting another user, you must have more reputation than them to impact their reputation
 // User rep is 0, so requires voter having positive rep
 if( cv->rshares < 0 && !( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation > 0 )) return;

 db.create< reputation_object >( [&]( reputation_object& r )
    r.account = op.author;
    r.reputation = ( cv->rshares >> 6 ); // Shift away precision from vests. It is noise
 // Rule #2: If you are down voting another user, you must have more reputation than them to impact their reputation
 if( cv->rshares < 0 && !( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation > author_rep->reputation ) ) return;

 db.modify( *author_rep, [&]( reputation_object& r )
    r.reputation += ( cv->rshares >> 6 ); // Shift away precision from vests. It is noise

Here you are. Everything you ever wanted to know is defined is those 33 lines of code.
Now that you have read them, isn’t it clear to you?

I you feel like this, don’t worry. I will help you to translate it to a human understandable language.

 auto cv = cv_idx.find( boost::make_tuple( comment.id, db.get_account( op.voter ).id ) );

Out of all votes, get the vote info of the voter (you)

auto voter_rep = rep_idx.find( op.voter );
auto author_rep = rep_idx.find( op.author );

Get the reputation of the voter (you)
Get the reputation of the author of the post or comment

 // Rule #1: Must have non-negative reputation to effect another user's reputation
 if( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation < 0 ) return;

Self documented, if you have the a negative reputation, the process stops.
You have no influence on other’s reputation.

if( author_rep == rep_idx.end() )

The process check the existing reputation of the author

  • Case 1: the author has no reputation yet
    // Rule #2: If you are down voting another user, you must have more reputation than them to impact their reputation
    // User rep is 0, so requires voter having positive rep
    if( cv->rshares < 0 && !( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation > 0 )) return;

Self-documented, if your vote is negative and your reputation is not positive, the process stop.

    db.create< reputation_object >( [&]( reputation_object& r )

The reputation of the author is initialized, then ...

    r.reputation = ( cv->rshares >> 6 ); // Shift away precision from vests. It is noise

Your Reward Share becomes the new author reputation.

  • Case 2: the author has some reputation, the process is pretty similar ...
    // Rule #2: If you are down voting another user, you must have more reputation than them to impact their reputation
    if( cv->rshares < 0 && !( voter_rep != rep_idx.end() && voter_rep->reputation > author_rep->reputation ) ) return;

Self-documented, if your vote is negative and your reputation is not greater than the author’s reputation, the process stop.

    db.modify( *author_rep, [&]( reputation_object& r )

The process will modify the existing author reputation

    r.reputation += ( cv->rshares >> 6 ); // Shift away precision from vests. It is noise

Your Reward Share is added to the author’s reputation.

That’s it. Easy and simple.

Finally, the reputation is simply a VERY BIG number that contains the sum of all the Reward Shares of every votes associated to your posts and comments.
If someone unvote your post, his Reward Shares get deduced and your reputation is lowered.
If your post or comment gets flagged, the Reward Share is deduced and your reputation is diminished.

To display it as a human readable number , you can use the following formula:

max(log10(abs(reputation))-9,0)*((reputation>= 0)?1:-1)*9+25

How to raise your reputation

The best way to increase your reputation to get votes from people with a positive reputation and, even better, with a lot of voting power.

To achieve this goal:

  • publish quality posts. Forget quantity, it's about quality!
  • take part in the discussions (you can get extra rewards and reputation points for your comments)
  • vote carefully (do not vote for crap posts, vote for appropriate content and authors)
  • increase the number of followers and build your following list


I hope you now better understand how reputation works and how to build it.

Remember, reputation is a key factor which reflect how you behave and how the members of the community evaluate your work.

As in real life, having a high level of reputation is a hard work and a long run.
And as in real life, ruining it can be very fast. Then it will be even harder to rebuild.

If you aim at top reputation, focus on quality and on a constructive attitude.

Thanks for reading!

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Very helpful information.
But the lower reputation is not -8
I don't know the lowest one, but wang's is -16 ;)

Yep, this limit was when reputation was introduced. Post udated!

reputation has nothing to do with how much a downvote bot can effect your account. it is their SP that dictates that. they could have 0 reputation but 200k SP and kill your account

@masterroshi @arcange Can either of you explain where the authoring and curation rewards go after a down-vote bot zeros out the total? Let's assume $2.00 in votes from 10 up-voters before the bot down-votes, zeroing out the Pending Payout reward value.

Also, is the SP used in the process of voting returned to voters, after a down-vote bot hits the post?

Do you know what motivates anyone to run down-vote bots? Is there a payout to them? Do they collect what would have gone to authors and curators?

Are either of you developers for the Steemit platform or know who the developers are?

Your insight and advice would be great. Thanks.

As an FYI, the following is memo text from a transfer.

Hi *************, i am a collective run account fighting spam in spanish and trying to keep the blockchain clean. We are constantly looking for support and wanted to ask if it was possible to reach an agreement. At the moment we both upvote quality posts and downvote spam because of the limited resources at hand, might sound counter intuitive but we want to secure the support of the community and show we are about a clean chain, but if the delegation requieres no upvotes we have no problem and will stick to it. We have a reverse fanbase bot ready to go but at the moment we are working manually both curating and downvoting and leaving personnal comments. thanks for your time and atention. best regards ****************

Why would the recipient of the transfer and memo want down-voting exclusively? And why is the memo author using up-voting as a tool to convince the community that their actions are all about a clean chain?

i believe if there is a downvote then the rewards pool will simply send out less rewaeds.

SP is indeed NOT returned to the voters it is in essence lost. which creates a disincentive for that voter to vote on that type of post again.

As far as incentives for downote bots, the is only vengence and it is actually a waste of time. they are simply trying to create influence and be able to censor content they dont like or approve of.

If you want to get more info on the people developing the blockchain, check out the steemit github and reach out to the folks making some of the commits.

I did drop by GitHub, but didn't spend much time there. Started reading the code...I'd have to dedicate time to that and don't have it to spare. Thanks though, I will look for names of those making commits.

Well, evidence speaks to the contrary regarding the profitability of running down-vote bots. I've seen monthly bittrex transactions as high as $10k. You can look at their account page wallets and see next to nothing for the week, for example: curation(61.064 SP) /authoring rewards (zero) and still see curation of 605.46 SP, authoring of 14.49 SP and steem of 14.48 in SteemWorld. You can trace the source there too.

I'll throw a thought out for you to contemplate: WHO benefits by having rewards returned to the Global Reward Pool and HOW do THEY profit from delegating to exclusive down-voting bots?

Heading over to Minds.com. Look me up if yo have an account there.

Wow the post is very usefull and it is of help to me because am new here . please my boss with higer repitations should kindly upvote my coment and follow me please just help me i really need help around here .thanks.

The higher is 80 and the lowest is -20.

so my 25 is not that bad :)))

lol, 25 is default, not good or bad, you're in limbo man! :p

Thank you for bringing me down to earth!! :(


Haha, you'll be 26, 30, 40 before you know it ;)

I jumped from 25 to 27 somehow.

That's what happens when people like your comments and posts. The higher the rep of the person the more it will change.

This happened like half an hour ago btw

Yes really informative because even moat of the old people don't know how it works?

That was the most important thing I read on steemit today. Never knew there was so much going on behind the scenes for reputation, thanks for sharing was very useful.

Thanks for your positive feedback!

Thanks I literally had no idea how reputation worked until I read this.

How does someone flag a post? Why would they do that?

well. maybe if it's stuff like gore, illegal activities(like porn you really don't want to see).
or a complete garbage post.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Thank you for putting together this informative post on the complex subject of reputation. I am sure it will help the newer members to the community to understand their reputation score better.

100% upvote and re-steem

Have a fantastic weekend!
Steem on,

Thanks you. A good week-end to you!

Great post! How did you find out about the minimum being -8 ? I thought it was possible to go as low as we want

I don't think that's correct either. I believe -8 was the lowest score a user had when reputation was initially created, but the front end representation has changed since then.

You're right. I'm such an old-timer =)
Post updated!

That just mildly boggled my brain!

great overview.Makes it a lot clearer. Thank you. It took me ages to get from 51 to 51.7 though so goodness knows how long it will take to get to 53. 60+ seems pie in the sky at the moment!

Thank you, there is a lot to learn about this steemit business. I was reading up on it when I first signed up and it seemed simple enough, but it took 2 weeks to get my account active and I forgot about it. Now I'm on here and I'm looking around I can see it is quite complicated. I look forward to figuring it all out and these type of posts help a lot. Thanks again.

🍒 I still think that there's a big flaw with that system, because if somebody with high reputation and/or high Steem Power, does not like you or you make a mistake or whatever, they can flag you and then your....

But, well no system is perfect, right?

Make friends with people with higher reputations, be yourself as that attracts people like you, brand yourself, and you may continue to grow that way. Love the South Park meme. Love it. I'm Oatmeal.

Thank you for sharing the useful information such that I can know more about the reputation and I think it is a good system since it could reflect the user's good or bad behavior and less users will having bad behavior such as plagiarism because of the decrease in reputation.

Very informative post, it's a shame you don't get rewarded for it after 7 days. Is this going to be changed?

Thanks for taking time to share your research with the steemit community

Still need help here. So only people who have been previously rewarded can reward with reputation? So how can there be any change in popular opinion in the community arguing against the post? Wont the most powerful people punish people for their dissenting opinion? and wont people with low reputations just abandon the system? or just turn into dead fish? Guess I need to read more.

This post is extremely helpful, I have been working hard to become a helpful part of the community by sharing thoughts and ideas...but for some reason I see my reputation drops between visits. It was 27, then 25, 27 again, and today 22. I feel like I might have been missing something. I appreciate the time you spent in sharing.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Thanks, very infomative and helpful


what a sweet post ! thank you so much

ALSO , if you promote your posts ..meaning you PAY to put them in first positions , then more people can see them and you get more chances for rewards ..it is a pyramidal effect as well , so VERY tricky to go high

i will vote for you as a witness arcange

Thanks for helping me to gain understanding.

I am curious as to why there is the manipulation of rewards for curation dependent on time, and wealth. I see no good reason why an upvote of someone with a lot of sp three hours after a post should be valued any differently than an upvote from someone with little sp two hours after a post was made.

I can see why a post from someone with higher reputation might be valued more than someone with lower reputation, and do support this, as a means of preventing bad actors from harming good.

I am suspicious that varying the value of votes by the wealth of the voters permits gaming the system and potentiates a kind of economic censorship, in which the wealthy would have the ability to control the speech of the rest of the community.

While there are benefits of wealth, I do not think censorship, or a form of economic blockade, which is exactly what is happening to Youtube presently, is at all desirable, tenable, or beneficial the Steemit in the long run.

Indeed, if this is actually the case, which I am still trying to ascertain, that kind of systemic inequity will render Steemit both a tool of repression, and highly vulnerable to competitive platforms that do create fair valuations of peoples contributions to the community.

Are you able to help me understand better this aspect of Steemit?


Thank you for sharing . How does vesting work?

Thanks a lot for this explanation, clears up a lot.

Thanks you.

Great works Thank you for explanation

Nice sharing, thank you give information about reputation. :)

I was actually curious about this system and I didn't even know I was hehe.. thanks for such quality information. You've earned my measly follow ☺️

Thanks =)

Thank you for the tutorial. A lot of this is complicated. Thanks for breaking it down for minnows like me. Have a great weekend!

Thank you!

This is exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks for explaining it in an easy to understand way @arcange.

Glad it helped.

Concise explanation of the reputation system, thanks!


Great article @arcange. That clears it up how voting works and how important keeping your reputation in good standing really is. One problem though with this setup. People being people and there's some oddballs out here i'm sure eveyone can agree, but who knows if that is a good thing or not. It seems we would have to judge people to come up with a final conclusion would it not? Not everyone is as social as we might expect. Maybe not as educated as we sometime expect either. Maybe in order to get in with the right crowd you have to pretend to be someone your not, and what good is that if you can't be genuine to yourself? I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to downvote something if they don't like it or whatever the excuse is. If you don't agree with it then why not have a conversation about it, or just leave the page alone and don't push anything? I get it if it's offensive but just out of your opinion your gonna give somone a black eye and they don't even get to know why most of the time. That is one thing i will never understand. It's like someone poking you in the eye and you don't even get to see who did it or why. If i look at a post and read it i do one of two things, comment and upvote or read it and leave. Why would i want to harm somones score. Maybe at the time i may not read it right but then if i go back at a later time i read it again and love it. I think it can have a big impact on why people want to get discouraged early because they don't understand it plus i think in my opinion it isn't the most perfect setup that it could become. I think we should look into why we should have a negative button to push. Maybe look into other options. Thank you for the clarity and maybe we can find the perfect solution so we can actually make this the go to platform that people want to use. Remember when this goes out to the public in mainstream we will have anyone and everyone coming on board posting like the wild west and we better have this profected by then.

Be yourself and share yourself with people you like, engage in conversations more, brand yourself, give people some hope, inspiration, share your world with them, as that is how we grow.

Thanks for you feedback.
PS: You should break up your answers with paragraphs. I nearly gave up reading it.

@arcange - you mention we should publish quality posts. Do you critique posts for newbies? If so, here is a chapter summary on my series about depression: https://steemit.com/health/@magick323/how-to-combat-depression-part-two-your-friends-are-assholes-and-other-hard-truths

I am wondering what I am doing wrong? Any advice appreciated!

Loved this and shared this in a comment as well. Very nicely written

Thank you!

Great post. Very informative. Thank you.

Thanks for sharing and providing a fantastic post on Reputation, lots learned!

A useful and interesting read! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you. I'll check it out a bit later.

I'm fairly new and didn't realize until yesterday that you can have a bad reputation. I guess it never dawned on me until I saw someone with a 5. Wow and it can even go negative. Thanks for the info. Great post.

Thank you for sharing those informations resteemed and followed :) !

Thank you

Thanks, very clear and useful!


Thanks... I do not get into the nitty gritty code of things, just sort of go with the flow. But your post caught my eye as I have been at 67 for a long time... and beginning to wonder.

Also my eSteem app has me at 68 on one page and still at 67 on others... so this was timely for me.

I should stick to the go with the flow thing.

Good stuff, thanks for the breakdown @arcange i enjoy the daily winners too!

thanks for explaining the reputation system... now i understand that getting to 60 reputation is no easy task

It's not an easy task, but it is not an unreachable target ;)

Great explanation! It was a big secret for me what is Reward Share and where it comes from.
I think It would be a good article for Steem centre wiki.


Steemit is cool but not easy to understand. I still dont understand it. They try to explain it easy but I still dont understand the need for steem power, dollars and steem. Its too much for a newbie. lol i dont even understand the 50% payout deal. I just try to post and say fuck it. but im really lost.

i sure do master

Funny Yoda meme here. Made my day.

Very informative. Just learned something new about Steemit!

That's what i was looking for thank you!

Could you detail "vote carefully (do not vote for crap posts, vote for appropriate content and authors)" What is termed a 'crap' post by the system?

Low word count, bad grammar?!

Thanks again!

Everyone has is own opinion on "crap post".
Just ask yourself "Would I give this author some bucks for this?"

Yes I was wondering from a data point of view. E.g number of words, number of spelling mistakes. Anything like this built into the system?

No, there is no analysis of the content.
You can write post with one word , or as many errors as you want, it won't hurt anyone but your readers.

Great, thanks for the information on this.

Great article explaining the importance of reputation. Thank you for this contribution to the community. However, I can't find the resteem handle ?

Thanks for your comment.
You can't resteem this post because it has been published "long time" ago.

So, in how many days a post can be resteemed. Is it 7 days or more than that?

This is a post 2 months old. Unfurtunately I was not able to re-steemit either.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Its great. Many things i have come to know from this post. Really its helpful for me as i am a new user of STEEMIT. Thanks again

Great post @arcange. I had some strugles myself to understand the reputation system when I started so I guess this post is more than usefull for new members :)

Thank you

I was wondering about that little number next to my name. This explanation was greatly appreciated and I will try to pass that info to the Spanish community of Steemit. You are wonderful Arcange. Thank you for taking the time to explain the numbers to us!!! Keep giving us more light about how the Steemit system works. I greatly appreaciate it. Upvote and re-steemit.

Very profound information. As you are very precise in your explanation, translating even the source-code for us non-coders (I really appreciated, thank you)... I was wondering if some of your information later on was on another level of "precision", or maybe I missunderstood some argument?
Your conclusion was...

To achieve this goal (raise your reputation)
• vote carefully (do not vote for crap posts, vote for appropriate content and authors)
• increase the number of followers and build your following list

  1. I understood "voting for crap" wastes my votingpower that could be better invested in upvoting good content... but does it harm my reputation? how?

  2. Increase and build up followers and specialy the following list... does this directly influence my reputation? and how?
    I could understand the following argumentation: many followers... so many people have my post in theire home-tag and it might be more likely that they come back and vote again for my content... was that your argument? or is there any deeper more direct relation? (btw. I found that many people voting for me often without following me)
    And the argument about the people I follow? Why ist very important to care for whom I follow with regard to my reputation?

This really was very useful, thanks so much for that explanation!

Thank you for explaining the reputation system clearly, I now understand better why reputation score is falling.

Good explanation

You put in good work on this one! Thank you!

Thank you

Thanks for the easy-to-understand explaination. I am suffering from low reputation due to being a new user and being downvoted/flagged by steemcleaners on one of my posts. Hope to recover soon by making more quality contributions to the community. Thanks again and all the best to you for this helpful post :)

very nice thanks for sharing

This has finally cleared everything for me. Thank you!!!

nice! now I know.

This post is quite mathematical, I LIKE IT!
Thank you for taking the time to explain reputation.

Thank you a lot. This post really help me understanding what reputation on steemit means.

How does voting carefully on things effect my reputation score? What is the math behind that?

Voting on Steemit might be similar to an auction, to a bidding process. Some kind of game. You get rewarded for voting for something that goes on to reap larger rewards. Generally, the more votes, the more rewards there is. Some of that is mentioned in the post here. I've seen other posts about them. I don't have the math, the formulas here but have seen them before. But maybe you can at least get the generality of the voting system. Voting is impacted by your voting power. Each time you vote, your power goes down from 100%, step by step, towards 0% and it may take a few days for your voting power to go back up towards 100%. More voting power (%) means you may get more rewards, potentially. And the rewards are added to your total reputation score. You can see your reputation score at http://steem.cool

Thank you for in detail explanation :)

Thanks for the post! After reading everything I felt like I just watched an episode of Black Mirror.

Thanks so much will use this to explain to others!

You are rocking with posts Today. This is A must read one.

Thanks! =)

Thanks for posting this, was a bit confused on how it related to my earnings or lack thereof lol

Thanks for this. It let me know that I'm basically on track and gave me ways to improve. Yay!

Thank you for the explanation and the breakdown of code with the meaning. It all makes sense to me now. I have definitely followed you!

I'm new to this amazing platform and I'd like to thank you Sir for this very helpful information.

@arcange Hi quite a valuable information. I've been reading few posts on reputation and have a small doubt on it.
While it says more the like you get on your posts, the positive will be the impact. Does this mean using bot for those 50-60 upvotes makes sense? I realize they don't have much value so how will that go? Sorry if that sounded like a stupid query.

Thank you very much, it was very useful for me.

I am a Steemer since last August and I just found out how the reputation works! Lol. Thank you @arcange!!!

Never too late to learn =)

And where can we find the Reputation status???!! Follow me guys!

This was very clear. I've been on Steemit a few weeks, and this helped fill some gaps in my understanding. I really enjoyed how you broke down the code. Thank again!

Thank you for sharing! So the first meaningful milestone would be having 60 reputation points yeah?

Not the first one, but a good one ;)

Thanks for this @arcange. I've been enjoying a lot of content from others that I follow with a +50 reputation and this post helps me understand how they got there. Good content, good following, and hard work! -Cheers

The definition of quality can be more relative than objective depending on who is defining that word for example. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to me may not be beautiful to you and what is beautiful to you may not be beautiful to me and same thing goes for quality. Some people post quality stuff but may not be seen by some people and therefore may not see immediate benefits. The potential may still be there for those with better content, but it is similar to being a better singer than Beyonce and yet undiscovered by talent scouts, agents, & so that is the paradox or the dilemma that people have. People generally have to balance themselves between quality & quantity because first, quality is key, but like a tree falling in the forest when nobody is around, did the tree make a sound, and do we make an impact like a tree, do we truly influence people when nobody knows us, is the question. So, it may take some self-marketing which includes being more engaged in the comments for example and it can take time to grow your brand. In order to grow, it may take a bunch of work, dedication, consistency. Rome wasn't built in a day. Thanks for the post. I'm Oatmeal.

I'm investigating this issue. Thanks, the article is very helpful. Vote for you.

good information , help me lots..

Insightful, thank you. I discovered this post from this one. Makes an interesting read.

I am new user. And this information will help me a lot.
thank u for the useful information.

This is exactly what i have been searching for, Well explain @arcange. Thanks so Much

  ·  last year (edited)

Glad you found it and it has been useful to you

Thank you for the quality info on this subject !

thz for explanation

Bookmark good resource.
Thank you

Steemit it is Dark Mirror .

Great Post . I think Im heading in the right direction .
Thank you !