Tagging and Flagging - Hidden by a whale - How to evolve further

in #steemit5 years ago

First of all sorry for not having me introduced yet, currently I´m just lost in reading and commenting about all the great stuff that is posted here and yea, I also happen to loose my mind a lot into thinking how we could advance #steemit and so or so I happen to have not much clue what this I is all about :) What I happen to know is that I have a heart for the underdogs of the society and think a lot how we could help through creating platforms like #steemit. I´m also sorry for not being an native English speaker, so feel free to help to evolve this post. Your advices are more them welcome!

Especially I like the idea of using an decentralized state less crypto currency like bitcoin to give a fair distributed universal income to all participants, so that in the end nobody must die anymore on this beautiful planet because he had no access to something artificial like money. Ultimately I would like to see a gift economy evolving on this planet where people are valued how much they give not how much they receive, but thats another story :)

More hopefully if I find some time..
Martin, just another dreamer in this beautiful world...

But now back to the topic:

Tagging and Flagging - Hidden by a whale - How to evolve further

The last days Tagging and Flagging has become more and more an issue here on #steemit
Here are my to cents to how we could evolve further, but first lets see what is the situation right now…

Many newcommers see big payouts, get curious, want to join #steemit to test their luck used the wrong taggs to bring their post to the front and get finally hidden by a big whale…

Hidden by a whale

Ship sunk, #reputation destroyed, posts invisible, new participant lost…

@sirwinchester happened to write a good summary what is currently happening:

I just want to add, that the new reputation system which was introduced some days ago makes this hidden by a wale effect even lot worse

Many of these users have after one hit a reputation of -6!
That has the effect, that their posts and comments are not visible anymore. I don't know if you realized yet, but yes, there in the very very bottom right is a new button showing hidden posts.
There are many of the sunken ships that haven been hidden by a whale and try now to become visible again…

I understand that @dantheman and other whales, in short people with a lot voting power, are trying their best to protect #steem with flagging posts for tag abuse. But currently especially with the new reputation system this creates a lot of collateral damage. Many newbies come, post something with wrong tags, get hidden by a whale for it and then happen to be invisible though the new reputation system…

Ship sunk, Newcomer lost...
Steem Ship sunk
That´s the situation right now. And yes we are in the very early stage of steem, so lets look together how we can improve it. Generally there are different aspects to it like usability of tagging, usability of flagging and economic incentives of the current payout algorithm that encourages tag abuse. In the following I want to look into these aspects and look how we could evolve them.

But of course the most important is the community itself. We all must stand together help and educate each other how to use #steemit. And yes its a very new experience for all of us, we all have to learn, especially the whales and delphines that take a big part of the responsibility in this very new adventurous ocean!

How to evolve Tagging?

Like always, we must not invent the wheel again, so lets see what others do! Fore example in Stackoverflow participants with an certain reputation can edit and vote for tags. So why not make the same and let people simply vote what tags are right or wrong like other platforms do, thats it.

How to evolve Flagging?

Currently most likely more important is how we could evolve the current flagging system. First of all it would be good to require an comment, so that we can at least see why somebody flagged a post. This could be further improved through letting the ¨Flagger¨ select some of the most common reasons for flagging, like Facebook for example does. Yea I know we all hate Facebook in an certain way, but still its good to copy the good stuff if we want help to abolish it :) Of course we could also allow others to upvote or downvote the flagging. That would be even a lot lot better then Facebooks ¨lovely¨ censorship...

Introducing yellow cards:

Yellow card

What also could help is to introduce some kind of yellow card that warns a user of his wrongdoing.
Yes community rules must first be experienced and are often unspoken, so why not give newcomers a fair chance to improve... A yellow card can reduce the payout, maybe not that drastically like a flag / red card, but is normally not counted for the reputation score.
Generally it would be great to have also some short introduction text if you happen to flag the first person, so that you become to know what you do and if you should do and in what cases not.

Generally we should also think about improving voting:

I would suggest to allow 3 different kind of votes:

  • If you press the first time up-vote you only rank the post higher, no extra payout.
  • If you press the second time up-vote your vote is also considered for the payout.
  • If you press the third time up-vote you indicate that this post is very very important for you.

Important posts could be valued higher lets say 10x your voting power, but should be more limited then normal up-votes, lets say max 30 in the last 30 days.
This would also solve the problem, that many post get lot of payout, that simply link to a breaking news, like for example the post of the bitfinex hack. With this in place we could just make the post with the braking news more visible without giving an extra money for a post that is done in 10 seconds and would be more like a normal reddit / facebook like.
The same voting we could also do the opposite way:

  • 1 time pressed down-vote, the post just gets less visible (warning / yellow card)
  • 2 time pressed down-vote, you reduce the payout, same way as now. (red card)
  • 3 time pressed down-vote, your vote is counted 10 times, but limited to 30 times per 30 days (super dark red card)

Last but not least lets have a look at the economic incentives for using the ¨wrong¨ tags:

steem economics
Currently most of the categories / tags are not very rewarding because of the exponential valuing of the votes. I know the current #steem payout algo is a little bit more complex, but just to demonstrate what exponential payout means:
Take a category that has in average 10 votes per time period like for example ¨yoga¨ and one that has 20 like for example #steemit. The one with 10 gets 10 times 10 = 100 payout, the one with 20 gets 20 times 20 = 400 payout. Double the voting power means four time more payout! Therefore many try to fish in the most voted categories, which encourages… a yes you know it already :) … #hashtag abuse. Further the exponential payouts are also hindering #steemit to evolve to a wider audience, because all is concentrating on the top hashtags / categories.

To solve that I would suggest to make the payout linear, or at least lot more linear. First of all in away its your money that is redistributed with up to 10% each year, currently even a lot more with round about 0,1% per day. So it should be your choice for what to spend it. This would also have the positive side effect that even with few steem power you see that your vote counts something and brings a cent. We should not underestimate this effect for new users, to see that their vote finally counts something. Also users will spend their money more carefully if they understand that its finally their money they spent. Last but not least this would also help the underdogs, that have not much voting power and a simple linear voting power would be also much easier to explain.

The current exponential payout has mainly two reasons:
One is to dis-encourage self-votes, second is to have some high payouts like a lottery that can attract more users.

The best Tool to counter vote abuse – Total Transparency

The best tool to reduce self-payments we have already, its called the blockchain #steem is running on, or better named the transparency provided though using a block chain. If someone becomes know as all the time self-voting he can be warned / yellow card and then down-voted - flagged / red-card if needed thats it.

Allowing to ¨Flag¨ users directly

If needed we could also allow to directly flag / downvote a user. Here I would suggest the same system like outlined above. One time clicked down vote just muted, second time yellow card, third time clicked downvote red card. The same we could do the other way round. One time clicked upvote means following and liking the user, second time means trusting the user third time means fully trusting this user and verifying his identity. But with this we should be very careful. Flagging a user should be on the end of all taken considerations and not taken easily. Maybe good to require hard constrains who could do that and limit it drastically like max 30 times in 30 days.

Fair visibility for all posts

Helping the underdogs
Further currently posts are not only rewarded exponentially, but also they get a lot more votes if they become visible on the trending page. So even with linear vote-counting, they are rewarded exponentially, because they attract more voters through being visible.
It would be much more fair if the posts which are displayed on the main site as default are drawn in a lottery like style. Every time you reload the page the displayed posts on the top site could be drawn through a lottery. The more votes they have already the higher the chance to be selected. This would give all participants a fair chance to be listed at the top and therefore attract more votes.

Summary and happy steeming!

Happy Steeming
(wahle and delphine pictures from @sriwinchester post)
The good thing is we are just in the beginning of the decentralized revolution. There are many ways we could improve, especially the flagging and the payout algorithm could need some improvements. That was just my thoughts to improve #steemit for a hopefully better experience for all, especially the underdogs in our ocean :)

Hopefully this was not too long, yes you see I happen to think a lot about how we could evolve ;)
Feel free to share your thoughts about it. It would be great to have many involved in the evolution of #steem / #steemit.

Who knows, maybe one day we become even more then just some kind of open source Facebook alternative with a connected crypto currency. Lets do our best and most important have some fun by doing it!

HAPPY STEEMING! and thx a lot to @dan and @ned for all


@arcurus asked me to post the link to my article that solved most of the problems mentioned in this article: SteemIt voting algorithm problems and solutions from a programmer's perspective

thx for linking your article, just had a look at it and will comment there also :)
The summary of @calamus056 article is, as far as i understood it:

  • The voting power should be more drastically reduced with every vote, so that people think twice what to vote.
  • Negative votes should also reduce the same way the voting power, so people think twice before bownvoting
  • Negative votes should also get curation rewards similar to postive votes. this would encourage to help keep steemit clean
  • lot of negative votes should reduce the ability to post /comment...

Thanks for an interesting article,this kind of initiative is needed to improve steemit. And yay for Universal Basic Income! let´s start writing about that here on steemit.Maybe I will start myself tomorrow. And by the way,one way to make steemit more fair: https://steemit.com/steemit/@gord0b/steemcolab-a-collaboration-steemit-community-comment-to-join

These are all positively fair ideas that should be implemented on steemit. You're very profound, deep spirited, and have a "justice for the people mentality". I admire that. Thank you for sharing all these great ideas! It's fair. There's much pride within' the community and nobody wants anyone to step on there toes, especially when they are making bank. very well written with good ideas. I hope they don't land on deaf ears.

thx for your encouraging comment. Yea i wish, that we could develop a more close connection to the developers, so that we as community can evolve together. If someone knows some other inspiring post how we could #evolve further, please link it here, then i will look into it.

@owdy thx for linking your post! I like your idea of also rewarding ¨downvotes¨. It would be like having some kind of prediction market.

In short the @owd (s) idea could be summarized:
If you guess the value right you get rewarded.

Since there was a discussion about how to improve the voting, it I also linked to some of my ideas, I hope you don't mind :)

I'm wondering why a whale replies on my blog and doesn't bother to vote. It wasn't a nasty reply, but more about advertising someone else's blog? I find that a bit unfair. maybe?

lol, maybe his voting power is depleted same as my: https://steemstats.com/#/steemrolling
Even a wale can only make 20 likes per day without getting exhausted. But why not ask this question to his post? Ah now I know why... He just wanted to say, that you can also write anonymous by letting this other steemer publish your post for you. The benefit is also a much much bigger exposure to fellow steemers that follow this account. Have fun!

I apologize about coming to you earlier with my previous comment. It was my issue and I acted prematurely and immaturely. I should have been more prudent and come to my own conclusion. I put myself in an embarrassing spot and should be focusing more clearly. I won't let this happen in the future. It must be hard for you when people look to you for answers that we should be figuring out on our own. You take care - Peace.

You don't need to apologize. In away this topic was about whales :)
I'm happy if I can help. If you want you can reach me also in the steemit chat (Arcurus).
I just meant, that if you want to know why he acted like that, why not ask him ;)

Hello @arcurus can you check my profile. Last time before the reputation were still a single digit I have 6, now on the new reputation system I have 11. Can I ask what could the possible reason why I have this reputation? Just wanna know. Thanks.

Sorry if I keep on disturbing you @arcurus, it's just that I no one to ask for. About my reputation, few days ago when the reputation is at single digit I was at 6, now with the new reputation system I have 12. Isn't it a bit lower? What could be the possible reason for this?

The reputation system is in the very early days, so i guess it will change quite often in the next weeks, so dont worry too much...
With the two digit reputation it looks like they just display it now with two digits, but i have not looked into it if they changed something else also. Can it maybe be that you have gotten some downvotes and therefoe lost some reputation? Especially if you link / post not relevant content in their posts people get easily offended and flag you for that. Better to not do that...

Very good suggestions. It's unfortunate that such good ideas are failing to get views.

The lottery idea was very interesting as well as the up uP UP! vote idea.

If you don't mind me saying something critical though. Presentation is important and misspellings affect that presentation. See if your browser has a spell checker plugin or something similar to cut down on typos.

I really like the suggestions and would love to see something very similar implemented!

Followed, and hope to see more great ideas from you soon!

Thx for your great comment!
lol yea, the right spelling always was trouble some for me, its just i cannot remember how to spell it right :)
I think i used libre office for spell checking, but maybe i should look again? Best would be if I have somebody to double check... the next days I plan to divide the ideas in smaller posts and see if they get more traction...

I am using firefox, but I'm not sure if spell-checking is built in to it or if it's a plug-in that helps my spelling.

If I had infinite time I would have no issue with correcting the spelling errors. Alas, no infinite time for me!

Hope to see your posts soon.


Very interesting idea of having a tiered-vote system! It's definitely the first time I've seen someone suggest it and I wish more people had seen this earlier.