Self-voting user list since HF19 - PART 3 (potential comment abuse)

in #steemit4 years ago (edited)

This time we'll specifically look at potentially abusive self-voting on comments. Again we're looking at data from June 20th - July 18th 2017. All SBD values are excluding curation rewards. Total SBD is the total SBD a curator assigned to posts+comments.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article shouldn't be perceived as 100% accurate. When you spot significant errors, please leave a comment. Also keep in mind that the full list below is a raw data dump. In no way is it implied that all cases are considered problematic. It's for you to decide what you think about it and what to do with the information. The reason for names being included is that this is public information and others will release (and some already have released) the information independently.

Related articles:


The total author rewards for all comments was $230,754.392 SBD. At least $78,544.107 SBD was from self-votes. At maximum, when 100% of curation rewards are assumed to go to the self-voter as well, it's $104,725.476 SBD. So the total amount of rewards that went to self-votes on comments was between 34.04% and 45.38% (likely closest to 45.38%). This is only visible self-votes, we can't know how large the abuse is between multiple accounts that are owned by the same user.

To really focus on potential abuse, in the data dump below, self-voters that assigned less than 50% of the total SBD through self-votes on comments have been filtered. The remaining 216 users are already responsible for $32,962.620 SBD out of the $78,544.107 SBD that was self-voted by 8873 curators. For convenience the data has been sorted by the percentage of total SBD that's specifically assigned by self-votes on comments. All users in this list have assigned more SBD to themselves than to others, specifically through comments.

Explaination for me being on the list

I am also on the list, because when i found at about this problem on June 20th, i lost all hope for the platform. I got really angry and switched to 100% self-voting for about a week to make a point. I soon realized it wouldn't accomplish anything. I've stopped self-voting altogether since then.

Full list

NameTotal SBDSBD on own comments% SBD on own commentsComment self-votes

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I think all the "self voting lists" and the entire issues is completely over-shadowing all kinds of other work we should be doing on the Steemit platform.

To quote @smooth:

"Someone who buys SP and then selfvotes is not 'draining' anything and at best can get back a portion of what was put in. It causes no harm at all."

Investors are the ones who underwrite all of the rewards on this platform. If you are not an investor, or are only a smaller investor, you need to focus your efforts on creating inspiring content that makes investors want to give their money to you. Whatever else they do or don't do with their money (including self-voting) is not your concern and does not harm you in any way. Nevertheless, you do have a downvote that you can use to disagree with what you think are underserved rewards. I suggest using it."

"The idea of creating 'lists of shame' and demonizing people is divisive, creates a hostile and toxic environment attractive to no one, and serves no useful purpose. There is no way to tell from these lists whether the content is deserving of the rewards or not. The only way to tell is by actually looking at the content, and if you think it is undeserving, downvote it."

"Your own statistics show that self-voting is awarding about 8.5% of the reward pool. I don't find that suggestive of any problem whatsoever. It is probably a very reasonable number given that the current parameters give people 10 full power votes to make per day. Thus one is being applied to the voters' own content and nine to others' (on average, of course). Seems fine."

Yep, self-voting is a real problem. What do you think about my proposal to equivalize curation and author rewards?

if you haven't read it yet, then it deserves a peruse

I proposed that some ways back. More curation rewards rewards voting for others, and makes no difference to self voting.

I like this idea too.

At a certain percentage, it would mean that randomly up-voting would be just as profitable as self-voting. I'm not quite sure what that percentage would be, as I think it would need quite a bit of thought and reading, but maybe that level is optimal, even if it's more than 50% for curation.


I'm just gonna hi-jack this comment to suggest that a more helpful list might be of the most generous whales who use a majority of their votes for other people

Despite all the discussion regarding self-voting as of late, I still don't have an inherent problem with it, and see the problems of: low-quality/low-effort posts and comments, high numbers of accounts per user, and cross-voting amongst them (often via bots of some type), as being much bigger problems worth immediate efforts to try and stop.

But I'm a curator-at-heart, not a poster or blogger, so that probably significantly affects my outlook on the subject.

If anyone takes the time to make a quality post or comment, I don't see why they should care what anyone else thinks of them voting it up themselves versus relying on anyone else. If they've gotten their SP by some legitimate means (sweat equity or cold hard cash), then they've already put into Steemit exactly what's owed for that privilege, so they're entitled to wield it as they see fit.

Demanding anything else from them is just a misplaced sense of entitlement, plain and simple. No one is owed an upvote from anyone else that they could have used on themselves. Post something good enough that it makes them choose differently.

We will see some more names in the next few days. People are buying Steem Power delegation and there is no other way to use this except for upvoting their own posts and comments. Obviously, peeps want a higher return on their investment.

There is at least one other way to use it, to vote on others :)

Higher return on investment will be short lived, the more funds you withhold from content creators, the more the STEEM price will drop so then you more tokens of something that's worth less, that doesn't accomplish anything.

Well, the people of this planet use to adopt short term tactics rather than going for long run. I have seen many whales who are self voting, could be seen from your report as well.

Short term gain leads to long term loss. I am absolutely horrified at seeing some of the names on this list. Those who don't defect in this Prisoner's Dilemma are clearly few and far between. There is no way that it will be changed from being a prisoner's dilemma, because the biggest stakeholders are, albeit more subtly, milking all the incoming investors too.

Sooner or later the rest of the world is going to learn that money goes one way into Steem. Into the hands of exploiters who mean to suck out every last bit from every idiot that comes along and tries to invest money to promote good content.

You really have to be an idiot. Very clever of @dan to make a system that so advantages parasites like himself. Now they are the majority and it's only a matter of time before nobody will throw their money down this toilet.

And it's never going to change while @smooth and @dan are such large stakeholders. They will just unvote any witness who campaigns to have this system changed.

No doubt this is a work of a genius, and I respect that genius, if not the necessarily the morality, depending on which way it goes.

To me, if this system isn't changed soon though, it demonstrates that it is a Ponzi Scheme. It's really disappointing to have just discovered something so promising, only to realise it's possibly not what is seems!

I hold onto the hope that something changes in the right direction to demonstrate our fear is wrong. I realise you're convinced already.

I think the first steps would be, along the lines you've proposed:

  1. To increase the power-down period again.Perhaps gradually extending it by one week every month (set in software in the next hard-fork).

  2. Prevent (or mandate) witness self-voting

  3. Prevent (or mandate) direct self-voting on comments and posts

  4. Perhaps some indirect self-voting could be discovered through tools, and somehow become a 'proof of work', useful mining operation.

Agreed 100% I am quite sure it is a ponzi scheme. The longer the big names in the top 19 witnesses hold out on refusing to address this issue, the more guilty they look. I laid out the scheme pretty clearly as to how there has never been any real power for anyone except the in-crowd over sufficient control to determine hard fork vetos, or not. Between @dan, @smooth, @abit, and a couple of others, there is sufficiennt voting power to pin at least 14 witnesses to the top 19, which basically means they control what little vestige of democracy there is.

Never mind the fact that steemit arbitrarily defines such changes as giving minnows a 25% vote capability (which is possible even with bandwidth limits), or even considering banning direct self voting, as 'feature requests' that repeating such offence (even if on different topics) will get you banned from the github, and that you must 'post it here in the forum' where, wouldn't you know it, anyone with any amount of voting power that could propel it to the trending page, where supposedly stinc might start to consider it, except they merely have to pointedly ignore such posts and nobody ever sees it and by magic, their power continues unabated.

It's the most gratuitously fake corporate democracy ever. The shares were issued to the inner circle at the beginning, and they have used their excessive share as a group to lock everyone else out. I am pretty sure that if this was a regulated asset (steem power), that the way these people acquired such a humongous share would be 'insider trading' because insiders, members or employees or other close associates, are not allowed to buy the shares until sufficient advertising has been made to offer shares to the public.

Make no mistake, steem power is a share. It even says so in the whitepaper, indirectly, right near the top, when it talks about reddit talking about giving users shares and this giving thtem power in the system.

Now that the SEC has ruled on the subject, I think that they should be informed that 250 million dollars worth of market cap included a closed early share issuance in digital form, that constitutes insider trading, and is being used to shut out competition within thte corporate democratic system and milk the small shareholders of their assets.

I have not either mentioned that the actual infrastructure has a built-in ticking timebomb in that eventually, the servers will not be able to complete a replay and the site will cease to work...

But people think I am exaggerating in all these things. How could I possibly be so sure about this? Go look up the limitations of graph database systems, for a start, and search for 'large binary blobs' in connection with this. Binary, or UTF-8, it really makes no difference. Large Blobs. Eventually it causes this type of database to become non-functional because of the explosion of indexes and index sizes. I wouldn't even be surprised if Graphene has a hard coded limit of 256Gb shared memory (if we are lucky, if it's 128Gb, it will exceed its own memory addressing capacity withtin 6 months).

I love reading your analysis, even though I'm unsure what to think.

I don't know enough about these systems to have an informed opinion on this, but do you think that this is Dan's warm-up act then, and before it technically exhausts itself, he will bring it down, and transition to EOS? Does EOS also have these technical problems, or have they been addressed in some way?

I do find it hard to imagine that the blockchain couldn't be somehow truncated (so a complete replay isn't necessary), and earlier stuff archived in some way, whilst the new continues. I know very little about blockchains though, and maybe I fundamentally don't understand the situation.

I do wonder why you worked at being a witness if you knew of the inevitable demise of the infrastructure, or did you learn that later?

Since Graphene is open source, would it not be fairly easy to determine to what shared memory limit is, if that's important?

snort yeah, I don't think Dan gives a flying fuck about what mess he left behind, nor do I think that his new system gives any mind to fixing it, I am pretty sure it's just another racket that he thinks he can get away with.

Yes, I learned and watched the process of decay during the 6 months I was working on and off with steemd. For every improvement, there has been a greater overall decline. The only way the technical problems won't become even bigger than the game mechanics problems, is if they spend at least triple their current budget on development.

Yes, I would think it would not be hard to discover. The thing you need to look for is the size of the shared_memory address byte size. That will tell you how big it gets before it runs out of actual addressing capability.

Not happy to read that. If it is a Ponzi Scheme I should withdraw all my assets immediately and stop posting here. Not sure if I want to do that though. :(

I'm powering down, and getting whan I earn back out as quickly as I can. I even had made the mistake about 6 weeks ago, of putting liquid steem (1235) back into SP after being delayed 19 days by Poloniex.

I'm continuing to post and comment and vote here, as long as here still exists, but I'm no longer in any delusion about the sustainability of this platform, and I feel a strong imperative to quickly build a basic replacement that will provide for the needs we have all acquired by becoming accustomed to using this platform.

Hopefully within 6 weeks there will be a working forum, rewards system, and an initially non-rewarded base of servers running the software, and a basic web interface for the discussion and voting system parts.

I will be getting on the task within the next 24 hours. I don't think I can make any valid excuse not to get going on it now, even this sleep problem, I have to fix it right away. The same with the allergy problem I am having, which is probably connected. This allergic dermatitis I have at the moment is especially irritating.

A better idea would be to just start with increasing incentive to vote on others and get this UI improved A LOT.

Increasing the power-down period should provide that incentive.

Have you written about the UI changes that you think would help?

A little here and there, but it's mostly a waste of time. They don't seem to care about the UI at all (yet).

I don't think the power-down period has to change. It's the least problematic.

Very good point. That's why the system must be adjusted.

The simplest way I see is to have an account which relies on a database of current and past abuse determined directly from the blockchain, and which resolves within the pay period to neutralize as much of the abuse as possible, and which people would delegate power to. The account wouldn't earn anything, it wouldn't post, but who's activities will have to be actively maintained through another mode like discord or a forum. I don't see it as a major problem thought. I don't see how the system can be adjusted either, but it clearly affects user retention and engagement.

Interesting, but why would people delegate to it? It seems that would cause just the same resentment and division between 'community members' who delegate for the good of the platform, and those who don't out of self-interest, figuring they can better use their SP for profit.

The system can be change to have any agreed restrictions on the blockchain logic I guess, but only where there's a will.

People that aren't exclusively interested in making a profit would delegate because they see the long term benefits of addressing this with the mechanism that is in place for these issues.

The system can be changed, that is not the point. The point is how.

There is not enough SP in the hands of people who would support it, to achieve what, ironically, @smooth and @abit did with "The Experiment", on this issue. To be precise, they are the very core target we would probably be dealing with. I'm starting to see why berniesanders has been working hard to raise the collective share of the minnows to a level where as a group, they can start to fight back against this monopoly, but, honestly, if you ask me, it's a hopeless cause.

I haven't been around long enough to know about 'The Experiment', I'd need to read about it.

wouldn't you have to sell them to drop the price?

It's not only about direct loss of value. It's also about losing out on potential new investors because users are unhappy about the platform in it's current state.

Ironically, it's a counter-aragument by the self-voting crowd, that not having self voting would repel investment. It's patent nonsense, because this is precisely what would condemn Steem as an antisocial, basically, ponzi scheme, dressed up as something else.

Nice jackass. Stop asking stupid questions you little bitch.

You're looking for some male attention.... I'm not surprised, your meds seemed like they were working last week did you stop taking them or what?

I see you're powering down?! What happened?! Did your food stamps run out, or you need some extra cash for your section 8 housing? Hang in there sweetie. Just because you're an idiot, doesn't mean you people don't like you. In your case it does, but not for others.

Yeah I need extra cash for section 8 housing that the government would cover, and if I was on food stamps the only way that could apply would be if I was making to much money to be eligible. Before I said you were looking for male attention and now you're calling me sweetie? You aren't very good at this.
If you wanted to know the real reason I am powering down read this very articulate post I found. I never knew about these celebrity bloggers and money falling out of the sky very undervalued post imo.

Oh and speaking of section 8 are these blue concrete floors in your living room covered by an area rug that looks like a cut out section of carpet?

Cya in a few days kiddo going on vacation with my girlfriend who's not a canine.

Lol. Sure you are. And yes I have seen many pictures of you. You'd be surprised what you can find out about someone these days if you know how

Lmfao/lol/rofl. You're so fucking funny. You came up with that all by yourself?! 👏🏼

Anyone with any sense knows that that people spending shit loads of money to buy or hire SP are not going to use that to vote for other people. That's the height of naivety. Of course they're going to use it to upvote themselves. Most of those people are An-caps, not communists.

Yup, we can't really blame the users of a flawed system. If the system allows it, people will do it :)

Yes very true. However Steemit is not a country, nor does it have a government in that sense, so the AnCap ideals as applied to state (or indeed anti-state) politics often seem to me to be misdirected. Steemit is more like a company which has very convoluted rules for distributing newly issued shares (SP) and operates a currency (STEEM / SBD).

We all, as shareholders, have some limited (extremely limited as @elfspice as pointed out) influence to change the arbitrary rules of new share issuance for the better long term value of the project as a whole. In real life companies, those shareholders looking for a quick payday at the expense of the project or those who take advantage of the other shareholders good will (willing to vote for others in this context) are similarly challenged. I am glad to say it is happening here too.

Good Information @calamus056, I upvoted!

Will you be my girlfriend now?

Yippee, friend free list. Thanks for this. I DO vote for myself. But maybe a quarter to a third of my voting power. This is a bit overboard.

Your percentage is about 25%, meaning you self-vote 25% of the rewards on comments of the total rewards you give out. That's slightly too high in my opinion. But you were probably not aware of it :)

Okay cool. I will definitely work on it. I've begun to notice though, that intelligent voting for others brings more rewards in terms of the favor being returned than self-voting.

Depends if you're a content creator or not. If you're exclusively a curator then it's almost impossible to make more money by voting on others compared to voting on yourself. And content creators are the small minority of people, so the protocol currently is very problematic for curators :)

Oh okay, I would define myself as a content creator and not a curator, so that makes sense.

onetree, why do they have the right to tell you what percentage you vote on yourself? You make content, you interact with others... You are benefiting the platform at your current level.

fyi, I don't care how much they talk about self-voting, however, the day anything "code-based" solution to self-voting is implemented, I will be powering down.

As you weigh my opinion, please note, I have not been on any list of self voters.

Yip, Steemit needs many code based solutions! You have always had strong opinions, which I really value.

@whatsup And what about a code based improvement in incentive to vote on others, without a direct "restriction" on self-voting?

P.S.: you misinterpreted the conversation about self-voting %, i was talking about comments, not posts. Comments don't deserve nearly as much as posts as proven by the averages.

If I write a well thought comment and want views I'll definitely selfvote, but if I just said something stupid I'll usually refrain. That said the MASSIVE decrease in votes on some of the legitimate content I post is a bit disheartening so I guess I really shouldn't contribute to a problem affecting me.

Do you mind my asking what tool you're using to analyze the blockchain data? I am using SteemSQL and linking to it through SSMS. I was curious if you were doing the same, or if you were using another method.

If you're also using SSMS, I'd be interested in talking with you about the query you ran.


I gathered the data with SteemJS and imported it into MySQL myself.

Ok, so your logic is in MySQL? or do you use another language?

I know MySQL has some distinct differences from SQL Server, but I've worked with both sets of logic before and it's not so different that you can't match things up.

I'm running a similar analysis using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which uses vanilla SQL, and was interested in the proper logic for calculation of payouts (how much goes to the author vs curator and such).

If you could point me in the right direction, or share that part of your code, I'd greatly appreciate it.


The SQL query depends entirely on how the database is setup. SteemSQL probably doesn't have the proper data to run the query.

SteemSQL has the entire blockchain (full node) ... At least that's my understanding of what is included..

Those services never have all data and/or aren't up-to-date.

Ok, no problem. If you don't want to share your logic, that's all you had to say rather than just try to discredit the source I'm using for my analysis. By the way, the SteemSQL DB is actually updated every few minutes.


There's no point in sharing my queries when it's a completely different database structure. I'm happy to help you with building the right query, but my concern when i looked at SteemSQL was that it had data missing.

The worst problems are most human profiles being spammers and spammer-minded and this:

The suicide part is not having direct ads, although the promoted content and the system as is now, actually encourage advertisement in a sense and help mitigate some of this problem.

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Even, some whales & witness are also on the list

Yep, you would think they especially have a huge benefit from supporting content creators instead of themselves.

This should be the ideal case, there also many witnesses who chose option of 'Decline Payment'.

Well, not so many, but they're there!

I didn't make the friggin list yet.


You only show up with 13 self-votes on comment for a total of only 5%. That's quite acceptable :)

Where do you see that? I'm curious about my stats.

In my database.

So I need to vote -- on my own comments -- more than 15 different times in a week -- to make the list?

Nope, this list shows all people that rewarded themselves with more than 50% of the total rewards they gave out in that month, specifically through comment self-votes.

I wouldn't know how to do that.. but I'mma try.

@pilcrow You showed up as 0 self-votes on comments between June 20th and July 18th.

so self voting is not advisable sir?

Selfishness is never good, but we all are from time to time.

Voting on others still gives you curation rewards so it's not entirely a loss, right? :)

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You have earned a follow from me because of this post.

Keep up the good work!

I also earned a lot of unfollows ;)

hahaha oh well!

Interesting read @calamus - It certainly seems like a problem which can only get worse. I'm only 4 weeks in here, but I get the sense that more than many here are motivated by their own selfish greed and by absolutely nothing else whatsoever. In some ways, I understand this - we've all go to put food on the table, and some, sooner than later.

BUT (a minnow's cloudy uninformed perspective)

As steemit grows, as I'm sure was the original intention (for one reason or another), and unscrupulous 'investors' get wise to the easy pickings of self-voting and delegate blue whale SP to themselves solely for the purpose of paying themselves, what's to stop the plug being pulled as steem tanks and we're all left powering down to nothing with no reward when the big cash-out happens?

The so-called investors will meanwhile be laughing while us suckers are stuck with $ tied up in SP. Sure, the 'investors' will have SP too, but will have considered that a write-off anyway before their 'venture' began.

Abuse of the 'system' will always be rife if there are loopholes to exploit and this seems like a huge one, a hoop so big, giant mammals can jump through, but not for minnows who can't get out of the water how ever hard they try.

DISCLAIMER - I'm sure all of this has been considered a million times, and I may not be seeing things correctly, objectively, or with any real insight. Maybe my maths is askew, I don't know. But my minnowy sonar senses can't help but wonder what that disturbance in the water is all about. Are many here about to get Moby Dicked?

p.s I love steemit for its creative and entertainment value nonetheless but don't want to be the target of vitriol from any friends I bring on to the platform. Makes me think - what to do now?

I think they should demonetize comments... Their comments, not content. If all you have to offer is comments, you belong on Fakebook!

Nah i disagree with that. There are other solutions that don't take that freedom away. Comments are content too you know.

Great information. Upvoted, resteemd and followed.

Is it really so bad in your eyes?? Why?

This platform is for sharing ideas and others comment. Upvoting is an added benefit not a right. So why should you claim a right to upvote oneself. Someone's comment may shape your direction. Upvoting oneself is just simple although allowed. Let community judge you.

Thanks you share...

But there are steemians like 0.30 in 0.30 are self votes...

Thank you for sharing.

I probably have to read around 100 posts like this before i start to understand this.. ;)
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