Vilifying Bots

in steemit •  2 years ago

In my last post I gave notice to bot spammers that we will take actions to mitigate the abuse and keep Steemit a place that people can enjoy participating in.

User @williambanks responded with an insightful article. I was going to reply to him in the comments, but thought that it deserved a full post.

I will summarize my primary take aways:

  1. Don’t vilify Bots, there are real people behind them
  2. For many people this is a “game” to make money while they can
  3. For other people this is an “investment” to make a lot of money long term
  4. Incentives create the bot situation

I saw several proposed solutions:

  1. Restrict access to web socket api
  2. Remove stake-weighted voting (use hot rather than trending)
  3. Help people improve their bots

Here are the primary things that william was missing:

  1. Sybil attacks - bot operators are already doing this by creating a large number of accounts and vote spamming
  2. Evil People - these people wish to do as much harm as possible because they enjoy hurting others
  3. Stupid People - these people harm others while getting no benefit for themselves

Strong Reputation and Identity

The only solutions to Sybil are Reputation, Identity, and Stake Weighted voting. Once we solve the identity / reputation issue then it becomes much harder to create dummy accounts.

Conclusion

I have a ton of respect for the stance william made and will certainly attempt to incorporate what I can from it into the solutions we deploy. Nothing in life is ever as easy as it seems, and william’s proposed solutions would be at most a short term issue.

There are people who are motivated to act in ways that break other peoples toys just because it is fun.

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I am a firm believer in Freedom of Speech. I even believe people should have the right to do stupid things, as long as other people are not harmed. Hence the need for rules.

@dantheman thank you for your persistence in fighting the good fight. Some bots put at risk the very humanity which forms the basis of the Steemit community by drowning out real peoples opinions and undermining original content. As the tip of the spear, it is up to you to lead the charge. As mere users we too have the responsibility to share our concerns and ideas whichbalign to our personal vision of the platform.

You have a great grasp on the technical and behavioral challenges the system faces. I look forward to the controls and balancing you will Institute.

In my opinion, bots which post repettive comments with no regard to the material, is caustic. Accounts should be banned and the vale of their accounts forfeited. Leveraging the social nature of Steemit, a peer reporting structure could be established where usres who flag such bots get to share the forfeited value of the bot. Make it so a certain steem level must be reached to boot an account.

Conversely, some bots are healthy (ex Cheetah) which users should be able support with votes (that could play a role in upping what it wouldntake to downvote it off). I would also recommend a structure to register a bot. It becomes a quick way to find good/bad bots with those who register get a higher barrier to being voted off. Make a rule that all registered bots have "-bot" appended to their name for recognition. Such a system is good for beneficial bots and empowers the users to police bad bots as a community based on thier collective steem power.

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@mrosenquist So you mean we should implement civil forfeiture?
Somehow I don't see that working out so well.

The bot registry was part of the STEEMBOTS proposal, I'm glad to see people agree with it.

It wouldn't work on it's own though. You need something for the bots to do that pays enough that the incentive balances the risk / reward proposal for building a bad bot.

However my topic was never about vilifying bots. It was about explaining that proposed changes make life harder for human users and provide incentives for players to game the system.

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@williambanks Penalties and rewards are key to any set of social rules, even in virtual places like Steemit. Rewards should be bestowed upon bots which enrich, improve, or benefit the collective user-base as it aligns to the goal/vision of the platform. Alternatively, penalties should clearly be established for those who are caustic and breaking the rules. I think my point is, instituting system guardrails and checks-and-balances is incredibly difficult. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to @dantheman and his cohorts who must achieve and somehow sustain the optimal balance for the growth of the community.

When looking at this challenge it is important to recognize the strengths and available resources to apply to the task. The power of a social network lays in the people. But there are limitations as well. People can create multiple accounts, upvote or downvote as much as they want, and game the system in many other ways. Many of these challenges were obviously considered when Steemit was designed. We have Steam Power for a reason. I see it as an authority rating. Everyone has some and collectively we can use it to make decisions. By leveraging the greatest resource we have, the user base and their willingness to participate, we might establish rules to reward those creative bot programmers who make Steemit stronger while at the same time put in place penalties for malicious bot programmers, set on causing harm, which invalidate their work. Basically making their effort to cause harm, largely ineffective. There would not be a penalty for creating an annoying bot, but if the system worked, it would quickly become irrelevant. What kind of programmer wants that?

A system where the steam of users can be applied by a community in such a way to ‘vote-off’ bot accounts. Let’s call it a tipping-point(TP) where the account would be suspended. Members could vote up if they liked a bot (ex. @Cheetah) or vote-down if they felt the bot was harmful (ex. @isaac.asimov). Just using these account names for illustrative purposes.

When users upvote the TP goes higher. When users downvote it goes lower. Once it reaches zero, the account is suspended, put in the penalty box, or whatever the dev’s want. Registering a bot also adds to the TP, making it tougher to suspend. Members with low Steem Power (SP) won’t be able to move the need much unless there are a lot of them doing it. Those with more SP will have a greater impact, which aligns to the involvement and commitment to the platform.

Again, this just an idea. We all have them. It is up to the Dev’s to really figure out what is best to support their vision of Steemit.

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@mrosenquist Essentially we're in agreement. The first way you put it sounded like civil forfeiture. A penalty box would not be bad, but you need to link bot to human first because a penalized bot doesn't care. His owner will though.

Once we know the owners then let them have as many as they want to have as long as they feed and train them. If the bot goes bezerk it's their job to fix it or their account remains frozen until it does. I am totally against forfeiture, but a points based system that locks funds whilst already consolidating them at the owner level and yet allowing the bot to have it's own identity separate from her owner feels like the right solution here.

So yes, this is a good idea.

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To be clear, I do think forfeiture is a viable option, one of many to consider. If the TP level is reached, then the community has effectively deemed the bot's action to be damaging. Any acts of the bot which produced gain (Steem, SP, and SD/SBD) would be forfeit to the community, rewarding those who identified the caustic bot. Seizure occurs in the real world all the time. If a thief steals money from your pocket and is caught, they don't get to keep the ill-gotten-goods.

This is one of many penalty options the Dev's can choose. Personally, I think it would be a powerful one. Financial disincentives can be highly effective against financially motivated anti-social behaviors.

Now THAT is how you bring up very potential pain points/concerns in an open way (@williambanks) and face/address them both professionally and respectfully (@dantheman)- hats off to you both!

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@thedarkestplum Thank you! We may all disagree on what must be done. But I think we're all agreed something ought be done. Now it's more or less a matter of sorting out what that looks like and that comes down to your perspective.

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This openness to discourse is one of the reasons I love Steemit! If we all work together, we will find solutions to all these issues.

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Upvoted as I nodded in agreement.

"There are people who are motivated to act in ways that break other peoples toys just because it is fun."
Yes, and they are called bullies. The world is full of them. And we need to get rid of them!

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Uff. Sometimes its easier to hop/ride a bullie, and try to stir him in/to the right direction.
The "getting rid" of them is like tearing apart yin from yang, killing Eve "Adams girlfriend", executing a genocide? holly almighty
Its not eay being stupid.:) l o lo l o

Like my father says: If head is stupid the whole body suffers

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that's ONE way to think about it! :)

Stupid People - these people harm others while getting no benefit for themselves

And also

Unwittingly Stupid People - these people don't know what they are doing and inadvertently harm others for no benefit

we are probably all guilty of this from time to time, I know I am

That should always be the right approach. Penalize bots that are useless, if not malicious, and the humans behind them. There are many useful bots that deserve to be rewarded.

In the end, the action taken will be against the humans behind the bots. So similar procedures should apply.

Really eager to see your Reputation system in action.

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As usual an excellent comment @liberosist. Fully agree that there are many useful bots. I definitely need to mention @ anyx 's Cheetah-bot which is doing an excellent job against plagiarism.

Good start) up

In need a community guideline for bot devs.

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@jasonmcz It's called a code of conduct and we're working on it

I have a ton of respect for the stance william made and will certainly attempt to incorporate what I can from it into the solutions we deploy

Recognizing the need for a fix is the first step. Congrats. I'm sure we'll get things working the way they should. I'll keep contributing and one day, the playing field will be a lot fairer, I trust in what you guys are doing.

You could give unlimited API access to verified accounts, and limit the calls for unknown accounts to, for example, once every 30 minutes, or 4x per day.

Many API's use these restrictions. We need bots. But not the evil kind.

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@steve-walschot Oh umm you misunderstood the point of that.
The vast majority of our current bots are built using a very simple tutorial that was made with the best of intentions but unfortunately has sired a litter of annoying yapping offspring.

To stop those particular bots, just shut off the websocket if the user agent isn't a valid browser. It will crash those bots immediately.

This is about 90% of current bots, both the upvote/downvote kind and the oneliner bots. Their owners have left the building and are unlikely to return any time soon. They are like stray dogs with rabies and need to be euthanized.

If you need API access there are far better tools and their free but you need to know how to use them wisely. I'm willing to build a sort of guild for bot builders, but it will require a bot registry and agreeing to a code of conduct before we will share what we know.
That is what the STEEMBOTS topic is all about.

I love this discussion the efforts to control the bad bots. I will continue to fight for good, honest, sincere blogs and postings and To do my SMALL part as an old non tech guy! Bad content hurts everyone in the long! https://steemit.com/steem/@kus-knee/this-place-is-sucking-the-life-out-of-me-and-i-m-steemed

Unless everyone is able to view all the content on the boards and evaluate it separately, at least bots are able to make even the smallest posts some attention. I just wish there were more bots that didn't have 10 steem power and just upvote/comment on everything.

Too much noise around these bots. Some bots even harmful, others are helpful.
People just do not like that the automatic voting and debris in the comments.
I think for the steem is not the main problem. Of course I could be wrong.

I bought account for 0.1 BTC while that was only way to get in. I'am almost certain that I am only person who actually bought Steem account. Then I bought Steem on Bittrex and after few weeks my account was hacked. Now is mine again. Thanks. In the same time I created this account and you penalized me yesterday for some reason. May I know why?

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Not sure what you refer to.

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This is my only post for now.

Here it is: https://steemd.com/tx/ef7d122d9fe2968b4516e1d5d913b7feed7f242d

Thank you.

Reputation, Identity, and Stake Weighted voting. It would be also very helpful to have the total Steem Power value displayed next to your username.

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I think the opposite. I think $$ amounts and Steem Power amounts should not be displayed next to people's names. Imagine if it's the physical world and everyone you meet your Google Glass shows you their net worth and all their assets? I really don't think that would work well for obvious reasons.

Even if it's possible to Google a person or look it up, it's probably not the best idea to put it in everyone's faces. Long term this could have very bad consequences.

If you do wish to display some information with regard to Steem Power or Steem Dollars, I would recommend using something other than numbers. I would say use badges such as super hero, legend, etc. Or use minnow, dolphin, whale, etc. And if you do it this way then you can have a discreet badge or icon which represents their social status without having to create unnecessary divisions that seem to inevitably occur when you have what looks like money attached to names on the front page.

Yes these are more like points in a game and it's not actual money. But if it's like a game then why not use the best tactics of gamification? Badges, icons, leaderboards, that kind of stuff.

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@piranhax
If what you were saying were to happen in the real world we'd all be running around with our tax returns and paychecks stubs stapled to our foreheads. #needstobememe #sadbuttrue

You can't know a person unless you know them in real life, even then it's a bit of a stretch. Therefore the only thing you can speak to is the commentary not the commentator. Most of the most diametrically opposed people online would do just fine in a pub together.

Let me put this another way. Warren Buffet is a smart guy, knows a lot about money and is worth billions. However when I need a triple bypass, I'd rather have someone else operating. I don't care who they are, just that the hospital figures he knows what he's doing.

The wise man is not quick to action. I give thanks to you for taking your time for figuring out the situation at hand. People need to also overstand that this is still in beta, things shall be worked out over time - relax.

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Careful deliberation is a rare commodity in modern world.

I agree on not vilifing the bots. I think long term it is best just to ignore them.

Thanks for Posting this @dan. Always good to see you engaging with the community and addressing users concerns. Think your approach seems more than reasonable.

The Reputation aspect is the most interesting. I look at the size of users wallet's for that currently, but would be good to see another metric to gauge this...

We definitely need community free of devils and deviants. These spammers are headache. Glad that you guys are taking action. Thumbs up from me and you got my support too. We will support you till this community exists.

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@princewahaj I'm very curious to know what your defintion of devil and deviant are. Agreed on spammers, reduce the incentive to spam, nix the tools they use right now and provide incentives to do better and the situation gets better.

@dantheman so you are against bots or you with them? Because i don't think it cool to get 50 up-votes in 1 min no matter what's inside while some have to work their ass to make a good post worth of 50 up-votes. Not talking about the weight of up-vote just a general up-vote what means a person read your job and likes it.

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4 weeks ago steemit algorithm has been updated solving problem with autovoters. In a nutshell:
• If you vote immediately after a post is submitted: The voter gets almost zero, the author gets nearly 100%.
• If you vote 15 minutes after a post has been submitted: The voter gets 50% of the curation reward, and the author gets the other 50%.
• If you vote 30 minutes (or later) after a post is submitted: The voter gets 100% of the curation reward.
Bot owners had not yet realized the greatness of what had happened lol :-)

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i didn't realize this, thanks!

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Some of us humans without bots took a bit to figure it out.

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Which is why we know for a fact that the current generation of bots are just strays.
People running them would have updated for that. But instead the swarm just keeps increasing.

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I see nothing wrong with auto-voting as long as the bots are well designed. For example, curators don't have enough attention to review in detail every post on this site. So you either have stuff which gets missed entirely or you have to live with auto-voting in some form.

But auto-voting doesn't have to be dumb. An auto-vote bot can vote up any content which has good grammar for example. Or any content which cites it's sources so as not to plagiarize for example. Or any content which posts up unique images which haven't been posted on Steemit previously for example.

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I agree. Just a view simple rules can go a long way.

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I see your point. I'm just not sure if I agree. It would be good if each bot was unique. There would be a limited number of them. But would Steemit then have 10 bots that upvote based on grammar, 8 on unique images, etc?

Some bots could still be problematic. If you had a bot (or bots) upvoting unique images for example, Steemit could be flooded with users posting images before they figure out the bots vote is being diluted. Some wouldn't care and continue to spam with new images.

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@patrice It's not steem that would be owning the bots. It's the owners that would own them. The bots would be voting based on the same criteria that the owner would be.

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"But auto-voting doesn't have to be dumb". I like your line of thinking.

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For me it's a bit discouraging to get 40 upvotes in the first minute I post only to realize that no one even read it! I made a suggestion recently about inline images and thought people actually liked the idea until I looked at the voters.

Yes, there will be times we'll get upvotes from humans that haven't read a post either but I think it's less likely.

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@patrice That's why I only look at commentary myself. Votes are fun, but talking with people and being social is the real name of this game.

What is the purpose of a bot?
Do you get "bonuses" for randomly upvoting posts?
I have also noticed on most of my posts, almost as soon as they have been posted, there is a downvote marked against it. Im assuming these are bots also. Why are there bots to downvote posts?
Are they "Recommend a friend" bots, whose only purpose is to seem active so the bot owner (or referrer) gets some kind of RAF bonus?
The whole bots scenario confuses me.

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@billynomates Different bots serve different purposes. You should read this to get a more complete view point. You can also click my name to see a whole lot of posts on the topic in depth.

What you say on this post and what people comment?!?! They are disrespectfully by asking you to upvote their posts because they upvoted yours. This is a funny story, I should write about it.

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@the-future who are you replying to?

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When I reply to​ this post it were a lot of comments; please upvote and, I upvote you, now you upvote me! something like that! That not cool they didn't read just upvoted and are waiting for upvote to! WTF right?

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@the-future was that in this posting or someplace else? Can you link the URL? Maybe I can help explain what's going on.

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I don't reply to a post, only to reply it.

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Anyway I hope you are not a hacker and will take all my money :)))
I have a lot of money.

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It was some posts like this one: That is cool! It is so complex! I upvoted you. Please consider upvoting my new post. https://steemit.com/steemit/@brianphobos/another-sign-steemit-whales-are-thinking-about-the-future. I'm not saying it was for sure this guy, but there was someone doing this.

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Sounds to me like maybe an issue with the site. On my blog I started a concept called #payitforward where I visit other people's blogs looking for insightful commentary on topics I care about and invite the poster to come to my post, link in and I upvote them.

This is done so that if I happen to trend, then lots of people will see lots of other content. Some of it related, some of it not, all of it was important enough that I took some time to bring it to their attention.

The hope being that anyone who visits me will see these other topics and give them a shout out too.

The exchange is tit for tat. I link and upvote them, they link and upvote me. If either of us gets the attention of anyone else, then there is a good chance we will both be found.

It's just a different form of curation and is potentially more powerful than the way it's done now. If nothing else, people get insight into what I think.

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So are you a hacker or not? I'm confused. Why did you need that URL?

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@the-future #payitforward is just a new method of content curation that allows minnows to find eachother. I'll try to make a posting about it later. It's not a hack, I'm not a hacker. Likely someone was link spaming because that's not how the pay it forward thing works. OTOH I've never seen user spam a link before. Could also just be a display glitch with the site. It lazy loads a lot of content sometimes important things like style sheets don't get through before the content does and so you have what looks like the site has been defaced, but in reality the internet is just slow and laggy.

No I'm not a hacker. Not in that sense of the word no.

I have found the Steemit experience to be fantastic so far! Good luck to you as we go through our growing pains. It is something that's worth working hard to preserve...

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I wonder if you can get real people to do this outside and you record it :)

hope you create more posts soon. Love reading your shit. I would write more professionally but dantheman sounds like a LAD and a laugh sooooo :D :P

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ouch man. What movie is this? this looks familiar.

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@cybercodetwins Thanks for the bot idea :)
Anyways looks like @steemalien linked a gif from the movie chappie
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1823672/

I love the thoughtful debates here. But I don't believe steemit should be a "game" because that will hurt its reputation long term for those who treat is a platform to have their voice heard. I don't understand why someone would make a bot that simply says upvote based on a category and not add any worth to the post. Just because someone is behind the bot doesn't mean value is added. People can make bots that do great things. Spam helps nobody.

Also can someone explain the metrics that go into trending, hot, popular and active? I have not had this question answered.

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@bendjmiller222 It's a matter of incentives. Getting in early on a hot topic can mean the difference between earning nothing that day and earning a hundred dollars. This makes it a bot task. The bot votes what the owner thinks is important. The owner doesn't care about content they care that their upvote matters and produces income.
Change the incentives and this problem begins to solve itself as people move towards curating based on quality content rather than on a race to see who can beat the whales to their next big sighting.
Thus my comment about a whale's power should be the same as a minnows in voting power, or at a minimum their upvote power should be culled dramatically. Either that or give the minnows and upgrade.
Any other suggestions would be good, but the race is the reason for the bots.

@dantheman thanks for sticking up for us little guys Dan. Says a lot about you as person, you're a stand up guy, fighting for the voices that can't be heard like myself,and others.

Keep up the good work👍

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1$-10$ per post

Just to clarify my understanding of your post.
You will give me $1-$10 USD so you can reply to this message and I will give you back $0.10 USD? :-D

I am not naive enough to think that people won't try to automate things to make money / exert influence but; as just a normal middle aged women who recently came here from Facebook, it seems pretty anti-social for a social network. Just saying...

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@punkgal69 you and @casandrarose should talk soon. You've both said the same things lately.

It's just a matter of incentives and reasons for being here.
In your opening post about 2 days ago you had 23 upvotes and several people greeting you. (I just upvoted and said hello BTW)

You responded to 3 of them, two of whom were both bots (btw you missed a few real people trying to chat you up).

This is the crux of the problem. Ostensibly there are real financial incentives for welcoming new people.
The reality is you need to pick the right person to welcome if you want that financial incentive and thus people have built bots to do the welcoming. They are able to do this because someone posted a tutorial a couple of months back that showed how to build a bot that does this. Problem is the tutorial was woefully incomplete and didn't provide any method of controlling the bots properly. Thus the bots "look" anti-social when you see a swarm of them and this is a reflection on the bots, their owners and the community.

The net result is what you saw. If you think of a bot as someone's pet, then there are many in the community including myself who view these bots as "offleash" and harassing visitors.

Dan and I both agree completely about this.

There are solutions to this, but it's not an anti-social thing it's just about putting incentives in the right places so the bots that are being made anyways are being put to good and productive use.

@dantheman I agree with William on a specific point because it reiterates a point I've made previously. Please allow the blogger to check a box which will keep their $ amounts in rewards off of the Steemit.com public view. It's fine if it's on the blockchain, it's fine if it's in the wallet or some not so obvious section of Steemit.com, but the ability of a poster to remove it from public view is a way to decrease some of the unnecessary animosity, envy, and conflict, which only will increase as more people join Steemit.

As we can see from looking at any other social network, at first the sort of people you have join are technical, nerds, and in some cases a more ethical or idealistic crowd. Over time though, as the audience or network grows, eventually you will get a greater percentage of both "evil" and "stupid" people.

So in my opinion, as a damage control measure, please consider implementing features which allow the posters to keep a lower profile so that certain aspects can be dialed back. The $ amount in the rewards are good only if they are helping Steemit bring in more people but if the tide turns and it's having a negative effect then it's no longer a good UI feature, so having the ability to let each individual Steemian dial it up or dial it back, can allow for more flexibility overall in the UI.

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a few days ago you were arguing we need to keep the casino effect in full power, now you're arguing on keeping a low profile?

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@razvanelulmarin You ever walk out of a casino with fistfulls of cash?
Keep the casino effect, we all have a certain chance of making a post that hits the bigtime that's all the casino effect is.

Having the world know how much money you've earned is not the casino effect, it's walking naked down a dark alley with fist fulls of cash in the wrong end of town.

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@williambanks I think part of the casino effect is knowing that other people win big. if you don't know that this happen, how could you ever think that it could happen to you?

Don't get me wrong, i'm actually not a big fan of the casino effect and not a big fan of the perfect transparency. I agree with dana on this one, i'd like a way to make the value of the posts, even the wallet be harder to see from the interface.

thank you for your answer, man! and great post b t way.

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@razvanelulmarin Your welcome and thank you for enjoying my posts. It means a lot to me.

The casino effect as I understand is actually a primary psychological driver based on a random payout schedule.

People put money in slot machines not because they think others have won big, but because they think they will win on that next pull.

It sounds like six of one and half a dozen of the other but these are different. One is get them in the door with promises of big cash prizes. That's just marketing and might properly be called the lottery effect. You can't win if you don't play.

The other is keep them playing with small random rewards and the occasional largish payout. This is the casino effect... If I keep playing I win more.

There are people here who think the lottery effect draws people here, it does but not really the right kind of people. These people give up quickly, become disillusioned and then sell their account to botters or put up a bot themselves because frankly they got bored.

For most normal people, seeing gigantic payouts on the front of the page will trigger their critical thinking skills and causes them to think that this is a scam somehow. If you look at my very first blog post you'll see where I explain my conversion process because I was one of those people. Seeing dan's name on the whitepaper made me a believer. I disagreed with some concepts, still diagree with some concepts, but I know I can aire my disagreement without being ostracized.

Having him call my post insightful and that he was impressed with my stance, validated my feelings. Disagree or not, the chance to know that you can reach out across the internet and get people to think long and hard about things that are important to me is the real casino effect at play here, the money is just really nice to have.

FREE TAmara 1989

@dantheman upvoted! thanks for your insightful article.

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Thanks for this too @dantheman! I have bots on my posts sometimes just commenting and their comments get red flagged seriously! It's bothersome sometimes and it gets under my skin #HAHA!

Stupid People - these people harm others while getting no benefit for themselves

Haha, reminds me my ex girlfriend lol

I honestly don't like the UpBots... It's cool to get 50 likes on a post, but not if they weren't by people that read your post. Comment bots are the same in my opinion.

I don't think the use of Captcha would be good for morale - or if it would even be feasible. I know next to nothing about programming.

What if there was a way to make known bot accounts votes and/or comments not eligible for curation rewards. Or perhaps increase the regeneration of voting power by 10 to 100 times or something. That way, the quality content posts won't be affected as much?

Either way, thanks for being AWESOME Dan!

YEAH BUDDAYYY!!

-bigedude

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Also captchas wouldn't work. They would stop people. Bots are using the API. You can't captcha an API because specifically it's intended for a bot. The one running on your computer right now, reading the websocket connection and giving you updated content and commentary courtesy of the steem blockchain.

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@stellabelle I tried clicking the worm and it didn't work. Not sure I follow this except to say you are saying this topic is click bait?

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Im strongly agree to this on , identity verification are good idea too .make them world wide . but try not to use holding your identity card and your face in one picture i hate this kind of photo hahaha :p. Nobody gonna applied some loans here haha.
Btw i want to invite you to my blog mate i got new post update . please drop by in my blog . :) drop me a comment about my post . i dont want upvote just a comment .i want to know what do you guys(whales) think about my blog post .

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@rainchen this fails because of three reasons. First off photoshop is cheap and easy. Second off anyone can just pay someone on fivr to do this, even record a video. Thirdly accounts with rep will be sold if someone makes a high enough offer and someone with rep is trying to quit the game because they are bored, or needs more money for some unexpected life event.

You just can't verify identity and really you don't even want to open that can of worms, because then this place turns into the evil step child of reddit and coinbase.

You can assure one person one account though. You may end up with some people owning multiple accounts, but they can be weeded out easily. Essentially a cheetah like system for sockpuppets.
Gotta have bots for that though and a lot of them because this is a ton of computing power we're talking about.

They are dominating the introduceyourself category

@dantheman is listening. That's enough for me.

So what was supposed to be a comment turned into a 1700$ + post? lol ok

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@kuriko Actually that's not at all uncommon. My primary income here comes from my comments not my posts. My best comment ever made more than that.

There are several others here as well who are similarly prolux in their speech. Fact is a comment has a max length of 16kb which is not enough for some of the deeper comments and insights. Plus it's bad netiquette because it puts up a giant wall of text everyone else has to wade through.

I have a rule of thumb that if the comment is too long to fit on my screen without scrolling down then I blog about it instead. You watch, that comment thing @razvanelulmarin started at the top will most likely end up being largish amount of money for @razvanelulmarin and the other participants because dan tends to be as generous with his votes as berniesanders, but bernie tend to focus on the blog topic itself, dan likes to see things where people put thought into their commentary.

Several others are getting to be this way too. I really think we're going to see a time soon when the post value is predominantly in the commentary.

Think I might blog about that soon actually.

I like your thinking here Dan it's very balanced.

Yup, fuckin' annoying.

why not have an option on your page that says " filter bots on or off" - leave the choice to the end user. If they want bots filtered on their wall they should have an option for it, if not they should be able to filter it out so their blog subscribers dont need to deal with that.

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The challenge is there is no way to know if an account is being run by a human or a bot. And we certainly couldn't rely on voluntary disclosure, as people running bots would just lie and say they were human. As they say, "On the blockchain no one knows you're a fridge."

Some people just want to see the world burn. This is true and scary and while we play our little game-theory scenarios some bots seems to be intent on just creating chaos.
Just because something is stupid to us, doesn't mean it's not motivated by some reason and/or evilness.
This is an amazing community and the back-and-forth between devs and users is what could save us all and make this great. Please @dantheman, never close down the dialogue.
That's how they'd win.

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"Some people just want to see the world burn" and the likely cause of this type of desire, I believe is a deeply ingrained form of malicious self-hate. You can't do stupid and abusive shit to others and entire communities of people if you like yourself. It's just not possible.

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@stellabelle I think that's an incorrect insight, but still insightful. There have been many, many experiments that prove that people conform to expectations. Stanford prison experiment and also several involving what could be lethal electric shocks.

It has to my mind, more to do with not feeling any connection to those being harmed. You're not connected, you don't feel their pain therefore your normal self censure is not enough to hold back the impulse to do as you will.

Furthermore psychopaths and sociopaths are literally off the charts in terms of self love and intelligence. Empathy is what they lack

The better question then might be, if you think this place is filling up with those sorts of people, why are they being attracted to this place and how can we incentivize the "right kind" of folks to come here.

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It's surely a way to look at it but even so, we can't teach everyone self-love....

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@razvanelulmarin The problem could also be a bit too much self love. There is a real sense of entitlement in the world in general right now. Some schools were trying to dumb down STEM topics so that everyone could feel self esteem about being smart in these topics.

School ended up with one of the lowest graduation rates in the country.
sure I failed, but I feel great and love myself and accept myself just as I am

Nah man, real love for ones self needs to come from taking pride in the accomplishments you've made and learning from your failures.

Empathy though, that means you need to care about others, and that's a hard thing to teach. You have to get people to care and to stand by their convictions but to also see and understand the other persons viewpoint, by trying to understand their life. Walk a mile in their shoes and all that Jazz. It's not a hard lesson, but I hear it's something they don't teach in school anymore either.

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I understand your point of view but if you don't mind it too much, I think you are wrong on forcing an "=" between self-love and accomplishment.
I say this from my own experience and the experience of others, self love must be given without conditions. Because if you put conditions like...acomplishment right? It's really difficult to be perfectly objective
"i'll love myself when I'll be a doctor." I'm a doctor but..." I'll love myself when i'll help 1000 patients" I did that but...
It's what we call a "mving goalpost" and one can allow this kind of fallacy to be in the way of self love.

Confidence and self esteem should be highly connected with accomplishments, yes.

But even that. It's so weird.
I have this friend..he looks amazing, right? yet , he think he looks average or worse and couldn't talk with a girl if his hair was on fire and she had a bucket of water.
He is also very accomplished in his field, but his self-esteem is as low as anything.

It's very very hard to have the final say on this.

Entitlement thought is not self-love in my opinion. It's an expression of insecurity doubled by a lack of self-awareness.

We can talk forever about this...it's a fascinating topic.
But thanks for being opened. The more reasonable and intelligent voices we can bring here, the more we'll push the level of discourse.
I love that

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@razvanelulmarin Tell you what, this is turning into something WAY off topic for this particular topic. Why don't you make a blog post on the topic then come back click my name, find my latest blog and come send me and invite (following doesn't work yet).

I'll come to your blog and we can debate this stuff. I have a ton of things to say, but Dan's blog isn't the place to have that talk. Also we've hit the comment depth limit here.

Also you're very welcome for the civil discourse. I enjoy this too, alot...
Here's a pic of my enjoying my favorite past time...

credit www.xkcd.com/386