Steemit is Neither FAIR nor EQUITABLE — and Why This Post Will Never Make it to Trending

in #steemit3 years ago

After some days (or has it been weeks?) of general busy-ness, I finally had a little more time to "explore" random posts, this morning. 

I like "wandering randomly," as it gets me a sense of the "pulse" of Steemit.

The Frustration Fandango


Seems like a lot of people are pretty frustrated with the way things are, here on Steemit. Now, I'm pretty willing to be the frustration level would be a lot lower if Steem were still at $7.00... but it's not.

To some degree, I can understand the frustrations of some of the posters I came across today, as well as the frustrations of many who have commented here on my pages.

But the whole entitlement attitude has to go!

I'm tired of reading about how it's "not fair" that you're not making all this money after God knows how many minutes or hours since you joined Steemit.

Nobody owes you anything.

Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Permit me to add a perspective we tend to forget.

Social Media is NOT EASY!

When you start an account on twitter, how long does it take before anyone notices you? Before you get 500 followers; 1000 followers? How long does it take before the first person retweets you? Or adds one of your tweets as a "favorite?" 

Sunset silhouettes

I don't expect an answer, just think about it.

It took me several years to build a significant organic following, both on twitter and a couple of business Facebook pages. 

In fact, I have a Facebook page with near 17,000 likes. Guess what? That took SEVEN YEARS to build.

Now ask yourself this: Why would Steemit be ANY different? 

"Well, because.... the REWARDS...!"

The Rewards? What the hell does that mean, when it's at home? And what does that have to do with anything? Cat whiskers, cookies, thumbs up, SBD, SteemPower, attaboys, eprops, handclaps... why would ANY one be any different from any other?

Why on planet Pluto (not a planet!) are we suddenly owed special attention and "fairness" just because there are a few cents involved?

If you know anything at all about social media you also know that "quality content" by itself doesn't guarantee anything. What you need is to "be good at social media.

The Twistedness of Upvote Bots

The one thing I agree is a little twisted around here is the WAY in which upvote bots are used, not so much that they ARE used.


One of the reasons I stated that "this post will never make it to Trending" is that I neither have "friends in high places," nor am I going to use upvote bots to promote it. And the chances of organically getting any post on the trending page are pretty close to zero. And I am not "some unknown," I am probably in the top 200 most active Steemit community members. That's not bragging, that's adding perspective.

Anyway, to get back tot he point — anywhere else, if you pay to get your content highlighted, it is clearly marked "PROMOTED CONTENT." It's pretty damned obvious who has paid to put their content in front of you, and who hasn't. 

I feel it should be the same here: If you PAY to have your content upvoted, it's basically promoted. And it should be marked as such. Let's call a spade a spade here. 

How Much Do People Pay for Upvotes?

Earlier today I played a little game of "how far can you go?" I wanted to see just how crazy people go, in search of upvotes.

Grass in the sun

It was amazing just how many "well rewarded" posts-- some good, some mediocre, some outright useless-- were well-rewarded because they were PAID content.

The record? I actually managed to find a post that had over $100.00 in rewards and 33 comments... EVERY SINGLE ONE OF WHICH was from an upvote bot. Stated differently, the post had a total of three organic upvotes (all below 1 cent) and ZERO organic comments.

I simply shook my head. 

The only point of serious annoyance with me is that BECAUSE that post (some totally generic analysis of crypto coin trends) exists in the format it does, with the "purchased rewards" it has... I am slowly watching my own rewards per post (hand written by a human, created specifically to encourage engagement) decline, month over month.

It's not going to make me stop writing here — because I do enjoy the company and interaction of our community —  but it does make a total mockery of the idea that Steemit is a "social content site" with any degree of integrity. Just sayin'. It's increasingly just a giant "advertorial."

A Survey of Upvote Bots

Just for grins, I decided to check out @yababmatt's Upvote Bot Tracker, which is a nifty little tool, in and of itself.

Red Poppies in the sun

The most noteworthy thing for me-- since it had been a while since I last looked at it-- wasn't any new features, but the sheer number of bots now listed. There are more than ever, it seems.

That doesn't mean good content isn't out there. There's LOTS of it, and there are still some dedicated souls who spend much effort highlighting quality interesting content.

But on the whole? 

The nature of Steemit has changed quite a lot.

I'm not crying for anything "lost," and I still plan to hang around. But it does seem a bit like greed is killing the goose that's been laying golden eggs. I just hope someone wakes up before we're back to 7-cent Steem!

How about YOU? Have you ever used upvote bots? What do you think of them? Does it seem like there's a lot of complaining about "the state of Steemit" these days? What do you think the future of our community look like? Do you think quality and unique content matters? Or is this basically just a "game of upvotes?" Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

Animated banner created by @zord189

(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 180316 01:30 PDT


I absolutely despise (paid) upvote bots, and have never used them.

That said, I have an even lower opinion of all the all stars on steemit who have made a big scene of their rage quit of our platform and made huge disparaging comments as they leave.........

when they realize that there is no other place where they can get even the rewards they do here on steemit. Some of them have gone on to become quite successful (again).

I'm seriously pondering making a post:

Wouldn't that be a hoot!

Wouldn't that be a hoot!

I am totally in support of you writing a "Rage Quitters Hall of Fame!" post! That would be brilliant; I'd even buy you a $200 upvote just for the pleasure of seeing the post sit somewhere towards the top of "Trending" for a week... except you'd probably despise me for doing so...

All kidding aside, just the thought amuses me greatly! And "extra sprinkles" to the ones who rage quit when Steem is $0.70 and reappear when Steem is $4.00. "Pardon me, but is that your hypocrisy showing...?"

Good times, good times...

I would read it, just to see all the "you hurt my feelings", "how dare you show the truth about me" crying rampaging blame tossing crying rivers of tears rants back at you for being a truther.

Steemicide to steemresurrection - you should certainly write the post to name and shame the big fish lol 🤗

Well I believe the bots have just made sure there is a monopoly ish system on steemit.
It's not about quality from what I've seen. I just see a person dish out balderdash in his blog and swish! a triple figure amount on the post, while another struggles to write from the heart and spends hours, rigorous hours typing and scrutinizing to make the posts steemit actually need(quality content) only to see a few cents stare him back in the face sadly.
It's really sad and the funniest thing is that it seems uncontrollable. Like who are you to stop anybody else from doing his thing?
Do you provide the money he pumps into the bots to make sure he trends and actually has a mansion at the apex of that trending page??
No! Nahh! Nope! You don't!
So we just have to chill and sit and watch everything happening while we hope things will change for the better in good time.

Maybe it did not reach the trending page, but I did found it on the HOT page.
Correct, people have to leave the idea that Steemit is a quick rich scheme. It you do want to make something of it hard work is required. The most important thing for me is that I will try to be genuine in posting and comments.
Steemit is far in such a way that everybody has the same change. Some people here are ahead but that because or the did invest in the system or joined way ahead of some of us.
The biggest difference according between facebook and Steemit is that on Facebook I know all my friends in real life, on Steemit I have never met anybody before. It does enrich my life my viewpoints, opinion or things I would never thought of!
Considering the bots. They have positive and negative side. Since a few days I'm trying them out. Not to get in the Trending or Hot pages but to increase my rep a little bit faster. I slowly build it up from 25 to 43, now I was trying to see how much faster it would go with upvote bots. After some thought I decided to minimize the bot use and if a use one, I will only use it after 12 or 24 hours. So that they people who genuinely did upvote my post, also get a small share of it.
Figures from @pengiunpablo shows that the usage of bots is a lot less than I had imagined. We do think that they are overly used, but that idea is probably created because all the posts on the trending and hot page (not yours).

Really liked the post, unfortunately I'm running out of voting power again. I always find it hard not to upvote when I do comment. and because I'm reading a lot posts and also want to upvote the few genuine comments on my post, I always ran out. Really need to increase my SP so that I'm able to use the slider.
But I will compensate this a little to become a follower and I will come back to upvote your post, when I do have enough SP again.

Thx for sharing your ideas! We are mainly on the same page.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment @fullcoverbetting! Voting power is a little low these days due to the slumping crypto markets; I used to be a lot more active when I had a 100% upvote worth almost $2.00... but those are the breaks, I guess.

I built this account 100% "organically," with the only exceptions being upvotes I bought on warning messages concerning scams/phishing (I think I've posted about 4-5 in my time here) on which I just wanted wide distribution, quickly. Back in the earliest days of vote bots I also used randowhale sporadically, but stopped after a month or so.

In 15 months, I think I've had 10-12 posts make it to "Hot" on their own; 2 or 3 to "Trending." It's not something I set as an ambition, mind you. My personal ambitions (in part derived from 20 years of playing with groups/social media online) relate to the level of engagement any given post reaches. For example, I consider this a "successful" post for having a large number of comments, and pageviews being more than double the number of upvotes; that tells me the post succeeded in the sense that people actually read and interacted with the topic.

Steemit is really an interesting "hybrid" in the sense that it draws both "content creators" and "income opportunity seekers" and they are really very different fish with very different objectives.

My primary objective-- ABOVE ALL OTHERS -- Is that I still want to be here, doing this, five years, ten years from now. Whether I will be making 5c or $50 a post by then is really not a big factor. I just had my 12th anniversary on Facebook. Made me ponder... will I HAVE a 12th Anniversary on Steemit?

Yes, I think we're on a similar track!
~Peter (as well)

Wouldn't it be great to be able to give "a 12 year on Steemit party". This requires a lot more effort than being on Facebook.
I can only dream about being on the Hot or Trending page. While it is not an ambition of me, it still would be great.
Have some SP now, you I gave the post the much deserved upvote!

When I first started, @randowhale was a good way for me to send an appreciative tip, as my vote was worth nada. Self up voting in the way described here should be banned, I've seen so many start up vote selling scams that's votes are less than mine selling for 1steem, it's ridiculous.

Well, although I am not fond of these upvote bots, I do believe they can be appropriately used to give SOMEONE ELSE a reward, when warranted.

I have also used them on a couple of my own posts that were scam/phishing warnings that I just wanted to give an instant wide distribution to.

Last but not least, as you can see from the banner at the bottom of my posts, I am part of "Steemit Bloggers" which gives an extra upvote to three "choice" posts every day... again, that's merit based, not self-purchased.

I'm all for the ability to buy an up vote for someone else, rather than oneself. And curation groups like steem bloggers is a wonderful idea that I'm sure garners you searching more across the site to find undiscovered and under appreciated talent. As for using them to promote a post, would it not be more productive to simply hit the promote button, and send your coins to null, than propogating and perpetuating the self 'bot' vote?

The thing that makes upvote bots kind of dumb is that the "human greed gene" (also known as a variation of "capitalist market forces") will automatically render any loophole the appears to be "money for nothing" a zero-sum game.

If I offer to sell dollar bills for 80 cents, I'm going to SWAMPED with people wanting to buy my dollar bills till I readjust the price back towards one dollar. Most people see bots as a way to "get ahead." They are NOT, any more than playing the slots is a way to get ahead. Sure ONCE IN A WHILE you'll win, but most of the time you'll lose. However, the house (aka the upvote bot operators) ALWAYS win. People are actually PAYING them for something (upvotes) the rest of us give away for free.

I just "gave" you a 4c upvote because I'm free to do so, as a "tip" for adding something worthwhile to the dialogue. Or you could PAY 5c for it, somewhere. WTF?

Basically votebots drive down the value of the currency while propagating their founders. And alas our four cents goes down to three😕 I'll troll through a comment section slathered with self 'bot' votes and realize in the vote tally I gave a bigger vote for free than all they had paid for.

As originar author and manual curator I understand your problems and concerns for the future of this platform. The social component of the Steemit-platform is increasingly being replaced by financial interest.

In this case example of the Golos-chain could be indicative for us. This is the Russian fork of Steem-chain, they started more than a year ago with 7 cents for one Golos-token.
But instead of organic development, struggle for quality, supporting original authors and manual curation, they chose a commercial direction, which is expressed in simple moneymaking. 90% users just sell their votes to one strong bid-bot, like the scheme that our Booster or Minnowbooster is trying to implement. None vote by heart, all vote for profit. If you have enough money to make a high bet you can post any shit and be a Trending author. If you don't have, it is unlikely that your post will gain more than a few cents.

What do they have after this one year? few people who accumulated most of the power... 7 cents per one Golos-token (just like a year ago) and no chances for newbies...
I hope that Steemit users are much wiser and will not exchange a long term perspectives for a couple of quick bucks

Well, that's a pretty strong testimonial right there! I have always held that it takes PEOPLE to build a community, not automation. Few people will have interest in joining an automated community in the long run... and so, it is most likely to wither and die.

Just because you CAN accomplish something with a bot doesn't mean that you SHOULD. I am mostly concerned about the well-being of Steemit in the long run.

I think a bunch of people started when SBD was at all time highs and now they think "it's not worth it" if they're not earning that much. Or, people are comparing themselves to people who have been here a year, when they have been here a month.
Either way, I say: has Facebook ever paid you a penny?

Agree 100%! Nobody ever earned anything on Facebook. And thus, even $1 earned on Steemit makes it better than Farcebook. People always tend to have a rather myopic perspective... more likely to believe what they WANT to be true than what actually IS true.

destroy all bots..

Destroy all bots EXCEPT the ones that serve in an administrative capacity: catching plagiarism, copy-pasta, spam, etc.

at the moment the 'administrations" appears to have it's head inserted rectally.

It is difficult to get followers for new users on steemit.I am struggling here to be established.You discussed in details in this post about steemit.Thank you.

The only formula that works in the long term is to create original, engaging, high quality content in some form... and thwn to go out and actively engage other people in the site. There are no easy shortcuts.

Two things that boggle my mind:

That anyone uses upvote bots

That anyone still uses fakebook.

But are you finding Steemit is back to running like a pig this week?

Using bot is somehow useless. It look like a shortcut but i tell you. It is a shortcut to no where.

When I started to blog here, I used the same approach that I used before to build a following on other social media: write good contents about what I like, interact with others, follow people who write about things I like and, above all, be patient. I made this for my page of Facebook, on twitter, on instagram and, sure, also here on steemit because every social is similar: to build an organic following you need time, patient and hard work. You CAN'T buy an organic following, not in facebook, not here. I think people have to learn to have patient, but it seems it's not simple for some of them and they seem to be greedy. There are 2 facts that they don't understand (or they don't take care of them):
1.the total reward pool is limited, so if they take an high payout just paying it or creating many different contents in the same day all of them with a consistent rewards they are taking away the potential payout to others (ok, this is just selfishness)

  1. usually that people are not people who re-invest in the community, they want just to have more money and so they sell their high rewards and, sure, when many people sell their coin the value of that coin go down, it's a simple economic rule.

I have tried some upvote bots. And I'm telling you guys, I didn't earn from it. It is not worth it and will never use them again.

This blog is just awesome🙂

Hello @denmarkguy, Two days earlier @paulag posted a statistical analysis regarding retention rate on steemit, the post concluded:

Author retention on Steemit is only 9% and voting retention of 10%. Overall retention is 16%. There also appears to be an increase in retention in the last 4 months, despite the recent downturn in the price of STEEM and SBD.

Steemit promoters raised the level of expectations for people, I once red "within one year you WILL quit your job and be a full time steemian".
that helps bringing good numbers of users to steemit and losing them in a short period of time. Many of them wouldn't stay to have the opportunity to even read your post and learn how it is difficult to make it in social media.

I believe there should be such a way to guarantee a good quality content certain number of views (not rewards) in order to let other users determine if it is worthy or not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. and gave a nice day.

That's the platform where we sharing our creativity with more feature and get rewards...the unique post will always specticullar.. so we take it to enrich the knowledge...
thanks for sharing...
well writing skill...
Good content too..
@upvoted @resteem

"The record? I actually managed to find a post that had over $100.00 in rewards and 33 comments... EVERY SINGLE ONE OF WHICH was from an upvote bot."

Sad..just sad

You get what you put into it, I say. Personally, I've done better than I would have imagined with gaining followers, maybe not so much as far as monetary rewards, but then again I haven't put in as much time and effort as many others have who have made it into the trending category. I'm happy to be a part of the community, either way.

You get what you put into it, I say. Personally, I've done better than I would have imagined with gaining followers, maybe not so much as far as monetary rewards, but then again I haven't put in as much time and effort as many others have who have made it into the trending category. I'm happy to be a part of the community, either way.

Steem is the best social platform with numerous features

I've also been picking up on the frustration lately and I suppose it all boils down to money. In my own personal experience I've found that if money is the only thing driving you then you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. The potential to earn has brought a lot of people here and I suppose this is also the reason for the bot addiction.

For me I just love being here and enjoy having a platform where I can write and be creative. I can help others and share my own experiences and in so doing potentially help someone else.

Sure earning rewards is a part of it, it just shouldn't be the only thing driving you.

I also do consider the money part of a nice side effect. But I do have to be honest that the money part probably did convince me to take the plunge and create an account.
Lot's of us, will probably had the same idea. In contrast to many of these, I'm on your side. I'm trying just to enjoy myself here and try to have a lot of interactions with other.
I always prefer a genuine comment on my post above an upvote, but both of course is great!

I know what you mean. That's probably why you hear come for the money stay for the community a lot. For me I just enjoy the other positives very much and find that focusing on the money side just robs you of the enjoyment of being here.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

'm a little late to this party, but it seems to me that the solution to this problem would be to just downvote posts that buy votes when they are 5 or 6 days old rather than to target the services that sell votes.

Even if all the services on this list implement the change, some new ones will pop up to serve the market who wants to buy votes on their posts right before payout.

I would think it would be better to penalize the posts that buy votes at the last minute in order to curb this behavior.

The view from the bottom. I am starting to see the talking up of the platform almost like those late night infomercials. You would think folks are getting a commission on signups or something.
I have yet to start posting. Wanted to feel out the community first, and I am really glad I did.
From where I am sitting I see no short term money in sight, I do think if one were to buy in now some long term gain is possible.
My plan is to buy a bit of SP then use that to cultivate a following by voting mostly in any comments I can get. We will see how that works. I am still uncertain about the bots and need to research more.
The view from the bottom can be quite dismal unless one truly enjoys the engagement. Sadly that is not even my 2 cents because my votes are 0.

I think the cry of 'unfairness' has to do with orientation. The people who invited these ones to Steeemit in an effort to convince them, told them all beautiful stories and made the scenery seem perfect . I know some people who were told they'll make $100 on their first post. These ones get disappointed when they don't and the frustration starts there

I guess you've just said everything that's in my head currently about steemit. I've said from the start that steemit can only thrive if we are producing quality content that is being properly rewarded. This is what will attract others to the platform, not just the money rewards alone. Most who come for the "easy money" won't hang around long, when they realise that it's far from easy.

I actually came to learn about cryptos and I am achieving that, no question about it, as otherwise I would not still be here. Thankfully I still make my rewards from my forex trading, but I pity those who recently came here and are looking to turn steemit into a full time income. Not saying it can't eventually be achieved, but you need to be prepared for the long hard slog, and there is another life out there to be lived.

Wherever there is power and money, there will be those who will abuse the system in an effort to attain those rewards.

My best advice would be this:
Don't look at the God damn money, it is only a distraction and keeping you from being your best. I trade best when I turn off the rewards column on my trading platform. Define what you want to achieve, what aligns with your soul purpose, and follow that path. Work with what brings you enjoyment, excitement and fulfillment. Just do what makes you feel good on the inside and connect with those who make you feel that way, and you never know where it might lead. Maybe it eventually won't even involve Steemit ;).


Up vote bots serve only one purpose, and that is to make the upvote bots owner money, that is all, nothing more, it is a tax man dressed in I am here to help clothes. They (the bot owners), do not care about the content, all they care about is the money. Any bot owner that says he cares about more than money is lying because if he cared about more than money he would allow his upvote bot to be used for free and provide the maximum vote they could.

it does make a total mockery of the idea that Steemit is a "social content site" with any degree of integrity. Just sayin


7 cents? Bring it on. Chaos is needed to tech the platform a lesson in what not to do... ;)

I created a Facebook Group that went over 100,000 followers in 2 months for some reason... I had to make the Group Secret because every scam artist and spammer wanted in.

What did I get from all those Group Members and Facebook ? Not a penny.

I did make a little from posting some of my Amazon affiliate links ... made about $100.

It is a very good Group about Sustainable living off the Grid. I have been here on Steemit for about 9 months and made $6,000 .... but I need to make about 5-10 posts a takes hard work.

I used randowhale, upme, booster, boomerang to see what the ROI would be... I would only send maximum 2 SBD back when SBD was around $1 ... sometimes I would get a $2 Upvote... but as the price of SBD and Steem took off I realized it was a huge waste of money to pay for an Upvote. If I sent 1Steem that was worth $8 USD I could get an Upvote worth .5 SBD and .5 Steem Power ... 7 days later as long as the price of Steem stayed high... if it was dropping I would lose a lot on my original 1Steem. So it doesn’t make any sense at all to use a Voting Bot.... better to trade your SBD for Steem as long as you make more and then power up to Steem Power or send to Binance to convert to Tether and trade to Bitcoin or some other coin when they dip.

In fact, I have a Facebook page with near 17,000 likes. Guess what? That took SEVEN YEARS to build.

Well that certainly puts things into perspective! The time taken to build things up is rarely mentioned leaving most to think it's an overnight success.

Hey @denmarkguy I do use that @minnowpond the last dozen or so post of mine. I guess maybe that could be considered a Bot ? I don't know??

I just look at it to gain a little traction. But honestly the other stuff I do not plan to do at all. Like sneaky ninja Bot or Build a Whale Bot.

Thanks for your insight @denmarkguy. I do consider myself a half way decent writer and content producer who has a good amount of experience. I take pride in it.

I want to continue to add to this Community. And I have decided to here for the long term. No question, I'm ALL in !!

But sometimes it is a little frustrating when I do work hard and then I see these crap Posts making what they do because of these Bots.

However, I will just keep my nose to the grindstone and plow ahead :)

I would like to add something intelligent sounding :) but I think you have said it all perfectly - you said what a lot of us feel you just put in into great words. I do not even know how a bot works.... Thank you - resteeming

Thanks for your post. Finally somebody is providing a different perspective.
SteemIt is promoted to the ‘outside’ world as a platform where you can earn (good) money by blogging. So everybody who signs up, has high hopes. Only to find out that all their hard work disappears into the dark dungeons of SteemIt where all past-payout posts go, without making a single buck, heck, without anyone ever noticing their post.
A high percentage of new users leaves again within a month. Who can blame them, after all there were a lot of promises, and no (financial) rewards.

Most Steemians have no or little history in blogging, (decent) social media, let alone marketing. They don’t know that building an engaging audience takes time. The ads for SteemIt tell them otherwise...

I agree with your point about marking paid-for posts as promoted posts. As for now, the ‘Trending’ page is the face of SteemIt, and it’s loaded with a lot of crap. Just the other day, I read an article in which someone said he didn’t even want to show the platform to his friends, because they would land on the Trending page and would think he was crazy for spending his time here. I can fully understand.

After I signed up for SteemIt, it didn’t take me long to realize that Steemit ‘success’ isn’t about the quality of your content, it’s about how much money you have and who you know.

I think of myself as being one of the fortunate ones who has discovered that the real value of SteemIt has nothing to do with the financial rewards; the community is the real strength of SteemIt. The connections - the friends - I made here in this short while on SteemIt are worth way more than money could ever buy...

I must admit I do use the upvote bots - not always, but I do. It might sound a little crazy, but if I see the stats on show at least a little value, it gives me a boost - although I’m very aware that I paid for that ‘money’ myself (the mind works in strange ways - lol)
I would never spend hundeds of Dollars, though. Although... if I would have the money, I would probably ‘buy’ the trending page to see some quality posts on there. Simply because a lot of authors deserve to be there, and SteemIt deserves to look better on the outside.

IMHO, if nothing changes, there is little hope for the platform. Blockchain technology is evolving at the speed of light, and it won’t take much longer before a modern version of SteemIt will be started, and SteemIt will become history. (And that modern version will exist until greed takes over again, and the system wil become just as ‘corrupt’ as SteemIt is now. People are just not responsible enough to take care of their own)

Thanks for sharing. I am one of those disappointed people. When I post on Steemit, few people see my post and respond to them. When I post on any newspaper I get many people responding to my posts.

I just don't get why I am not getting the traction I get of other newspaper forums. Even my Linkedin and facebook profiles get way more interaction and comments.

I believe the bots help a lot of people, the beautiful pics and videos as well. I don't use any of those, so I am okay with the reality of the situation.

I agree with you

Don't use bots. Don't even know how to use a bot. I'm fairly new, and so my opinion don't count for much, but I feel like at times it's a popularity contest here, and that quality writing has absolutely nothing to do with those who are popular. And thinking on this is possible that some of those popular kids are using bots. However. When I run a contest giving away free steem and I hardly get any response and someone else, who joined the same time as me, runs the same contest and gets a shit load of response is what feeds my popularity contest theory. I am educated and can write, and when I create a post that I feel is some of my best writing, and it gets barely a peep response, but others post a stupid meme and gets tons response, is frustrating as hell! When I day response, I'm talking about comments, participation, etc. as any money made is just a nice plus. However part of being on Steem is supposed to be about interacting with each other and it's frustrating to me when I don't get that interaction. Some days it's like you're back in high school!!

From a newbie to Steemit and having earned a small amount, I do not feel like I should have a complaint as I have gained a small amount of Steem from votes to my blogs and comments. As for unfair, some will say it is unfair now, other will say any change offered as an alternative would be unfair. To decide what is fair, we should go look at the FAQ and the guidelines on which Steemit is designed. It clearly states in the FAQ section under the Plagiarism and abuse section. "Selling or offering to buy votes/resteems/follows, or schemes that facilitate this." If the use of vote bots does not fall somewhere within that. Then the platform is becoming no more than a playground for Bot wars. All that is need now is a Post bot who will drag content from anywhere reassemble and combine it with other material, (the material does not have to make sense or hold any value) Post it and vote bot it up, who makes the best bots will win!

Hey, what a sincere and thought provoking article!
As in life, so in Steemit the rules are not fair. We are not equal. But here instead of trying to be better at what they do, people tend to complain and search for ways to get rewards, failing to realize it's not the players to blame rather than the game itself.
Buying votes is not necessarily a bad thing. I have been using them to get into the trending page and attract more people.
Like you stated, organic audience is built slowly in time. I know that for a fact also.
Still people will continue to complain. To be honest, some of them are right. There's a tendency in the trending pages with mostly BS content, usually with a lot of paid upvotes. At the same time quality posts end up buried and never discovered. I randomly stumbled upon your post and I've checked your blog. Followed!

So you would also agree with buying the vote of a politician is not a bad thing? I guess it depends on the degree of right or wrong?

What? What the hell has politics in common with upvotes?

The principles are the same when votes are paid for. Truth is lost value is lost and the majority lose for the gains of a few.

This post not making it on trending is a good thing! I’d have some questions about how it got there if it did! Very little content lands there that did not heavy spend hundreds of SBD to get there. Besides you would be spammed with the brain dead zombies that haunt the trending tab thinking they are going get picked out of the herd for a massive upvote. If they had half a brain they realize—no one’s buying your comment an upvote lol. Even more so that junk they leave behind.

Quality content should never have to spend that kind of money to get anywhere. They have nothing to fake to hide and nothing they need to artificially inflate. If I’m not mistaken certain places have what a 40 or 50 SBD cap for goodness sakes. That a lot of money for so little effort of stuff that lands there.

Thankfully it does not take much for those people to go into the red going that. It is more disappointing that in under a weak a spammer can get to 60 reputations just paying to upvote there junk. Not like mines that great but good heavens. When you start seeing like 5-word poems and 20-30$ worth of bought upvotes. Maddening!

While it sucks prices are down this far it at least is taking the wind out of a lot of dishonest sails out there. While many hard working people as well are giving up or not going hard. This seems like a perfect time to go hard. I expect once we have a floor o $10 the easy days of earning will be over.

Nice write up,at least it will teach sense

interesting read! i'm still a newbie at this... but appreciate your candor!

I was about to eat dinner but now I'm a bit nauseous!

The record? I actually managed to find a post that had over $100.00 in rewards and 33 comments... EVERY SINGLE ONE OF WHICH was from an upvote bot. Stated differently, the post had a total of three organic upvotes (all below 1 cent) and ZERO organic comments.

I want to think that Karma and 'doing the right thing' simply because it's doing the right thing will take care of this. Time will tell!

No, I have never used a bot, am brand new to steemit and came not to make money, but because I believe in the idea of decentralization and real posts from real people.
Okay, I know the posts are created by real people, but have to admit that I've been turned off by just how much content is either crappy or geared entirely to what one must do in order to get ahead/make-it in this community.
At the same time, I've been amazed at some of the content and excited to know intelligent people didn't just drop off the face of the earth with the continual restriction of surfing the Internet and the blind, group-think occurring on FB.
I'm just making my way around, upvoting and commenting on what I'd like. I don't even know for sure why my votes sometimes give a cent and other times nothing? I figured it might be because I didn't have enough money in my account and bought $30 worth of Steem and powered up, but still my reputation level is much lower than a couple of people I made friends with after joining within days of one another.
Also, I keep hearing I've got to go to discord, and have briefly, but don't have a lot of time to sit in chat rooms, so just find myself loping around again, reading or watching whatever catches my fancy.

@denmarkguy, I really love your article.. I'm just new here in Steemit and your words have reminded me of my purpose. By the way, I'm an English Teacher here in the Philippines, and my ultimate goal for joining is to really inspire and instill to the youth and students the love for learning and make them realize that each of them is unique in their own way. I'll keep on posting inspirational and educational stories because that is what I love, and not because of the monetary incentives. Thank you!😊

I am new here, so I haven't had the chance to use a bot, but I won't ever use them.

Bots defeat the purpose of SteemIt as a merit-based social media platform free from manipulative algorithms and social engineering gimmicks. I am exploring it as a free speech, decentralized alternative to big corporate sites like facebook and twitter. I am tired of facebook shadow banning me and demanding I pay money to "boost" my posts so my own friends can see it. Bots are similar to the "page boost"; they hold your voice hostage because if the top trending posts are all using bots, you can not get your voice heard unless you use bots too. Imagine running a race and coming in eleventh place because the top ten all used performance enhancing drugs! You should feel cheated!

I think that if and when Steemit can solve the bot problem, it will explode in popularity. The rise of block chain technology and the fall of facebook has created an opportunity for Steemit to present to the public an alternative business model, in which users are not milked for data and sold to advertisers, and algorithms aren't carefully crafted to alienate us from our friends and steer us to paid advertisements.

Nobody likes to feel lied to, cheated, or manipulated, and that's how bots make me feel. They're not helping make Steemit better than other social media sites; they're dragging it down to their level.