With all these bots flooding the platform, Steemit is becoming a difficult idea to support.
Maybe my vision of Steemit is different than the consensus, but when I joined, I envisioned a community led effort that could:
- Help the cream rise to the top.
- Filter out the spam.
- Give the little guy a fighting chance at making a big impact.
- Allow human beings to be paid for their content.
So far it is:
- Debatable, at best, on whether or not the "cream" truly rises to the top, but it's still a work in progress.
- Full of bots, many of which are considered spam bots.
- The little guy is buried in a sea full of garbage.
- Bots are making more money than a lot of good contributing Steemit humans.
A mainstream user doesn't care about your bot.
They don't care if your bot scours the blockchain for good content, or bad content, or exposes a fraud.
They don't care if your bot spams upbeat comments on everyone's blog posts.
They don't care if your bot upvotes everyone no matter what.
They don't care if your bot is trying to interact in a positive way, it's a fricken bot.
They came here to interact with human beings on a social media platform and find good content. Why are you here?
Is There a Better Way?
I get it. Some of these bots do good things. For example, @wang shows new users some tips when they first get to Steemit. @cheetah exposes people for plagiarism and fraudulent activity. And there are many, many others that do much, much less than that.
The problem is, if @wang and @cheetah are allowed to roam free on Steemit, so is any other worthless bot that anyone can create and unleash into the wilderness of the STEEM community. Is it really worth the trouble?
Yes, people can downvote them, such as the onslaught of downvotes that has pummeled @bison015 since release. But, this isn't something that I want to deal with as a member of Steemit, let alone the rest of the mainstream world. I don't want to have to question whether or not I'm speaking to a human being, sifting through bot crap in comment sections is not my idea of a successful social media site, and I certainly don't want to judge accounts in this way going forward.
Just wait until the onslaught of "I've made $10000 a month on [insert scam site here]!" bots that are bound to be created. Are we gonna fight that one with another bot that downvotes it (aka @steemservices)? Is this really the best method? Seem's like a never ending circle of poor solutions to me.
Bots, such as @wang and @cheetah certainly have purpose, the ideas behind them are very good and have good intentions. But, I don't think they should be active members on the website. No bot should be actively posting, nor should they upvote content, or do anything that can actively contribute to the social aspect of normal users. In fact, there needs to be something that removes such accounts and/or prevents them from joining! What @wang and @cheetah provide is valuable, but they can contribute in non-active ways.
Why not have @cheetah scan a user's post for plagiarism before it gets posted onto the website? If it doesn't pass, then it cannot be posted unless it passes moderation review. @cheetah can then send the post to moderation, along with a link to where they found the plagiarized article. I'll even volunteer to moderate! I'm sure many others would be interested as well. Super easy, less messy, and regular users don't shoulder the load of sifting through crap.
Steemit Needs to Change
This is about going mainstream, is it not? To evolve as a community, Steemit needs to understand that there is no way that a mainstream audience will accept the use of bots, even if it's to relay important information. Most people will get annoyed, a lot of people will be confused, and others will just try and create more bots to see what sticks since there's an opportunity to make money. The last part is the scariest part, since the bots that have been created now are by contributing members of the community, some of which are just testing their ideas out... but imagine when fake hot blonde model starts coming to Steemit with her $10,000 check she made from working online last month, or Fat Ron selling his penis growth pills. We haven't even hit that hump yet! If you think it's bad now, it's only going to get worse.
This is why all bots need to go. Banned from all social aspects. A system needs to be in place to weed them out, without using other "social bots" to fight them off. If they are useful conceptually, then that's fine, and the idea should be submitted (hello, GitHub!) and eventually the idea can be added into Steemit.
The main point is: These bots can be used in other ways to help the website without getting involved socially—leave the social aspect to humanity to figure out. Let the bots work behind the scenes to help the users have a great experience.