When I signed up for Steemit, 5 months ago, I was mesmerized. Social media done right, you said? I'm in!
I didn't just dive in, though, I took one month in which I posted for 30 days every day, to calibrate my efforts and to understand the system. There were a few things I didn't get right, but their impact seemed small. Things like people complaining about how the whole system is imbalanced and so on. I didn't give too much weight to these voices and I continued my quest into Steem. I was lucky to be supported on many of my posts by some high profile members of the community, including @ned and @dan.
I started to play with the software and installed a few instances on a few machines. Then I applied for a witness. I was also stoked to receive my first witness vote from @ned himself. Others followed through, including witnesses like @smooth, and in a matter of weeks I found myself in the top 50 witnesses.
As a witness, I went beyond just supporting the network at a physical level and started two interactive 30 days challenges, supporting content creation and engagement. I even paid (symbolic amounts of 1SBD, it's true) from my own pocket to other authors, to encourage them. As a result, I think there were roughly 400 new articles over a two months period, with 15-20 authors being supported. All from a single person, not a guild.
When @gtg asked for seed nodes, I was quick in setting up a public one and submitting it for inclusion in the official seednodes.txt of the Steem release.
But as time passed by 2 very interesting things happened.
The voices complaining about the imbalance of the Steem ecosystem became more and more articulated. Not louder, but clearer.
The fight for resources - the draining of the reward pool drama - became more and more evident.
And now we're in plain war.
There Is No "Experiment" Going On On Steemit - It's Just A Gang War
I know many people are refraining from posting these days, until the "experiment" is over. For those of you reading for the first time, the so called "experiment" is just a pretext for a group of whales, @abit and @smooth being the more vocal, with an initial support form @nextgencrypto / @berniesanders, (
who seems to have stopped who just downvoted the shit out of this post too) to downvote as they see fit. In plain English, to drive the rewards from the reward pool in the direction they find "correct", no matter what other previous voters think. Please stop for a while and ponder that: no matter what you voted, they came in and take out your vote.
It didn't start out of nothing, this war. It builded up for months, in the chat rooms, with frequent complaints that some members are making too much money ( @krnel being the usual suspect). These complaints eventually transformed in actions and whales downvoting other people content soon started to look for justification. And now, under the pretext that "no whale will vote, to see how the minnows and dolphins will play", the whole Steemit has become a mess.
It's very similar with being afraid to go outside on the streets because there's some drug cartel war going on. Or fleeing Aleppo because there is a war in Syria. And so on. In the so called "eperiement", it's not only the money that gets "counteracted", but the people reputation is hurt. Every downvote decreases reputation. With no reason other than "I'm doing it because I want it and I don't give a shit about you".
The Political Support Of Wars
When Obama was elected, he promised to end all wars of the US. He didn't. Yet, he was still liked and loved by a relevant majority.
When the "experiment" started, @ned, the CEO of Steemit, had nothing to say about it. Absolute silence. I'm sorry Ned Scott, the CEO of Steemit, you supported me here a lot and I'm grateful for that, but when people are slaying other people rewards arbitrarily and you have nothing to say about it, it means you're an accomplice. You may declare, at a political level, that you're all for the good people and for peace and transparency and community and long term shit and yet, if you're doing nothing, you're just supporting the war.
Just like Obama. You will still be liked and loved but people will get hurt because you supported this war, by doing nothing.
You still control the @steemit account. With just a fraction of that account you could counteract any subversive action in this ecosystem. I understand you keep that account specifically for this type of situations. Well, you have a situation. And you still don't use that power.
Actions speak louder than words.
I'm Not Supporting This
As a witness, currently in the 36th position, I validate transactions on the Steem network. As an operator of a seed node, I contribute to the health of the network. I didn't cast any downvote since I'm here. Not even one, for testing purposes, you can check this out in the blockchain. Although, from a purely algorithmic point of view I may understand why downvoting is still present in the system, in real life, in real people interaction, I find it useless and disempowering.
I find the modus operandi of the current Steemit ecosystem abusive and arbitrary. From the CEO down to the witnesses who are still supporting this war by keeping the downvoting whales among the witnesses - both in the top 19 positions - it's clear that this is the direction they want to go.
I find this in stark contrast with the values and principles for which I signed up: transparency, empowerment and prosperity.
At this moment is just polarization - driving people against other people - opacity and lies. That's the reason I'm stopping my witness and seed node.