Steemit Bots and Spam

in steemit •  2 years ago

I'am only on Steemit for a very short period of time but I already have a feeling that there are bots are getting out of control on posts. Let's stop the spam and make Steemit great (again).

If you look at the following screenshot you will see your average /introduceyourself post. There is up to 5 different bots posting random spam comments on the fresh posts.

You see the users @wang , @calva , @steemster3 & @weenis commented on the post. When i wrote my introducton I was happy about people welcoming me. But I was wondering how they can reply almost instantly. Did they even read my post? The only helpful user/bot seems to be @wang his post did actually help me getting started here. But the others are pure spam and you see them on other posts as well. I also saw other bots that I didnt mention like @xem for example who also tried spamming comments.

How can we stop this from happening? Here are a few suggestions:

  • bots need to be approved by the team or community, not everyone should be allowed to spam the community as they wish
  • restrict the amount of posts / upvotes a certain user can give in a certain time - this can be based on reputation so that helpful users like @wang can stay on board and we dont end up censoring users
  • may enable a way to mute a certain user globally for a period of time after he received enough downvotes from too many users

But it doesn't stop there, we also have real users that are spamming. On every other good post you see people promoting their own content. I get it. It is hard to get noticed due to the amount of people using this platform - and it is just at its beginning. But this should better be fixed now then when it is too late. You find a lot of posts like this:

People are promoting themself on unrelevant topics. Hunting for the profit. I get it. People want money, who doesn't. But that is not how it works. THE CONTENT PROMOTES ITSELF There is no need for excessive spam. Look at other Steemers like @piedpiper. If you check his history of posts you will see that he made a lot of posts that didn't earn any money. And ALL of his latest posts made money in the range of 30-6000 USD. What I'am saying is: don't try too hard. Deliver content for the content and not for the money in the first place. And eventually things will become alright. Here are a few suggestions of limitations that would prevent this kind of spam from taking overhand:

  • don't let people refer to their own posts on external posts more than.. say 3 times a day
  • don't let people post the same link multiple times if it has been upvoted beforehand on another blog
  • mute certain people globally for a period of time if the behaviour of spam continues

I love new content and I think bots can be really helpful. But this shouldn't get out of control - and it might if we don't start fixing it now. #makesteemitgreatagain

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Bots kinda suck and i think they should be banned (maybe some community approved bots should be allowed if they do smth really useful).

Just spamming comments, crappy posts and random upvotes to cash in, doesn't really do anything useful?

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Exactly what I am thinking. But maybe they shouldn't be banned altogether. Look at @wang he is helping new users that are introducing themself. Maybe his message could be polished a bit but it's not bad for a start.

Also in general I think it is a nice thing that users are using the platform and creating new stuff on it. I mean that is what it is meant to be for. It should evolve and grow. And users building things for it should help in this process :)

Thanks everyone for all the feedback and upvotes. I'am happy to hear more feedback though. In particular feedback or a statement from @ned or @dan would be good to have. But maybe they are already working on it.

Thank you for posting! Hope you get this to snowball to the top!
BTW, should steemit let us steemers advertise using steem?
Be sure to tell everyone you know to come vote here at: https://steemit.com/steemit/@kingtylervvs/if-steemit-ever-does-decide-to-advertise-there-is-only-1-way-it-could-work-in-my-opinion-debate

This is a democratic community decision.


Hi, interesting suggestions. Spam is a problem but I think some of the measures you mentioned are a bit harsh. The fact is if you want to grow your community you need to reach out to people, build a connection and share some value. By putting a limit of 3 link shares a day etc would essentially cripple a lot of genuine, high quality bloggers. I know if I spend several hours writing a good post I will want to out in about half that time doing outreach....at least until I have enough regular followers. I do like the idea of providing more perks etc based on reputation. I feel that this is under valued in the community. To be honest I am actually not sure if it delivers you any sort of financial benefit to maintain a good reputation score but it certainly should. That would make the playing ground much fairer for those quality contributors vs rich whales and spammers.

The spam issue really needs to get under control. I feel it could threaten the platform if it gets out of hand. This would ruin it for everyone. I've put out my thoughts on this herehttps://steemit.com/steemit/@joannajablonka/steemit-is-in-danger-of-self-destruction-why-reddcoin-could-win

Ya i agree you with, this is just the beginning of bots.

We need a way to combat them or they will get out of control.

I completely agree. It's great that Steem is so open, but there needs to be some policing - the bare minimum. No one wants to see bots and spammers. And it's especially scary when these scammers have amassed massive amounts of steem power and are more influential than thousands of other steemers.

I wrote a bit about this here recently - https://steemit.com/steemit/@liberosist/steemit-s-achilles-heel-rampant-inequality

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Interesting comment. Remove the last dot (.) on your link else it can't be opened by people interested in it. I would definitely agree with you. I guess the inequality comes mainly from the way steemit is being distributed. But I guess this problem should be able to fix itself over time. The only thing I dont know is what happens if there is 1 Million users on the platform and you join as a completely fresh user. Will your post have any value? Will your post even be discovered?

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Thanks for spotting the extra dot. Though maybe I shouldn't have posted the link as the only thing that happened is it got flagged by weenis!

The problem is that the inequality will only get worse over time. The most influential steemers will earn more and more influence, while newer users with lower steem power will get sidelined completely.

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I was thinking about this also.... couldn't a user with a lot of influence upvote his friends or secondary accounts and exploit the system this way? : s

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Which of the bots besides @wang who must be from the admins is having a lot of steem power currently?

Like it does not matter, rarely you win something for upvote and comment, no returns upvote the comments you do, most owners post don´t give up vote or watch the post.

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not sure i understand the point you are making

@Weenis is a bot as well apparently. Flag when you see him pop up.

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I know... and the most funny thing is that he just commented on this post..

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If this post is legit then weenis is a bot -
https://steemit.com/hack/@crypt0/steemit-psa-watch-out-for-user-weenis##@shredlord/re-crypt0-steemit-psa-watch-out-for-user-weenis-20160720t102130128z

I do know that some bots around are helping the community though but check that link out anyway. Sounds pretty legit.

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Yes it is only a few lines of code. But that is the great thing about Steemit and that is why so many different things are already built for it - because you can interact with it so easily. But it also has a negative downside as you see. After you posted this... all the bots happened. But I guess it could also help people to learn how to get started with bot development. Maybe there could be a test platform where they could play around with it so they wouldn't spam the actual platform...

Yes, man. I already wrote about it.
And made some tests, post "Check the bot, vote for the dot"))) and "Vote for point"

And bots clicking ! and writing reply:
https://steemit.com/cool/@boyarov/real-photographer-will-always-find-a-good-view

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Madame please, not man :))
Interesting that you actually challenged the bots... good idea. I hope the admins are coming up with a solution for the problem soon enough... before it becomes a real problem..

Great post and points - but it's always hard to make rules like you suggest without damaging others unintended.
E.g.: You could link to external posts more than 3 times a day without being a bot of a spammer, and it could be a pain in the ass for the average user.

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I agree 100% but I as mentioned i would limit refering to own internal posts. Because that is what people are trying to promote mostly without having any relation to the blog where they are trying to promote it. I don't think its an issue if you post a recipe for a nice cake below a recipe for another nice cake. But if you post a tutorial on how to farm cows on a post about smoking weed ... well then this doesn't really match and can be annoying for everybody. In particular if you are interested in relevant content.

I'm totally agree with you. I made a tool to identify this bots and downvote them.
check it out: https://steemit.com/steemit/@maximiliano711/steemit-network-diagram-graph-v2-0-realtime-data

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i did and left you some comment there. additionally it would be nice to give a small introduction what the user can actually see on your site :)

Yes I noticed this flaw as well and thought that it wouldn't be long before someone comes out with a bot to do everything from scrapping content off the internet to posting it and then also commenting and curating.

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Skynet confirmed!

Yeah, I'm so confused about bots. But I actually never really get upvotes or anything from bots (which is kind of funny).

I disagree...look at reddit! It has tons of bots, but yet it's not overrun with them. I think that if steemit had specific pages instead of just "topics", they could have rules that are voted upon and which determine the usage of bots.

This is still relevant and hasn't been addressed. I agree with all these points and it's even more of a problem at the present moment!

Awesome post. I decided to turn my steemit account into a photo-sharing one, and 99% of the people who comment on my pictures are bots. 😕

Been here for a couple days and after reading this post, just realised that I got greeted by bots on my first introducemyself post :(

@dunja, a spamer appointing spammers ???
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Nice Job promoting your blog ;)

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If you read my post I was talking about talking about your own post in unrelevant other topics. The comment of mine you are refering to was posted in this topic: https://steemit.com/steemit/@funny/steemit-logo-question

Basically a user asking for the allowance of using the logo and where to download it for further use. No one did give him a reply. I did and I also linked him to the set of files i created for this purpose.

I did indeed link on other relevant posts for users who are looking for that. For example on https://steemit.com/steem-branding/@stino-san/steem-logo-for-personal-use where someone did the same job but the files are not downloadable anymore. I hope this serves as clarification though I'am grateful for your criticism.

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So you decide what i can post or not? if i want to send a poem to someone just in way to say thank you, i can't?? because you decide the rules here? obvious some guys are posting comments like bots, but be careful when you point someone.

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It was an example to make a point. I don't try to point with a finger at you personally. But I'am trying to point out a problem that needs to be solved and this better soon than late. Because if the platform isnt able to handle this issue with only a couple thousand of users I can't imagine the mess we will see with 1 million active users. When everybody is spamming the platform. Look at reddit for example there is very strict posting restrictions. The time limit between posts for new users are in the range of minutes and not seconds.