Why Steemit Is The Platform Of The People And The Answer To Censorship

in steemit •  6 months ago

steemitforthefuture.jpeg

Via Disobedient Media

I am no expert in crypto-currency, and I am brand new on Steemit. Though I'm still in the beginning stages of learning the ropes of a platform based on cryptocurrency, like Steemit, I want to bring the platform to the attention of as many people as possible for a few specific reasons.

First, as Disobedient Media previously reported, social media giants including Facebook and Twitter have heavily censored political content and independent media over the course of the last year. Youtube, and its owner, mega-company Google, have likewise strangled the reach of independent news sources and commentary.

Youtube has severely demonetized any and all independent political thought, in an apparent attempt to choke content creators to death via their wallets.

In response to this, independent media have pivoted to other platforms including Steemit. Why?

Because it differs from Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter in a few extremely important ways. Where these legacy social media giants have censored content creators tremendously, Steemit not only offers a reprieve from censorship. The platform protects a user's content within blockchain.

For those, like me, who are less tech-literate, this essentially means that you are not only free from censorship of the kind imposed on social media, but also that what you produce can never be deleted or altered by an outside entity. This is of particular importance for independent journalists or citizen investigators who cover sensitive and highly censored topics.

Steemit's video counterpart, D.tube, provides similar protection for video content as a fantastic alternative to youtube, which has become infamous for its extensive censorship, especially after it came under the purview of Google. Other alternatives to Youtube including Bitchute have also gained traction in recent months. Kim Dotcom recently remarked on the deep-state supporting effects of Google's ownership of Youtube:

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.50.59 AM.png

 

In addition to the unique and inherent value for independent journalists when their work can be protected within blockchain, Steemit pays its content creators with a unique form of cryptocurrency. What must be noted here is that instead of media empires like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and others effectively profiting from users' content, and then arbitrarily censoring that content - Steemit provides protection from censorship and reverses the profit model of the legacy social media platforms.

If any platform could be described as anti-establishment to its bones, it would be Steemit.

Disobedient Media previously reported on Facebook's crackdown on the independent press, as well as censorship imposed by Google, Youtube and others. As described by Wikileaks, the interconnection between Google and the 'deep state' is incredibly strong. This enmeshment may, to some extent, explain the extreme censorship that has occurred on platforms owned or affiliated with Google, including Youtube.

As previously reported by this author, the cobweb of associations between corporate power, the intelligence community and media outlets have developed to a worrying extent, epitomized by the relationship between Jeff Bezos' ownership of the Washington Post, in light of his financial ties with the CIA through its contract with Amazon. Bezos was also an 'angel investor' in Google.

In light of all this, it is no wonder that independent media do not face 'friendly' conditions on the platforms owned by the establishment that we collectively rail against every single day. This problem has put independent media in an increasingly painful catch-22 over recent months. Thankfully, Steemit provides not only a feasible solution to this issue, but one that turns the entire establishment media model on its head by paying users instead of profiting from the theft of their content.

The latest shift is not the first time that anti-establishment voices have turned to cryptocurrencies in the face of an establishment crackdown. Wikileaks and Assange were early adopters of Bitcoin, with Assange calling the currency "The real Occupy Wallstreet."

That the value of Bitcoin sharply declined after making considerable gains in the last months of 2017 is hardly surprising given its significance to anti-establishment movements and organizations like Wikileaks. One hopes that other currencies like that of Steemit will not be faced with similar attacks, or will be strong enough to withstand them.

The floodgates of independent media turning to Steemit were opened primarily by Suzie Dawson, a journalist, activist, and current leader of the Internet Party of New Zealand. At her instigation, a new wave of independent journalists joined the platform, after facing severe censorship on establishment-backed platforms like Facebook.

Along with myself and Dawson, anti-establishment journalists including Caitlin Johnstone, Redacted Tonight's Lee Camp, HA Goodman, and many others have joined the platform and begun to publish or re-publish their work there. The move has made waves within Steemit, with one prominent user devoting an entire article to the shift. Dawson Tweeted:

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.52.03 AM.png

The user, known as V4VAPID, wrote: "In recent days, and weeks, the alternative media community on Steemit has surged to new heights with a flood of new converts. Among those finding a new home on the platform are journalists, researchers and activists with established name recognition and fan bases from multiple platforms." They went on to give short descriptions of the indie media that have recently joined the platform, as well as describe members of the Steemit community who have helped we new recruits.

Musician Ben Lee also shared his thoughts on bringing entire new communities to Steemit, emphasizing the importance of positivity and supportiveness, which Steemit shares with new users in spades. He also addressed the importance of viewing Steemit as an investment as opposed to a 'get-rich-quick' scheme.

I would like to take a moment to personally thank all of the Steemit users who have been so extremely kind and helpful during my own first week using the platform. It has been an honor to join the community on Steemit, and I hope that as more people escape the chains of legacy social media - as they largely have the shackles of establishment press - that the Steemit community and new platforms like it will not lose the amazing sense of warmth and mutual support that exists there now.

In this author's opinion, Steemit embodies one of the crucial answers to the problems raised by establishment censorship on multiple fronts. I hope and sincerely believe that Steemit and platforms like it are a glimmer of a brighter future for the independent press and the public at large. It protects us, it pays us in a currency that the establishment doesn't control, and it allows us respite in the face of blatant censorship elsewhere. For that and more, I am thankful.

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Hello @elizbethleavos, wonderfully written article!

Thank you so much for the mention, I feel incredibly humbled to be quoted in your piece and heartened that you've received such a warm reception since joining the platform.

@benleemusic is absolutely correct that Steemit is an investment in ourselves, in the community, and in the future.

Thank you for all that you do, you have my full support.

If you need any help, just hit me up in Discord :)

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Thank you very much, @v4vapid! I appreciate it and I will definitely ask questions if anything comes up!

I agree with most of what you wrote in your article, but I tend to have more criticism to this platform.

Mainly the money aspect, and how it manipulates people to write what makes money instead of write what's on their mind.

In other words steemit has issues that can be compared to 'social credit'

https://steemit.com/social/@bifilarcoil/gamified-control-china-s-social-credid-system-is-going-global

And how it leads to 'Social Cooling'

https://steemit.com/ccc/@bifilarcoil/social-cooling-a-34c3-talk-by-tijmen-schep

Not exactly the same, but close enough to bring this to everyone’s attention.

Don't get me wrong steemit is far better then Facebook and others. But still it uses principles that are questionable. Just look how 'money' influenses how people behave.

On steemit this seems to be even WORSE then on Twitter.
Twitter does not 'pay' so people don't hold back on 'bad' thoughts like they do on Steemit.

I'm not sure if I'm exaggerating or not. Maybe I'm just paying too much attention to this. It's up to everyone else to make their own opinions about this.

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Fair enough. I'm still extremely thankful for Steemit's protection of indie media through the use of blockchain.

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Sure, that's the good part of steemit. And I hope I'm wrong about my observations, or if i'm right that steemit will do something about it.

Money is the root of all evil. And to take money to the next level as cryptocoins there lies a big responsibility. I hope that the Steemit community doesn't turn a blind eye to the darks side of money, and will invest in some research into all possible side effects. Not just the 'positive' side effect of making money. This seems to be the main reason why people flock to this platform.

But by all means, keep posting more articles. :-)

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You bring up some valid points but remember that Steemit is still evolving (BETA) and is, in part, a social experiment.

I agree that there's a good number of people who write whatever happens to be the most profitable for them, but I don't think that's the majority of users. I also see a lot of people focused on their passion and interests, some interests such as crypto, bitcoin, steemit are shared by most users so these topics tend to do better than others on the whole.

I would also like to point out that a lot of older users came here to escape censorship and who're not motivated by earning crypto/rewards. There are people here focused on preserving their work to the 'immutable' blockchain. Also, there's more diversity here than meets the eye, especially beyond the trending pages.

Steemit is far from perfect and there are many issues that need to be addressed if the platform is to go mainstream. imo, it could go either way at this point in time.

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Yes, and it's because steemit is still in beta that I take the oppertunity to make my point.
I can be wrong but if I'm right then now is the time to make a fuzz about it.
I can't write code so I need to hack this issue with the tools I've got.

I never used social media before. Or wait MySpace I did use until the music industry steamed in and turned it into the biggest spam machine. That drove me away from everything in the social media industry.

Escaping sensorship is indeed a huge strength of steemit and it's the biggest feature. Still there is @cheetah and @steemcleaners who are doing steem-surveillance. And they do it in the same 'bad' way as any other surveillance.
Slightly less bad as others, but surveillance just does not work. As there will always be people who manage to go under the radar, or find new creative ways to get around it.

I'm actually looking forward how this platform will evolve. And I hope my feedback will help it in a positive way for all the users.

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Interesting perspective...I think people write about what interests them or think is important to save on steemit. I think some of the heavy hitters just have more followers & steem power. At least the political news isn’t influenced by advertisers, corporations & the new world order.

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Really, this platform just protects against obvious forms of censorship. It's wonderful, but we, as community members have to remain vigilant against things like flagging campaigns. Being flagged into invisibility won't make what you post vanish off the blockchain, but it will make you socially mute. Which is effectively the same.

The Masters are always watching, and they are devious. Beware even the slightest destructionist, for they are legion.

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@skeptic has been repeatedly flagged into negative rep, and doggedly come back.

He's one of my heroes, TBQH

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Yes, I was going to mention the invisibility cloaks.

Some people will flag posts they just don't agree with. It's a bit of a nuisance but if you have enough backing, you can be upvoted back into the light.

Good luck
Anj :)

Stemmt is the anti-censorship platform - this is why I love it!

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AS WE DESCRIBED BEFORE ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME TILL FACEBOOK WILL DIE!
What do you think about a SENATE UPHEARING :)......
THEY CAN BAN IT IN INDIA THEY CAN BAN IT IN CHINA, BUT THEY CAN NOT BAN PEOPLE ACCEPTING COINS :)
BUY AT DIP.JPG

#ADOPTCRYPTOGOD
https://steemit.com/cryptogods/@mfg/l316uu4d

#CRYPTOCARTOONS
https://d.tube/#!/c/mfg

#CRYPTOWORLD
https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@mfg/blockchain-technology-in-near-future-deep-analize-of-humanity-fate-and-will-must-read-bitcoin-cryptotities-cryptokitties

Fabulous, well-written article. Elizabeth the quality of your written work is undeniable. You have both substance, and shine. A rare combination. No wonder Disobedient News has become such a powerhouse in only a year of operation. Remarkable. Pleased to call you friend and colleague, and thank you for all your incredibly hard work on behalf of truth and humanity.

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Thank you so much Suzie! That means a tremendous amount to hear! :) You are awesome.

Exactly. Steemit like applications are the only hope for censorship. Google like companies has always disrupted our privacy and it will continue to do so.

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Agreed!

About the spying -- it'll be far easier to do that on Steemit since basically everything is public except for private keys. It doesn't allow for control through ads and influencing links like the others, but we're going to be putting a LOT of accessible information on this platform, so be wary.

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Well it seems to me that they weren't having much trouble spying through the other platforms, either. So overall Steemit is much more secure and I consider it a good thing that it is transparent.

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True.
And even more so because there is a way to turn words into money. Try to do that on the street, shout an opinion and you get a flowerpot on your skull. But i doub't that anyone will come at you to push an upvote button and give you $0.01 for a truth. :-D

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Yeah, though I guess they could assemble a botnet to downvote your posts to oblivion forever...

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then we need counter-botnets and they will have the war they wanted in the first place...
No, we need to get one step ahead and find a better solution

...and more steemit bandwidth. ....sigh

I am still waiting for situations/cases where a strong state initiated censorship is imposed on social media including steemit and the reaction by the platform. D.tube is way better at monetisation than YouTube. It's by design evident but I have my doubts regarding censorship which will change with steemit's stance on disputes.

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Indeed!

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There have been vociferous debates regarding censorship already on Steemit. The recent kerfluffle between @berniesanders and @haejin is an example.

Flagging is censorship. There are accounts on Steemit that openly state they are 'paid flaggers'. I have run afoul of one already. It is trivial for the financially encumbered to relieve themselves of the weighty burden of monetary excess by devoting it to VP used to silence opposition to whatever political or business purpose they decide.

While post and comment text will remain on the blockchain, video and imagery will not, when flagging causes an account, post, or comment to become hidden, revealed only by choosing to click the necessary buttons on a comment by comment, post by post, basis. D.tube does, I believe preserve video on the blockchain, and this is a good thing.

However, except by scouring the blockchain for such content as has been suppressed, along with all the scams, spam, and trolling that has been suppressed along with it, folks will not be able to read it.

Lastly, stake-weighting witness votes centralizes control of the blockchain. It is trivially easy for deep pockets to buy enough Steem to fork the blockchain any way they want. Since many users will not put up with that, and the code is FOSS, we can expect instant forks to prevent users being captive to such hostile takeovers. However, such migration will abandon any Steem those users have on the captured blockchain, and all the posts, comments, and data on that blockchain.

I reckon it'd be better to preclude that by democratizing witness votes.

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Very interesting argument. The flagging with empower trolls with censorship. I feel because of money involved, people shy away from confronting on this website. Currently, whales have quite some power to manipulate the discussion and topics. Their money with bots can already do damage to a normal user and it's content.

The website is in it's nascent stages and a working blockchain Dapp. There are some tough challenges they have to think hard for long term prospects. Flagging and weighted voting favors whales. Democratization would indeed fit between promoting good content and manipulation of opinion/content.

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"...because of money involved, people shy away from confronting ..."

An excellent point. Self censorship is censorship, after all.

The stake-weighting problem I raised had specifically to do with control of the witnesses, who post the code that defines the blockchain. While I also believe, as you point out, that stake-weighting ordinary votes is problematic, that's a different problem.

The market for Stinc and Steemit, as the code is written, is essentially the 38 whales that control the vast majority of Steem. Yesterday I read a post that actually states that @ned is the particular focus of most increase on Steemit. I do not know enough to argue that either way, and without specific knowledge that such is true, I'll not speculate that it is so.

I do know the whales have the Steem, and I see the system decidedly benefits them. That argument I can make.

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I do not shy away from the issue. In fact, today i wrote an article about a related issue. The surveillance @cheetah it's really pissing me off how it singles things out and throws it all on one big pile.
You can read it here: https://steemit.com/steemit/@bifilarcoil/why-cheetah-sucks-and-why-i-m-going-to-call-this-discrimination
I'm looking forward to articles about flagging as sensorship.
As Steemit is still in beta I feel that now is the time to raise our voices.
It sucks that we who actually like the platform have to be the ones to critisize it. But NOW IS THE TIME. Don't wait until we are flagged out of the picture. Burn the flag. :-) Lets see what the anarchists have to say about this.
Far as i know I'm not an anarchist, but I have the feeling that this might be a very good issue for the real anarchists to fire some neurons at.

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How to spot a troll...
I find @cheetah being somewhat trolling. The intentions are good, but a good intention is never a real solution, it's merely an intention. And as a result it turns out to be nothing more then automated surveillance. And we all know how good that works in the world.

I know steemit is great but I guess I didn't really realize the importance of not being able to delete something actually is for censorship. Thanks for shedding some light this topic.!

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Yes, absolutely - blockchain is one of the most unique and valuable aspects of steemit to people like indie journalists or any 'citizen investigator' who goes into subjects that are radioactive in the 'legacy press.'

Although flagging may technically allow some type of silencing, it would take time and money to put into place, and the work still cannot be altered by an outside party and that is huge.

I hope that Steemit will grow even stronger in this regard as it matures. I have high hopes for the platform, for sure! :)

@elizabethleavos I finally got my "verification" and am now here and it is quite an interesting and exciting venture with real promise. There is much to learn on how to fully take advantage of it. But I appreciate your having alerted me to its existence.

Its time to put an end to the Twitter/Facebook abuses and censorship.

Charlie-Grapski2.jpg

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Hi there!! Nice to see you here! :) We're all learning the ropes together!

Fantastic article. Thank you! Upvoted.

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Thanks! :)

Great article. I had been hoping that individuals like yourself, Lee Camp, and others would begin to notice Steem for what it offers -- freedom from censorship, and the ability for people to add value to things that they find important.

Very exciting to have all of your on-board here.

Thanks for the quality write-up! I'm hopeful about stuff again... for a little bit.... maybe...

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Thank you so much! Steemit gives me hope that independent media can not only survive censorship, but thrive on platforms like this that by nature are also anti-establishment. :)

Curated for #informationwar by @stevescoins
Relevance: decentralization as a tool in Information War
Our Purpose

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KimDotcom Kim Dotcom tweeted @ 05 Feb 2018 - 02:24 UTC

Because YouTube belongs to Google and Google is the biggest supplier of user data to the US Govt. Everything you do… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

Suzi3D Suzie Dawson tweeted @ 05 Feb 2018 - 02:01 UTC

Fantastic article by a Steemit 'whale' about all the new indy media people flocking to the Steemit platform: absolu… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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Good bot!

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Indeed!

Elizabeth! I have to say, this part exactly exresses me!: "I want to bring the platform to the attention of as many people as possible"

Reasons are same too. Decentralized media has really happened with twitter, fb etc.

Now steemit has brought new opportunities to the older advantage of non-gov media :)

Thanks for writing

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yup, this is a whole new paradigm of social media

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Agreed!

The freedom to interact and add value to this community without externally enforced bridle is a sprout of something new, rare and real in the online world.

The additional feature of payment for value, is a plus!

Meanwhile, your writing flair is commendable.
Cheers!

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Thank you so much, I appreciate it! :)

I guess we have enough crypto-brains on Steemit. What St​eemit needs is people like you. Thanks for joining and welcome Elizabeth :)

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Thank you so much!

Good bot

Great article! Elaborates of the two selling points of Steemit:

  1. Compensation through STEEM & SBDs;
  2. Censorship resistance.

#2 is the big advantage for alternate media and alternate voices. What good is pay, good as it is, if you're censored?

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Thank you so much!

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Glad to! It's great to have you around.

Great work

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BUT,censorship is depends on countries' polotics and management systems.
Unfortunately the systems in eastern countries arbitrarily limited to the right to access to information. Especially when the system is dirty and information is against their tyranny. If they want to cut off access to these critical informatin unfortunately they have the power to ban the web sites by blocking the domains and ip adresses by their communication institutions.
I hope they won't be able to get access to the Steemit contents.
Thanks @elizbethleavos, it is a very good post.
@racoo

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Thank you! I see your point.

steemit needs more people like you. Steem needs applications to bring their communities to a censorship resistant environment.
All being done and therefore is a mater of time. Let's keep spreading the word!

Steemvangelization

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Thank you so much!

Good bot

You are killing it so far! Keep it up and women Steemers must unite! ;)

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Thank you! :)

How is it that this only has 89 votes? Keep up the great work- Your voice is always heard on this platform! Upvoted and Re-Steemed :)

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Thank you so much! I appreciate it! :)

Excellent write up. Thank you for all you do!

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Thank you!!

Also a new convert, an #Unfucker. I'm loving it here! There's a bit of a learning curve, but nothing too heavy.

1 unfucker badge tiny.jpg

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Hi, and welcome! :)

Great summarization of why steemit is awesome! I love it! Resteemed

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Very much appreciated! :)

amazing enlightenment about steemit on @elizabethleavos @ jhoni platform have followed you friend

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Thanks so much!!

Now you got it Elizbethleavos :D Happy I finally badgered Suzie and you enough to get onto Steemit great things are ahead. Now, to get you also on onG.Social when we go live. :D

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Thank you so much, Anon!! :) You and everyone here are awesome.

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That's AK to you and everyone else two letters. :p Oh and your welcome!

nice learning post sir n thanks for sharing it @elizbethleavos

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Thank you so much! :)

This platform offers us a lot of freedom to express ourselves, produce new content in any theme and keep censorship out, a great combination and I love that. ✍

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Thank you!! :)

Agreed - locking your content on to the Blockchain is super important for independent media and also helps with censorship problems! Getting paid for posts can't hurt either. Steemit's not perfect but hopefully there will be a more mature payment strategy rolled out and that could be a real threat to other MSM and Social Media companies. Let's make this work Steemians! Great post and thanks for sharing.🌻

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Thank you! :) Agreed

It's great that authors like you and other characters do not see Steemit only as a platform to earn money, but as an alternative to continue with freedom of opinion, information and journalism.
Thanks

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Thank you! That's exactly my view.

"The platform protects a user's content within blockchain." Wow. I didn't know that. Makes me appreciate it even more.

Hi @elizbethleavos, great article. I've only been here a short time too, and I can already see that Steemit has a whole ecosystem of intrigue, power-plays, rivalries, feuds, alliances and much more. I have a feeling there's lots of stories right here if you look for them. Whether or not it's prudent to report such stories - that's something I've yet to determine.

I had followed you , please follow me
Let's help each other

This is awesome

Hi I am new to steemit follow my blogs and upvote me..☺☺☺

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