So . . . . with HF19, which overall was awesome, we have a new, and apparently reasonably major, threat to the community. As pointed out by Jerry Banfield last week, We Double Our Steem Power Upvoting Ourselves Every 181 Days!
Now, at first, this may appear to be a minor problem rather than a major threat -- but let me lay the statistics on you. According to SteemDB, in the twelve days since HF19, rewards on comments have risen from 77 MVests per 30 days to 322 MVests per 30 days. Correcting for the fact that the majority of those 30 days is still pre-HF19 shows that the expected 30-day *increase* will be *at least* (((322 - 77) / 12) * 30) = 612.5 MVests.
Rewards on comments have increased by nearly an order of magnitude
If this still doesn't seem to be a problem, consider that 50MVests is approximately 1% of the distribution of new Steem per 30 days. So that 612 MVest increase means . . . .
Over 12% of new Steem distribution has newly been diverted to rewarding comments -- which means that author and curation rewards are *dropping* by a similar factor.
And this all assumes that the problem isn't still getting worse -- which is contradicted by the fact post values still seem to be dropping with time (an indication that the average rate of votes markedly increased after the post was posted).
There are several ways to solve this problem.
One is to pray to the programmers and ask for divine intervention in another hard-fork. Another way is to handle it as a community with altruistic punishment. If a egregious self-promoter gets their comments flagged after they up-vote them, they won't derive any benefit from doing so. If they persist after being warned, a post or two of theirs can be flagged as punishment. That should stop the bad behavior.
This account was originally intended to be a community-governed bot. I intend to start moving it towards that purpose now. Until the community votes otherwise, this account's voting power (except for the 500SP already delegated to @MinnowSupportProject) will be used *solely* to try to stop this problem. If you want to support this effort, you can help by temporarily delegating some Steem Power to the effort (or, of course, by up-voting this account so retaliatory flags don't drive it into useless oblivion).
@timcliff has created an excellent tutorial on how to use @busy.org's tool to delegate SP. The single link version to delegate 100SP is https://v2.steemconnect.com/sign/delegateVestingShares?delegator=<your-account>&delegatee=ethical-ai&vesting_shares=206940.794200%20VESTS where you need to replace <your-account> with your account name and the 206940.794200 with whatever multiple changes the amount from 100SP to your desired amount (important: it must maintain 6 decimal places).
Tomorrow morning, I will start manually flagging (with an explanatory comment) egregious new occurrences of self-up-voting comments starting with the offenders in the chart above.
I will also post a list of those flagged so that others may join in as desired.
Hopefully, together, we can bring this scourge under control . . . .
Major props to @aggroed, one of the founders of the Minnow Support Project, for calling this problem to my attention.