RE: Is there a whale voter cult on Steemit? Yes, and it's killing Steemit!
I guess you are right, but it's hard to avoid name voting in any context, there was a nice post by smooth explaining popularity vs quality,mass voting is about popularity, and the roi based on self upvote and curation reward can also increase this trend.
Its all up to posters to figure out if they are in the make money, and then they more have interest to participate in various scheme of promotion and marketting to get name voting or in the scope of automated vote, or if they post for quality and sharing, or truth, and they will most likely not make that much reward.
Its common problem with mass voting, plato already wrote about this about how democracy always lead to favorise dishonest politician lieing to make rethoric effect and gain popularity instead of favorizing deep truth tellers or philosopher.
Truth telling and deep topics are never getting advantage in mass popularity contest.
Depend if you are in for politics , and popularity contest, and then always need to play dirty tricks to win, or in for genuine informations sharing.
Can't put it on the whales to correct this problem in human nature, and people being selfish and voting for their own perceived short term interest, instead of voting for deeper thinking and more honnest players.