Conflict of Interests: Upvotes vs Flagging - is there a solution?

in steemit •  2 years ago  (edited)

Last 2 days have raised a lot of drama in our lovely Steemit community. Long story short - @berniesanders opened a hunting season on users who abuse reward pool in one or the other way. Some whales like @transisto, @smooth and others supported this movement in their own manner. As a result, many users started to whine: "this is so unfair!", "who gave them the right to decide whom to flag?" , "this is an attack on writing category" and so on. Community divided into camps, where some people support one side, some other and some remained cool and neutral. 

I don't wanna waste my time on explaining how I feel about it, some people just don't get it and there is no way to persuade them. Here are some authors who tried to make it very clear how things are and I think they made a damn good job: 

@schattenjaeger in a post "If You Accept the Upvotes, You Really Need to Accept the Downvotes" 

@acidyo in a post "My thoughts on flags for disagreement on rewards"

@riyadrajbd in a post  "If You Accept the Upvotes, You Really Need to Accept the Downvotes"

Ohh wait @schattenjaeger you already got plagiarized, this was fast indeed! :) 

General ideas of these 2 posts is that Steemit is a free market and people have the right to upvote and flag whatever their want, unfortunately it influences your rewards and ranking of posts. You can whine or not - live with it, adapt and be stronger!

However, there is one thing which really disappoints me in all this mess - so many people are expressing their opinion, but rarely someone proposes a solution, and if they do, it is usually lost somewhere in comments. For instance here are some questions and possible solutions I have raised and commented in the post "Steemit Roadmap 2018: Community Input Requested"

I don't want to repeat myself, I will just highlight one of the real problems here and will propose a possible solution. So the problems is: 

- Steemit trending and hot section algorithm does not work;

- Minnows' posts have no chance to get into the trending section;

- it happens mainly because posts boosted by bots, daily upvoted by 1 or 2 whales, upvoted by colluded groups and all these posts are sitting tight in top positions. 

Is there a solution? I think yes, here is my personal proposal, I would be very pleased if you guys participate in discussion and add, change, propose your own points. 

- Flagging should be changed to downvoting, like in old Steemit days (not sure how it worked in those times, I was still a baby); 

- Upvote and reward to the author should be 2 different beasts;

- Whenever person upvotes he gets redirected to the tab where he can choose how much to award an author (I think it might be mandatory or not, really depends on how different elements will synergize with it);

- Whenever person downvotes he gets redirected to the tab, where he can choose whether to decrease reward or leave as it is. ( Again here are many different solutions, like adding slider, offering not to take away money and just downvote etc) 

- Reputation should be reworked. It should have more weight, it should influence ranking of posts, let's say ability to enter groups ( that were promised some time ago) or communities.  It might be gained via your activity on Steemit, success of your posts (from the point of view of rank and not an award), success of your comments;

- Taking away or giving a reward to the user, does not influence their post ranking, only reputation does;

- Post ranking depends on the difficult algorithm. Let's say: a) amount of upvotes, downvotes and their difference b) amount of comments c) reputation of users who upvoted and downvoted.  d) amount of views e) time of posting f) amount of resteems g) amount of followers h)maybe smth else, perhaps you guys might add your ideas. 

A great example of post rankings would be Reddit. I am not suggesting to copy paste it, but yea we definitely can learn something from them and make it better, something that suits our platform. 

- Flagging should be reworked. It should be considered more of a way to report a person - for spam, plagiarism etc. If a person gets flagged it also influences his reputation.

- There should be set a limit on rewarding same author more than once a day. 

Now why I think it would work? Here is an example: 

A new post gets published by a minnow author in so beloved "fiction category".  None of the whales pay attention to it, because ,weeell,  it is not popular yet and they want to spend their power only on quality content. Fair enough. So the post is getting new views, more upvotes, some downvotes, a lot of comments and finally it is in a trending section. Lot's of activity in there yes it raised only $7, but it has 200 views, 100 comments, it made really long way to trending section and now he has a chance to catch attention of the whale. 

Very important part in this idea is to avoid mass accounts abuse. We don't want users to create 1000s of low reputation accounts and be able to influence and promote their own posts. There should be set some sort of limitation - for example the higher reputation the more it gives power to upvote. If you are a newcomer your vote does not really have any weight. Spend some time on Steemit, get higher reputation and then you can influence ranking of others. 

In order to avoid situations where whales are rewarding only their "buddies" and generally make them more interested in other stemians content, limitation on the reward on the same author can be set.  I think this part should be thought through very carefully, but examples could be: 

- a user can reward same author not more than once in a day, a user can reward same author not more  than 3-4 times a week. 

- on the other hand, a person can reward same author as much as he/she wants but every time reward amount will be diminished. I am not sure how to make it mathematically right, perhaps some sort of % or something like that.  I do remember there was a guy who raised this idea in his post and explained an algorithm, but I lost it. ( Sorry buddy, we don't have bookmarks here. )

The idea behind these limitations is to make whales research a content or at least reward the one which is really popular and stop sitting on a trail rewarding content they did not even read. 

In conclusion, I would like to underline that these are just my personal ideas, some of them might work, some not, but I hope you see the direction of my thoughts. Don't be shy, offer your ideas, edit mine, add something new, finally - disagree with everything but offer a better solution. 

I hope this post will gather some views, so we could start a dialogue here and won't be lost in new section, like it always does :) 



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Its hard to think of any suggestions, but I would add that downvoting works if its explained and something has to be done about the unbalanced reward system, so downvoting posts that do not add value (ie views and quality- particuarly posts with negative content) actually would help to shift some of this favouritism. Im not against the free market but rewards do need sharing out more. I like the idea of limiting votes to 1 person per day.

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The "flag" is actually just a downvote incidentally. It has always been that way. It's just that people misunderstand it because of the talk of flagging spam etc.

I just think it would be better if people took time to understand that you get upvotes and downvotes. One adds money and the other takes away. There is no impugning of quality implicit in a downvote. In fact the very first option you see when you downvote someone is disagreement over rewards

The trending pages could do with a rework definitely.


Yea, people misunderstood the term, but it was not the point of my article :) My main point is that current rewarding and upvoting system works against new users. Particular authors are getting 1 hight vote from whales and occupy a place in trending section, that's why new authors stand no chance to get a better visibility. If we separate upvote from reward, it might solve a problem.