Decentralization, Accountability and the Use of Steem Bots

in #steemit3 years ago


So originally I was going to post about something else today, but that can wait as I feel that this is an important issue to look at.

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GrumpyCat and the Use of Steem Bots

Alright, so about 2 weeks ago I remember reading a post by @grumpycat that explained that he/she will be combating the use of Steemit upvote bots that don't comply with his/her imposed terms, which is the use of bots to upvote posts older than 3.5 days. I agreed with what @grumpycat was attempting to do but at the same time I was able to see that GC themselves used bots multiple times to get their post trending.

Fast forward one week and I saw another post reminding everyone of the impending actions that will be taken by the @grumpycat account if there is use of upvote bots on posts older than 3.5 days. To me I didn't have much of an issue with this as I was only using certain bots to upvote posts I just released on the blockchain.

Now I wake up today and see that my buddy @brandonfrye was victim of @grumpycat's cyber-bullying, not because he used a bot to upvote a post older than 3.5 days, in fact his post was only 5 hours old when GC struck, but because he used a bot that wasn't compliant with GC's rules. This has me extremely pissed off because not only is GC using bots themselves they are punishing new members to the Steem block-chain for doing exactly what their doing.

Now I don't know @brandonfrye personally, but I consider him a friend, and he puts out amazing content, not only about the Steem block-chain and helping new users but he puts out amazing content on multiple platforms, yet this is the only one where he was essentially robbed because of someone not agreeing with how he uses the platform.

Decentralization and Accountability

So after seeing this unfold I sat here thinking, is decentralization really a good thing for social media? I still love the idea of decentralization and I believe a great many of the people that might read this think so too, but shouldn't people that have power like this be accountable for their actions? Should a single person be able to completely negate a new member from being able to succeed on Steemit due to rules that they make? What if I had 3 million Steem Power and decided I didn't like that people only post photos as their blog posts so I flag them all making their post essentially worthless? Of course there would be a huge backlash on this and I would be a hypocrite, just like GC, because I myself have posted photos.

So I ask you, fellow Steemians, is this something you want to be happening on YOUR platform. Do you want to spend hours creating content just like @brandonfrye only to have it flagged by a cyber-bully that just so happens to have a bigger bank account than you?

What can we do to stop this behavior? Whales, you're welcome to chime in as well. Please save the minnows from the "Sharks." Thanks!



There are two issues at play here. First, a group of early Steemians were able to become whales and have immense control. Second, Steem allowsncnplete anonymity and people behave differently when they are known vs anonymous. This, an anonymous whale who may not have high-functioning social skills may behave in ways that are detrimental to the community which will have a difficult time helping them learn to play nice in the sandbox.

You are correct on all points here. Hopefully we can get everyone to play nice in the sandbox.

Love you man, keep up the good work.

Can you just redo the post? I wish you guys would spend more money on users and less on the stupid robots.

I was there and saw what happened too. Like you, I was shocked that one person had the ability to wipe out the whole chain. Apart from this platform, I'm studying blockchain technology as a future tool in voting- national and local elections, that is. I thought decentralization through blockchain was the way of the future; it might be, but what I saw that cat do really opened my eyes to how vulnerable this technology is at this point.

With that said, Steemit will get better because the technology will get better. Governments are investing in blockchain; corporations are investing as well, and they are taking security seriously. If we the people don't believe in it, it will fail, and everyone wants to protect their investments, right?

Does Steemit have an arbitrator system? Maybe something like this should be arbitrated. I was reading on Bisq (no I don't use it yet just checking it out) how theirs works. They use a bond system so that the arbitrator is incentivized to be fair. I'm sure there are other arbitration systems out there maybe someone others could suggest?

I don't know of any system that's in place currently unfortunately.

@jrmiller87 Thanks for sharing this information.

Unfollow the people who use bots.

The bots and bot-users follow each other, and upvote each other, creating a feedback loop.

Yeah and some of these humans won't upvote human bot warriors like myself. :(

Thank you for your post. Are there any posts you recommend about how to use STEEM bots? There are just so many @@

At the moment I don't have any that I'd recommend. Maybe I'll make a post soon to address this.

Minnows from the sharks for real! Great post and support for @brandonfrye I've learned a ton from him so to see him go through that, I felt it wasn't fair at all. but alas, I guess that's decentralization right?

I say we all build ourselves up and become those dolphins (and maybe one day whales) so there is more of a welcoming feel and community here on Steemit.

Without the new 'minnows' this platform doesn't grow. Me myself, I believe in this platform and haven't really been back to Facebook in weeks LOL

slightly addicted

I'm the same way lol. Thanks for the comment!

@jrmiller87 There's got to be a way to create "community councils" that would take a look at more serious issues within their communities and take appropriate action on the perpetrator.

What if we had territories that we belong to? Then each territory would set its own rules. Members of the territories would need to abide by the territory’s rules. Members could move to other territories if they didn’t like where they are, but they would have to belong to at least one territory.

Members of other territories would not have the ethical right to harm another member of a different territory. In cases where the perpetrator does attempt harm, then the victim’s community would step in to help.

That sounds like an interesting idea. Thanks for the comment.

Maybe someone can explain this to me, because using bots at all seems to be completely counter to what Steemit was pitched to me as before I signed up. Wasn't the whole idea of the steemit platform to incentivize content creation the appeals to (human) people and the use of bots is essentially gaming the system against that original intention?

You're correct in that having content that's appealing to human people is the best and the primary way in which one can grow. The issue is when you first get started these little boosts are nice. You also have to look at the bots you're using. For example, the main bot I use currently is @bumper, this "bot" actually has people behind the scenese manually making sure the posts are not plagiarized and that they are "quality."