A call to separation of powers in Steemit

in #steemit5 years ago

In what have been a tough couple of weeks for me on Steemit, I have been the victim of a subjective and abusive flagging campaign by one of the Steemit founders which have intensified after I spoke out about it in a try to draw the attention of the community, in what seems to be a punitive response to the voicing of my feeling of injustice.

Despite the large support of the community and condemning of such behavior, no one was able to change this injustice.

The reason no one was able to do anything about it is the absolute power granted to the person subjectively flagging my posts.

Power tends to corrupt absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton)

I found myself unable to have recourse to any other authority to lift this injustice, because my accuser is the judge and executioner, and only a brave few dared to speak against this injustice, and their voice was totally ignored regardless of the fact that many of them are very respectable members of this community.

Having the legislative, judicial and executive powers in the hand of the same authority is the main characteristic of totalitarian regimes which have proven their failure. Because absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Some of the results of the absolute power being in the hands of Steemit inc founders and high level staff that we have observed so far is the pushing of subjectively selected authors and witnesses, in addition to the subjective suppression of others.

Separation of powers

Separation of powers is a key foundation of modern societies as it enforces equality and equity and provides a healthy environment for development. I hereby call for a separation of powers in Steemit, I think anyone in office at Steemit inc or related to it should not be allowed to vote on content or witnesses. Steemit inc is the legislative authority, it sets laws through the blockchain which apply to everyone seamlessly.

The judicial authority will be exercised by the voters, and the executive one by the moderators which should be the only ones able to flag posts based on a defined and clear set of criteria.

I think this is a tough and important decision that must be made in order to reduce the subjectivity that’s taking place currently, it will also be a lot more encouraging to authors and investors to have such separation of powers in place.

Separation of powers is a necessary and required change to take the Steemit platform to the next organizational level and help it take its deserved place among the biggest social platforms.



To tell the truth although I haven't seen any repercussions directly I'm somewhat hesitant to speak out against the "predictions" of a whale like The Dollar Vigilante for fear that his pals including @ned and @dantheman might put the hammer to me. To their credit everything's been cool.

But keep in mind another clear sign of totalitarianism is the chilling effect. How many are afraid to voice an opinion or enter into debate when the outcome could turn into irreparable damage to one's reputation?

It's interesting that it's that very same mechanism which has kept trolling on this platform to a bare minimum. Compare the repartee on most posts here to comments on a YouTube video. Night and Day.

So I'm in complete agreement with @masteryoda that there needs to be a division of power to help balance the needs of those who would like to challenge an authority figure versus letting every jerk out there tear down people for no reason. Edit: to clarify I'm calling comment trolls jerks. Not anybody in particular.

The separation of powers could dovetail nicely with a suggestion made by @thecryptofiend a number of days ago. After all if Ned and Dan stop voting that's a lot of Steempower left dormant. The proposal is to lend the voting power of some of the largest Steemit accounts to a rotating elected group of curators who could take the time to spread the upvotes while benefiting from the curation rewards.

Thank you for making a stand Master Yoda. I believe you're making a difference just by standing up and being heard.

Unfortunately, when we get to the point where people are afraid to speak their minds in fear of retaliation that’s a very bad sign.

The general sentiment is very important in social platforms, if it is oppression then chances of success are nonexistent.

I made this post in a positive attempt to make the debate public, which can only be a good thing.

Thank you for your courageous and incisive comment.

when i started to censor myself, this began to seem like just another crappy job where i was waiting for the boss to call me into the office and fire me. if i'm going to have a crappy job like that, i can make way more money somewhere else. i'll have fewer intelligent friends to talk to but, at least i won't have to watch some of the best subjected to the tantrums of unthinking, ignorant brutes.

i have been expecting to be crushed by some easily offended child for a while now. i don't know if i'll stick around to feel the relief of the man who, expecting it for months, was finally hauled off to gulag to be with his neighbors.

who wants to live with the threat of some indolent miscreant coming to take away everything that you've worked for, and even the community has indicated that you are worth.

what are these people contributing but turmoil? their posts are worthless and would be seen to be so were it not for the armies of sycophants lapping up the toxic pablum they excrete that they label as gold.

we should be at least able to vote on their downvotes. if enough of the community votes against their power they should be stripped of it. i am not saying they should be crushed into oblivion as they do to others but, that they that abuse their power should have it taken away.

Wow, these are some very powerful words.

Thank you very much, I'm glad to have the support of such wonderful people here.

i'll do my best until i am crushed.

I think any larger undertaking needs a division of labor and a division of power, the suggestion that people can apply to be elected and be voted on and then after three months would have more public confidence.

Obviously the platform needs a strategic focus as well as in policy decisions and direction so the executive branch should have the right to publicly veto any proposals but to do this publicly with open transparency . . .

At least then we can see that more than a few personalities are involved : )

just my two cents worth ; )

Bravo! 👏👏👏👏👏

Has trolling been used as a thin veneer to cover up the convoluted logic, totalitarian feel & missing details of Steemit?? (by people like @ned and @dantheman )

I think credit where it's due. Trolling and spamming seem to come naturally to all parts of the internet. Successfully controlling those issues is no small feat. I rather think the totalitarian bent is a byproduct of policing those annoyances. Improvements in governance could maintain a check on bad actors while limiting the power of individuals in the ruling class.
Even a small change to how flagging works might be key. We already have voting percentages.

So why not limit the flagging power based on the number of flaggers? Perhaps 10% base with +10% available to each subsequent flagger. Therefore consensus flagging would do the most damage while a single outlier can't ruin somebody.

I think this whole anyone can flag model is wrong, it would be better to use a report to moderators feature. After which a group of trusted moderators (witness like selection?) can vote to flag or not (as @ reddust mentioned in his comment). If a post is flagged by moderators, the reward should go to 0 directly with some impact on reputation as well. There is no such thing in my mind as partially flaggable content.

@dgiors I cannot reply to your comment directly because of the nesting limitations so I hope you’ll see my reply here. First I think flagging and downvoting should be two separate things. Flagging is for abusive content, downvoting is an expression of one’s opinion.

Flagging should have clear rules, and should not be subjective.

The main point I’m trying to make in this post, is that allowing Steemit inc related individuals to vote on content and witnesses is a clear conflict of interest.

Agreed except for the part about no such thing as partially flaggable.
We either need a downvote as an alternative to flagging or continue to use flagging in that capacity when it fits.

I'm thinking user downvote (or flag) should be nerfed quite a bit so that it's still the moderator's prerogative to literally take down a post.

I suppose if there were no user flagging the comments section would still provide a place for a dissenting view or feedback. The thing is if I see posts here offering unsafe medical advice or the like I want to not only speak out against it but cast a vote of no confidence.

Edit continued: But to a moderator two users with differing opinions about what's acceptable medical practice could only become viewed as biased whichever side they come down upon.

Can anybody be considered the oracle of all things true? Certainly no moderator should assume such a role.

So while upvote is a powerful tool for demarcating the wisdom of the crowd the ability to downvote should also come as an important tool for judging the social consensus.

I like your last 2 sentences. AGREED. Evolution not revolution - though that would be nice too :)

Bots would run wild I think with that one, wouldn't they?

I get your point. 9 puny bots could pave the way for a huge 100% vote. Then there must be another way.

I'm reminded of yankees who move to the south then complain that "we did it differently back where I came from".

And so children, the lesson we can learn from today's post is why, in practice, anarcho capitalism inevitably replaces the tyranny of the state with the far greater tyranny of corporate rule. Good luck with that separation of powers thing but you might be mistaking this site for a democracy. My advice is not to give a flying fuck about your reputation and just speak your mind. Oh, the tyranny of the high school cafeteria!

As I was reading the comments here a thought came to me. That the better the trust and culture within the community, the less of these difficult cases there will be, and the easier they will be to solve. It seems unrealistic to totally "law" away these problems ( or organize them away ) if there is not a strong culture of "we are all in this together" which ties us together in the first place. Imagine if these kind of disputes could be consistently solved with open dialogue and deep conversation where the parties really listen and try to understand one anothers point of view. Then all the inevitable conflicts could be a source to make the community stronger. When developing a system like Steemit bumps along the road are inevitable. All of this is very untested territory and of course we have to expect problems. If we see the problems as a learning possibility for the community then it can still all be worth it.

With that said maybe an added feature could be a kind of "open tribunal" if specific cases of conflict emerge. Especially if they are conflicts that highlight systemic dilemmas. In these cases the involved parties could have time and space to present their side of the case in great detail and clarity. Everyone can be encouraged to say openly whatever they think as long as it is done in a friendly and civilized dignified way. I mean : if we are going to create something amazing with Steemit unlike anything seen before...why set anything less than the highest standard from the getgo? :)

None of us are perfect. We often misunderstand one another or have prejudices. So we cant expect any complex social system to work perfectly either. In any case Steemit is an incredible social experiment and a learning experience. When people think differently this can lead to a lot of trouble and it can also lead to new insights. I really have a hope that this place will develop a culture where people actually speak openly and listen to each other. A place where practically all conversations proceed in a friendly, open and respectful manner. This would be so amazingly supercool to see.

Actually I am convinced that everything rests on this. If we let the common standard of communication deteriorate Steemit will be a failure no matter what.

But what if we set the standard of communication sky high? What if we make it a top priority? What if we even make a science and an artform out of continually improving it?

I dont know why but I have this dream that Steemit will be the first internet community to actually do that. Take digital communication as an artform to totally new levels. If we could really do that. I think Steemit will explode into awesomeness. It would make us unstoppable.

Excellent words of communications there @mindwheeeeeeel - you know for such a centralized system of Steemit SP power I've never seen such lack of leadership or communication.

I've seen better decentralized cryptos with better leadership and much better communication - the pervasive threat of raised voices here getting cut down just shows you we are not truly decentralized yet - until the pre-mined SP power is split amongst all.

Then as you say, Steemit would then explode into awesomeness and become invincible :-)

And it is still very early days! We have to expect it will take time for a system like this to find its pace. If we can learn from the experiences along the way we can figure out a good way to do it. Its just that there will inevitably be bugs along the road. Lots of them. Of course there will be. There will be misunderstandings. People will say stupid things or draw wrong conclusions based on incomplete information. Sometime something will piss us off. Etc etc etc... All normal human nature my friend!

But why should that be a problem? The way I see it a robust social system is one where all these natural tendencies can be forgiven while the incentives of the system direct the attention away from those attitudes and towards an attitude of cooperation. When we get there then we will know we are on the track towards success.

Raised voices should not be a problem either. If the intent truly is to make Steemit better ( which is objectively in the self interests of all active participants here ) anyone should be able to speak openly and give specific suggestions for improvement. So then we might look into the art of giving constructive criticism. Maybe something like "This is a terrible way of doing it because of..." could be improved by saying something like "I think a far better way of doing it would be...because then we could benefit like this and like this and like this". If we could share our best ideas for how to improve things in the Steemit ecosystem in this kind of way there should not be any problem. Because objectively the self interests of everyone here is served by Steemit being a place for great conversations and really interesting original content.

The question is : when someone who does not know Steemit and goes on the site and begins to read articles...what will they see? What impression will they get? If they get an impression of a vibrant creative community where people support each other and learn together and create awesome content which makes the internet better as well as rally behind awesome projects, then Steemit will be the place people will want to be. It will draw people towards it like a magnet. And it will be this refreshing new impression in the media landscape of truly constructive and inspiring and original social media.

I have absolutely no doubt about this : A platform which can become a creative community for supreme quality media and conversations is going to transform the whole internet. The world is so ready for something like that now that it is almost ridiculous. People are really fed up with depressive clickbait journalism or debates where people argue like idiots. Something inspiring and fun and useful at the same time is like the unexplored gold of the internet. Social media taken to a totally new level. I say lets do it! :D

we already have the ability to accomplish much of this but, the balance is not yet reached. we have the ability to reward one another for positive contribution. tact can be learned, rewarded. the incentive for each one of us to improve ourselves is right here in front of us. as you say, once we begin to do this, we will become an engine of growth of which others instinctively want to be a part. incentivizing each person being their best self is definitely the path to take to make this the most successful dinner party on the internet. is there, do you think, a way to disincentivize the wealthy and powerful, who, because of their mobs of yesmen, don't care about improving themselves and continually wipe their ass on the tablecloth?

No arguments there - the idea is revolutionary and altruistic - the implementation is piss poor.

Thank you for taking the time to write this great comment, I totally agree with you that healthy communication is key to the success of this project.

One of the reasons I like Steemit, is that, except for the occasional trolls, we are able to communicate in a very efficient and respectful way horizontally, the problem lies in vertical communication, I think the top of the pyramid is not listening enough to the grassroots of this community. One example could be that we have not seen any reply from them to this post, although it has clearly drawn the attention of the community.

I hope healthy communication will be part of the Steemit culture!

With 80% of the STEEM owned by just 215 ninja mined individuals this is not a system you are going to win against @masteryoda - our choice is either to do the best we can and live with it, or leave. A stark choice my friend. I hope an alternative to this can rise. This post may be it. I endorse this post. @mindhunter

In a fight of brute force there's an obvious winner. But in game theory those 215 individuals have the most to lose if abuses stifle the growth of this community. Let's see how eager they are to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

Those are some of the most wisest words I've read on Steemit - and I've read A LOT on here! POWERFUL WORDS! 10/10!!

Don't you ever leave Steemit @mindhunter !
Let's take into consideration that Steemit is still in beta...for example me when I joined the reputation trait did not exist back then...
Our voice matters and for sure someone will hear it or at least read it ...

Let's hope someone reads it ;) Right I'm leaving....for a cup of tea!

'Accounts' not individuals.

Greetings @smooth - Yes for us, but for the masses no - they are not here to split hairs. Minnows only deal in facts. Many minnows complain to me that the STEEM pre-mine was TOTALLY HIDDEN from public view compared to other pre-mined cryptos which are more blatant like Mazacoin / Omni / Auroracoin etc...the list is endless. I have mined all of these coins in the past.

The Bottom $ is: Would you like your pre-mine blatant or systematic?

There was no literal pre-mine. It was announced on bitcointalk like thousands of other coins have been (twice in fact, since it was relaunched).

Not many participated since it was not promoted and was a little technically challenging (though the relaunch had a community-provided mining guide). This of course was by design. Not "hidden" though. More like hiding in plain sight.

I think you missed my key point though. There are far fewer than 215 major SP holders who got staked by the early mining. More like a few dozen at most, a good number of whom were Steemit employees or contractors.

@smooth So let us call it a blatant pre-mine compared to a systematic hiding. To me this is irrelevant. This BIGGEST question of all is how we address it?

In fact, every pre-mined cryptocoin has ultimately failed - whether the pre-mine was hidden or purely blatant. Steemit is not an exception.

We must adapt or die. Just ask Ethereum.

...Mmmmm...all this sounds like a post for today...

Why Steemit Needs To Reach A Unanimous Agreement To Hardfork Like Ethereum - To 'Smoke Out' All That Blatantly Pre-mined Steem Power (SP).

Yep, and when I agreed and said so, my fairly consistent whale votes dried up as well. This is not the decentralized and distributed system they describe in the white paper, because, as of this writing, the gate keepers are those with the steem power to prevent others from ever even reaching that level. The only way this could be fixed would be for someone to buy in with more steem than the larger whales to unseat them. If this is Dan's vision of an alternative economy, it looks suspiciously like the American and world economies we already face, where the rules protect wealth and the wealthy are the only ones with access to the rule makers.

The decentralized and distributed system is false advertising at this point!

I helped moderate the biggest Buddhist chat board on the net back in the early to mid 2000s, we deal with these issues through a voting system of moderators. The members never knew or saw all the discussions we had, the struggles and work dealing with so called disruptive or abusive posters. Eventually we were sued by a rogue Zenner, Zennist are such a pain in the ass...hahaha...hacking also took place and when the board lost all its data. Anyway, I don't know if this place has a moderators forum or posting rules, this may help. Ego/reputation, and with this board, money, on the eternet and coupled anonymity bring out the worst in people.

Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s definitely something that can be used in Steemit!

This place is very calm compared to the chat boards like Buddhism.alt and esangha, people don't want to lose reputation and potential of making money. I can understand how this would lead to fear of speaking up...I'm tired of fighting so usually I don't get involved, most communities have rules...every species I know of has a pecking order of some kind, it helps keep order when. Let's say, dogs for an example know their place in the pack, this helps keep order and amazingly is soothing to the dogs. Without pack order dogs become very nervous and act out...So posting rules really helps...People Are also not very logical or reasonable and we also have people from all over the world with differing social rules, much like esangha, a fact sheet might help with a board of moderates that are elected that represent the flora and fauna here...

Well said indeed, I think written rules are a requirement, people cannot be punished when no rules are explicitly defined.

Even anarchist have social rules ....haha, people will whine, but just like dogs feel better knowing where they stand in the pack.

It is a good ideea @masteryoda !
Now the problem will be how to implement it ....
Flagging is really a problem...and now let me give you my example...
I used the flag button very rare....and only on posts that are trully abusive...
like the ones with stream and ...just copy and paste with no credits or even added a single word in the post. My opinion is that this is the correct way to flag ...I mean only posts that are are abusive.
But I saw posts with picture credits and long and complex content (very good I can add) that the were flagged...not by Cheetah but other persons.(I will not say who).
Those big, complex post....I know that you create something like that, it takes a lot of time and effort because I do the same in my post...I put time and effort to create something nice....And for those one who create such beautifull things ...I will never flag...because its their work...
What I mean @masteryoda is that you are right and this flag situation must be handled with more care...because somehow...some users...find a way to hurt you...the creator.
And it is so sad ...when you get flagged ...other users(see the flag)...will not upvote you anymore.

100% those who flag good and hard earning posts are abusers ...and want to just tear a person down and discredit him or her!

Yes flagging was used as a punishment!

I believe Flagging have been misused. Those that have the Power are doing them wrongly.

You are making very good points, and I totally agree. I would go even further, I want Steemit to be totally decentralised, and community governed, like a DAO.
But what you suggest is definitely an improvement.
Let´s put pressure on the leadership. After all other platforms will be able to offer more egalitarian environments. If Steemit.inc is not willing to change, users will start voting with their feet,myself included.

Very good post @masteryoda and I agree on the matter, too much power can corrupt. Followed!

one question, do you think spoiled children with a devotion to illogic masquerading as logic and godlike powers will ever vote for themselves to be defanged and declawed? i have read some of the extended posts by these giant children and in my assessment, they are not acquainted with logic, nor have they ever viewed it from afar.

'defanged and declawed' - that is the line of the day for me - and I've read A LOT today!! I agree on the logic score. We need to defang these children and start letting some adults into the room - FAST!!

defanged and declawed, comes from some classic literature, i think Aesop.

I will hunt it down ;) Thanks.

what flavors does it come in? cool stee-mint?

I keep considering doing a post with nothing, but various whale comments throughout the community. I also fear being flagged and I have worked really hard on my Reputation.

i think the whole conversation here boils down to, what else can we do except bare our fleshy throats and hope the bloodthirstiest of the whales don't bite. i will help you however i can. without other whale support, of the more beneficent kind, what is there that can be done? let me know what i can do, short of ending with my head in a basket.

Depending on wat you say I guess @whatup
They just can't simply down vote because of some partial views

Some whales are down voting for $value, and others because they want to silence any information regarding negative views on SteemIt. I don't know what if anything we can do about it. I feel it just adds to the those who say SteemIt is a Scam. These "kids" do not understand when you silence people it make it look worse.

I was an early adopter of Facebook. Mark Z, was your first friend back then. He didn't go around deleting posts that talked about. Myspace.com, and there were a lot of harsh words back then. He wasn't the all powerful Mark Z, yet either. He was just mature enough to let it all play out.

I don't know mark.
I definitely think is not right just to silence everyone just like that.

I still don't understand what the problem is with your posts? If they are original and people like them what is the problem?

I thought the whole point of flags was that they WERE NOT to be used to indicate dislike but abuse of the platform.

Very sad.

Flagging should be used very rarely. Only on posts which are abuse or spam or clearly worthless. If flagging is only used on very rare occasions this will help a great deal. Have you talked to this person about why so many of your posts have been flagged?

Yes, the person flagging my posts subjectively thinks they are over rewarded!

It's more than that. This person has the bizarre view that the posts should go on another website instead. Somehow sending users off to another site (along with removing the information users want from the feed, ability to comment, track replies, etc.) instead of keeping them on this platform is viewed as a good idea. This approaches things in the opposite manner as just about every other property in the history of the web, which try to maximize the amount of time and interaction users spend on the site instead of sending them elsewhere.

Indeed, asking me to take these posts to an external website is against common sense and all the rules of business management. I really don’t understand all this fury against my posts specifically.

Thanks again for your support @smooth!

I have been constantly monitoring so I know what is happening.

Its a cool idea, but I'm going to buck the trend and disagree.

As you probably know - what you are asking for is very unlikely to happen. All the people that invested the most (time, resources, and/or money) at the very beginning are not going to just going to choose to all of a sudden stop using their influence on the site. Humans are humans for one, and plus they also have the most to loose if the judicial and executive authority took the site/community in a direction that was bad :)

Even if they would were super altruistic and would be willing to do this if they genuinely thought it was in the best interest of the community, it is highly unlikely they are going to think it is. From their perspective they have a vision for where they want Steem/Steemit to be. They are executing that vision, and they are going to see themselves as the best people to influence it to make their vision happen.

As much as it sucks for that small group to be holding all the power right now, this is in line with what is in the white-paper. They are the most heavily invested people right now, and have the most to loose if they site/community goes bad. It is their right as the highest SP holders to hold the most influence. There are ways (although slow and difficult) for others to take this influence away over time, and to some extent it is already (slowly) happening.

It will not necessarily always be this way. Steemit, Inc. and the early adopters currently hold all the power, but one day it may be the big corporations who bought the most SP. There will always be a group holding the most SP, and they will be the ones with the power. You may think that by relinquishing all their influence it will give rise to some genuinely altruistic community of friendly Steemians - but there is nothing saying a group you will dislike even more may fill that void.

I totally understand your point, however, from a professional point of view, this constitutes a conflict of interest.

Steemit inc has the full right to manage and promote the platform and its content in the traditional way, it should be enough to take it where they want it to be according to their vision. I don’t see a need for individuals related to Steemit inc to subjectively and directly interfere with votes and such.

Micromanaging is definitely not the way to go. It’s totally unprofessional. Micromanaging will not be possible when/if the number of users reaches millions. So the best solution is to manage it is through legislation and proper management and marketing.

My understanding of what they are trying to do is to build/groom a community of 'dolphins' that can ultimately take the place of the current power-house whales. I think part of their vision is to get to a place where they can step back and let the community run the ship, but they want to make sure they have the 'right' set of people in place to guide it.

I think everyone here agrees on the strategic objectives of this platform, and wish it success whether it’s the founders or the big stake holders or the community members. What I disagree on is the operational management.

I realize it is a loose analogy (because Steemit, Inc. does not actually own the Steem blockchain), but in a lot of ways this is essentially a start-up, with the Steem blockchain as the product. @dantheman, @ned, and their chosen crew are basically the founders. The witnesses (and whales) in a lot of ways are the 'chosen' upper management. With this analogy, you are basically asking the founders not to be involved with the decision of who their management team will be.

Where my analogy starts to break down a little more is when you get into voting on content. Here there is less of an argument to be made for the 'company' to care how its users are using the 'product'. I would still argue though that they do have a vested interest in seeing that the community discussions and reward pool are directed in a way that meets their interests, so I also don't think it is totally unreasonable for them to be involved in the voting process.

I’m afraid the extent to which Steemit inc individuals are interfering with the voting system is far beyond the reasonable limit. It might be considered mismanagement in legal terms.

I invite Steemit inc to conduct an independent and professional audit of their management practices in an effort to make things right. This kind of things are very important when it comes to investors’ decision. And could constitute a serious flaw that would for example impede any initial public offering.

Replying here due to the nesting level.

Out of curiosity, have they said why they have been downvoting you?

Some of the reasons were stated here.

Replying here due to nesting level.

Yeah, I guess where we differ in opinion is that I feel it is still within their right as heavily invested SP holders to influence how the reward pool is distributed. I agree it sucks though. If I was doing a series of posts that was getting paid a lot, and all of a sudden any whale started down-voting it to the point it didn't make much, I would be upset too.

If you look at the posts being flagged by this Steemit inc related individual for the claimed reason, you will find that 99.9999% are mine.

This is unjustifiable.

I think instead of singling me out and abusing power on me for some reason (I suspect some alter motives to be in play here), a more general solution can be found, using legislative power i.e. implementing some kind of rules in the blockchain related to the payouts. The rules would apply to everyone instead of using subjective discrimination.

Steemit, Inc. and the early adopters currently hold all the power, but one day it may be the big corporations who bought the most SP. There will always be a group holding the most SP, and they will be the ones with the power. You may think that by relinquishing all their influence it will give rise to some genuinely altruistic community of friendly Steemians - but there is nothing saying a group you will dislike even more may fill that void.

This exactly supports @masteryoda's point. Too much concentrated power is not a good thing regardless of who happens to hold it.

I'm not really arguing in favor of concentrated power. I am actually in favor of the opposite. I would like to see more SP in the hands of the "average user" and 'dolphins', and less in the hands of the original founders early adopters.

The way that we get there is important though. I am not in favor of the current power holders just voluntarily relinquishing their control and not using their power/influence.

I know it is a painstakingly slow process, but the way things are going we are at least moving in that direction. As more whales cash out portions of their stake, and more users cash in their rewards (both pushing the price down lower), other users will be able to accumulate more SP and move up the ranks. I know that's what I'm doing, but I certainly don't expect to have @dantheman or @ned's level of influence anytime soon! I don't know about you, but personally I think that's probably a good thing :)

[Edit] I certainly would be in favor of other ideas that move towards shifting power away from the select few, and into the hands of masses. One example that I am in favor of is the "curation guild" idea that they have been discussing - although we'll have to wait and see how it is actually implemented to be sure. I'm sure there are other good ideas too, that I could support. Asking the current holders of power to abstain from using their influence though does not seem the right way to do it (in my opinion).

I think the idea of motivating big SP holders to keep most of SP in "non-voting form" by providing higher interest rate, as it was described here https://steemit.com/steemit/@l0k1/steem-preferred-stocks-benefits-of-a-type-of-steem-power-that-does-not-confer-voting-power could do the trick

185 votes and sitting at $3.68 - I can see this is a whale-free zone!! LOL!

Re steemed.
Steemit doesn't have moderators with actual power outside of the steem power.

I don't even know if the platform could be built to do that. And who do those jobs?

There are currently teams working on spotting flaggable content, which can be assimilated to moderators work.

there are pros and cons to those teams. While they do a great job on catching the copy/paste artists who try to game the system, they do get carried away with themselves and their sense of authority at times.

I think checks and balances are important. The biggest challenge is how to effectively put them into place that the wrong people can be removed when they show themselves to be the wrong choice.

I’m not a big fan of the current Steemit police neither and I had many episodes with them in the past.
I would not be surprised if they are part of this last campaign against me.
What I was mentioning is more like moderators who follow clear rules to flag posts and who are picked based on criteria like stake in the platform and reputation/experience.

Yes very partial. We need a Neutral Zone. But who is going to back me up?

I'm very interested in cloning Steem and giving it a classic fair start. No ICO, no ninjamine, no premine, just an announcement that it's launching. I'm not sure how you do that and fund a steemit.com-style frontend, but maybe it's not too challenging.

The point would be that we'd start with everybody on an even playing field, and we'd be able to see how the community would evolve from that point.

@biophil - thanks for inspiring my post I'm gonna do later today: "Why Does Steemit Need To Reach A Unanimous Agreement To Hardfork Like Ethereum? -To 'Smoke Out' All That Blatantly Pre-mined Steem Power (SP)."

You would have to re implement from scratch as the license for the blockchain code does not allow forking. Alternately you could try to convince Steemit Inc that this experiment is worth doing as Galos did. The convincing in that case included a large payment, so I'm not sure how you make that business model work in the context of a fair launch.

This is an EXCELLENT IDEA - a new start means we don't have to 'smoke out' all that pre-hidden systematically pre-mined SP. Either disseminate it quickly or die a slow STEEM price to ZERO>>>>>>>0! Your 4 votes says it all.

I see a broad separation of power across steemit. It is Steem Power and it is divided among the masses. You still have a rep of 70 despite the flagging by this one person with a lot of power because s/he doesn't have absolute power. The rest of the community saw what happened and you are still getting rewarded for your work. Sure you may have taken a blow and it may have even been a low one.... But that's part of life

Lol! Yah! Dont get those( us) minnows riled up! OR DO! Hehe, Anything can happen! 😂😂👍

@thecentreofitall and @lynchiandream are militant minnows alright!! The type to give the Steemit powers that be nightmares all night long!!

Awesome post! Reblogged! 😉Do you know why teir flagging you? Should you be putting in image credits for graphs?! I dont get it! Lol

Thank you, I made sure to put © @masteryoda in my posts, but it did not seem to help!

What does the SteemIt power structure look like as it is now?

You don't explained why he has flagged you. I'm curious about that and would be happy to hear @ned's point of view on that.

hahaha you want a republic here :D

In what sense, you are a victim? Any of your post was not blinded and you still have strong supports from the community. What you lost is just one whale's voting power and its rewards. But you still earn $24 per post on average with the flagged posts, which in turn over $400 per month. You may think that you are a victim because $400/month is not fair to you, but others also can think differently. But you always have the community's support so please don't be discouraged.

I am a victim of discrimination, because my posts are the only ones being flagged systematically for claims of getting too much reward, and I’m the only one being actively persecuted, even clearly asked to go do business elsewhere despite having many followers. If other posters were treated the same, I would not call it discrimination, although I’m against one person having that much power deciding what reward anyone here can get. We can add a textbox where that person can enter the subjective reward they think is right for each post and abolish the whole voting system.

Oh and one other thing is I see you often bring $ figures about my posts, I refrained from commenting on that so far because it think it’s ridiculous, I’ll be more than happy to post without any reward, I’m not expecting to make a living off of my posts. No one has the right to single handedly decide on my posts’ value, it defeats the whole purpose of this platform. What I’m against is the discrimination and belittling of my work.

And yes I’m honored and proud to have the support of this community, I’m really glad to meet such wonderful, smart and respectful people here.

If you are more happy with no reward, I think @roadscape can help you with Decline Payout Rewards I think when you use this option, he won't flag on you anymore.

It's not about the reward, it's about the blatant power abuse and discrimination.

It looks like it's all about the reward. He never flags if the reward is below $100. If you are really more than happy to post without any reward, you can ask whales to vote with partial voting power (e.g. 10%).

As one of the longest posters on Steemit with nearly 5K posts I hereby place myself forward as a candidate to be placed on the Judicial arm of your proposed model. @mindhunter

I am humbled by your judicial vote @lifeworship - Thank you.

2-0 to the @mindhunter (self up-votes allowed to aid judicial corruption!)

seriously, thank you, i have seen leagues more value from your posts than from the pretenders to a throne that shouldn't even be. @mindhunter for Supreme Court Of The Steemian States

@mindhunter for Supreme Court Of The Steemian States - Declawer of Children - Wizard of Words - Can function as an adult without supervision - What more do you want?

not sure about that last one, i do my best.

What will happen if they will not be allowed to vote when majority of authors here depend on their votes because its their votes that gives weight in terms of rewards.

The total amount of rewards are fixed. If some SP holders don't vote than every other vote is worth more.

Does it mean that if all whales will not vote, the vote value of dolphins, orcas and minnows will increase?

Yes it's exactly what it means.

I thought that vote value is based on a fix interest of the SP holder? Like .0001% of the author's SP.

It is relative to votes cast. Only SP that actually votes during the relevant reward period is what counts.

If only one person with a tiny 10 SP minnow account cast one vote, that vote would be "worth" the entire reward pool! Currently about 20 000 USD per day!

So that explains well, why rewards nowadays are getting smaller, its because lots of people are casting their votes.

What could possibly happen then if the steemit population reaches a million? Could it mean lesser and lesser rewards?

More a function of the market price of STEEM. Rewards are generated in STEEM, but then converted to SBD (and STEEM/SP). Lower price of STEEM is lower rewards. But, yes, more votes being spread out is a factor too.

Im learning here. How to possibly increase the STEEM price?

Only by being more attractive to investors. I can't give a simple answer there, as it depends on many factors such as adoption, utility, potential earnings/yield, prospects for future appreciation, etc.

About investor. Im in the process of convincing an investor but Im having hard times because Im not that familiar with the steemit economy. Any advice on how to make the proposal appealing would be an advantage.

So, it makes perfect sense to motivate big SP holders to keep most of SP in "non-voting form" by providing higher interest rate for that format, as it was suggested here ?

I considered a very similar idea a month or two ago and discussed it with Ned and with some of the other witnesses. The idea went cold when none of us could come up with a good way to make it attractive to larger stakeholders. Curation rewards are somewhat superlinear by stake holdings in practice, so a linear increase in SP (virtual) dividends would probably more more attractive to smaller stakeholders (an obvious example being those whose curation rewards are too small to pay out at all). What is worse, the degree to which curation rewards are superlinear is variable as it depends on voting behavior so there isn't a good way (that I could think of) to create a formula that offsets it. Finally actually investing effort in curation has more of a payoff if your curation rewards are larger.

So it seems a naive version of this would just tend to further concentrate voting power at the top, as smaller voters opt for the dividends and larger voters continue to prefer to earn more with curation.

The obviouse solution would be to make this option available for large SP holders only, but that's of course something people would see as a privilege and reject.

Business cat speaks!

I didn't understand why your posts were being blagged in the first place, @masteryoda. Clearly you are not posting spam or attacking/bullying anyone, so what gives?

I don't know about whales not being able to vote, but maybe there should be a limit to how much they can flag posts? Or maybe, every time a whale flags something, all non-whales can then cast a vote on that flagging, in effect judging whether the flag was appropriate or not.

I sympathize with your frustration.

An authority for one brings all- for a true source of authority in all~