Introducing: Stem Assistant - No more wasting VP on science content thieves.

in #steemit3 years ago (edited)

I'm very excited to introduce a little project designed to improve the reliability of curating trusted users in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, and I'm now officially opening it up for the public to use:

Stem Assistant

We at steeemSTEM, like every curation team out there, are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to rewarding content that is original, honest and interesting, but with the money involved on the STEEM blockchain, there is naturally an ever-spawning horde of greedy plagiarists and translators, transcribers and bot abusers and beyond that force us to spend more time than not filtering them out of the Net of Quality.

Everything we do is manual, and our team has necessarily expanded from 5 to I think 44 members including our amazing voluntary Honor Members, curators, community curators and the even more amazing management team.

Although this team does act as a pretty great weapon against content thieves across at least 6 languages, it can be pretty hard for all 44 staff to reliably keep track of well over 100 blacklisted users at any given time.

This is where Stem Assistant comes in.

Thanks to @aboutcoolscience for refining this idea, and in particular @codingdefined for actually turning it into reality, we now have a SteemSTEM Chrome Extension that will automatically provide the most up-to-date blacklist and make it painfully obvious when you visit a blacklisted user.

How does it work?

When installed, a profile page or post will turn a furious red across the top of

When we see this, we will know to promptly move on.

If you visit a page with a grey bar across the top, the user is greylisted.


A greylisted user is not necessarily a criminal. As a community, we expect people who enjoy our rewards to be a part of it too. This is not mandatory, but helping the community grow does shine a light on you and may grab the attention of greater recognition.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, users who refuse to communicate or engage with anybody may be greylisted, as a reminder of their position in the community.

Greylisted users may also be suspicious users who we're not quite sure we can trust yet. As thieves get more advanced, it can take time to catch them out; the greylist is thus limited to smaller votes, if any.

For everyone else, I would simply suggest being more careful reading a grey page, but by no means dismiss them.

Finally, we have a White List which currently has little more than a symbolic presence, glowing a blissful green upon fully trusted authors:

Still no followers =(

The white list will play a very important role in some huge, super secret upcoming projects, but for now it lies dormant.

As for every other user, they will remain the classic white, so trust all these users with your usual curative nose.

Can it be trusted?

This is something I dug into quite a bit, and as it turns out extensions are incredibly unsafe in general if you're just blindly adding them to your Chrome browser. With ease, they can get permission to access basically everything; passwords, logs and so forth.

This is pretty scary, but to do this, it has to be written in the source code which is visible for all to see, so if you feel safety is an issue, have a look through it and see what you can find.

The easiest way to do this is, ironically, to download another chrome extension.

Updates are not automatic so you will be notified if things change, and you can always get it checked if need be. This is not to say we are untrustworthy, but being hacked is always a thing and I don't think Google Chrome does much to protect against that. To be safe, I will announce any updates right here if they are to occur.

...And you can trust me, right??

Where can I get it?


What's next

Depending on demand, a Firefox equivalent could be in the making, but everything else that follows may or may not be a secret so I'll keep my big mouth shut for now.

What NOT to do

We have already anticipated an influx of complainers and whiners who might use this knowledge to dispute their blacklisted status and beg for upvotes accordingly.

As such, any complaints can be directed to your nearest bathroom, or alternatively, our discord channel that has a dedicated complaints room.

To be clear this room is not for vote begging, but to discuss problems, appeal and to say how much we suck.

We are under no obligation to help or explain our blacklisting activities, but here are some typical reasons:

  • Plagiarism: Stealing content and images without permission
  • Translating: Stealing content from another language
  • Transcribing: Writing out dialogue from videos - yes, we can detect that stuff
  • Whining: Desperately contacating every steemSTEM member angrily begging for change instead of going through the proper procedure
  • Being ugly: Just kidding, you're all beautiful. Except you
  • Abusing bots: No need for our upvote if you have the money to upvote yourself $50 a day
  • Abusive behaviour in the discord channel

All guidelines can, of course, be found on the above discord channel along with many helpful mentors should you feel a need to right your wrongs.

Enjoy not wasting your VP!

This is open for everybody to use including other curation teams if they see fit, but keep a look out for more evolved curation tools that are solidifying into existence around the blockchain cough @howo cough.

Hopefully together we can prevent all the trash from getting repeatedly awarded for other peoples' hard work.

Happy curating!


Great news. I am amazed at how the Steem community is advancing for the better. Thanks for all your hard work providing value to those that deserve it.

That's a great tool! Does it only show up on people's profiles, or will it show if you click on a post as well?

I'm strictly using FireFox, so add me to the list of people who would like that :)

Best regards from @valth

It works on any post made by those users =) I will see what I can get @codingdefined to do with firefox!

Ah, that's great. Looking forward to seeing if @codingdefined can get it to work with FireFox then :)

Nice concept of easily overcoming stress of knowing a blacklisted user. This stem Assistant is a welcome idea, it is an indication that the community is evolving from time to time. Well done @mobbs , @aboutcoolscience and @codingdefined .Kudos to you

Thanks, hope you can also find it useful =)


Hmmm, @lemouth is greylisted... I knew that guy wasn't right from the very beginning...

That's some grey area :)

He was always the least trusted among us...

I must say, I like the S.T.E.M humour.

I am so old that I recently turned grey ;)

If you're anything like Gandalf, no worries, you'll soon become White!

Cool!!! In 100 years potentially ;)

Hello @mobbs

This is a very commendable project to help automate curation of worthy contents while ensuring that serial plagiarists are kept at bay. I really commend your effort in building a communist of STEM enthusiasts that are truly worth their onion!

I am always available if there is anyway I can be of help in making our community the cynosure of all eyes.

Thanks once again for this effort.

@eurogee of @euronation community

Thanks for the offer but... worth their onion?? What kind of idiom is that??

maybe because of the tears?

Worth their tears... nah surely not. Maybe onions are valuable in some countries

Communist Onions sound pretty valuable to me.

This is very informative and innovative idea. I will be glad if this works out as expected being a steemstem writer i will be glad.....@mobbs thanks

Well well!

This is a sight for sore eyes :D

Hi @mobbs, I'm not a @steemstem contributor (yet, always thinking I should get involved!) but I am absolutely delighted to here about a community become more stringent on what it is willing to use the key community account to vote on.

Of particular interest to me is the mention of the bots. You mention abusing bots going against receiving a vote, can I ask if there are more details to this policy?

e.g. Is there a vote buying limit? Are particular bots off the table completely?

This is taken from a post I made last month:

I feel this is the start of the above, even before 'Communities', as a method to 'protect' your tag.

Thanks for your time. Good stuff!

Asher @abh12345

Our discord states the following:

  1. If bidbots were used on the post, there will be no steemSTEM vote. Already given votes might be withdrawn if abuse is detected.
  1. Usage of minnowbooster and qurator are accepted, if the bought votes stay inside reasonable boundaries (a 100 SBD vote for example is not acceptable).

The two accepted ones are, I believe, because we intimately know their trustworthy efforts to blacklist users effectively themselves, working hard to avoid spam and abuse of their services.

If we can easily filter them out that would be pretty cool!

Hey, thanks for the reply.

I think there are a number of Bots trying to manage abuse, it's a tough ask though as you can imagine.

Perhaps a limit to 1 bot, or a limit to the amount, would be clearer than 'reasonable boundaries'?

A list of bots could be gathered reasonably quickly. But with the vote selling services the votes can come in from anyone who's delegated, and so that is much tougher to track.

The application would need to check wallet sends to see if bids had gone out for the post. It's work for the Dev, but not impossible.

The early signs are promising to me :)

Soon soon! Cool extention though, what list am I on?

You're on the secret Purple list that has to be unlocked with special facial expressions =)

Ouuuuh I heard it's the best list

wow.. its about that time. Good thinking @mobbs @codingdefined @aboutcoolscience. This will definitely set a new path in the steemit platform. Resteemed

Thanks! It is specifically for steemSTEM posts, but the concept can and will likely be expanded to everything one day =)

Lovely extension, makes life super easy :)


Neato tool. Gotta watch out for that @lemouth.

Haha yep squints eyes suspiciously

I agree. He is a dangerous person :)

SO, great. This tools can help curie as well as other curation projects like curie for curating. Great tool love it :) I think maybe you can the tag utopian-io to spread the news about this tool. I believe this is a greatly needed tool.

Noted, I've added that tag =) Though its use is only for STEM content I'm sure it'll have its uses for other curation teams for now!

Thanks :)

Excellent tool. Great work as usual

It is an excellent initiative to have a control over curating activities and it would help us to know instantly if the user has the degree of confidence to evaluate the article presented.

In the community #stem-espanol we do this work manually and we must have our memory very active to remember the names of the users of the internal blacklist.

Congratulations my dear friends: @mobbs, @aboutcoolscience and @codingdefined for this powerful work tool!

Traducido al Inglés del texto original:
Es una excelente iniciativa para tener un control sobre las actividades de curaduría y nos ayudaría mucho saber al instante si el usuario cuenta con el grado de confianza para evaluar el artículo que presenta.
En la comunidad #stem-espanol ese trabajo lo hacemos de forma manual y debemos tener muy activa nuestra memoria para recordar los nombres de los usuarios de la lista negra interna.
Felicitaciones mis estimados amigos: @mobbs, @aboutcoolscience y @codingdefined por esta potente herramienta de trabajo!

Hope it helps y'all! IF you have any blacklisted users to send my way let me know and I can update it accordingly =)

This is quite fabulous... This will really aid curation & credibility of the community generally. Nice work buddy.

Long live steemstem

Thanks, hope it gives you more confidence in future curation =)

Smiles. Sure would. It's a job I wouldn't mind.....

Best Regards.

This is mind blowing.... I calling it smart sanitation on the blockchain

This is Good work

Good way to think about it =)

Great useful stuff. As we already realized while chatting on discord, I'm looking forward to the firefox version.

Yeah! I'll see if I can get updates on that, unless you're the only person who wants it lol

I want the firefox version too!

dammit ;-P

Such a great idea, so cool to see it all real and active. Well done to everyone involved, and as always hats off to the SteemSTEM team. Exciting times indeed :D

=D Can't wait for the bigger stuff to be unleashed!

Very well done the Steemstem community really needed this considering our zero tolerance to theft and poor quality.... Now at a glance you know who a user truly is lol.

Yep! Though it may need a change in practice; some posts just look so blatantly crap without even clicking that we may just pass it by without even bothering to blacklist. But for the community, may be worth adding them, too

I must say that you offered a convenient tool! My respect for you.

This is actually an awesome project. I personally used to get worried on whether the author I'm reading is a plagiarist(or any other cheat) or not as it will be a waste of time reading from them. This certainly is gonna get my worry level to zero.

Thumbs up to the SteemSTEM crew.

By the way, does it work on the mobile chrome browser too?

There is a way to make extensions work on android which is quite technical and I haven't checked it myself... if you figure it out let me know cause i'd enjoy that too!

Great idea, very much onboard with this!

Good work... I tried this on my system few days ago. It didn't work. I guess my extensions have problem generally.

If you are using Google Chrome, it should definitely work. You have to see a blacklisted user in order to see any changes, otherwise a user will remain white like usual. I've seen no problems up to this point!

Forget about the tool am just glad I read through love the sense of humor applied here 😁 and also been able to tag users is quite helpful and would increase curation to a certain level but then we are all humans and we can change I think, so if for any reason such happens can will the tag be removed?

By tag do you mean being on the blacklist? As I said below, the blacklist is fluid so it depends on each individual case. Glad somebody appreciated my silliness!

Hmmmm..... Some of us made mistakes in the past that have lead to some bad reputation

Do we get another chance to make it right... I really trying to be better.... Long live steemstem

The blacklist is fluid; some users may be permanent, others just 2 months or something; it really depends on a case by case basis =)

All right... What ever the case mayb I trust the judgment of the management

Still under mentorship

I don't like swearing (who am I kidding, I love swearing) but you guys are bloody legends!

Bl**dy??? How dare you!! Bugger off =P

Love it, great work, got it working :)

This is a welcome development. I hope the Firefox version would be out soon. I think I'm stuck with Firefox for some time.

Being ugly: Just kidding, you're all beautiful. Except you

Lol. That's fair enough. :p

I'm glad you knew I was referring to you =P

Smash is ugly too :p

Love chrome man!! samFox

Lol. DaveChrome :p


Definitely rooting for that firefox extension!

I'll see what I can do =)

This is a great development.
Its always betterto play by the rules than trying to be greedy.

I love steemstem because they warmly accept all, Nd give all a chance.
All in all Great development

Well we hope to be as fair as possible to anyone who is bothered enough! Thanks for the comment =)

I am using SA and Steem Plus and my computer is moving slower than usual. I don't know if I will use Steem Plus more than this week, since I don't like having it alter what is rendered :D (it's a physolofical dilemma, because I like having the info it gives me)

I like SA for now. Didn't see any red profile for now, but I know it's only a matter of time :(
I will report with feedback if I see something out of the ordinary with it!

Cheers, and thanks for coding it, it's really one of those things that were due..

I'm not having issues with steemplus (though I only just installed it). Hopefully most blacklisters typically don't stick around in our tag so it shouldn't be something we see often, but I've heard several people happy about it being used in practice so far =)

Thank codingdefined, not me!

Awesome!! Such a great advancement in our community...nicely done @mobbs

Haha another pleasant opportunity to throw a quick shade at @lemouth. Nice work though! @mobbs xp

Aha couldn't resist... I don't even think he knows yet, he's so busy all the time

Lol gotta agree with you on that note doubt @lemouth is indeed a workaholic. Anyways it's great, and I can't really complain as @lemouth is one of the main reasons why steemit and steemstem is what it is today= awesome!😊😊😊

I just learned about it.... When one turns grey, this means one is wise, isn't it? :)

Haha @lemouth I couldn't agree more! It is even often said that apart from great wisdom there is so much beauty in "grey-headedness" lol😂😂😂

Luckily (unluckily?) enough, the density of grey hair on my head is still small ;)

Lol gotta agree with you on that note doubt @lemouth is indeed a workaholic. Anyways it's great, and I can't really complain as @lemouth is one of the main reasons why steemit and steemstem is what it is today= awesome!😊😊😊

I try to cure myself for what concerns workholism! Only working 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.

It is really a shade

@mobbs It should have been to @Egotheist

I think things can only get better from now on. This is a great innovation and I think it will keep the community in a good shape. I concur with you @mobbs that there are lots of those who are not ready to really give a good content on the platform and it's very disheartening. Well done @aboutcoolscience and @codingdefined

Yep. It really shouldn't be an uphill battle but... humans are humans, and so it is! Cheers for dropping by =)

Well done again

I'm hoping sooner than later, with more of these types of initiatives, the bad guys will move elsewhere :)

And this

As such, any complaints can be directed to your nearest bathroom, or alternatively, our discord channel that has a dedicated complaints room.

So awesome! Thank you ;)

EDIT: So cool!! I just added the extension...I'm pleased to say I'm beautifully green haha

Lol you're not green, only like 3 people are green. You must mean white =P

This is what I'm looking at here? Is it because it's on your post?

Yes haha it's my post because I white-listed myself =P

hahahaha I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes! I was just sooo excited about it all I guess lol

Thanks for your patience. Someone needs more coffee :)

Great tool, makes browsing the New posts under the steemstem tag much easier

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

How Fancy! 😎 I love it :)

Why's Lemouth greylisted? Or is that for illustration purposes only?

Edit: Okay, I see the same comment has been made ad nauseam.

Let's try one more time.

So, whitelisted members have a green color, correct?

Cos if yes, the question kinda asks itself...

Haha yes. White is green and black is red and grey is... grey. Actually I think lemouth is still greylisted after the demonstration lol... I should get round to fixing that...

And don't worry, you'll get your place =P

I have no idea what color I am, if that's what you mean (with the last sentence)! I'm using the brave browser + everything you said about how safe the extension is but how it COULD be unsafe just totally had the opposite effect on me and I'm staying away :D

The question I meant was why whitelisted has a green color. Why not, let's say, white?

I have no idea what color I am, if that's what you mean! I'm using the brave browser + everything you said about how safe the extension is but how it COULD be unsafe just totally had the opposite effect on me and I'm staying away :D

The question I meant was why whitelisted has a green color. Why not, let's say, white?

Cause the emotional affiliation with green and red are far more instant and gratifying and clear-cut than black and white, with white already being the standard colour on steemit

I am wise, so I am grey :D

[no? I know the same answer has been made ad nauseam too]

This is really wonderful and I think I like it. I'll need a Firefox extension, :P.
I don't enjoy using chrome on my computer...
But hey, Lemouth is greylisted and you don't have followers?? Lol

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