Account Based Voting is a Terrible Idea for STEEM

in steemit •  last year 

There is a lot of buzz about some comments @ned made while on his Korean tour about changing to more of an account based voting system rather than a STEEM Power (SP) based voting system.

See as an example.

The Problem

The problem that this is in reaction to is the fact that the only way to get on hot or trending, where most of the users spend their time browsing, is to either buy votes from various bots or have a whale backing you like haejin does.

As someone who has had posts buried by haejin, I understand the frustration.

This is all contrary to the "proof of brain" vision that STEEM originally had. The idea was that quality content would be upvoted by the community. But what we have seen evolve is that those with the cash can pretty much manipulate the votes and the rewards pool at will.

The Answer?

Will account based voting, where each account's upvote is worth the same (at least as far as visibility purposes), solve this issue?

On the first pass, you might think so. If you get a lot of votes, your content will move up in the listings. So far, so good.

But look at the logical next steps, what will the response be to this kind of change?

Instead of looking for just powerful upvotes from bots and whales, which it seems will still be worth more rewards, content creators will look for mass votes.

So that means tons of accounts. It's perfectly fine to create multiple accounts, but you have to pay for the accounts after your first one.


Of course, will spammers follow that particular guideline? Probably not.

Another way to get lots of votes is voting circles. You join a group and all agree to help each other out by upvoting each other's content.

People are pretty creative. I'm sure there will be many variations on the theme of gaming multiple votes. The point is that an account based voting system lowers the barrier to entry to the gaming system. It will make faux-upvoted content worse, not better.

A Better Answer

What I think would work better would be a sigmoidal visibility curve:

So mass votes from new accounts with little to no steem power (minnows) would have a minor effect.

Then the middle ranks (big minnows up to dolphins) of SP would have a much larger effect. By and large these are the individuals who are actively involved in STEEM and the steemit community.

The big whales would have a larger impact on visibility than the middle ranks, but not a proportionately larger effect. So BigWhale would push a piece of content up higher than DolphinA, but not higher than DolphinA and DolphinB together even if BigWhale has 100 times more SP than the combination.

There would need to be some experimentation in the exact shape of the voting curve would be, but this would be fairly easy to adjust and could be put to the witnesses as a continuous voting issue.

What do you think?

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Does anybody actually bother checking the hot or trending pages? I just ignore them completely and try and find content via the tags.

When you click on the tag list for a particular sub-section you are routed to the trending page of that tag by default. So those same dynamics apply within that tag section.

Yes true, I then completely ignore it and click on the "new" tab. I've certainly managed to find enough decent blogs to follow without browsing the trending pages more than a couple of times.

Me too!

So maybe the registered steemit user numbers will double or even quadruple, but actually they would be fake numbers- I guess it would look good for steemit on graphs?

It could. It would depend on what kind of ROI spammers could get out of the system.

There is a cost to running a spam operation. You can buy verified Facebook and Twitter accounts for something like 1 USD a piece. Then there are ongoing costs like proxies and vps services. It’s not a huge cost though.

So if the reward of getting to the top of trending or hot outweighs the costs, then they have an economic incentive to do it.

  ·  last year (edited)

There is another thing as well, some people buy steem to gain power ... and the ecosystem is quite much dependent on people buying steem, or the value will slump. If "steem powers" loses practical value, the steem token will also lose value.

(giving myself a modest 1% upvote for increased visibility)

That's a good point. If demand for STEEM falls - which it could if it doesn't help you as much - everything falls with it.

If I understand correctly and I do. Votes from the middle classes will have more say than those of the higher classes but still the lower classes will be down at the bottom fighting for attention.

Yes, the people with very little SP will still be fighting for attention. They would need to increase their SP above the spammers in order to start counting for more.

Spammers who can create multiple accounts are what prevents a one-size-fits-all solution from working.

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by nealmcspadden from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

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I don’t believe I have ever said STEEM should have account based voting.

However, SMTs should have account based voting as an option. Account based voting and whitelists of accounts operated by individuals who only operate one account and super linear rewards to incentivize wisdom of the crowd.

I'm really boggled by the "accounts created by individuals" thing. You realize that most of the best accounts on Steem are collectives, right? Why are you building a whitelist that excludes Curie, OCD, SteemSTEM, Utopian, etc.? That seems almost entirely backwards. Surely there's some other methodology available.

Thanks for your feedback. It’s enhanced my thinking.

I will say GPT is simply one leaked hyptothetical — some SMTs will succeed and some will fail. I’m not technically building an SMT of this spec.

  ·  last year (edited)

But as I understand it you (Steemit Inc.) will be building the whitelists for the SMT builders to use. Is this not correct?

Why don't you let them fail at releasing SMT's first? You're getting way ahead of yourself. They've never released anything significant @ned has promised and preached about.

This is Steemit. Recreationally talking about optimizing systems no one is ever going to implement is pretty much our national sport.

I wish I could upvote this more than once

Thank you for that clarification. That context wasn’t evident from the clip I saw.

Even if it is just restricted to SMTs though, as long as those tokens have an economic value there will be an incentive for spammers to create accounts. Yes, verification of an identity is nice and all but I can buy verified accounts by the hundreds for other platforms on SEO marketplaces.

I think you basically stole my idea. But that does mean that it is really brilliant!
Cause great minds think alike 😀

Didn't you know? The definition of intelligence is whether or not you agree with me