The bandwidth issue - Steemit showing growing painssteemCreated with Sketch.

in steemit •  last year

Steemit’s version of rate limiting is a blunt instrument and needs to change

Yesterday I received a comment on one of my posts  so naturally I wanted to post a reply, but I was prevented from doing so because I had hit the bandwidth limit. Whilst I’ve heard about the limit before I hadn’t given it much thought,  I only post every other day on average and only comment when I have something of value to say. But having hit the limit my immediate reaction to it was “WTF?” how can and does this happen?

Well this morning I read a fantastic post by @alphacore which explains what actions on the platform can contribute towards hitting the limit, you can find the post here. In short what many newbies don’t know (including me) is that actions what seem basic such as following, powering up as well as editing posts and comments all count towards this limit. Basically any action which requires the blockchain to create something new will count towards your limit.

Limiting in general is not a bad thing, and can be used effectively to manage and deter spam whilst protecting a platform against DDOS attacks. For instance Instagram will rate limit certain actions on the platform that it suspects as spammy behaviour such as excessive liking, posting the same comments on several different photos, as well as following and unfollowing within a specific timeframe. Limits are based on account size (Following), engagement, and age to give everyone plenty of headroom to use the service in a moderate way.

Steemit could reform in a similar way by limiting upvotes and comments when a user’s sp drops below a certain level. A user’s SP, reputation, and time on the platform could be used to determine individual account limits. Whatever mechanism which is decided upon, the solution must provide greater flexibility as more users join Steemit. The alternative is that we will see newer accounts regularly hitting the bandwidth limit, whilst at the same time affect a growing percentage of the existing user base.

We all know that Steemit is in beta, so we should expect issues like this to flare up. The trick is to make sure that these issues are smoothed out before Steemit drops the beta tag. Managing bandwidth could provide significant friction to new users on the platform which could hinder future growth. We must not forget that blogging and social media platforms can both rise and fall quickly, as there’s always something new around the corner. 


Thanks for reading fellow Steemians! As always if you have received some value from this post please hit the upvote button or drop comment. If you’d like to see more hit the follow button. ✌✌


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Earlier this morning I had several instances where the site wouldn't load when I refreshed the page. I'm guessing this is a different issue, but I wonder if it might have to do with any limitations of the blockchain.

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To me that sounds more like excess load on the server, too many people trying to access the same thing at the same time. Bandwidth limiting is more when the steemit is actively managing your usage. Ironically to reduce the likelihood of your problem taking place

I was not aware of this and it has never happened to me. Thank you! For sharing

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no problem, neither was I until it happened to me.

You can check your voting power and bandwidth in your panel at steemd.com:
https://steemd.com/@nosajj
That way you can know beforehand if it is the right time to post or upvote something...
But you're right, it is true that sometimes you need more bandwidth when replying to comments, which should be incentivised in the platform.

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Thanks for the tip I was aware of how to check my voting power, but that slider gives no indication of available bandwidth so you can be in position where I was where I had plenty of power to use or spend but no bandwidth to spend it. That's why I think limits should be calculated with sp in mind rather than than the underlying requests to the block chain.