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. ✌✌