🚩Steemcleaners ABUSE or MALFUNCTION? Honest People are getting Flagged Unfairly - CENSORSHIP under the guise of anti-spam? - Are YOU supporting Steemcleaners by upvoting? Perhaps you should reconsider. Proof inside. WHALES PLEASE HELP!! 🚩

in #steemit3 years ago (edited)

steemitabuse.png

TL;DR: The Steemcleaners account is downvoting and flagging honest Steemians, offering no explanation and giving no responses, all the while collecting royal rewards from posting Steemcleaner reports.

So today I logged in and was rather miffed to be confronted with messages from @Steemcleaners that two of my posts were flagged and downvoted. Now, this came rather as a surprise to me, as I consider myself to be a rather 'good' Steemian. I don't do bot abuse, don't spam, actually engage with people through comments. I would like to encourage everybody to quickly click on my profile and scroll through my posts, and you will see that I have over 1000 posts which are all 100% actual content and community engagement.

So of course I looked into the details.

One post that got flagged was this one where I found the NEO Council news statement regarding the ICO regulations in China, and I quoted it in my post. It was downvoted for 'Copy/Pasting'. Really? It provided tips like: Add quotations, link to source, include my own thoughts. Interesting, because that was exactly what my post's contents were.

My second downvoted post was a news article where I announced that the WCX Exchange had just gone into Beta. This was downvoted for the reason: "While it may not be a scam in your opinion, it could be considered spam."
Which is also very interesting, because as far as I know there is no information either way about this project to say wether or not it is a scam or not. It seems more of a personal opinion issue. I thought this platform was about non-censorship? Weird.

So of course I tried to contact Steemcleaners to explain how there must be some kind of mistake. I commented on their downvotes, but received no response. In the meantime, Steamcleaners still makes new posts so you know the owner(s) has been online in the meantime. Perhaps he/she/they are too busy to read every response, or there are too many? So I sent 0.001 SBD with a message attached. I also commented in the Steamcleaners post because surely that will get read!

In the meantime, I decided to do some investigation. As you know, everything is transparant on the blockchain, so it's quite easy to go back and look into the history of the Steamcleaners account. What I was most interested in, was seeing if more people were flagged unjustly like me. If you follow this link it will take you to the Replies page of Steamcleaners where you can see if anybody else has replied saying they have been unjustly downvoted. Let's see!

What is immediately visible if you scroll down a little bit, is that beyond the positive replies Steamcleaners gets on his Reports, quite a few replies are by people who object to being flagged. Let's give a look at some of those!

  • Take for instance this post made by ladiesman217 who posted about how Hashflare has changed their contract, and posted an excerpt of the Hashflare statement in his post. The post was flagged by Steemcleaners for plagiarism. Even though ladiesman217 responded to this Steemcleaner flag and comment, explaining that he is the author of the article, Steemcleaners never replied despite multiple attempts by ladiesman217. In the comments it shows user @ladiesman217 has tried to talk to Steemcleaner about this 6 days ago, 4 days ago and 4 hours ago with no response.

  • Or how about this post by user idealsceneprod who posted an extensive article describing different wallet options available for cryptocurrency users but subsequently gets flagged and downvoted as spam because idealsceneprod included a referral code in his post-signature, a rather common practice in social media. User @idealsceneprod is, understandably, confused and disappointed.

  • User @westminstrel gets flagged and downvoted for reminding people that the Authorship free token giveaway is about to end, with the reason given being some vague predisposition that Authorship is a scam. Interestingly user westminstrel makes it a point in his post to mention that he doesn't know how this will pan out. It almost makes you think that the subject Authorship is being censored because of personal disbelief in the project?

  • User @thebigone7 got flagged for supposed plagiarism when he posted a photograph. He tries to defend himself by responding he made that photograph himself. Another user seems to agree and adds that he's seen this bad flagging behaviour from the cheetah bot as well. No response from Steemcleaners.

  • In this post shetrix posted an instructable which gets flagged for plagiarism. User @shetrix responds saying he/she is the author of the piece and originally posted it on another site but left that community to join Steemit, and thus posted it here. 4 days later this post is still flagged and the user never received a response.

  • And @reedus posted some of his content on multiple of his social media sites but got flagged on Steemit for plagiarism. Despite having responded and having explained that he is the author three days ago, he has not been answered nor has the flag been lifted.

  • Even Poetry is not safe when shiki posts a poem by Mark Jarman, who is mentioned in the first two words of the article and introduced in the introduction, after which his poem is posted. The post got flagged and downvoted. @shiki tries to defend by explaining he/she never claimed to have written the poem, and referenced the original poet, but it is to no avail as no response is ever given.

And I am only three days into the downvoting history of Steemcleaners by now... Hmmm...

How long has this been going on???

Let's go back further, like a week or two ago!
I spent some time scrolling down to 14 days ago. What do I immediately spot? A post in French listing crypto faucets gets flagged, poster responds but is never answered. Anda post by the original author who is trying out Steemit as he comes from other social media gets flagged and downvoted and poster never receives responses to their objections and explanations. At this point I accidentally closed my browser and didn't feel like scrolling all the way back to 14 days again, because really, I'd seen enough.

Sorry but something is definitely wrong here. Honest people are getting hurt by the Steemcleaners, and possibly being scared away in the process.

Worse yet is that some of the people being flagged seem to be social media personalities who are looking to make the switch to Steemit, but by posting their own content get flagged and downvoted for plagiarism. I am sure everybody will agree this is not the right way to go if we want to grow Steemit's community. We should be drawing people in, not scaring them away by going overboard on the rules and flagging without doing proper research.

Or are we guilty until proven innocent on Steemit?

I have upvoted Steemcleaners in the past and always thought the account was doing positive things for the community, but now I am not so sure anymore. I am wondering wether everybody who upvotes the Steemcleaners reports, knows what kind of account they are supporting, because I honestly don't think most people do.

I ask everybody to please help me bring this to light so action can be taken. I have very limited reach on this platform and can be easily downvoted, so I will need the help of some of you who care enough to upvote and even resteem this to get the word out. If a whale is willing to pitch in that would be most helpful, so if anybody would be so kind to point this post out to them if you have contacts that would be appreciated.

I am sincerely hoping this post will not be flagged/downvoted as a form of censorship. Let this be a test for Steemit.


Additionally, if spam is posting the same thing over and over, the Steemcleaners account alone is responsable for 20000 posts which probably all fit the description of copy pasting the same thing over and over...



UPDATE:
  • Interestingly, today I have noticed some of the cases I have highlighted above have started to receive responses from the Steemcleaners account after this post started getting views, so perhaps this is working?
  • I have been personally hanging out in the Steemit Steemitabuse and Steemitabuse-appeals chatrooms for the past hours in order to get in contact. Nobody has replied or said anything as of yet and I am still waiting for responses.
  • Additionally, I have now been over 10 hours in the Steemitabuse-appeal chatroom - no responses yet. Try again tomorrow

Sort:  

I was once mistakenly tagged for "tag spam", but my tags were dead-on accurate to the post. I was not flagged for it, and this was over 3 months ago.

I think these errors are probably false positives and unintended.

I can confirm that Steemcleaners is a group, at least 4 people have access to the account. There is one user in particular in charge of the flagging, if memory serves. That is why they may be active, but unable to respond accurately to these queries.

I would suggest trying the appropriate Steemit abuse chat channel instead.

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.

It may be true that they are false positives and unintended, but I am not sure that is a price we should be paying. From my quick and not-all-that-thorough investigation I found far too many dubious cases. I can only conclude that moderation is far too tough and not enough investigation is done to actually determine if abuse is going on. It's a system of guilty until proven innocent... and that kind of police state is the opposite of what Steemit is supposed to be I hope..

For my own case I did try several ways of contacting. But after doing investigation and seeing people who hadn't been answered for days, even weeks, I lost hope of getting an answer myself and decided to post my findings on here instead.

Assuming everything here is as you say, (and I see no reason not to,) I can't disagree. I didn't have much to add on the philosophy side beyond what you did, so I had to settle for kicking in a few facts.

The reason I know about Steemcleaners is one of the witnesses is a "staff member". Anyx, I think.

We haven't released this entry yet but I'll give it to you, in case you want to search further:

.....

#11 - @Anyx

Anyx is the owner and operator of the venerable @cheetah, a plagiarism-stalking predator that we have all come across (hopefully not on our own posts.) Cheetah has saved me, personally, substantial time in googling plagiarized content for authenticity, so for that I say thank you, Anyx and Cheetah.

Fun fact about @cheetah: It’s proprietary AI is actually quite expensive to run on a recurring basis! It wouldn’t hurt to give Cheetah the occasional upvote when you see it.

Anyx is also heavily involved in the SteemCleaners initiative, which works relentlessly to clean up all forms of abuse on the Steemit platform, such as spam, plagiarism, and post-stealing/identity theft.

When Anyx has time, he primarily posts about travel and photography. His Chicago series has been particularly popular. (My personal favorite was the Lincoln Park Zoo post. )

Anyx is a Peerplays Witness.

Anyx is holding 27,000 SP and is currently powering down.

Anyx’s Current Witness + Cheetah Update Thread: https://steemit.com/witness-category/@anyx/anyx-cheetah-and-steemcleaners-witness-update-2017-06-14
Anyx’s Original Witness Thread: https://steemit.com/witness-category/@anyx/witness-application-anyx
Anyx’s Zoo Post: https://steemit.com/photography/@anyx/chicago-part-6-lincoln-park-zoo-continued

Thanks for the info, I will look into it tomorrow. Have to go to bed now!

It's a system of guilty until proven innocent... and that kind of police state is the opposite of what Steemit is supposed to be I hope..

This is very terrible type of system... but I'm pretty sure it's the only one we can have for now.

without something like steemcleaners, I'm sure you'll hardly find any good post compared to the many scam posts out there. if this isn't happening now... it will!!

I disagree... I don't think it will be so bad if we don't have steemcleaners per se.

The whole point of curation is that quality content gets voted up. If it's truly a crap post then nobody will be voting on it and it will disappear into nothingness anyway. For example, on my Feed I don't get any spam or crap posts. And when I do, I unfollow that person. Problem solved?
This is how Steemit is intended to be I think?

If we're banning people for posting a referral code for a project that they're excited in, under the guise of 'it may be a scam'... then seriously we should start banning anybody who speaks scientology, or spouts conspiracy theories too.. The whole point of non censorship is that nobody can tell you what to talk about..

Thanks you made me look at the this in another way:

The whole point of curation is that quality content gets voted up. If it's truly a crap post then nobody will be voting on it and it will disappear into nothingness anyway.

Please refer to steemitabuse-appeals channel in Steemit chat.

Hello, thank you for your reply.

I'm okay with going on Steemitabuse-appeals channel for my personal case.

However I do not feel like the greater, wider problem that I have highlighted needs to be discussed behind closed doors.

I invite you to talk about these issues publicly here and offer explanations as they affect the whole community as a whole and I feel like nothing is solved if just you and me talk about this in some chatroom that most people on here do not use and is not really part of the Steemit network either.

most of what happens in steemit happens in chat, on discord or steemit.chat.

Steemcleaners is very busy, but I addressed them in chat, and got response within 5 minutes.

This is where you get customer service. and that's how it's done around here, because steemit is still beta and doesn't have chat features of it's own. Also Discord is such a versatile application that it's use by our members will likely never be given up, or at least not for a number of years until steemit itself adopts these amazing features.

if you are not on discord, it's highly recommended for you to succeed, and adapt to the community.

https://steemit.com/discord/@torico/torico-s-magickal-list-of-steemit-discord-servers

Thanks for the discord tip I guess I will try that next.

As for Steemit.chat, I have spent over 10 hours yesterday hanging in both steemitabuse-appeals and steemitabuse trying to get in contact with anybody in charge. I am not sure if there was simply no-one of relevance there, or wether I was being ignored. I may try again later.

It's easier said than done, to make an appeal. Imagine how this must be for n00bs who are not as determined as I am

I have been on steemitabuse-appeals as well as steemitabuse for most of the entire day. Unfortunately nobody involved seems to be online or respond.

What about people who are not tech savvy? Now they have to register on another site and learn a new interface? Plenty of people out there who will have a hard time with that. Maybe you can engage with people when they respond to your comments? Isn't that easier/better?

Yep. The fact steemit chat makes you create a new username and sign up all over again shows that this is not part of the official Steemit platform. In essense, steemit chat is simply a link that goes to an external website that is not steemit.

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What an excellent post @pandorabox!

Thank you so very much for the dedication, time spent on this issue, the clarity of your thought processes and the respectful tone you are using despite the situations. In its self, it commands respect and surely makes me hope that much of what you have been sharing and discussion in this article will find a prompt and positive resolution.

I am deeply aware that this @steemcleaners crew has a monumental work cut out for them, even the people wanting to join into this platform sometimes have to wait for weeks before being allowed on Steemit itself! Can you imagine what it is to sieve through the thousands upon thousands of articles going through this process of elimination? I don't know if I can, but I am aware of some of its difficulties.

From the very beginning of this "cheetah bot", there has been difficulties arising, understandably, as it is not a perfect program. I have been flagged myself a few times and, luckily then, it got corrected quickly on their end. But that was a looong time ago...

Now, there are so much more accounts and people writing. I see the lists getting longer and longer (no doubt), and the problematics getting more and more difficult to resolve as there seems to be a lack of staff working on this team. I have tried to connect with them directly through the official paths they suggest on Discord but didn't get an official response. I only hope they have had the chance of dealing with the matter itself without having to respond to me directly. If they did, that would be hugely time consuming for such an immense task continuously building ahead of them. Is their team getting more and more cohesive? Is the process of elimination getting perfected? I don't know, but I give it time and strongly believe that through the good will of people like you and I, hundreds of us really, this process of keeping our platform as sustainable as possible will keep on building. That is the #1 reason why I fund this crew, not a perfect one, but the best one we have so far on this platform.

I salute your efforts to strengthen our platform and the @steemcleaners. Maybe they need to fund you to help on this matter as you seem to be very well versed in dealing with such matters. I would most definitely and gladly support your work, as you may very well understand.

All for one and one for all! Namaste :)

Hi eric-boucher, thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful response and support in this endeavour! I appreciate it!

Unfortunately, all my attempts to get in contact so far have been to no avail. I have been hanging in the chat for hours now.

I'm a big supporter of cheetah posting warnings that content may be stolen.
I have started to be against actively downvoting by bots.. because bots are not able to distinguish between good and evil intent. We should listen to Elon Musk in this regard..

Have you tried discussing this on steemit.chat in the steemcleaners room? There are a few so you need to make sure you go to the right room for discussions. I'll share to help you get a response.

I haven't. To be honest I'm a user of Steemit as a platform and don't venture beyond that much.. the chat, discords, etc. I'm here for the blog part. But I may try your suggestions tomorrow.
And to be honest, if it's a 'guilty until proven innocent' stance Steemcleaners maintains, then perhaps this open public and direct way is a fair way to reciprocate

I get that, it's unfortunate, but it's the only way I usually get in touch with anyone that's part of the project.

Will have to do it tomorrow.. 4 am here and spent all night writing this post, lol. Hope it will lead to a more.. well, moderate form of moderation..

I have run my posts through copyscape and they come back 100% unique. I still am blacklisted. I have some PLR articles that I have rewritten and pass through copyscape as unique also. I am powering down and leaving. I leave valued comment on every post I comment on and have upvoted many, many people with reputation a lot lowering than mine. I feel I have been a good contributor to the Steemit community and now being treated like this.

I am considering powering down too. I love this site and community but stuff like this is really detrimental to my long term belief in Steemit and the STEEM platform. I am pretty confident things like these are part of the reason why many people are leaving

Are yous serious?

Your flagged posts are nasty spun*. Just because you have spun them personally or through article spinner tool, does not make them original. The fact that you went to verify if they will pass only proves your scammig intention.
You have been lucky to go unnoticed for so long. Until someone finally found your articles suspicious and investigated them.

*content that is changed by using synonyms of words and slight change of sentence structure in order to make it look different.

Sorry buddy but you are wrong. I have a few PLR post are re-written and I add my own opinions and text. Also, how do you answer for all the posts I have written that speak of my dealings with cancer in my family or the hurricane? Is that article spinner also? Article spinners are crap and I write my posts and even the ones re-written is with my own style of writing.

why are things being done on Steem.chat or on Discord?

One of the reasons that Steenmit is a good thing is that discussions are kept on the blockchain, so there is transparency about what happens and why

You would have to ask them that. I don't represent them and I am just sharing what worked for me in the past.

I apologize for the tone; it's a sore subject for me ;>

I get it, it's an issue and needs to be resolved for many people. The problem is that they do a lot of good too. While I personally think they need more oversight and transparency, I don't have time to volunteer to help them, so it's hard for me to tell them they should be doing a better job.

I can feel you... I agree.. it's better if they make their conversation public rather than Discord or Steemit.chat.

Definitely. This is Steemit.com
Not discord.com

I have also been attacked by this individual or bot. What pisses me off even more, is that they earn 1 dollar for just posting a comment. However, when I criticized them, I received an influx of over a dozen downvotes from various multiaccounts which crippled my reputation score. It's censorship by hierarchy. Feels more like a caste system.

Yes I completely agree, and people are upvoting the reports like crazy because they support the idea. Something is very wrong. Please, I have very little followers, consider resteeming this or this post will get buried and it will just continue...
If I had more SBD I would get @booster or @randowhale to vote but I'm out for the next day or so :(

I support the idea not the execution... and I'm pretty sure they are working to make their execution better... But the way it is right now? is VERY FRUSTRATING!!

If it was right that they are flagging according to their whims not rules they tell their follwers they do. then I think should be fought... or better: ignored.

If you ignore them you won't lose more than what you are losing when they flagged you.... if you ignore them (and adviced everyone you know to ignore them, like what you did with this post) they'll stop growing while the system grows and their flagging won't matter as much.

It's sad and can be better... but this system depends on the people who are using it... it works by the "Majority Rule".

Well, I don't like this way of dealing with it..

Let's suppose we live in a primitive society.. and we appoint some policemen, who go about brutally attacking anybody who they perceive as doing something wrong, but in return are not held accountable for it and make many mistakes.

Should we allow innocents and honest people to get hurt under the guise of the 'greater good' in defeating a few spammers? I think the point of anti-spam is to PROTECT users from 'abusive' content. But when the cure is just as abusive as the problem then it is no cure at all.

But when the cure is just as abusive as the problem then it is no cure at all.

I agree with that... I wish we can find a solution.

Actually the scammers are these guys at Steemcleaners and most of the people associated with them, they have a downvoting group that specializes in downvoting certain people I guess just based on disliking them, these same guys always upvote steemcleaners, this should be looked into by @ned who is the CEO but he apparently doesn't care. I stopped caring about what happens with these types of people a long time ago, I try to make money writing they try to make money by screwing other people. But frankly to me Steemit is highly dubious, it does pay because I have been paid, but apparently it's creators have already reached their goals and now give a damn about the platform, I don't see @ned doing anything to clean up a lot of problems that have presented themselves @dan actually quit, then you have tons of bots up voting, down voting etc, the platform is no longer a social media, it is just a bot media, if you don't have bots on your side voting for you you are basically fucked.

Thanks for your input! It is good to show that this is an issue that concerns more people than just me. The Steemit community is not one-dimensional!

The Steemit community is not one-dimensional!

I agree... but looking at it in another way, this also means that the multiple dimensions can fight with each other which isn't a good thing to happen.

If innocent steemians weren't getting hurt, I wouldn't get riled up like this.
I would rather live in chaos and uncertainty than in peace underneath a dictatorial regime..

I'm very new, here but already see the concept of which it was 'sold', - to creative people -
isn't how it is working, exactly.
(or maybe as intended, and it was just a game theory plan, using creativity as a hook, I dunno)

I do know that getting a 20 dollars upvote for a 'dancing coke can', and other posters getting nothing, or a 20 cents upvote, for a 1000 word piece - of well thought out work- is a skewed value system.

Or should I say, a value system that will not endure, in my humble opinion.

Yep it needs seriously changed.
I am hoping a better UI with more navigation options will enable the building of smaller communities to which we can withdraw when the wider one doesn't appeal to us.

but apparently it's creators have already reached their goals and now give a damn about the platform

That's sad but they made it to be decentralized... that means if they step up to try to fix things that are not about the system (like blocking people from the platform). it becomes less decentralized. if they did that ... steemit proves that decentralized system isn't always better.... the creators aren't leaders, sometimes something needs a leader.

the platform is no longer a social media, it is just a bot media, if you don't have bots on your side voting for you you are basically fucked.

This is something I want to work to fix if I got power... Bots can be used for lots of good... they can help newbies when they can't afford (But that plays in what you said.. you have to have bots on your side).

For some reason, I can see both the bright and the dark side of this platform... since I don't have to power to do anything about the dark side... I'll try what I can to make the bright side better....

One step at the time!!

You're right..
But that's also why we should be speaking up. Because it's decentralized we are the community too and our voice is worth as much as others. So we should not bow down to those most influential just because they are influential. Any voice against the ruling elite will need to come from the community itself.

what do you expect on a platform that is 10% STOLEN!!! When you are the victim and everyone else that benefits gets paid, they don't hear you...

Very true.

Maybe they should get rid of bots, because that seems to be causing the problem. Bots blindly downvoting, and when we ask about it, no answer. When we reply to their comments, no answer.

Yes! This. Get rid of bots. Limit accounts to one account per person.
Then let's see.

How do you get value from your hidden posts which would be all of them at one point?

I got downvoted by them and melip for a post about Genesis cloud mining a while back. Same thing, they said it was possibly a scam. I was like what??? Company has been around for going on 5 years? You want to try to call it a scam? I've been reaping rewards there for quite awhile. So I feel ya.

I agree with everything here you've said. That's why I've resteemed this article and hope this issue gets resolved, i feel it truly unfair to censor/ban people's voice by a higher authority. It should be the community to decide what is valuable and what is not by upvoting, not some steemcleaner "hero", who even upvotes his own comment. Anyway, i am powering down and leaving, i have no energy to try to change this "feature" of this site. Thanks for your efforts anyway, much appreciated by the wider community.

I don't agree with everything but I agree with some things here (I said replying in other comments on this post).

I think most of steemcleaners are bots that check if you have spam/scam content and after few tests they flag... so they aren't perfect and make mistakes sometimes (which if they make 1000 flag everyday... lets say 10-20 of them are wrong) I'm pretty sure they are thinking it's an acceptable sarcfice, when they remove many of the real scammers this way!!

I just hope they explain their "reasons" better... AND unflag when they are proved wrong.

Upvoted + Resteemed... hoping more people (maybe steemcleaners) people see this!!

Thanks for the upvote and resteem. I too think it's important to look at these things.
If we're going to have community police, we should have checks and balances on those as well

I am someone who is against self-voting, overvalued bs and also I dont like when people use so as many pay4vote services as you do.

However your posts were no spam, the comments of Steemcleaners were spam.
I don't like using discord and Steemit.chat so I think it is totally inappropriate to not respond to the authors they flagged.

I flagged the comment by Steemcleaners in your NEO post, maybe that is a language they will understand ;)

Thanks for your support. It's not really about my personal posts anymore to be honest.. I just get a bit angry when I looked into the post history and found a dozen just as similar cases of flags which are truly overboard forms of moderation. So I don't care about the lost rewards from my flagged posts.. this is just about taking a stand against behavior that is unacceptable and damaging to the community! So thanks again for your support!

you're making steemit a great community with your content pandorasbox! keep it up!

I replied here because I merely posted referral links to my social media accounts and actually did scrub some affiliate links.
My posts are still tagged by this account called @steemcleaners I was here on this platform because I was tired of the gestapo feeling of Facebook and Twitter. Definitely if this is what accounts like @cheetah and the above are doing, I prefer to post less.
I was also of the use understanding that posts from my own blog could be used here as long as the original source links for images and blog posts were included.
Am I wrong?

Thanks for responding here and throwing in your support. We definitely need more people like you to speak up and make themselves heard here so people know this is a serious problem that's hurting people who have no ill intent!

I think largely the problem lies in people's lack of understanding of what is legal and what is not.

You may very well credit the artist or whatever, and claim it isn't your work, but unless it's under the creative commons license that specifically allows for distribution manipulation and such commercially, then it's illegal. Anything put on steemit is considered commercial because there is a monetary potential behind it, which makes it very different from simply sharing on your Facebook feed.

This is the problem we are battling with in Steemit and could very well be its downfall when business minded lawyers catch on to it (as they are already doing in many corners of the web), hunting down copyright, quickly running to the original owner showing them how they can provide a service, and then sue the crap out of the site.

We have to be very careful and vigilant, and sure some might be flagged by mistake, Cheetah itself isn't a perfect bot, but I'd rather some mistakes than just letting things go free reign until the website falls apart.

For anybody reading, there is an easy way to ensure your images and/or texts are free to copy around commercially by using Google

Just go to the 'advanced search' and go to the bottom

https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search

Where you can see 'usage rights'

This gives you much more results than, say, Pixabay. Alternatively, ask the original author/artist etc, as I have done a few times. They're usually happy to be asked.

Thanks for the thorough reply and tips!
I can't say I agree with everything though. Yes, you are right that there are laws against plagiarism and for copyright, however the Steemit website is not responsible for any of the content, as it is all stored on the public STEEM blockchain. Steemit is merely a transmitter, in the same way that your e-mail client is not responsible for the contents of your e-mails, and like how your ISP is not responsible for the content on the WWW.

If there are any copyright claims and lawsuits, these ought to be filed against those people who violated the copyright to begin with on a peer-to-peer basis?

Secondly, many of the above mentioned cases do not involve any copy/pasting at all. A fair deal of flags have been handed out to people for posting referral links, ranging from Genesis mining to Bitconnect, under the guise of fighting scams. Ironically, Steemit too offers money for signing up, and is often called a scam or ponzi scheme, so it's rather hypocritical to censor other projects without proof. Pointing out that somebody can pick up free tokens somewhere should be allowed - I personally searched on Steemit at one point for new places where I could get some more free crypto, I even compiled it all into a list and posted it on my feed and a bunch of people found it really handy. There are many people like me. Why are we being disallowed to even talk about these projects, or share links with eachother?

Another group of people are targetted because they make the move from other social media platforms. They are now sometimes forced to do a sort of digital Know-Your-Customer procedure, often being required to post a photograph (or even a video, I saw people call out for !!) and sacrificing RL privacy in the process. Personally I am of the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof lies with the accuser and not the accused.

The only thing we can do, is draw attention to the fact this is happening and hope something is done by it.

Thank you for bringing this issue to peoples attention @pandorasbox. I have noticed that some good original content has been flagged on occasions, and this is unfair for people if they have put in alot of effort into their posts! I think steemcleaners needs to be more careful with their post analysis and stop having an itchy trigger finger! 😎 peace out @crypto-expo

I agree! Thanks for your input and support!

Very Good Initiative! Hopefully the SteemCleaners will do something about this. Resteemed and Upvoted.

For the system to be fair, there should be an appeals process within Steemit. Suggesting that people take up the matter in Steemit chat, as has been suggested, is missing the point. If Steemit has a "police force," then it should also have a judiciary. One of my posts was also flagged, and hidden, because I included a referral link that the bot considered a scam. So, an entire 1,000 word essay was hidden away from readers who might otherwise have upvoted it. I quickly found there was no way to appeal the hiding, short of using another website to file my complaints.

A simple warning would be sufficient. If a flagged post is not corrected after three reminders, then the bot could hide it away. Surely this is something that could be coded to be automatic.

Also, it would help if the police force understood what constitutes plagiarism and what does not.

Yup, I fully agree. A warning or notice would make most honest people change it if it was really something that goes against the spirit. But there seems to be a very light trigger finger in flagging and I feel too many people who bear no ill will are getting targetted. Thanks for your input!

All the quotes and examples are nice features to this post. It's nifty! This post could start a movement.

Possibly, but I hope starting a movement can be averted! I'd much rather not have to take a stand, haha :) But we may have to

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You Are An Excellent Steemian. This post has received a 2.27 % upvote from @steemthat Return the favor and SteemThat Person Back: @pandorasbox. SteemThatBotMoreIGrow .


Please Upvote This Comment To Help Me Grow!

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I was flagged by steemcleaners for making a sports prediction I came up with myself. Im a new user but I have been trying to create solid content for almost a month.

My reputation score dropped by 10!

If this type of bullshit doesn't end Steemit will not grow.

One more reason I'm leaving Steemit, Dan left, 70% of the people had to leave to this failed experiment and now horribly disrespectful people like Steemcleaners (you should see their responses) look at my twitter thread with these clowns or their slack forum, it's awful. Steemit is dead. Steemit allowing something like Steemspammers to brand their name and do their work says it all. Bye Steemit.