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.
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.