The @MattMonarch Story - A Different Perspective

in steemit •  4 months ago

If you've been on the trending page in the past day, you're probably familiar with @mattmonarch's post. He was promoting a particular health-related product that he seems to strongly believe in, while many think he's selling snake oil.

He used bid bots to push his post all the way up to the top of the trending page. At one point, I think it had a payout of over $1,700.

We've seen bid bots used frequently to push posts all the way to the top of trending, and most of the time, and most of the time they're not downvoted at all.

This time was different, his post was downvoted like crazy.

What was the difference that caused such an uproar this time around?


This is the first time I've seen bid bots used (at least on a large scale) to promote a specific product. Before it was deleted, the post was complete with a link and a coupon code that could be used to get the product at a discount.

Why was it heavily downvoted?

  • Because a lot of people considering it fake medicine, snake oil, or lies?
  • Because Steemians aren't used to seeing advertisements for products?
  • Because it was promoted very heavily?
  • All of the above?

Did @MattMonarch really lose?


I'm not sure of the exact math, but let's assume he spent $3,000 to buy bids and ends up getting a payout worth $2,500. At the end of the day, that means he spent $500 advertising.

Can you really expect to run an advertising campaign that costs you no money at all? Well, maybe if you're really creative. However, in all likelihood, you'll have to pay for advertising. You might spend it on Facebook, Google, or YouTube ads, but you're going to have to pay some amount of money if you want to showcase your product or service.

@Mattmonarch received a lot of views, had quite a few people learn about his products/company/retreats, and may have received some purchase orders. He might have also acquired a life-long customer or two.

Only he will know whether or not his post was worth the $500 advertising cost, and I think it was a mistake to delete his entire post because people will no longer learn about his offerings.

Are advertising posts like this bad for Steem


If advertising like this becomes a more widespread practice, it will create more demand for STEEM and SBD, and it will make their markets more liquid.

On the other hand, is it good to have these posts at the top of trending without the average person knowing that it's a paid advertisement? I'd argue not.


I think this post brings up more questions than it answers but I also think that it's an important discussion to have.

What do you think? Should Steemians embrace advertising like this, should they downvote it, or should it be dealt with on a case-by-case basis?

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The very premise of the voting system is "Subjective Proof of Work", or "Proof of Brain" if you will. We're allocating money based on work done for the network and value attained. This kind of bought voting for the sake of advertizing completely undermines that. The only people benefitting are those selling their votes, the network overall gets a net loss as money from the budget is directed towards non beneficial outcomes that aren't being judged based on value but based on suspended judgement in exchange for money, equivalent to a brown envelope in traditional politics.

Interesting. More questions than answers, ya, but I like the way you're looking at it. It's important to try to consider all facets of it and not rush to judgment about what's the "right" way to use Steem.

I feel like I remember the name Matt Monarch from the vegan youtube scene (and IIRC he was accused of being a snake oil salesman over there too).

Funny when worlds collide.

I don't know anything about his products, but in general consider it to be woo woo when people treat health and nutrition as like a fancy pants operation that would involve formulas and special potions and whatnot. Whatever the right lifestyles and habits are... you just learn the info and adopt the habits, there isn't really a need to buy special products from someone.

It isn't the kind of thing that's innately profitable (to understand nutrition and pass that info on to people), but there are people who want to find some angle to make a buck off of it.

It's funny tho that there isn't really a great specific reason to downvote him (is selling snake oil bad only when it gets into trending? or it's always bad? lol), but somehow it seems right.

lol I dunno.

I think that's just always the risk you take when you use bidbots, that people don't necessarily need a good reason to downvote. And if it gets into trending, they may have higher standards of what's okay.

I just feel everyone is entitled to his or her opinion on this platform. Everyone posts about numerous and different things. So I don't think downflagging him is right

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If everyone is entitled to their opinion, why would downvoting be excluded? Downvoting is expressing your opinion that a post is getting too much money and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

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Flagging him is as good as upvoting him in this case. Where people are wrong ( look at the comments section ) is getting personal and nasty about it. He has a right to sell his products as much as the next guy. He spent money to do so. He used the mechanisms that were given to him by this blockchain. If anything he'll adjust to the community. We need more people like MattMonarch as they bring money into the platform.

It is not the will of the majority that makes a difference. It is the will of the majority that is introduced to a post that is meaningful.

I did not know about this until you wrote your article. Without knowledge about this post, I was not able to affirm (upvote), reject (downvote), or abstain (no-vote).

I am personally going to choose no-vote. The "mob" that surrounds a content creator determines the future positive or negative trajectory of his or her post.

You are absolutely right. Many android apps also do same kind if strategies to go on floor quickly but our app @supersteemian and we don't believe in promoting paid and fake way.

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Even if the product is a fake, it shouldn't be downvoted. You are the one that ain't like it, someone else would need it.

Downvoting is just the only problem of this blockchain

I'm pretty new here, so I don't know much about the subtle nuances of the voting system. I do believe that people should be allowed to post what they like, even if I personally disagree with it. To that end, people should also be allowed (encouraged?) to downvote what they don't like.

I like to think of the steemit platform as more pure in its intentions than other social media sites. I like to pretend that the majority of people using this platform are simply looking for a decentralized way to share information and ideas and make the world a better place, one blog post at a time.

I know the reality is vastly different. I can tell by the number of posts patiently explaining how to maximize your upvote to reap the highest curation reward by clicking at the precisely right time, or the number of people begging for just a little help to get some steem. I know that steemit is a way to make money for many people, but that doesn't stop me from wishing that it wasn't so focused on profit that I see more upvotes from bots than from real humans.

Upvotes or downvotes should be left in the hands of people. This is how we'll foster a meaningful experience that people want to keep coming back to. Gaming the system is only fun for those well-versed in the lingo... for newbies like me it's almost discouraging enough to drive me away.

I see the trending feed as a place for real quality content, not another advertisement. When I receive 20 bot downvotes in a row on a genuine, inoffensive, original post (which I have) it makes me question if I even want to be part of the system.

To wrap it up, I love the idea of steemit, I love the heart of this supportive, genuine community... but the bot invasion is threatening to destroy this idyllic utopia. I fully support limiting the ability of bots to place posts anywhere near the trending pages.