A CENSORSHIP THREAT TO STEEMITsteemCreated with Sketch.

in steemit •  2 years ago

New accounts are now being set up explicitly for the purpose of flagging/censoring content they want to suppress. These accounts are not regular users who like flagging a few posts - they have been set up specifically for the purpose of censorship.

And they have enough wallet power to potentially hide most people's posts. This is not from earnings, because they don't actually post or comment, they just flag/censor.

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There is one simple solution to this problem, and that is to ditch flagging.

I've been saying this for 10 months now, but it feels like pushing shit up hill.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@sift666/six-changes-i-d-love-to-see-on-steemit

Today several people on Steemit are trying to discuss the real agenda behind entities like Fakebook, Youtub, and Gooble.

And a key part of discussing that is who really owns and controls them. But of course this is one of the subjects that is being censored.

I'd like to do a post about it myself, but I suspect that it might be flagged. In fact I'm not even sure now if this post might be looking for trouble.

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Even after the financial spanking we've all had over the past week, my account is still worth over $4000, and I'm the 1343 richest person Steemit! But that is probably not enough power to keep my posts visible if the new censors decide to grey one of my posts out.

And the vast majority of Steemit users have a lot less in their wallets so are more screwed than I am... I really am not into this flag war crap, but I suspect if flagging stays, this where we headed.

There is always some bullshit reason why flagging is "necessary" - whales regulating payouts, stopping spam comments - whatever! - Spammers are like fleas, while this is potentially full blown censorship could make Steemit just like fakebook, and flagging hands the fascists the tool to do it on a plate.

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I know I usually like to take the piss a bit, but today after seeing several posts and comments being censored/flagged, this is winding me up...

There are three main reasons I want to have a spazz about this:

Firstly because I hate censorship.

Secondly because a bunch of fascist nazis could potentially screw up our supposedly uncensored platform

And thirdly because this is all so easy to fix. It's like watching a slow motion train wreck - we just need to ditch bloody flagging!


This is what I wrote 10 months ago:

Ditch the flagging thing

This one is very controversial, and I have three ideas. The simple way is to get rid of all flagging. Even Facebook, which is certainly not an example of free speech, doesn’t have flagging (it does have many ways to do the job less obviously). I think flagging is bollocks, so this would be my perfect solution.

Failing that, I’d make all flags (downvotes) carry the same weight, like they do on Youtube. But it’s harder to do that on Steemit because the voters here all carry different voting power, so that’s probably not an option.

My third best option is to make a downvote equivalent to the power of the median (middle) upvote on that post. By that I mean, if there were, say, 11 votes ranging from .01 of a cent to $100, use the value of the 6th vote from the bottom (which is also the 6th from the top) which might be more like 10c.

Possibly some whales won’t like this suggestion much. But most whales view Steemit as an investment, and want to encourage a larger user base. Many of the 99% of people on Steemit who are not yet whales, don’t much like the idea that a whale can potentially come along and bury their post because they disagree with it. As happy minnows are the key to Steemit's future growth, hopefully a lot of whales will be cool with this idea, or one a bit like it.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@sift666/six-changes-i-d-love-to-see-on-steemit


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I am for muting, that will hide them from your feed

Image result for mute

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Yes, with muting you decide what you don't want to see - fine. Flagging on the other hand is deciding what you don't think other people should be allowed to see - fascism...

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agree 100%, its a top heavy system which i understand but when bigger fish can wreck your reputation on steemit just because they dont like what you post is as you say censorship - which is not what steemit is about

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It's censorship because people don't like your post and "wreck" your reputation? People curate posts and your account, you can still post, comment and curate can you not?

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It's censorship because hiding things from people is part of what censorship is

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It's not censorship since everyone can click the obvious button REVEAL, and the content is still there where it was posted, as it was posted, nothing is BLACKED OUT like that picture, it's not censorship to curate things.

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If you can still post, comment and curate and the content is still there and unaltered then it's not censorship is it.

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please write a full complete post explaining what you are apparently explaining here...but not quite.... what can I do to make sure ALL my posts remain viewable to EVERYONE who wants to see them? TROONATNOOR

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They remain viewable by default. When a post is hidden it still remains viewable, the button that replaces it provides that simple function of revealing the post with just one click and the images subsequently with another. There is nothing to fuss over and when some ungreatful asshole calls the platform that is Censorship Proof based on the principles of decentralization blockchain transparency as engaged in Censorship they are Ignored for the most part and when someone points out that it's not Censorship but Curation (rating something as too offensive to be displayed by default and instead defaults to a warning that lets users know "LOW QUALITY" "NOT OK FOR WORK") they usually rage about "no it's still censorship" or correct their misconceptions and if not they move on to where they are grateful for being and not a sour bullshit artist.

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👏👏👏👏👏👏 upped and resteemed!!!

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Thanks - Taxi Driver is one of my favourite movies!

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haha mine too !! Glad you liked my GIFT from giphy.com ! 👍👍👍😂😂😂

I really like this post; it made me think about an option I hadn't put much thought into before. And yet, I lean very heavily toward the arguments for full weighted flagging that include plagiarism, spam, scammers, and directed abuse/harassment of other users.

But on the other hand, I have seen several posts getting flagged for difference of opinion, and it wasn't just new users doing this. This, to me, is a critical failure of the system, and it may be worth sacrificing the entire flagging feature in order to avoid steemit becoming a stagnant hugbox like so many other places.

The big fish here do have a vested interest in making this place more valuable, but it seems that some think shaping steemit according to their dogma is more important than allowing unpopular opinions to propagate. There are no real mechanisms in place to stop one disagreeable big fish from swallowing minnows who happen to peacefully state their opinions or views, and time and time again that has proven to be a formula for stagnation or ruin on so many other blogging sites of past and present. Also important to note, this also means that people are using their weight to bring down content instead of uplift content they want to see, which I consider to be a net loss on the platform in general.

Perhaps a 4th option (that, for all I know, may have already been suggested elsewhere) could be some kind of proxy mute list feature that completely replaces the flagging system. Think of adblock for steemit, but users with services similar to steemcleaner could instead direct their focus towards muting plagiarists/scammers/spammers/abusers, and other individual users could enter their names to use as a proxy muting service if they agree that they're muting the right users. Perhaps they could offer an appeals process to get off the mute list, but however it works, as long as there are multiple options in users offering these services, and there is the ability to choose as many or as few mute lists as you want, I see this being the best course of action to a delicate situation.

Considering your experience on the platform, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this other option. I would also welcome others to chime in with their thoughts as well. If this doesn't make as much sense on paper as it does in my head, tell me why I'm wrong, or ask me to fill in any details I didn't include.

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A stagnant hugbox?! LMFAO that's what I am saying. I'm not going to kiss anybody's ass no matter how much money they have.

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did you say ass?

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I don't kiss any ass, but I do try to pick my battles.

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A lot of good ideas BUT what I'm really saying is none of these complex solutions are necessary if flagging is dumped.

The main reason it remains is because it allows whales to control the content.

As an example, lets say I took offense at your thoughtful and in depth comment because I feared it weakened my position.

All I have to do is flag your comment and nobody will look at it. Because I have a bigger wallet than you there is nothing you can do about it.

Nobody will look at your comment because they will assume you are just another spammer saying something like "nice flowol me and i bak you flowol" Dissenting view eliminated.

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I always click reveal and read what's there. Also on other sites with a moderation system for the comments first thing I do is change the setting so I get to see all comments, even those with are down modded. But maybe that's just me.

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It would be great if there was a reveal setting on Steemit (note for boffins)

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Those examples of abuses of the flagging system are enough to make strongly consider getting rid of it. I'm just thinking that, at least within the current mindset on steemit, there may need to be some kind of compromise in order to achieve the dissolution of the flag feature. You say you've been lobbying for this change for 10 months now, and a decentralized mute list service that users sign up for voluntarily sounds like a very fair compromise, and could satisfy many of the concerns on all sides of the argument.

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Previously the flagging was mostly whale revenge and control flagging, but this new trend is pure censorship using downvoting as it's main tool

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Flagging has always been a function of the blockchain so that people couldn't just game the system for a guaranteed reward and then cash out at the first sign of price drop.

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The main reason it remains is because it allows whales to control the content.

It allows everyone the same.

As an example, lets say I took offense at your thoughtful and in depth comment because I feared it weakened my position.
All I have to do is flag your comment and nobody will look at it. Because I have a bigger wallet than you there is nothing you can do about it.

People can still and still do look at it, I've been flagged by bots a few times now, and people still look and respond to your comment, it doesn't mean nobody will look at it.

He can still do something about it, he can spam that comment, he can make a post about how his comment got flagged, he could also simply ridicule your flag and maybe he could even convince you otherwise.

Nobody will look at your comment because they will assume you are just another spammer saying something like "nice flowol me and i bak you flowol" Dissenting view eliminated.

That's not true, people still look at those comments, it's in human nature to click buttons that say "reveal".

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Just try copying and pasting some b-grade porn and posting it like the whale at the top of this comments thread does all the time.

I suspect that unlike him, you would find yourself flagged very rapidly!

Flagging serves one major purpose - protecting the interests (maintaining the control) of whales

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The interest of the whales isn't exclusive to the interests of the community, or the fact that influence is incentivized. What's important is that if people can still post, comment and upvote or otherwise curate content in spite of "being censored" and their content isn't altered, then it's not censorship.

Flagging is here to stay because otherwise a large account could methodically rape the reward pool for themselves and nobody would be able to do anything about it, it makes sense because it would guarantee themselves a steady source of income. This would make sense to just about everyone, why spend the voting power on someone else when you can concentrate it all on yourself as the large accounts would do. You're getting author and curation rewards, duh, and nobody can disagree with that, because censorship, whale control.. because people post NSFW material in NSFW tag and make money.

My work is health and weight loss. I do not use goog ads or yt ads for this reason. Many, many, many of my friends over the years have lost their accounts as soon as they monetize. It seems we fly under the radar until we get into those programs and then the kill is quick.

It recently happened to a whole pack of related alt health people who were working together on yt. They all monetized about 2 months ago and their lives have all been never-ending hell since. I found out about it in a fb group discussion and SO MANY people chimed in to say it happened to them as well.

Those places have money and are threatened by the alexa ranking here. People like me can talk about toxins in the food supply and rank in a day since that stuff is censored everywhere else. If they see a way to shut it down - they will. It's big on search, but most results will tell you, "It's ok to eat YYZ chemical! Don't worry!" But in my autoimmune disease groups we all know to avoid XYZ.

I've read a lot of arguments about downvoting in my 3 weeks here and I have to say this is the worst one for me yet. I've been only posting pics into challenges for the most part, but if I go off on a tear about some of the specific problems in the us food supply, I can see myself getting killed.

Before I read your post I was 100% against the idea of downvoting already. I have yet to read one argument for it that I thought had validity. There is a mute button for a reason.

So my question is - can we find out who these accounts are and mute them in advance of them attacking or do we just have to wait until they do? If we mute, can they still downvote? How would I even know if I was downvoted?

Steemit is not easy, and that is for sure. But I am still swimming :)

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If you mute someone, you can't see them, but they can still flag your posts and comments, and if they have solid wallet, you are history.

I know people say there are two sides to things, but flagging is a mystery to me - I say it's not complex at all - flagging is pure bullshit

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On other platforms I am aware of, the mute/block function means the person cannot see you at all. Thank you for letting me know this is not the case here. Then I should not mute, since if I do - I will not even know if they get onto my posts.

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the mute button comes in handy when you pick up a troll. A post of mine picked one up the other day, and the support from the community was awesome but I muted him, I can still see the comments if I look at the post and I am not logged in, but I no longer get notifications every time the asshat trolls my post. Before I muted him I looked at his comments and all he does is troll on post similar to the post I posted. So I muted him, don't have time for trolls, but I also looked and he is just a minnow so I didn't worry about muting his ass.

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Interesting. What was the general topic of the post or of the trolling? I agree that I am not worried if the person is under 30. That only took me a day or two to get out of once I started, so if they are already making trouble???

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it was my personal story on how my son was vaccine injured, he was over the top

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My God. I'm so sorry. I can only imagine and I have heard all the ignorant comments too. I'm very well-versed on this tragedy. My prayers to you and your son.

Try going to fb groups for natural help and detox ideas about it. Some of that stuff can come out - some not, I guess. Strides are being made. You probably already know.

I was in those groups for a few weeks last year for research and my heart was broken 1000 times. I'm a single mom with a son who is now 25 and I regret every shot.

I promote natural help for obesity, autoimmune disease, and ptsd. All are hard. Yours is magnitudes harder but still the same. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle helps everyone if you can swing it.

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We done most of the Detox methods but a couple we are waiting till he is 18 to decide if he wants to try them because on though rare could have a serious side effect and the other is not legal here in the state we are in.
But yep well versed, he stopped receiving them after his injury.

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I know people say there are two sides to things, but flagging is a mystery to me - I say it's not complex at all - flagging is pure bullshit

If we don't have flagging how do you stop a whale from raping the reward pool every single day for as long as the community still has some room to swim around all the self voting that will happen, just so that people can make a couple cents, if that, because when the whale pulls out the world of steem is fucked, and another whale will quickly step up to the successive rape of guaranteed rewards. The reason for flagging is game theory crab bucket mentality.

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That is exactly what some whales are doing.

Including the whale who posted the top comment on this post.

You just upvoted him yourself FFS - now try flagging him and see how $745 vs $222 000 works out

Thankfully smack down kitty just had a crack at him and reduced his payout from $25 to $10 - but smack down kitty only has $100 000 to play with

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if we don't have flagging how would that work without flagging, you missed the freaking whole point crying "that's what's going on now, look flagging doesn't work because it's not fair".

Sorry but flagging has a purpose, and it's not for whales to keep control, it's for people to remove rewards from content plagiarized, from spam, and from voturbations like above. Yes I voted for him before I realized he was the power voter who was voting for the comment, he is still correct even so.

Although I liked the third option at first, the problem with this is that a lot of (low SP bots / accounts) can sensor just as easy...

My option would be this: let the flag/option cost 2 or 3 times as much as an upvote!

I like to hear your thoughts on these things!?

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For the people with the money, cost is irrelevant, so no, I just want to see the option to downvote removed

Maybe this is part of how we get to the truth. At least with flags we get to see that someone is actually willing to pay to hide certain things.

I haven't used a flag yet and hope I never have to, but I would get into a flag war gladly with those creating accounts for the purpose of censoring.

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I admire your attitude, but honestly, unless you have some serious backing you will get chewed out and spat out - I did just manage to unflag a post by a margin of 3 cents recently, but it's only a matter of time before the censors have bigger wallets.

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I like to think that Steemit users are not just contributing for money but because we like the idea of not being censored. That is what makes me believe there would be backing to combat censorship by way of flag neutralization. It would be very difficult though, I admit that.

Agreed and resteemed! No need for the flagging tool when there is a MUTE button

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So true - but flagging does censorship and revenge so much better than mute...

And that is what most flagging is really being used for I suspect

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Yeah you could say that, but flagging being used for revenge or to remove rewards still doesn't censor the content.

I gave out my first flag in the year that I've been here two days ago. It was to a guy that was just spamming the 'new' feed with the same comment. I saw it a few times during the day and then he sent me the same comment on one of my posts. I checked his comments and he send out like 47 of the same comment in 30 minutes. I confronted him about it with the flag, he said he won't do it again. He hasn't posting any spam since so it might actually have worked. The flag was only the spam comment on my post, so if there was an option to control the comments on your own stuff, that would be great. Not that we should be able to censor those comments either (they should at least be visible on the blockchain still), but marking them as spam in some way is possible just like other sites.

But aside from that, I think there will certainly be accounts created to control the information that governments and large companies don't like. If a company doesn't blink an eye spending millions on advertising, they won't blink an eye spending a few million on a steemit account to block info that hurts their company.

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Yes - up until now nobody on Steemit seems to realise how easy it would be for a company like fakebook to set up say 20 half million $ accounts to flag stuff they don't like.

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Yeah, and how our platform would boom overnight because of the value, but how easy would it be to drain those account's voting power by spamming as well.

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I don't know if spamming can drain accounts - is that what you are trying to do? How is that working out for you?

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If they are autovoting or voting certain content negatively, spamming the content will drain their voting power, yes.

I only pointed out one way to negate all their effort with just one account, and granted they couldn't survive on reputation if they were to be autoflag bot accounts, because if they post content it could be flagged way down the line by anyone that sees the harm it is doing to the community (your evil whales), at any point, so they would only be affecting payout and not visibility or reputation, and even then, not going to stop anyone from speaking, and if someone stops because how their content is curated, or their account they hardly have a place on the internet or on a platform where people are free to speak their minds.

It's kinda odd that you have methodically avoided addressing the fact that the purpose of flagging is none other than to give people a way to police abusive and collusive self voting, which would be rampant otherwise (with a flag ban/upvote only) simply because people don't pass up guaranteed returns or free money.

Yeah noticed this is getting abused as well as people with a lot of steem seem to be allowed to promote scams whilst if they tried to do this with a smaller account it would immediately get flagged down.

I never liked flagging or downvotes on any platform and I never used it. I think it is always counter-productive and will just create a negative sprial of emotions and reactions. Steemit works by honoring content producers with upvotes to give value to their valuable post. There is no need to censor anything. Maybe there could be mechanisms to prevent someone from earning from stolen content, if reported in time. But so far I have only seen abusive use of the flagging option where ALWAYS one party felt like having the subjective duty to stop the other person. Usually both parties don't have the upper hand ethically. It is all heavily subjective. And on Steemit all that it takes is one wealthy person to ruin everything for another person. Who needs that?

Coming to your actual topic, the censoring or content: This is indeed very bad and must be prevented or Steemit will not thrive as it could and should do. All my reasons above are not considering this possibility of flagging abuse. One very good reason more to get rid of this negative function inducing further negative behaviour and actions.

Another option would be to have someones flagging power diminish as their reputation gets below 25. That way users could band together to negate these flaggers that have more steem power than them.

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The people doing the flagging that I've checked out have a range of reps - from 34 to 60 - so way over 25.

And they have wallets from $1000 to $600 000+ so enough power to mess people up.

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I didn't think reputation worked that way anyway. If you have a long time account that hasn't been flagged a bunch itself, it can and will do a lot of damage by flagging others because of its higher SP, correct?

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Apparently, reputation mainly comes from being upvoted by people with a higher rep. (or downvoted). So I could change yours, but you wouldn't have much power to change mine (I think)

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Ahh, okay. I guess that explains why I see people with barely any posts at all that have high reputations. Their posts must be getting upvoted by reputation "whales." :)

I've already read one major thread where the basic plan within it was to stop one particular user's activity on Steemit because the people within the thread didn't like him.

The reason I left G+ and fb was because of censorship. Maybe those people think they will burn the house down if they don't get their way?

Politically, I always say I don't want to replace one tyranny with another. Flagging, as it stands now and how it can be abused, is just another form of tyranny.

Censorship should not be possible on here no matter what. Mute or unfollow the people you do not like. Why do we need something else?

Firstly because I hate censorship.

It's not censorship. In fact it's bonafied curation and only that. Even the times when people flag stuff simply because of opinion, it's what makes free speech beautiful, that people can speak their minds. Flagging is speaking one's mind, and it's also curating content.

Secondly because a bunch of fascist nazis could potentially screw up our supposedly uncensored platform

Without clarity, vision is useless, and to have a clear sight of what we are looking at the distinction has to be made: supposedly uncensored.

Because of the excluded middle principle, the statement must be true or false, it's either censorship proof or it's not.

Let's say that a bad review, a one star out of 5 or 100 is the problem, and that curation and bad or even completely fabricated reviews are censorship. Then the solution to censorship is to censor people, as others have called in this thread to remove and ban such people and you have done that as well, by saying that bad reviews, negative curation should be removed, people shouldn't get to boo or jeer at people, and if they do they should only do it at half the volume of a cheer.

It's not censorship because people speak their minds, it's censorship when people cannot speak their minds. As long as people can comment in spite of being flagged, then it cannot be censorship. Curating content as crap is all that it is.

For censorship to happen like you see it, I take it an army of people will keep numerous accounts in check, in turn funding the platform and locking in investment, to keep up with the disproportionate limitless power of one user to make noise versus their ever depleting voting power to make noise. If they're curating the content in this abusive, noisy way becomes so big, there will be a need to do something about it, and something will happen and we will cross that bridge then.

And thirdly because this is all so easy to fix. It's like watching a slow motion train wreck - we just need to ditch bloody flagging!

Ditching the flagging allows people to game the platform without any way to check such behavior. Without flagging, people could invest into the platform, even a substantial amount, but not necessarily as it will be attractive all over the board, and self vote exclusively which would guarantee the maximum return. There wouldn't be any explaining anything, because you could simply spam a post, write 5 comments, and upvote it, which will make it guaranteed profit, and if you invested enough you can do this a bit before everyone gets ready to sell off.

Flagging has always been the opposite of an upvote in order to curate content, yes it can be abused, but that doesn't make it censorship, abused flagging isn't rampant abuse or of such magnitude that it requires the community do something or perish, we don't need to jump to action quite yet.

In case some army of bots are amassing, look at it like this, first they lock in steem power which directly affects the value and creates steem to be rewarded, then they will be easy to spot as hardly is a troll a critical, creative, or interesting person, the are here to create noise, noise in enough force can compromise this platform, but we can always combat noise with noise, or we can keep posting in spite of noise, as if noise doesn't even exist, either way, rewards or no rewards, we have our freedom.

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Well I can't argue with that because there are only three parts that make any sense and they are the grey parts that I wrote :)

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Yeah ok, because it's censorship, we get it, it's censorship because things are grayed out on Steemit.com front end, that's why it's censorship, because it was curated as crap.

We have flagging because of a very sensible reason:

Ditching the flagging allows people to game the platform without any way to check such behavior. Without flagging, people could invest into the platform, even a substantial amount, but not necessarily as it will be attractive all over the board, and self vote exclusively which would guarantee the maximum return. There wouldn't be any explaining anything, because you could simply spam a post, write 5 comments, and upvote it, which will make it guaranteed profit, and if you invested enough you can do this a bit before everyone gets ready to sell off.

If flagging gets that out of hand, a little change to the code of steemit will fix it.
You set steemit to ignore them and ignore their flags.

I feel we should already have this kind of filtering along with much more tailoring of our feed

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If you have done a post or comment and nobody can see it because it has been flagged, how does that work?

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It is steemit.com that blocks the viewing, i.e. grays it out.
It is not the steem blockchain. The post is still very much there.
It would be handy to have better filtering options.

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Once the post has been censored nobody is going to see it, so what difference does the filter mechanism make?

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steemit.com is the part that decides whether to display something or hide it.
Since it is just code on a webserver, you can change it.

Tomorrow, if steemit.com decided to not hide posts, they could set it so that it doesn't.

Steemit.com should have a way to set settings , like the do with NSFW tags.
You should be able to say that you always want to be able to see the posts from people that you follow, despite any flagging

It would probably also be nice if you could tell steemit.com to show you all of the flagged posts.

This is just like the steemed / resteemed tab that we have been asking for and should be almost finished now.

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I'd love to see a resteemed tab - I hate having the resteems in my feed.

But they don't do this stuff fast - I was writing about that 10 months ago too!

As far as hiding the posts - if the default was not to, that could work - but we know the default will be to hide them and 95% of people won't bother to change that, so censored would become 95% censored.

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A resteemed tab is an excellent idea!

Things are going to change. I just wrote a piece on the same issues. You are the third person in less than 40 minutes, who has written something similar to what I wrote. Steem on!

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I hope so, but am perplexed by how many people seem to regard flagging as a good thing...

I'm glad to see a post on the other side of the same issue. I agree that censorship could be a problem. I can see how a whale who is a libertarian might bury a post by a democratic socialist just because, not that that has ever happened here, don't know if it did.

But your point is taken. A downvote for political reasons is still censorship and it can happen here.

I can see the appeal of banning all flagging.

I can think of another way to handle it. Give it some oversight by the minnows. Allow all users, including the minnows, to vote for users to be designated as flaggers. We do the same thing here in the States for District Attorneys. The power to prosecute for crimes and put someone in jail is held in check and is monitored by the people and secured by the voters.

We could do the same thing. With designated flaggers that have been approved by votes of all users, that would put something of a leash on the flaggers.

Another point is to make the flagging public. A designated flagger makes his downvote public and he justifies it. That way anyone who is downvoted has redress of grievance. He knows that he has a chance to appeal.

But even as I write this I can see how complicated things are going to get. I don't know what the answer is yet, but your article makes me think about it.

Thanks.

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I'm not saying that censorship on Steemit could be a potential problem - I'm saying it IS a problem - there are now even people doing posts about their censorship agendas - what subjects they are targeting.

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I'm confused by this topic as a noob, but I like your designated flagger idea. Isn't that the same principal for witnesses?

And I had no idea you could flag anonymously. That makes it all the worse. I'm against it 100% so far and have not seen a reason to change my mind.

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"And I had no idea you could flag anonymously." -> You can't. Flagging (also called downvote) is always driven by a user. People also tend to forget that downvotes or flagging, is a per weight system. If a whale does not agree with a post, it only takes another whale (of the same size) that agrees with it, to balance the decision. I know this does not solve the problematic @sift666 is trying to expose. Although I felt the need to clarify some of the comments I have read.

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Thank you - How would I know if someone downvotes me? Does it appear with the upvotes?

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Yes - just click on the vote dropdown button and you can see the top 20 voters - both up and down votes

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Yes. And it's on the blockchain. You can also look at your post details at steemd.com/@fitinfun/<your_post_address> or via searching the blockchain block the person that downvoted you (harder). I usually go to the steemit.com comments section (all the comments your username did) and look for greyish comments. Those will be comments downvoted. At the Blog page, you can also see this if someone downvoted your post.

Cheers

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Oh! That last bit if advice will work for me. I go through both of those tabs each day and check them. I have not seen any grey yet - I know I would notice it.

On another topic - do you know how the steemit logo ends up next to your post title? I recently saw it on a couple of my posts, but most do not have it. Then I noticed it on some other people's posts. Do you know how that is happening?

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That is when you choose the rewarding method of your post. It can be 50/50% or 100% STEEM POWER! =) On the first one, you get 50% of the reward in SP and the rest in SBD (Steem Backed Dollars).

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Oh - ok. I stopped upvoting my own posts when they changed the default. It seems like voting for yourself is wrong to me, but I do not know if I should do it or not. I figured I would just go with the default of 50/50 but I am not sure if that is a good plan.

yep this sounds like a good idea. i've got a small account, but i'm trying to build it up asap

Excellent article. I have an easy solution to this don't comply, If they start flagging us we do same, eye for an eye, I got your back dude. If anyone flags truth seekers we must all go after them, lets not forget this Is a Information war.

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Many thanks, but keep in mind that you only have about $200 in your wallet, and the accounts doing the flagging typically have 20 to 200 times that amount!

Flagging seems to be a major problem. The downvotes don't sound like a bad idea.

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The downvotes are the flagging - one and the same!

Doesn't steemit not have control over crap like this? Gee at least fb have control over their site. People on steemit just running around like crazy flagging anything. Even Craigslist isn't this bad

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Fakebook censor and control everything on their site - for example they censor all references to natural health treatments and push drugs for big pharma, and it works like that for just about subject.

Steemit is not censoring stuff itself, but as things are now if mark suckerberg wanted to set up an account with a half million wallet he could censor anything he wanted - and nobody could stop him.

For some reason nobody seems to realise that on a much lower level this is already starting to happen.

The door is wide open, and flagging is just asking them to do it!

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I rather steemit control it and not the general public

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On an uncensored open source site, I think there should be no censorship by anyone.

Anyone is free to mute any user, but any form of censorship, for me, is against everything Steemit stands for.

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Yes agree. I just don't like how most people flag what they don't like but never mute the person.

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I'm concerned about this as well and agree this makes Steemit very vulnerable. I'm here, as are many Steemers precisely because it's meant to be a place where anyone can post their authentic viewpoints and information/news without being censored. They need to rethink the current flagging system or it could be the demise of steemit.

Very interesting post sift666, I agree with alot you have to say 👍

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Thanks - guess you won't have to flag me for saying things you disagree with then! :)

I TOTALLY AGREE. If they don't like a post, don't upvote it. Don't resteem it. I got censored yesterday by some bullshit steemcleaner bot when I was making a serious review on cloud mining. Downvoted so hard it hid my post...EVEN AFTER IT HAD 3 or 4 UPVOTES from people that agreed and I know are doing the same things as I. So I called the bot out, gave it a piece of my mind. FLAGGED HIS COMMENT. 20 seconds later, 2 more bots UPVOTED that particular comment outweighing my vote. At the same time, I conveniently got this cokkamaimy 'your bandwidth has exceeded' or something or another bullshit. Basically blocking me from Steemit. All I could do was comment. So I went to the creator of one of the bots that upvoted the steemcleaner and gave him a piece of my mind. The bandwidth message disappeared within 30 seconds. Fuck those whale bots. Thanks for letting me vent. You have a new follower :)

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If you feel so inclined...would love to include you as an alliance member :)

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Include me too. What annoys me is that these fuckers really believe they have the power to control other peoples' lives. Do they have nothing better to do than to meddle.

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You have a new follower ;)

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What is the alliance?

At this point, I'm being very careful because I don't want to get in a flag war, and there are certain subjects and words I'm deliberately avoiding using on Steemit because I don't want them to come up in searches.

Probably being a total pussy, but in the past my websites have been really screwed over by Goosle so these days I'm cautious

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Lmao, we're just a group of people trying to make it on Steemit is all. Throw up the tag if you want sometime, we'll find it :)

This is pretty scary, it will damage what Steemit could become without a doubt. One solution could be like some online services that check an account that seems to be flagging and even only flagging.

Check who and what they have been flagging and how frequently, then if it is abusive deliver a necessary penalty to an element of said abusive account. Really though it would involve moderators and such and could end up leading to more layers of abused power. So really I don't have a solution haha. Sorry.

Seriously I have seen quite a bit of such abuse that goes beck even several months from now. It is the reason I'm still keeping a bit of a distance around here. I'm not investing too much into a platform that is beginning to feel like a minefield.

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It mostly works well, and I'm a very big fan of Steemit, so it's not my intention to put anyone off .

I just want to encourage people to do as much as possible to get rid of all flagging - not through any new complexities, just by ending the option to downvote all together.

I have seen posts I did not like or disagreed with but I have always resisted downvoting. Freedom is messy. Sometimes things don't go the way you like in a free environment. But if you honor freedom first then you can tolerate others you consider wrong. After all people have the freedom to be wrong.

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Yes - even flat earthers should be free to go on about it!

It's becoming very apparent now with the increase in these sorts of questions myself and others are raising and that some of which are in this article that Steemit is completely compromised.

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Steemit is more than meets the eye and things do happen in the background.

Knowing that I was likely to be censored for saying global warming is bullshit, I wanted to make sure this was out in the open - now I know that if it happens again I won't be left trying to censor the post with my own smallish wallet power.

Recently I saw a bot spamming a photo blog a minute and I flagged it because it was placing an annoying paragraph on 10% or more of new posts. Muting would do the same except that each user would have to see it, be annoyed by it, and then mute it..which isn't good for business either. I'm with you on not wanting sensorship. I like your option of making down votes worth a negative medium upvote.

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Bots certainly suck, but again they are an annoyance rather than censorship.

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Very true. But imagine a new user making their first blog and then one minute later they see 100 responses, but all are bots. Why would the user ever try again? Should he try to mute all of them? Why would he do that instead of just spending his time elsewhere on the internet? That's my only point. Another point is that it may be impossible to have true zero censorship. Bots are not the only reason to flag. What if someone puts child porn on here? Fixing the flagging system seems a lot better to me and I also am not sure that there is a way to make the system fully satisfy everyone...but it can be made better.

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Good points, but this is not what the flagging system is mostly being used for - and if mark suckerberg wanted to post child porn (or more likely, pro-vax propaganda) with say a $10 million wallet, who would flag him?

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True. That's one thing.. I wish they would make reputation score, not Steem Power count toward flag power.

Speech not so free these days. Definately notice that on other platforms, it would be a shame for the censorship to be happening here also

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Behind the scenes there are already some powerful players planning to mess with some of the censors in the background - now I've heard a few whispers that make me think the censors might be about to lose a few knee caps!

Is there an easy way to view flagged posts?

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Yes - just click on show post - very few people do though so the post is effectively censored

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Thanks, I've seen this but it's very rare. I was thinking see it as a whole so I could tell how many posts are getting flagged day, the type of posts etc. I guess "sort" was the word I was looking for. I was trying to quantify how large the problem was.

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I don't know of a way but will look into that

I think it might make more sense to have the flags exist, but make them optional on the viewer side. "Enable/Disable Flags" could be a steemit setting.

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Well it could, but that is a bit like having an option "enable/disable anal probes"

the blockchain cannot be censured brother
i can t imagine that

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To censure just means to tell off - anything can be censured.

The blockchain can also be censored, and it is being censored regularly - it's easy to hide posts by downvoting them so long as you have more $ than the person who posted - it's happening all the time!

@sift666 yeah I am in my first month with steemit and I've already commented several times about the censorship abuse potential and other shortcomings with steemit.com
Is there a way to campaign Ned Scott the CEO about this important and controversial issue?

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Possibly there is, but I don't know the best way - I suspect there are chains of command

People have high hopes of Steemit being a free speech platform but it sounds like we may just be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

When it comes to comments, I like the idea of just having a very simple regulation that people who post videos are entitled to curate their comment section however they please. Extreme threatening and abusive comments can be reported to the site by the commenters whom they target and this would be the only exception where the site can remove comments with an authority above the person whose video post it is.

This is as it was originally on YouTube before it went totally Orwellian and I recall it working just fine.

I don't see a need to censor any videos beyond the most extreme threatening abuses. People can view what they please or not, as they please. If you don't like someone's content, stop watching it. I don't want another person making that decision for me.

well said, resteemed, followed and i would upvote but i have to wait 12 hours cause it's too close to payout and it wont let me

Great post!!!

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Thanks - when I first wrote it, I'd just had a couple of comments flagged, and a couple of posts by people I follow had been flagged.

I was thinking these new flagging accounts were going to really take off and it was clear that they were pro-vaccine amongst other things.

But now I've checked them out more, I can see that they don't have the sort of money behind them I first feared

They could for example flag my posts or yours, but not canadian-coconuts for example.

So thankfully at this point their bark is worse than their bite.

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Thanks for speaking out.

I agree at a certain point because its true a guild of whales or some trolls with alot of accounts can just downvote ppl just for the lols or because they didnt like their opinion or just for them to remove or lower the competition but theres still the problem of spammers or bots stuff like that so you would have to make a good system for this to solve both problems

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Mute works well for spammers - they are mostly not being flagged anyway. So that people can see "mute" in action I'm going to start posting this image when I mute people (you are first to see it, but don't worry I'm not muting you!)

I have to agree. I do not like the flag issue! watch what you say for fear of being slapped! the smaller you are the more damage it does!
I have seen accounts w/ negative reps because of flagging from a group.
I have only been here 3 months and have been against flags. confused by this censor free,decentralized network,with so many rule and prohibitions!
"greed is Good" from whales circle jerking and yet minnows upvoting there comments drains the rewards pool!
Don't like it or say something about it risk a flag! or alienation from people who have followed the crowd.
I like this article and love and lol at some of the comments!
You seam to be pretty good at operating this platform, and checking people out. So there are about three reasons to add you to my follow list.
I hope we can find common ground,and interact, or disagree with mutual respect.
namaste!

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Great - thanks for your comments, and I'll check out your posts.

There are actually some very cool whales, but some of them can be control freaks.
Things seem to work out OK round here in the end, and I think there are some very skilled hands guiding things along.

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lol I hope it is in good hands, I can not even tell who the dead witnesses are!
feel free to insert Hillery joke ,meme here.
;-)
namaste!

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hi,I voted you,back.me.

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Now that's what I'm talking about!

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LMFAO

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She's new - from Myanmar - now what?

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Yes she has commented on my posts before, and I'd really like to see her move forward on Steemit. But she is still posting follow me comments, and right now that is rule number one on Steemit - no follow me comments.

Some people mute them, some flag them, and I try to turn them into comedy, but ultimately she needs to post better comments.

"hello, loke and voted' doesn't cut the mustard!

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Hmm... I know a guy who is big in the Myanmar group - there is a big pack of them posting cool stuff. I'll find him and see what he can do. It is a very poor country and those are some happy people in that crowd. Steemit is a big windfall.

At least she has stamina. Maybe it can be redirected. Maybe there is a language issue. They are my next door neighbor so to speak so I'll go see.

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Awesome - you sound like someone who will make a difference, and that is very cool

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I suspect that one of the reasons people want to keep flagging is to block spammers who say stuff like "nice"...

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But you can mute, like I'm about to do in this case. Why isn't that enough?

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It fully is, but there are a bunch of power freaks on Steemit that want to be able to decide what other people are allowed to see

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Oh goodness. Seeing this guy's photo is not usually a good sign anywhere on social media!

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But... you should be able to see it. Censorship, even of things you disagree with, is very bad for liberty's cause. Who determines what is to be censored? It never works out well.

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Some Supreme justice said something like - "I don't have a definition for porn that is all inclusive, but I know it when I see it."

I like the Atty General idea where maybe 100 55-70+ reputation people can downvote and other people can nominate who needs to be downvoted. (sort of like the witness program) The gray areas will always be gray, but a lot of trouble is easily nipped in the bud this way.

I come from the perspective being new and possibly trying to get mom bloggers and authors and health professionals to come put their content on steemit. It can't be the wild, wild west or they will not want to be here.

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Sadly, we have plenty of examples of how representative government fails miserably. That is what that idea would replicate.

If you provide a system that can be taken over or abused, it will, ultimately, be taken over and abused.

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I'm not saying Steemit is like that, just that there are a handful of users trying to apply some of his principles

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I have to write up a list of issues for this place and this topic will be there. I know some big people who are actively helping and some big people that are helping in ways I don't understand so can't comment on those.

I have a theory that one 1% is evil and I don' think that will be different here. Others are either misguided, distracted, or busy elsewhere.

I found a couple of strange mean interactions with downvoting. They were old so I just looked through them. It's all over my head for the most part. I don't usually deal with people like that at all.

Overwhelmingly, people are nice here so I'm glad to suffer the learning curve.

But I don't see many of the big guys on small posts or doing a lot of interaction. Maybe they don't have time at that level, but I'm sticking with the big ones who talk frequently, clearly, and interact with the little guys. So far, so good after almost a month :)

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Yes, most people on Steemit are great, and behind the scenes there are often great things happening too.

Today I'm writing a post about "the old days" (a year ago) when the post rewards were very different. Most of my posts back then earned zero, but one was upvoted by a whale to the tune of $400 - people have said a lot of bad things about that guy since, and he has done some things I disagree with, but I also know, first hand, that he does a lot of good stuff on Steemit too.

It's only in the past month that I even realised people would be asking me stuff because I'm an old timer :)