DON'T LET GREED DESTROY STEEMIT

in steemit •  10 months ago

Hi Everyone,

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I have been on Steemit since June 2017. I have found Steemit a great place to post content and also read other interesting content. I have had the opportunity to mingle with a number very interesting people who also have great enthusiasm for Steemit. I have introduced a few people to Steemit as well. So far, they all seem very happy to be on Steemit.

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Now here comes a concerning problem. Steemit is a great platform that provides everyone with an opportunity to earn money from the content they post. This also presents opportunities to abuse the system. Therefore, I have dedicated this post to explain some of the strategies that are being adopted to make money in a rather underhanded way.

Rewarding Comments

Comments just like posts can be rewarded. Unlike posts, comments do not appear on ‘hot’ or ‘trending’ lists. They just remain with the post and appear in the commenter’s section of their Steemit page. Basically, comments lack the same level of potential exposure that posts might be able to obtain. This can be ideal for someone trying to abuse the system.

The ‘rewarding comments’ trick is best done using two accounts. One account belongs to a whale/orca (account with a lot of Steem Power) or an account with a large value of delegated Steem Power (SP). The other account is likely to belong to a minnow (someone who has very little steem power) with an account that is not particularly well- known, follows very few people and is followed by very few. The minnow creates a post. The minnow uses a tag which will ensure minimal exposure. The minnow then comments in that post. The whale comes along and gives the comment or comments maximum upvote/s. See the gifs below for a visual explanation.

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Here is a screenshot for a closer look

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Here is another example of consistently upvoted comments.

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A large upvote close to the payout of the comment reduces the chances of getting caught and/or punished with downvotes. This now leads me to the next trick.

Day 6 Upvotes

The day 6 upvote is another trick. This trick also requires the help of a whale/orca and works best for a posting minnow. The minnow creates the post. The minnow selects a tag rarely searched. The post sits in Steemit unnoticed for 6 days. The whale comes along and gives the post a maximum upvote in the final day before payout. The value of the post increases dramatically but it does not get picked up on the main ‘hot’ or ‘trending’ lists as it is too old. The post has a high value but goes close to unnoticed. It is important to avoid getting noticed as this might result in downvotes or backlash regarding Steemit abuse. See the gifs for a visual explanation.

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Notice the value of posts that have not paid out and the value of posts that have paid out.

Here is a screenshot for a closer look.

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Other tricks

There are several other tricks people can play on Steemit to earn a few quick dollars. These tricks mostly involve the help of a whale. Whales giving their friends maximum upvotes regardless of the quality of their content is something that I have seen fairly regularly on Steemit. It may appear nice to help out friends but some of these posts are just a handful of pictures and a small amount of text and these posts are receiving upvotes of more than 50 SBD.

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Some people use delegated SP to upvote themselves; this could be posts or even comments. See below for an example of whale upvoting themselves as well as someone else upvoting themselves using delegated Steem Power.

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I use bots for most of my posts. Some people could find buying upvotes unethical. On Steemit it is becoming more of a necessity to get content noticed. I wrote many, in my opinion, good quality posts that got payouts of less than 1 SBD. I found about the bots and their upvotes gave my posts the visibility to be appreciated. Not everyone is using the bots to get visibility, some are using bots in an attempt to gain a quick profit. This is evident when people bid for upvotes for posts that are in their final days before payout. These upvotes will not get these posts on any lists and it helps them to avoid downvotes. Using bots on the final days before payout is highly ineffective for making profit for two reasons.

  1. ROI for many bots are negative after curation as many bots are flooded with bids at the end of the bidding period.
  2. Payouts are split between SBD and Steem Power. Even a positive ROI is likely to result in less SBD. Hence, bidding for upvotes from bots is a pointless exercise.

How to detect possible abusers

So how do we find out about these tricks to make money from Steemit. In my opinion, there are two good sources. One of them is on Steemit. Just follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the page of anyone that you suspect might be up to something
  • Click on rewards.
  • Click on curation.
  • Look for particularly high curation rewards.
  • Click on the link and see what you find.
  • The gif below explains how to do this.

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The date of the payout of the curation reward will give you an indication of when the upvotes were made in respect to the date of the post. This will help you identify if day 6 upvoting strategy has been used.

Not every high upvote is a sign of abuse or someone making a quick buck. The content could be deemed by the upvoter to be worth the high upvote. Not every whale is trying to scam Steemit.

The second good source of information is steemd.com. Simply go to steemd.com or go to someone’s steemit page and change steemit to steemd in the url and you will have access to all of that person’s activities.

The level of transparency in Steemit is very impressive. It makes it very hard for anyone to cheat the system without getting caught.

Simple changes to solve all these problems

There are several ways Steemit can be manipulated to make a quick profit. People are always going to find ways to try and cheat the system. Considering Steemit is new, there will be loopholes. Getting into downvote wars over any of this is counterproductive.

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These problems should be very easy to solve. Simply place a maximum upvote value on comments and posts. There seems no reason anyone would upvote a comment by more than 5 SBD. If it is such a great comment, other people will upvote it and the value will increase that way. The same goes for posts. A maximum upvote of 10 SBD or maybe 15 SBD should be sufficient. If it is a great post, others will upvote it and the value will continue to go up. Same principle can be applied to bots as well. Maybe a limit of 5 SBD per bid can be put in place (this may seem rather ironic considering the amount I paid bots for this post). Putting a maximum value on upvotes will facilitate the spreading of upvotes to more people as there will be more available voting power to spread around.

Conclusion

Steemit is a new platform, let’s not damage its reputation with greed. If Steemit is to grow it needs to be welcoming to everyone and not just friends of whales. Today’s minnows are the future of Steemit. Greed and abuse will destroy Steemit's reputation and value, which is bad for everyone, especially those with the most invested, which is, ironically, the whales. Short-term greed will lead to long-term pain. I believe many of the whales understand this, I also believe many of the Steemit whales have good intentions. Only time will tell.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Please feel free to comment and share how you feel about existing greedy behaviour. It would also be great if you could share some suggestions on how this behaviour can be halted.

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PSA : The above post was promoted by the poster by buying votes for about 2000$ USD worth.


Complaining and expecting people to lose opportunities to make curation reward and to distribute the reward where they think it should go to police the system isn't going to solve much in the long term.

Something like implementing a separate down-voting (aka. flagging) power pool might.
https://steemit.com/steem/@transisto/separate-downvoting-power-pool-concept-visualized

I also suggest having two negative curation buttons one called a downvote (DV), placed right next to upvote and one similar to the flag we have now but with a twist.
DV Would bring down a post reward but wouldn't bring it below 0.00$ (no censorship)
Flags v2.0, Can bring a post below 0.00$ (bury it) but would burn the reward instead of just redistributing it back into the system as it's usually ending up benefiting other abusers or already over-rewarded posts.

I down-voted your post because it's ignoring a very basic concept of any semi-anonymous decentralized system.
You can't assume an entity to not be able to create and control multiple accounts.

Thanks for bringing the problem to our attention though.

Ps: I only downvoted your post by an amount that should be less than the money you might have received buying votes. Next time assume we might want to take your post off the front-page for wasting people's time with an obviously flawed solutions to a known problem. You also used the word STEEMIT all along when meaning STEEM. It's confusing and show you may not understand at which level the problem lies.

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He is fairly new, he posted an opinion. While I agree the concept was flawed, to downvote him and upvote your own comment... Well, I disagree with your rewards.

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I appreciate your downvotes more than you can imagine.

I think it should be good practice for posters to disclose when votes have been purchased.

An independent bot should warn the public by reporting as a comment how much votes where purchased on a post. It's unreasonable to assume new people to know these names = purchased votes.


Source: http://www.steembottracker.com/

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I agree with you on the downvote part, negative feedback is a learning opportunity
That why I find it irritating, that it's so hard to keep track of leaving followers.

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It would actually be pretty nice to have a bot that automatically posts a comment on posts that have bought votes. I hope someone with the time and skills will make this at one point!

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I was actually trying to think of a bot idea to spend time on. Thanks @vath for your brilliant idea. One more iron that I'll add to the fire.

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You're welcome! I wish you the best of luck :)

If you want another idea, then consider making a "Remind Me" type of bot that they have on Reddit. I was just thinking about how I miss that from Reddit. If you are unfamiliar with it, you can call it in the comment section and tell it to remind you of a post/comment in X days/hours/years etc, and it will pop back up and notify you when the timer ends. It's really handy!

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Most of them do comment.

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Yeah, that's true, but it would be even better with a neutral bot that come in and said something like "this post has bought votes for XX SBD to get upvotes worth XX SBD". This will make buying upvotes completely transparent, and it will be very easy to see which posts that are heavily promoted.

This post for example has almost 500 comments, but I had not even noticed all the bots who upvoted it, because these are pretty much hidden and scattered.

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I admit I was surprised by this response. :)

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Thank you for the very instructive comment, as my account was just approved yesterday and it feels very intimidating.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I read about the rewards curve in the white paper. Very few people are supposed to receive huge rewards while all the others are expected to receive a little. - Just enough to keep them going. There's a reason behind that (well explained in the white paper) and now people are complaining about it? Those things are on the white paper and are just being implemented now as intended. If there's nothing wrong with the Steemit white paper, there's no problem at all.

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I've had a look at the white paper, it is fundamentally sound. Take most professional sports. Only the cream of the crop earn the high pay. This becomes more apparent as the number of participants increases. Take golf and tennis, we hear about the few that make millions but there are millions of players that make barely a living and some play just for fun. The key is, the cream of the crop get the high pay. They get the high pay because they win, play great tennis or great golf. They don't get high pay because they are friends with the commissioner of tennis. They don't win because they cut their opponents arms off. Roger Federer did not become great because a very rich person thinks he is great.

I believe the problem is not necessarily the shape of the distribution of awards (Zipf's law) but how that shape is achieved. People will be more understanding of the shape if those at the top produce the best content. Dissatisfaction occurs when they are not. The white paper also talks about fairness. A perception of lack of fairness will result in people leaving the platform.

The paper identifies that heavly upvoted posts will be subject to greater scrutiny because of the exposure they receive. This is not true for comments or posts that receive last minute upvotes.

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You can either have some people make a lot and most people make little, or you can have everyone make a little. The thing that keeps people engaged is not having everyone make a little. That's what immediately kills the platform.

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even so, many people are not even making little to keep them going and i've seen many good people calling it the quits. And also it's the number of posts per day by few such powerful members that makes the matter even worse.

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Whales shouldn't be fighting each other but teaching minnows and be an example. Now the first thing minnows sees is the fighting on steemit. And minnows just don't understand what the hell is going on. All we want to do is learn and add content and be a part of this great community.

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Good one ; )

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^^this, exactly. You're the first person I've even heard mention any sort of "example" that should be followed, or courtesy hahah. Btw, what is this dMania thing? Looks kinda like steemit... maybe i'll check that out. It almost seems like Steemit is imploding and we "got in" a bit late to the party lol. Heck, I'll keep sticking around and see what's up. All the while, do my best to improve what I can!!

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Sadly I'm a minnow

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I totally agree.. Steemit is being flooded with useless content! Buying votes, upvoting yourself!! Wow, it sounds like dictatorship!

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Close. It's a meritocracy.

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cute and with some accuracy

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(Sadly) buying votes is now almost a necessity for smaller accounts.
if you want your post to be read.

Few followers & Few SP means that your posts will stay in the new section eternally. Which means that your lucky if your posts are read by 15 people.

If he's willing to spend $2000 to get his message across. Then he has a change of seeing his post in the hot/trending section.

While I'm personally not using upvote bots, I get why people are using them.


about the multi accounts. Those are difficult to track. Especially since their isn't a common website that can monitor the IP addresses.

The only thing you can do about it is manually check the votes. And try to find the patterns. Maybe we should have a group for this. We already have utopian to support the developers.

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I don't have problem with buying votes, It's just dangerous to do so on the front-page with not so good or inaccurate content.

You are right, like with Bitcoin there is no way to track IPs at the blockchain level.

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i knew about the bots even before i started using steemit. Some of my friends were on this platform and they told me how great of a site this was. And my introducing yourself came about, nobody even said welcome to the community, except those people who told me about this community.
My first mentality was to eh, i wont use the bots, they are bad for the community, but after seeing the reaction on my first post, used the bot on the same post after 3 or 4 days, probably.
I've been posting regularly and interacting with some of the people here, and yesterday i saw one of the user write that he was in this acceptance phase, where no matter what he does, it will never get peoples' attention.
I dont want to imply that my posts are great but i've seen some posts that are shit as hell and making 100+ just because of his/her influence and reputation.
I think this should be the first problem that should be addressed by the community and influential people like you.

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I dont agree , that new users need to buy votes i am on steemit for 5 days , and without posting links in other sites got 14 followers and some upvotes , so best way for new like me is to make alot comments but not like nice , sad, normal and like that but comments with your opinion and thoughts , and with some point (sorry for my english , not my first language )

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Honestly 14 followers in 5 days is not bad. I'm very new as well. It seems easier to gain followers here than say YouTube. First week of hustling for a new channel over there will not likely net 14 followers. I am at 17 followers in a few days and very excited about the potential here. Not sure if I will buy votes eventually I am just figuring all of this out. Cheers

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Yeah, it is probably a lot harder to build a following at YouTube for a completely newcomer as of right now. Just keep being active on the blockchain, and the followers will start coming in regularly by themselves!

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True, a new channel on Youtube is just an atom in the hay stack. On steemit, it's just a needle :)

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Ugh. I have virtually NO idea what pretty much any of that means. AL I know is I
ve been on Steemit maybe a week, and, i'd say... about HALF of the CONTENTS i've even come across has been some kind of fight/ argument about how steem or someone on steem is "greedy" and basically screwing shit up. I guess stuff like this should be expected to a degree anytime you're dealing with other people, and ESPECIALLY when money gets involved. Which I guess is what i'm encountering: the clash between self-governance, power, and as much as I hate to say it: nature. Hopefully I'm wrong, and Steem still has some time before it becomes totally corrupted--and it may never--I'm going to do my best to keep it with what my original impression of the platform was: a decentralized uncensored forum where newcomers are actually an integral part of the system. Actually, I think that's probably where something is lost: getting too "big for your britches," "whales," and forgetting you too were once a minnow... Does it not get lonely in the "deep deep end??"

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There seems to be a few fights going on around the place. I think it is good to get everything all out in the open.

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I think tools for upvoting and following systems should be banned first. Because this is something like liquor prohibition in gujarat india but selling it not stopped by police department instead they are doing corruption with boot leggers.

Imposing a maximum vote may seem logical but there are of course many other considerations. I remember seeing a video on YouTube where a guy explained how using bots to post and upvote blank comments can make one quick bucks. As if it's a brand new idea he even said something like: “Please don't forget me when you're already earning. Please share some dollars with me.” Hahaha! People will never stop trying to make quick money. As far as I’m concerned, for as long as you continue adding value to the platform (provide good content regularly), it is your right to maximize your earnings using the techniques that you know. Let clean conscience guide you in making decisions.

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This self forming anarchy style of system will always hurt the morality of most creators.
If we let things like vote bots and such things to flurish and handle them as tools, then they are tools and they are legitemate. I'mperfectlz with you man. If you have regular content, then marketing and selfpromoting it in reasonable fashion is perfecly acceptable!

There are a lot to improve for steem.

Freedom will always seem tumultuous.

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It comes at a price but it is always worth it.

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You got a 100.00% upvote from @voteme courtesy of @discernente! For next round, send minimum 0.01 SBD to bid for upvote.

Do you know, you can also earn daily passive income simply by delegating your Steem Power to voteme by clicking following links: 10SP, 25SP, 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.

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Thank you @voteme. I appreciate your upvote.

I agree wholeheartedly. Understand that platforms like Reddit and Facebook and Instagram have people on there actively gaming the algorithms either for the lulz or because they want to get something to trend hard to get themselves karma (that is literally the job for digital media marketing people). On Steemit this is exacerbated by the fact that you have direct financial incentive to do that. On other platforms, something going viral increases the visibility and gets your thing known, which along several steps may lead to money going into your coffers. On Steemit it's a lot more direct, just the fact that something is trending itself is a big bonus for you. I mean look at this thread, it's worth 779 SBD (no offense OP lol, you made good observations here and it's definitely a good thread). Like dude, even professional journalists don't get paid that much for an article (HINT HINT, professional journalists), so it's completely natural to assume that people are going to want to exploit the system hardcore.

On the other hand you have people who see the dollars and think "right on! I can actually get paid for making the things I love!!", who then find themselves barely seen at all because of people making abuse of the system the norm. So rather than spending time thinking up cool new creative stuff, they are pressured into thinking up schemes to game the system just to get noticed, let alone actually make decent money. I find myself in that situation already, and honestly I would rather not go down that cynical, miserable path.

I think ways around that would be to work on visibility of posts. Right now I think the window of exposure between new, hot and trending is a bit out of whack. For instance, I have barely any followers. If I post something, it will be in new for maybe 5 minutes until it's utterly buried under other posts. In 10 minutes no one is going to see it. The feed helps, at least then you have the option to see only who you follow and can check out their new stuff. If you're feeling extra supportive you can look into SteemAuto and set up auto curation and curation trails - itself VERY easy to exploit, but in the positive sense it's kind of like Patreon where you decide you will support this person for the time being, regardless of whether you're on the computer reading things every day or not.

I honestly can't wait for Communities feature (I think it's called) to arrive, that makes it possible to split the site into groups kind of like Subreddits. I don't like tags, and I dislike Instagram for the same reason. It's because everyone tag spams like crazy, and there's barely any reason not to (ESPECIALLY when downvoting basically doesn't exist, or is far too severe a punishment for something like that). At any point a user can claim ignorance or misunderstanding, or say well this is a video and it's under "video" so wtf is your problem? The groups would help so much with that because it would be basically like separate feeds. Likewise it would be possible also to have more refined tag searches and filtering, so for instance you want to search for tags a b c d together only, or just one, or maximum number of tags, or filter out tags and so forth. Because since there is money involved, you can't really fault people for eyeing up a popular tag and try to shoehorn their stuff into their somehow. Instead of the process being "I make xyz, I would like to find a place where xyz would actually be seen and people like it and are grateful for it".

But yes indeed it's a bit sad that visibility functions so badly, and that you do really need to game it to get your new stuff into trending somehow or hot (what is the difference between the two?). I think this is similar to how Reddit started, where there was also just one "subreddit" i.e. reddit.com. Like one global feed. When you add thousands of active posters to that it's only natural that it gets overwhelming (like are you willing to sift through 100+ posts every day just to find the one you like?) and that it needs to be more refined somehow.

The other important thing for users right now in absence of any structural change, is to be critical of who they follow - make your decision and then vote on their posts! If you don't like them, don't follow! It hurts seeing your posts languish at 0 when you actually have followers, you can't help but feel betrayed by your own fans.

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Thank you for your detailed response, I almost missed it as I haven't been looking at this post in a while. You make quite a few good suggestions. Steemit is still very new and it is constantly changing. It certainly needs to make all content more accessible and easier to find. It seems like people mostly just focus on the main 'trending' list and pay little attention to the tags. The communities feature could be interesting. Hopefully more information will be revealed soon.

I noticed you are from Melbourne or living in Melbourne. You should join teamaustralia.

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Hey thank you! Yes I've been a massive meme hound since the early 2000s so I've seen a lot of platforms in my time lol from old school forums to stuff like YTMND to 4chan to Reddit and Facebook. And indeed I can tell the Steemit devs are already imitating Reddit to a large extent, and they honestly need to lift a few more useful functions like I outlined that would form the minimum base for functionality. Those are absolutely usability considerations rather than to do with the blockchain. I would perhaps say that right now the system rewards bandwagoning too much, which tbh is the same on Reddit but a bit less directly so. There it's more psychological that you'd upvote something that has 10k upvotes. But here you look at the dollar figure and go oof I better put mine up there as well and get a slice of that sweet sweet 25% pie.

Ah yeah I just moved to Melbourne yay. Where are you at? What is teamaustralia, how do I join them?

I hate how many good quality posts go unnoticed. I have in my opinion a few very high quality and time consuming posts, some around 3000 words that received only a few cents worth of up votes apart from my own. This makes it very discouraging! This is why I'm trying to lease 10000 SP to make myself and others in my position for noticed!

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Steemit is just like any other social media platform in the sense that you need to build a following before you are able to make any real money. A new user can write the best piece of content ever written, but no one will see it if they don't put their name out there and make sure people are able to find it.

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It's at least 50/50 engagement to new content. New users need to be closer to 90/10 for engagement to new content. Then you still need to write well, and you have to have expertise in an area that people find valuable. None of that matters though if a person with high SP wants to support you. That's the voluntary charity side of this place, and I like that part of it.

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Yeah, you are absolutely right. There are lots of users here who write a few posts but never bother to interact with the community, then ends up complaining and calling Steem(it) a scam because they didn't make any money.

Getting support from a whale can be really amazing here! I remember getting some awesome votes from one of the most well-known whales back when I published my 2nd post or so, and that was definitely a factor that lead to me investing to much time and energy to the blockchain.

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I say that is fair enough. GOOD quality content needs to dominate Steemit. Steemit should not be know for paying 100 SBD + for nonsense.

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I say that is fair enough. GOOD quality content needs to dominate Steemit. Steemit should not be know for paying 100 SBD + for nonsense.

Yes, that how it should be.

But the reality is that some early adaptors can claim a portion of the reward pool. The reward pool doesn't care that the content is nonsense or that their's only one vote.

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This is absolutely true. At times we are seeing very bad posts get $500+ rewards just because it is made by an author who is backed by a whale or two, which can be pretty discouraging for new users who check out the site.

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^^this exactly. I'll see a post, literally just like a link to a 5 minute video on youtube, with a small caption under it, and it's made like $300 plus. I don't get it. So I tried to in fact mimic that behavior: post a link to a video (someone else's video) and write a couple sentences--actually worked somewhat better than I expected--I think I got a couple votes lol. Anyway, yes, it's discouraging. I understand the whale-power aspect, but, something seems a bit outta whack. Then again, the system is still relatively new ("beta," right??), and I'm enjoying it enough to hang out for a bit and see what happens :)

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It's also worth keeping in mind that even though a post has $500+ rewards, and is seemingly bad, the author might have produced hundreds of quality posts in the past, and be a respected member of the community. Not all trending posts are bad or low-effort at all.

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Good point.

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that is absolutely right sir,, and probably lead to early quiting in the flatform

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Yeah, I am afraid that it does. It would be a lot better if new users could see for themselves that hard work does pay off in the end.

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precisely for sake of fairness

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I've seen single bible verse posts, with no other effort or content, rewarded with 20 dollar upvotes by an orca. This isn't just a whale issue. I've upvoted friend's replies simply to raise their reputation a bit when they are brand new. Someone is going to prevent me from doing that? If a whale wants to support an individual, they should be allowed to do it.

Abusing the system does ruin people's reputations already too. There are people and sites that track self-upvoting abusers as one example. We still should not try to control how people spend their voting power however. The lady posting the bible verse has a friend who has a lot of money in their account. It is a form of welfare and voluntary charity in that regard.

Value is subjective anyway. Who's going to decide? That's one of the beautiful things about Steemit.com. Each individual gets to decide what is valuable to them or not. It is a "free market" in that sense. We won't all agree on what is good content. There's no way to fix that issue, and it shouldn't be fixed. It is working as intended.

Yes, there are abusers, and their always will be. We should definitely keep creating initiatives to clean this place up like @spaminator, @steemcleaners, @cheetah, etc. too. Discussing this issue as you have done here also helps. Thanks!

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I concur with you @crytoeater

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I think it's a popularity contest that can only be won with consitency.

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So true :( how can we fix this?

We need to be able to delegate our voting power to curation pools that downvote people who violate the voluntary community rules. Once we do that we won't have to worry about upvote/downvote wars. Experts with AI algorithms will catch people using shady tactics like this and punish them with a downvote or blacklist. Blacklisting accounts for automatic downvote by a voting pool will allow us to ban accounts in a decentralized way. I'm sure the team already knows this and is working on it, which is why they're not responding to much of this.

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          Where are these so called voluntary community rules written down?

downvote people who violate the voluntary community rules.

The only place I have seen voluntary rules is in the FAQ of steemit, and when you click the downvote button it says why you should use it, but it does not say you can not down vote for only those reasons. The FAQ says you can downvote/upvote for whatever reason you want.

Blacklisting accounts for automatic downvote

So steemit should become like Facebook and twitter, and basically shadow ban people, censor people?

          The steemit FAQ tells us our vote is ours to do with as we want. If some one wants to buy votes, there is no rule against it. If someone want to sell votes there is no rule against it. If someone want to downvote a person into oblivion because of a typo there is no rule against it. If someone disagrees with the payout they can downvote it. If someone want to give a $200.00 upvote to a post or a comment there is no rule against it. There are No rules governing how a vote can be used. If people want someone telling them how to use their vote they can go to facebook, google, youtube, or any of the other hundreds of social media sites that tell you how often, who for, and how to use and not use your vote power, or thumbs up power.
          People need to stop telling people how to use their vote. If you disagree with a payout, do like @berniesanders and others and use your vote power. Don't tell me how to use my vote power.

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This. So much this.

It's like... you can't have laissez-faire capitalism (which is what STEEM is based on) and socialist policies (who's to say what you do with what you factually own) at the same time.

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That’s a very good point. A persons freedom of choice to vote needs to be protected. It’s the thing that sets Steem apart from most other blockchains.

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You seem to have misunderstood me. The voluntary community rules come out of people delegating their voting power to a curator they trust to enforce the rules they agree with. Bullies get hit back, therefore there's more money for those who are civil. If you don't like how someone downvotes, delegate to someone who will cancel out their bad downvotes. This is a decentralized company. Downvotes don't take away money, they just change how money is distributed. I'm not telling you how to use it. I'm saying you make your own rules, so enforce them or delegate to someone who will. You're still free to vote however you want - that's the point.

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I am not sure I disagreed with much of what you said. It is your vote and yours to do with as you please. The only part I think I disagreed with was the part of community rules.

We need to be able to delegate ....
Once we do that we won't have to worry about upvote/downvote wars ....
Blacklisting accounts for automatic downvote by a voting pool ......

I did not say You could not do that. I disagree with any group censorship/blacklisting and any one telling me that WE which is a term that includes ME what I should do with my vote.

So mostly a misunderstanding of word usage I guess. So Delegate your vote, build your downvoting pool, and censor who you like.

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That sounds encouraging. Would be nice if they could share this information.

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A good post! Suffer mostly beginners. Very many good posts are not noticed.This is not fair...Good luck to you @spectrumecons !

лрало.png

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Thank you for your support @bitboys.

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There should also be some sort of repeat offender "jail" where we could punish accounts that violate and abuse the reward pools. It would lock up their account for a certain amount of time after they receive some sort of initial warning. After the first warning they could do a short 12 hour ban or something and then if they keep violating the code then we could do a several day or week long ban.

  • I got this idea from a game I used to play online where they had a "jail" for accounts that were caught cheating or doing other bad things.
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Facebook places bans on accounts that they deem to be violating their rules or abusing the system.

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i think it can also be applied here if the abuse become uncontrollable

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Ultimately that sort of power would be abused and probably result in steemit having many of the same problems as Twitter and Facebook.

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Create a system of control, and it will be abused.

Why are people here? I came here to network and further individual liberty, and I was tired of having my content filtered and seeing other friend's punished for their content.

Other people are here solely to make a profit. They put their money into the system, and they expect a return on that money. I don't blame them either. Sellers need buyers too, so the system is purposefully setup to encourage investors.

Steemit has its struggles, but there is no centralized censorship here. This place will never be perfect, and there will always be accounts with a lot of power that will be abused. Whales can fight, we can all fight, and there can be flagging wars too.

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."

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I like that quote. Who said that?

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Thomas Jefferson

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To be honest, that is one of the things that actually makes me think twice about this platform. I'lluse it because that is actually a reasonable platform for... everything actually but (big BUT) when you have investors and creators in the same place, you will always have this strange atmosphere. Anzway, I don't really care who reads my stuff. If it is an investor or a leech, I'll justhandle it as business. If it is an other creator than Ill handdle it as an oportunity.

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This would be pretty interesting, but I think this is what reputation is for. Once a users' reputation reaches a certain level, all future posts will be hidden by default.

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I would love this, especially if there was a page showing all the people in jail with the ability to throw digital rotten tomatoes at them somehow.

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Well, there are already a few of these in place, such as @steemcleaners that downvote a lot of spam and plagiarism. Feel free to delegate some SP to them if you like their work :)

This is a fatal flaw of the platform unless it's addressed. It was even forewarned in the Steem White Paper. Consequently, one would imagine that proposals such as the one's you're making would be implemented sooner rather then later.

"Steem is designed around a relatively simple concept: everyone’s meaningful contribution to the community should be recognized for the value it adds. When people are recognized for their meaningful contributions, they continue contributing and the community grows. Any imbalance in the give and take within a community is unsustainable. Eventually the givers grow tired of supporting the takers and disengage from the community."

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I absolutely agree. Well said @syncubate. The people that run Steemit are smart enough to recognise the damage that rewarding the wrong content will have for the future of this platform. People want something that is fair. If it is not, they will leave.

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I do hope that someone with prevailing influence takes these sorts of suggestions to heart, because unless it's addressed, the broad adoption of this blockchain will be set back. Steem extends beyond Steemit now, but Steemit remains as its initial proof of concept and it should be adapting for the better rather than stagnating via an acceptance of the status quo. In doing so, it would set a constructive example for other applications that are built on the blockchain as well.

I think that they should implement a reward system similar to how you would earn Experience Points (EXP) in a Role Playing Game (RPG). As your level (Steemit reputation) grows it should become harder and harder to earn STEEM. Higher payouts and rewards would be "curved" kinda like they curve a grade in a difficult class like physics, but in the opposite direction so they would become lesser and lesser over time.

This would allow minnows a fighting chance at their slice of the pie while preventing abuse by greedy jerks!

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If that is the case these greedy users will just create more accounts to take advantage of minnows opportunity.

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Sadly this is unenforceable in a decentralized system. You just make a bunch of accounts and make bank while the honest people make even less.

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There are already SOME measures in place to stop people from making new accounts but those barriers can be easily overcome if you know a couple of tricks.

They need to implement a no multi-account rule that monitors transfers and account interactions. Clear and blatant abuses like the ones above should merit a lifetime IP ban from the site as well as confiscation of funds stolen.

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That would be a massive invasion of privacy though. It wouldn't fly in the EU, especially considering that IP addresses are often treated as private information (as are phone numbers, for instance).

That's just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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It also defeats the purpose of having a decentralized social network. All of these things come with the territory. There are negative aspects. They are definite cons, but to come up with a centralized solution to these problems is also getting rid of everything that makes Steem better than other social networks.

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IP addresses can be spoofed too.

Many people have multiple accounts on purpose to run bots. Some bots are very useful. Other bots are gaming the system. I'm all for abusers being called out for the abuse too.

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Yeah, it would most likely lead to people just creating new accounts to post and upvote it with their main account. Then just send all the rewards from each new account to the main one to gain bigger upvotes.

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Steem functions on the basic idea that everyone is honest. And that everyone will try to work towards a fair reward pool.

Human nature says that large SP holders should take as many as they can.

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Maybe the gap between the idea of Steemit and human nature is just too big for it to work fairly..

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That is always a possibility. I would rather Steemit stay true to what it is and fail than be turned into a centralized authority-policed mess.

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Steemit does not function on that idea... It functions based on the idea that shareholders will protect their stake.

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That's an interesting idea but It might hurt in the long-run if people become reluctant to post because they can earn more from Steemit as an investment rather than a content creator. This also does not solve the problem of minnow accounts used by whales as a tool for profiting.

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Well with my idea you would still be able to receive higher payouts for your first few posts of the day but after a certain number the payouts would start diminishing. For example if you post TEN times a day you would only get 100% payout on the first two and then the third would get 75% and the fourth 50% and so on and so forth.

Is it REALLY necessary to make THAT many posts a day? I mean how much money do you really need to make per day on Steemit to be happy? I know that $100 a day is more than enough for the average person to get by.

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The problem is that this would certainly discourage people from making long-term commitments to Steemit, which is also very important for the growth. Sure, it might feel unfair that some users get $500+ rewards, but you should keep in mind that some of these users have already written 2-4 posts every day for almost two years, which takes a lot of dedication.

I think a bigger problem is that the minnows, who potentially could band together to counteract some of this, are delegating their vote, or locking into curation trails, under the idea that they will make more money. But, in my experience, I've been here about as long as you, relationship is where it's at. I'm for leveling the vote some more, as one done once, but probably not the drastic cap you're suggesting. The Whales would then just leave the platform, since their influence would be nullified completely. @markrmorrisjr

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They would still have the same level of influence, they will just be forced to spread it around. The SP will still generate the same amount of power but just not on one post. The curation awards wouldn't be affected either. I don't think many will leave steemit as there are lots of ways to make money other than excessive upvoting of a few posts.

Or you can report to Steemcleaners: https://steemcleaners.org/abuse-report/ You can even get rewards for reporting abusers

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Cool, thanks for that information.

It's a pain to most minnows, spending hours or days working on a post to only earn a few cents, whereas there is a post with hardly any content that has made over $100+ within the first few minutes of being posted, if 'whales' help 'whales', why can't minnow help minnows? i know its a long shot and honestly, at the end of the day/post we all want to make money and unfortunately, some do it unethically.

Is using bots bad? Yes and No depending on which side you are looking at it from, i use bots to get at least some of my posts noticed.

There are lots of discord groups, with lot's of individual posting lots of posts making it hard for curators to go through each and every post, making it harder still for minnows to get noticed, most probable solution, find posts that interest you, engage in meaningful dialogue through comments, give suggestions, ask questions it's tedious but once in a while you get afew big shots (one really) who will notice your work/posts.

My take maybe they should put a cap on the amount of SBD one can make withing a given period or can share on a post e.g instead of a post suddenly going up in value between the 15th min to 39th min, it can be spread over a let's say 2 hour period giving other posts a chance to be noticed in the trending/hot lists.

@spectrumecons my upvote strength is very small, best I can do is comment and resteem for more steemians to see. SteemOn!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment and offer suggestions, I appreciate it. I appreciate the resteem too. Don't worry about the upvote. Minnows can help each other out. It'll take longer but in time we can all grow.

Keep steeming away, if your content is good, you might get identified by @curie. There are some good whales out there that truly care about Steemit as a whole.

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We are working more than 8 hours to find good content but this trick is not good . Sweetsssj is upvoting 3 accounts with $300+ ( 6th day) cuz it won't get downvotes by any community .

Do you know? i cross checked those accounts & they are transferring their rewards to single Bittrex account sounds crazy . I don't know who is behind this

@saimegh ( curie curator)

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I agree .... I think the system at present isn’t a fair ,,,, I wrote back last year ,, I think one vote. = 1 vote ... voting power should be equal, that way content remains king in my humble opinion .

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Exactly. Can't agree less.
Great suggestion.

terrific stuff, very good analysis @spectrumecons

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Thanks for your support @hemanthoj

Hmm, some decent points in here.

You are very much right greed should always be controlled

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I don't think greed can necessarily be controlled but it can be managed. We can work together to reduce the effect of greed.

my vote doesn't cost much or maybe will not be counted,, but still i'll give it to you, this post deserves more upvotes than to those pointless post with high upvotes, thank you for this eye-opening post of you sir, i know now whats happening in this flatform and i wish that their greediness will stop. I agree with you that if they continue abusing steemit, it will go down and probably destroy, which everyone doesn't want to happen. Thank you sir and God bless.

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Thank @mryuss. The dollar value of your upvote might be small but it is still an upvote. Your comment is also valuable and it is here for everyone to see.

Removing trending/hot/promoted pages will give a fair chance to everyone, as you only search for what u want to see. @spectrumecons

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That is another interesting suggestion. You should write a posts explaining your proposal.

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i did write in my recent post but it went un noticed, infact iv also commented this in many posts. However making a new post specifically regarding it.

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I know, it can be difficult sometimes to get noticed.

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made a new post regarding it.. :)

steemit is the best plaftform.
thanks friend

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I wish you could be my friend too. I have a thing for people who spell their username with two letters and two numbers. I don't know what it is.

commenting on stupid comments

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That's what we want to make Steemit. I have faith it will be.

Thank you very much - I had exactly the same idea. Limit the max vote value to 1-5 SBD. The rest is not useless, they can however only vote with a low percentage.

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I was thinking a little higher than that but that is the general idea. Steem Power is better off being spread around as much as possible. We are here to help each other.

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A little higher would also be ok. But it would make life much more difficult for these people with huge amounts of voting value to upvote only themselves. Also, it would make the business model for the bot more difficult as the number of bots would need to increase significantly to come to the same voting power.

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A large part of Steemit.com though is voluntary charity. It is designed so people with a lot of wealth can voluntarily support individuals and initiatives as they want. Whales have a lot of SP in their account, and you're going to force them to upvote 1000 times a day to spend their daily SP? That's not going to work very well at all. :)

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But if they are not using their vote because the cannot upvote 1000x a day the vote is not loss - the ote of everybody else will get worth more.

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That's not how it currently works as I understand it. The more SP you have, the more of the daily crypto you have to give out. If you don't give it out, other people don't get more. It is wasted. I try to make sure I vote 20% of my power a day to make sure I'm giving out as much as I can without going negative.

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You think so? If you had a link for this confirming it would be great. Thank you very much in advance.

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https://steemit.com/faq.html

Will the reward pool pay out more or less depending on who votes?
There is a fixed amount of STEEM coins that gets added to the rewards pool each day. In the short term, the amount of coins that get paid out may be higher or lower depending on the amount of voting activity, but over time it will pay out the full amount of rewards regardless of who votes.

Votes in Steem are stake-weighted. Therefore voters with more STEEM Power have a greater influence over the allocation than voters with less SP, but their votes do not increase the amount of rewards.

friend ,, your are share very important topic

People really just love to abuse good things. Yes we need to weave the infected out. Long live Steemit!

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Yes, yes, yes we must. STEEMIT is for everyone

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Yes, we shall have nothing to worry about! I believe there are more good people on here than bad.

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okay I'm also agree to you

Absolutely amazing. Being new to this platform I can see how others can abuse the system for themselves.

I think Steemit had a lot of potential for uses to express and show stuff and should be abused by just trying to make money.

Keep it simple everyone, keep it safe and we will all get to enjoy this for a long time.

We are moving towards a paid media system of attention it is similar to facebook in that in order to increase user visibility of a quality post or even a shitpost one needs to pay advertising costs to have their post promoted this in steemits case comes from automated voting services and user growth or whales as the biggest crisis is the limited amount of visibility for the amount of generated content.
(The only solution would be an algorithm change towards increased weight towards interaction versus scrolling with clickbait being flagged as the moderation feature for the userbase judging a post pretty much what FB is panning itself out to do right now anyways)

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Interesting idea.

I like your concern and your intention of long term success for Steemit. Posts like this deserves to be upvoted, not those post with a photo or video and with only meaningless or few description.

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Thank you for your support.

you should never be able to upvote yourself .. or upvote another account more than once in a day!

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That's a possible solution but that won't prevent massive upvotes of one sentence comments.

I agree with what you have stated,"Steemit is a new platform, let’s not damage its reputation with greed" I think upvotes with max of 5-10 sbd is enough...

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Sounds reasonable.

@spectrumecons it is discouraging when you took your time to compose and post quality content, yet you are getting few cents and some naughty guys are getting huge reward out of nonsense. This need to be addressed.

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It's not a great feeling. I am confident this problem will be solved. We have a great Steemit community.

Wow! :)

I get exited for a $.20 upvote on a post. I hope I get a few posts on the trending list eventually so I can increase my steempower. Just starting from scratch, no money to invest, no friends on steemit. Lol I'll figure out how to write better and blow up one day, though...

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Well, we all have to start somewhere. Good luck.

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Thanks. I'm not too worried about it. It's a fun platform regardless of monetary gains.

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That's it. It's a grind to get some followers and attention but as long as it stays fun and doesn't feel as work, it's ok. I like it especially because I get reminded of travel places I been and finally take the time to check the pics of that trip.

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Exactly! I'm not here for monetary gains. They are nice, but they are a bonus. My main objective here is to engage people without any censorship. Even if my content is flagged, a person can still reveal the post to read it anyway. That is a wonderful and beautiful thing.

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The money brings a whole different set of problems that aren't experienced on othere social media platforms. Pretty interesting social experiment. It's nice to be able to engage with people that I would've never had the chance to otherwise. Being completly uncensored is something I'm not accustomed too at all.

people join steemit to make money...these things will go away but it'll take time

happy

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HAPPY: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
"Melissa came in looking happy and excited"

commenting on stupid comments

I quite agree with @veeral about removing trending, new, hot and promoted - those tags show the posts and the resteemed posts of what is in one's followers feed (as per my experience).
Here is someone elses explanation of how to calculate the bid (I didn't check the calculations, so I don't say it's correct or not, or propose to use it) https://steemit.com/steemit/@mvrr007/100sbd-50steem-power-and-250-followers-in-my-first-month-want-to-know-how-i-did-it-without-any-investment-may-be-an-example-for
Greed is one of the reasons for the hockey stick in economy isn't it?
There is much more going on behind the scenes than just circle voting, downvoting wars, there are real threats for instance.
One thing Steem lacks is the possibility to upvote a post past the 7-day window - so the poster can't earn anything past this time, while elsewhere can (Youtube, Wordpress, etc.), and can be pretty important for musicians and others. Also one can not resteem an interesting post past the payment window, nor change it in any way.
I've seem also a post which exposed a whale running a bot and using the bids of bidders to downvote others and giving them not even the amount they bid back.
They even say that the poster has to add value to earn something on Steemit, but I think this has nothing or very little to do with reality here. This added value of the post seem very relative on Steemit.
P.S:

  1. One thing your downvoter didn't see is that the value of your bought votes was as he says maybe at the time he checked (but sorry, your bid was in SBD not USD), at the time of payout it might be entirely different. Or is he going to make it be the exact same value with his money and his friends money? Did he detract the invested SBD from your part or just the cumulative amount the post got from bidbots, the bid money was yours wasn't it? If he didn't than this is theft. But when you really let it pay out (sell on exchange or powerdown) in that so very much despised fiat, then the value will be of what the exchange shows, not the payout number of your post.
  2. You've gotten your first threat, I guess. He threats that they can put down your post. The question is, if they are so against bidbots why they allow them to exist at all?
  3. Any criticism, if you are not one of them, is strictly punished here.
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Greed is a serious problem everywhere. I believe it is our responsibility to expose that greed whenever we can. I hope I have managed in some part to do that with this post. So far, I think I have got some visibility. Hopefully, I will get some attention from the whales out there.

In regards, to the downvoter, he has every right to do so. Downvoting is a possible response to abuse, I certainly don't think it is the best response. The downvote should also be proportionate to the level of abuse.

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The funny thing is. I did not criticize, I made observations regarding behaviour on Steemit. I think people could perceive it as, fair enough. We have interesting times ahead.

Give it a time, and this platform will have much less loops.

@bloggerslife

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I believe this to be the case. This can happen faster if these loopholes are identified.

I hope the plagiarism and abuse eventually gets better, because so far I'm loving Steemit. I don't really want to resort to using bots at all. Long term dedication and consistency is my plan. I feel this place has really good long term potential. That being said, if people want to drop huge votes on good content I don't think that should be discouraged, unless it's clearly abuse.

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I can't stand plagiarism. We want original content and proper referencing. Good content should be rewarded. If it gets the right exposure, I'm sure it will be.

Steemit is an amazing platform, we should all work together to keep it that way.

I have just created an account and I'm trying to familiarize myself with steemit. That post is quite helpful in that regard - well researched, informative...solid work, author have my thanks.
However...I'm not sure if leveling upvote value is a good solution for mentioned problems. All whales would be harmed by that - guilty and innocent ones. Maybe pointing out abusers would be enough? They won't be able to keep doing what they are doing if everyone will be against them. Maybe system will regulate itself...maybe it had already started to and that post is part of that process?

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Thank you. I was thinking that if for example the maximum upvote for a post was 15 SBD and the Whale has the Steem Power to upvote a post by 150 SBD. The maximum the Whale can upvote is 10% of the Steem Power. This does not punish anyone. The Whale can upvote another 9 posts. This way minnow content gets more exposure and whales are forced to explore more content to get their curation rewards. Good Whales already do this by themselves.

I'm new to steemit and this is just the reason I've been unwilling to put time in to making post. Whats the point if the system is rigged and you ahve to know whales and how to use bots? This platform will never go mainstream if you keep this up. It will be a fringe site for crypto speculators at best. Great ideas on how to fix it. but i guess the whales could just spread out there steem power on different accounts. New platforms are coming out that are similar to steemit. Who ever solves this problems will survive.

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Abuse will scare people away. Steemit's transparency will help solve this problem. I have suggestions but they might not be the best but at least we can have this open conversation so that we can come up with something that works.

Greed - The same thing that's destroying my home country. :-/

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Greed is a very destructive force.

As a new steemer to the Steemit this was very interesting andhelpful. Thanks for the update!

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Freedom vs Fairness, the epic debate. Being a new user I am pretty annoyed that everything in the "hot" section is BS contests and ridiculousness. However, it's nice to have the freedom to fail when everything else is controlled.

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I believe freedom can create fairness. Right now Steemit has freedom. That is how I found out what I have about the fairness problems.

Good job! Thanks to @vegoutt-travel you have planted 0.13 tree to save Abongphen Highland Forest in Cameroon. Help me to plant 1,000,000 trees and share my Steem Power to the others. Selfvoting is prohibited, but that should be the reason to spread the world to protect our precious environment. Check out profile of our conservation association @kedjom-keku and the founder/coordinator @martin.mikes to get more information about our conservation program. My current SP is 14512.94. Help me to plant more trees with your delegated SP.

Thanks a lot,
your @treeplanter
www.kedjom-keku.com

Dear,
i just joinded last day in the evening. now i am looking for such an advice that can make me ondrive to my destiny.
thank you sir and i love your motivation.

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Glad I can be of help.

Thank you for posting this. I´m quite new on Steemit, but you pointed exactly at the aspect I was/am sceptical about. Nearly everywhere, where people talk about Steemit to make people join the platform, they talk about making (quick) money. Take YouTube videos, FAcebook postings, tweets on Twitter... nearly exclusively about money, money, tricks and tips how to make money etc. I - like everybody of us - need to make my living, that´s true. But I´ve always tried to make my money by doing great work. Great in quality and of at least a minimum of meaning and importance. I agree with your posting in all aspects and am/was happy to find it here on Steemit. Enjoy your time! Rolf

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For starters, Steemit should not be about making a few quick dollars. It should be about sharing great content as you mention. The money supports the content and the time spent creating that content. In time, you should be able to earn quite a bit but it takes time and is not a get rich quick scheme.