Applications Team Update 2: Signups, RocksDB, and Combating Abuse

in steemit •  6 months ago

Today’s @steemitblog post is brought to you by the Steemit Applications team. In this post, we highlight some of the projects we’ve been working on over the past few weeks.

Signups

Making improvements to the signup system continues to be one of our top priorities. This past week, we made several improvements to our signup “admin portal,” which will allow us to approve or reject new users more efficiently.

Deploying RocksDB to Production

Alongside the blockchain team, we’ve been working to get the latest steemd changes into production, which includes the RocksDB implementation of the account history plugin.

RocksDB is a fast-on-disk data store with an advanced caching layer, which reduces latency when reading/writing to and from the disk, as it’s optimized for fast, low-latency storage. As described in the blockchain team’s recent update post, this will significantly improve the performance of the account history plugin by reducing the RAM requirements, improving the replay time, and decreasing the amount of disk space needed.

Improving Steemit.com Faster

We upgraded our existing developer build system for steemit.com (known as condenser) and several other internal repositories. These changes have no direct impact on users, but they increase our development efficiency by speeding up build times when compiling source code, running tests, and deploying code to production. This will enable us to iterate faster, thereby making steemit.com an even better experience in less time.

Inactive Account De-Delegation

Steemit.com is not like other social apps. You need a little bit of Steem Power in order to post to the Steem blockchain. It’s one of the ways we allow people to transact on Steem for free, while also preventing people who are not invested in the future of Steem from spamming the network.

Steemit Inc. delegates Steem Power to all newcomers who sign up via steemit.com in order to provide a good experience for new users and to ensure they have enough bandwidth to make their first few posts.

In order to ensure that as many people as possible have as much bandwidth as possible, we have implemented a system that temporarily un-delegates Steem Power from accounts that have been inactive for 90 days. We still leave enough Steem Power for them to resume posting once they return, and the same system returns the remainder of their allocated delegation within an hour of the account becoming active again.

De-Delegating Abusive Accounts

We have developed an open and transparent process for removing delegations from abusive accounts which have been deemed ineligible for Steem Power delegation from Steemit, Inc. due to faucet abuse and/or ToS violations. This process will in no way inhibit a legitimate user’s ability to post to Steem.

You can find and contribute to the open list of abusive accounts here:
https://github.com/steemit/redeemer-irredeemables

It’s important to note that all we are doing is removing our delegation from these accounts. We are not depriving anyone, even bad actors, from posting to the Steem blockchain; we are only removing their ability to do it with our Steem Power (and the corresponding bandwidth), which could be used to help create new accounts and give new users the bandwidth they need to transact on the Steem blockchain - be it on steemit.com or any of the growing list of Steem applications, which can be seen on steemprojects.com.

We encourage members of the community who are involved in combating spam and abuse to submit abusive users to this list, so we can revoke their Steem Power. Please understand though, that we only intend to revoke Steem Power from users who are undeniably violating our ToS or abusing the faucet sign up. If it’s a gray area, we will side with the user. All pull requests should include sufficient documented proof for a reviewer to conclude that an account is violating our ToS or abusing the faucet sign up.

Condenser (steemit.com) Changes

The option to share posts via Reddit was added to the blog post page. This was a community-submitted enhancement (pull request 2773) made by @netuoso.

Another community-submitted pull request from GitHub user Nicknyr fixed a layout bug that involved the search bar overlapping the login and signup buttons. The pull request can be found here.

Community member caleblogan (GitHub user) submitted a pull request to fix a display bug that occurred when a video link was on the same line as other text.

Steem Python Library and Jussi Updates

We’ve made several changes to improve our official Steem Python library (example issues 156 and 181), as well as Jussi, our json-rpc reverse proxy (example issues 150 and 154). These changes improve the tools that the development community uses, which will make it easier for application developers and entrepreneurs to build applications powered by Steem.

Want to contribute?

Steem (the blockchain) and condenser (the code for steemit.com, the social application that’s run on Steem) are both open source projects. You can view all of our GitHub repositories here: https://github.com/steemit/

If you can code, you can look under the hood and find issues to work on. For example, if you have HTML, CSS or JavaScript skills, you could help improve steemit.com by looking at issues in the condenser repo. A good place to start is with issues labeled “help-wanted.”

If you are a proficient developer and want to work on an idea of your own, you can open up a GitHub issue in the appropriate repository and start a conversation with our development team about the change you’d like to implement.

Thanks for reading!

Steemit Applications Team

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I am more bullish on Steem than any other Cryptocurrency. Especially with the latest grading system made public by china and a B+ rating given by Weiss. Nothing compare to Steem now and it is only matter of time. I only now stick on the best blockchain.

Screenshot_20180518-092343_Chrome.jpg

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Spam is discouraged by the community, including comment spam.

More Information:
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Nothing compares to steem !

What happens to the steem power that is revoked from these accounts? Is it destroyed? What about distributing the steem power between various accounts like @curie and @steemiteducation etc to support more good quality users?

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Delegation that is revoked just goes back to the account that delegated it.

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that music is dope main, great song.

we made several improvements to our signup “admin portal,” which will allow us to approve or reject new users more efficiently.

You mean people like the joke of Steemit Defense League will finally disappear?!

Oh wait, they are already here with your delegation.

You can find and contribute to the open list of abusive accounts here:
https://github.com/steemit/redeemer-irredeemables
It’s important to note that all we are doing is removing our delegation from these accounts.

Time to hop on that.

Better late than never, I suppose.

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You should submit a pull request with proof that the accounts are "violating their ToS or abusing the faucet sign up."

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I left a comment on the pull request including more information.

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I'll get on it.

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It's already been submitted by @themarkymark (thanks !), I added some information and links to explain the situation. Feel free to share some more information that you think could prove to be useful (https://github.com/steemit/redeemer-irredeemables/pull/6) !

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@themarkymark, you are a champ!

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Steemcleaners and cheetah - need to review so called abuser accounts on regular basis. The mechanism as of now is highly adhoc and frustrating

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Guess that's what happens when you are caught plagiarizing on the trending page. shrug.png

Anyways, not the topic at hand here.

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But there need to be automatic review process

Great job TeamSteem!

Btw. my profile picture doesn't show up anymore next to my profile name?
(this problem started 2-3 days ago)

Fantastic news. 'You can still do the wrong thing, but not on our dime'
That should put a dent in some business models :)

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Now that's my kind of sarcastic comment! Fair point.

GoSteemitTeamMeme.jpg

You've done so much work! I'm happy that our system has such a great team! I wish you creative success. Let everything that you have in mind will necessarily come true!))) And we will help you))))

I hope it is small hard fork 😎😎😎😎
Thank you for your great work!!!!

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None of these changes are related to the blockchain consensus logic, so they will not result in any forks.

I’ve taken to reporting the obvious spam bot account follows I’ve been getting to @steemcleaners and see that there is a SteemCleaners labeled text list in the Redeemer Github. I’m assuming this is merged into the official listing and is a valid channel for reporting abuse?

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@steemcleaners is the right place to report spam and abuse, however, whether an account that is submitted to them is added to redeemer depends on whatever their process is. If you want to be certain that an account is added to the irredeemables list and delegation is removed then you would need to do so through the redeemer github. Thanks for helping!

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Will do, thanks!

"De-Delegating Abusive Accounts", thank god, the Steemit Defence League was getting frustrating.

Thank you for keeping us informed on what you're doing and what matters to you right now. This is important for the community to know, and your posts are greatly appreciated.

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And thank you for everything you do for Steem :)

So Steemit does not want to become mainstream, correct?
Cause if it would like to become mainstream, then those issues with sign up should already be solved 1 year ago!

Steemit has now missed a lot of early adopters. Those were necessary for free promotion.

De-delegating sounds nice. At first I thought that would help to solve the 100+ bot accounts that everyone saw lately as those are like bot trails of new followers. Once you created a new post you instantly got an average of 10 new followers. This is really bad news. Although there is no real harm.

But so you really think I our anyone else will report 100+ accounts including evidence? That would cost like 5-10 hours of my time.

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Cause if it would like to become mainstream, then those issues with sign up should already be solved 1 year ago!

What specifically about the current signup process is preventing us from becoming mainstream?

But so you really think I our anyone else will report 100+ accounts including evidence? That would cost like 5-10 hours of my time.

I already submitted one with 467 accounts a few weeks ago:
https://github.com/steemit/redeemer-irredeemables/pull/2

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Were those 467 accounts all created via the free way? If so how could that be? I mean you need a phone number for each account.

The issue is that it takes always a few weeks before you get your new account. I think people already lost interest by then. Or they might find it a bad first experience.
I think it sounds logical that those reasons are a good explanation why about 50% of the new accounts remain inactive.

You should note that this is only the first reason why Steemit can't become mainstream. But if really 50% of the accounts remains inactive, this percentage for real human accounts might be even higher. As I assume that most bot and fake accounts will be used.

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Were those 467 accounts all created via the free way? If so how could that be? I mean you need a phone number for each account.

All of the accounts were created using the free signup process.

The issue is that it takes always a few weeks before you get your new account.

This is false. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe that somewhere around 95% of the legitimate attempts are approved within one business day, and 99% within a week.. I deal with all the issues that get reported to steem.chat help, and the number of issues for more than a week is really low these days.

I think people already lost interest by then. Or they might find it a bad first experience.

Having a “waiting list” can also make it seem exclusive too.

I think it sounds logical that those reasons are a good explanation why about 50% of the new accounts remain inactive.

Sorry, but no. If they actually got approved, came back to activate their account, and got their username/password to login - and then stopped using the platform after that, the reason for leaving is most likely (at least in the vast majority of cases) not related to the signup process.

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This really clarified a lot!

Although I still don't understand how someone can have 467 phone numbers?

And my wife regisrered an account on the first of May, but she still did not receive any login details. What does she now need to do?

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Send her to steem chat #help. There are instructions in the pinned messages. Keep me posted and I’ll do what I can to help.

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I know this is being worked on and I welcome the process improvements mentioned here but the current signup process is still very slow. Two users who I know signed up in the last few weeks and it took them so long to get activated they had forgotten their account names by the time they got the activation email.

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Awesome, nice one. Good to know you guys are on this.

Wow there has been a long discussion on this. 😀

I am happy about the improvement of Sign-ups. How every, we will continue to encourage our contestants who are still waiting for approval over a month now.. Thanks for this update.

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If anybody has been waiting for more than a week, send them to the #help channel of steemit.chat.

If you are trying to bulk signup a bunch of accounts from a single computer/IP - that could be what is causing the issue. I have no idea if that is what is going on here, but the way you described your issue it seemed like a possibility.

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OK @timcliff. We will do exactly as you said

Good to hear you are removing your delegation from bad actors. There's too much potential for people to create accounts for spam or other uses and we don't want you helping them. I'm sure it's not easy to fully vet each new account whilst processing them in bulk. Keep up the good work

Something news... very fantastic..
Thanks @steemitblog...
Success is your...

Thanks for this update! it all helps!

Really good news. Because it was somehow strange to watch how one hand unsuccessfully struggles with another, when Steem delegates the power to abusers creating huge post farms, and then the Steemcleaners try to cope with them.

Feature idea: when linking to steem post, have an option to include uovote button for it. This would make the process of rewarding people mentioned in posts like these for their contributions actually feasible.

And when hovering over the link you could get a preview of the post that you could expand.

Interestingly, I congratulate you, I hope to achieve the request to new users, my wife has four days that she sent her application and her access has not arrived, she is still waiting anxiously!

Excellent post friend, always following your work, from #Venezuela supporting you and learning every day more with your publications ... success
@steemitblog

Congratulations @steemitblog!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 6 with $ 448,96

Really good news.

Really good news

Good comments gyz

I left a comment on the pull request including more information.

What happens to the steem power that is revoked from these accounts? Is it destroyed? What about distributing the steem power between various accounts like @curie and @steemiteducation etc to support more good quality users?

I will try and look for issues on which I can contribute (because I don't know how to implement many of the issues opened right now, I am still learning). Some of these issues needed at least when I contributed last time some tags in order to be able to distinguish from which is in progress, which is ready to be implemented, and which still needs clarifications. Especially after removing the other projects except HF21 from the Steem projects, it is pretty hard to know which backlog item can be implemented by external contributors.

But after all, you are doing just better than ever, undelegating from inactive and malicious accounts. This is a huge move for a cleaner blockchain!

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IMO, the condenser repository is probably the best place to start.

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I don't like front end so much, I am lacking some knowledge of react js which is heavily used in condenser, but I am pretty familiar with C++, even though it is still pretty hard for me to follow the code on Steem, but in time it always gets better. I am sad that I don't have so much time to invest in it right now...

Even though I understand why it can be simple to start with the condenser, because in this way a new developer gets used with the Steem API and then he can move to Steem to get a deeper understanding of what's behind.

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For C++, your best bet is probably the steem repository, but I don't know how many "easy" issues there are to solve there. You could just start by reviewing the incoming PRs to see if you understand them, and going through the issues to see if anything looks interesting and within your comfort level.

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Thanks, I really appreciate your help!

So is this an official post by steemit?

Just a thought? Why require manual approval for sign ups at all? Why not make it automated; CAPTCHA, proof of authenticity via something like keybase? the way the sign up process is right now, more people will just go to something like anonsteem and get an account instantly that way.

I am really pleased with the recent updates on Steemit Inc.'s work. All these updates sound very beneficial to all Steemit's human users, those that make the social media platform possible and advance civilization globally.

Thanks!

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I think its really nice to keep this platform good..