HF19 has caused chaos, and someone has to do something.

in #steemit3 years ago (edited)


HardFork 19 has been both a cause for celebration, and a source of dismay for many steemians.

"But, now everyone's votes are actually worth something!" You might say, but I think that's part of the problem.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very excited to see that my votes are worth up to 7 cents post HardFork. At 100% VP, I could only give a penny. However, I've seen a ridiculous amount of abuse of our beautiful rewards system, and I'm growing tired of the shenanigans. People either don't know, or just don't care, that what I talk about in this post is pissing more than a few people off, and we, as a community, need to do something about it.

I'm sure everyone has seen their "potential payouts" steadily decrease over the course of seven days, even if the price of SBD or steem stay somewhat stable. @penguinpablo does a good job of explaining payment calculations, and from what I got from it is that one of the reasons why everyone's posts are going down is people spamming posts and comments, upvoting themselves, and pulling thousands out of the reward pool for essentially nothing.

I'll only call one user out by name, and that's @crypto-p. @schattenjaeger made a post where he exposes this type of self-voting, and explains that @crypto-p has raked in over 1200 SBD and over 700 SP in 10 days simply by commenting on his own posts every two minutes and upvoting every one of them. The blockchain does allow this, and it may not be "against the rules", but neither is flagging. If we had enough people join together, or even just a single dedicated flagger with enough SP, we could prevent this type of reward abuse, and prevent unscrupulous people like this from infecting our network.

@fingersik pointed out that someone was repeatedly posting in #introduceyourself. Almost everyone knows that people tend to make a little more on these type of posts because we want to welcome newcomers, but some of those newcomers think they're slick. This type of behavior WILL CATCH UP TO YOU eventually. It may not be today, and you may get rewarded a time or two for bullshit, but you're going to lose the game.

Reward abuse is a disease that steemit needs to cure itself of.

It certainly didn't START with HF19, but it has certainly gotten worse, and I propose HF20 REMOVES the ability to upvote one's own content, essentially paying yourself for using the network. That's not how this is supposed to work... OTHER PEOPLE should be rewarding you IF they deem your content worthy. Anyone who would have a problem with not being able to upvote their own posts or comments are likely the ones abusing the ability. I wonder how many people would rage quit if they learned they actually had to earn what they make? Good riddance, I say.

I've recently talked with people that believe since they "bought into" the platform by investing thousands of dollars, that they are simply getting their investment back. That, too, is a flawed mentality. It's completely disregarding what Steemit is supposed to be. If you want to invest in STEEM, have at it. When the value goes up because the rest of us are actually using the network "correctly", you'll get to read the rewards too, but paying yourself for nothing is pathetic, and will likely cause you more harm than good.

If you don't know how to use steemit, and want to learn, I think you should first learn some of the things NOT to do...
@aggroed has a very snarky way of explaining some of those things with posts like THIS

I've started a discord channel where people can come together and link posts or comments that they deem to be abuse. I would LOVE to hear if people are interested in protecting the reward pool from these asshole spammers and what amounts to theft.

Thanks for listening to my rant... I'll be starting a post series about making ethical choices on a social media site that pays one for their efforts. Expect the first part to hit a little later today.


Follow me @thatsweeneyguy


Your post makes an excellent argument!
Steemit is about sharing quality content for the betterment, instruction, and enjoyment we all have to offer each other, and for THAT quality content to be agreed upon by popular consensus, and rewarded monetarily.

@the-traveller is correct:
Behaviour is a consequence of the incentive structure.
To NOT upvote your own work means you don't understand how to maximize your own compensation.
Mind you, rudely rinsing out and commenting utter bollocks on your own posts just to get paid goes against the spirit of this platform, and, well, is transparent and just gross.
I love the new change, but can see how that abuse can eventually be realized by all users and ultimately kill the potential this platform has in the long run; by discouraging new people from contributing after they've joined.

A suggestion that may arrest this in HF 20 would be that a user can upvote only one of their own posts just once every 24 hours - thus encouraging the contribution of quality when limited to one self-vote per day.
Similarly, on ANY post a user can upvote their comment at full power only once, with a log scale decline in the power of their upvotes to ANY additional comments under that same core post.
Incentive attenuated, but not eliminated.

Thank you @thatsweeneyguy for addressing this!
🤜🤛 🤝

I like the idea of only being able to upvote your own content once per day. I know that something needs to be worked out to try and fight the abuse.

That's a reasonable approach, isn't it?
I've seen a lot of people post a lot of nonsense many times a day...
Maybe an even better upgrade would be to limit the NUMBER of posts an individual can post to just ONE a day...
Who knows?
I trust the segwit on this platform, let's see what happens 🙂

I'm not sure if limiting everyone to one POST a day would be good. I personally have 4 or 5 subjects I blog about, and post between 2 and 4 posts per day, spreading them out over the whole day

Ok, perfect!
Let's hope the witnesses are paying attention - perhaps limit your OWN self upvoted to just 4 a day and your personal Steem powered value upvotes are equally divided between your upvotes - you would get all the upvote VALUE, distributed between several of your posts equally.
Seems fair to me 😊

Hi @thatsweeneyguy, found you through our @steemitbc group
I fully agree, but behaviour is a consequence of the incentive structure, moral judgment does not come into it. I my latest post I make a case for more heavily weighting comments for payouts, since that is a better signal for quality content than upvotes, which can be easily gamed.
Maybe upvoting should remain allowed for visibility but you should not be able to assign your upvote rewards to your own posts. So an own vote becomes assigned to say the general reward pool of the curators not the author? No-one can design the perfect system from scratch that is why it is important that the Devs experiment with the algorithm to see how the system responds.
Appealing to morals or virtuous behaviour simply does not work that is not how humans are wired unfortunately. The system has to be designed in a way that constructive behaviour is rewarded by default. It is all still early days, I am sure that it will be figured out!

Thanks for your input. Also, @steemitbc is amazeballs!

yeah props to @sflaherty for running it, cool group there on the slack channel and it helps to discover new authors!!

The problem with this proposal is that by eliminating self-upvoting people would be able to get around it by simply setting up two dummy accounts that upvote each other. Or if you're particularly unscrupulous and wanted to get elaborate with it, you could create a dozen or so to make it look more organic. It would be very difficult to spot these unless you were dedicated to looking for it.

And while I agree that this reward pool dilution from such activity certainly is a problem for the viability of the platform, I don't think it qualifies as theft. If you hand a bunch of hungry people in a room a huge bag of tacos and then tell them all to only eat the ones that others give them for adding value, how many do you think are going to do what you ask? And what about the people who suck at life? They're still hungry. I can't begrudge a hungry someone for eating food you just waved in front of their face. The system was set up to reward this kind of behavior, so if there's a solution it needs to be built into the system, like your HF20 suggestion blocking self-upvoting (or at least limiting it in some way).

I can foresee prohibition using some sort of policing agency (even one set up by groups of users) as an opportunity for people to engage in the equivalent of "organized crime" with flag wars erupting between different interested parties. When money is on the line certain types of people can get very dedicated to this type of activity and they'll have much more energy for it than we do to stop them. We all know how this kind of thing plays out in the real world. Why would it be any different here?

You've got a good point. I guess I'm just stupid for having ethics and trying to EARN what I make.

I guess some people might see it that way. I certainly don't.

You have absolutely right! I have only been in Steem for some few days, but I can already see it is a considerable problem with so much spamming from this unserious people.

Likewise. It's spam, shitposts, and scams. There is some good content but not enough. If this is going to succeed it needs to be Reddit, not get paid for posting terrible Facebook posts.

I think a big part of the problem is that even though Steem has DPOS, there is no community agreement when you join. So we have no rules, and we have no way to make decisions as a community about changing the rules. Right now the dev team has complete control over the content and curation rewards algorithms. There needs to be a way that people can propose changes, get the proposal seconded, and eventually have a community referendum on whether to apply the rule changes.

That's not a terrible idea!

Yeah man I totally agree. I even saw a post a week back that you can double your SP if you up vote every comment you make for a while.

Starting to run, not into tech problems, but human problems. This platform is supposed to incentivize people to post original content, but right now its incentivizing people to be selfish and greedy. Honestly some of the advertisement "make posts, make money" can be sort of problematic in my opinion.

I was on the HF19 bandwagon for like a day but then it seemed to go downhill really fast lol

It sure did! I see it as a failure. The goal wasn't really accomplished, and only proved that most minnows don't deserve influence.

hey @thatsweeneyguy,
Well said, there doesnt seem to be enough people tackling spam
probably due to the spam flagging that follows tagging offenders
im only new so dont know how was before HF19 but now is a mess
with established spammers having too much power too deal with
and anti-spam bots mass tagging the wrong people,
i think there should be another reward layer for dealing with spam to incentive people to downvote violators then if X amount of times over Y amount of time could perma ban users also maybe an Enforcer title system like the witness system where all users could vote for anti spammers to delegate more downvoting power only

I'd gladly give up my new influence, which I didn't have for my first month and a half, if it meant new people weren't able to come in and do this. Most minnows don't deserve influence, but everyone is so concerned with whales having a ton of influence, that they earned mind you, and minnows having none. I truly think it was better that way.

economicialy would be bad centralizing wealth and causing price inflation in Steem if it continued that way, isnt good the way it is now with new accounts should definitely have caps on following/unfollowing votes and especially be restricted from downvoting at all
should be minimum account age of 3 months before can downvote in my opinion would stop a lot of abuse

I just feel influence and voting power need to be earned. Clearly we can't trust new users who don't understand the platform yet.

would severely stifle growth need to be able to scale fast.
im a new user made account maybe 3 weeks ago and understand most now

I was trying to abuse the upvote power for experiment. I stopped the it in the middle, though it was an experiment which you saw @thatsweeneyguy

I totally agree with you, we need to stop it altogether! Let's do something together and make steemit great again. :D

Great post!
I agree a lot with what your saying.
Maybe there is something that can be done. As I would help to make steemit a better place. Thanks for sharing & Steem on :)

Maybe we should get paid for muting/unfollow some followers too? Looks like many are in steemit only for easy money without write and read anything.

The potential payouts problem needs a solution, that's clear. It's a pain to see how they've almost halved this week. I can't get what could be the reason behind self-voting in system design.

But doesn't the decrease of voting power after ten votes basically preserve the system against too much upvotes on anything including one's own posts/comments?

One would think, yes. But if you only upvote yourself, you can get a hefty little payout while you're waiting to recharge...

That's true. From now on I will abstain from self-voting. Let's make it a norm.

I almost never upvote my own posts. The only ones I DO upvote are ones where I'm giving away money.

Good post. I think Steemit is becoming a shitposting factory. I see a post about somebody having Papa Johns pizza (no offense intended) getting upvoted. Is that the level of intellectual discourse we will be having?

Maybe the incentive to create content is bad because it prompts the creation of zero value content?

I agree on your point on self-voting but there are so many ways to get around that if people wanted to do that, even if a hardfork was to stop people from doing that. It will be difficult to control. For minnows like me, it's probably not even worth it to do so but for those with substance voting power and strength, I can see why some would do so. Definitely not healthy for the community but these are also the people who are heavily vested in steem power that fuel steemit.

I agree with you! We all must do something. Those kind of strategy can distroy this nice community. Things can 't remain like this!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by thatsweeneyguy from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, and someguy123. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you like what we're doing please upvote this comment so we can continue to build the community account that's supporting all members.

Trying to cheat or beat the system only gets people into real trouble.

I think it just makes people look pathetic, no one wants to work for what they've got. Most simply haven't learned yet that taking shortcuts will catch up to you

What you do comes back to bite you if it is not on the moral ground!