Your 2 Cent Vote is Worthless, The Real Deal on Dust Votes

in #steemit6 years ago
"Penny for your thoughts" how about "My 2 cents Worth"?

Hopefully this post will open your eyes even further to the Dust Vote issue rule. It's not just a me too post piggybacking on a hot topic, rather one that might change your voting habits!

Just over a week ago a post by @timcliff that asked for discussion about raising the dust threshold brought attention to this issue. In it he mentions the current dust threshold as such:

Currently if a post/comment earns 0.001 to 0.019 SBD worth of rewards - this is rounded down to 0.00. If a post/comment earns at least 0.02 SBD - then they receive their reward.

Now most everyone read this as long a vote displays 0.02 on screen then the person will get paid, Wrong Assumption!

Read the key part of the statement:

earns at least 0.02 SBD - then they receive their reward.

This 0.02 SBD requirement seems to mean the total payout amount being 50% to SBD and 50% to SP AFTER curation of 25% is taken off the top. If someone can prove somewhere in the code that this is incorrect please do, but my observations have led to this conclusion.

Some Other Reading

This topic peaked my interest, but last week was crazy for me so I was only able to read other peoples posts about it as I went. In case you want to take a ride down the rabbit whole here are a few of the posts that were spurred by @timcliff's post:

If you don't want to read that much let me give you the general tone of the posts and maybe more important the comments. The biggest takeaway to me was the general lack of knowledge of this payout rule and how it wasn't presented clearly to anyone. Seriously go look in the FAQ and find any mention of the Dust Vote rule, it's not there. So there is some anger, disappointment, and other strong feelings about the topic. But the rules are the rules and we need to understand what we are really working with which is why I did some testing.

I'm a numbers guys and can get really technical, but know this will bore most of you and turn you brains into mush and @eonwarped already covered this. So instead I'm going to lay out some test votes that were done to see at what point you will see a reward paid for an upvote.
Copy of PIF Winners.png

Few Examples - Test Votes

To check to see where the cut off was I had 3 votes given the first night on comments that previously had no votes. These were very last minute votes at 12-13 hours before payout so the pool couldn't change much. Plus the price feed had very little room to change in that time which also effects things.

The votes were made with an account that has around 1000sp and is able to adjust the weight of their vote with a couple percentage for each 1c worth of votes. That is 1-5% maybe 0.01, 6-10% is 0.02, and so forth. So while the displayed value of the vote might look the same two different 0.02 votes could have a different total value.

Went into this fully expecting to prove that a 2 cent vote was plenty to give a payout as it's what I had been reading. Here is what we found out:
  • First night we tested 3 votes at the lowest voting power to reach 0.01, 0.02, and then 0.03. Of these 3 votes only the 0.03 vote paid out. With a payout of 0.004 SP | 0.009 SBD

Well that wasn't what I expected...back to the drawing board. Second night we test with votes that were the highest possible 0.01, 0.02, and 0.03 thinking that maybe the 0.02 vote was just barely to low at just over the amount.

  • Second Night with votes that were to the max of 0.02 before hitting 0.03 (based on SteemWorlds sliding bar) the 0.02 vote still didn't pay out anything and only the 0.03 vote did with a payout of 0.004 SP | 0.012 SBD

Further Observations

So I realize that a couple test votes isn't proof, but I have watched at least 100 of other 0.02 displayed payouts pay zero over the last 5 days while doing the tests and then finding time to write this post. Each time none of them paid out to the author.

At the very least I have watch 2 SBD worth of votes disappear as they have been deemed "dust" in the last few days.

Please don't just take my word for it. Look at your list of comments and scroll down to those that will payout in the next 24 hours. See if any of them are 0.02 displayed votes and see if any are 0.03 votes. Note the time which they were written and then tomorrow open Steem World and look at your payouts. The ones which were 0.01 or 0.02 will not payout and those which are 0.03 will. Post your findings below to help shed more light on this topic.


I'm torn here as a 0.03 vote is a lot to achieve on a comment for most users so a large amount of votes are just deemed worthless. It's rare to get a vote big enough to count as many of the users on Steemit don't have enough Voting Power to achieve level of a vote that isn't "dust" and of those that do there are even fewer who have enough to give out 0.03 votes to multiple comments during a given day on top of their normal voting of actual posts.

While this makes it feel like the smallest members votes aren't being heard I get the flip side of this coin. Servers that make all the calculations for rewards would be further taxed if every .0001 vote was paid out, spammers would be rewarded for more of their bullshit (@timcliff's point of potentially raising the threshold), and the amounts really are so small it wouldn't actually effect that many peoples accounts in a noticeable way.

While I hate spammers and think they there is probably a new circle of hell being devised for them in Dante's Inferno...or at least one can hope's hard to ignore the newest members of Steemit who come here with the hopes and dreams of earning some money for their blogging efforts. These dreams tend to run face first into the reality that getting noticed is very hard as a blogger. Then to find out later that their efforts which barely yielded any results go from barely any results to zero results due to the "dust" rule.

Have to believe that with all of the voting power that is available in steemit that there should be a way far the witnesses to reward even the smallest of members who take the time and put in the effort to actually engage with other bloggers making relevant comments. Don't have the answer to the issue, but asking that future discussions take into account that the masses don't have the voting power to give 0.03 votes to reward those who comment on their posts yet they deserve to have their voice vote count!

Take Away

As the smaller members of the steemit community are the ones effected the most by the "Dust Vote" rule we need to change our voting habits in an attempt to maximize the rewards that we can give to others. We need to make sure our votes aren't dusted to the side and instead use them in ways that will actually reward the authors as we intended.

A couple things really stand out for changes that need to happen to voting habits on comments until this issue is addressed.

  1. If your voting power doesn't allow for a 0.03 vote on a comment Don't Waste Your Vote! Instead save your votes and only upvote actual posts.
  2. If your voting power allows for a 0.03 vote on comments make sure to use this as your cut off. Giving a 1 or 2 cent upvote on a comment is a waste of your voting power and isn't giving a reward to the author as you intended.

Some Helpful Resources to Grow Your Account

If you are one of the many who are looking for some support to grow your account without paying for promotion consider taking a look at a few of these resources/groups.

  • Those that are having a hard time reaching 0.03 on your posts look for contests giving away shares of @steembasicincome. Steem Basic Income (SBI) gives an upvote for each post you produce. You can read more about it in my Steem Basic Income Review.
  • Pay It Forward Curation Contest Currently in week 4 we give away SBI shares and have a 4 SBD bounty on the post. This contest is a great way to meet new people and give a helping hand to 3 bloggers who deserve a little extra attention and votes.
  • @greetersguild is a group that helps new steemit bloggers get started on Steemit. Proud to be an official member and to help promote this great group of people. SGG is always looking for bloggers who produce quality content to join (no cost). Their discord channel is here:
  • @asapers is another great group that is focused on helping newbies get their feet wet. Here is the A.S.A.P.ers Discord Room
  • @newbiegames is a fun way to earn SBI shares or other prizes while having the opportunity to meet new people. Here is their Discord Group

This is information every newbie should know! Thank you!

Congratulations you have been resteemed as part of #newbieresteemday's top posts for the day! ...

We invite you to use our tag to connect with more of our members. To learn more: Come Join Us!!! (Newbie Resteem Initiative)

I will keep this short because I'm not really sure if you're robot or not. But thank you so much for following me. It means a lot to me. So I am here to thank you personally because truthfully I appreciate it. If you are not a robot, feel free to reply back to me. If you are a robot well thank you for what you're doing. I send all of my love your way until we meet again. And may our creator bless yous.

Hello. I'm the founder of Newbie Resteem Day here on Steemit. I can assure you we are not a bot. We are a grass roots group of Steemit members who work hard trying to promote great content creators like yourself. We are non profit and our main goal is to create a culture of support for newbies and help them build themselves up. No gimmicks. :) If ever you would like to join us on our discord channel the link is at the top on newbieresteemday accounts blog page. There is always a great community there and help if ever you need it. If ever you need a hand never hesitate to reach out to our members there. Whether it's post resteeming, post structure, or just questions in general, we are always here to help. It's newbies who create great content like yourself that we love to give a hand to so if ever you need anything don't be shy and give us a shout.

Very good to know! And thank you so much for responding to me. And letting me know. I tried to not have much to do with Bots. I just feel they're way too impersonal. However, I do try to thank them because I figure somebody has to have made them. And because I don't understand everything that goes on here, I don't necessarily know if some box are good and some were bad or if all our good or all are bad. I try not to be involved in all of that conversation. I would rather spend my time getting to know people here and helping to raise people up. And thank you for all of your kind words. They all help to build me up and inspire me to keep going. Just like everybody, sometimes my life is very tough and hard enough to deal with by itself. It is nice to be able to come here and be uplifted. It's even nicer to come here and be able to lift other people up because of how it makes me feel. I like the thought that with my simple words there's a possibility that I can turn somebody's life around or help them to see the light that brings them out of the storm. In any case, I have a horrible habit of rambling on so I'm going to end here. Thank you again for everything you've done for me and that you are doing for everybody here in our community. I send all of my love to you and all of yours until we meet again. And I ask that our creator bless yous.

@johndoer123 You are very funny, you look like an angel that fell from the sky and walks the way distributing love and good wishes, but since it seems that you do not know how to use the computer very well, sometimes you get confused and copy and paste a comment twice and end up looking like a robot that was left hanging in an infinite loop hahahahahah Thanks for existing! I'm watching your contests.

Yes I know. I have caught myself doing it before. I have to do everything on my phone, and it is not a very good one. 😁 Sometimes the screen goes crazy, and I have to just watch it as it fix buttons and clicks them at random. But I just laugh at it when it does it, I think it makes the phone have a pretty fun personality. ☺
And as always, thank you for the compliments. I don't necessarily know about an angel though. I just tried to do what I can to brighten people's days. I think that you're a wonderful person too. And I am so glad to have have met you. Please, let's always stay in touch with each other.

I am a fish risking this sea, sailing aimlessly and is exhausting. I will speak for me. The new ones not only need SBD or SP to believe, but also the key tools to support and impel us. Something like "Do not give me fish, teach me how to fish". There is a lot of information here, but so scattered that it is a difficult task to gather them together. Sometimes I have gone to bed at 3am reading content to guide me.

There are many accounts that talk about helping, but they only propose Trail that are a waste of SP and Bandwidth, at least for me.

Others, because they have projects that look great, but are not designed for newcomer. I was left wanting to participate in the project of @steembasicincome demand 1 Steem ... I do not know if they remember, but accumulate 1 Steem is forced labor almost that 24 hours for 3 months..

I think the contests have been very popular, because you do not invest so much energy and you can get the reward. Do not feel disappointed as when you invest many hours in a post and is not valued. And now it turns out that not even 0.001 touches me.

interesting. Does the market price of steem affect this?

Yes it does. If the market price is dropping then there is increased risk of a vote that was right at the cut off turning into zero. If the market price is increasing you have a chance of one that would have been zeroed out getting paid out.

The other factor is the reward pool as a whole. Large last minute votes can effect the entire reward pool. Those like Haejin that get massive last minute upvotes can take a bunch of upvotes that would have been paid and turn them all into dust.

Flip side when someone gives a massive flag last minute it could push a bunch of borderline votes from dust to paying out.

So, do you think it's acceptable for me to upvote my own comment after somebody up votes me with a $0.02 vote? I try not to upvote myself. But I feel like if I don't somebody else gets the money for doing nothing. I'm just curious on the communities View on this particular question. Is it better to not up vote yourself and let somebody else have the money, or to upvote yourself so that someone else doesn't get the money?

I have been upvoting myself if someone leaves a vote that will get dusted. But overall my self vote rate is pretty low so confident that if anyone takes issue with it I don't really But honestly I am doing it and it only makes sense to salvage the vote plus the person who voted will get some curation rewards.

Thanks so much for explaining this last minute vote thing, @thedarkhorse. SOOO much to learn! ;)

Thanks for asking about this, @kaliju. Response by @thedarkhorse helped me understand aspects of this my mind hadn't even reached yet. ;)

Thanks for posting about this. I've been ranting about this ever since Tims post. It really burns me. My vote (with delegation) is 0.4 and I've seen it reduce to nothing by the time it pays out. It sucks because we are all accustomed to trying to vote on comments we want to curate and comments where we want to say thank you. Horrible really. All of our habits and expectations need to change to consider this.

I just want to share that I give out SBI almost every other week on my blog. Posting every day has been my only option to hopefully power up some soon before my delegation is gone. May the force be with all minnows in these trying times.

It's just important for everyone to understand the rules to work within them. There are actually some legit reasons to have this in place and I get the server constraints along with the spammer issues. I'm torn on this issue, but the rules are the rules and for now it's just about educating as many of those effected by the rule as possible.

"All of our habits and expectations need to change to consider this."

You got that right - I just found this now. I have a "bigger" vote and always makes sure it is over 1 cent before voting on anything. Sometimes I blast through comments on a post to encourage people.

Now I guess I want to get to 3 cents instead. I'm fine with this - just tell me!!!

I'm fine with this - just tell me!!!

Exactly. I spent well over an hour reading the entire FAQ thinking maybe it must be there. It isn't. So this hidden penalty wipes out a bunch of voting weight that is calculated into the pool and then redistributes it to the votes that are paying out. Which again is fine, but let us know in advance so we are part of the group wasting their vote and instead can maximize our efforts here. Feel like it's a hidden tax.

I spent well over an hour reading the entire FAQ thinking maybe it must be there. It isn't.

Nope. Not in there. Someone on his post asked him and he was kind enough to truthfully say it was not there.

That's why I questioned the vision and intentions of the Steemian powers that be in that post, the one that led me there by @maverickinvictus and others.

It's one thing to have a rule that flies in the face of what Steemit purports to be - a place where anyone can come, share value that serves the community and make friends and crypto $$.

It's quite another to hide such an important rule so that no one knows about it and have people trying to encourage and support others with worthless upvotes.

I've calmed down since then but it's left a bad taste in my mouth and makes me realize we need top Witnesses who care about things like this that work against small members in our Steemian community.

I'm fine with this - just tell me!!!

That's the one request I made of Tim Cliff on his post, other than deleting this biased-against-small fish rule no one knew about.

Asked him to ensure that the $0.00-$0.019 rounded down rule be clearly put in the FAQ's and other important areas so peeps can KNOW about it.

Now most everyone read this as long a vote displays 0.02 on screen then the person will get paid, Wrong Assumption!
This is what I thought also because I received reward 4 days ago. :)

And after reading @timcliff's post I realized it is NOT IMPLEMENTED YET. At the bottom of his post he said that it is only a proposal, "an idea".

Speaking of 0.02 SBD means $0.04 or MORE upvote value.

I can't comment about the maths but I suspected as much a while ago but never looked into it until @timcliff's post. I still don't know the math but this makes sense to me:

If your voting power doesn't allow for a 0.03 vote on a comment Don't Waste Your Vote! Instead save your votes and only upvote actual posts.

If your voting power allows for a 0.03 vote on comments make sure to use this as your cut off. Giving a 1 or 2 cent upvote on a comment is a waste of your voting power and isn't giving a reward to the author as you intended.

but I suspected as much a while ago but never looked into it until @timcliff's post.

Honestly think that most people didn't know about this until after that post. Personally I didn't know about it and it was eye opening as I have left tons of small votes on comments over the time I've been here. If I had known better my voting would of been different for sure.

I certainly hope that this helps people to stop being frivolous with their votes. They think they are doing good things and in truth they aren't helping anyone. Steemit gives you some free votes, but you have to use them wisely or invest in the platform. Of course, you could just vote for posts that are going to pay out, which is why the system is designed this way - to encourage popular/quality content and not spam. We have to get to a point where people stop believing that their post of a picture of butterflies is actually valuable. It isn't. There are 5 million pictures of butterflies on the internet. It truly isn't worth an upvote.

So, if somebody leaves a $0.02 upvote on one of my comments, do you think it's acceptable for me to upvote that comment so that way I don't let the money go to somebody else?

this is an individual choice John... Some do as they think it is better for them to get bigger faster... others think it is shameful to upvote yourself... I would say that both have merit and it really depends on your other activities... I myself would never question you doing it, as I have seen you do so many selfless things. I would assume you are trying to get bigger to help even more people. Just my 2 cents ;) (or should we start saying 3?)

☺ Thank you, sir.

I'm almost wondering if we should start saying something like *my $2." 😁 Thank you sir for your time and for answering my question. And thank you especially for your confidence in me that I am doing well and the right things.

Your are doing incredibly well @johndoer123 ... I am very impressed and you have spread out and made many good contacts with people! Keep it up and just have fun, you will light this place up someday!

Thank you sir. I won't eat up your time. As you know coming from you, such great words strengthen my heart. So I thank you for them. And I guess it's kind of hard for me to not meet people because sometimes I just can't shut up. ☺ But for you, for now I will let go for I know you are busy. Have a wonderful day sir. I send you and all of yours all of my love.

You got a 0.61% upvote from @emperorofnaps courtesy of @davemccoy!

Want to promote your posts too? Send 0.05+ SBD or STEEM to @emperorofnaps to receive a share of a full upvote every 2.4 hours...Then go relax and take a nap!

and yes if some people have their way, they would institute that tomorrow!

You got a 0.61% upvote from @emperorofnaps courtesy of @davemccoy!

Want to promote your posts too? Send 0.05+ SBD or STEEM to @emperorofnaps to receive a share of a full upvote every 2.4 hours...Then go relax and take a nap!

It's interesting information, I'm inclined to comment, I feel that with my little vote of $0.01 I don't do anything significant in a publication, however I have met people I support with a comment and have been reproached for not voting for them, I work hard to increase my sp not only to decrease bandwidth problems, but also to support many more steemians with my vote, hopefully soon the vote of the little ones will stop being dust.

Wow, that was some hell of trouble running that test. It is worth it though, and reveals perspectives i personally haven't known until now.

Honestly i prefer to vote on comments rather than posts, as i am this interested in promoting engagement

Your finding here obviously reveals how unprofitable it is for 'small people' to vote on comments, and i see you discourage such from voting on comments.

But we also do well to recognize that voting comments, profitable or not, shows support or agreement with the comment, and may not as such be premised on giving a redeemable reward, even if it would be better if it did so.

A quick comment of agreement and then going to upvote a post from this person might be a better way to show appreciation for those that can't get above the dust threshold.

Okay. That should cover my concern. Thanks

I hadn't known about the dust threshold until I read (I think it was) @fullcoverbetting's post last week. One of my complaints since I arrived on Steemit two months and so ago is that new users' votes aren't even worth $0.01, and my goal has been to reach an amount of SP so that my upvote becomes worth $0.01. I had been upvoting people who comment on my posts thinking that I'd be supporting them, but from what you have shown on this post, my vote and VP are just being wasted. As you said on one of the comments, several thousands of votes are being dusted each day. This is sad...

Exactly correct, they are wasted and it is sad. Focus on adding to comments that already have 3 cents or focus on the main post and your vote will count. As long as the total breaks the dust threshold then all votes are counted.

Well looks like my base vote is now .03 instead of the old .02
I will do my own experament and self vote a couple of upcoming payout comments to see what happens.

Look forward to hearing what you find, but pretty sure I know the answer based on how many I watched.

yep. The $.02 vote disappeared and the $.03 registered as a pay out. Damn it all to hell !!!! least now you know. And think of this fact, the price feed can change a lot from day 1 to 7 from when a comment is made. With only 12 or so hours there was very little room for that changing to effect the payout. Also very little room for large votes to effect the reward pool.

The price has also been increasing so the odds should of increased for a payout if anything.

Anyways to play it safe you are best to use a 3 cent vote.

guess I will jsut have to make it rain when I up vote

lol - this is making my head hurt!!!

here is the start. This was the bare minimum vote for a .02 and a .03
upvote test 1.JPG

upvote test 2.JPG

we will see how it shakes out.

Ok, why did you comment here and not my post? PSHHH. 😝

I would stick with 0.03 to be on the safe side. The reasoning is, as @eonwarped investigated for us, the 0.02 upvote value stays frozen on the screen until either someone upvotes behind you, or until post payout. If steem price plunge, then that 0.02 value, upon payout, could now really be 0.015 and is deemed dust. You have to account for the fluctuation in the steem price, along with other criteria. Check out his post for details, I have it resteemed on my blog and mentioned above. It's really good. Just more on the technical side. :)

@beeyou while @eonwarped did the math correct I am pretty a 0.02 vote will never be able to payout due to curation which I think he ignored. Would love for someone that actually has real knowledge of this to actually speak up as there isn't a good way to research it that I found. I might be wrong about the curation being the issue, but it's the only thing that makes sense IMO.

I have seen 0.02 paid out actually. Curation has nothing to do with it. If you like I can walk you through the code. Especially the part confirming what I'm saying about the value you see bring frozen until next action or payout. Feel free also to reach out on steemit chat (same name) or discord eonwarped#2295.

I get that it's frozen, but with only 12 hours to payout with last minute votes there was very little time for a change in the voting pool or steem price feeds. Plus with over 100 votes watched not one under .03 paid out.

I will reach out on discord we can talk further. Thanks for the offer.

If anyone is following along here, it appears there's something that is unexplained here. Hard to investigate these corner cases without full history, which does not appear to be available :( . We seem to have confirmed that curation is not a factor at least, so to my understanding it has to be changes in voting pool (since feed price went up). However, even that seems unlikely as @thedarkhorse was spacing out two tests within 2 minutes of each other (who knows, maybe the variance in the two corresponding blocks was high???). In any case, go on the safe side and go higher than 0.02 as instructed in the original post :P

Don't be jealous

Edit: sorry 3 word spam post. so here is 11 more.

Oh good, I was going to tag you in this @beeyou.

Thanks for this expirement. I do believe that it is a shitty rule butI guess that we have to with it!
We may not forget that the value is expressed in $ to make it easier to understand! Under the hood, the blockchain works with vests, Mvests and an even bigger type of vest!
These vests are hold against the dust threshold. So whenthe value states 0.02$ it could or could not surpass the threshold. The problem is that I don’t know how what the threshold expressed in vests is!

The vest required to show a displayed 0.02 vote just isn't enough to get a payout currently. I can't find anywhere what the vest threshold is and I looked in the code. I was going cross eyed looking at it so might have missed it, but it there somewhere. Would love to know what it is.

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