Should @steem undelegate to stop spammers?

in #steemitabuse4 years ago


Excessive Comments

I'm continually uncovering new kinds of spam and thinking about different ways to stop it. One of the obvious approaches is to push an account into zero rep, which has now proven only moderately effective.

I told the community about the excessive comments of @tomole444 and they responded by downvoting the reputation below zero. A new post was made and I replied politely asking to stop a few times now, but this account continues to post, with over 5,400 comments in March 2018 and over 1,400 votes at only 10% of this already dust vote.

Every single comment by this account is now automatically hidden behind a clickwall at the bottom of the page. Out of sight, out of mind? Not exactly because these are still transactions on the blockchain, which not only contributes to bandwidth problems but literally increases the size of the entire blockchain, which is still stored in memory on steemd nodes and adds to the increasing hardware requirements which have caused recent performance issues. Basically, it's still a problem even if we don't see it anymore.

Attempts to Stop @tomole444

I've continued attempting a dialogue here but I'm not convinced that will go anywhere.

I started replying to the comments to see if that would slow the posts, and they did stop for a very short time, but then picked up again at a constant rate of one post every 15 minutes. I've updated my reply a bit.

^--- Please downvote @tomole444 and reply asking to stop these excessive comments!

I told the community about this and they responded by downvoting the reputation below zero. A new post was made and I replied politely asking to stop a few times now.

@tomole444 refuses to listen to the community and continues with this excessive spamming so I'm hoping that our continual downvotes will get the message through.

Upvote this comment to support @duplibot and help reduce spam and superfluous comments.

I have gotten some encouraging replies and there are some new downvotes continuing on these @tomole444 comments, but I'm not sure it's enough. And I refuse to continue this for too long since I'm just adding more transactions to the blockchain and contributing to the problems I'm fighting against.

I noticed some obvious evidence of the primary account associated so I posted about it for documentation, but I see now that has a more threatening tone than I intended. I just want this account to stop posting so I'm keeping an open mind to all ways to achieve this.

And then I realized the obvious, simple solution.

Undelegate from Spammers

How do you stop a spammer who keeps posting even though everthing is hidden?

I saw this and everything became clear.


The only true way to stop posting is through bandwidth. This account just hit the bandwidth limit here, so the posting stopped, but this is a bot and the moment that bandwidth returns the posts continue.

The second thing I see here is the 15 SP, which is comprised of 1.6 actual SP plus 13.4 delegated by @steem for new accounts.

I created my primary account in January 2018 and I had a delegation of 30 SP, but only for a couple of days as @steem has since shifted to only a 15 SP delegation for new accounts. I note this to simply point out the fact that @steem can change the delegation at any time without notice and is truly under no obligation to continue with any delegation.

As an account gains SP, @steem will continually monitor this and redelegate SP so the total remains at 15 SP. Since there is already polling of sorts in place to monitor these new accounts, I am suggesting updating the algorithm slightly to fully undelegate SP from any account reaching a rep of 0 or less. Or maybe even stricter, say a rep of 20, since any decrease in rep shows the community is rejecting you so why should @steem continue a delegation for accounts like this.

Spam on the blockchain is a real problem that is only growing so I'm continually thinking of ways to shut it down. Zero rep accounts that keep posting almost seems like something that just shouldn't happen, but here we are, and it has become clear to me that there is almost nothing that we as the community can do here, but there is a true option.

I know the accounts and delegations controlled by Steemit, Inc. are a hotly debated and sensitive topic, mostly around whether these delegations actually support Steem and the community. I believe one tangible gesture Steemit, Inc. could make to support the community is to undelegate SP in some form to stop these spammers. Another aspect of this debate is the size of delegations necessary as we grow to several million users. Having more options to undelegate would free up more SP to support this growth.

This would restrict bandwidth significantly and at the very least reduce the amount of activity from these accounts, if not shut it down completely. Short of this, I can see no way to stop accounts like this from literally polluting the blockchain.

Get the Word Out!

Has this been considered before? Are there any flaws in my thinking that I'm not seeing?

I'd like to see this given fair consideration, and dare I say, even implemented! More than anything, I'd like to hear the arguments against this because I honestly see none, though having originated this idea my bias is obvious so I turn to you for clarity.

I'm gaining some traction and exposure with this account, but of course I'm still tiny with basically no reach and obviously no expectation of influencing Steemit, Inc. and the platform itself on this level. However, I do believe that the stronger voices in the community supporting this idea and adding to the conversation may at least bring Steemit, Inc. to the table to consider this as a true possibility.

Please consider resteeming or otherwise getting others involved in this discussion so we can get more exposure and hear from the entire community.

The problem of spam on the Steem blockchain grows every day so we need to find more effective ways to stop it so please share your thoughts on how we can all work together to stop this spam.


I am beyond excited to say that a way to remove delegations has been created!

I really hate the spam, and also the comments like 'nice post' - they dont add value at all and just clog the comments section - its getting worse and ive only been on here not even 2 months!

I LOVE the idea of being able to undelegate the SP from spammers - I see it as a priveledge to be on here in the first place, and if you abuse that then you shouldnt be able to use it!

I have wanted to stop the spam since I joined but it seems like such a big task!

...but it seems like such a big task!

That's almost an understatement! And you are so right, it is a privilege to be here so I hope we can make an impact on this spam.

I'm curious as I'm still a new user. When I reply to a comment on my own thread with a short "thank you," is that frowned upon? Should I just upvote the comment instead?
Another question, when you send sbd to someone that advertises strong upvotes and resteem service. But doesn't come through and do what's advertised. Is there a way to report this user for scamming? Also noticed comments from other users that are dealing with the same issue

I dont put 'thank you' on posts. It doesnt add anything to the post. If you like it and have nothing to say then yeah just upvoting is fine.

Yeah i agree steembottracker is the best place to go for bots. I get alot of messages about bots and just ignore them

@conradt I appreciate the input. I looked on steembottracker and found much better bots to promote with. But how am I to report this user for taking my money and running?

Thank you so much that you can make such a beautiful comment. Please you vote for me.

Replying to comments on your own post is entirely appropriate and highly encouraged, just make sure it is unique and thoughtful rather than literally copy/pasting the same thing.

The Steemit FAQ offers this Steemit Etiquette Guide which will answer most of your questions.

In general, I would avoid any bots that are not clearly reputable and instead is a trusted source for promotional bots. I'm not sure if anyone deals with that sort of abuse, but you could ask in here and they would probably know better.

Bro Thank you so much that you can make such a beautiful comment. Please you vote for me

Bro Bro Thank you so much that you can make such a beautiful comment. Please you vote for me

One thing I've noticed about the tom bot is it posts a lot on identified "spammer" accounts - you could possibly exclude these from the auto-replies - might cut down on a bit of bandwidth.

Good catch! I've been tweaking my script and am hoping to get an update out today that'll cut this back, I'm already past what I'm comfortable with and was really hoping it'd stop sooner.

No problem, sad to say but there is probably someone or something worse than this guy lurking around some of the more esoteric #tags. I think you mentioned a contact channel in a comment the other day - having trouble finding it again.

Here's the chat link I think you're referring to. The people there are extremely knowledgeable about abuse/spam.

Thanks. Looks like you've stopped the auto replies to Tom bot? In any case he's really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of the users he can target. Might be interesting to observe how the account goes over the next month....

Yeah, I hadn't seen enough of a impact from my comments so I've stopped for now, but I might right another script to try something else if this continues. It's getting way more downvotes than anything, so I'm not entirely sure why it continues.

Well thanks for trying at least! It is odd as the account is at -0.68. So it can only post about once every 15 mins. Hitting every say, 4th comment with a downvote of a negligible weight - I just tried -1% (but I've got some loaned SP) - would slowly push the rep down further as he isn't getting any upvotes - which makes sense since his comments are invisible. At the very least you've stopped him thrashing the bandwidth at anything near the rate of a few weeks ago.
As to why it continues - some of these bots have a real attitude problem :) Must be all that high end machine learning invested in them.....

I believe it is possible to transfer voting power between users? So you could try a limited run using loaned flag ability - just don't hit any high SP whale spammers :)

Yeah, it's looking more and more like down votes will need to be part of my strategy, I'm just trying to decide exactly how to make it work.

Thank you so much that you can make such a beautiful comment. Please you vote for me........

Thank you so much that you can make such a beautiful comment. Please you vote for me.

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