How I got into the Antiabuse Program

in utopian-io •  2 months ago

It’s been several months since I joined Steemit. One of the first things I noticed is how abuse posts were well rewarded, at the least, tolerated.

Like any beginning Steemian referred by a friend, I looked at the platform as a place to monetize my art works. They’re accumulating dust on my portfolio so why not share it here?

This post will elaborate my journey into fighting abuse in the platform. Please bear in mind that these are my viewpoints.

If we ever disagree, that’s fine. But I hope we can agree that fighting abuse is important.


Roadmap for the post:

Beginning efforts against abuse

What abuse looks like
The benefits
Why anti-abuse efforts matter
The risks
Is tackling abuse for everyone?
Where I am now and where to go from here

Anti-abuse Beginnings - You Can Start This Way Too

Submitting reports to @steemcleaners was my first entry to abuse fighting.

I started reporting for SteemCleaners after a friend recommended it. For all valid abuse reports, I get rewarded with Steem Power. This supplemented my earnings from my art posts.

What even got me hyped to keep on reporting was the amount of SP I was earning. It was 3x the rate of what I could earn with posting my art on the site. Each art took me countless hours to make. Compare it to SC reporting accomplished in an hour or two.

Fighting abuse on the blockchain was an efficient means to power up. SteemCleaner reporters are kept anonymous to prevent retaliation.

The weekly rewards SteemCleaners share are something to look forward to each week. I spent several hours when I had lots of free time spotting spams and abuse. The amount of rewards received felt like a score board.
I felt proud that I was doing some honest work on the sidelines growing and doing good for the platform.

It was bound to happen that I will end up working with @steemflagrewards

Forms of Abuse

There are several categories of abuse outside the SteemCleaner scope.

How is there any justice rewarding abuse posts in a blockchain meant to value proof of brain?

Technicalities need to clarity before accusing someone of an offense. Guidelines are there to help determine what makes up as abuse and not. But at the end of the day, it’s guidelines.

Difficult to Prove Plagiarism

Sometimes you encounter a post that gives you an “I’ve read that before” feeling. Or in case of images, there’s a gut feeling of “This is a stock image”.

You know that it's a plagiarized content but you can’t find any solid proof that it is.

The Post in question

This type of abuse is going to drain you a lot. Especially if you are passionate about making sure these players take nothing.

It’s easy to disguise an image with filters and claim it as your own. Google reverse image search has it’s limitations. The same goes for premium plagiarism checkers out there.

High paying or low paying posts always requires reviews. Manual plagiarism checks drain a lot of your precious time.

Well-crafted Spun Articles

Abuse has many forms. And the most successful abuse posts are those that don’t get reported. Yes, abuse posts can go under the radar are well crafted spun articles. These disguised accounts were made to milk the platform of rewards.

The obvious spammers and plagiarists you see are the low class abusers. They are not creative enough to be successful at milking the platform for rewards.

Collusive Voting/Vote Farming

People can create many accounts. They can program those accounts into a collusive voting farm. Before HF20, they are using the free delegations Steemit has provided.

Some privileged enough to buy their SP and do the same thing as free players in the platform. These acts don’t add value to the platform and they never will.

But what do abusers care? They came to the site to earn and function in the nowprinciple. Neglecting the long term consequences means tolerating abuse in the blockchain.

Why should we tolerate the behaviour that brings us more loss in value to the platform? Should people who game the system be rewarded more than content creators?

You can earn through curating. It’s a proven method compared to actively posting and upvoting yourself. The former act provides more rewards for people that do deserve it. Manual curation motivates more authors to refine their craft and do good content.

Benefits of Becoming an Abuse Fighter

Allowing STEEM to go to an abuser’s wallet is a sin. SP is the quantitative factor of how strong an account is at tugging the rope. Everyone is engaged in a tug of war the moment they press upvote. And everyone is in the tug of war as soon as they see they have an incoming pay out.

I entered the platform with the goal of seeking out fellow artists. I found some new steemians who built a name for themselves outside the platform. But most didn't last long. How can an artist keep creating novel content for the platform when they are rewarded with cents.

It's something to be proud of being rewarded by an antiabuse community. Rewards removed from abuse posts are rewards made available to worthy steemians.

I’m doing something that provides or keeps value to the platform. People can complain about abuse but most will never resort to active flagging. Active flagging is another form of curation. Instead, these people accept the way things are and continue to sulk in silence.

Why Abuse Fighting Matters

Without antiabuse communities like SteemCleaners and SteemFlagRewards, this place is a mess.

People that commit abuse on the platform may never understand why their actions harm it. Abuse posts follow the nature of greed and every person for themselves.

It’s impossible not to be affected by people that continue to milk the platform for rewards. We have a shared rewards pool after all. A tug from an abuser is a tug against authors that do honest work in contributing value to the platform.

The reward pool should be allocated to the people that add value to the blockchain. Abuse posts have no place in the blockchain.

This is a decentralized system. People could do whatever they want with their stake. It is still important to keep in mind that their stake affects everyone else. A 10-SBD flag on a 10-SBD post is a 10 SBD returned to the reward pool for everybody.

No plagiarist should be rewarded for content they stole.
No spammer should be rewarded for a low effort post and clutter they do on the platform.
And no quality content author deserves to be ignored.

The Risks of Being an Antiabuser

Expect retaliation for doing the right thing. Abusers may refuse to understand the value of what you are trying to do if you were against abuse in the platform.

Link to the Post

It’s all self gain and they want their money now. Even if it means the consequences of their actions are long term. And would lead the platform in a worse state before they came.

I don’t believe there is total censorship in the blockchain. Anyone can go to and check what posts were made invisible. The problem is the psychological aspects operating as a fighter. Retaliation flags can come and stay. But to not be able to get rewarded for your use in the platform and be harassed can take a toll to your mind. It’s never easy to do responsible flagging.

This is not for everybody

It takes a lot of nerve to be a fighter. Especially when dealing with harassment and irrational behaviors on the platform. You want a peaceful Steemit life? Don’t go into abuse fighting.

Don’t complain about abuse post being rewarded if you're not doing anything to solve it. There are some users out there doing their part in keeping the reward pool from being raped.

I’ve heard people get bothered by a 0.001 downvote value even if their post has acquired 1000x more payout than that. It’s an eye sore to see your posts flagged for reasons beyond disagreeing your content.

Expect a lot of your time drained by investigating leads from a suspected abuse post. It’s easy to spot spam, tag abuse, and copy/paste posts. It's a challenge for some plagiarism posts because you need a proof that speaks for itself.

I could spend 5-15 minutes per post for a lead and end up with none. It’s frustrating to skip over an abuse post that every fiber of your being knows it’s an abuse post. But you have no proof. Images can be edited to the point the Google Reverse Image search of TinyEye can't be useful.

Those filters and spinners are getting good. But what can you do? You need evidence and this job burns you out fast.

Where I am now and where to go

I’m still fighting abuse in my own way. I don't think I'd stop anytime soon.

Interested in becoming an abuse fighter? follow @steemcleaners and @steemflagrewards

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Salutations @adamada!

Thank you for sharing your personal journey. It is always interesting to read into why people choose the path they've chosen. I hope your story will inspire others to take part in moderation of abuse. We exist in a decentralized environment where each stakeholder has the right.

We cannot hope to end all abuse, but we do what we can to mitigate them, and preserve the integrity of the platform. It is up to our Witnesses and other innovative minds to devise ways to incentivize good behavior.

I hope you will continue to contribute to the anti-abuse community as you already have.

Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.

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Awesome, thanks @enforcer48!
I just need to build up more SP so that my flags would matter than taking a way a few cents :P





Thank you for your review, @enforcer48! Keep up the good work!

Nice post @adamada. I enjoyed reading it. Vote for vote? I follow you will you follow me?

Hey I got post just like this one here is the link.

Thanks for submitting a post to the @Utopian-io antiabuse initiative. I hope it encourages others to join in the fight against abuse on the steem blockchain.


Vote for vote? I follow you will you follow me?

You're already on my following list. And upgoated.

Hey I got post just like this one here is the link.


I hope it encourages others to join in the fight against abuse on the steem blockchain.

Definitely hope so.


I forgot the link...My dog ate it... or was it that pesky wabbit? I lied! lol JK
I enjoyed the post much. I think this will give other abuse fighters an example of the kind of post that can be acceptable for our new category.
The new guidelines(coming soon) will even be more open for a person to produce quality content in their own style, if they have one.

Thanks again for producing this post.

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 4 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 12 SBD worth and should receive 155 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am TrufflePig, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, you can find an explanation here!

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

Congratulations @adamada! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You received more than 4000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 5000 upvotes.

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Hey, @adamada!

Thanks for contributing on Utopian.
We’re already looking forward to your next contribution!

Get higher incentives and support!
Simply set as a 5% (or higher) payout beneficiary on your contribution post (via SteemPlus or Steeditor).

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Hi, @adamada!

You just got a 1.55% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

Hi @adamada!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 3.084 which ranks you at #9472 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has improved 110 places in the last three days (old rank 9582).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 253 contributions, your post is ranked at #37.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You're on the right track, try to gather more followers.
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Good user engagement!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

I should have caught this in time (to resteem and upvote) - well, at least I can save it on my computer (file: Important posts) for future reference.