After a chat with @jackmiller I decided to review my witness votes.
Naturally, vote trading has been a reality from the beginning. I have to count myself guilty of having checked SP before readjusting my votes in the past.
As I generally try to act as responsible as possible with my position as a big stakeholder and witness, this kept causing pains over the last two years. I kept telling myself that with ongoing distribution the issue will disappear over time.
Pixabay says I don't need to state the source
With @jerrybanfield consistently being in the top 20 witnesses now, I'm not able to keep that story up any more. The only reason for him to get there is his huge stake and willingness to trade votes. I feel like I need to finally act according to my values.
So I made a pretty simple rule: I won't vote anyone as witness who votes for banfield. If I dropped you, and you think you have good reasons to give him your vote, feel free to talk to me on discord or steem.chat - I don't expect that to really happen though.
I am aware that this action may very well cost me my own position in the top 20. Since I remove votes from valuable vote traders, that'll probably produce a dent in my own support. I'm prepared for that to happen though. I will keep my services up, but start to use delegations to finance them.
I wish that option wouldn't exist, but even more that the community wouldn't reward it with throwing another huge income after the people using it...
So if you lost my vote, here's the explanation. I won't publish the list here, it's public information anyway. If you think you'd be a good choice for one of the vacant positions, hit me up! :)