SteemCleaners Delegation Renewal Application Review

SteemCleaners Delegation Renewal Application Review

Deadline: October 8th, 23:59 UTC

@steemcleaners @guiltyparties

We have prepared this commentary as a step prior to final processing of scores and delegation recommendations to Steemit. We'd invite you to respond to the questions presented here in the comment below.
We plan to score the application based on reponses provided here before submitting to Steemit.

Please submit one answer per comment below and reference the question number in the comment.

Questions from the Committee

Please note that scores above are preliminary and will be improved once the committee has received acceptable responses to the below clarifications.

Please respond to the clarification questions in the comments section below.

Please respond one question per comment and put the clarification number at the start of the comment.

(4) About terms of delegation:

(4.2) Under what terms (if any) did you receive the delegation?

Please confirm that you accept that any approval of this delegation renewal becomes the terms for your future delegation.

(5) Market

What specifically counts as "bad" when discussing bad actors?

(9) KPIs

(9.1) Would like to see some measure of impact from removal. Suggested: accumulation of computation of reward without downvote + reward with downvote, if about removing reward pool abuse.

(13) Renewal Metrics

(13.11) How much Steem Power is delegated to your project from the Steem community?

Are there community delegations?

(13.14) Describe what value the project continues to bring to the Steem community and why the community should continue to support your project?

a) Can some of these goals be reflected in metrics? How often have you been able to redirect phising attempts, or prevent identity theft cases? etc. Are those categorized?

b) Can this the steem delegation from this project, spaminator and mackbot be combined into one delegated pot, and consolidated into a smaller delegation for educational / anti abuse initiatives? Please justify you answer by providing a calculation of the amount of Steem power delegation required by all three of these projects which demonstrates the continued need of the all the delegated Steem to the projects (1.5M + 2.8M + 0.261M = 4.5M Steem power)

c) Provide an example scenario for when all of the steem power delegated to these projects are currently being utilised for down voting on the same day such that all 4.5M SP are required.

d) Following Hard fork 21 please justify whether the community needs a centralized service to continue down voting content.

(13.15) Describe your project roadmap with expected timelines and milestones.

Please confirm that this project is attempting to decentralize and in some way anonymize its moderators in order to reduce risk of large, abusive whales attacking individual moderators based on their downvotes through spaminator.

Deadline: October 8th, 23:59 UTC

100% Beneficiary set to @steem.dao


I would like to lodge an objection to Steemcleaners receiving delegation. I have invested a relatively large amount into Steem, I power it up and want the best for the platform. I have been continually flagged by them on nearly every post for some transgression I have apparently made in the past. I fully support projects to fight abuse, but this is just a bot with a blacklist and it does nothing to change behaviour. We have had a change (HF21) to move away from bid bots and to support manual curation efforts, a move I fully supported, I feel steemcleaners should only get a renewal if they are going to manually downvote or if not at least review their bot actions on an account on a weekly or monthly basis. Blindly downvoting based on a list with this much SP, leaving no reason, is in my view bad for Steem and does not help garner a change in behaviour, nor does it judge on a post by post basis, which is what the majority of the steem community seems to want.

You were added to Spamiantor's blacklist which is separate project. After many reports from the community you were added there for spamming Scorum posts.

You have never appealed.

Non of Steemcleaners comments nor downvoted are automatic. EVERY, SINGLE comment, downvote or report is done manually by one of the members.
Every single report from the community and case is checked personally by the member.

Thanks for that information, A couple of observations, Spaminator downvotes my posts that have nothing to do with Scorum so go figure that and they happen on a regular basis so therefore look pretty automated to me. Also I wouldn't know where to appeal since it leaves no comment and secondly I did nothing wrong (if the accusation is spamming Scorum posts) as the Scorum account belongs to me.

I am not going to appeal to anybody since the evidence of misuse here is pretty damming in itself. I have no problem with being flagged on any post but I stand by my accusation that this is obvious misuse of delegated SP.

You are on Spaminator for Scorum spam. That's what our database says. Added by one of my colleagues.

Spam with hundreds of identical automated posts. Only numbers update in each.


You know they can't repost Steem posts on Scorum as the site automatically wipes your rewards so you do the opposite.

It's been going on for at least 18 months.


They were not automated they were all done manually, they took a fair amount of work the bets had to be placed at the bookies and then put into a post, they were done for the promotion of Scorum, I like contests and giving away Steem and Scorum, I have given away a lot of Steem and Scorum, none of those post were ever posted on Scorum. I do, like quite a few others put my sporting posts on Scorum onto Steem I don't believe there is any rule against that.

Anyway I have no objection if you are unhappy with those posts, flag them if you want, however you have been down voting other posts which have no relation to the above and is clear abuse of SP delegation. You down vote a lot of my actifit posts and down voted a nextcolony post that had nothing to do with any of the above.

So my argument stands, by all means down vote spam (or what you define spam as) but this isn't what you are doing here.

Obviously the bot does not differentiate the content once you are added to blacklist.
I'm happy to remove you from Spaminator blacklist now as you stopped spamming with such posts.

Thanks, perhaps you could update things, spaminator hasn't posted in 9 months and there is no contact details on the profile page. If someone had just reached out to me that would have been a whole lot better.

(9.1) Due to the high volume of Steemcleaners transactions and the depth of data mining required for detailed KPIs, there is a limit of what can be reasonably provided for community assessment at this time.

The following numbers were retrieved using SteemSQL (thank you @arcange) for 2019:

  • a total of 10098 downvotes were issued
  • the sum of the downvotes (in %) is 2326 x 100%
  • 1.61 million SP at 100% 2326 times is, at recent values of STEEM (15 cents median over Sept) is approximately $25 downvotes being issued 2326 times
  • $58,150 worth of downvotes, if using this month's value of STEEM and converting it to USD, has been returned to the reward pool in 2019
  • the value of STEEM in 2019 varied from approx 52 cents to 13 cents
  • if we take the median of STEEM's price in 2019 we end up at approx 32.5 cents/STEEM
  • for the sake of simplicity, let's lowball it at 30 cents, which will double our calculation to $116,300 in USD returned to the reward pool
  • depending on whether we use the current price of STEEM or the overall price of STEEM for 2019, a total of $58,150 and $116,300 has been returned to the reward pool

(4.2) The terms of the previous delegation are as originally stated: To only use for downvoting for mitigating abuse and related reward pool drain while remaining within scope. The delegation may not be used for upvoting.

We will accept any and all current terms as specified in this delegation renewal.

(5) "Bad actors" is a generalized term that is typically attributed to individuals who engage in malicious or exploitative behavior. For the Steemcleaners, the term "bad actors" is defined as individuals who are engaged in fraudulent behavior and/or malicious exploitation on the Steem blockchain. This behavior includes but is not limited to plagiarism, identity theft, identity deception, social engineering, and phishing.

Individuals who are engaged in some activities characteristic of the above-noted "bad actors" are not always malicious characters. This is why the Steemcleaners has the educational and appeal components as part of our process.

(13.11) 53 k SP is delegated to Steemcleaners by various community members. A total of 1.55 mil SP is delegated to Steemcleaners from @misterdelegation in addition to the sum delegated by the community.

aggroed, 1,035.252 SP
arhag, 51,921.676 SP
kubbyelizabeth, 102.332 SP
scottcbusiness, 1.012 SP

misterdelegation, 1,551,531.344 SP

(13.15) This project has built-in anonymity for all reporters and reporter details are not released to the general public or anyone outside of the core team. There is no risk of large, abusive whales attacking the individual reporters (we do not have "moderators"), as the reporters' identities are not released to any whales nor will they ever be. In addition, we also allow anonymous reporting where individuals may not disclose their username while filling out the report submission form, as below:

Further, Spaminator is a separate project. Individuals may not issue downvotes through Spaminator; it is a bot that collates and issues the downvotes. No individual reporter who may submit the above form to Steemcleaners has any possible or plausible way of issuing any sort of a downvote through Spaminator or being even remotely responsible for anything to do with the actions of Spaminator.

(13.14) a) Without disclosing any personal information of the users we support, I can share that we have processed 1546 identity verification cases, 1841 cases of reported identity fraud or unverified identity (potential identity fraud), 168 cases of holistic cybersecurity threats, and have identified and stopped 829 phished accounts.

Out of those accounts, 67 were created by the phishing cybercriminals (who we traced back to Netflix, CRA, and other phishing scams) and the remainder are beyond recovery. Our phishing branch and its efficiency was built with input from senior cybersecurity threat hunters.

We also assist with account recoveries, including accounts hacked through means outside of phishing, and numerous users were able to continue on the platform because of our efforts. We have also, unfortunately, have had several cases of child pornography and of other forms of serious cybercrime. We don't keep metrics of those.

(13.14) b) Steemcleaners is its own project founded and owned by @Anyx. Spaminator (and mack-bot) is its own project now owned by me. While you usually only see me publicly representing these projects, that's only because I volunteered to do so, and shouldn't be seen as an indication of the projects being the same.

Steemcleaners requires a delegation of sufficient proportions to be able to hold enough weight to return rewards to the blockchain from fraudulent posts and accounts. In our system to date, we have a total of 31242 text plagiarism cases and 8918 photo plagiarism cases. In many cases, the posts have large payouts that must be returned to the reward pool in a consistent and efficient manner.

We must also disable the accounts in question where required. Identity theft or cybercrime accounts, for example, receive very large downvotes in order to make them undesirable to the perpetrators, deterring them. This includes phishing victim accounts. Numerous users were able to regain control of their accounts without the account having suffered much damage because we were able to interject and render the account useless to the hackers.

I will answer the Spaminator portion of this in Spaminator's delegation questions post.

The two projects are different and unrelated except for the staff on them and cannot be combined in any plausible form.

(13.14) c) There have been several cases recently where we had to use both projects to restore rewards to the blockchain. During the massive attack by the crystalliu group we have had to overlap our votes to ensure we are returning the huge sums.

During episodes of phishing we had to drain all of our accounts to virtually zero in order to halt its spread. One of the reasons normal users aren't seeing abuse is because of the speed and effectiveness of both projects. Because the projects are separate (both in respect to the size of the accounts and the coding of the account control mechanisms, which are different), we are equipped to address any type of sophisticated content-driven attack on the blockchain or reward pool.

(13.14) d) Following HF21 there have been a lot of users using their downvotes on what they feel is abuse. Often what they downvote is highly subjective. Our work targets specific scopes of fraud and exploitation, including cases that may either be invisible to the majority of the userbase (there are a set of specialized skills involved in being on our core team) or too challenging to address.

Over the years we have developed a manual social network analysis capability that we use to discover organized exploitation rings. Where a normal user will see a single user account, we see it for what it is: an automated bot account in a cluster of 650 other similar bot accounts. We can't expect normal users, who should be enjoying the Steem ecosystem, to pick up the slack.

Engagement of regular users and stakeholders is not a substitution for a systemic approach honed by years of experience.