dMania Controversy and Counterviews
I decided to write the post, because I felt like it was important to show how two people can provided the same evidence, and come to different conclusions based on that evidence.
After publishing this. @zombee published a post that dMania is being shut down.
If you haven't read @equ1l1br1um post it is located here: dmania-owner-zombee-is-abusing-steemit-delegation...
I going to take each one of what I think his main points are, and provide how I see each of them. I'm also not saying that how I am viewing it is totally right. I might be totally wrong. However, it is important to have additional insight for people who use dMania as well as those that don't to make their own decisions. I encourage everyone to only take what each of us are saying with a grain of salt, and make your own decisions.
I'm also not going to dive into accusatory statements that are based on feelings.
Excerpt from the post
This guy was probably a friend or a guy who he made a deal with as I didn't find direct connection.
Like the above statement I can't really have a different viewpoint than a person feels.
I know I will probably get a bunch of responses that are going to say that I have something to gain from defending dMania, and @zombee, and they are right.
I recently just had to take my cat to the emergency room. My cat is 16 years old, and pretty old. Her kidneys are failing. I had to spend hours in the emergency room. While thinking about the fact that I might have to put down an animal that I have had for a good portion of my life, and dealing with the possibility of having to tell my two children that they no longer have a pet. I found a lot of solace in dMania. It was a way to pass the time between having vets, and staff come check on the cat, and ask me how far I want to take keeping a cat alive that is probably going to die pretty soon anyway. dMania was an escape for those "in-between" times that I would have otherwise just gotten more upset at the reality of my situation.
In the interest of full disclosure. Even though you can see it on the supporters page. At the time of writing this I am currently third highest delegator in dMania. So, I do get a kickback from dMania. However, before delegating 80% of my SP to dMania. I had it split between dMania, and smartsteem. I decided to move 80% to dMania, even though I was taking roughly a 30% cut of possible direct profit by not delegating to Smartsteem, because I think that dMania was a better use.
I currently at the time of writing this don't have @zombee on my friends list to message him directly. I haven't been able to personally talk with him. So this is coming from a standard user just with a high delegation.
If while I looked into this, and I felt like something wrong was happening. I would pull my delegation. I can bring in more profit delegating to smartsteem. So, in my mind it is in my best interest to look at the data, and make a decision with what to do with my SP.
Let's get into it
Here are many of the points I believe @equ1l1br1um was trying to make an my views on them.
Taking to long to remove abusers
Excerpt from the post
Some abuse that I have reported to him : One guy with at least 11 accounts who received a lot of rewards and was at that time ranked 3 in rewards/year : discord message zombee + another one with at least 5 accounts : discord message zombee. For this ones it took him like 2-3 days to blacklist them, even with the solid proof.
When I think about the length of time it takes for @zombee to handle the issue. I personally think it's an acceptable amount of time considering the life of the platform. I think about Overwatch, and how those guys have an entire dedicated team to handle abuse. They have had over 2 years of development to learn, and I still can't get people in Overwatch to stop telling me to suck their dicks. It even took that whole team a year to even implement as system for the console to report abusers.
Maintaining an entire platform when you are just one individual can be daunting task, especially when you are dealing with a technology like blockchain, and really plodding new territory. Abuse is always a problem in the early stage, so unfortunately I put up with it in it's early stages for those sick dank memes.
I'm not saying it's acceptable that abusers get any money. What I'm really trying to say is that it takes time to build abuse systems in place that can accurately work, and work rapidly.
The search for proof
Excerpt from the post
So I said ok, he wants to improve the algorithm, but it felt strange when he said this with the 3 accounts thing : discord message zombee and last week he said this : general section dMania discord - this was the moment when I started looking for solid proof against him .
When I read this line it reminded me specifically of confirmation bias. If you don't know what confirmation bias is, this is an excerpt from the sciene daily link I have included.
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.
This along with something know as patterncity can make really strong cases against things that might not necessarily be there.
Am I not saying that this is actually what is occurring with @equ1l1br1um. Personally when I read statements like the one above, it always indicates on my side, that I personally am going to have to do more data gathering. Just in my experience if you are set out to find a villain you are going to find one.
Viewpoint of abuse
Excerpt from the post
What happened after the dMania bot V3 upgrade and how @zombee abused the delegation from steemit inc.
Excerpt from the section
On the 1st of march, @zombee released the dMania Bot v3 - Curation by dMania supporters . This update put the users who delegated to dMania in power, meaning that users who delegated would decide which post will get the upvote. So if one user delegated let's say 10000-20000 STEEM POWER at that point, then he could control all the upvotes that the bot does, because how much you delegated counted also.
This is technically incorrect.
I did think that this might be an issue which is why I started looking into each of the supporters accounts (including my own).
On the upvotes tab of everyone's profile you can see who they voted for, and what the rewards are for. Here are the links if you want to check them out.
If you look through my upvote history it's almost as if you wouldn't want a vote from me.
Based on these you actually probably want a upvote from cnts the most. He seems to have the largest percentage of bot related upvotes.
Then looking through the dmania profile the bigger issue is still at this point to me is still bid-bots. It still seems like there is to high of a ratio of people getting rewards from the dMania bot that are also using bid-bots.
Multiple Accounts and abuse
Quoted from the post .
I did start looking at these accounts, and my conclusion wasn't that abuse was happening from them. Of all the accounts in question have the lifetime rewards highlighted.
The grand total for all of these accounts is 137.73.
So the account in total made around 120$ over a 4-5 day span, and that was the only time this happened. So you are talking a profit of $28 dollars a day.
Lets take for example the dmania account that just collects curation.
The bot in the last 7 days made 668 SP in curation alone, and another 483 in benefactor SP. So the thing is netting a 1100 SP a week. In my mind it doesn't make sense to jeopardize a revenue stream that literally netted you 4k in USD in one week just to attempt to get a couple of account some SBD.
Even if one of the accounts did hit top ten, it isn't near what the bot makes on it's own.
I also looked at some of the accounts themselves to see what they were posting.
This screenshot of posts show some stuff tagged as NSFW that is just cartoons. So in my eyes since @zombee owns those accounts he is most likely testing the NSFW flag for content.
This other one is of comments left on a post.
I literally did the same thing as this when I was testing populating data in a system one time, but I used the lyrics to “Baby Got Back”.
Flagging the accounts multiple times is also just testing the flag functionality.
From my viewpoint this isn’t a dev who is trying to scam the system. This looks like a dev that is testing in production.
Under normal circumstances testing in production is bad. However Steem does not have a test system that can even remotely mimic the production system.
I came to this conclusion before @zombee responded to @equilibrium. From my viewpoint I take @zombee’s response as truth.
One criticism I do have is that @zombee probably should have announced that he was testing a possible new system for the bot upvoting.
I do get why he didn’t though. If you are wondering how I could understand here is a great example of why you might not want to announce stuff before it is ready in the crypto world.
However, for this exact reason it would have been best to announce that a new system was being worked on.
The Mining Script
Excerpt from the post
dMania.lol domain running mining scripts situation and why I do think zombee did that to his own users ...
Why do I believe @zombee?
That shit happens all the time. Ars actually did a pretty good article about it.
Granted @zombee's wasn't ads, but there are multiple attack vectors that this can happen with.
In Conclusion / TL;DR
In some ways @equ1l1br1um does bring up some pretty good data points about the dMania platform. However, I don't come to the same conclusion with those same data points. Do I believe that the dMania bot is being abused? Yes. Do I think it is @zombee who is abusing the bot? No. I think that @zombee was trying his best to solve that problem, and when he was trying to solve that problem a number of users including @equ1l1br1um became collateral damage of that effort.
@zombee tried some things with curation, and they didn't work out. He probably should have told people that he was trying stuff, but I don't believe that his heart was in the wrong place when he was trying them.
I also really wish people would stop using anonsteem to create accounts. It just looks bad.
So where do we go from here?
Still waiting for @zombee to make a decision about the platform. I personally am for completely getting rid of the bot. Let @zombee keep his 10% rewards for build a great platform. To me, I just think that the bot is more trouble than it's worth.
All of these issues started with the bot, so maybe it is best not to have a bot at all.