MSP Blacklist - Guidelines defined with examples.

in #minnowsupportproject4 years ago (edited)


In depth review of what makes a post 'Low Quality'

With more than 1500 votes a day being made by this bot, we want to be sure that it is fair to everyone. The more this bot get's used, the less value it can provide to each minnow. To this end, we recently started cracking down on low-effort, low-quality posts.

It seems to be unclear at times what might cause someone to be added to the @minnowsupport Blacklist.

Today, I am going to go in depth into what this means, what we look for in a post, and show some examples for each type of issue that might cause you to be added to the list. I will leave names anonymous in the examples where needed, but some will be shown.

First, a quick breakdown of the guidelines I have listed for posts in my weekly updates.

Low-quality or low-effort posting may include but is not limited to:

  • A short post with less than 100 words that doesn't add value to the platform.
  • A single image or even multiple images, with very little text or only a basic bit of information with it.
  • An embedded YouTube or DTube video with zero additions to the post that provide value.
  • Plagiarism (copying another artist/author's work without source or attempting to call it your own work)
  • Copy-Paste (same as Plagiarism, but you list the source. We consider that at least 70% of the text contained in a post must be your own original additions and not a re-wording.)
  • A post made purely for the purpose of sharing a referral link of any kind.

Why do we list each of these?

The first three reasons listed are similar and should be fairly simple.
We see Steemit primarily as a platform for content creators to share their work and their thoughts. We love your videos and photos, but we want to know what you thought about them. What was involved in their creation? While making that video or taking that photo might felt to have taken a lot of effort, and we appreciate that. However, the post here on Steemit should also reflect the effort taken. Honestly, if you took the time to create it, you shouldn't mind taking some time to share it properly. Plenty of our members use the bot to help boost a post they may have spent a great deal of time on. Having the bot's voting power wasted on something like simple images, a video embed, or a short post with less than 100 words is just not fair to everyone else.

Edit: However, due to a great deal of confusion and backlash in the comments, I want to add something.

These are guidelines, not rules. We try and look at each post individually. If it adds value, then it adds value.

Somehow, I knew that if I put a number on the amount of words, everyone was going to freak out.

I have apparently failed to express in the post how subjective we are about this. We try very hard not to go around being totalitarian about a post having exactly the correct number of words. We look for the intent of the post, the value in it, the effort that went into it. If we can see all those things line up, we consider it worthy. We didn't want to become art judges, but we have to combat the use of a single meme image, or quick snapshot from a smartphone draining the VP of our bot from being used on something like a gallery of quality photography or a painting/drawing that really involved some effort.

The next reason, Plagiarism, is fairly obvious. Stealing someone else's hard work and playing it off as your own is vile and wrong. Now, you may just not have remembered to share a source for an image, and we understand that part. But if you include something like 'Look at this lovely photo I have taken.', and we run a reverse-image-search on it to find any other uses of it online, and you have stolen it... Well, that will get you added to the Blacklist instantly. Don't steal other creator's work. Just don't.

Now, copy-paste is similar to this. You might credit the creator properly (this includes providing a link to the source), but if you didn't add anything of your own, it's not much better. In fact, as I said above, we consider that at least 70% of the content in a post needs to come solely from you. We are fairly capable of determining if you just re-typed someone else's article in your own words, so don't try that either. Provide us with something ONLY you can provide. That is the real value inherent in a post.

Finally, referral links. We understand that making a little more rewards from your work is valid and isn't something anyone should judge you for. We don't mind it if the post itself provided something more of value than a promotion for the product in the referral link. If the post only serves to drive traffic to another platform, ICO, service or product, and you didn't give us a good reason to read your post outside of that, we are going to pull the @minnowsupport vote from it and Blacklist until we are sure you won't use a bot designed to help creative minnows for something as simple as blind promotion for personal gain.

We reserve the right to determine this subjectively for each post and author. We take into account the intent, the posting history, and the native language of the author.

How about some examples of posts that have been Blacklisted?

Below I will list some examples of some posts we have Blacklisted. These are not a definitive guide, but might give you an idea of what we consider to be below our standards for use of our bot.


A bad example from one account found as part of a 47+ ring of spammers. Literally just made so that it can get a series of bot upvotes. They no longer get one from our bot though. Left the name visible to help name and shame it. The full list of this ring is available on request.


I am sure this user means well, but this isn't exactly great content. Fairly sure the image isn't their own either.


Ok, so more effort here, but still below our standards. I could have found this information about the song online. It would have been better to add something personal about why they like it, why they want to share it, etc.


This is an example of Copy-Paste that has been re-worded or translated poorly. None of this is information I couldn't find on Wikipedia. Where is the unique and intrinsic value?

I am not going to bother with examples of Plagiarism or Referral links, as they are fairly self-explanatory and have more to do with what is said, rather than how.

What happens when we get Blacklisted?

So, what happens when we add an account to the Blacklist? A few things happen.

We have a Discord bot to help us automate this task, and any of the MSP Leadership can use it.

  • First, we enter a command to perform several functions at once.
  • Your account is muted with @minnowsupport - This tells the $upvote bot on Discord to block any use for that Steemit account. (No matter which Discord account tries to run the command, it won't upvote that Steemit account.)
  • Your account is added to a publicly available Google Sheet with reasons. This allows us to share the information for transparency, as well as keep track of the reasons.
  • All votes from @minnowsupport that have yet to be paid out will be pulled. We don't have the time or man-power to manually remove the votes, leaving behind some that may be on worthy content.

Then, if the offense is related to Multi-account abuse of the bots, Plagiarism, or other direct violations of our rules:

  • A ban from our Discord server is put in place.
  • If warranted, your plagiarised or copy-paste post(s) will be reported to @steemcleaners for more action.

How do I get off this Blacklist?

I have covered this in some part in a previous post (see related posts below). I will cover the basics and what you will get told when you ask a Moderator on Discord.

It will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks of consistent posting of HIGHER quality content.

We have to determine that you are not going to simply return to posting lower quality content as soon as we release the Blacklist.

If you were added for plagiarism, multi-account abuse, or other rules violations:

  • We will determine based on the incident if we are going to release the Blacklist or make it a permanent status. This is entirely at the discretion of MSP Leadership.

Related posts:

In summary, don't get on our Blacklist.
Remember that our guidelines here will mean that your posts are of a higher quality, and this is more likely to allow you to reap the rewards of Steemit anyways.

If you have any questions, please contact me on MSP or MSP-Probation

Thanks -


MSP Moderator, Sheriff and Anti-Abuse Team Leader

Proud Moderator and supporter of the Minnow Support Project - Brought to you by:





Police-style whale image is a modified version of the MSP Logo by @malicered
All images used fall under CCO License unless otherwise specified, or they are created by the author and released under the same license.


hey man long time no talk :P what was that mcdonalds all in one burger called again? Btw good to show people what is causing blacklists.. I personally would also add to that those who only are posting other peoples youtube video's and all posts of steemians that are popu and film theirselves in front of a greenscreen and have their face made punchable with marketing techniques... like banfield for instance has his face always in the first pic.. and some noobs use that and reupload his vids in their posts.. that seems to be a trick that works I figured... anyways keep posting these things it's hardly needed and keep on doing the work for the msp... ciao

Remind me some time to show you the value of line-breaks :P

The burger has a few names, but you can look it up on Google under 'McGangBang'

I understand what you want to do, but must partialy disagree with one rule:

  • A single image or even multiple image, with very little text or only a basic bit of information with it.

Main focus of photography posts are photos, not text. For example if I post photos about my walk in the forest where I saw amazing trees with little bit of text, I woudn't be able to use MSP upvote service? If so, I disagree with that because purpose of that post is not bla bla about trees, it's enjoying in the photos.

I went in to the forest and saw amazing colorful trees. Here are photos of them... (10+ photos) - Even there is only little bit of text, I disagree this should be marked as 'low quality content'. Like I said before, sometimes post can be focused about photos and not text.

Agree with you buddy !
I was muted on msp because of this rule !😔
How can we describe a picture in 100 words .
We can only put important settings used for that picture and location but what about memory !

Absolutely agree! Photography and videography which I do. The content is in the photo or video. The what and why is in the video. When I go to the movies, do I need someone to come out before the show, and explain what it is and why and how it was done to give it value? It seems I was blacklisted from minnowsupport, because I post several videos, without a long drawn out essay, soliloquy to give it substance. But I am in the dark, because they give no notice, if I have been.

But on review, everyone of my videos has a written description of some length on them.

Your account is not currently on the Blacklist with MSP.

Yes, I agree about original photography and video. Sometimes this content speaks best for itself. I've enjoyed a lot of posts that are little more than that.

I really do appreciate this concern.

When I was appointed to play this role for this specific community, and given the power to affect the use of our free upvote bot, which essentially provides free money to our users, I was a little skittish about them using the official title of 'Sheriff' in regards to it.

However, in regards to what I enforce, I am as close to the 'legal authority' to enforce it as there can be.

While I do share my information with community groups like @steemcleaners, the real power I have to Blacklist for our community bot, was given me by a vote of the rest of the leadership team of the PALnet server and it's community Minnow Support Project.

MSP Governance Document
Formation of the MSP Anti-Abuse Team

I can't stop you from posting whatever you feel you should on the blockchain.

I can only control whether we allow our free service to be used on it.

I can't help but wonder how much this "free service" contributes to the creation of the problem?

I feel that it does attract some of this behavior. Causing it? Probably not. Many of these accounts would find some way to game the pool for max gains regardless of how they got it. Most of the accounts I have found recently are doing it to have something to aim a bid-bot at anyways, they just add out bot's upvote as another drop in the bucket.

mis publicaciones son principalmente para la comunidad de Needleworkmonday, mi idioma nativo y el único que manejo es el español, sin embargo realizo mis post en ingles ya que es el idioma que trabaja la comunidad y el que pide para sus publicaciones,

la comunidad needleworkmonday me permite publicar el mismo post en español para etiquetar a las comunidades de habla hispana.

mi pregunta es si las publicaciones cumplen con las reglas aquí mencionadas, cual es mas recomendable etiquetar para @minnowsupport la de ingles o la de mi idioma nativo?? la de ingles la logro a base del traductor después de haber redactado en español.

y la otra pregunta es que si en @minnowsupport no tengo problema de que la misma publicación sea publicada dos veces una en ingles y luego en español? cada idioma en un post distinto, ya que en una etiqueto las comunidades que habla ingles y en la otra la de habla hispana

Good. There are too many garbage posts on steemit. If we can get rid of the bs that plagues this platform them well have a really good site to visit. Too many good posts get buried by spam.

I have high hopes for 2018, as a lot of the community ventures that combat this 'bs' you speak of are going to start working together. I already work closely with @steemcleaners and I am hoping that we can get the bid-bots and other services to adopt a blacklist. If we start combining trusted/verified Blacklists with each other, we can filter out the unwanted abusers of the reward pool eventually.

This is good, thanks. The less spam and plagiarized content the easier the site is upon the eye.

I do have one small reservation about the above definition of low quality posts though:

When I post one of my original photographs, with a tag like "Photography" - I simply am not going to write a hundred words about it. It will have a title, a number and probably three lines maximum, detailing where I took the shot and giving a brief summary of what is in said shot.

I wouldn't consider this "Low quality content", just the main purpose being to showcase a photograph, not write an essay.

All a bit by the by, as I don't yet have enough SP to buy a vote from this bot!


hi friends your profile is so dangerous but very very beautiful.

Our upvote bot is free for any registered member. It's part of why it does so many upvotes a day, and why it frequently get's abused.

We try and make some exceptions for photography, but we have found that no matter how good your photography is, it is best served by adding some commentary beyond the method/equipment.

Look at users like @crimsonclad for what an excellent photography post might look like.

See how quickly this can evolve into "approved content"?

Is there a list of users whose work will be used to judge as appropriate or inappropriate?

Take away the incentive, i.e. the free upvote bot and the problem goes away.

I, like the rest of our community, would probably feel that the bot does enough good for new users to counter any of the bad that it might cause.

It's not uncommon for us to use being added to the Blacklist as a way to help a user improve their content, and in the end get more out of the platform than they might have, had we not bothered to say something about what they were posting before.

I wish you the best of luck.


Thanks for the tip.

I do understand the need to curb spam @discordiant ...including people dropping youtube links of Other people's work.

I disagree however with the intent that photography or original art videos need to have in-depth descriptions to give them value.

I am not seeing anywhere that written work needs to have hand drawn art to offer a visual, or an original photograph or video in order for them to have value.
Writers are allowed to source unoriginal images, or use no images at all.

I have worked in high end art galleries, for years...and I can tell you that the only description we would hang by a high end painting OR photo, is the name of work, name of artist, date created, and Sometimes the price. All this on a little card below the art.

If art needs a description, then it is not portraying the feeling, image, concept, etc...that the artist was conveying (or trying to convey) with their work.

The more words needed to show these things, the less value they have, in the world of fine art, in my experience. As a writer, you may not understand visual art, however.

I would suggest, that a claim of Original Work be added at the end of art posts. If it is original, that is all that should matter for true value.
If someone claims it is original when it is not, then it falls under plagiarism.

Aside from that, there is already a once a day minnowsupportbot usage, so that prevents those who would take 8 photos of random things to get 8 upvotes a day from doing that.

I really do feel it is unbalanced to require visual arts to include written descriptions, while writers are not asked to do original visual art to make their posts have value.

Here is an example, in case you need a visual to believe me. The Packards are High End artist, people I have known for years, and sold their art.

I lived with a foster father that was a professional painter. He had paintings all over the house. But if I or anyone else asked what they meant, he would usually not say, just counter ask; what does it mean to you?

These are guidelines, not rules. We try and look at each post individually. If it adds value, then it adds value. Your recent post is an example of a pure photography post that doesn't really need words. You did add some.

Somehow, I knew that if I put a number on the amount of words, everyone was going to freak out.

I have apparently failed to express in the post how subjective we are about this. We try very hard not to go around being totalitarian about a post having exactly the correct number of words. We look for the intent of the post, the value in it, the effort that went into it. If we can see all those things line up, we consider it worthy.

I can tell you feel strongly about this, and I appreciate that. I will edit the post to reflect this, since I apparently worded it wrong.

Thank you, yes I do feel strongly about it...possibly because I grew up in strong artists communities, and have stayed in the arts my entire life.

The amount of words doesn't bother me, it is the idea that visual arts are not worthy without the written word...

I do understand the daunting task what you are doing must be, and I really do appreciate the effort you are putting into it, and the goal you have.

Upvoted and resteemed.
This is perfect... Everyone should read this.
people should understand they should make posts that have value ,originality and lengthier content too.. even some spammers copy paste comments and just paste it on all the posts they see which can be irrelevant.

Thanks for the support.

We do also coach people on comments, even if it won't earn them a spot on the Blacklist.

I really do hope we can make a dent in the spam and shitposting going on here.

Thats great! :D they will listen more since its coming from you guys 🐙
Ill just support by resteeming :) i shared this to my pals on my group.
Hoping it can help 💯
Thank youuuuuuu 🎈

I'm so glad you guys are going with this. Hopefully this will motivate everyone in writing better content.

That is part of our goal with the community in general. We are here to help. We take people off of the Blacklist all the time as they improve.

Hi friends your profile is very beautiful

Excellent stuff. Was searching on "How to make Steemit Better".
I'm still a minnow but am really committed in doing all I can to make this place better, not just by making better quality comments and replies but by curating the plethora of utter shite that is quickly filling up this platform and threatens ruining it.

Blacklisted isn't good, you can check the content before you are upvoting, and should insert cheata tag to don't upvote this kind of post. Btw are you checking the lvl of the author to really see if it's a minnow ?

We do check the content an author puts out before adding them to the Blacklist. It's how we identify the users who need to be added.

We can't manually verify all 1500-1900 uses of the bot individually each day. So if you have shown a history of posting content below our standards, we Blacklist you until we have seen a history of improvement.

We have found and asked larger accounts to avoid using the bot intended for minnows as well, and reputation score has nothing to do with that. We will look at SP or even average post-rewards. We don't restrict larger accounts directly, as the bot is available to any member of the community who has registered. We only ever ask them to consider saving the VP for the small accounts.

This is a much-needed and must-read post for every newbie here in this community. I'm 2 months old already here and the knowledge/information I have are still low. Thanks to this I was able to gather information especially the don'ts. Thank you for this! I'll share this one to my friends.

Hi friends your profile is very beautiful

that is very great to share @discordiant many #newbies lack all these informations especially those who knew #steemit through a research and joined with their own knowledge of nothing about it rules and regulations. This great post will help decrease #Plagiarism and #copy and paste. thanks for the wisdom @discordiant

Hi friends your profile is very beautiful

I hope it will also help in explaining it to the people who constantly message me with the same questions. :)

yes @discordiant everything is well said and explained. its a great post!

You're taking a very good step in my opinion. It should be done by all steemit account holders.

Can you tell me the answer to my question?

I've written all articles by myself, no plagiarism, easily readiable. But I got no vote from nyone? No Eraning, nothing happens

I spent time by wriitng useful contents but no one is willing to vote. You can check my profile and tell me what am I lacking so far?

Hi CH your profile is very beautiful.

You might find this useful:
When they ask how to be successful, what do you say?

Essentially, you need to build up a following of people who want to read and upvote your work. In that post I just linked, I go over some ways to do that.

Many thanks for your recommendations will be considered to support the @ steemit community. My source language is English I do the translation I hope you can understand what is written

muchas gracias por dejarnos formar parte de su grupo, me parece bien las reglas. Yo soy nuevo aca y la mayoria de mis publicaciones son noticias, trato de siempre dar a conocer de donde saque dicha noticia. Me interesa mantener informados a las personas y mucho mas a nosotros los Venezolanos

This is a motivation to write good contents thanks for sharing.

this a very beautiful side. and you are all people is so good and this project is a excellent.

Thank you for this. It will constantly remind us to create post from the heart and eliminate the attitude of copy and paste kind of post. I believe, hard earned posts are rewarded godly. Just have faith in what you do, love what you do.


Also translations are intended for plagiarism?

This is a very necessary service and spam is so prevalent here. Thank you for the hard work!

Nice work msp I like it

Posted using Partiko Android

Duly noted. This is a very informative post and this will help the newbies, such as myself, to know more about how to properly use steemit. :) Thanks for sharing!

Hi @minnowsupportproject tell me about one thing why i am blacklist i am showing an invalid link of PAL I love to use this app why i am ban from? Some one tell me to contact the moderator tell me about what i mistaken i love to use this app

Can any body help me i am block from pal serves but i dont know why i want join it back but i cant please help me

Hello @discordiant how about those user who copied the post of others?., my nephews girl friend post copied by another use., please help.

Upvoted, i keep posting better to be better!

This post has been resteemed from MSP3K courtesy of @discordiant from the Minnow Support Project ( @minnowsupport ).

Bots Information:

Join the P.A.L. Discord | Check out MSPSteem | Listen to MSP-Waves

Thanks for this information! It's my first day as a steemian and there is so much to learn. Being familiar with Facebook culture, I don't want to participate on this platform in the same ways I participate on Facebook. I will keep these value-adding ideas in mind as I ponder my next post. So far, my #introduceyourself blog is being received positively. I imagine that is a sign that it fits into the culture here. Do you have any advice?

please unmute my account

why does it say the discord invitation has expired

Depends on the invitation you are looking at. But if either of the Discord invites at the bottom of the main post say that, it's likely because either your account, or another at the same IP, are banned.

I clicked on the one at the end of your post.. the .gif image.. and idk I just got discord app today 😑 but oh well

There must be a ban present somewhere. That link is verified as being correct.

oh that's sad cuz it means I can't be part of your discord channel

Not exactly. There may be a mistake. Join the other link I have present, listed as MSP-Probation. You should be able to join that one. We can determine what the problem is there.

First of all, thank you for the minnow support project! This is kind of a daunting platform that takes some getting used to. Some people (not here) have gotten lazy about actually creating content. It is sometimes frustrating to see a fascinating or relevant article in an outside source and not be able to post it here, but that's just the nature of the platform. I am learning something new about it every day. Again, thank you.

hola amigo una pregunta cuando intento usar el bot me dice que he sido silenciado por los administradores algo así podian ayudarme ?

@discordiant can i translate this post into indonesian language

Hello sir ,
Me and my sister registered from a same computer , but we used different steemit account . . We got Blocked . . Pardon us :(
We did't know this pilicy .. Plz unblock us @discordiant

Hi dear sir i am mute @minnowsupport Kindly unmute me from here

You can discuss this with me on the PAL server. We do not simply remove someone from the blacklist because they request it.

where is the publicly available Google Sheet ?

Hello, I have a question, if I use dMedia, that the steemit platform for memes, I can not promote myself using this bot ?

Emmm, full of thoroughness to make a good article, so as not to blacklist it. This program is very useful for beginners to get used to the extraordinary

Agree with you

How to see someone is blacklisted. Thanks

buenas tardes disculpa que le escriba por aca pero se me olvido transferir a un bot y ahora no se que viene y los robot no responden

i agree with you

I want to ask, is there a way to re-enter P.A.L ...
I was removed because someone else accidentally shared my link in P.A.L ...

You were banned for having multiple registered accounts in an effort to circumvent our cool-down on the use of our upvote bot.

We do not have a resolution for that violation. It is unfair to other members to attempt to get more rewards from our community than they do.

Yes I understand ... That's my negligence while teaching others ... I forgot to forbid them to share the links of others and finally they share my links ... They destroy me ...
Yesterday as DM with you, I want to explain all this, but I have trouble translating the language ...
When I finished translating the language and I went into discord, it turns out you have also issued me from your DM ...
I am very grateful if I could come back ...
And I am also very grateful to you for still care for me ...

Is there no way I can go back for this username ...?


This is my username in discord ...
Help me to get back in ...
It's my only account ...


I added my dtube link before reading this sorry. I hope it will be okay as it's a short film I mad for a competiton entry.

I feel writers should include video and photos with their writing. If video and photographers need to include writing with their arts for it to be high quality. I am talking about those that do their own photos, filming and writing.

a pleasure, I like your post congratulations @discordiant

a pleasure, I like your post congratulations