MSP Blacklist - Guidelines defined with examples.
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.
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
MSP Moderator, Sheriff and Anti-Abuse Team Leader