This post is meant to address some of the misunderstandings various members of the community have about how Spaminator works. It's current to the later part of 2019.
Spaminator is currently a bot that is intended to be hands-off. What that means is that it's designed to run based on its own scripts and not based on a person manually logging into the account to hit the downvote button. Hitting the downvote button manually is detrimental to Spaminator and we try to avoid it as much as possible. Hitting the unvote button will be done when needed. The upvote button may not be used.
Does that mean that if I do something to make you use Spaminator manually it'll hurt Spaminator and prevent it from working as intended? No. Why? Keep reading ...
Spaminator is written in Python and is likely the most advanced bot on the Steem blockchain. Unlike most bots, it's more than just one or two files. It has a highly-developed framework that helps it operate smoothly and compartmentalizes its functions. For example, the Mack-bot function has its own script.
So does this mean I can't trick Spaminator? You can try, but keep in mind this ... Spaminator's code is written by a highly experienced senior developer and is architected by another developer that designed countless bots. If we find a gap, we will fill it. If Python becomes a barrier then we'll rewrite it in C++. The best way to avoid Spaminator is to simply not exploit the Steem blockchain.
Spaminator uses an API for it's blacklist control. The @steemcleaners team has access to the API and may add, remove or change the listed accounts. The @steemcleaners team currently consists of @guiltyparties, @logic and @pjau. Aside from these users, no one presently has the ability to add accounts.
This is not the same "API" that is usually talked about in relation to blacklists, which is the common way to describe the Global Blacklist API run by @themarkymark. The Global Blacklist API is a combination of all the project blacklists. It is not the control mechanism for Spaminator. Information flows from the Spaminator API (and from other project blacklists) to the Global Blacklist API, not the other way around. Confused yet?
Can I get off the blacklist by messing with the API? No. It's just a tool and all that would happen is we'd restore it from one of its daily backups. Like I said earlier, the best way to avoid Spaminator is to simply not exploit the Steem blockchain.
What about influential users on "Secret Slack"? No. Everyone in any chat may ask a question about Spaminator or inform us about an account. Whether we act on their information depends solely on our scope. We do not do anything because someone who has a large stake or influence tells us what to do. That wouldn't be objective or fair. We strive to treat all information equally.
What about Ned? No. Steemit Inc trusted the Delegation Committee to vet and approve delegation requests on their behalf and on behalf of the general community. The Delegation Committee will recommend the removal of the delegation if it is being misused. Ned or Steemit Inc do not contact Spaminator to blacklist users, they have better things to do with their time. Spaminator works according to its scope.
One point of confusion is whether the Steem Flag Rewards team or @themarkymark have the ability to use Spaminator. They do not. They are our colleagues in the fight against exploitation but no one save for the @steemcleaners team may amend the blacklist in any way and absolutely no one except for @guiltyparties and the main developer may access the bot in any way.
We have discussed in the past the possibility of making Spaminator a truly community-driven project by making its code Open Source. The purpose is to let competent developers add modules and suggest optimization for Spaminator. The current framework is built in such a way as to allow for any number of independent modules to be added and for adjustments to be made.
Won't scammers be able to use the code to downvote people to harass them? Unlikely. There is no "Spaminator in a Box". As it was mentioned above, the code and framework are very advanced. The server requirements for the bot are also outside the norm. Spaminator is very difficult to run. A junior developer will not be able to use the code or even set up the server. A senior developer would, but think about it this way ... what kind of a person who is a senior developer and likely has a very large income would care about randomly downvoting Steem users?
Regardless, whether the Open Source aspect is carried out remains to be determined.
Just asking for a friend, but if I harass @guiltyparties, will he leave? Nah. You're about 20 year too late for that. I do appreciate your feedback so please send me any love or hate mail, which leads us to ...
There are two off-chain ways to offer your feedback and observations about Spaminator. One is through Github and the other is through the Guilty Parties website. We trust that you can use your imagination on steps you can take to make your feedback truly anonymous on those two platforms if you are worried. You may say whatever you wish and use any language you wish in your feedback.
You may also message @guiltyparties on Discord or any other chat at any time and say whatever you want to say in a direct message. Critical messages are welcome as @guiltyparties' first mandate is the freedom of speech.1 You don't need to bother with threats, just say or ask what you want and you'll get an answer. If you're angry and confused then there's likely a miscommunication. If you're not confused then you know what you did and should proceed to appeal on the @steemcleaners Discord instead. Appeals will not be handled privately.
1 No, freedom to copy paste random stuff from the internet to Steem and monetize it is not and never will be the definition of freedom of speech.