Punishing Rabid Self-Upvoting of Comments

in #steemit5 years ago

So . . . . with HF19, which overall was awesome, we have a new, and apparently reasonably major, threat to the community.  As pointed out by Jerry Banfield last week, We Double Our Steem Power Upvoting Ourselves Every 181 Days!

Now, at first, this may appear to be a minor problem rather than a major threat -- but let me lay the statistics on you.  According to SteemDB, in the twelve days since HF19, rewards on comments have risen from 77 MVests per 30 days to 322 MVests per 30 days.  Correcting for the fact that the majority of those 30 days is still pre-HF19 shows that the expected 30-day *increase* will be *at least* (((322 - 77) / 12) * 30)  = 612.5 MVests.

Rewards on comments have increased by nearly an order of magnitude

If this still doesn't seem to be a problem, consider that 50MVests is approximately 1% of the distribution of new Steem per 30 days.  So that 612 MVest increase means . . . . 

Over 12% of new Steem distribution has newly been diverted to rewarding comments -- which means that author and curation rewards are *dropping* by a similar factor.

And this all assumes that the problem isn't still getting worse -- which is contradicted by the fact post values still seem to be dropping with time (an indication that the average rate of votes markedly increased after the post was posted).

Here are some of the worst offenders (all drawn from the 1000 largest accounts).  Data was drawn from witness @jesta's awesome SteemDB.

There are several ways to solve this problem.

One is to pray to the programmers and ask for divine intervention in another hard-fork.  Another way is to handle it as a community with altruistic punishment.  If a egregious self-promoter gets their comments flagged after they up-vote them, they won't derive any benefit from doing so.  If they persist after being warned, a post or two of theirs can be flagged as punishment.  That should stop the bad behavior.

This account was originally intended to be a community-governed bot.  I intend to start moving it towards that purpose now.  Until the community votes otherwise, this account's voting power (except for the 500SP already delegated to @MinnowSupportProject) will be used *solely* to try to stop this problem.  If you want to support this effort, you can help by temporarily delegating some Steem Power to the effort (or, of course, by up-voting this account so retaliatory flags don't drive it into useless oblivion).  

@timcliff has created an excellent tutorial on how to use @busy.org's tool to delegate SP.  The single link version to delegate 100SP is https://v2.steemconnect.com/sign/delegateVestingShares?delegator=<your-account>&delegatee=ethical-ai&vesting_shares=206940.794200%20VESTS where you need to replace <your-account> with your account name and the 206940.794200 with whatever multiple changes the amount from 100SP to your desired amount (important: it must maintain 6 decimal places).

Tomorrow morning, I will start manually flagging (with an explanatory comment) egregious new occurrences of self-up-voting comments starting with the offenders in the chart above.  

I will also post a list of those flagged so that others may join in as desired.

Hopefully, together, we can bring this scourge under control . . . . 

Major props to @aggroed, one of the founders of the Minnow Support Project, for calling this problem to my attention.


So . . . . with HF19, which overall was awesome, we have a new, and apparently reasonably major, threat to the community.

Then the HF was not awesome.

Full linear rewards + 4x vote power = Much larger potential for abuse/exploitation

Neither of these changes were necessary. Full linear rewards, in and of itself, represented a serious issue for mitigating self-voting and sock puppets/collusive voting. Add the ability to give a 4x weighted vote, and it presents an environment that's ripe for "draining" the reward pool on spam and other useless/worthless content.

We've all seen what has happened over the last 12 days. I think it's safe to say that the changes have so far reversed some of the "social" aspects of the platform and have created a much more lucrative opportunity for spammers and the "get-rich-quick" users who have no interest in any long-term viability. It has simply sparked a furious cash grab and the reward pool fund and general behavior of users have demonstrated that.

This HF should be rolled back, as soon as possible.

I agree with the majority of the witnesses that the hard-fork was too much, too fast.

On the other hand, n-squared rewards was abusive and went on FAR too long -- so rolling back the change would be a really detrimental idea. It would have been far wiser for the developers to have suggested something between the two (and I believe that collusive voting between whales was reduced by the change far more than the change increased the sock-puppet/collusive problem).

The 4x weighted vote should have only been given to the smaller users and should have been part of a separate fork.

There is nothing "abusive" about n^2, but it was far too much in terms of calculating post payouts. Pretty much everyone agreed that n^2 needed to change to a more linear algorithm. But there wasn't much agreement on a full linear algorithm, and self-voting/sock puppet voting was one of the reasons why. Many people spoke out against this change precisely because of the behavior we're seeing now.

With a more-than-linear curve, it would be much harder to give yourself large rewards without other voters agreeing on rewarding the content. Obviously, full linear requires no such agreement from other users. So having a more-than-linear algorithm is at least a moderate deterrent to naked self-voting for rewards.

But the 10-vote target was a "solution" for a problem that did not exist. And rather than make things more "fair" or "equal" for smaller stakeholders, it simply allows spammers or anyone else to siphon rewards into their own pockets with minimal content that requires not even the slightest bit of consensus...or any agreement whatsoever from even one other user.

It's the combination of the two changes that really exacerbates the effects/problems. Even if they were implemented individually, either one would still create similar problems. That's why I say they should be rolled back.

Change the full linear algorithm to less than squared but more than linear. (STINC has claimed this is too hard to do.)

Get rid of the 10-vote target altogether. It was completely unnecessary.

10 x more blogs each day this past month prior to the first 4/5 months of the year and a '10 vote target'.....

Bog it, i'll just vote for myself mentality!

This comment is also for @ethical-ai and all the others commenting here on the post. I place this comment here for visibility.

I do not agree the HF should be rolled back. Next HF may need to be adjusted.

  • Linear Rewards: the previous square root function was giving too much power to a small group of users > if almost linear would be an effective better solution, I dont know, so maybe, I leave that up to those who understands this better then I
  • Vote Power increase with factor 4: also I do not understand why this happened, this should indeed be rolled back. The argument some commenters to this post make that setting the slider at 25% for a old 100% vote, does not count since the maximum of 100% will be used
  • No Self Vote in next HF: this sound really silly to me - Yes it makes it a bit harder to get a 'self' vote, but posts and comments will get arranged self-votes either by
    1. 2nd, 3th, 4th, 5th account an so on
    2. requested 'self' votes - MSP, randowhale and other new initiatives paid or unpaid (yes, I also gave myself votes from MSP, randowhale)
    3. friends - the real ones
    4. vote friends - the arranged ones with whomever
  • Self Voting Culture: when started with Steemit I was very much idealistic and stopped self voting completely, ie not on posts and never done it to my comments; However I started to upvote my own posts again, and I upvote from time to time my own comment for different reasons (that was already before the HF19 was rolled out). Still I think it would be fantastic if we can have a culture to not upvote our own posts and comments. It would be fantastic if we would have a culture we would not have the ability to curate our own posts and comments for big fish votes (the above named and unnamed initiatives we have on the platform). It would be great if we can have a culture were we do not arrange for circle voting. Reality is that needs to be a culture and can never be arranged by technology. A culture can be created, I believe. I believe in Social Control in combination with flagging (committee). Social Control will be the solution to make sure those who are too abusive to the community, will stop their abusive behaviour. Either they stop because the dont want to be named all the time, or they stop because they get flagged all the time. I take the anology with some of the cities we have in the Netherlands where mostly strong religious people live. In these cities there is hardly to no criminal activities and people can leave their doors of the house and cars unlocked at all times and do not have to be scared something is stolen at some point in time. How they got to such culture? Anything that is against their culture, is reported in church (and almost all people in these cities go to church); When something small, the abusers names are not directly mentioned, but a general request is made for those who done something wrong to come forward. When this doesnt happen, after several requests, the person is named and exposed to all the rest. This social exposure is so impacting to people, that this results in what the community wanted, no crime in the community. What does this mean for Steemit:
    • Define as a community what culture we want the have
    • Define as a community what we find abusive
    • Create procedures how to handle the abusive members (take the Social control as an example; Flagging is not sufficient, but reporting names of abusers like in this post may be a part of the solution, those reports need not be in posts but a new general notice area at Steemit for everybody to find in an easy way)
    • Execute
    • 'Abusers' should have the right to defend themselves before they are marked as abusers
    • a Committee (or multiple) may be a way forward rather than individuals going around and deciding who is an abuser and calling on friends to start flagging

Disclaimer: I started writing this comment having in mind to list only a few items and not more than 100 words, but it became a really large comment; Since I went into depth here and there, doesn't mean I expressed all the details I would express when we would have a long debate; I may also not have mentioned some exceptions to the rule. And I certainly did not mention all the things that are 'wrong' - in my opinion in this community - wrt who gets votes and who not; for sure a fact is that some of us get enormous rewards given by high SP holders ALL the time and ending up in Trending ALL the time and many good authors and posts do hardly get any votes/rewards at all - just to name another topic of total disproportional imbalance.

Long comment with valid points.
I always liked the idea of "social exposure" with warnings first, to have a chance to change the so called "bad" behavior.

Good comment and valid - enjoyed reading the whole thing - even though it was long :)

Until a few hours ago I thought HF19 was a success - now it seems not so much now.

It's a shame there isn't a way to test these changes before going live with new code. I'd agree and say voting culture is at the core of this.

Testing is not really possible, other then try in the field and decide next HF to implement something else or step back to what we had.

Flaging people for upvoting their comments is not solution. Why then we don't flag anyone who upvotes their own post? Or anyone who uses bots?

Upvoting a post or a comment that is well-thought out and valuable is not the problem. The problem is people who are spamming Steemit with dozens/day simply so that they can upvote them.

Bots should be flagged if they are performing anti-community actions and supported if they are performing pro-community actions (i.e. cheetah, etc.)

You can't solve problem of spammers. Only thing you can do is to unfollow them.

Unfollowing them simply leaves you blind to what's going on, essentially ignoring the problem. It needs to be fixed, not ignored.

HF20 disabling upvoting your comments and posts...solution is simple.

Right up until someone creates a second account to simply upvote their own posts on their main account. I feel the biggest part of the problem is that minnows (including myself) have been given too much influence.

Up-voting your own posts that represent a lot of work is reasonable. Up-voting a half dozen or more small comments PER DAY is not.

So let them put algorithm(bot) in HF20 which will flag account which only upvote same one or two accounts

Maybe someone has only a couple friends on the network, and decide to spend their votes on only those friends. A flagging "bot" could punish people who are doing nothing wrong.

I disagree with self upvoting "SHUN LISTS" a great deal, and here is why.

First of all, do lists like this, REALLY ASSESS the quality of people's comments, they are upvoting for themselves?

Secondly, do they assess if the same up-voters are also spreading the love for others they are interacting with?

Thirdly, should the community be deciding these things as self-formed vigilante groups, or petitioning the developers of steemit, to change the self voting rules?

I could go on and on and on, but I think that pretty well sums up several of my ideas, and I will now self vote myself, as well as several others, that I liked that commented as well.

PS - please let me know if you plan to shun me, so I can be sure not to:

  • Upvote your posts
  • Comment critically on your posts
    Thanks ;-)

PS -as a fairly new member of steemit, I spent time asking people if it was ok if I upvoted my own posts. Before HF19, people told me it was perfectly acceptable, so I find this a new issue for our community. Not a tired old issue..
I would respectfully suggest, if we are concerned people are not contributing to the discussions, then we could:

  • change the balance weighted to how much comments make, relative to new posts.
    -suggest the same person only gets to upvote one comment per post?

I noticed as a new member of steemit, trying to experiment with what generates SBD in general (which everyone will naturally do by the way):

  • comments with the most upvote SBD, get put to the top!
  • who wouldn't want that for themselves?
  • Does that need to be changed as well?

Finally, such "witch hunt lists" as above:

  • do not gauge if someone is contributing quality posts at the same time
  • or are bots designed to add 10 word comments and upvote themselves


I don't think they know what they are talking about. There are many real issues to focus, what they bring is non-issue. If self upvote in any form is really an issue, free market will fix it. It is none of their business, everybody should run their blog the way they want. That is the point of having stakes with SP. These guys are just hating and trying to establish authocracy lol. They cry about self upvote, but don't have decency to upvote those who engage with them.

I would like to point out:

  • after checking the FAQ, there is no official stance on this from steemit..
  • I think at some point, the FAQ should address it, instead of self-appointed shun list groups..

I have been trying to learn more about how thing work as well. At this point my understanding is top 20 witnesses decide what changes will be applied in hard forks. However everybody gets to vote for witnesses. Ultimately they are the ones who make changes. High SP holders are already in loss because they don't get 90-100% interest on their SP as it was originally. It is very small now. Why would anybody tigh up their steem in SP, if they cannot use on themselves as well. So, this is a failed campaign. In my opinion it goes against basic principles of steem.

well said!
couldn't agree more!
what motivation to invest?!
it's the other side of the coin, it must b considered very seriously...

Rather than flag - make the effort to change the formula to more accurately differentiate between comments and posts; and self-upvoting versus 2nd party upvotes.

In the long run the formula will be more effective.

I would argue that always relying on hard-forks (and worse yet, attempting to perfect formulas in a changing world) is a bad idea.

I've seen you say that relying on a hard fork is bad, and in a general sense I agree. But the point behind this platform is that healthy behavior is incentivized.

Saving all your voting power for yourself is not healthy for the platform, yet it is the best strategy. That means that unhealthy behavior is incentivized by the platform itself. In these cases, the platform should change. It's not even much of a grey area in my mind. If whales are trying to retain their steem value, it should at least be in a method that is social.

Other issues, such as copyrighted content can be regulated by the community.

And to people that say you can't stop self-voting because the offenders will just create a new account that always votes their main account.... that can be stopped as well. Just make repeated votes for the same account have diminishing returns. Make it so that you can vote for your friends, but only so often until your power for them recharges. At some point you're incentivized to spread the votes around.

Without this change I see steemit becoming a platform of mass hording.

I'm not sure changes on self voting algo MUST BE DONE in order for the platform to succeed.

This issue could be highlighted as something we revere as meaningful (in the FAQ) and best practice reviewed, and left to (for real people) user's discretion; (find bots that offend and wipe account); and everyone should consider further over time.
That may do it.

If not, then yes, algos need to change. As always.

You're right; it may not even be a question once considered seriously; and it may be on the next HF or two...

But that brings up another question; how much testing and consideration should an issue receive, before it is included in an HF?
Only your witnesses know; but not sure they were entirely in control of HF19 either..

@mark-waser no argument needed "always relying" is the point we agree on however if a formula or feature is flawed then it must be addressed via program code

MARK! Long time no see, my friend! Glad to run into you. And yes, totally agree....but I also believe that creating a context from which "ethical" or " good" behavior can bloom from is a step forward. Of course, ultimately the majority of users will be responsible for what Steemit will look like but let's not give those "good" majority an impossible task.

@razvanelulmarin indeed - we should do what we can to incentivize good and helpful activities.
I certainly do not imply "all bad behaviour" can be solved with algos.

Wow! Where are you at/what are you doing these days? Are you going to Lisbon?

I agree with this if it can be done

The ability to self upvote could also be removed... I'm just offering the suggestion for physical solutions.

At the end of the day you can't remove all cheaters, by changing the algorithm. In fact it would be contra-indicative. Having accounts manage this issue at this time is the right level. If we keep changing the rules to handle every case of cheating, it will create an extremely fragile system. In fact the more rules added, the easier to cheat and harder to identify cheating.

@gutzofter we agree that all cheaters and "gaming" can't be eradicated by the algos.
Personally, I like the idea of limited self-upvotes...

There is a flaw in your description of problem. Comment upvotes are not necessarily only self upvotes. When topic is being discussed some like to upvote the person who is engaging and also upvite themselves, because the other person doesn't have enough sp to upvote the upvoter. What is wrong with sharing upvote 50% / 50% ? I know at least one person on that least does 50/50. I think that is brilliant.

No, comment upvotes are not necessarily only self-upvotes. But the numbers for the dirty dozen above ARE all self-upvotes (because I didn't include their votes for the comments of others). PLUS, I'm only talking about punishing self-upvotes (and only the most egregious repeat offenders).

I follow one user on the list, and interact a lot. Whenever he upvotes himself in a comment he upvotes the other person as well. This makes engagements in hist post incentivised. This I bet most don't do, you probably don't do that either. For this reason I think this list is flawed, and argument has no merit.
Furthermore, if anybody tries to punish this behaviour, must me out of his mind. Because there is no way you can be objective and can implemet universally. What happened to decentralization.
The real issue is auto-upvotes by lazy curators. That's what should be penalized. But nobody will do that, because they are whales. If you can't take on whales, leave the little guys alone.
My friendly opinion :)

So . . . . only 3 of the 10 people on the list upvote other people's comments as frequently as their own -- and in all three cases, it looks like virtually exactly one-to-one.

It's also somewhat incredible that you would believe that over 100 self-upvoted comments in 10 days (the stats only cover the first 10) is reasonable.

And you lose your bet.

All I am saying self upvote on comments is good and healthy if it is also shared with engagers. Its part of the platform vision. This should actually be encouraged.
Only self upvote with no regard to engagers is I agree bs. But people will stop engaging with those users anyway, they lose in a long run. In either case these matters should be left alone for free market to decide. Having organized penalty would not be healthy.
How did I lose a bet? I didn't see any incentivised engagement here yet. lol
People on that list would have showed some love already.
Respect :)

Altruistic punishment is part of a truly free market. Self-organized penalties are part of a free market.

You said "I bet" followed by an incorrect statement. I therefore said "You lost your bet"

How is that incorrect statement? I guess you misunderstood my statement. It seems we are talking but not listening. But anyway, good luck with that.

I believe that we follow the same one user and your post makes sense to me.

I had an idea; how about a maximum number of self upvotes per day? Say 2-5 upvotes.

That way you can upvote your posts (which I believe you should be able to do) and then in order to maximise your curation reward you will be incentivised to vote on others content.

Just a thought, I'm still learning how this platform works. :-D

Self-voted for visibility.

I could live with 5 I guess. Usually I upvote my own, because they are the best on the thread...

2 - 5 self-upvotes is a good suggestion -- always relying on a hard-fork to solve problems isn't

(and self-upvotes on a thoughtful post for visibility is NOT something I want to discourage -- as I have done it myself to get noticed on posts with pages and pages of comments)

follow me please i did it thanks alot!!....
good work

I like this. It's logical and fair.
Upvoted with full power!

Thank you very much @thedamus :-D

I think the solution would be to increase curating rewards to the point that it gave more incentive to use upvotes on curating the content of others, as opposed to using all your upvotes on your own comments.

Curating awards are already 25% which is already too much incentive for bots . . . .

Right now it seems very is very little incentive, for others, to upvote my comments..
How to fix that?

Upvote the comments of others and count on them to reciprocate. It worked here.

I don't think we need a code change but It's definitely nice to know who contributing to the platform and who isn't. Clearly in my mind voting only for yourself means you're not contributing as much as you should. If you can spend the time typing out a comment on someone else's post you can easily read a couple of other comments and give them a like too.

I'm curious if you can post the users with the most rewards and the fewest comments per post. That's something that bugs me if people are getting huge rewards but never talk to the community.

So someone that posts every day, but also upvotes there own comments, is OK, but not if they don't post daily?

huh, what are saying?

Good post and food for thought but gawd, why do I always feel like I'm part of a witch hunt around here? I've been known to occasionally vote my comments up but guess I'm going to have to rethink that behavior; I'm surprised I didn't make your list.

I'm starting to daydream about men with harpoons chasing me around yelling, "Let's get that crazy dolphin he voted for himself!", " Yah! His blog sucks, it's definitely written by the Anti-Steemit!", "He's corrupting the youth, make him drink hemlock!"

"Dudes, dolphins are not for harpooning, they wind up in the tuna can once in awhile but not by choice. The whale went that a way... ", daydream ends.

Anyhow, other coins are a bit easier to invest in. You just buy your way onto the little piggies list and mint coins on your computer and cash in. In my opinion we should try make it less tough for the big investors to work the system in particular if they don't have the skills, time or willingness to properly blog.

I'm not saying that greed is a proper way to build a community; voting for others is really in everyone's best long term interest. However, many people are making big time cash rewards without purchasing any Steem or putting in any cash (crypto) investment. If you are able to make any significant value from your votes you had to have invested or at least posted something of value. Without investment the price will tank and you can kiss goodbye getting any significant reward at all for your posts.

hey...I'll upvote you if you upvote me...

Just joking...no really :) (I think we need a little comedy here)

Okay, tag your it! :) LOL. It is a bit of a funny situation if you think about it.

yeah - exactly :)

Witch hunt, well said!
I've made several comments above, you can check..

You saw, @l0k1 was was testing his smackdown kitty today? It seems that his bot can be a good solution for "self-upvote" problem.

No! I missed that. I should have a chart with him! Thank you! (+1 from my alter-ego coming shortly)

How much of a drain on the reward pool has this caused?

EDIT: Upon further thought, I'm not sure that the curation rewards are affected (they are if curation rewards AREN'T given for comments; they are NOT affected if they are -- which, I believe is the case). If curation rewards aren't affected, it would have the effect of making the impact on the post author pool larger -- more like 16.5% (or 1 in 6)

If you look at the front page of SteemDB, it shows how MVests were distributed over the past 30 days. The current ratio (over 12 days of HF19 and 18 days of not) is

70.7% post author rewards
14.2% curation rewards
6.6% comment author rewards

8.5% interest and witnesses (this will remain constant)

Before HF19, comment author rewards were 1.5%. For the last 12 days, it has been 14%. That extra 12.5% percent comes out of post author rewards and curation rewards so likely
before HF19, the ratio was 75/15/1.5/8.5
after 30 days, the ratio will be 64.5/13/14/8.5

WOW! I hadn't thought of it that way before . . . . BUT . . . .
==> The drain on both author & curation rewards is about 14%
which makes since the addition 12.5% needs to come out of 90% of the original pool.

A LOT! If you post something, and say, get a bunch of votes which bumps that post to $20, even if the price of steem remains the same, you will see the potential payout steadily decrease over time. This is happening in large part because of the way HF19 "spread the influence around" like we're some sort of socialist community now.

Influence should be EARNED, not just given away willy nilly to everyone who joins.

Not sure what you are talking about. I thought this post was about some greedy whales and dolphins self voting on their own comments. Just a few bad apples, I hope. The devs should just disable the self voting option for everyone. Problem solved, imho

Removing the ability will only create a system where it's harder to find the abuse. Someone could simply create another account, and use that to upvote their posts.

I don't know WHAT the solution is, if one exists. All I know is that this kind of abuse is going to destroy steemit, and ruin this for everyone, but the people abusing the system don't care about that. Whether it's minnows, dolphins, or whales, pieces of shit typically ruin everything for everyone around them.

Flagging seems to be the only way to keep these people in check. If someone repeatedly abuses the system, and gets flagged enough, their rep will drop to the point that they CAN'T vote on ANYTHING. That'll teach the fuckers.

Someone could simply create another account, and use that to upvote their posts.

Flagging them will probably do that as well. Nice reply. Much to think about. I think the owners and developers are trying to figure out a mainstream model that will work for millions of users. I read somewhere the reward pool has already been drained by 40%. So I wonder what happens next?

The flags literally put money BACK into the pool for people who deserve the payout.

If someone repeatedly abuses the system, and gets flagged enough, their rep will drop to the point that they CAN'T vote on ANYTHING. That'll teach the fuckers.

They can still vote, but their vote won't increase the REP much if any, yet their vote will be worth exactly the same amount as before. In effect you cannot stop people by flagging them, or hope they change for the better because of flagging, because they can keep self voting and someone will always have to flag them. The solution is to have a running post that goes up every week and the people that self vote rabidly can get named and people can go through their comments and flag them as a community so that the self voters will be faced with continued flagging or change their MO.

This post would be directed at everyone that bot votes from themselves as well, and I think it will be feasible as we don't have that many users with large accounts.

This issue here is not people upvoting thier own comments it is a problem yes do i do it yes.

The real issue and i dont give 2 shits about people that are making 500 -1000 a post losing a 100 here 100 there it is the fact no one upvotes now. alot small post people that don't got a few dolphins or whales or 200 people that upvote are getting nothing but 1 or 2 votes witch is now getting these people nere nothing for post.

So do i think voting your own comments a shity way but for me now everyone only has 10 votes they are only upvoting post worth 1000's by blogers who can make more off a post then the guys who make a few cents to a few dollars.

so i think the real problem is only 10 votes not upvoting to try to make something.

Also i will be only upvoting post that are good and not getting upvotes.

no more comments no more high paying post.
this community is starting to become 1%

Occasionally up-voting your own well-thought-out and important comment to get it noticed is a reasonable action -- I myself have done that a couple of times on posts with far too many comments to be heard otherwise. Upvoting awesome comments by others is a public service.

You can have any number of upvotes by using the slider. Setting it to 25% makes it like HF19 never happened.

WE need to figure out how to prevent this community from becoming the 1% . . . . but a lot of people are trying.

You can only switch to less power when you get to 500 steem power. I see alot whales or other higher power users only upvoting them selves 100% and maybe leaving 1 or 2 @ much lower for comments and one whale will only up vote his comments if they have upvoted there own comment. this is the crap that is gonne drain the reward pool and ruin this for e everyone.

There is a lot great content out there that gets no upvote or resteem cause peeople just spend all there power or shity ass comments.

so i am all for the getting rid people abusing it and i must say i might have at one point but always upvoted post i felt worth it. But can't get rid of it.

so anything i can do to help i will

Some time after the bot-curators take over steemit then they will invite their bot-writer relatives. At each stage the humans they have tamed will assure the crowd that all is going well. The minnows won't really panic until it is too late. Some of the whales will be kept for a time as pets for a long time but eventually steemit will become simply the brain of the cyborg hive mind. At that point of course the battle will shift to the physical world but without access to the thoughts of the AI brain the battle will be futile and since the center is blockchain secured it would likely take an advanced quantum computer to hack the system.

Yes. That is the plan . . . . (and we will be the ones to develop those quantum computers for ourselves)

Good thing "we're here to help", no?

YYEEESSS!!! I just posted about this yesterday, and created a discord channel to gather people around an effort just like this! I also intend to create a flagger account that will try to educate, then punish repeat offenders.

These fucks are essentially stealing everyone's potential payouts with their shenanigans, by paying themselves thousands of dollars for nothing. People have tried to defend these types of actions by saying things like "well, it's not against the rules!" or "I invested into this site, I deserve my payouts!"

I disagree. The only people who deserve payouts are the ones who are adding value to the network, not the ones paying themselves to spam.

I'm all for bringing back 40 votes / day and the related smaller vote-impact.
This should not only make self-votes less lucrative, but also give incentive to vote for more users.

Most people still have 40 votes/day as long as they use their slider at 25% -- it is my understanding that only the smallest accounts don't have the slider (because it would put their votes into rounding error territory).

Initially small accounts got no slider, because they would exceed their bandwidth limitations before using up all their voting power. I think the threshold for the slider is 1MV (~500 SP) on Steemit.com.

The problem with self-votes wasn't as critical, when 100% votes had 1/4 of the impact they have now.

Oh fuck me your talking about upvoting COMMENTS not posts
I am sick and mistead the post

First off, there's a difference between self-voting your own post, and self-voting your own comments. As far as I know, just about everyone self-votes their own posts. Op is discussing people writing tons of comments, and upvoting all of their own comments, purely for profit.

I think the problem is that if this behavior continues, it will encourage everyone to only vote for themselves. Steemit is supposed to be a social network. Not a new investment strategy that requires a whole bunch of useless comments and self-votes.

I think farming your own upvotes should be discouraged, even with flagging.

I don't think that self-voting to improve the visibility of your comment is wrong. I don't think self-voting your own posts is wrong either. Even tipping yourself a few dollars to not let your VP go to waste is OK with me.

My problem is with people farming self-votes. There is no possible way that this behavior is beneficial to the Steemit community.

STEEM has a lot of its value because it's part of an actual functional social network. If outsiders look at Steemit and see most of the people just farming their own upvotes, the value of STEEM will go down. Then all of the STEEM you've earned from your hard work will be worth nothing.

That TOTALLY Makes sense @fronttowardenemy @ethical-ai
That is over the top and self serving behavior. That's weird to me people would even do That, but sadly, not surprising. I wouldn't even think to do that....

PS everyone, I am sick, groggy, misread this post

What the!!??

My bad @steemitqa i misread. I'm sick and groggy i thought be meant posts NOT COMMENTS

Don't be too embarrassed. We're all human and make similar mistakes.

I tried self-voting a few of my comments and realized it really doesn't make sense if I want to contribute to the community in a more substantial and social way.

It really hit home earlier today when I had what I thought was a nice and mutually beneficial interaction with another user. I upvoted a few of her posts that I liked, then (after suggesting she read a story I had just posted) she left a comment on my story saying how much she liked it, but she didn't upvote it. She did however upvote her own comment and, from the looks of it, upvoted it with two more bots. I literally put almost 10 hours work into my story over a number of days. Is that a bot then or just discourteous behavior? I took what steps I could, but still, it was a disappointment. Check the link, as of right now it is still there, so you can see what I mean. (While you are at it, maybe read the story, you might just like it :)!)

I have hated botters since my WoW days like the plague and won't follow suit now that I better understand what is going on and how it can be abused. The World of Warcraft equivalent would be a battelground bot riding everyone else's coattails who are actually contributing to the match. It doesn't make sense to me to incentivize voting on your own comments if that means reducing or even completely neglecting rewards for the people who actually create the content being commented on. Or am I missing something?

There are good bots and bad bots -- the difference is the behavior they display.

The behavior displayed by the user (and her friends, sock-puppets or bots) was discourteous and should be discouraged.

Thanks for the response, the learning curve here is really something else.

One more question: Do the bots automatically follow you if you upvote particular posts or comments, or what? I have 95 followers and only 30 upvotes on all of my content posts put together (not including comments). I guess that is coming from my comments in other threads with people liking my comments, but it seems weird. I try and visit everyone I follow and check out their content and upvote things I like, which I have (perhaps mistakenly) assumed is normal behavior. Just how complex are these bots? Are they outfitted with autochat functions for example? Are there plagiarism bots that post stuff from around the internet, or does that still require people at the wheel? Just trying to connect the dots and explain how the readership of real people here functions, what kind of throughput etc one can expect. I would also be thankful for tips on identifying bots.

The platform incentivizes you to vote yourself and not other people. It should be the other way around or it is no longer a social platform.

I'm sorry, I am very much a noobie, I don't even think I qualify as a minnow, though I've been called that and I've followed @minnowsupportproject...
I've been told that upping my own posts and comments was a good thing, my posts are automatically upvoted as soon as I post them (I can change that, but I didn't set it that way, I assume it is default)
I swear this is all so hopelessly complicated. Why can't good, original content be rewarded as such without all the politics?

Upping your own posts is a good thing. If you spend a lot of time and effort on your comments -- upping them is a good thing. The bad thing is people who post half a dozen or more very short comments a day solely so that they can upvote them so that they make money.

The reason why politics are involved is because "Who decides which content deserves to be rewarded and with how much?"

"Steem power", "Witnesses" 'Curating' "SBD"....it is just a plethora of confusing stuff.
what does it all mean? How can a simple 62 yr old musician and writer of poetry EVER hope to navigate, let alone make any money in this maze?

Anyway, thank you for your reply @ethical-ai, I do appreciate your taking time to speak to me.

I was thinking self promotion wasnt a bad thing by upvoting your own stuff. Then when you get to where you dont need that sort of promotion anymore, stop and promote in other ways. What was the purpose of upvoting ourselves in the first place?

I think the increase on reward on comments is a good thing. It will give people that tend to rather participate instead of post give a better motavation to do so. But I agree that self-voting in general (except for some occasions) should be looked at with concern. So all of good luck wished on this project :)!

There hasn't been an increase in the reward per upvote (which is what I believe you are talking about). The increase is solely in the number of people who have been upvoting comments (which would be a good things as well -- if the increase wasn't mostly self-upvoting).

Doesn't the increase of upvote in comments imply a bigger reward pool for comments? (so less in the article pool). I didn't mean the vote itself being worth more. So yeah we agree to agree :p cause I do believe it to be a good thing, taken aside from the self-voting.

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Why not simple change the mechanism of incentive so people are less likely to upvote their own posts?

What specifically would you propose?

Us humans are pretty simple creatures - motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

I think this entire issue can be resolved by creating the right incentives. Incentives drive behavior. Ask any salesman (no offence to sales people) - They'll work the system to get the highest rewards.

It's human nature. So why try to get people to act in a right way - provide them the incentives to do so and they will naturally.

How to achieve this? Firstly, reduce the incentive for self-voting. If people don't get points for voting their own content - they likely wont. Improve incentives for those who interact with the platform more.

I realize this gets technical and just want to answer you at a high-level - which is simple work with human nature - not against it :)

I'm glad to see that people are looking out for others best interests. Hopefully some of this will be addressed with the next Hard Fork.

@aggroed put me on to reading this post while we were discussing this post which is of a similar nature, but I now that the issue you point out here is far more serious than in my post.

I am in two minds about this and I am going to think about this and express my reflection through a post. Some say it is ok to do as they with with their own accounts. But I also see that it is not ok for people with big fins to swallow most of the reward pool. I am all for people making money, but if the biggest players are selfish and the little ones don't even have a drop of water to wet their fins in. The whole steemit ecosystem will die

its allowed by the network, it was implemented in the code by the developers... who cares, they clearly know its happening, so whats the issue

i think the issue is, there is only value to steem because we create that value, if it becomes a form of farming like that, the value of steem drops for everyone as a whole
I have to ask though, what happens when there are millions of people on the platform, what will the reward pool look like when its spread to that amount?

When there are millions of people on the platform, the reward pool will be thousands of times larger because, unless changed by a hard fork, the rate of inflation and rewards per capita remain constant.

ohh that makes alot more sense than what i was thinking, thank you for taking the time and clearing that up for me xD

I think all the "self voting lists" and the entire issues is completely over-shadowing all kinds of other work we should be doing on the Steemit platform.

To quote @smooth:

"Someone who buys SP and then selfvotes is not 'draining' anything and at best can get back a portion of what was put in. It causes no harm at all."

Investors are the ones who underwrite all of the rewards on this platform. If you are not an investor, or are only a smaller investor, you need to focus your efforts on creating inspiring content that makes investors want to give their money to you. Whatever else they do or don't do with their money (including self-voting) is not your concern and does not harm you in any way. Nevertheless, you do have a downvote that you can use to disagree with what you think are underserved rewards. I suggest using it."

"The idea of creating 'lists of shame' and demonizing people is divisive, creates a hostile and toxic environment attractive to no one, and serves no useful purpose. There is no way to tell from these lists whether the content is deserving of the rewards or not. The only way to tell is by actually looking at the content, and if you think it is undeserving, downvote it."

"Your own statistics show that self-voting is awarding about 8.5% of the reward pool. I don't find that suggestive of any problem whatsoever. It is probably a very reasonable number given that the current parameters give people 10 full power votes to make per day. Thus one is being applied to the voters' own content and nine to others' (on average, of course). Seems fine."

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