This is not a rant. Or maybe it is, I don't know.
I wasn´t sure if I should make this post because I'm confident it will bring some controversial opinions to the table and at the same time it will gain me some enemies, but sometimes you just have to be vocal about specific topics to make sure people know your stance and where you are standing concerning some Steem issues.
Downvotes, previously known as flags, are being casted more and more by some users, perhaps not as much as they should be, and definitely not as little as some others wished them to happen.
A lot of Steemians are speaking about how normalizing downvotes is something that we should be striving for, that people in general should understand that being on the receiving end of them is not the end of the world.
We are currently part of a social experiment that has a self regulated community, where we allocate rewards depending on who and where we place our votes, and our stake determines how much influence we have in the community.
The moment you post something on Steem, you are accepting and embracing all the upvotes you receive and you are assuming that if you play nice/have a good behaviour, you will only receive positive votes.
But also, and this is why most Steemians don't get, is that the moment we post, we are also putting our content out there to be downvoted. The same way we accept every upvote, we shoud accept and embrace every downvote. It comes with the free market and free-willed, self regulated community.
Having a self regulated reward pool distribution means that we will experience unfairness, over-rewards, underrated content. It means that some times your amazing content will pass unnoticed or maybe your shitpost will receive an unusual amount of votes and engagement. I've been on both sides of the situation and I learned to accept it, especially as a content creator who's made a lot of Steem out of content creation and also has bought a big chunk of Steem in the modern era (not when 100,000 steem was worth just a few thousand dollars).
I've received flags in the past and I've received downvotes nowadays. I don't make a fuss out of it. In fact, if you're still reading this, please downvote my content. Feel free to do it, I won't retaliate and perhaps it will be a good excercise for you, to get used to hand out downvotes without feeling guilty or scared of the consecquences. If you feel this post is overrewarded or comes from an abusive Steemian, please downvote it. Hell, even if you think I'm a good guy creating good content, downvote this post. Let's normalize downvotes.
Understand that the downvotes can and will come from every Steemian on the platform and that's exactly why we voted to have free downvotes, so more and more people started using them and self-regulate the reward pool.
I've been handing some downvotes, most of them because I believe that bidbot abusers deserve some downvotes: no post promotion should come with a profit. I've flagged vote rings or so called circle jerks: I believe that there are some content creators that are getting a massive amount of rewards just because they own a lot of stake and instead of trying to spread the wealth - just as steem was intented to work - by using proof of brain, they prefer to vote on their other wealthy friends effectively growing their stake but hurting the platform by doing so. There's been some normal downvotes to blatant abuse/plagiarism, that's self explanatory.
The point here is, if you post, you're putting your content out there and setting it subject to other people's critique and votes, wether they're negative or positive. Learn to accept both.
Know that in a self regulated community, there are highly influential people that can and will use their stake to do what they think is positive for the platform and if you are not an ideal Steemian - a term that is subjective, but I think we can all agree what could be a good steemian - some people will downvote your content. Just as you can do the same to them.
But question yourself: What good is growing your stake by the thousands a month if the overall price of Steem is dropping?
Why the hell do you think is a good strategy to not spread your voting power and curate on great authors and instead just vote on a few other accounts that have no positive influence on the platform?
Do you really think that is smarter to grow your account from 100k steem to 150k in a matter of a year if the price drops from 17 cents to 7 cents?
Think about it. Normalize downvotes. Don't make a big deal about them. It's better to question yourself why did you receive these downvotes. Perhaps you're looking at the picture from the wrong angle. Ask yourself: Am I behaving the way I am because I'm trying to grow my own stake and only benefit myself and a few others or, am I working towards the overall benefit of the platform, the health of the token and as a consquence, a growth of my stake's value?
And finally, ask yourself: Do I prefer to have 10k Steem worth 10 dollars each, or do I prefer to own 100k steem worth 20 cents each?
Then asnwer yourself, and then start analyzing if what you're doing right now is encouraging scenario #1 to happen, or if it is making scenario #2 be inevitable.
Also, this is not about one person or one situation, it's inspired by several situations and conversations with stakeholders. Its not aimed to attack a specific Steemian but more to address some people's stance about downvotes.