For What It's Worth

2개월 전

Last night I got home from work a little after 8 pm local time after an eleven hour day.

Since I did quite a bit of driving, I had time to think about a few possibilities for a post. I'd pretty much settled on a topic that I thought I could write in an hour or so, since I didn't really want to launch into anything major, end up wrapping up closer to midnight than not, when I was already kind of tired from the long day.

I came into my home office, sat down at the desk and noticed that GINABot had a few notifications. At first glance, they looked like upvotes on my latest post on Tuesday. I thought, cool, since it's not unheard of for upvotes to come in the next day after a post, but not something that happens so often it's expected.

Then, I got to looking at the who and how much and realized that these were not upvotes at all, but downvotes. Several of them, one right after another, some of them probably the same person, a couple of others, maybe some likeminded folk.

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 7.02.52 PM.png

I thought, Okay, that's a first. Multiple at a time. Must have struck a chord, finally.

The post the downvotes came on was, potentially controversial, if someone wanted to make it that. I wasn't really trying to stir anything up, but the way things can work here, you start making some observations, you start wondering about all the contradictory things that happen, and it's tough to determine who's right, wrong, on the level or just blowing smoke.

If, I supposed, anyone read the post and took exception to my writing about the contradictions, then, there could be downvotes.

However, as I delved a little deeper, I recognized the largest downvoter, and saw that he/she had a few more accounts downvoting, too. I also saw that the downvotes were less than 1% each.

This was now the second post I'd been downvoted on by this individual in recent days. The first time, I hadn't ever seen them before, so I wondered if maybe they were a part of the Steemit Defense League and their group of anklebiters (my name for downvoters that can't really do much damage with rewards or reputation, but there they are, randomly hitting posts because of their righteous cause to defend Steem—or is it Steemit—from, well, essentially everyone, I guess).

So, I went to their blog page to look them up. This is what it says:

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 8.20.20 PM.png

I have to admit, I was a little ruffled when I saw that. And it's not because I'm big into SBI, either. Because I'm not.

In fact, the opposite was true. But not for the reasons this user was concerned about. I'm just not a fan of universal basic income. Whether this version of it it abuses the reward pool, or unhinges the cosmic alignment of the universe, or anything else, I don't know.

However, SBI has been everywhere. It's given out for certain placements on the Engagement League ran by @abh12345. It was the prize for @foodfightfriday's weekly contest (now they have a sponsor and give out STEEM). Between the two, and some others since SBI came into existence, I've been awarded or been given SBI.

At first, I declined. It felt awkward, seemed unappreciative (by me—I'm not sure how the others truly felt about it), and I even went as far to request someone at SBI to just give them to someone else if I should get them. Well, that proved not to be a very practical solution because then they would either have to figure out someone else to give it to, refund money, or something, which would be a pain.

In short, the SBI would be sent my way now and then, and after a while I gave up trying to redirect it.

Since that time, I see the upvote here and there. I'm not even sure it happens every time. As I said, I'm not into it, so I don't keep track.

Now, this user, their alt accounts and maybe a couple others were autodownvoting posts that SBI upvotes.

Can you see my issue with this? I hope so. I'll spell it out.

  • I'm not a fan of SBI.

  • I don't sponsor anyone for SBI.

  • I don't delegate to SBI.

  • I've rejected SBI in the past, potentially looking ungrateful in the process.

  • I only get SBI because it's been everywhere and I stopped trying to decline it.

  • It seems sporadic to me anyway, which is perfectly fine, and therefore, doesn't seem like anything to be concerned about, at least on my posts. If these upvotes on my posts are contributing to some kind of blackhole now created in the reward pool, the contribution is pretty small. I was going to say infinitesimal, but maybe it's slightly larger than that, and my vocabulary doesn't seem to have a ready word for slightly more than infinitesimal at the moment.

To Be Clear

My beef is not with SBI. Live and let live. I don't think it's the best way to go, but you know what, I understand the intent, and I applaud anyone who genuinely wants to help people, which I believe has been the case from what I know about the folks who have been sponsoring them on my behalf.

My beef isn't with dowvoting as a concept, either. I understand why some people think it's essential. I just think the execution of it, in too many cases, leaves a lot to be desired, because there's really no rules to it. And, too often, when someone is unhappy about being downvoted, for whatever reason, the general answer is, Well, it's not yours until payout, which is absolutely true, but we're all human beings, with feelings, with our own expectations, or own sense of quality and not, good and bad, right and wrong, etc.

More times than not, that leads to misunderstanding, confusion, negative emotions, and all of that tends to turn people off.

My beef isn't with autovoting per se, lest that be misunderstood. I prefer manual curation, believe it offers the most to post, author and thus the platform, because it goes beyond a set percentage vote every time. It tends to reward better posts, and it tends to lead to more engagement.

However, I understand that people want to reward folks who, by and large, publish up to their standard of what quality is. They don't have time to read everything, because, well, they have lives. So, I get it, now more than ever since I'm working.

I did mention the eleven hour day, right? That was preceded by two nine-plus hour days. Not complaining about the hours, just means less time on STEEM, and more tired when I'm trying to be coherent.

And you know what, my beef isn't really with this particular user. Even if I feel like they're approaching it wrong, and, that they themselves, by virtue of running a bidbot, have done some things many others weren't very happy about, and probably took flack for it, and would therefore be a little more sensitive to what others were doing since they thought they were perfectly within their rights.

So, Do You Even Have A Beef?

I don't know.

But I got derailed last night. I was going to post and I didn't. No one else's fault but mine. I'm a big boy. I can handle downvotes. It's reality until someone decides to not make it reality, which doesn't seem to be anytime soon, since there's also a post floating out there positing making downvotes anonymous, so, guess what, we won't have all these problems with downvoting.

Just for the record, at first blush, it doesn't sound like a good idea. I wanted to be clear on that.

I guess the main thing is, I don't like collateral damage. If you've got a beef with someone, great. Confine it to them. Leave everyone else out of it. I can't condemn anyone for doing things they genuinely think are beneficial, especially for others. But I can't condone actions that hit everyone every time, just because of receiving unsolicited SBI, or commenting on a post, or daring to agree with someone's unpopular opinion (even though you might vehemently oppose the next one).

This blind upvoting or downvoting is more detrimental than the cause they purport to fight or draw attention to, not because the cause is always unjust (they might be perfectly warranted), but because they don't seem to care about the consequences of their actions. Maybe that's not how they see it, which is also a problem.

I can only wish that life was either black or white, good or bad, etc. While I believe those hard and fast areas exist, I also know there's plenty of nuance, and more tactful ways of going about things. Using a bulldozer isn't one of them.

So, @mmmmkkkk311, et al, keep downvoting my posts that get hit by SBI, along with everyone elses. Keep thinking you're doing what's best for you, the reward pool and the blockchain.

I'm not going to try to remember to opt out of your autodownvoting every time I post or comment. Or whatever other solution you think I should do to negate what you're doing. Beyond the time it took to write this post, it's not worth it to me.

For what it is actually worth, I felt like I should draw attention to it, on my terms, on my own turf.

Do with it as you will.

Images source—GINABot on Discord, Steemit

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So you still ended up with good posting material even though you got thrown off by the downvoters, so they actually helped you by giving you another topic to discuss! I wish downvoting didn't even exist here.


Hey, @janton.

Well, if we're looking at the silver lining in all of this, yes, they gave me a topic that I didn't really want to write about, and most folks who commented didn't seem all that thrilled with the fact that I wrote it. :) Or at the very least, would have preferred I'd written whatever it was I had intended to write in the first place.

I agree. I think downvoting is largely misunderstood, and with some exceptions, not needed. I don't know how you handle the exceptions, but anyway.

In my mind, while I don't downvote, I in effect do it all the time since I'm not upvoting everything I see, obviously can't upvote what I don't see, and I'm not giving a 100% upvote to what I do upvote. Which is what most of us do, so really, we're allocating the rewards just fine without downvotes.


So you see them useful just in case someone is abusing the system or doing something unethical?


Well, unless Steemit is going to get rid of their initial delegation so the offending account can't function, there's really no other way to either discourage it in the case of someone who genuinely doesn't know that what they're doing is unacceptable, or to beat it down if someone is purposefully trying to take advantage of others.

Beyond that, though, I'd rather downvote by not upvoting. :)


Got it, me too!

Have a !BEER and ignore it.
The way Steem is set up unfortunately requires downvotes.
Some people are just happy to use every way possible to troll and downvotes are an excellent tool for that.

Posted using Partiko Android


Hey, @bluerobo.

Oh, I'm pretty sure I said I've said my piece. I do admit, though, I'm not good at ignoring things, unless it's a honeydo list. That I have practice at. :)

While I'm not a fan, downvoting isn't my issue. Downvoting everyone every time because someone thinks they're justified is the issue.

They're not the first, and they won't be the last, because of what you said about trolling.

The idea that I would have to add a tag so that I don't get hit by them when SBI comes along—that's particularly irksome. :)

Hey @glenalbrethsen, here is a little bit of BEER from @bluerobo for you. Enjoy it!

I think we all get them, downvotes I mean. I'm not sure if it really means much at all though. Forgetting about it and moving on seems a good idea though, which is what it seems you're doing. Get onto that post you mentioned at the top of this one, and give us all something awesome to read.


Hey, @galenkp.

Well, now I'm going to need to remember what that was. :)

I've been forgetting about and moving on a lot here. And yeah, it's helped to a degree. However, as I hope I outlined here, the issue isn't with downvotes per se, it's with blind downvoting, anything and everyone. The same could be said about upvoting, too.

I would expect downvotes if it had anything to do with my post. It didn't. It won't, because the user isn't curating them. :)


I hear you. It's going to happen though...Now...What was that other post about...Put your thinking cap on.


I remember!

Something about how dangerous motorcycles can be...

Okay, maybe that wasn't quite it. :)


Haha...My wife would thank you for that comment. I'm not sure I will though. 😆


Yeah. Couldn't resist. :)

I probably should take it over to your post, though. :)


I don't blame you, I would have done the same probably. 😆

I got multiple downvotes for my post yesterday too. I was annoyed. But what can I do right? So, I just brush it off and moved on. This platform is not perfect. I don't think it ever will be. For me, it's take it or leave it. No point working up a heart attack. 😊


Hey, Vincent.

Yep, very true. No need for a heart attack at all.

I think the platform in and of itself is better than what it ends up being used for, even if it could stand to have some things done to it.

I've been brushing off a lot of things. I guess I haven't quite brushed this one off yet, but other than answering whatever comments I might get, I think I've had my say. :)


It's good that you said what you said. Maybe someone will take notice and do something about it. Have a great weekend Glen. 😊

Oh what do you know downvotes LOL. He must have taken you off his auto-downvote. If he's got a beef with SBI fine and dandy let him. Where I have issue is the fact of him and his few 'bogus' accounts are even going after people and such that do not have any SBI. It is seemingly attacking others in relation to anyone that has SBI.

I refer to the accounts as bogus since they do not contribute to the quality or value of the platform. They are set up purely to 'cause harm' Any SP that are in those accounts are not rewards that account has earned it is simply allocated from some whale who wants to control the world.

The reason why I know it is automated is because I watched it on my most recent post. As soon at it went those 5 accounts went off. A curation post I have done through an well known account was hit by the same accounts. Any account I upvote gets the same. Sorry @glenbrethsen not upvoting today since I don't want you to be affected any more by this sorry excuse.

Yes I have SBI. Yes I actively award it due to weekly PIFC contest. I think of it more as an investment in someone. The gift that keeps on giving. Sure I could give that person 1 steem, but investing it in SBI gives them rewards that last longer. I am not for bidbots or vote buying. I can see why people feel SBI is that way. Ultimately it all comes out in the wash. I don't see skads of people becoming whales off of this. It is only hurting the little guy.

I have a HUGE issues with his downvoting accounts because I or anyone with SBI upvoted That is more hurtful to the person receiving the vote than me. Granted my 1100 sp is crap. It's my crap though. I worked for that crap.

So I am a bad person now that needs to abandon the platform because I have SBI? Since HF21 I get shit from curation auto or manual. I have been actively curating for the past 87 weeks. The last month has been my 'lowest' participation level since my little break after HF20. There has been absolutely no change in my curation payout. There should have been I did ALOT less manual upvoting. All my manual upvotes are at 100% most of my autovotes are at 50% which is higher than the norm. I have a couple accounts that I do autovote at 100% for specific reasons.

I don't go around calling people names, it's not my thing but this guy is a complete an utter idiot to think what he's doing is a good thing for the platform.


Hey, @tryskele.

I think we're in agreement, and you may have said it more succinctly than I did.

I didn't realize the accounts were downvoting to that degree. I thought you had to be getting SBI, not being upvoted by people who get SBI or delegate or sponsor SBI. Otherwise, I'd be hit all the time. And for me, that makes it worse than what I was already objecting to. :)

I don't think SBI has hit this post yet, though, so I doubt I'm off the radar that quickly. :)

I know you and others are trying to do good. That's why I ultimately gave up asking as politely as I could that someone else get the SBI. It didn't feel right taking it, and it didn't feel right saying no. Not a comfortable position to be in. After a while, though, I saw intent to do good, and not enough harm to actively oppose it.

It seems to me that there's been a lot of talk about reward pool abuse over the two years I've nearly been here, and yet, the reward pool still exists, people are still doing what they're doing, and STEEM rolls on.

Maybe everyone calling everyone else out about abuse for whatever reasons are all in the right and we're going to inevitably implode, but there is such a thing as crying wolf, and I afraid that's what I'm hearing with this blanket anti-SBI downvoting. :)


It seems to me that there's been a lot of talk about reward pool abuse over the two years I've nearly been here, and yet, the reward pool still exists, people are still doing what they're doing, and STEEM rolls on.

Perfect point on this. The only ones that truly complain about the reward pool are the whales. I don't believe any of this makes that big of a difference to warrant such action. It feels more like the bully on the playground. There is enough counter activity to squash his attempt and spread him so thin there is no way it could possibly matter. If anything it encourages those with SBI to post more and make his attempt at whatever he hopes to accomplish utterly pointless.

All of this makes me think 'if you used your powers for good instead of evil could you imagine what could be accomplished?'

You have a wonderful day @glenbrethsen.

My posts also were downvoted by this accounts. And I decided not to take in count them. If this downvoting brings any glory to this person let it be on his own mind and soul...

Posted using Partiko Android


Hey, @travoved.

That seems to be the growing consensus among all you commenters. Wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but that's okay.

As noted, the downvotes by the Steemit Defense League is ongoing, and also as noted, being downvoted for whatever reason is bound to happen.

The potential rewards lost is no big deal, and the effect on my reputation, for what that's worth, was nil. My objection is the belief that somehow some greater good is being served, when it's far more likely, it's only making it worse in other ways.

I doubt this problem will get much better. I don't know if it is possible but, it might be nice to have the option to totally ignore an account and thereby not get any votes either up or down, comments, blogs or other interaction with them. The "Ignore" should prevent them from seeing your account too. At least that would feel like something of a partial solution to all of these accounts that don't seem to be adding anything positive to the experience. In part, I think it is too easy for someone to setup an automatic process for downvoting that others can do nothing about. At least if we had an effective "Ignore" option they would have to work a lot more to start up new accounts. Also, it would help if Steemit did not allow new accounts to function just on their delegated funds that do nothing but downvote people. It is a tough subject to come up with good solutions to though.


Hey @litesplasher.

It is tough. There's a lot to consider, I think. We might get closer to it once communities roles out. I'm not calling it the end all of everything saying that, I just think we could be taking a step in the right direction with them.

It seems like Steemit has been pulling some of those delegations. I'm not sure how quickly they get to them, and they probably don't actively go over those who strictly downvote, since downvoting is allowed and encouraged, I would say.

Hmmm... I did sponsor you one SBI Share myself when I featured you in @pifc. I didn't know you hated the program. 🤔

Well, this is not the only guy creating havok with flags... but we already had plenty of problems with flags before the HF21. Why in the world did the Witnesses thought it was a good idea to make it worse, by giving Free Downvotes to everyone? I swear sometimes I feel that this network is being run by a bunch of incompetent kids.

I never agreed to these changes and I removed most of my Witness votes, to show my disagreement for the direction this Blockhain is heading. 😒


Hey, @trincowski.

I wouldn't say hate. As I said, I decided it was better to be gracious than come off ungrateful, so no worries. If it happens, it happens. Not going to stop participating in different contests or posting so I don't get SBI.

So, not a hater. Just a conscientious objector. :)

I did similarly with the witnesses, too, but now I'm not remembering if it was HF20 I did it for or HF21. Wasn't really happy with the direction of either one, though now, in retrospect, I'm better with HF20.

Who knows. Maybe HF21 will grow on me. The EIP has been fine so far, but we'll see how that continues to evolve. The thing that's not functioning as I would like is the SPS, and that was the one I was okay with pre-fork.

I think the blockchain itself, the things done under the hood, are all good. Making things cheaper, faster, etc., all good. It's the stuff on the surface, and then what people do with it, that can get me cranky. :)


If you get shares and don't want them you can always ask SBI to transfer them to


Hey, @thedarkhorse.

I'll keep that in mind. :)

What I don't like about this whole deal is that vigilantes tend to attract worse actors than they are.

I still believe the best fix for the down vote, is a forced comment by the down voter. I know people say the up voters don't need to comment, but that is a positive action, we do not as a society take actions against those that are doing positive things. A down vote is a negative action. The word salad people can say it is a positive thing for the block chain all the want, the block chain is not a living breathing individual. A down vote is a negative action, therefor they should be forced to leave a comment even if it is an auto formatted comment by the system in their name. (They being forced to leave a comment would be best however). Then the community can decide if the negative action was called for or not, more often than not the community will do what it does in real life and just ignore their negative actions, but some may actual respond back to the individual to try and adjust their manner of thought on the down vote.


Hey, @bashadow.

Well, someone will probably consider it comment spam if the downvoters autocomment, so how would forcing them to comment look like? It would have to happen as their downvoting, right? You downvote and it goes to a comment window and won't clear until a comment is made, maybe?

This is the issue I have with anything Reddit based in general, since it seems the idea is to become the Reddit of Crypto—upvotes and downvotes don't have any rewards attached to them. Things change, for better or worse, when rewards are involved.

From what I've been seeing from communities, maybe downvotes will become a thing of the past as everyone moves to their own SMTs and governance. And if that's too pie in the sky kind of thinking, maybe it'll be less misunderstood because there will be community rules, moderation to some degree, etc., instead of no rules at all, except the ones people make up and choose to enforce on others. :)


A small check box net to the reason for down vote. Then next to the select down vote arrow a input box, (drop down choices or not), requiring an entry even if it is rewards, abuse, spam, etcetera. If nothing is input then the application as soon as you click enter will auto enter based on the check box chosen, and one would need to be chosen for the down vote to go through. The bot people can automate their selections, but the important thing is that a comment would be left that is clearly visible that, @blahblahblah down voted this post for____a reason would be added based on the check box entry.

Right now the vast majority of down votes are hidden except for very large down votes, when a post receives more than 20 votes, it can be difficult to see if it received a down vote. I think the community should be able to see all the down votes on a post in plain broad daylight, not hidden behind a lot of other votes.

I think there is a lot more down voting going on than people want to be seen. So I doubt that my idea will ever see the light of day, especially since I have been mentioning it for over a year now off and on, in steemitblog post and other top level player post. The ankle biter down votes would be completely nullified on the first day. Their accounts would be like @berniesanders use to be at REP -16. But that would be bad for Steem if everybody could easily see the down votes.