Understanding Steem's Economic Flaw, Its Effects on the Network, and How to Fix It.

10개월 전

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I'm sure most users on this network have seen the same "vote-farming" and flagging dramas on Steem over and over again for the past year. It's not hard to see that a lot of users are doing this "vote-farming" thing, including the largest stakeholders on this platform. It just means the following under Steem's current economic model:-

  • Self-voting
  • Vote-selling
  • Vote-exchanging

Please keep in mind that all of these are economically equivalent. For example, I can sell my votes by delegating to a bidbot, or I can also achieve the same effect by using all my votes on my posts only, or give someone $X amount of votes to receive the same amount back. All of these actions are the same: vote-farming. Vote-farming at 100% just means using 100% of our votes only on ourselves. This is indeed the best move under the current economic model, which is fundamentally flawed, and a lot of users including whales are actually participating in it.

Anyone not participating in this activity will just be losing out BIG TIME over the months and years. Like I've said in my previous post, someone with the same amount of Steem Power (SP) as me in the beginning of this year is now already ahead by 50,000 SP just selling their votes, while my votes mainly went to curation while taking my time to post. So I'm not holding back as much anymore, and I'm playing the vote-farming game on my alt-account @etherpunk to keep up until Steemit Inc and the top witnesses decide that some of us are right about our diagnosis and proposal to fix the misaligned economy. An economic system is flawed when it relies on the altruism and sacrifice of some users.

The path of profit maximization is again, vote-farming at 100%. This means maximum profit with the least effort. If you think there's a risk of people flagging, sure it may happen. But over time, you'll come to understand that Steem's current economic incentives just makes flagging arbitrary, futile, and ultimately meaningless. Nobody will even bother flagging anything else other than outright fraud, theft, or just plain retaliation. You can put up 10 random one-sentence original posts a day and just vote yourself up all the time while even buying some extra votes for the ROI too. It's very likely that nobody will stop you these days. Even if someone does, they'd most likely be unable to sustain their flagging on your account over a long period of time, unless you're just pure evil. Bidbots also generally do not have high standards. How else are they going to remain competitive?

It's now a move that I actually encourage everybody to do. Vote-farming at 100%. Instead of selling votes, you can also avoid the middleman and just vote on your post all the time for the same effect with more profits. Now you might think: alright, so everybody just minds their business and do their vote-farming at 100%. Under this scenario, what's the actual point of the ~8% annual inflation on Steem which just goes back to the pockets of the voters? This is why I'm saying that anti-abuse initiatives are contradictory under the current economic model. We're fighting against the tide of incentivized spam and abuse. My as well just set Steem at 1% annual inflation without reward pool just to keep the network running, all while people post whatever they want as usual without voting.

The point is: Steem's economic incentives should be aligned to encourage allocation of inflation to contributions that benefit the platform. While it's impossible to design anything that encourages all SP holders to allocate 100% of the inflation to other contributors other than themselves, we can go for about 50%.

This is the proposal. The best way out of this situation is likely to:-

  • Increase curation rewards (50% is a good start)
  • Move away from pure linear and into something like n^1.3
  • Subsidize downvotes (cheaper downvotes, separated pool)

Doing so will make curation more likely as the economic incentives from doing so will have a better chance to outperform "vote-farming". This "hack" is really about giving people half of every votes given out under a curation game. Some of us have been saying this and repeating the same arguments for well over half a year, but not many seemed convinced at all. I hardly expect anyone who have only put in less than 20 minutes of thought is seeing the problem and solution clearly. But that's generally all the time most people have these days. Some of us have put in dozens if not hundreds of hours just refining our thoughts about this one single problem.

Some words about bidbots: the proposal above will simultaneously make the pricing for votes much less predictable than in a linear economy. It won’t kill the vote bidding business but just introduce some extra risk (which there’s essentially zero at the moment) which would end up being more like promotion with less ROI, so it wouldn’t serve as a bypass to the act of holding SP for more earning power. Yes, there's a leak here that needs to be patched up. More profitable curation services should also emerge after the proposed changes.

The proposal has non-trivial costs, but as @trafalgar says it, nothing is as costly as a completely broken content quality indifferent economic system for social media outlets. Remember there's nothing wrong with profit maximizing behavior, one should expect it. The problem is when we don't align it with the behavior we want that's best for the entire system. To further repeat the point, I'll copy and paste @trafalgar's words here as I think he generally explains the situation much better than I do:-

We currently have a system where stakeholders are incentivized to engage in content indifferent voting behavior (vote selling/self voting) to maximize returns. This completely defeats the protocol’s ability to foster engaging platforms that revolve around content discovery.

We need to move away from an economic system that makes it too costly to vote on work that stakeholders actually deem valuable if we want this place to survive.

  1. Upping curation rewards is an obvious answer, but by itself, it is easily circumvented. Bid bots can just offer to share most of the curation rewards. Self voters can spam hundreds of posts and just upvote the ones that were least voted on by others after 15 minutes to avoid others 'stealing' their rewards.

  2. Non linear should be seriously considered. Having reward amounts/SP that differ per post depending on its popularity is the core component of moving away from content indifferent voting behavior. Yes it has a cost, but the n^2 we were use to was far too steep. At n^1.3 (or any crude approximation of this), we should get most of the benefits at the lowest cost.

  3. Downvotes incentives should also be encouraged. Of course greater downvote incentives has downsides, but in combination with 1 and 2 above it should allow for curation rewards to out compete mindless vote selling/self voting.

Content indifferent behavior is the bane of this system. No social media platform can survive if it's unable to at least sort exposure and rewards by some subjective standard of quality.

Note that the 3 items in our proposal have been considered very carefully to cover all the angles so we can get out of the situation posed by Steem's current pure linear economy with low curation rewards and costly downvotes. Just implementing one item is likely not enough. We need 3 of them. But of course, we only want to achieve an intended effect, so any better implementation suggestions are welcome.

Also, suggestions like passive staking for investor-types so they don't influence the content voting and ranking, etc are flawed. The same problems will still happen since we'd still be under a pure linear economy with low curation rewards and costly downvotes. We'd just be reducing the reward pool here to be reserved for passive staking. The shrunken reward pool will then remain the be used in the same way, which is vote-farming, instead of content and curation.

It's my wish that more community members around here take notice about this problem and solution. If you're convinced, please make some noise about it. I've also written this about this a few times earlier this year. Some of us even wrote about it more than a year ago. The arguments and proposal remain to be in the same vein.

Please save Steem from all the unnecessary suffering and restore our sanity. We just need more users to stop running around headless, stop getting involved in senseless witchhunts under a flawed economic system, and instead seriously consider our specific problem statement and solution here. Some of us are really surprised that nobody at the top is onto this matter like an eagle over the past year.

It's a mistake to pin Steem's problems on culture and greed. Altruism and selfishness should be one and the same, which is what our proposal seeks to achieve in providing voters ample returns if they play the curation game instead of mindless vote-farming. The correct move then is in designing economic incentives to align profit maximization with activities that are good for the platform instead. It's as simple as that!

As always, thanks for reading.

Note: I want to make it clear there's nothing wrong with self-voting or selling your votes. It just has the potential to hurt the platform when there are no checks and balances in a flawed economy.


You can vote on your favorite witnesses here: https://steemit.com/~witnesses. I'm also running as one. If you trust in my choices for other witnesses, you can also set me as your voting proxy on that page.

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Great post Kevin, no surprise that I entirely agree as most of this has been covered from our private discussions

I just want to dispel a few common misconceptions that always seem to distort the conversation

  • MYTH - We have a problem of greed

Very few investors are in crypto to exercise altruism alone. Any successful economic system must assume all players wish to maximize their returns, then align behavior that add the greatest value with the highest rewards. Linear fails at this as it leads to content agnostic behavior gaining the highest rewards.

  • MYTH - This is a problem of culture

We had a relatively functional voting economy around this time last year, and despite this, we find ourselves in a complete failure of a content discovery platform today. Broken Window Theory - If we failed at changing the culture for the better when it was much easier to do so because people back then were generally behaving better, what hope do we have of doing it now that vote rewards don't track content quality at all? This isn't a problem of culture, it's purely about misaligned economic incentives.

  • MYTH - This problem is inherent to stake based voting

No it is not. Under certain conditions such as superlinear, the value of your vote can vary heavily depending on the popularity of the post on which you're voting. This means you can easily earn more curating potentially good content than voting your own posts up from 0. A combination of superlinear, additional downvote power and higher curation, as suggested, can likely allow content reflective voting behavior to out compete content indifferent behavior (eg. vote selling/farming).

  • Vote farming/Self voting don't provide the highest returns anyway - Irrelevant

You may be talking about tracking bid bot payments and/or known high self voters and getting your vote in beforehand to extract some fat curation rewards. Firstly, larger whales would not be able to do this due to the size of their votes, and therefore, the bigger votes on this platform which determine overall rewards and exposure are still going to be content indifferent. Secondly, once the market matures enough, it's trivially easy to avoid - larger voters can just spam multiple posts (hundreds perhaps) and only vote up the ones after 15 mins with the least curation 'stolen'.

  • SMTs and Good Person Tokens will solve this - Problematic View

Maybe. Don't get me wrong, I think SMTs are great. But they're 6 months away and in reality, it'll take far longer for any of them to garner sufficient market confidence to really play a role in the content discovery process. The use of Oracles also impose very high practical cost and a lot can go wrong in reality. Basically they're very far off and a lot needs to go right for them to work effectively. Something like n^1.3, 10% free downvotes and 50% curation is just a lot more direct and simpler and easier to implement. Ultimately we need the Steem base token to have a functional reward distribution too, not just SMTs, which are a big If.

  • Superlinear/Higher Curation/Stronger Downvotes are bad - BUT NOT AS BAD AS A FAILED PLATFORM

Yes all three of these suggestions have a non trivial cost. But compared to a completely dysfunctional content discovery and rewards system and they are very much worth exploring. The idea is to use just enough of these measures to tilt the scales of profit maximization behavior from content agnostic to content reflective and leaving behind as much as we can to incentivize content creators.

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I also support all of these changes. The current situation is not sustainable and I'm amazed how @ned has allowed the ecosystem to deteriorate to this point while still having his employees talk about "proof-of-brain" with straight face.

This is #1 issue facing us, has been for a year, some of us saw this coming, others are blind or just happy with the short term profits that will kill this project as a whole.

What I would like to see is have all top witnesses gather and talk about this, perhaps we can put forward something without the need of Steemit Inc, leaving them to focus on SMT's if they so desire. We need to fix this ASAP.

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the ecosystem to deteriorate to this point while still having his employees talk about "proof-of-brain" with straight face.

lmao I also find it funny how people create new words in this new industry

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So far this post and these arguments have won me over onto the side of we need to hard fork and change the economics. While we could wait until 2019 I really do not think it is good for the health of the platform to do this. I do not know of SMTs will come too late so it might be better to make these changes now.

For instance Ethereum knows when it's time to make a change. They are reducing their mining reward because they know there is a problem. Why can't Steem? At this point I don't see any content producer benefiting or winning in the current economic situation. Show me if there are any who aren't simply self upvoting or buying votes who are succeeding? In 2017 some were succeeding by the rules of the game but now there doesn't seem to be that possibility for anyone.

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yes, I think there's a lot of noise in the debate that's adding to the confusion because they're not framing the problem correctly. The problem is this:

With linear and 25% curation, we have a system that rewards content indifferent voting behavior 4x more than good voting behavior that somewhat reflects content quality. This leads to a complete failure of a content discovery and rewards platform which is our initial mission.

The solution is to introduce any alternative economic rewards system that can completely close this gap so that good voting behavior can out compete brainless voting in terms of returns. Every measure I can think of has a cost - superlinear, x% free downvotes, higher curation % etc.

The idea is to use a combination of these measures to as little an extent as possible to minimize costs while still having it sufficient to break the current equilibrium of content agnostic voting behavior. We believe n^1.3, 50% curation, 10% free downvotes are roughly the right numbers, but are open to any other alternative suggestions.

I think it's at least important for people to consider the framing of the problem and see if they agree we hit the nail on the head there. At least this way we don't start off lost in confusion which is what's happening most of the time.

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Why n^1.3,? That seems like an arbitrary magic number. Why not n^2? The only thing I know is Steem isn't working. It seems entirely broken now while in the past it seemed inefficient but not entirely broken. It used to be that once in a while I would discover really interesting content but this happens less and less often.

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It's arbitrary to an extent, maybe 1.2 or 1.25 is ok too, maybe we need to go higher

The benefits of superlinear in a nutshell: forces all profitable voting behavior into the light (wack a mole with 1 hole), disincnetivize profit based spamming and micro voting, make it more difficult for bid bots to accurate place a price on votes and hence increase the cost of content indifferent behavior, helps make good curation more competitive in terms of returns. It basically helps prevent certain abuse and effectively reflects the wisdom of the crowds.

But n^2 is far too extreme. There are detriments to these measures. If superlinear is too high it entices collusion between whales to pile onto a certain posts to exploit exponentially larger rewards. Someone with 10x your SP at n^2 means their vote counts for 100x more starting from 0, so it's highly unfair and favors larger voters too much.

At n^1.3 (maybe with a linear tail like the nike sign), someone with 10x your SP has a vote around 20x. It's sort of a balance that hopefully provides most of the benefits of n^2 at a fraction of the cost in inequality. Exploitation is further deterred by the 10% free downvotes (which of course itself can lead to toxic behavior too).

That's what I mean by using the least 'damaging' set of measures that is sufficient to break the current economic equilibrium of content indifferent voting. All these measures have downsides, we use as soft a touch as possible that is still strong enough to break down the 4x advantage that bad voting currently has over good voting.

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What about creating a test system, using genetic programming, to find the best possible number ? Yes I know you'll think I'm crazy. Maybe I get a chance to explain at Steemfest3 if you'll be there

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With @steemflagrewards supported well enough you can get a return on downvoting, no need to change anything except the non-use of the bot.

This keeps a human on the paid for downvoting switch, too.

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increase the cost of content indifferent behavior


The key phrase which stood out from everything you said. You should do a blog post just on this phrase. How can we find ways to increase the cost of content indifferent behavior?

Because you are good at communicating this, we need more blog posts so people can grasp what you're saying. I haven't studied this enough to have much ideas to contribute yet but I'm beginning to think about it.

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I agree, @kevinwong and @trafalgar should start pushing this initiative forward together and gather support, I personally am willing to support only those witnesses that support these changes. This madness has been going on for far too long.

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8 months ago I went on a tirade about how Steem needs to adapt to maximize utility. At the time I wrote the post I did not have a plan for how Steem could do it. I knew Steem was broken even back then.

Steem needs to focus on maximizing utility
This is the key take away, that the problem right now with Steem is that it isn't effectively maximizing utility. In other words the value in terms of how much happiness we get per unit of value we put into it is unfavorable for all participants at this time. In particular, those who buy Steem Power support the ecosystem and the utility they get from the system isn't high enough.

Many people will state that Steem is about making the world better. My response to these people is that the method of making the world better is through utility maximization. If every unit of value spent produces greater utility then everybody wins. The satisfied customers who buy Steem Power will have a reason to keep buying Steem Power. The producers of content who are genuinely talented at producing content will be encouraged by the rewards to keep producing content. Those who find out they aren't so good at doing that anymore will have ways to add value that we cannot yet imagine through SMTs. The point and fundamental concept behind it all is utility maximization, as that is the key to actually leveraging Steem to make the world better (as measured by utilitarianism).

Please note that I'm not an economist. I haven't studied economics. I know only the basics. But from what I do know about these basics the core of capitalism, of business, is the satisfaction of the customer. If the users of your product are not satisfied then you have to change your product.

So if the economics aren't working at all toward maximization of utility then the economics have to be changed. @trafalgar has presented a list of changes worth exploring. I think @kevinwong has also suggested a similar list of changes. I think we should consider these changes and what is there to lose by implementing them?

At this point we have a broken incentive structure. It's seemingly not working for anyone. Even if these new ideas make it slightly less broken it is still an improvement over completely broken.

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With n2 rewards, downvoting a post with 25% of it's upvote weight would halve it's payout = cheap downvotes.
At superlinear, discounted downvoting is built in; which was the whole point in the first place.
50% curation, n2 rewards.
All the stuff that wasn't broken originally, but got fixed anyway.
We don't need to fix the incentives, we need to unbreak them.

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I'm concerned that any superlinear reward scheme will shift the reward balance even more towards the biggest whales and bid-bot-runners, it also shifts the balance further towards the more popular authors and away from the less-known authors.

Even now I'm often finding myself in a curationists dilemma - should I participate in the Keynesian beauty contest and give my upvotes to the most popular authors (maximizing my curation rewards), or should I send some rewards to some less-known people that actually posts good-quality-content?

I do have people in my feed that earns significant on each post they make, no matter the quality of the post. I have unfollowed one of them because I found myself quite disgusted of the high reward/quality he got on his posts (and, of course also because I didn't see much quality in his posts). The best way to gain curation rewards is to place carefully timed auto-votes on the most popular authors.

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"At this point I don't see any content producer benefiting or winning in the current economic situation."

If the only metric considered is economic, then only economic undertakings are considerable in analyzing success. I have attained much success at engagement and gaining insight through the criticisms of better minds of my thoughts, and this is far more valuable to me than some dollars, or Steem.

For social media and UX like Steemit to actually succeed at changing the world, other metrics that are more important than mere money must be considered. It is the focus on stake and stake-weighting, a legacy of indoctrination imposed by banksters whose hoarding of wealth produces much of the misery of the real world, that has engendered many of the extant problems regarding Steemit rewards.

I reckon that better understanding what is really valuable to us will make fixing the economic distortions effected currently via extant rewards mechanisms far more doable, by relegating money to it's rational place in our value hierarchy. As long as economic factors are the only considerations, we will be unable to rectify our societal values with rewards mechanisms.

Thanks!

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If the only metric considered is economic, then only economic undertakings are considerable in analyzing success. I have attained much success at engagement and gaining insight through the criticisms of better minds of my thoughts, and this is far more valuable to me than some dollars, or Steem.

Money is the language of markets. This is not going to change. The only way we have which is universal to quantify demand is how much people are willing to pay for something. We need this feedback loop.

The fact is, in the regular world rent and tax are priced in money. So you will not be able to pay your electric bill to blog or mine crypto if it didn't generate enough money for your business operation to be sustainable (not even profitable).

For social media and UX like Steemit to actually succeed at changing the world, other metrics that are more important than mere money must be considered. It is the focus on stake and stake-weighting, a legacy of indoctrination imposed by banksters whose hoarding of wealth produces much of the misery of the real world, that has engendered many of the extant problems regarding Steemit rewards.

Outdated ideology is in your post. There is no such thing as "hoarding wealth". To read that would imply wealth is zero sum and the pie is fixed. I do not see this in the latest economic text books or anywhere so where do you get the idea that wealth isn't being created? Here is how it's created...

The people who have, who were here before you, who are your elders or seniors, or mentors, are the people who you must provide services to. People have wants and needs and by supplying these they will reward you. This is the most basic element of how a service economy works. No one has everything and most people have something to offer.

What this means is that each new person who joins the network brings more wealth to the network based on what they have to offer to the network. The whales cannot hoard wealth unless they don't want anything from anyone else on the network in which case the network has a low utility to the whales. Provide higher utility and the wealth will grow regardless of whales.

The fact is there will never be perfect equality. It's not natural. Some by way of luck are born with more than others. Some work their way up from almost nothing. The people who work their way up in Steem for the most part had to create wealth in the process of doing it. They had to provide some value to some of the people to get upvoted. If you're talking about whales who were grandfathered in from pre-Steem launch then you would have a point there.

The founders do have quite a bit more Steem than everyone else and things could be better but the point is wealth should grow not simply be redistributed. Growing the pie is better than re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Other metrics than money which matter:

  • Followers
  • Total upvotes received
  • Ratios (posts to followers or posts to upvote)

It's not just the money which determines for the blogger the growth of their content producing. It's other metrics too but the point is money is what allows for sustainable content production. It's what makes everything else possible.

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I appreciate your substantive and responsive reply. You well note other metrics that do affect folks using Steem based social media, in addition to considering how economic rewards are essential to such UX. I do not disagree that financial rewards are key to Steemit's success, but am trying to point out, in my labored, dull-witted way, that the key goals of such media, and the people using them, aren't financial alone, and only considering financial metrics isn't sufficient to reach those non-economic goals.

It is the disconnect between the financial aspects of such UX and other goals that produces the disaffection of those that are unable to define success in any other way than economically, at least in part. SOC (SMTs, Oracles, and Communities) will enable various mechanisms of accounting and rewarding users, and I hope some that better reflect actual people's goals eventuate. One metric I can presently gauge only by the seat of my pants is engagement and insightful criticism, and this is actually my chief aim on Steem, rather than money. The ability to post things that aren't popular (censorship resistance) is another key metric/purpose of blockchain based social media.

I do not see how only tweaking financial metrics can effectively forward these other ends folks have hereabouts, and suspect that such sole focus produces only new loopholes for those who are focused on economics alone, and concentrating such Steem as they can in their accounts. For example, tweaking curation rates can be gamed no matter what the rate is. Non-economic goals of curation, such as discovering new ideas, seeing obscure art or pictures, fall by the wayside then. Tweaking other metrics, like how many new photo blogs were upvoted each week (just a metric off the top of my head that doesn't involve money - not a recommendation) and how they are acknowledged, may encourage better curation without playing financial whack-a-mole.

Thanks!

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amazing response!

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Aaaarghl ! I can't believe this ! Yet again I find myself fully aligned with @valued-customer ! :-D

Yes ! That is the key ! The "utility maximization" - utilitariansim of @dana-edwards and before him, Jeremy Bentham, is mostly right, to about 80%

But it's not enough, as John Stuart Mill has realized over the course of his philosophical journey

Mill did not reject utilitarianism as thoroughly as his contemporary Thomas Carlyle, who argued that only pigs would view the seeking of pleasure as the foundation of all ethics. Instead, Mill qualified it. Unlike Bentham, who thought that pushpin, a board game, was “of equal value with...poetry”, he maintained that some sorts of pleasure were superior to others. He denied that these nuances meant he was no longer a utilitarian at all. What may at first seem a purely virtuous act that engenders no immediate pleasure—being true to your word, say—may eventually come to seem essential to well-being.

We need an overlay of about 20% social values on top of the "utility maximisation", as a guiding light.

Utility maximization and "social rewards" that cannot be quantified, such as "The ability to post things that aren't popular (censorship resistance)" are not contradictory, quite the opposite, they can complement and strengthen one another, with enough thought.

It's not going to be simple, but it's largely worth it! We are building a whole new world here

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The idea is to use just enough of these measures

In that case, we can start with just improved downvoting, and see if that is enough. An awful lot of these discussions go:

  1. Such-and-such (self-voting, bid bots, paid votes, etc.) is profitable but anti-social
  2. If you do that you may get downvoted
  3. Not a real concern; nobody downvotes because its too expensive.

Let's try addressing that first and then see we'll see what other non-trivial costs, if any, need to be incurred.

To add some color where I stand on this, I'm absolutely in favor of higher curation (possibly higher than 50% but certainly at least 50%) and moderately against superlinear (but could probably be talked into some version of it). However, I'm fairly certain that no structure without better downvote incentives will work and not at all certain that downvotes alone are not enough to solve most if not all of the problem. So I would say let's try the simpler and in some ways less contentious approach of much cheaper downvotes first and see how that works out.

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@steemflagrewards is paying a return for downvoting,...
Just tag the bot, list the abuse from their list, and get an upvote bigger than your flag.
I've been doing it for months.

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That works on a small scale and I applaud whoever is altrustic enough to be responsible for that, but it wont scale up to address system-wide issues.

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@smooth,

That works on a small scale

It certainly does. The most significant limitation to scaling currently is simple bots SP although we have received much help as of late as more become aware of our work. We would like to reward as many good flags as possible to help realign the culture of Steem to that which is conducive to growth. We have curbed undesirable behavior on numerous instances of which I have been trying to bring your attention.

I am currently designing a incentive solution for our moderators who spend much time reviewing and approving flags and, this is the first time I have revealed this, but will also have another role instated to QC the mods by reviewing a sample of approvals.

Furthermore, we are preparing to deploy a front end to streamline our approval mechanism as Discord has proven to be quite cumbersome. I understand your concern with the widespread nature of abuse but, the fact of the matter is, we ARE scaling to address the problem.

It is a continuous process of improvement via open source collaboration and the building of a cohesive and decentralized abuse fighting community.

But wait, there's more. In Billy May's voice

The next phase will be to launch and SMT which will grant access to our future flag fighting toolset and help power the bot. We are seeking alternative means of funding but, even so, you and I both know your support could be decisive. If you'd just give a chance, I am 100% positive you will be pleased with the results and it most assuredly would not go to waste like the below example.

I already have a subset of the functionality being developed but it's barebones at the moment. For example, an interactive outgoing or incoming downvote report generation tool which can using account history produce a CSV report and a timeframe may be specified.

One possible use case is in the initiation flag rewards campaigns, my "trademark" tool which has proven effective in multiple occasions. The technique has been used on SBD giveaway style vote farming, bid bot abusers, plagiarists, collusive voters etc etc.

Here's a little demonstration of the sort of data I have been collecting.

To put things in perspective, this is what our system is responsible for in the last 7 days with roughly 10 k SP.

Ultimately, we will be producing a robust and comprehensive set of techniques, tactics and procedures and tools to increase the probability the course of abuse at all levels and broadly will be an unprofitable venture.

I do understand that with your @burnpost initiatives, if I am understanding correctly, you intend to reduce rate of inflation and, for this reason, if I recall, you were apprehensive to support any flagging initiatives that involved upvotes like ours.

What if I told you that we could also help you reduce the rate of inflation. We have an account that we have been trying to build up for that purpose and, if you would like for us to flag under strict parameters. We are happy to oblige. We have plenty of abuse to go around with all the eyes we have on the blockchain. Furthermore, we aren't as limited in scope as SC.

Whether it is a downvote only account to neutralize vote farmer that are constantly devaluing our tokens or a flag and burn initiative, I am glad to help. Just let me know.

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Is that to say that a million redfish cant have an impact on newbs abusing the pool?
Folks are warned not to bite off more than they can chew.
Leave the big abuse to the whales.
Is crowdsourcing negative curation futile?

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Maybe not futile, hard to say that something can't ever work. But uphill battle though. Look how much stake is delegated to bidbots and then look how much is delegated to more productive uses. Usually, money talks.

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If i could pull that data my critiques could be that much more insightful.

The battle is for the customers.
If flagging pays as well as self voting why pay a middleman, and/or look like a jerk?

This battle can only be won when the masses refuse to play the bid bot game.
We are winning that battle, vote volume is 1/3 off the peak.
I bet they still get 25 to 30% of the pool, though it has been awhile since that number was given to me.

Maybe they can get some burn post delegation to attract more users and to speed up the bot votes,...

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Yes I remember you were broadly in favor of 2/3 when I first mentioned these solutions in chat around 7 months ago. I'm glad we agree on this much

I doubt I can convince you of the benefits of slight superlinear, but I'm going to try.

I feel that it's the centerpiece, or at least as important as the other two measures listed here. At the heart of what favors content indifferent voting in terms of profit maximization is that vote/sp is identical (roughly speaking) irrespective of where it's cast. Variation in reward for any given sp weighted vote is crucial to making it more difficult to mindlessly price votes for bid bots, favor good curation more, and generally helps content reflective voting behavior to out-compete content indifferent behavior.

It has the added benefit of forcing all profitable posts/comments into the light as rewards will likely need to be substantially high before they're 'profitable'. Similarly, it'll likely get rid of a decent amount of profit based comment spam as low payouts are generally not worth the vote invested.

The curve can really be quite mild, maybe lower than n^1.3. It can even have a linear tail to prevent some form of large scale collusion among whales to pile on etc. Remember, ultimately the idea is to come up with a set of economic incentives that will allow individual voting behavior that provides the greatest returns to be not content agnostic, and therefore, add value to the protocol by having it actually function as a content discovery platform. I feel that with only greater downvote incentives alone in the form of X% separate downvotes, it won't be sufficient as there's still a risk to casting a downvote but no direct individual reward. Enticing it further would probably have the downsides of toxicity outweigh it's benefits.

'The idea is to use just enough of these measures...' I should clarify my statement here. I meant as most potential measures (superlinear, downvote incentives, higher curation) all have a cost, it's perhaps preferable to use a combination of different measures to a smaller extent than fewer measures to a greater extent. I can't prove it outright but I think that's less costly to the system overall.

I think for projects that truly require a linear token, that's the perfect place for SMTs.

You're one of the most intelligent witnesses Smooth, and I wish we saw more eye to eye on this. Again I'll take 2/3 over nothing. But I just can't shake the feeling that if we keep linear, it'll always be an avenue that's subject to abuse no matter what other economic disincentives we build around it.

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Downvoting (if not crippled) already introduces the necessary non-linearity in my view. It functions as a form of consensus-finding much like superlinear, without the flaw that larger stakeholders (and/or larger groups of stakeholders) can collude to take more than their fair share. It does exactly what you say in terms of e.g. bidbots because bidbot posts that attract downvotes would lose a share of their rewards and NOT receive a linear payout.

It is much less subject to abuse (including by bidbot-like schemes, which could easily gain under superlinear) because you can only push rewards non-lienarly away from non-consensus payouts, but can't push them toward yourself (directly or indirectly).

I feel downvoting is just a better solution to this exact problem, but if it is given a serious try and doesn't work then I'd be more open to reconsidering superlinear. Though, still, I'm skeptical it would just introduce/reintroduce more problems. Perhaps a bit more superlinearity at the low end (to prevent dust farming) that transitions to linear as the rewards become significant would be okay.

I think for projects that truly require a linear token, that's the perfect place for SMTs.

I'd actually say the opposite. Superlinearity with stake weighting will always be perceived as unfair (and for good reason in my view). In the case of SMTs with uniform voting, superlinearity could be a better fit (though I still expect would be abused). Likewise SMTs might serve some subcommunity where the cultural context makes the lack of 'fairness' not a problem or even an advantage (pure speculation here).

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I do support free downvotes (what reggae said in chat is what we meant by 10% free downvotes, although he calls for 20%)

But I can give you a fairly good reason of why I think X% free downvotes (X% separate pool) itself is insufficient

Recall that I believe we're in this mess because under the current economic incentives, content indifferent voting out competes content reflective voting in terms of rewards.

Now how would the rational selfish actor behave with these new free downvotes? Well rationally, they're not rewarded for them regardless of how accurate they are and open themselves to retaliation, which have received a concomitant reduction in cost. You may argue that it's in everyone's best interest for us to use our free downvotes wisely, but if we could cooperate like that, we could make linear and 25% curation work as it's to everyone's detriment that we all engage in content indifferent behavior. Yet here we are.

Essentially, downvotes alone won't get you there because you're not rewarded individually more for being an outstandingly accurate downvoter like you would be when in comes to upvoting (in a functional ideal curation economy). That is to say, downvoting won't get you the price discovery features that upvoting brings which is what it would take for your above statement to hold true.

In practice, I don't think people are as rigid as I just outlined, and I think downvotes would for the most part be used wisely especially if we enable them to be delegated. The cost of retaliation would generally be a lot lower than, say forfeiting 75% of your returns, which is what the price of good voting behavior is currently. That's why I support them with other measures.

Alone, they're insufficient, with 50% curation, maybe it'll work out, with slight superlinear, the chances are best.

Still, the benefits of slight superlinear cannot be understated, and I feel its detriments are exaggerated. People are really suffering from n^2 PTSD. n^1.2-n^1.3 should give us most of the benefits at a fraction of the cost. To say that all forms of superlinear are bad because n^2 didn't work out is like concluding all forms of inflation is crazy because 100% hyperinflation was mental.

Overall 2/3 might work. But I truly feel most are wrong with respect to the benefit/cost ratio of slight superlinear. Without which the numbers probably need to be pushed a little higher...

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You may argue that it's in everyone's best interest for us to use our free downvotes wisely, but if we could cooperate like that, we could make linear and 25% curation work as it's to everyone's detriment that we all engage in content indifferent behavior. Yet here we are.

I don't find the situations analogous at all. Altruistic or socially-optimal voting under the current system has an obvious and huge immediate cost, so it is a pretty easy to expect it to be heavily disfavored under the current system. To cooperate and sustain it would be a huge effort with large coordination cost.

By contrast, free downvotes have very little direct cost. There might be some retaliation, but that also might be implausible (if someone is downvoted by 5 or 10 different voters, are they going to retaliate against all of them; vote power limits alone might make this impossible). It is far more likely to expect that some altruistic or non-myopic self-interest to kick in there, when the cost is much lower, the way it does when people make small (positive) edits to wikipedia and such.

I would agree it may not be sufficient, but I don't think it is clear it is insufficient just because it isn't directly rewarded and therefore perfect game theory might suggest ignoring the option altogether. Though to be perfectly mathematically precise, if you have any active content eligible for a payout, downvoting does benefit you, however slightly, and likewise, long term good-of-the-platform considerations also benefit you, if also slightly. Again, it is more likely to expect these considerations to matter when they aren't offset by a huge direct cost. After all, it doesn't cost much to physically click downvote if you don't like something, as people do millions of times per day without any incentive on reddit, etc.

BTW, I do think downvoting (assuming it happens a reasonable amount, which is uncertain; see above) brings price discovery, not directly, but via its effect on upvoters. That's precisely non-linearity in action. Upvotes have more 'oomph' if they don't get downvoted, just as they would have more 'oomph' if combined with other upvotes (or, at least, more stake) in a superlinear upvoting system. So people upvoting who want their votes to have maximum value (either for curation or reward purposes), a natural desire, need to consider what is more or less likely to be downvoted. That brings price discovery. In the extreme case, if you upvote for N rshares and get downvoted for N rshares your vote then has no value at all. That's clearly inefficient and unprofitable voting you would prefer to avoid.

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I feel we've fallen into the trap of narcissism of small differences.

I did concede that in practice this is less likely later in my comment which you covered in your first two paragraphs above. Whatever differences of opinion we have regarding downvotes are relatively academic and negligible in practice. I support X% free downvotes.

The conversation in chat with the group was, perhaps unsurprisingly, not too constructive. Right now we have an economic system that rewards content indifferent behavior 4x more than voting behavior that's beneficial for the platform. Maybe adopting 2/3 of our measures is sufficient to turn this around if superlinear is out of the question.

Ideally I think it's better to have a system that still leaves enough to incentivize authors and I think something similar to our proposal can get us there. Failing that, 100% curation which you proposed or no inflation rewards other than paying witnesses (they're similar in some ways, obviously not identical) might be entertained. This basically will be like reddit, where there's no rewards so no incentive to act dishonestly, but with a crypto wallet attached. I think this isn't great but it could work.

I'm reluctant to try this path without at least a serous attempt at making this place work as it was initially intended. I don't consider hyperinflation, n^2, 25% curation, linear very serious attempts. But of course, it's not up to me, thanks for your time.

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narcissism of small differences

I'm not sure that discussing small differences is narcissism, but I agree with the core message there. Clearly we agree on most of this voting incentives issue and have agreed on most of it since the first discussion of it (several months ago). It is the people who don't agree with it to the same extent or at all who are getting in the way of something being done, not you or me.

hyperinflation, n^2, 25% curation, linear very serious attempts.

BTW, I'm not sure if you are aware but the original policy mix was hyperinflation, n^2, 50% curation. The switch from 50% to 25% was very foolish and I disagreed with it at the time. The 3-1 ratio to overcome is terrible regardless of the curve.

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The downvoting feature should be disabled - not strengthened.

Work on better reward schemes, not arbitrary punishment features.

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There probably isnt a better reward scheme that doesn't involve downvotes. Even with downvotes it isn't clear there is a scheme that will work well, but that is the best chance.

Anything that lets people push rewards toward themselves and/or their conspirator is likely exploitable. Downvoting works because it doesn't allow doing that, only pushing rewards away from a particular point and scattering them to the rest of the community.

To strengthen the system we must weaken the individual actors.

On the matter of disabling downvoting, I had an idea to do exactly that, but not for the reason you probably would like. My idea is to disable downvotes and watch the system collapse (worse than it already is). Then, perhaps, people would learn an increased respect for the value of downvotes.

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Weakening the individual lessons the incentive for individuals to invest here.

Less investment means lower price.

This is the exact same reasoning behind Marx's failed ideology. And it will fail for the exact same reason.

All systems are ultimately wealth creation vehicles for individuals. Lessen the ability for individuals to earn, and they will support a different coin with better economics.

The better one is able to reward an individual, the stronger the community.

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Weakening individual voters from unilaterally directing rewards does not weaken the ability of individuals to earn, in fact it probably strengthens it. The reward pool is short term zero sum. It always goes to someone.

We don't need to get into Marxist ideology to see that people voting for themselves (either directly or via obfuscation schemes which accomplish the same thing) does not accomplish anything productive for either the individual or the community. It is a dog chasing its tail. It is like going into business and then going out the back door of the store, walking around to the front and walking in as a customer. Pointless.

The way to earn in a non-Marxist sense is to offer something of value and then have actual customers (i.e. other than yourself) want to buy it. Translating that back to Steem, post something of value and then have other people vote for it. Since we can not prevent self voting (people can always do it through other accounts or obfuscation schemes), the only way for the system to reward actual value is to have other people to identify non-value and object to it earning rewards. There is no other way.

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A downvote isn’t “punishment.” Some people may use it that way, but it is essentially just a disagreement from one stakeholder on how rewards have been allocated by other stakeholders.

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You are a veteran member. You know that's not the purpose of downvotes in the original paper. It's to vote against things that are otherwise offensive and you want to save other people from seeing it.
Downvoting based on reward smacks of envy or banker's haircuts .

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Good lord!

Even more reason to get rid of the downvote in todays environment.

It wouldnt take much much of a stake for the same group that are responsible for FB and Twitter taking down conservative, freedom, and anarchist sites to completely censor Steem.

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Except...a downvote doesn’t “censor” anyone on Steem. It is only an interface function that hides posts and comments when they are into negative rewards or reputation. Other interfaces that are not Steemit don’t hide such posts and comments.

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"Variation in reward for any given sp weighted vote is crucial to making it more difficult to mindlessly price votes for bid bots, favor good curation more, and generally helps content reflective voting behavior to out-compete content indifferent behavior."

This is absolutely true, but this only regards economic incentives.

I note that our interests aren't merely economic, and neglecting other metrics precludes competence at effecting other rewards that are more valuable than money.

I keep hammering on this point because I am confident that only by considering those more valuable aspects of society can we resolve economic imbalances caused by only considering economic factors. Finance is integral to society, but it is not the only metric that matters. Failing to use other metrics forces economic metrics to primacy, and thus profiteering is unavoidable, as when only economic metrics are considered, only financial profit matters.

I note that problems sought to be resolved involve non-economic factors, and those factors must be valued and rewarded to rationally address those issues. Effecting non-financial rewards is necessary to achieve non-financial goals. There are other valuable considerations, such as friendship, content quality, and societal felicity, that are necessarily exchanged in social interactions. Proposing only economic functions as solutions precludes successfully aligning the economic aspect of social media with the actual value of society.

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At the heart of what favors content indifferent voting in terms of profit maximization is that vote/sp is identical (roughly speaking) irrespective of where it's cast.

We need to get out of the pure "dollar term reasoning", think outside the box, bring in a second dimension, a second yardstick, that is what makes us human and not cold calculating machines

We need to come together and create communities around shared values. A set of shared values inspire human behaviour even in the absence of economic incentives (see religion and ideologies).

We need to start a series of thriving, vibrant steemit "passions" as there are already examples around "open source software" (@utopian-io) or "science" (@steemstem)

Mini societies that curate based not on the financial reward but on their own internal, subjective value system

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  • We have a problem of greed
    Greed is good. Greed is not just about money ... life, love ect. (hint: people are into crypto to make $$$)
  • This is a problem of culture
    I disagree, name me another crypto that does or encourages even half the betterment initiatives that steem has
  • Subsidize downvotes (cheaper downvotes, separated pool)
    Worst idea for the long term growth of this platform. This would only encourage more censorship
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So in your view things are perfectly fine the way they are? That's a fair point of view but clearly you disagree with the poster on this.

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Not even close to perfectly fine. I have some strong ideas for Steem's long term growth but I plan on getting a much larger stake before I start marketing both my ideas and steem. I expect to be a buyer as steem flushes over the next couple of months. I am targeting December of this year to start. I think steem has a chance to be bigger than Bitcoin.

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We need to align the incentives better, there's no question about it. The greed will adapt. I'd love to curate more, but the system is built that way that I'm losing out on short term while doing so ( long term we're all fucked probably, doesn't take a genius to figure that out ). That's not the Steem I was promised, not at all.

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Downvoting doesn't provide incentive for people to do anything. Punishing bad behavior isn't as effective as encouraging good behavior. Bad behavior corrects only after people made the mistakes.

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The goal isn't to punish, it is to shift incentives system-wide (not even particularly for the individual being downvoted, though they are obviously included in the system-wide incentive). It is possible with stronger downvotes that you still don't get much downvoting, because people understand they need to avoid content agnostic and otherwise non-value-adding activities (they would attract downvotes and therefore waste vote power, so people don't do them).

Without downvoting there is always too much incentive for people to vote for for themselves or a conspirator based on individual value extraction.

In the case of Steem specifically, there is something else going on here because the pool is by defintion short-term zero sum. When you downvote and shift rewards away from something you don't believe deserves them, you are shifting those rewards toward other earners who (at least by comparison) do deserve them. The encouraging of good behavior occurs there when the rest of the users–the ones not being downvoted–are able to receive rewards.

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But if there is only more downvoting how does that increase quality?

because people understand they need to avoid content agnostic and otherwise non-value-adding activities (they would attract downvotes and therefore waste vote power, so people don't do them).

Why would a bot or army of bots producing low quality content care if some downvotes happen?

In the case of Steem specifically, there is something else going on here because the pool is by defintion short-term zero sum. When you downvote and shift rewards away from something you don't believe deserves them, you are shifting those rewards toward other earners who (at least by comparison) do deserve them.

In the case of plagiarism and certain instances you are right. But I've seen accounts get downvoted out of personal vendetta, out of anger for a person who did something the downvoter viewed as immoral (sometimes not even on the Steem platform) etc. So it's not used in the way you say it would be used.

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But I've seen accounts get downvoted out of personal vendetta

These anecdotes will absolutely happen just as all forms of trolling and abuse will happen. Should we shut down comments because people with unvented hostility or a vendetta will sometimes post "Fuck you, cunt"? I think not. Likewise we can not dismiss or downplay the necessary role that downvotes play in peer-review. There is literally nothing else in the entire system that differentiates between quality and value add on the one hand and self-enrichment on the other. Only downvotes can do that.

But if there is only more downvoting how does that increase quality?

Nobody is suggesting only downvoting. There will still obviously be upvoting. It just won't pay to upvote non-value-adding self-enrichment (because it can easily be downvoted). Better to upvote something of actual value and take the curation rewards. The suggestion in the post to change the curation rewards back to 50-50 from 75-25 and therefore eliminate the starting point 3-1 hurdle from self-voting to curation is also excellent and I've been pushing for that since genesis+three months when it was (foolishly) changed in the first place. But that still won't work without getting a handle on the (lack of) downvoting to keep the incentives anchored on the (quality and value add of the) content.

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If downvoting becomes free - in other words, it can be done without losing out on ability to upvote (self), then doesn't it mean that those with the most SP can suddenly not only upvote themselves the most but also downvote everyone else, the most - doubling their suck on the rewards pool?

I support greater curation payouts, since clearly curation is basically broken currently.

I have proposed several solutions to the issue of bidbots and one of them appears to be very effective, but it hasn't been well spread through the network yet. Essentially, we add a 'voter mute' tool to the UIs to allow us to each be empowered to remove the effect of the votes from voters/users that we disagree with. This would mean that trending and hot lists would be custom tailored for each user and so we could all opt to, for example, remove the effect of bid bots from our trending lists.. Meaning that it would become much less desirable/functional to use bid bots. This is also empowering in the kind of way that Facebook empowers users to customise their newsfeed as they see fit.
I wrote on this here in more detail.

I mentioned this to the developers of Steempeak and they have expressed interest in adding it to their feature set. The only challenge is in the processing overhead of processing the posts for each user, but if the posts are limited by time it might not be such a big deal to do on a central server (cluster).

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@steemflagrewards is paying a return on downvotes, simply tag the bot, list the abuse, get paid.

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If downvoting becomes free

Free, the sense that it does not reduce your ability to upvote. But still limited. You won't be able to go around and downvote everything just as you can't go around and upvote anything. The most obvious way to do this is for downvotes and upvotes to be separate pools of vote power/mana, rather than sharing the same pool.

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Right, but those with the most SP can (and some definitely will) use them mercilessly.. even just setting them to auto downvote certain people constantly, forever. I think the main reason we don't already see more downvote wars is because people know they are losing upvotes as a result. I understand there are valid reasons to empower downvoting more, but I can definitely see problems with it too. :/

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I agree. It won't be costless but there is really no alternative.

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I think this is actually a potentially fatal flaw. Look at the size of the witness votes and you will see that some accounts have enough SP to equal ALL (most) of the SP of the smaller users combined. This means that if they wanted to, some large SP holders could auto-downvote ALL new users and make network expansion grind to a halt! Why would they do this? Well, let's say EOS launches Steemit 2.0. Dan has openly stated he intends to destroy Steemit 1. They would just need to do exactly what I stated and that would be mission accomplished.

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some accounts have enough SP to equal ALL (most) of the SP of the smaller users combined

That's simply not true. The very largest stakeholder doesn't even have as much as the typical new user delegation (about 10 SP) times the number of accounts. So they would not have as much as all the other users combined even if every other account was an empty new user account (and they are not; there are users with 100s of SP, 1000s, tens of thousand and so on). Numerically, the very largest stakeholder only has about 3% of the total.

Witness votes are a little misleading because each voter has 30 votes so the SP gets counted up to 30 times, and also because not all users vote.

Large stakeholders can do more damage (and they are) by siphoning off rewards for self-enrichment, undermining the main thing that differentiates Steem in a crowded competitive market (rewarding on merit to attract new users and incentivize adding value back to Steem to encourage its growth). The self-enrichments hurts Steem, yes, but large stakeholders are willing to do it because each individual's direct benefit is greater than that individual's share of the harm to Steem as a whole. This is precisely the broken incentives that the post discusses.

I'm of course excluding Steemit here which is literally the largest stakeholder (and provides the delegations to new users). If they want to wreck the system, all is lost.

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Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my language. I was referring to the size of the votes for each witness only. I was using each witness' votes as a sub section and example of the platform. "Of all the people who support witness x, there is one account that has enough SP to equal ALL of the smaller (non whale) accounts who also support witness x'. I only used those graphs because it was the one I could most quickly find (I am very busy at the moment). My point is that, regardless of witness voting, and regardless even of the current SP distribution, it is possible for a large stakeholder to easily match or exceed the average SP of the ACTIVE accounts at any one time.

The active users in a given week tend to not be much higher than about 60,000 (according to steemocean.com. 60,000 * 10SP = 600,000SP - so on that level, 600,000SP is the (inaccurate) level to consider and a few accounts have that much. We don't have the exact figures to go on, but it is clear to me that a malicious whale could totally derail the running of the platform using 'free' downvotes based on their SP. All it might take is one 'bad hair day' ;)

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Thanks to you @kevinwong and @trafalgar! I'm also convinced that linear rewards are fundamentally flawed. I plan on doing something about it and seeing your contribution really helped me go forward with my idea.

I'm in favor of n^2 solely but I would support 50% curation if it could get us away from linear reward.

Less than n^2, let's say n^1.5 is impractical according to @vandeberg

Source

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can you elaborate on the ^1.5?

If you're talking about difficulties in implementation, I've heard from a very good source there are ways that you can code it efficiently like using the Taylor series

Also, we don't NEED n^1.5 or 1.3 or whatever, we just need something that crudely approximates it. So instead of a nice smooth upwards curve, picture 5 straight lines joined end to end with gradually increasing gradients. That's all we need in practice, it shouldn't be hard to implement.

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If it's implementable then I might support it over n^2 and I would definitely support it over the linear system that we currently have.

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I mentioned it already, but I would prefer a curve which started as n^2 / exponential (thus flat), and then later changed into linear which would work against self-voting as well as excessive rewards.

@clayop had a similar idea.

Other ideas are:

  • ... implementing diminishing returns when upvoting the same accounts (including own ones) again and again.

  • ... reintroducing the restriction to four (or less) full paid posts per day (from some hard forks ago) which was very reasonable.

  • ... considering to let ones UserAuthority score (from @scipio) have an impact on the rewards of ones posts.

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Sigmoid reward curve, your idea/curve and @clayop's idea/curve are all valuable. I'm not sure they would be better than n^2. They would have to be weighed against each other. I don't know how this could be done. One thing I'm sure is that if they could be implemented they would be better than linear.

I'll try to come up with some objective way to compare any curve. This seems quite daunting.

I'm against the propositions below.

  • ... implementing diminishing returns when upvoting the same accounts (including own ones) again and again.
  • ... considering to let ones UserAuthority score (from @scipio) have an impact on the rewards of ones posts.
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I'm not sure they would be better than n^2.

I think their advantage would be to prevent posts with rewards of much more than 1000 dollar (increasing the already huge difference between 'rich' and 'poor' on this platform).

I'm against the propositions below.

Why? :) (If I knew why I could better try to convince you. :)

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... implementing diminishing returns when upvoting the same accounts (including own ones) again and again.

People creating a lot of consensuses (valuable content) shouldn't be penalized by Steem's rules, on the contrary.

... considering to let ones UserAuthority score (from @scipio) have an impact on the rewards of ones posts.

UA isn't as efficient as superlinear reward to prevent abuse.

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"...implementing diminishing returns when upvoting the same accounts (including own ones) again and again."

Were social interactions unimportant this would be practical, but the value of upvotes isn't only drawn by content quality. Society is based on relationships, and upvotes reflect social values other than content quality.

".. reintroducing the restriction to four (or less) full paid posts per day (from some hard forks ago) which was very reasonable."

How does this rein in socks? Actual conspiratorial malfeasance will route around such restrictions handily, IMHO.

Improved rep (UA, for example) is absolutely necessary. I expect that in time rep will be more important than stake, as the value of money decreases due to the paradigm shift in industry ongoing as individual ability to produce goods and services continues to decouple from capital.

The real power of social media rewards to change the world is due to that continuing deflation of economic factors, and the increasing import of other societal metrics.

Thanks!

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Were social interactions unimportant this would be practical, but the value of upvotes isn't only drawn by content quality. Society is based on relationships, and upvotes reflect social values other than content quality.

I also have friends here on Steemit, and of course I am interacting with them and upvoting them. However, there isn't anybody I am upvoting ten times a day, there isn't even anybody I am upvoting five times a day. That's just not necessary to value their content (actually none of them is writing so many articles per day).

Nevertheless there are users who are upvoting own content (or the content of their sockpuppet accounts or their circle-voting friends) ten times per day. Only they would be impacted by a reasonable implementation of diminishing returns.

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Folks I follow, @everittdmickey comes to mind, that do publish multiple posts per day, might receive multiple votes from me in one day. I often don't upvote all their posts (I do not autovote, and read most posts I upvote), but folks using autovoters might. @everittdmickey doesn't follow me, so this isn't an example of circle-jerking, just that I find good science and points in enough of his posts that I do upvote more than one a day sometimes.

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Yeah, nothing can be worse than the current one.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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That is very comforting to hear.

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I've been publically opposed to linear reward at least since November 2017.

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Any idea when this feature gets unbroken?

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Takes a lot of repeated arguments.. lol. Hopefully something comes out of everyone's headache. Thanks for sticking to the cause.

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I do agree with the way @exyle is looking at this. Until SMTs are launched, it's pretty much up to anybody how you want to mine you STEEM. You just want to collect as much STEEM as you can. Then, SMTs will allow for different projects and models to be tried and "a thousand flowers can bloom". STEEM (power) will then just serve as the resources you need to power your (d)app on the Steem blockchain.

I agree with @exyle that the path where the Steem blockchain is going is pretty clear now, taking in account that SMTs will be successful.

Makes sense to me too!

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As I understand them, SMT won't fix Steem distribution. And because Steem will be needed to power (d)app, then Steem will remain valuable and the way they are distributed will still matter.

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I appreciate deeply your highly rational analysis. I feel the lack of additional value metrics to the economic prevents full exegesis and development of truly comprehensive rewards solutions for Steemit, just as the focus on finance alone does the real world of which Steemit is a microcosm.

SOC (SMTs, Oracles, and Communities) will provide a virtually unlimited suite of mechanisms for valuing social interactions, and potentiate extra-economic rewards that have been suppressed historically by a predatory class. A paradigm shift is nascent, born with Steemit, that further development will bring to fruition, and I hope dearly that your insight and careful thought will be availed of those seeking to better value society and the rewards social interactions produce beyond mere finance.

There is a proscription that appears to operate in the West that precludes non-financial values from being considered, and reflecting on your comment makes it not only obvious, but glaring. It is clear that folks seek those values and rewards - this is why we consider purely gaming the system for profit an inadequate mechanism - and such better minds as yours can grant far preferable understanding and make possible improved rewards mechanisms than we are presently endowed.

I look much forward to reading such thoughts as you may effect when you consider more than economic aspects of society, as the economy is sadly become practically the sole metric for measuring value. My mother passed away last year, and no encomium can compensate me for that loss. Society has so much and greater value than mere money. I can hardly wait for minds like yours to wrap themselves around SOC and create new paradigms of valuation that might better Steemit, social media, and, indeed, our world.

Thanks!

When curation (which should be a natural thing to do) becomes a sacrifice for bigger stakeholders, it’s about time to change the current economics.

Otherwise Steem will look more and more scammy, by making whatever shitpost and using bidbots to decide the payout. It already failed as a content discovery website at the moment.

Like you mentioned, linear algorithm made bidbots business much easier for prizing and more profitable for bidbots owners. Indeed, everyone can “promo”, this bidbot business model doesn’t make much sense to me.

I can’t understand why SteemInc supports bidbots so much, even deletaing to the bidbots.

They don’t see the problem or they just don’t care?

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I agree with your points, aside from Steemit delegating to bots, I don't think they do

Unfortunately there are relatively few of us who see the problem this way. Any solution will have its trade offs, the idea is to minimize the costs while having an economic system that's sufficient to topple the current content indifferent form of profit maximization. That is to say, we need a new system that rewards good curation better than vote selling/self voting while still leaving enough for content creators and not shafting minnows too hard.

I truly believe a combination of slight superlinear, added downvote incentives and higher curation will do just that. No more than necessary in terms of extent.

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Delegation was my misunderstanding.
One thing I don’t get is, since linear doesn’t work (everyone agrees right? Or not?), how difficult it is to give another option a try.

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It really should be trivially easy
It's a very urgent problem that is fairly easy to identify and fix by competent people if indeed we are correct
So either we're wrong or, well, the people are all over the place, as we've been here for over a year with no agreement on a solution or even what the problem is

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No. Many say linear is fine. I say make it 0

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I say make it 0

Why though? How would that even remotely motivate to curate. People would have literally no reason to not vote only themselves.

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You are not given a curation reward for voting yourself, unless your work becomes popular. It would make things a game of voting what will get popular. Copy and pasting my articles gives them nothing, when they can just upvote the original. There would be no need to penalize link sharing because they wouldnt be getting author rewards for creation but the reward is for finding it. So if something really useful shows up in an obscure place on the Internet, it is a service to users of Steem the blockchain and would help user adoption. It could help counteract the extreme sell pressure on Steem.

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I don't quite get what's wrong with linear. Wouldn't over-linear rewards be a great subsidy of the greatest whales and the biggest bid-bots?

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Non-linear makes it more difficult to calculate bidding price and voting amount for bidbots. Say, if a bot has 100sp, under linear, if 10 ppl bid the same amount, they all get the 10sp equality of voting amount from that bot, whigh is 1/10 of its full voting amount. Win-win for all.

But under n^2 for example, the voting amount 10sp generates only equals to 1/100 of that from 100sp, which makes bidbots less attractive to use. I mean you can still use it for promo but looks far less attractive as Some bidders are gonna lose money by bidding.

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With non-linear voting, we could actually see some bidding for the bidbot votes, as the bidbot would only be giving one 100%-vote every second hour :-)

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Agreed, but I'm not sure if Steemit Inc is delegating to bidbots. I don't think so. But again it's the smartest move so they'll eventually do it as well even if the situation is created by their change in Steem's econs in the first place.

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It's not the smartest move when you're the largest stakeholder. You or I as smaller stakeholders can grow our holdings by undermining the network at the expense of the larger stakeholders, and get a higher dollar value. The only way for the largest stakeholders to gain is to increase the value of the network. There's no getting around that, there's no way self voting becomes rational when you've got a major fraction of the total stake.

Although, in practice, even the smaller stakeholders have virtually all lost $ value in recent months, even with 100% self voting.

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Hmm under linear, it's hard to trust other stakeholders not to vote-farm to outgrow their stakes disproportionately, so in the end, everyone does it taking the bet that the econs will be fixed at some point.

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This is assuming that vote farming has 0 impact on the market value of the network. Which can be true temporarily, but is unlikely to be true for long. The market value of the network has far more impact on your net value as a large stakeholder than attempts to increase or maintain a % share.

The largest stakeholders don't actually have to trust that smaller stakeholders will not vote farm. They have the power to enforce it now, although I do agree that power could and should be made less costly (IMO the major costs are either human time or network resources, however Steemit Inc has not even really tried. @dan did in the past, and he tried to make it easier to enforce)

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The point made by @smooth is not factored in to your analysis: concentrating SP rewards large accounts more than network effects diminish them presently.

An essential - and existential - problem is that stake-weighting forces all value other than financial to zero, both on Steemit and in the real world. It is necessary to measure and weight other values to effect rational society. Simply attending to finance alone creates a society of bots that have no other purpose.

People have other values, and many of those values are far more important than money.

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My apologies to SteemInc if they didn’t lol. At least they somewhat support the business already.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Who owns the 'alpha' account?

The alpha account is receiving (daily) funds from two of the largest bidbots on our blockchain. Very large sums (300k+ Steem per transaction) are received regularly from 'steemit2' account totalling more than 2M Steem. The 'steemit2' account in its turn gets really large sums from 'steemit' account. Just check their wallets.

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Unless I’m mistaken, I believe alpha is owned by Blocktrades.

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Ok, that is a better use for that account

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Yes, it is one of our accounts. I use it for manual trades and other purchase arrangements to simplify accounting versus the automated trades done on our "blocktrades" account.

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May I ask why steemit sent you that much steem over the course of alpha's existence? Is it something like an incentive for you being one of the few exchanges trading steem?

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No, currently our listing process doesn't include any form of incentives from listed coins.

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This is probably steemit and the bid bots selling steem.

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Thanks for the clarification

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It has gone to a point where people actually have the galls to complain about "not getting good ROI on bidbots". What a travesty.

This needs to change and soon. Otherwise, user attrition will leave Steem only with the ones who already had stake.

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Pretty much every top post seems to be using voting bots at the moment. If you don't use them then you don't stand a chance - especially as a new user on the network. This is a broken system

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Yea, vote buying/exchange and promo is normal on traditional social media but Steem is not there yet. Right now if encouraging pure bidbot promo, it will only cause more spams.

Posted using Partiko iOS

First of all I want to say that I am very glad for the work being done by @kevinwong and @trafalgar to enable participation on the current Steem economics, while also pushing solutions forward. I very well agree with most of the points brought up here. The increase in curation rewards and downvotes incentives are particularly significant, as we tried several attempts to overcome those in our product development. The lack of proper curation incentives drove us to tricky implementations which we had to tweak continuously in the way we reward our curators/moderators. The lack of downvotes incentives made us think of complete different ways to sort our contents, compared to what the blockchain can offer. Built-in solutions, like the ones aligned here, are ideal and could lower the hassle significantly.

I am collecting inputs, like this one, trying to have an overview of the hottest community requirements. Utopian supports the maintenance of Steem forks (see @reggaemuffin ' s one) which enable proposals and testing of disruptive changes. It makes sense to bring such inputs in the right places (github issues) and incentivise the development, via community participation.

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Thanks a lot for taking this up @elear. Much appreciated. It would seem like a great time to be setting up extraneous protocols to get important discussions going on with good info, and tying it along with development / testnet

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The lack of proper curation incentives drove us to tricky implementations which we had to tweak continuously in the way we reward our curators/moderators.

Can you elaborate on this? Do you mean to say that if curation rewards were higher, you would spent less on incentives for your curators?

The lack of downvotes incentives made us think of complete different ways to sort our contents, compared to what the blockchain can offer.

As you clearly agree with the points in the post, could you give more details on your comment? I feel that your words are too broad and don't know what to take from them.

There is an entirely different way to supplement the voting pool while implementing restrictions for self voting and vote selling. If the voting pool is reduced, there would little to no incentive to use the platform. After all it is slow, clunky and has a very small population with respect to other social platforms. Better rewards with incentives to do good or restrictions for bad actors could be implemented. But where would we get the extra revenue to do this?

Here is the idea:
Start a centralized exchange to complete with the likes of Binance, UpBit, Coinbase, Poloniex etc. yet have STEEM and SBD as the common trading pairs. If Steemit Inc were to create and run it, they can generate massive revenue to supplement their Software Engineers. Excess revenue can go toward supplementing the voting pool or towards rewarding good actors and good witnesses. There is no problem getting support and usership as All major exchanges can’t resync their nodes in a timely manor. People would use the new centralized exchange as they can’t use Binance or Poloniex. By the way both Binance and Poloniex STEEM wallets have down for a month. This isn’t the first time for Binance either. Their Steem wallets have been down for a full month before. Poloniex Steem wallets have been down for 6 months in recent past.

But get this, an exchange with all the major cryptocurrencies traded with STEEM and SBD can be created by anyone with the right technical knowledge. It doesn’t require Steemit Inc to do it. Whales could even pool their resources to fund startup costs They won’t need to self vote as the exchange will be so much more profitable.

I don't disagree with any points made here, I think its been obvious to anyone paying attention for way over a year.
Though I would have one major statement to make and one question.
There is no way you will keep profit seeking gamers away from working the system. It takes to long to implement hard forks and is to easy for a gamer to come up with work arounds. The problem is now how Steem works but how PEOPLE work.
This is never going to be fixed by trying to create rules that MAKE people do what we want... If anything it will only make them leave. Then the price of steem will crash and everyone will still be complaining as the rewards will be even worse than they were with people uprooting them selfs.

So the REAL question here is of which everyone actually needs to be asking. How do we provide a quality return (which means, reliable, easy and high enough %) on the investment whales make?

This is the answer. If we can find a way that is better for the over all eco system yet still provides a reliable, consistent and profitable return then its all taken care of.

Almost no investor is going to invest in a platform not to make money. Also most whales do NOT have the time nor desire to curate. Plus higher curation rewards wouldn't change anything anyways. Just use curation bots. Easy peasy.

Glad everyone is thinking about this, but simple economics shows that its the ones with money who hold the influence. So have to find a way to GIVE them INCENTIVE to move in the direction the community wants.

SteemOn!

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Hey thanks for dropping by @quinneaker, I think it just takes a lot of repetition and refinement in arguments to get the points through. There's a bit of momentum this time around as ned has considered it in the comment section of his recent post.

Check out @trafalgar's response above. He's answered your concerns very well!

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Yes, all progress takes vast amounts of collective discussion, meditation, pondering and even arguing. Thats why this is great. Though with that being said my statements/questions still seem to be the key in that process. I read a LOT of comments including many from @trafalgar but did not see one that answered clearly and specifically my questions/statements. I can look again as its a critical issue.
Best regards and SteemOn!

indeed,most of big stakeholder of sp are self voting on their own post,but we can't blame them if they run and act like that on the steem blockchain.

Because they are investing and spend their own money to raise their SP to do some propits of it's own post.

But still we are glad that some community giving a free curations specially to minnows and new comers with good article and writing.

like @curie , @acidyo specially you and to other steemians who support those good author..

Happy to know it also that you finally run your own thread and being one of my new witnesses @kevinwong

If you don't mind can i know you witnesses too! because i have special witness that i supported if you my 2 witness count's on you i'll take your proxy if not i give you a vote alone.. :))

The past 2 weeks have been brutal for minnows. Our post payout are decreasing by the hour and by the end of 7 days it's probably gone down at least 15%.

Due to this factor, many have chosen to leave and not waste anymore time on STEEM. Out of 15 friends I've gotten on to STEEM, only 4 remain and only 2 of the 4 are active everyday posting contents and engaging with other people.

So I think it is a huge problem from the way the way things are now and I don't think STEEM will achieve it's potential we all hope for. Even when SMT starts, I don't think it'll make much of a difference. More stuff on a broken system doesn't fix anything.

Flagging content is all we can do and as minnows, nobody actually wants to flag because of the fear that we'll get flag too. And whale flags are obviously way more powerful than minnows. I personally think flagging can solve this problem as only "content with effort" (like this post) will be valued. However seems like minnows doesn't see this as their problem. They see it as "the whales will sort it out" problem. I think everyone has to take ownership of this and be more responsible on this whole issue or else we're doomed.

Anyone not participating in this activity will just be losing out BIG TIME over the months and years. Like I've said in my previous post, someone with the same amount of Steem Power (SP) as me in the beginning of this year is now already ahead by 50,000 SP just selling their votes, while my votes mainly went to curation while taking my time to post. So I'm not holding back as much anymore, and I'm playing the vote-farming game on my alt-account @etherpunk to keep up until Steemit Inc and the top witnesses decide that some of us are right about our diagnosis and proposal to fix the misaligned economy. An economic system is flawed when it relies on the altruism and sacrifice of some users.

From since I've known you which is January, you have not done what most have done which is self-voting and that's like 10 months. You've waited long enough for something to happen and have been vocal about this issue. I'm with you in this even though I'm directly affected by vote farming.

I'm just praying this changes happens sooner rather than later. Bless ya man!

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Yes, the flagging is not effective over the long-term mostly because of linear. When everyone can reach for the nearest switch for max profit on nothing to do with content, there'll be too many people doing it. If you're not joining, you're losing out over time. If you're flagging, you're losing out over time too.

Edit: Flagging should be contingent though. It has some social cost attached to it. That's why it's better to have an aligned economy and just a small amount of free downvotes.

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Yeah that way of flagging would make much more sense. If flagging is costing me my upvotes, why not just upvote someone else or myself? If this method of flagging was implemented, I think it would solve a lot of problems with this issue of rewards and upvotes.

You summed it up perfectly Kevin. It's why I have delegated a lot of my SP to a bidbot. I regret not doing it a long time ago, as I was just wasting the earnings potential of my SP. You're also right that this is a big issue and generally symptomatic of the broken economics that have plagued steem, for a long time. I am not certain what the correct equation is for effect of stake on the reward pool, but it's very clear it's not linear. (Though this was clear when linear was implemented from the original mechanism).

Hopefully you can use your influence to get more people onboard with creating a fix. It doesn't even need to be the optimal fix (as we may not know what that is until further experimentation), but at least some iterative progression would be nice.

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@elear of Utopian is helping coordinate this matter, hopefully getting the ball rolling etc. The other side effect of the current economy is that nobody cares. Every second you care, the more you lose out lol. I hope the top witnesses are compensated well enough to do so. I wonder if I should make another move to only support witnesses that prioritise what some of us think is the most urgent matter that doesn’t require immense R&D to fix.

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Every second you care, the more you lose out lol.

Sums up my entire experience with this platform.

@elear of Utopian is helping coordinate this matter

Good to hear that Elear is also on board.

I wonder if I should make another move to only support witnesses that prioritize what some of us think is the most urgent matter that doesn’t require immense R&D to fix.

Only you can tell you what to do with your stake. :)

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Every second you care, the more you lose out lol.

Sums up my entire experience with this platform.

From a human standpoint, it's always worth caring. Whether this results in money or recognition, however, is another matter. In it, everyone is himself the best psychoanalyst, how he deals with a situation that depresses him or does not bring him enough profit. The question was always "How much is good enough?" and will always be the same. But one has to face it and not on the surface. To do this, one has to go deep and deeper into what is called self-knowledge.

To sprinkle in a little bit of philosophy here.

;-)

It's a solid proposal and worth a big vote. I don't necessarily agree with all parts of it, but I like your contribution to the discussion.

First, I think passive investors should be paid a return to keep them from mucking with the content through either posting or voting. If the rewards must go through the system, then higher curation rewards certainly would be preferable to expecting people to post junk for reward votes. But it still perverts things somewhat. I'd support it if there's no realistic option to simply pay passive investors some return, but I'd much rather pay them to stay on the sidelines and not feel like they need to post or vote on junk.

As for the downvotes, I think it could be abused unless the rep score accounts for voting behavior somehow. I'm not against your suggestion, but I'd have to think about it more, and I suspect it would need another component to be successful.

As for superlinear rewards, I just don't see it. I still think that would be a mistake because we've been there and seen that things work better with linear. Superlinear is a faster route to more concentration of wealth and power, which is the wrong direction. I think believing that superlinear would work also assumes that larger SP holders would vote for the best content, which is not necessarily the case, though I do appreciate that you are trying to find the right economic balance with curation rewards also. I'm probably one of the people who would benefit from superlinear, but I don't know that it's in the platform's best interest.

Would it be possible to fork some testnet where various ideas like these could be tested?

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I've found a place for passive investors that doesn't involve messing with the natural flow of content production or consumption. I explain in detail within this post:
https://steemit.com/steemit/@nonameslefttouse/turning-rage-into-the-soothing-steem-now-blowing-out-my-butt-as-i-mince-my-words-for-you-the-reader-of-this
the common struggle someone like me faces as a content producer here after all these years and I offer a solution that could easily fit in with what @kevinwong talks about here. The post leads to other posts with more information. The comment sections are jammed with even more. People are scratching their heads wondering how to bring new money into the platform and I'm clearly stating the fact this is the entertainment industry and a functional promotional system using ads is one way to bring this new money in. I've explained how, but I need more people to see it.

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Yes Utopian is working to setup a definitive place to study the proposal and read opinions about it. @reggaemuffin seems to be handling a testnet so it’s likely we can test these things.

First, I think passive investors should be paid a return to keep them from mucking with the content through either posting or voting. If the rewards must go through the system, then higher curation rewards certainly would be preferable to expecting people to post junk for reward votes. But it still perverts things somewhat. I'd support it if there's no realistic option to simply pay passive investors some return, but I'd much rather pay them to stay on the sidelines and not feel like they need to post or vote on junk.

The same problem is going to persist unfortunately, as we’re only effectively shrinking the rewards pool for the passive staking allocation, while the economic incentives for the rest of the users remain the same.

As for superlinear rewards, I just don't see it. I still think that would be a mistake because we've been there and seen that things work better with linear. Superlinear is a faster route to more concentration of wealth and power, which is the wrong direction. I think believing that superlinear would work also assumes that larger SP holders would vote for the best content, which is not necessarily the case, though I do appreciate that you are trying to find the right economic balance with curation rewards also. I'm probably one of the people who would benefit from superlinear, but I don't know that it's in the platform's best interest.

Previously we were at superlinear (n^2). Today we are at linear (n). The proposal suggests somewhere in between (n^1.3) which should be more balanced while making it less predictable for people to put a price on votes, providing variance/contrast, and abuses would only be possible by piling up votes for a more substantial payout so its more manageable for the community.

As for the downvotes, I think it could be abused unless the rep score accounts for voting behavior somehow. I'm not against your suggestion, but I'd have to think about it more, and I suspect it would need another component to be successful.

Cheaper downvotes is more for contingency as most wouldn’t practice it anyway. It just makes it easier to take down abuses or overvalued posts from any gaming. All said, there’s some social cost to cheaper downvotes, but I think the benefits outweigh the downsides of this proposal.

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Superlinear is a faster route to more concentration of wealth and power, which is the wrong direction.

I would prefer a curve which started as n^2 / exponential (thus flat), and then later changed into linear which would work against self-voting as well as excessive rewards.

@clayop had a similar idea.

It's a reasonable set of rules to try, IMO (mostly, see my primary objection in last paragraph).

I've been in favor of the 50% curation rewards all along, as mentioned in my long ago post on this very same issue.

One thing to point out though is that curation rewards are already non-linear: early curators get more curation than later ones. It's only author rewards that are truly linear. Based on that, I'm not sure the n^1.3 is strictly necessary and I'm concerned that it might cause more harm than good by favoring votes by large stakeholders too much. The current form of non-linearity is more "stake" neutral as it's just based on upvoting the content before other people do.

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I gave a more detailed explanation of the benefits of slight superlinear in my reply to smooth above, but in a nutshell: forces all profitable voting behavior into the light (wack a mole with 1 hole), disincnetivize profit based spamming and micro voting, make it more difficult for bid bots to accurate place a price on votes and hence increase the cost of content indifferent behavior, helps make good curation more competitive in terms of returns etc.

The superlinear proposed can be probably as low as n^1.2, and even have a linear tail, so in case the added downvote incentives (proposed 10% free downvotes) aren't sufficient in deterring all 'pile on' behavior, the damage will still be in check.

I honestly believe the benefits we can enjoy most of the benefits of n^2 with only a fraction of the detriments in terms of inequality under n^~1.2.

I share your concern with the detriments of all of these measures. I understand that all else being equal, favoring larger stakeholder's vote is certainly an undesirable feature. Similarly, additional downvote incentives can potentially greatly increase the toxic behavior on here. However, bad it is to face an aggressive whale as a smaller stakeholder is going to be compounded when the gloves come off and he's given free downvote stakes. Also, lowering author incentives isn't ideal either and we wouldn't consider it if the current economy worked.

But look at what we're fighting: an economic system that rewards content indifferent voting behavior roughly 4x more than 'desirable' voting behavior. To win, we need to not just shrink that gap but allow content reflective voting to provide similar or even higher returns than vote selling/farming.

The idea is to come up with an alternative system that does just that while doing the least harm to the system in terms of added inequality, toxicity and lower proportion of author rewards. I think our proposal of n^1.3, 50% curation and 10% free additional downvotes is perhaps JUST enough to do that while introducing the least costs.

Some say just the latter 2 measures should be sufficient. I strongly believe we're suffering from n^2 PTSD. Saying the slight superlinear wouldn't work because n^2 failed is like saying that inflation doesn't work because 100% hyperinflation failed. We should consider the benefits/cost ratio of slight superlinear more carefully.

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I'm not saying I'm completely opposed to "voting stake based slight superlinearity" as a step beyond the existing "temporal superlinearity" for curation rewards that I mentioned above, but I'd rather try smaller steps first, especially as I'm not certain that the existing superlinearity isn't sufficient. One annoyance for me is that I'm not even sure what the curve looks like for the temporal superlinearity, so it's hard to guess its impact.

50% curation rewards + a change to put downvoting on an even footing with upvoting seems like a simple first try, although I'm not really a big fan of downvoting as I think it has emotional effects beyond the simple math itself.

Also, once any change is made, I think it will take a month or two for people to modify their behavior to the new economics. At this point, I doubt most users have even optimized their voting for HF20 effects yet.

But despite that, I would certainly be happy to move now to a new version of the blockchain rules that supported some of these changes (50% curation being the one that seems "safest" to me).

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I think I've read all of your replies here. I share some of your concerns but not all of your conclusions

Firstly I want to clearly spell out the problem: Under our current economy of linear and 25% curation, it is roughly 4x more financially rewarding to participate in content indifferent voting behavior than content reflective voting behavior. This has lead to a complete failure in our ability to function as a content discovery and rewards platform.

The solution therefore is as follows: We need to introduce a new economic scheme that incentivizes content reflective voting by rewarding it at least as much as content indifferent voting.

Higher curation seems like it'll at least be part of the solution. Note that curation % is sort of a soft parameter because the market itself can in many ways circumvent it and set their own curation %. For example, you can view bid bots as offering 80-110% to sellers, undercutting the 25% we've set. That being said, I don't know if there are market incentives to negotiate a lower curation % than the official one (I need more thought here)

Having said that, 50% curation is probably insufficient by itself to compete platform wide against vote farming. Much higher and we risk removing too much financial incentive for content creators. I know there are arguments suggesting we can try curation as high as 100% but lets try leaving a healthy dose to content creators for now and see if we can make up the other 30-50% by other means. I do however view curation as a 'cost' because the $ that finds its way back to the voter is a pointless use of inflation in and of itself. It's the competition of this money that will bring value, and for that to happen it has to be significant, which is why we propose 50%.

I share your concern about downvoting, far more than smooth and a lot of others. However toxic it has been in the past, with something like 10% free downvotes, it will be a lot worse. There are some larger stakeholders here who are somewhat pre disposed to what I would consider needlessly adversarial behavior, and at times with much smaller steemians. However suffocating it must feel for them to be on the wrong end of a downvote chokehold for sometimes weeks on end, it will likely be much more painful. We're all human, this place can take a mental toll on me even if downvotes are financially negligible, maybe you can relate, so I can imagine what it's like to be a smaller account getting pinned down without reprieve. However, even knowing all this I still relunctantly support something like 10% free/separate downvotes. As we remove the lost opportunity cost to casting a downvote, I'd imagine most downvotes would be exercised in good faith. We need an extra force to bring down the rewards of vote farming so that 50% curation rewards can be the most competitive form of returns. Only then can our platform succeed.

This leaves superlinear. I understand the inequality that comes with superlinear, nevertheless I'm surprised at the resistance this is getting compared to greater downvote incentives. I would strongly wager that at the ground level, the detriments of downvotes outlined above would be felt far harder than the inequality of something like n^1.2-1.3.

But why have them at all? Well there are many benefits including making it far more costly to price a vote (as value is now dependent on popularity), making it no longer profitable to micro farm spam posts (100 1% votes are way less rewarding than 1 100% vote), basically it brings all profitable behavior into the light. Notice that while 10% of downvotes are free, unlike upvotes which has curation, there is no direct economic incentive to cast them carefully and precisely. Under linear, if people decide to spam and farm comments instead of playing the game fairly, there isn't an incentive to spend the effort to track them down with your downvotes. But this is impossible with a bit of superlinear.

It basically patches up a loophole that would otherwise exist, as well as reward curation more, facilitate downvotes by drawing easy targets around abuse and makes it difficult for bid bots to accurately price votes. As for its costs, I'd say that n^1.2 is no where near as bad as n^2. The collaborative effort of large players colluding to farm mega votes is greatly disincentivzed by a much more modest curve (compared to n^2), as well as the looming threat of downvotes also being proposed. If I'm right on this, then we get to patch up our loopholes in spam farming and enjoy other benefits of superlinear at the cost of pretty modest inequality. I think it's worth it.

The changes are somewhat drastic by necessity because we're replacing a system that rewards something we don't want 4x as much as something we do. The measures all have their costs, higher curation means superficially more redundant use of inflation, more downvotes will be painful, and superlinear, however mild, is unfair to smaller players. But I'm going for the minimum amount of evil necessary to get us to a functioning content curation system.

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I'm not really a big fan of downvoting as I think it has emotional effects

I know this has always been a concern of yours but at some point we need to look at the game theory reality of the situation. I'm pretty convinced that ONLY enhanced downvoting (at least a component, if not the only change) can possibly solve the problem when it comes to content agnostic reward-extraction voting. I know that is a strong statement but I'm very confident of it, and I will try to present the logical argument here.

First, we need to recognize that anything else other than downvoting can easily be turned into a vehicle for converting votes into profit in a content-agnostic manner. Curation rewards and superlinear curves don't really reward quality or value add. Rather, they reward concentration (voting for what other people vote for). By either being a very large stakeholder or working together with other stakeholders through trails, delegation, teams, games, side payments, or even reciprocal social convention, it is always possible to arrange for concentration that mutually benefits all of the participants on a content-agnostic basis. Since downvotes don't generate or direct rewards but merely scatter rewards to the rest of the community, they are essentially immune to this effect. There are really two reasons to downvote: 1) malicious/trolling, which is unfortunate but doesn't have a systemic effect on reward distribution; and 2) altruistic/community-motivated downvoting of over-rewarded content, which does have a (positive) systemic effect on reward distribution, but must be free or extremely cheap if you want it to happen on a significant scale (which, currently, it is not)

I think if we want a quality- or value-based voting system we have to take the bitter medicine of downvotes that are cheap, free, and even encouraged (because this is the only way you get people to contribute, at scale, to a social good that relies on altruism). Ideally, we should absolutely work to minimize the emotional cost of it however we can, of course, but that must be a secondary consideration if we want a rewarding system that works. Failing that, I believe Steem will need to just pivot away from voted rewards altogether at some point, or continue with a useless failed/failing system that does not contribute to its success in the crowded and competitive markets in which it operates.

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It's a simple fact that superlinear curves reward concentration, as you say. And naturally this can be exploited. The obvious exploitation method is pre-agreements of one sort or another to vote on the same posts in a way that generates reciprocal shares of the resulting rewards over time. If a sufficient amount of stake becomes involved in such arrangements, then the reward system by itself no longer incentivizes upvoting based on content.

Note that this doesn't necessarily guarantee bad curation by such groups. The people acting in such group do still have a reasonable financial motivate for good curation if we assume that good curation makes the coin more attractive to holders. If the group is curating badly, I think it's reasonable that competing groups will arise that "do a better job".

And I think it's also reasonable to assume that a certain amount of people will decide that they would rather vote the way they like, rather than join such a group, in which case they will lessen the rewards of joining such groups.

I don't see how the mere existence of cheaper downvoting necessarily changes the economics above. You've already described it as "altruistic/community-motivated" downvoting. So altruism or like-mindendess is already assumed as a force that exists on the platform (I agree with this assessment, btw).

But altruistic "voting your conscience" also redistributes the rewards, just like downvoting does. It's true that voting "can" be directed towards one's own posts, but if it's altruistic, it certainly doesn't have to be.

The best argument for downvoting from a curation perspective is only that it allows you to actively distribute the rewards away from a particularly bad post that is being upvoted for selfish reasons.

In a system with lots of voters and posts and with a more distributed stake, I'm not sure downvoting would have much benefit at all.

I think in such system, the type of bad "self-voted" post I'm talking about would never get enough rshares behind it to get much value. The only way I could see it happening would be the rise of a mutual-voting group of the type I described at the beginning and the only real counter for such groups is a sufficient group of people who vote differently.

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But altruistic "voting your conscience" also redistributes the rewards, just like downvoting does.

The difference is that this has a huge opportunity cost compared to voting to maximize your own reward (either directly or via some scheme). Since the cost is very high, it is unlikely to see such altruism persist. Sure, not everyone will maximize their own reward, but when the incentives are misaligned in this manner you expect the economy to shift more and more in that direction over time, which is exactly what has happened. I don't believe this has anything to do with stake distribution or the number of voters or any such thing. It is more that it is baked into economic design.

By contrast, once the high cost of downvotes themselves is removed, good downvoting vs. no downvoting vs. bad downvoting does not have a high opportunity cost (in effect virtually none), so it is far more likely that altrusim will succeed. If people had to pay money (or forgo a significant payment) every time they edited wikipedia, hardly anyone would ever do it (in fact, those who did would be more likely to be promoting some sort of manipulative agenda and often damaging the end product). But because editing wikipedia is very cheap/free and frictionless, you do get altruism on a large scale. Crowdsourcing works, but not if you expect people to pay a lot to participate. The only way to get this with Steem is by crowdsourcing downvotes.

This not just a question of downvoting being used actively to 'fight abuse', which is the traditional way we have looked at it. It is a profoundly different setup of the incentives, which can't be accomplished by upvoting, because the economic 'pull' of voting to direct rewards toward oneself and/or one or more collaborators is always there with upvotes. With downvotes it is not.

The only way I could see it happening would be the rise of a mutual-voting group

Such groups would certainly arise if there were significant money at stake, probably cleverly packaged into a game, challenge, service, meme, corporation, investment fund, etc. That is the nature of human creativity.

In any case, we can't simply wish ourselves into a system with evenly distributed stake and billions of users either, even if that would somehow manage to work. We have to need to have economic rules which are robust to real world conditions. Which means downvotes.

If a sufficient amount of stake becomes involved in such arrangements, then the reward system by itself no longer incentivizes upvoting based on content.

Well, no. A superlinear reward system never, in and of itself, incentivizes upvoting based on content. Structurally it only incentivizes concentration. And concentration that rewards the voter is incentivized most of all. Content is actually irrelevant unless there is a large enough portion of the stake voting on an altrustic basis, and as I've argued above, it is very unlikely to see altruistic upvoters persist on a scaleable, sustained basis. (Things might start out that way, but they will surely devolve over time.) The only real hope we have is altruistic downvoters.

Please give this some more thought. It took me the better part of two years to finally reach the conclusion that downvotes are essential (and not just theoretically-possible expensive downvotes that are hardly ever used, the way we have now), but I'm now quite confident it is correct.

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We could expect bid bots to decline rewards, this still trends the post but leaves those of us that don't buy our trophies alone instead of subsidizing proof of wallet.
The bots get their curation rewards upfront in the form of payment for services.
This should lower the price of hitting trending, and clearly labels ads.

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forces all profitable voting behavior into the light (wack a mole with 1 hole), disincnetivize profit based spamming and micro voting

I think we need a better assessment of how much of this is still going on. I've heard that it has been significantly reduced already with the changes in HF20 (which did indeed introduce a slight degree of non-linearity on the low end, in addition to the bandwidth->RC change; both probably reduced or eliminated spam profit on the low end).

make it more difficult for bid bots to accurate place a price on votes and hence increase the cost of content indifferent behavior

This will already happen with the switch to 50% curation. Curation rewards are non-linear and I doubt it will be feasible for bid bots to continue to ignore that when curation is 50%.

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Narcissism of small differences is a name of a study, I extended it, perhaps too liberally, to apply here. Apologies for the confusion, I certainly didn't intend to accuse you of being a narcissist.

I agree that hf20 likely reduced micro vote farming. But I suggested it as a precautionary measure in anticipation of behavior that may come with the other proposed changes. Assuming things are otherwise working fairly well and curation rewards becomes the dominant form of profit maximization, consistent losers in curation may turn to such behavior to hide vote farming. It's not as much of an issue now partly due to hf20 and partly because under current economics, one can do it openly. If things start working and people start downvoting open farming, this spamming fuckery would likely increase. As I mentioned before, due to the lack of direct rewards for good downvoting, we shouldn't expect immense effort for it to be done very well. Forcing profitable votes into the light will be far more important in the future as it'll improve downvoting immensely. I want to close this exploit tightly if the price isn't too steep.

I admit overlooked the effects of non linear curation. I did however, factor into consideration that higher curation itself, irrespective of the curve, will directly introduce significant price uncertainty to bid bots. As they run on a timer dependent on voting power regen, and bid transactions are announced beforehand, they'll likely be at a considerable disadvantage with higher curation. Nevertheless the effects of superlinear on this will be additive and very strong.

We have a laughably poor economy that rewards content indifferent behavior 4 times more than content reflective behavior. We want to introduce changes to make the latter to be at least roughly as lucrative as the former and hopefully have value adding voting behavior be dominant on the system. Every measure I can think of (including the 3 proposed) has it's downsides. So the idea is to use just enough force to make the necessary behavioral change and no more.

If we cut something on one end, we'd likely need to up our dosage of another poison elsewhere. For example, if we dismiss slight superlinear, then stakeholders may attempt to circumvent the intended way the game is to be played by spamming more posts and self voting the ones with the least potential curation rewards 'stolen' by others after 15 minutes. Now downvote incentives will have to do more of the heavy lifting here and would likely need to be higher than if we took some of that superlinear poison. As mentioned, in many cases, downvotes are a less consistent and softer counter to undesired behavior than superlinear, and of course it has it's own downsides.

My prediction is that the benefits of some superlinear (maybe as low as n^1.2) would considerably outweigh its cost in inequality, and should be part of the changes. I can of course understand if, after careful consideration, others such as yourself do not think this is the case. What I can't understand is how such a fundamental problem in the economic of Steem rewards which has lead to this platform being completely undermined has not been addressed in over a year. I don't even think most people, including those at the top, have a correct diagnosis of the problem; the confusion and inefficiency is truly depressing, especially as I believe this problem can be remedied. This is why I am very grateful for your help smooth, despite our small differences in opinion.

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Narcissism of small differences is a name of a study

I know the reference and was simply building on it to make a point! I was not personally offended but I appreciate the clarification.

If we cut something on one end, we'd likely need to up our dosage of another poison elsewhere

I would agree with this, but we simply don't know the necessary dosage overall. If you have done some sort of research to support that, quantitatively, your prescriptions in each of the three dimensions you propose as well as the combined effect result in some optimal outcome, you haven't shown it. As far as I can tell, you along with everyone are just guessing when it comes to the question of 'dosage'.

In that sense I would also agree with @blocktrades that it may be sufficient to be conservative in making too many changes at once and try just increasing curation first (even without downvote changes, which as you know by now are my personal view on the most important dimension here, by very, very far) and see what happens. If that doesn't produce the desired effect then we can consider how to up the dose in the most effective manner.

HF20 made some very modest changes and it has apparently had an observable effect in terms of dust farming and spam. That's a good thing, and not necessarily a bad approach to continue (making incremental changes, one or a small number at a time, so we can observe their effects).

This is why I am very grateful for your help smooth, despite our small differences in opinion

Likewise, and I absolutely agree that the lack of any sort of action on the clear failings (other than the very modest changes in HF20 which took an absurd 1.5 years to be deployed after being designed) is a travesty.

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As a followup answer to my concern about superlinearity, please see my answer to @smooth in this thread. Super-linearity inherently increases the power of voting groups like the one I describe there, making it more difficult for them to be combatted by "dissenting voters" with lesser stake if those dissenters don't similarly band together. With a linear curve, such groups don't have to unify their voting to fight such tactics.

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I disagree. Why should I get 50% back of a vote I give to you or any others?

It would only make whales like you and me very much richer.

Please Keep the CORE ECONOMY as it is.

@fyrstikken / @fyrst-witness

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The original rules were in fact 50/50 between curation and author rewards. The "75% author, 25% curator" change and the "author gets most of rewards during first 30 minutes" change led to many of the abusive self-voting of contentless posts and comments that we see today, IMO. Fortunately, the "author gets most of the rewards during the first 30 minutes" was overturned with HF20. But the 75/25 change still exists.

IMO, changing back to 50/50 will lead to improved curation results (better posts will rise to the top again) which I think will lead to increased Steem prices (which will benefit all long term participants in the Steem economy). If you want to understand my rationale, I went into much more detail a long time ago in this post (it's a long post and note that some of the full explanations are in the comments):

https://steemit.com/steem/@blocktrades/voting-abuse-and-ineffective-curation-a-proposal-for-blockchain-level-change

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Hello @blocktrades. I focus on content production mainly, but use the stake I've earned to curate manually. I do not purchase votes, ever. With this approach I'm able to speak from experience.

Recently, my content earned enough to generate roughly 50 SP for curators within a seven day time period with about 1 post per day. With 23500SP, I'm able to curate manually without paying much attention to timing and earn around 50 SP in curation rewards. Basically I'm getting the full value of my content because I'm curating to make up for what I lose to curators.

What I see with 50/50: More people voting, which equals higher rewards on posts. So curators can take 50 percent and in some cases, due to more incoming votes, people coming out with higher rewards than before. Then if they're in the position someone like me is in, they can make up for the 50 percent loss by curating others and seeing a larger portion of curation reward flow in. I can see myself earning more with 50/50 simply because of the added incentive to vote. It seems like the 50/50 would create enough incentive to lead up to a positive feedback loop. Purely speculation of course.

If others wanted to be in my situation, they could simply power up their earnings like I did. The incentive is there, and that also contributes to this positive feedback loop I speak of.

I also have a link to share with you. I offer the perspective of a content producer who's been around for over two years, what struggles we face. Sometimes we don't have much of a voice here, but this is mine. Near the bottom I offer a possible solution to some of the chaos we're experiencing and a way to bring in new money to the platform, the smart way, using a proven business model with some added innovation. Power through it if you have time. I feel it's worth it.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@nonameslefttouse/turning-rage-into-the-soothing-steem-now-blowing-out-my-butt-as-i-mince-my-words-for-you-the-reader-of-this

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So many bloggers will be totally pisst, changing to 50% Curation would mean that authors get less money per article.

A very drastic and unnecessary move. I remember those days, and we did not have any quality articles. With few exceptions, it was for the most part "circle jerking" going on back then.

We want the people to thrive here, not so fun watching you $8 post, knowing you only going to get $4.

Let's forget about going back and instead speed up these account creation. That system works way too slow, rather fix that because we do want people to come here.

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First, I disagree with your assessment of quality "now" vs "then", especially if we're talking about the trending page.

I think you're missing the key point of Kevin's post and my earlier one: the current 75/25 split encourages self-voting of nearly contentless posts over voting for quality posts written by others. The idea behind increasing rewards for curation is to reward voters who vote on quality posts (by which they gain curation rewards) rather than just voting for their own posts or their socket puppet posts (by which they gain author rewards).

The idea is to change the economic incentives to cause voters to behave in a way that better content rises to the top. At 75/25 the economics are totally weighted in favor of self-voters. If you follow that out to its long-term end, the self-voters end up with all the coin.

As far as upsetting bloggers, I believe the final result will be to make them happier (especially if they are good bloggers, as the change in voting will reward "better" content more than "crap" content). The primary driver for higher rewards for both authors and curators is a higher Steem price. Anything we can do that moves the price of Steem higher benefits everyone in the Steem community. Having Steem work properly as a efficient content curator will make the coin more attractive. The current self-voting issues are a big black eye for the coin.

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I would be quite happy with that. Getting $4 from $8 is better than getting $3 from $4. However, I imagine it might create a little problem for bot owners.

I appreciate your initiative bringing back some movement in the rewards discussion. A higher curation reward share and free flags both sound good to me.

Although I share @whatsup's concern that moving back to a superlinear curve will not incentivize voting on better content but on known successful authors, I also feel like the overall situation can't get worse than it is now. After the last big changes to the reward system we said we'll have to test and change more, so let's do that!

I'm also not convinced that paying stakers an automated return wouldn't improve the content rating - as long as they get the same they'd get with vote farming. Why should anyone put in the work if they can make the same or more without. What I can see though is a risk that the reward pool would shrink to a small fraction of what it is today. Definitely a lot bigger change than your proposal, so I'll support that for now.

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Hi thanks for dropping by @pharesim!

Although I share @whatsup's concern that moving back to a superlinear curve will not incentivize voting on better content but on known successful authors, I also feel like the overall situation can't get worse than it is now.

Curation services will emerge out of the proposal and we'll have the best of both worlds (something like n^1.3, which is between n and n^2), just need sometime for it to play out until it reaches the new economic equilibrium. Cheaper downvotes are a contingency and coupled with n^1.3, we'd have a manageable playing field for community self-reg.

I'm also not convinced that paying stakers an automated return wouldn't improve the content rating - as long as they get the same they'd get with vote farming. Why should anyone put in the work if they can make the same or more without.

With the proposed changes, passive staking could work (or else we just have a shrunken rewards pool under the same econs), although stakeholders will most likely delegate to curation services which should more or else bring about the same returns as bidbots.

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Well, probably everything has been said by now. Flags aren't free, they have a social cost. And a big issue in the reward economics is that we force people to participate in something they don't care about. Those will always go the easiest route to make their profit, which under superlinear means automation towards successful authors. With n^1.x less than in the old days, but probably still noticeable.
The reward economics would drastically change when staking is more profitable than vote farming, the assumption that it'd stay the same doesn't make sense to me. There'd be no more bid bots and self voting, as those looking to maximize profits wouldn't participate in that econ any more.
But that's running in circles with assumptions on both sides, no way to tell with certainty without testing in the live environment.
Anything that makes bidbots less profitable is good, and that's something your suggestion will definitely achieve!

I wrote a post 2 years ago and the conclusion is a linear reward distribution mechanism depends on downvoters to succeed if possible. IMHO efforts should be made towards finding and incentivizing good downvoters. What I have done and am still doing is in this direction, see @adm and the old downvoting event. However, encouraging downvoting is hard and can easily be abused if designed poorly; it's also controversial and comes with costs since most people don't understand it, E.G. due to downvoting my witness has been voted down from top 20 long before. I had another post analyzed curation rewards distribution mechanism and perhaps helpful for you. Good luck.

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what's yoyow doing in terms of voting economics?

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The yoyow blockchain doesn't have voting right now. I don't know whether nor when it will be there. 3rd-party platforms running on yoyow e.g. biask.org have off-chain voting but I don't know the details.

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What do you think about a 10% separate downvote pool @abit? Linear does give everyone the ability to immediately gain the maximum returns per SP exercised being entirely content indifferent, so it does seem like an unmanageable field for downvoting activities. And thanks for the links! Will check them out!

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Sorry, I don't know whether a downvote poll will work, or how it will work. Who can use the energy in the pool? How to prevent it from being abused?

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Downvoting is a really bad idea, it destroys social bonds.

Just saying. "Punishing" bad content should be done on the social level like in the tight-knit human communities of earlier ages when people "behaved" because they didn't want to become pariahs in their communities. The threat of "not getting the community upvotes" anymore (because of bad behaviour) is much more effective and less damaging than outright downvoting

Interesting thoughts, but I am sceptical:
1. Increasing curation rewards
Assuming that your measures would work and it would be easy to find good content on trending since it gets rewarded highly, higher curation rewards would disincentivize voting on this content in most cases. If I see a great post on trending or hot, voting on it will get me less curation rewards than voting on a mediocre post that has next to no rewards yet but will have some rewards since the author has loyal followers. Non-linear curation rewards would improve this situation, but not change it. Under the current system, this is the reason why I have set up a large part of my votes as autovoting for my favourite authors - voting at 13 minutes gets me much higher curation rewards than selectively voting the best content in my feed once a day would.
2. A non-linear voting system
Non linear rewards could be beneficial, but assuming there would still be vote-sellers, non-linear rewards would make buying a lot of votes more profitable - even more, curationreaper bots would vote before the vote-sellers do to increase their curation rewards
3. Downvote Pool
Voting power for flags coming out of the upvote pool is only one reason why there is so little flagging. The more important part is the fear of flagwars - I would love to flag many vote-farmers, but I know that this would likely result in them flagging me back. An anonymous downvote pool could be the solution there - if the whale I flagged can't see that it was me who flagged him, he can't flag me back.

Having been on the platform for nearly a year, I am at a point where I am sceptical if the rewards system can be fixed at all without leaving loopholes for farming rewards by abusing the system. The only solution I can see is that at one point delegating SP would become more profitable than voting (be it self-voting or reaping curation rewards) since so many dApps would want to rent SP to reward their users. For them, distributing their upvotes to the best content would be in their best interest for growing their platform.

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"An anonymous downvote pool could be the solution there - if the whale I flagged can't see that it was me who flagged him, he can't flag me back."

That is a double edge sword, and that 2nd edge would have the opposite effect that you are hoping for.

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I would hope for something like this to encourage flagging while preventing flagwars at the same time. Flagging will always be controversial, but taking Reddit as an example, while it can have negative results in some cases where flagging is abused to punish individuals or views, it mostly helps to prevent low-quality posts from reaching high visibility

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The ability to downvote away the rewards of others is already one of the worst features here - if you were to allow it anonymously, (and cheaply), you would kill the community.

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That was kind of my point.

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easy to find good content on trending since it gets rewarded highly, higher curation rewards would disincentivize voting on this content in most cases

Curation rewards are NOT supposed to encourage voting on content that is already trending. It is supposed to encourage finding unvoted (or lightly voted) content that is undiscovered. Yes, in some cases this can be done now with a favorite author list but as more people compete for curation rewards (which isn't very much now because so much of the voting power doesn't bother), that simple strategy will no longer work (others will jump in ahead of you at 12 minutes and 'steal' your rewards, or even better do so only on the content from your favorite authors which is expected to do the best, which ends up 'stealing' even more of your rewards). Curators will have to work harder, become more clever, and dig deeper to discover good content.

Voting power for flags coming out of the upvote pool is only one reason why there is so little flagging

Very true. Addressing that one reason would still help.

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Curators will have to work harder, become more clever, and dig deeper to discover good content.

Currently, the accounts that earn the most curation rewards are not human curators - not even @curie top curators who spend hours a day scouting for the best under-rewarded posts - but curationreaper bots. Anyone with some basic knowledge of Python or JS can write such a bot and specify custom rules - for example, a bot could vote for my favourite authors at 13 minutes but only, if the post reward is below 0.04$ or vote comments by Utopian or Steemhunt curators before the big upvote hits or vote for posts in quality tags such as #travelfeed, #utopian-io or #ocd-resteem if they have low rewards, a minimum author reputation of 40 and a minimum of 400 words. With some more effort it is possible to determine authors and the median voting time for maximum ROI automatically. Since there is little competition, curationreaper bots deliver a higher ROI than vote selling already, even with the current curation rewards being only 25%. If curation rewards were raised, bots would still outperform human curators, but this would increase the competition of curationreaper bots taking away rewards from human curators subsequently. Probably, we would see curationreaper bots that one can delegate to instead of bid-bots - I doubt though that raising curation rewards would achieve the goal of rewarding content based on its quality.

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Probably, we would see curationreaper bots that one can delegate to instead of bid-bots

There is already, @nfc is pretty good at getting curation rewards by trying to vote on quality content.

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Yeah, that's what I was referring to, I first noticed @nfc a few weeks back. I had the impression that @nfc votes early on authors who usually receive at least a few Dollars of rewards on this type of content

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Your balance is below $0.3. Your account is running low and should be replenished. You have roughly 10 more @dustsweeper votes. Check out the Dustsweeper FAQ here: https://steemit.com/dustsweeper/@dustsweeper/dustsweeper-faq

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Interesting; I had never thought of that before.

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Since there is little competition

The reason there is so little competition is that only a tiny portion of stake can earn decent curation rewards with the total as low as 25%, For the vast majority of stake, the return from the 75% vote selling/bid bot/self voting share is always going to be a lot higher. That's simple math; it can't be any other way.

With curation boosted to 50% (along with the other changes) the math changes dramatically. The contest between curation and selling/bidding/self-voting at least then starts out even and not stacked 3-to-1. But the economics changes not only due to the 25->50 and 75->50 shifts (both are important here), but because dumb curation bot votes on mediocre or poor content that gets overvalued (as well as attempts to revert to self/paid/bid voting) has a greater chance to get downvoted, seriously harming the ROI, further pushing the balance toward good curation. But more importantly, the overall economic changes will likely shift tens of millions of dollars worth of stake from dumb voting to smart voting. The talent that will be brought to bear (both in terms of talented human curators and smarter bots) will be dramatically different. (Think NBA vs. neighborhood pick up.)

This is a huge change from the status quo. Not every aspect of the outcome can be predicted (it never can), but extrapolating from the current situation rather than thinking through the economics from first principles is likely to get things very, very wrong.

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Not every aspect of the outcome can be predicted (it never can), but extrapolating from the current situation rather than thinking through the economics from first principles is likely to get things very, very wrong.

This is true, so let's look at higher curation rewards in action: Another advocate of 50% curation rewards is @heimindanger. A few months back, @dtube launched an experiment where they would take 25% beneficiary rewards and redistribute them to curators, effectively raising curation rewards to 43.75+%. The huge DTube upvotes on manually curated videos further raise curation rewards on good content.
Did it result in a huge increase of manual curation on DTube posts? I honestly don't know, it would be interesting to compare the curation activity on DTube posts with and without the raised curation rewards. From the fact that DTube has discontinued this experiment a few weeks ago I assume that it has not had the desired effect though.

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The huge dtube upvotes distort the whole thing in my view. I can't really tell if anyone uses these apps (or curates their content) because there is real demand for it, or mostly because there is massive free delegation subsidizing it all. Is the game really about 'curation' or is it about catch-the-delegation-money?

huge increase of manual curation

Bear in mind that the goal (particularly of the poster here) isn't necessarily manual curation per se, it is changing voting behavior to be less content agnostic and less focused on self-enrichment with no real contribution. That could be manual curation, but mostly it means making the self-voting type stuff unprofitable so people stop doing it. If they instead delegate to even a mediocre (bot or human) curator, that is still better than self-voting and vote-selling (at least according to the poster, but I would generally agree).

As for discontinuing the experiment, the obvious question to ask is where is the money (which, again, is largely a game of catch-the-free-delegation-money) going now and why was that decision to move it made? It wouldn't necessarily need to have anything to do with the curation.

There still might be useful data there, I don't know.

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When does the mined stake take its thumb off the content creation scale, and its profits solely from price increase?

I was reminded, again this week, that my content doesnt pass the conformity bar set by delegated stake.
We still have to suffer from the snobbery of centralized control on a 'decentalized' platform?

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  1. Not soon enough.
  2. I have no idea.

Hi Kevin, I assume that some time after the introduction of SMTs the author/curation rewards in STEEM / SBD /SP will be removed from the blockchain protocol and will be replaced by a Steemit SMT. So new STEEM will only generated by the Witnesses, and STEEM will become a application centric "EOS-light". With this move plus the introduction of Oracles the Selfvoting and the Bidbots are gone, even Sell your vote is not longer possible, because Vote-Sellers are probably marked as bad actors in the Oracles. See also https://steemit.com/roadtosteemfest/@twinner/road-to-steemfest-some-thoughts-about-steem-the-steemfest-hattrick-raffle-inside

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Hi @twinner. The proposal above consist of very low cost changes for most impact, which was actually very important earlier this year to stay on top, but now Steemit has slipped away in web rankings. Maybe it's still not too late. It's just the content-indifference that could be fixed. SMTs also do not have tweaks for downvote pools, curation rewards, and only have n and n^2 without any ability to support stuff like n^1.3 - they may all be important features for token customization.

@trafalgar addressed the concerns about plans to wait for SMTs / GPTs / etc:-

SMTs and Good Person Tokens will solve this - Problematic View

Maybe. Don't get me wrong, I think SMTs are great. But they're 6 months away and in reality, it'll take far longer for any of them to garner sufficient market confidence to really play a role in the content discovery process. The use of Oracles also impose very high practical cost and a lot can go wrong in reality. Basically they're very far off and a lot needs to go right for them to work effectively. Something like n^1.3, 10% free downvotes and 50% curation is just a lot more direct and simpler and easier to implement. Ultimately we need the Steem base token to have a functional reward distribution too, not just SMTs, which are a big If.

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Hi Kevin, short term I also support your ideas. Lift curation rewards to 75%, then there is no need to sell your vote or delegate to bidbots.

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I think changing only the curation rewards to 75% is in effect the same as what we have now at 25%. There's a symmetry. For example, 0% curation rewards is in effect the same as if we use 100% curation rewards. When it's 0% curation rewards, users will highly likely farm their own posts only, which is the same as if there's 100% curation rewards. It boils down to what the inflation is being used for. That's why we chose 50% curation rewards as one part of the proposal.

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flagged for bid bot abuse @steemflagrewards

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Steem Flag Rewards mention comment has been approved! Thank you for reporting this abuse, @themarkymark.

  • bid bot abuse
    You bought votes to increase the rewards of your post above the value of its content. This post was submitted via our Discord Community channel. Check us out on the following link!
    SFR Discord
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You got a 44.26% upvote from @luckyvotes courtesy of @atempt!

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This comment has received a 64.10 % upvote from @steemdiffuser thanks to: @stimialiti.

Bids above 0.05 SBD may get additional upvotes from our trail members.

Get Upvotes, Join Our Trail, or Delegate Some SP

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You got a 30.21% upvote from @sleeplesswhale courtesy of @stimialiti!

The most common problem that leads to failure of an economy is wealth inequality. When wealth inequality becomes too high the people at the top create rules/policies to make sure their wealth is protected so they can continue earning wealth, while the people at the bottom begin to give up because they see the economy can no longer provide what they need to survive because most of the already created and new currency is going to people at the top. This applies to all economic models, does not matter if those economies are created by governments or blockchains.

So if you want to make the STEEM blockchain more successful the solution is simple, you have to create rules that provide a more even distribution of the STEEM that is created. I would make the following two changes

1

Only allow 1 upvote per account from another account in a 24 hour period. Meaning you can only upvote yourself once in 24 hours and any other account only once every 24 hours. (this would not eliminate but improve the unequal distribution of newly created STEEM and you can post as much as you want, it would only be a voting restriction)

2

Make downvotes anonymous and also put the same 24 hour restriction per account on downvotes. I think most people do not downvote because they fear retaliation from bigger accounts.

The two above steps would be enough to attract users because it would force people to spread their votes out among many accounts. You can add another step if you want to make an extreme change by eliminating voting bots.

3

Create a captcha feature on the blockchain to verify every vote cast is being cast by a human, this would basically eliminate all automated voting and force people to participate.

There are of course reasons for and against this but basically a social network website is just that, a place for humans to socially interact. When a human buys $1000 USD worth of STEEM and rents that STEEM via a voting bot to earn interest and does not socially interact on that website that does nothing to improve the website. All they did is buy STEEM from an existing user and are now selling their vote, their purchase at the time may have increased the value of STEEM but they are not contributing to the long term success of the platform.

The real value of the STEEM blockchain are the human users who participate and interact on it every day. STEEM is worthless, it only has value when humans assign value to it, the more humans participate the more humans will value it.

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I mainly upvoted the comment for the first idea of yours. It's interesting.

As for the 2nd, anonymous downvoting seems not possible with the blockchain.

As for the 3rd, captcha feature won't help at all or maybe help very little. There are a lot of anti-captcha services and it's quite easy for bot creators to implement an anti-captcha service into their bots.

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Bots simply bypass the web UI altogether and interact with the blockchain via the API. They won't see a captcha nor need to circumvent it, thought they could if they needed to as you say.

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You're right. It's a frontend solution and can't help in terms of blockchain.

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You raise some interesting points. Rule 1, could be effective as it restricts continuous voting of the same content, i.e. 10 times a day as we have seen with some accounts.

Rule 2 would be very difficult to apply as all actions are recorded on the blockchain. Any initiation of a downvote would be traceable back to the account in one way or another.

Rule 3 could also be tricky to implement as well as some accounts are partially automated.

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Your ideas would kill any incentive to buy and hold Steem.

Holders of Steem would be losing 8% per year to inflation, with no benefit.

So what you are advocating is for those who can afford to buy and hold be forced to subsidize those at the bottom through the inflationary tax imposed by the system.

If holders can not at least keep up with inflation, there is no reason to buy Steem.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Humans invented currency to be used as an exchange medium for goods and services. An economy is only successful if the majority of humans who participate in that economy are earning and spending currency. An economy begins to fail when the majority of humans who participate are no longer earning enough which means they are not spending enough, this is usually due to, too much money being earned by the minority and being held by the minority.

The STEEM blockchain is an economy, not exactly like an economy created by a country's government, but these same principals still apply. Currently the main thing that gives STEEM value is the social media website(s) that function on top of the STEEM blockchain. So if you want to ensure long term success of the STEEM blockchain you have to create an economy that will benefit the majority which will mostly be new users creating accounts on the STEEM blockchain.

In the future if tens of millions of more users sign up onto the STEEM blockchain and they start using STEEM as a currency to exchange for real world goods and services that will also increase the value of STEEM. That is happening a little bit now but most of the value humans see in STEEM is from the social media aspect it was designed for.

If holders can not at least keep up with inflation, there is no reason to buy Steem.

When a user buys STEEM, it may increase the price of STEEM vs another currency at that moment in time, but that does nothing for the long term growth of the STEEM blockchain. All that happens is STEEM is moved from an existing user X account to a new user Y account. If user Y does not participate on the social media aspect of the STEEM blockchain but only uses their new bought STEEM to earn more STEEM by selling their votes, they are not contributing value, they are extracting value. Not only that, they are only able to extract that value because other users who actually participate buy their votes.

The reason I proposed the 3 steps I did is because that is an economic model that would benefit users who participate on the social media aspect and forces all users to spread out their voting power to many users. If you want the STEEM blockchain to compete with sites like facebook/twitter/instagram you have to attract more users to sign up. New users will not sign up nor participate when the see the majority of new created STEEM is going to those users who already have the majority of STEEM that has been created in the past.

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Talking to this thread is like talking to Karl Marx's ghost. Everyone thinks they can create an economy based on their own personal beliefs instead of an understanding of human behavior and economics.

  1. anonymous and cheap downvotes will kill all aspects of the social side of this platform, and will do absolutely nothimg to stop (or even influence) selfish behavior. It might stop some self-voting. But it will also incentivise downvoting every other post or comment instead. Downvoting everyone else creates an advantage. And that is far worse than we have now. It simply changes things from a positive (upvote yourself) to a negative (downvote everyone else.).

  2. anonymous and cheap downvotes will turn into political battles. No different than now, we have a tendency to upvote those we agree with, regardless of content quality. That would extend to downvoting everyone we disagree with. We see that now already even though downvoting is expensive. This would eventually kill any dissenting view other than mainstream.

  3. increasing users to give value to the coin. Sure. Increasing the user base will temporarily increase the proce of steem. But, your proposals (only quality content will be upvoted) will ensure that 90% of new users will not be able to earn. 90% of users will never be able to create professional quality content. So there is no reason for them to be here. They create an account, get frustrated, and leave. There is no reason for them to ever invest money in the system. Your explanation also compmetely ignores the need for buyers. If I AM able to make Steem here by creating content, I need a buyer so that I can use those earnings in the real economy. Without buyers who expect some kind of benefit from holding Steem, price will drop to zero no matter how many new users are onboarded..

At that point, it is a completely closed economy of people exchanging worthless tokens..

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Talking to this thread is like talking yo Karl Marx's ghost. Everyone thinks they can create an economy based on their own personal beliefs instead of an understanding of human behavior and economics.

I am not basing my ideas on personal beliefs, I am basing them on math, human behavior and economics.

The current human behavior we are seeing on the STEEM blockchain is occurring because of the current rules that the STEEM blockchain operates on. If you want to change this human behavior you have to change the rules of the STEEM blockchain, it is that simple.

The only reason anything on earth has value is because humans assign it value based on wants and needs. Look at Facebook for example, it has a current valuation of about $400 Billion, if tomorrow every single user on Facebook decided to delete their account Facebook's value would drop to $0. A social media network has no value without users, if you want to increase value you have to increase users and reward them to keep them coming back.

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Exactly my point.

And yet, this thread is about trying to change everyone's behavior based on the wants of a few witnesses instead of the needs of an entire community.

At least one of the proposals will kill Steem - because of economic and behavioral ignornace.

Downvoting is already one of the most divisive and damaging aspects of Steem - strengthening it will kill the coin.

You will introduce downvoting for profit. You will introduce even bigger flag-wars. You will destroy any possibility of a social site. Instead of people upvoting opinions they agree with, they will downvote opinions they disagree with. If will be a complete shit show... And it will do nothing to encourage quality content.

You need to remember - 90% of users are not capable of producing quality content in the first place. And if you arent going to let them share in rewards - then there is no reason for them to be here...

Posted using Partiko Android

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