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Given the behavior, the question is, why is he a protected species ?

Why does @nextgencrypto receive such support from other witnesses ?? Perhaps we should be putting pressure on them for this to end ?

To see @justineh run to his defense and just blame the victims is just baffling. I was particularly disgusted with his treatment of @lyndsaybowes. What was her supposed crime ??

Is there anyone out there can actually explain how this bullying petty childish character, who frankly adds nothing to the platform, is not only not opposed but instead downplayed, supported and defended ?

Serious, what am I missing here ?!

Every time I think of plowing some money into this platform, I just look this corruption, the frustration anger and turmoil it creates, and think... Nahhh.

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I think there is an answer to all your questions, and it's profiteering. There are two different routes to ROI: sucking the money out of a business, or profiteering, and building a business up until the stock is worth more than it was when you bought it, or investing.

The two are diametrically opposed philosophically, morally, and really, as in bricks and mortar reality. We observe that Steem is built on profiteering. The rhetoric of profiteers is never forthright, stating they intend to destroy the goose that lays the golden egg because they can just seize the broken shells and move on and profit, but ever seeks to get people to invest. What people invest they take.

Until posts are no longer able to be manipulated to create unlimited rewards, profiteers will be able to manipulate the financial mechanisms and extract unlimited rewards from the pool using posts as a vector. I have proposed implementation of the Huey Long algorithm, that will limit the payout on posts to no less than 3% of median payout, and no more than 300%, which is three orders of magnitude, but too little to enable profiteering via financial manipulation using stake as a weapon.

No one wants to limit payouts, because everyone dreams of whale votes and sudden riches who isn't a whale using such votes to suck the vast majority of the rewards pool into their wallet. This is as short sighted as gamblers betting their last dime. Les Miserables were Napolean's soldiers and prisoners of war that gambled away their clothes in English prisons, so this is not a new psychological phenomenon.

Steem is designed for maximum ROI for ninjaminers, not for creating a society that burgeons over time, despite the mechanism underlying Steem enabling that. However, as Steem value falls, and the market collapses due to the financial benefits inuring only to a few whales, eventually those whales need to move on and invest in new vehicles for profit.

At that time, a HF that implements something like the Huey Long algorithm can transform Steem from a vehicle for profiteering into a vehicle for investors, swapping parasitization of production for long term growth and capital gains.

I await the departure of the whales, so that the new paradigm of government Steem enables can be invested in, grow, and flourish without vampires sucking it's life's blood into their yawning maws. That day approaches, and the lower the price of Steem, the sooner it comes.

Bernie is one of the original ninjaminers. He invented the bidbot with @randowhale. He's not dumb, he's just consumed with avarice, and his poor impulse control renders him incapable of investment (as far as I can tell, anyway). When he sees an opportunity off chain that enables him to swap his stake, or the fiat he's sold stake for, for another target he can mine for ROI, he'll be gone. The problem is doing so will crash the price of Steem because he has so much of it, and the community will be strongly motivated to seek redress for the many torts he's committed. Then the blockchain will be evidence that will cost him money, and lots of it.

He wants it deleted, and then he can move on, he thinks. It won't be. I am pretty sure some folks have mirrors of the chain that keep them off chain and private, and killing Steem won't set him free from the evidence of his criminal acts.

Also, he's just the face of a community of profiteers, not the only one. Looking at steemd, you can see the relationships between he and other witnesses, substantial stakeholders, and bidbot owners like @markymark. He is the visible face of predation, but they all work together to consume the value of the content creators provide. This is why he's not crushed by the collective weight of the other profiteers, and why @dan flagging him to -16 rep was significant.

I expected the downvote pool to be used by him to make Steem social media a void wasteland, crashing the price so the whales could move on to greener pastures. While that hasn't yet happened, it's early days.

We shall see what comes, when it comes. Either way I am not focused on my stake, but on the underlying mechanism of Steem that enables voluntarist government.

Thanks!

I agree with many of your points, and often learn from you as well. This isn't one of those times.

I could be wrong, but it seems there are separate issues that are getting blurred. I know people are tired of hearing this, but Steemit (the main faucet for Steem) is not Steem. It is an interface that happens to be privately owned by those involved in the creation of the chain. I'm not sure of their, or any witnesses, liability in any legal sense to spend their energy and holdings to fight off moves by others of large stake that are harsh and rude.

For many chains, there is only one way to profit primarily. You buy and either sell quick on pumps or hodl and hope for long term growth due to a growth in adoption.

This chain has the added feature of a growing stake to offset loss from inflation coupled with a faucet that is powered by those with stake. That feature in no way negates the normal method most chains offer as a possibility for returns (pump or hodl).

It is your right (as it is all stakeholders rights) to express your thoughts and seek to sway action one way or another, but that is where that right ends. I'm not sure where you are seeing a legal liability when the very nature of a stake based system allows/insists for this dynamic.

This is just a surface look. Looking deeper, they have no real ability to take any action against most people. If a person was determined and had their account(s) banned, nothing would stop them from pulling their stake to exchanges and bringing it back into new accounts. How much energy would one, in your estimation, be legally obligated to expending to play whack a mole?

None of this is an endorsement of actions that have hit several I hold in high esteem hard. It is an honest look and assessment at what is. I have pointed out before, there is nothing stopping those who have had enough from starting their own chain/forking this one and running it the way they see fit. But even then, not sure how one would curb the stake issue. Stake/might makes right. That's the essence of the stake based system.

It seems to me that if it reaches a point where it causes so much grief, the common sense thing to do would be leave, and/or start your own chain.

One can either designate it to being like other chains whose investment potential is through pump/hodl, and perhaps keep what one has staked even to grow from the pool payouts to offset inflation.

Or, sell it all and invest in something else (or blow it all, whatever floats the boat).

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Well, I see that Stinc is so far the sole developer of the chain, and the witnesses run it. Stinc has a fiduciary obligation to it's stockholders, and under American law actually is bound to maximize profits for it's shareholders. Further, the blockchain is open for business to the public, and there is an obligation that such business not cause it's customers to be harmed as an effect of it's business practices. Both to it's stockholders and to it's customers, Stinc bears obligations of fiduciary prudence and to not cause harm, respectively. Jurisdictions in which Stinc operates may also otherwise burden it with obligations.

Harm isn't just physical. One of the features of Steem, part of it's business model, is downvotes, and another is content, including comments. Steemit describes how downvotes should be deployed in it's papers. Personal antipathy is not called for, and IIRC is described as a negative impact on the business in practice, and should be discouraged. Additionally, Stinc has an obligation to prevent harm to it's customers, and by allowing Bernie's botnet to repeatedly commit criminal acts via comments and posts that constitute threats of violent physical attack, sexual harassment, libel, and extortion, as it provably has for years now, Stinc has neglected to prevent, stop, or mitigate that harm, and therefore injured parties can claim Stinc has harmed them, if only through negligence.

It doesn't matter if you or I agree that such speech is a crime. It matters that those crimes are on the books, and courts can act on them to sanction both criminally and financially, which will possibly cause you and I intolerable harm - and that this harm is entirely unnecessary and avoidable.

By allowing stakeholders, or customers, to do harm to others without undertaking actions legally available to them to prevent and mitigate such harm, Stinc causes that harm either intentionally or negligently in whole or part, depending on the specifics. Flagging for personal reasons can constitute harm (loss of business) if conducted as it has been from time to time by Bernie's botnet, causing accounts to suffer loss of income and reputation, and the limited censorship greying out posts and comments effects, over extended periods.

This isn't theoretical. It's the proven business model of institutions mentioned in the OP to prevent spam, plagiarism, and scams.

Stinc can act to prevent such opinion flags from even happening (I don't recommend that, but they can), or they can mitigate such flagging, as @freezepeach does, and I also do to accounts I follow as I am able. Since those flags would not cause the harm Bernie intends it is likely they would not be continued (this brings up an interesting point: now that the downvote pool provides free flags equal to 25% of one's VP, there is no 'free' VP available to counter them. That may be something to look at, if opinion flagging is harming the platform, and available VP isn't able to prevent that harm). I can't mitigate much, and @freezepeach has limits too, but Stinc could prevent harm from being done at all by simply countering the flags.

" It is an interface that happens to be privately owned by those involved in the creation of the chain. I'm not sure of their, or any witnesses, liability in any legal sense to spend their energy and holdings to fight off moves by others of large stake that are harsh and rude."

The harshness and rudeness didn't come up in my screed. That's free speech, ill advised though it may be. Threats of physical violence, extortion, sexual harassment, and libel aren't merely bad manners, they're criminal acts. When a long established pattern of tolerating bad actors committing criminal acts via services and mechanisms that are the ordinary manner of doing business is clearly demonstrable, allegations of negligence, at best, are potential and actionable. Stinc has an obligation under law to prevent crimes from being committed with it's resources, and there is a further obligation to not harm it's customers, a tort. It is apparent that organizations have arisen on Steem to satisfy some of Stinc's obligations using downvotes to discourage bad actors, and in many cases this does work. A great deal of spam, plagiarism, scams and what not has been prevented when those organization downvoted the accounts undertaking those harms and caused them to cease such activity by making it unprofitable.

It is arguable that no such organization has the stake to do to Bernie's botnet what @dan did. Since they cannot completely suppress the botnet due to it's stake, they don't try, or at least that's a reason. That may not be the reason, and allegations could be made that collusion was involved. Given delegations from certain associates of Bernie's were used, or even Bernie's botnet itself, to fund those organizations, more or less credence and actionable liability may inure to such groups, depending on many factors, such as if claims were made as to what actions would be undertaken, to what degree, what metrics govern, who provided funds, and on and on. It is not plausible to exclude practically any allegation from injured parties, ranging from claims of fraud, misuse of funds, to failing to perform obligations for which consideration has been paid, and even possibly silly extremes, like mental anguish.

I am aware of such allegations being made currently, on chain.

How courts will resolve such matters, I don't know. I am not making the claims. I consider it unfortunate they are being made, but worse that they are not unjustified. Not only such organizations, but Stinc has not acted to protect folks it sought to provide a service to, who were harmed by the actions of one botnet they clearly have both the ability and the obligation to prevent. When they censored @fulltimegeek, they actually cleared away impediments to the malicious botnet's causing harm. I am not claiming they did so and chortled like villains in their secret hideaway, but others might well do so, and it is undeniable that some people suspect collusion.

Again, I am aware of specific claims of exactly that being made on chain. I am not making them.

I am pointing to them, and saying 'we need to make these problems stop happening.' By acting with it's stake to counter Bernie's botnet, Stinc could do what @dan did, and greatly encourage a change in behaviour. I haven't seen such action taken. By doing to Bernie's botnet what was done to @fulltimegeek, Stinc could prevent crimes from being committed again. That didn't happen. By using it's stake to mitigate the opinion flags they could prevent some harm. They don't. There may be other action being taken to discourage such profiteering and criminal harm, but I am not privy to it. I do hope that is the case, however.

Might makes right is not the whole of the law. Not sure why you mentioned it.

As you point out, many people having reached their limit of grief and left their accounts as a result of abuse from this botnet. Allowing that to become a major impediment to growth was poor judgment on the part of Stinc reflecting on it's obligation to it's stockholders, and the expectations of stakeholders. There are specific ways in which financial support is thrown to Bernie and his witness, and those that have an obligation to prevent crimes supporting Bernie's witness financially at the very least appear to be not only endorsing those actions, the claim can be made that they are financing them by supporting the witness.

Finally, all of these issues are real and actual, including that claims of intent to pursue relief through legal action have been made by parties that have suffered real and actual harm due to criminal acts. My hope is that action will be undertaken to eliminate such liabilities from impacting Steem, as liabilities drain value from Steem and degrade society. They are unnecessary, and it is unreasonble to consider them overly difficult to prevent. Before action at law is undertaken, which can be very expensive, it would be reasonable to seek to mitigate harm that underlies claims that can be pressed by injured parties. Perhaps only gestures and sympathy are required to satisfy those parties, rather than expensive payments and all too visible litigation and bad PR.

I have repeatedly pointed out that I am not one of the parties undertaking litigation and don't intend to. These parties do exist though, and are not going to be the last ones to do so - unless these harmful actions are prevented.

You seem to be saying to me 'if you don't like it, leave.' Would you say that to someone who took a car to a carwash where it was keyed by one of the employees who was bigger than it's owner? There are reasons the owner of the carwash would not say that, and most of them are sound business practices, such as not driving customers away, and not suffering legal action to impact the conduct of profitable business, and not just that it's wrong to pay someone to key someone's car.

Good management just doesn't work that way. Stinc and witnesses have obligations to folks that have stock in Stinc, have Steem, use Steemit to engage and publish, and use other services using Stinc's APIs and nodes, as well as to jurisdictions in which they offer services. You may not think Stinc has these obligations, but laws exist whether you like them or not, and these events have happened. IRL actions have consequences, and the consequences of these actions may well impact you, I, and many other people intolerably. I reckon the parties in positions of responsibility to shareholders and customers should meet those responsibilities, and so should we all. We should not commit crimes using Steem, and when we find out folks are committing crimes using Steem, we should act to stop it, prevent it from happening again, and seek to make folks that have suffered those crimes whole as we are able. Stinc and the witnesses are paid, and obligated by law, to do those things, in addition to them being the right thing to do.

I am opposed to profiteering, as you know already. I am in favor of capital gains, or what you have referred to as HODL and pump. It is not only other social media platforms that attract investment from investors seeking capital gains, but almost all commercial enterprise since long before the historical record began. This is not a condemnation of it, as if capital gains were obsolete. If the profiteering model was working out well for Steem; the number of users growing, the community happy with it, perhaps even the price of Steem rising, it would be shown to be a successful business model and Stinc would be meeting it's obligation to it's stockholders.

I don't think it is. I'm not a stockholder, so no one cares. Stockholders may seek redress of such grievance though, and that would affect you and I both, so I don't want that to become an issue.

Just because rewards are paid out per this or that codification doesn't mean that's the only way they can be, and HF21 is one of many examples of how such code is malleable. Code is infinitely malleable. Again, Stinc is managed by folks obligated to meet certain standards by law, and not just free to do whatever they want, regardless of whether you or I think there should be standards at all.

Steem is not performing optimally in terms of market share. HF21 doubled down on financial incentives encouraging profiteering, and I have volubly and passionately pointed out they should not do that. They did it. Well, to a degree I have been proved wrong: the price of Steem didn't immediately plunge, Bernie didn't start flagging 25% more people, or 25% harder, and bots didn't become more powerful - at least not yet.

I reckon that's good. I'm very, very glad to be wrong about those things. I hope they don't change, and prove me right if only premature. I am not confident, yet, that they won't. We will see.

However, those are separate issues from management practices courting unnecessary and expensive litigation. I am pointing out problems that seem to be leading straight to unnecessary and expensive litigation, and perhaps even worse legal problems, and volubly and passionately recommending a course of action to remedy the situation.

As a member of the community it is in my best interest to do so. As a stakeholder it is my right. As an American it's my duty to prevent crimes from happening here insofar as I'm able, and that's what I'm doing. Do you know what misprision of a felony is? It's knowing of a crime and failing to report it to authorities, and it's a felony crime under federal law. Frankly, all of us who have seen these crimes happen should have reported them. We want Steem to work, and involving federal authorities would harm Steem, so we'd better prevent crimes before some honest citizen actually follows the law and reports Bernie to federal authorities.

It's the right thing to do in this circumstance IMHO. We should hold Stinc and witnesses accountable to meet legal standards of business operations in regards to safety, management, and to improve the product provided to us as customers as we think advisable.

I'm not whining about Bernie flagging me, or anyone else. I haven't even mentioned having hundreds of Steem taken from me by a hacker (until now, just to point out that I'm not playing the victim, as you seem to imply). I'm not whining or complaining at all. I am recommending sound business practices and doing so to prevent harm from coming to the community and businesses involved, which I think is a good idea when I see that harm is seen being threatened. I didn't make this shit up.

Unless we sail the ship of Steem around the shoals and rocks of bad judgment, bad business practices, and even the appearance of corruption, collusion, and criminal acts, we're gonna sink. There is no good reason to hit those rocks and sink. These problems are easily handled, and should be. Lastly, I don't know how much Steem Bernie has, and I don't care. If he owned it all except for what I do, that doesn't make me liable to allow him to make my Steem worthless. He can either straighten up and fly right like the rest of the flock, or he can get the hell out.

Either is fine with me. Like I said, it's nothing personal. He's been bad for business, directly and personally causing these problems that affect us all, and that needs to stop. He can end it himself, folks responsible and able to do so can stop him, or we can suffer the consequences of his willful disregard, perhaps even losing such value in our HODLings as remain and seeing the community continue to shrink until Steem is gone. He's cost us a lot of money, and I don't want that to keep going on. I don't think we can let it keep going on TBQH.

Are there other options I haven't addressed in that last couple paragraphs? Of those options, which do you prefer? If you can explain better options to me, I'd be happy to change my mind. I don't particularly like the options I see available anyway. Please provide another one!

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Stinc has a fiduciary obligation to it's stockholders

They have no stockholders. That's what you aren't seeing. They are a privately held corporation. They own a faucet that allows normal folks access to participate in the function of the chain.

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Privately held corporations are owned by stockholders. That stock is not available for sale through brokerages, which makes them private corporations. The beneficial interests of each owner of the corporation is determined by how much of the stock they hold.

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Steemit has no issued stock, Steem is not shares in their corporation.

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Steemit stockholders possess beneficial interests proportionate to their shares, and you are correct that this is not issued to the public through brokerages, which means that it is a privately held corporation. Corporations are owned via shares of stock, whether one individual owns them all, they are held by several parties, or are owned by millions. Both public and private corporations.

Steem is not stock. Even if you and I owned all the Steem in the world, we would have no stake in Steemit, Inc., because we would not own the stock of the corporation.

Failure to act to prevent and limit the harm this botnet does Steem renders the rhetoric of spam fighting organizations, Stinc itself, and proponents of onboarding users and marketing Steem, hollow and duplicitous.

Well stated.

I love reading censored posts!

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Censored posts have struck the target, so I always read all of them I find. They invevitably reveal the soft white underbelly of the censors.

I note the mass flagging of the botnet under discussion seemed to end immediately following this post. It may not have generated massive rewards, but it achieved it's goal of ending the terrible impact on user retention that botnet has had.

Thanks!

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You're adorable.

The automated flagging has already stopped, thanks to some constant nagging from one of my favorite Steemians. Don't be so dense, it's time for NEW and IMPROVED Bernies!

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Great! Glad to hear you are becoming the change you want to see in society. In that vein, have you undertaken making amends to parties that claim to have suffered harm due to statements and actions you committed?

That would indeed help to insulate Steem from consequences of those acts, and reduce risk to our HODLings.

Edit: Welp, you prove to lie yet again in this comment, as no sooner had I replied than you flagged the OP with multiple socks. O, woe is me! My stake has been prevented from marginally increasing as a result of your flags! What ever shall I do?

Why do you bother? Did you miss the theft of my liquid stake and fail to note my lack of concern? I don't care about my rewards. You just diminish your VP without censoring effect by flagging me. Had you arguments of relevance and note disputing OP, making them would have actual effect, as were I to agree with them, I would say so, and be grateful to be shown the error of my statements.

Flagging without such arguments but reveals the actual problem treated in the OP. You prove my point by the flags you fly on this post, and spend your VP to do it.

For that, I thank you.