Have you been visited by them? Have you heard about them? Are you just generally curious? Do you even want to help or fight abuse on your own on Steemit?
Or have you even been visited by a special account claiming he‘s a „Steemcleaners flagger“ and want to know more? Well, here you can have all those important answers.
What and Who are the „Steemcleaner“?
The „Steemcleaner“ are a community of people whose main goal is to fight off abuse and abusers on Steemit.
What do they do?
- They fight thiefs and plagiariser.
Those people, who willfully take other peoples work and (intellectual) property can be considered thiefs and will be punished for their wrongdoing.
- They fight Spam.
One can argue what is quality content and what is not, but I am pretty sure everyone can agree that repeatedly posting and spamming the same post or repeating „Nice post“, „Nice post“... multiple times everywhere does not add „value“ to Steemit and its community.
The Cleaners-Community does not only fight abuse but also tries to expose and limit the visibility of phishing accounts. Those in need of help in recovering their account can get support and help or guidance in their Discord-Group.
- Identity Theft
Not only do they help when ones account has been taken over, but also when someone else claims to be someone they‘re not - then Steemcleaners can go against that by reducing the visibility of that account and by calling them out on their deception.
Why can‘t you just leave everyone be?
„This is a free platform! We don‘t need a police/institution here censoring content!“ is a comment one from the Steemcleaners-community often hears.
There are certain factors why we really can’t let everyone be.
The first reason is based on Steemit is self as there is the so called „Reward Pool“. That thing, where every Steemian draws their comment- and post-payouts from. Each day (according to this source) only 50'000 STEEM are added to the pool, which have to be shared between all Steemians. It does seem like such a ludicrous amount one does not have to worry about not getting their fair share, don't you agree? Well, let's put it in numbers.
If only 20 people earn 0.5 STEEM via plagiarism each, per day, clearly everyone still has enough STEEM from the „Reward Pool“ left. However, if 50'000 honest people each 1 STEEM per day, the „Reward Pool“ would be at his maximum capacity. If there were double the amount of people earning ttheir fair share of 1 STEEM a day, that would total to a net payout of 0.5 STEEM per day for each Steemian because the pool simply cannot support more people and cannot go over his daily limit.
One plagiarizer earning his unfair, unjust, share of 0.5 STEEM a day surely is no problem to the whole community and their payouts but there is not only one person "raping the reward pool". There are probably dozens and hundreds, or even more, who can game the system in such a way, that they can drag out 10 STEEM a day at ease, and that regularily.
It is also your money that's being stolen that way, with no real work behind it at all.
It sadly adds up to sums where every Steemian suffers from it.
Secondly, this reward pool is representing a real opportunity to earn real money and what content you upload here in standard settings (Payout enabled) is actually a monetization of said uploaded content. One argument is that one „only wants to share it with Steemians“ and has no monetary interest in it. If so, he should disable the Payout in the post-settings for it, as it would - otherwise - be considered theft of intellectual property.
If you take someone’s bicycle and resell it on the (black) market - then that is considered theft.
So, why is it not considered theft to take a blog article without attribution (something a real human wrote with his mind and creativity) - and reselling it on Steemit, possibly even boosted in Trending with some BidBots?
Whether you steal a coin or a piece of literature/photography, theft is and will be theft.
Of course, you as a human being are also capable of recognizing a plagiarizer, but you can be fooled as well - so why would you waste your voting power and reward some thief just because you had good faith in him that he would never steal? His rewards could get flagged away which could also remove your curation reward.
The volunteers at Steemcleaners are often very capable of using specialized tools for finding plagiarizer and reporting them to the database with the according (real) source linked with it. A human curator could rely on these Steemcleaner-comments that he shall better be wary with this author as he once stole work and might do it again.
These are valid reasons to take away rewards:
Because why should you get paid if you didn’t work for it?
„But, we're a free platform, so why do you interfere with their private business?“
This is a complaint we've all received from time to time.
Sadly, as already explained in regards to the reward pool - when someone gets paid for being a thief, they also take shares off of our and your potential rewards. Furthermore, what people don’t seem to understand is that freedom of expression does not equal freedom from consequences.
We really are a free platform, but if you are talking shit, then you should not complain about being critiqued or flagged. Especially because flags do not equal censorship. If it were to be censored, it would nowhere be found and silently removed, however a flag does not affect the existence but only the visibility of said post in certain front-ends. At this time of writing busy.org does not hide any flagged comments or posts, so a flag has literally no impact on your opinion or your visibility, but only your monetary payout.
Everyone is free to upvote, flag, comment, agree, disagree, engage, ignore what they want.
Telling people that flags are censorship or that you should go mind your own business on an open social platform or that those small votes hurt no-one - has not understood Steemit.
(see: Reward Pool, Blockchain)
If you really do want a place where you can decide who has access and may comment/critique, then I can highly recommend WordPress as it is possible to lock certain articles and posts behind a password so that only those who are actually allowed to can read that specific post. And if they say something nasty, WordPress allows you to moderate and delete said comments.
Though, isn't that censorship as well then?
If flagging on Steemit is censorship, then WordPress must be as well! ;)
Freedom of Expression does not equal Freedom from Consequences.
It means that everyone has these rights. Everyone can complain and comment about what you do.
One can think and say what they want, but if it is uttered in a public space, they can and will get criticized for it. If it’s in a close gathering in private or with friends, one is free to do as they please as long as nobody else's rights are violated. Again, you can freely express yourself in private as long as you hurt no other person. If you express yourself in public, get ready for criticism.
Simple as that.
Fighting abuse. But how?
@Steemcleaners, as a moderated community, has a Report Form where volunteering people can submit abusive content like plagiarism, spam and identity theft. This will then be reviewed, dealt with and, sometimes, flagged.
Every report is moderated and reviewed by a human person, unlike @Cheetah where every comment is generated automatically as that bot scans posts and the internet for algorithmic similarities between a page and a Steemit-article.
If either of them make a mistake, the person affected by it can go into their SC-Discord and have it sorted out easily. However, if Steemcleaners sees a flag necessary, e.g. for serial-plagiarizers, then they will flag. Even with their maximum flag-power of 120$, if necessary.
Steemcleaners does also pay a small allowance to those handing in successful abuse reports which results in SP-Power-Ups each week according to the amount of said reports. This is, especially for new Steemians, a very good way to get hands on their first couple of SP.
Steemcleaners and their volunteers can be found on the Steemcleaners-Discord-Channel.
Steemcleaners does quite a good job in fighting abuse, but it's capabilities are limited, as all abusive content and abusers have to be manually handed in and manually confirmed.
It is often impossible to automatically scan for true plagiarism in photos and texts. To successfully fight the masses of plagiarism and abuse on Steemit, Steemcleaners needs a lot of volunteers to combat improper financial earnings on and from the platform.
Prevent abuse together.
I am not affiliated with Steemcleaners in any way.
I am not responsible for their comments, downvotes or upvotes.
I am only a volunteer like anyone else using their Report-Form.