War on Fiction?

2년 전

An event has happened in the Steemit community that threatens to divide the fabric of the platform. We feel it’s critical for us to make an official statement about it, and to try and mitigate some of the damage. We do not want to see Steemit’s talent pool drained any more than investors want to see the reward pool drained. So we took a stand, as graciously as we possibly could, with open minds and ears to opposing positions.

Yesterday, @transisto began flagging posts by prolific author @michelle.gent. His line of reasoning was this: “Disagreement on reward, Posting a novel page by page, getting ~65$ for ~20 views.” He also mentioned that original novels are not a “good fit” for Steemit, and voiced disapproval of posting serialized (chapter by chapter) work on the platform.

This sent ripples of fear and fury all over Steemit. Michelle threatened to leave altogether. The Writers’ Block quickly became slammed with outraged authors logging in and signing up, railing against the “evil whales.” Many, many of these vested writers threatened to power down and leave along with her. We know we can’t stop them all. But we have to think we stopped the hemorrhage of talent long enough to get things sorted.

We stand behind Michelle. The potential for this to strike a devastating blow to the heart of content creation on Steemit is very real. Her leaving would rip a gash in the side of this Titanic that could easily sink it. We don’t want her to go.

However, last night, transisto came into the Writers’ Block and spoke with us for hours. He put a great deal of effort into explaining his position, and we required our members to behave graciously and listen. While we do not agree with his line of reasoning in this case, a cogent line of reasoning does exist. He did not attack Michelle or attempt to flag her into oblivion. His downvote was to counter a large upvote that he views as deleterious to the reward pool. Right or wrong, his actions were not malicious toward Michelle. He was not declaring a “war on fiction,” as the title of this post suggests. It is true that the outcome was disenfranchising to many users, but even with something as horrific as homicide, intent draws the line between capital crime and manslaughter. The reason someone does something does make a difference.

One of our members asked him point-blank to please remove the flags from Michelle’s fiction posts. That is not likely to happen, although we still officially hope he will reconsider. We fervently hope that Michelle is able to continue on Steemit despite the controversy, as we feel that she brings tremendous value and readership to the community.

Moving past that, we were able to find some common ground. As impossible as it seems, the business model for Steemhouse Publishing incorporates a great many of the economic attitudes that motivate investors in this platform. Transisto made this statement: “It's very easy to become shortsighted and not promote beyond Steem's sandbox since it won’t give you much of a direct monetary benefit.” Actually, promoting beyond the platform is precisely what Steemhouse intends to do. We want to build hype for a new release through author posts of chapters on Steemit, generate income through book sales in the mainstream, bring that money back to the blockchain, pay authors in STEEM (which requires them to have an account,) and encourage mainstream readers to follow their favorite authors on Steemit.

We believe in the potential of our plan. We believe it will bring value to Steemit. We believe in common ground. We hope that the talent pool will not bleed itself dry over this debacle. We pray that transisto will see that fiction really does draw an audience, and it brings the money. If there’s any doubt, just consider what fiction did for Amazon.

There’s enough room on Steemit for diversity. There’s enough room on Steemit for debate. At the end of the day, though, we’re one community. Nothing would please us more at The Writers’ Block than to see this disaster repurposed into something beneficial for us all. Thank you, @transisto, for taking time to speak with us about this issue. We really do have the best interest of Steemit at the top of our priority list.

@rhondak

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You don't know how much this made me happy:

Right or wrong, his actions were not malicious toward Michelle.

I totally agree with this post. Though I wish people who flag serialized posts reconsider. As every chapter of a novel can stand on its own as a complete post.

If they read them... they'll know.

I've decided not to leave - as a person.

My writing, on the other hand will not be shared on this platform because of the chance of this happening again.

The fact that @transisto went to chat last night to appease you speaks volumes to me.

He can see he behaved badly and though he probably doesn't want to admit he made an error, this apology seems to have done the trick and calmed the troubled waters.

It's a shame the bee he has in his bonnet regarding what posts another Whale sees value in is continuing to buzz, because while there's a chance of it stinging me again, I'm choosing to deprive the platform of my writing, and I've been told by a few that my decision will be a shame.

I've worked too long and too hard to get my head around the fact that I have talent and every flag received is a kick in the teeth. My solution is to not put myself in the way of that kick.

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And after all that discussion, your latest posts are still getting flagged. Even the one about your posts being flagged got flagged and is now hidden even though it had over 300 views and 86 votes, all but a handful of which were upvotes.

I stand by my opinion that when wealth is attached to voting you get a system that prioritizes wealth and the preservation of wealth, not quality of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Someone should go and do a calculation of the Steem community Gini coefficient which measures how equitable the wealth distribution is in a community. I'm pretty sure we'd be doing really badly - much worse than the US as a whole.

My idea is that transisto's vote is fundamentally a vote against the "vote up or down as you please" system we technically have, even if I think the majority of us seldom if ever downvote unlike on our namesake Reddit. I think he'd like to see most rewards go to those who bring most eyeballs to the system because that will bring more users, which will drive up the price of Steem and increase his investment value. Like I said, that's what you get when you tie votes to wealth.

How about a system where users with the most reputation - which has to be earned and not bought - have more say in what good posts are? They curate with a power proportional to their reputation and not with their Steem? I don't know exactly how that would work but for surfacing quality content vs. just that which is favored by the rich and whale-sized popularity contest, it seems like it would be a better system... And quality content is what we are after right? Not a dissent into a tabloid hell. I mean what if a random whale or consortium shows up and dumps a few million Steem into their account, and decides to promote and upvote the crap out of adult posts? Then what? Are we to become an adult site just because some rich minority deems to in their best interests? (Trust me there are many mediocre porn sites that have a far higher Alexa rank than Steemit so someone might deem that a great way to make money).

As someone said on my other posts about this - people can vote up and down in whatever way they want - but I say it makes no sense to justify your downvote by saying "I don't like they way other people are voting!". That's a vote against voting itself to me. Why not focus on positive actions and if you think there is content better than Michelle's go use your voting power to promote it instead. For every giant downvote on Michelle I bet they could find ten new and upcoming Steemians who'd love a boost of a few bucks!

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This comment is right on the money - but for one thing. Reputation, in it's present form, is able to be bought. Just buy upvotes from whales with higher rep, and you will gain rep.

Other than that, that reputation needs to be 'degamed', the delinking of SP holdings from VP weighting is exactly what I've long advocated. Vested interests, from Stinc, top witnesses, and various whales, whom I've discussed this issue with, on and off chain, do not want to dry up their tried and true profit mechanism. This despite the fact that the perception of oligarchical concentration of wealth is killing Steemit, the goose that lays the golden egg, and thereby causing Steem to fail to appreciate, which is both the traditional, tried and true, mechanism by which investors are rewarded, and a vastly more potentially emunerative mechanism.

Further, stake weighting extends to witness votes, and because of this, witnesses are completely vulnerable to simply being bought, and thus the blockchain, and Steem itself, including SMTs, completely controlled by someone with enough cash.

These transactions needn't even be delayed by powerdown and sale of tokens, as the accounts can be transferred off chain, covertly, converting the mined stakes that represent the majority of Steem in existence into golden parachutes for the account holders, and transferring Steemit to the hands of Zuckerburg, Murdoch, or whatever wealthy cabal decides it's worth the investment.

A couple hundred million $ is lunch money in some circles, after all.

Lastly, the white paper envisioned flagging as the communities ability to counter rogue whales, and despite the fact that ten thousand minnow votes would be required to counter @transisto's flags, I reckon that some few dolphins and whales would side with a concerted initiative to stop such censorship, and this would dramatically improve the odds.

Also, I don't think such overwhelming force would be required to cause @transisto, or @berniesanders, or anyone, to back off, as a show of economic force would impact their ROI dramatically, and, since that's what they really care about, I reckon they would quite quickly change their ways.

Thanks!

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  ·  2년 전

Someone should go and do a calculation of the Steem community Gini coefficient which measures how equitable the wealth distribution is in a community. I'm pretty sure we'd be doing really badly - much worse than the US as a whole.

Someone actually did this calculation a few weeks ago. I can't remember who the author was, but if you search gini you might find it. From memory, steem gini was significantly worse than US gini.

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Good memory... And here it is: https://steemit.com/steemit/@doodlebear/the-gini-coefficient-for-steemit-is-not-just-bad-it-is-getting-worse

Even ignoring the top 100 accounts we are still worse than Panama. Looking at the top 1000 alone we are would be one of the worst countries in the world.

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"I don't like they way other people are voting!".
-This is exactly what a flag means. Flagging content based on disagreements is purely gatekeeping by someone who knows what's better than the voters. Depending on the final outcome this maybe either good or bad.

Flagging plagiarized content is good as it create negative feedback for such behavior. Flagging original productive content is a discouragement on original content which certainly doesn't give good results. Steemit shouldn't be another publishing company with editors. If anybody thinks voting against writers is good for steemit, that person isn't thinking right.

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because while there's a chance of it stinging me again, I'm choosing to deprive the platform of my writing, and I've been told by a few that my decision will be a shame.

It's sad... and I agree with them... But do what makes you comfortable... I might do the same if I was in your position, even if I try to convince my self of otherwise.

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I'm personally quite relieved that you aren't leaving. We are going to work very hard to make Steemit a friendly, worthwhile place for authors of fiction. It's profoundly unfortunate that you and @suesa became collateral damage in this instance, but hopefully the end of this saga will be significantly better for you than the beginning.

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Suesa as well? Damned, she's a brilliant writer. But then, it seems as if the "Investors" only want cash.

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For me it was "just" three flags, not 11.

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  ·  2년 전

Maybe there should be a Steem based platform specifically for novel.

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I second that... maybe SMT will help it too!!

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Yes absolutely. Novel SMT. Someone create it!

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I agree and second this approach. For now. I left steemit for a year and came back to this chaos of hurt and miscommunication.

We must be patient and keep curating. The way the platform is now, it is simply not built to sustain such a variety of content in the format it is presented in. Initiatives like utopian and steemhouse and the potential outcomes of SMTs are likely to change that, and I think we should both stick around and see. If nothing else, it's interesting, and you're quite aware that there's a community trying to grow here. You're not alone.

<3

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No, I'm not alone :)

The reward pool isn't for investor but for bloggers and curators, it states this in the white paper. The downvotes are wrong and he needs to remove them and stop his personal views that he knows best on who can earn what.

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Right, I don't quite understand the logic that he used to determine what post would receive his attention. Steem generates an amount for curation rewards each day. If that reward goes to one user or another, it does not effect the price of Steem and whether or not that content is evergreen or digestable within 7 days, again is not relevant to the value of Steem. To grow his investment and thusly the whole ecosystem he should be upvoting various well written content. Not downvoting. Downvoting should be used to get ride of the spam posters and make it difficult for them to post.

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That, in part, is the problem. Some people are treating this platform as an investment tool. Buy some steem, wait for it to go high, then sell.
In my opinion, Steemit should be about helping people free themselves from having to be bound to a mundane 8-5 job, doing things that they don't want to do.

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  ·  2년 전

Absofuckinlutely!

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https://steemitstage.com/steemit/@schattenjaeger/if-you-accept-the-upvotes-you-really-need-to-accept-the-downvotes

Related post with salient points and relevant link by @ats.david in the comments. I'm trying to remain dispassionate and look at this from all angles. Although I wish the downvotes brigade would stick to spammers

Resteemed. Classy response Rhondak and Gmuxx

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Thanks dude.

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Thank you, @aggroed. We took a page from your playbook, and give you tons of credit for being a voice of reason. You're an asset to the Steemit community and your work here is deeply appreciated. :-)

Yes. I was very glad transisto came to The Writer's Block. Tempers started high, but a good discussion was had. Thank you for sharing this (it's so well written I am jealous).

  ·  2년 전

I'd like to know more about his metric of rewards:views. How is "views" determined? It's not recorded on the blockchain, so that means it must be platform specific. And of course, there are multiple front ends to view steem content. So it seems to me his metric is flawed from the get go.

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More than his metric is flawed.. Using censorship to drive profit is evil.

Period.

Wanna use your stake to improve your ROI? Go ahead and promote content you find worthy, and beneficial to your interests. Censor posts you find counterproductive? You're a controlling, manipulative, would be master of thralls, and I will not bow down to you, and will join in reasonable and effective efforts to remove your power to do so.

I am not chattel, and will not be.

Edit: I am not referring to you personally, but using the word 'you' in a general sense. Sorry if that was unclear in the comment.

A similar battle is also happening wth vaccinations, and I don't know which side has the bigger wallets - my solution that I've been harping on about for a year now is this:

FLAGGING - I want to see that bollocks GONE!

A downvote could carry the average weight of the upvotes on that comment or post.

Why should a whale with $500000 in their wallet be allowed to censor a post by anyone with a smaller wallet?

Flagging is censorship by those who have more money, exactly like in the real world, but Steemit does not have to be the same as the real world!

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Totally agree i see the original idea of down voting but it has went horribly wrong. I would be open to the idea of downvotes being leveraged by reputation as opposed to value.

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That would have to work better than this situation now - most people with high reps are reasonable

I see Steemit as a lottery or a roulette wheel for writers. You makes your post and you takes your chances. When you are get an upvote from a whale you are a happy camper. When you get a flag you are not. But it's all part of the game. You can't rail against the system when you have a bad spin.

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This misses part of the issue with Transisto's reasoning, which I voiced. It's not a matter of how people feel about it without considering all the issues. It's a matter of downvoting to effect resource allocation effectively diminishes or removes altogether the stake of other users in voting up material. There is plenty of material that all of us agree doesn't deserve rewards. However, if a piece doesn't fall into that category, who are you or anyone else to tell me that I voted incorrectly?

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"There is plenty of material that all of us agree doesn't deserve rewards."

No, there isn't. The world is a vaster place than our minds can encompass, and even spam is considered, by someone, worthy of an upvote.

Otherwise, no one would post it.

Overall, however, you are right. No one, no matter how high their rep, or how fat their wallet, has a right to tell anyone else what to value, or whether to upvote it.

Either Steemit eventually conforms to this factual reality, or it gets replaced by platform(s) that do.

Invest accordingly. The real world cometh.

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You're right. That sentence should read "that can reasonably considered unworthy of reward of any kind."

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Hi, @roomerkind! I was just thinking about you. Yeah, I think Andrei has a valid point here--and it would be great if Steemit could become less of a crap shoot and more of entity that will keep Perihelion on its toes. :-)

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Whereas the chance of a game often depends upon the skill of the player.

I see Steemit more of a game of skill than of chance and if you practice and get really good at your game you should be able to avoid such obstacles as flags.

Unless the ref is biased of course.

@thewritersblock - for those that were not involved in the discussion, is it possible to get a summary of the different viewpoints presented because I would like to look into this in a more objective and data driven way, perhaps something for the #statistics or #bisteemit people to look into and have some #factcheck involved so it can be resolved in a satisfactory way? I think some arbitration authority is required because these types of debates and conflicts are happening without a clear and simple way to get to the bottom of without damaging the reputation of steemit...

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We would rather rehash a conversation we had a few days ago, but have a look at this post to understand the different viewpoints.

https://steemit.com/steemit/@rhondak/thinking-like-a-whale

Some analysis is being made currently.

Sounds like you have a good plan. I came to Steemit for other reasons over a week ago but saw the potential for posting my writing also. I am sorry to admit that I fell asleep reading the previous back and forth. It had been a long day for me, but will get back to it.

Congratulations @thewritersblock!
Your post was mentioned in the hit parade in the following categories:

  • Comments - Ranked 6 with 33 comments
  • Pending payout - Ranked 10 with $ 19,89

I'll tell you that as a novelist just arriving here looking for less censorship and more opportunity, the fact that this is the first "fiction" tagged post I found is less than encouraging.

If downvoting and flagging are used as a cudgel here I can always try something else. I don't see how setting this kind of a tone helps Steemit.

If Steemit intends to be a place where content drives value, this is a very poor market strategy from an investing point of view.