On the Need of Downvotes & their Negative ConsequencessteemCreated with Sketch.

in steem •  4 months ago  (edited)

While I've been using downvotes somewhat sparingly in the past couple of weeks, I do want to write about my thoughts on them.

On the one hand, they are an extraordinary tool to combat abuse and for the platform to self-govern itself.

As an example: the community on Steem decided that it would not accept promotion abusers to continue the way they did over the past years, resulting in huge changes across the platform.

On the other hand, downvotes are gamified actions with negative feedback loops, resulting in possible higher toxic behaviour than on any other social media.

The only example that I know of, where downvotes exist is Reddit. However, on reddit you're only "losing" visibility & possible karma, which in comparison to the real currency STEEM is more than worthless.

And there is most likely a good reason why nearly every social network only allows the user to like/upvote other content. It's simply a positive feedback loop, which is important in attracting millions of users. However, none of those social networks is actually handing out real money.

Which is why I currently come to the conclusion, that while downvotes are not entirely positive and have the capability to weaken the growth of Steem, they surely are needed in a system where rewards are given away from a shared resource pool.

And the best way we can soften the negative consequences is to give people more than enough possible reward pools they can tap into, without forcing them towards a global one. (You could see this as a clash of cultures and why it's important that people have the freedom to choose what they want to believe in, in their own countries. If they disagree with those believes, they can either introduce change or travel somewhere else)

Luckily, we're already well on our way for this vision to come into fruition as SMTs are nearly ready for prime-time.

What's your opinion on downvotes and do you share my thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below.


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You, my friend have zero credibility, which is why you get my 100% downvote on this totally overvalued post. I encourage everyone else to grow a pair and do the same!

Firstly, I have posts for which YOU happily SOLD me the votes via your @smartsteem market and then proceeded to downvote these very posts. You can't have it both ways, buddy! Until today, I put this down to an unfortunate oversight, until I saw the rewards for this post.

You awarded yourself a generous 100% vote worth 4.868 STU plus another 40% worth 4.819 STU from the @smartsteem account. On a post with few words describing very little original thought and no new information. That, my friend, is the definition of reward pool rape.

I have adjusted my witness vote accordingly.

haha, you're one salty guy. Fix your attitude and get some perspective, as you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm glad you found it amusing enough to see the necessity to hide my comment. Very disappointing. I'm not so sure if I'm the one who needs to fix their attitude.

I only now stumbled upon this post @therealwolf, and decided to give a reply.

SMTs could be a solution, but not if STEEM remains being minted via Proof of Brain. The problem is clear from the behavior we see with SCOT projects. Everyone ultimately keeps comparing their tribe tokens to STEEM and how they can leverage their tribe tokens to obtain more STEEM.

SMTs will only continue doing the same thing. These tokens will be designed for projects to obtain SP delegations or STEEM conversions as SCOT projects are doing now, and the holders of these SMTs will most likely be hoping to just convert them to STEEM eventually. A lot of these new tokens are focused on finding a way to get more STEEM.

Why is that a problem? The biggest problem on Steem is the fact that communities like Actifit are sharing a reward pool with a community like STEM. Its really not fair to either community for that to happen. And SMTs don't solve that problem if these SMT communities are really out to earn more STEEM rewards.

This is why STEEM needs to become neutral. It should cover witness incentives and continue to provide interest to those that remain powered up. In fact, we could drastically drop the inflation rate by removing author rewards, moving all curator rewards over to vesting interest and reducing witness rewards by a lot. Why reduce witness rewards? We need witness rewards to be enough to incentivize people to be witnesses, but if its too large they will gradually have enough SP to keep themselves in a top spot, which is bad.

If 99% of inflation went to powered up STEEM holders and 1% went to the witnesses, we could have a secure voting system for selecting witnesses, as well as big incentives to people to keep their STEEM powered up. If inflation is too small it would appeal to the Austrian economist, but it would not actually provide an incentive to remain powered up. 5% inflation might be ideal because this is the ROI traders hope to earn on trading, which might mean they will prefer to keep their STEEM locked up so that they can keep making near 5% plus whatever they can get from RC delegation.

"On the other hand, downvotes are gamified actions with negative feedback loops, resulting in possible higher toxic behaviour than on any other social media.

The only example that I know of, where downvotes exist is Reddit. However, on reddit you're only "losing" visibility & possible karma, which in comparison to the real currency STEEM is more than worthless.

And there is most likely a good reason why nearly every social network only allows the user to like/upvote other content. It's simply a positive feedback loop, which is important in attracting millions of users. However, none of those social networks is actually handing out real money."

I strongly resonate with the above excerpt. Also, I think it's important to note that people who purchased Steem on the market provided a service to the crypto in propping up its value. If they stay powered up, that's a HODL which serves to maintain or stabilize Steem's value. Additionally, the GUI, at one point had a tickbox to self vote. So if someone purchased Steem for the higher vote value to increase their own post's visibility then getting dinged for reward disputes because their post has a value of a box of pop tarts as opposed to a can of soda might be enough to cause them to power down and dump to the market. I say live and let live, communist wonderlands don't attract big money anyhow.

MAYBE? keep the 50/50 split because it appeals to people's self-interest first and then motivates them to curate at the same time. The ninja miners should know if they want in for the long haul or not. If they do, they won't self vote non-quality content at 100%. If they don't, they should sell. However, if they as uberwhales maximize off the reward pool, then they potentially forfeit the future value of Steem for more worthless tokens. I'm in favor of self-autonomy, nobody came to decentralized social media blockchain for blockchain cops engaging in civil asset forfeiture. If the abuse is so bad, why not just fix the rate-limited voting if that's what's broken. After all, the whitepaper does say that it's a "major part" of minimizing abuse. If it's such a major part, tweak those numbers and let the code do the policing.

How about a condenser only change to lead by example. With Reddit like buttons detached from blockchain functions. They allow one vote per IP address and per post up or down. Call it up sorting and down sorting. Remove the flag and call the upvote a tip jar. Then you read a post. If you like, give it a tip and up sort. If you dislike it, down sort. People en masse might go to trending every day just to fix it, and with equal votes, there is going to be a greater success than we have now. I don't like to do people harm, therefore I am far more likely to down sort than I am to downvote. I could see benefit in casting an opinion without influencing rewards. Some might even up sort without rewarding if they think the post already has enough value.

downvoting is a necessary tools needed for the steem blockchain to scale, just look at the price of whaleshares (WLS) after removing downvoting the price crashed and it now has circle vote sharing, its needs to curb spamming and reward pool rapping. it you want to get move voice buy more steem so u can use it anyway way you like

Exactly. Whaleshares is a prime example on what not to do.

Bad Idea and just brings negative energy to our community. We could keep it for the good reason but then need Steemit inc with the biggest account to have a review board or something to combat the ones in wars for no reason but jealousy. One thing I dont think people realize is that the downvote created tons of Spam accounts and that is far worse than what's going on... These accounts with 15 SP, although dont hurt because no power but we created more spam and accounts that need to go to real users..... It is what it is, I have no control over it...

Posted using Partiko Android

Which is why I made the point on having smaller reward pools via SMTs instead of one global one, as it’s easier to govern it. Especially if a SMT starts their journey with a statement on how they will deal with downvote abuse, etc

"the community decided"? Really? Or just a few guys with enough power?
If it becomes better or not is not the point. This simply needs other solution but one guy playing executor and only legitimation "he can".
downvotes are really, really demotivating and I know a shitload of people stopped posting because of them.
If one does not like an account: MUTE IT. it is simple. There might also be technical solutions to block all the bots and automatic upvotes. Yes they are annoying but everybody must have the option to decide on his own.

Who else is supposed to bring change? People generally act as if power is somehow a bad thing. But the truth is: power is a universally neutral force. Whether it’s good or bad lies in the subjective view of the individual.

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  ·  4 months ago (edited)

I believe that the downvoting phenomena that we encounter at the moment will slowly but surely make tons of people leave steem. It creates a lot of frustration and anger. It is not really about what is right or wrong. It's rather the image and the feeling people have here on steem that suffers. What I like(d) about steem was that it is so much warmer and more positive than facebook or other social medias. The downvoting even if it might seem necessary in economical terms, tends to kill this atmosphere and I find it deplorable.

Yes yes, but what’s the alternative? You can’t have a reward pool without downvotes. You could argue similarly that life with death is meaningless, but in actuality death is the reason why life has value.

Every system and solution has its pro and cons .... nothing ideal... you just mentioned some of the pro and the cons ....

We should also have in mind that what is happening here is totaly new .... for the first time in human history we have a dislike with financial implication .... discovering new teritories.

Youtube also has 'dislikes'. There are a few other forums not worth mentioning that use a downvote system as well.

I believe if platforms like Facebook and Twitter normalized downvotes long ago, there would be far less online social media heat. They can't downvote on Facebook, but the toxic element is still there, with words. Some spend days arguing, for nothing. "Likes" are a form of reward. They move words up and down. In the response section you'll often find trolls. If people think downvotes are toxic, they need to go look at how truly toxic those other places are, then maybe start comparing.

Right, I forgot YouTube. But the difference there again, same with Reddit, is that votes and downvotes are only triggering an emotional response without any real implications. Actually, downvotes on YouTube aren’t that bad as they still help a video to trend. On Steem in comparison, downvotes will help you to not trend and are removing monetary rewards from your posts, which increases the negative energy you get from receiving downvotes even further.

On the other side of the coin, a paid upvote creates those same negative vibes, because they act much like downvotes, ensuring others do not trend and removing potential visibility and potential rewards from others. One downvote creates negative energy for one individual. One paid upvote creates negative energy for many individuals. I'm so glad, for the most part, we can put that all behind us. In reality, today's downvotes aren't creating any more negative energy than what was here in the past, those receiving them are just throwing more tantrums and some retaliate. The folks impacted by the negative consequences of paid votes simply left.

"The only example that I know of, where downvotes exist is Reddit. However, on reddit you're only "losing" visibility & possible karma, which in comparison to the real currency STEEM is more than worthless."

I could argue the exact opposite.

Combined desktop and mobile visits to Reddit.com from February 2018 to July 2019 (in millions):

Bildschirmfoto 2019-10-17 um 18.23.39.png

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/443332/reddit-monthly-visitors/

Im not saying that visibility isn’t valuable, hence the downvotes on reddit do have a negative emotional consequence. However, add to that the ability to prevent someone from earning real money and you’ve got yourself an extra big bad emotion.

"Im not saying that visibility isn’t valuable..."

I know. I just wanted to add this to the discussion.

Thesis: downvotes will put you in a bad mood, no matter if there's real money involved or not. People are just as angry/sad about small downvotes as about large downvotes. Thats how we are, we are emotional.

downvote is good as long as it is not abused or distributed unreasonably.
There are also cases where downvotes are used for private wars between users

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Tricky one these days. I was always convinced that downvotes should not be seen as negative / criticism of one's content. The reality shows people feel bad - they feel attacked personally, some more than others. To save or protect the reward pool and the long termed goals of the blockchain flags are needed to get rid of scammers, spammers, shit posters, circle jerkers of the big systems.

If people use downvotes with responsibility all fine, i do not like general automated downvotes e.g. for people using bid bots (this is appreciated as of facts we all know, on the other hand it could eb seen as pure marketing instrument as well). I am not using bid bots since ages but even if - why do usually the small users get punished?

At least I would love these guys that claim to run totally "manual curation" nowadays to also qualify and judge their downvotes in such cases. We have a lot good creators that are simply kicked aways at the moment - even I repeat myself it is unfortunately not the scammers we lose but good community folks.

Hence - whales and people with a lot delegated SP, use it careful. The #newsteem can be a great thing but it takes 1-2 years still to wipe out the traditional jerk shit. I woukd wish some of huge stakeholders (especially with a huge delegation) would act more in favour of the chain, sometimes they simply sit on their stake while they could do much more for the community.

@tipu curate 2

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First off I’m always on Steempeak where I don’t know how to downvote, second I am here to have fun, not to police other people’s behavior. I completely understand the necessity of downvoting spammy content but it seems like a lot of work.

Personally, I invested a small amount in promotion and thinking about negative votes, they force me to think that steemit is not a good place to spend money and reconsider

Yeah I've been getting hit with downvotes on posts I promote using steembottracker.

When I arrived on steemit the common practice was to use this method instead of using the promote button, it was what lead me here. Now it looks like the community is negative on the promotion method and you get an ocdb hit of down votes with posts you boost now. I'm going to stop using that method and I did notice a lot of bots have disappeared from steembottracker.

Down votes will probably filter out most of the randoms like me, leaving just the community groups. I think sooner or later Steemit may see down votes as a form of censorship with groups targeting other groups on down votes in order to annoy them enough to leave.

Some entitled people just don't understand the concept of a shared pool. They equate STEEM power to a proportional claim to the reward pool. Furthermore, they don't understand what is actually happening when the downvote occurs, and their knee-jerk reaction is someone is stealing from them. The casual onlooker coming to their defense and decrying downvotes also doesn't realize that those rewards being sent back to the pool are now up for grabs for content that is under-rewarded, which might include their own. If they truly understood what was happening to the reward pool with a bunch of whales and large orcas trading votes off in the corner, they'd be liberal with the downvotes too.

The casual onlooker coming to their defense and decrying downvotes also doesn't realize that those rewards being sent back to the pool are now up for grabs for content that is under-rewarded, which might include their own.

We wish that was the case. "for content that is under-rewarded"

It has never occurred to you to think that this poignant strategy of sending rewards back to the collective shared pool through downvotes. Many times also looks like mere transactions among rival circle jerks to swap rewards between hands which very often end up exclusively on opponent's over-rewarded posts & accounts too? };)

I'm not saying it's not a constant game of whack-a-mole!

Haha yeah! We both wouldn't know this better unless we could've not analyzed the whole thing in slow motion. eh? :)

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It will probably all settle down a bit after a few months when people get bored with it.

Things that make You go Duhhhhh....

And then the light bulb comes on.....

The way You explained it really makes sense to Me...

I am starting to understand the real user downvote/unvote theory vs. Artificial intelligence algo controlled censorship loop.

"The upvote loop."

The reason I am here. Real people, real life stories, with real people curating. Not A.I. Like the FakeBook scheme to keep and control as many users as possible.

Steem compared to the other Socialist Social Media that just wants users, to digitally rape for every byte of data they can vampire to profit from, with controlling algo-rythm and feel good upvoting.

I am a simple man, who is not saying your explanation was "simple."

But for some reason it made the light bulb come on in my head. And little by little i am seeing that downvoting, when real, not BOTS. Is the way it should be, not perfect, but Real.

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The reason downvotes bring negative energy is because people don't understand the economic aspect behind them. We should see steem posts less as "People are giving me upvotes to give me money directly" and see it more like an auction system.
Some people think a post or comment should be worth more than what it currently is, and some people think it should be worth less.
And in this context it shouldn't even matter if there was abuse in play or not, what matters is to find a post payout value the community can agree on.

And, I think, if we could get the frontend and the community spirit wrapped around this thought of auctioning a post to find a fair value, people will react less toxic on it and will see it more as a gamification element.

I agree, but not everyone is as smart as you, Ray. Most people are not that evolved to interpret these actions in an economic way. Especially if it’s about money. Maybe we just need to give people a deeper introduction on what Steem is, as it truly isn’t just old social media with rewards. Steem is a whole nother genre, creating a culture of its own.

But that's what I mean, at the moment how the system is presented, it seems like "some people give you money and some take it away" which is causing these hard feelings.
So, maybe we should improve the UI so that it reflects this better.

  ·  4 months ago Reveal Comment

ok that was an easy one for me - down voted, but there are shades of grey it seems. it would be good to have community guide lines (global one for steem) going forward. i.e some sending to X amount to null, circle voting, etc

Seems he is legit ;)

legit angry

Sigh. I'm not sure that was actually "over rewearded" to be honest. Those photos are extremely hard to get, if in deed they are original. When last did you face off with a snake for a snap like that, or were you able to catch a monkey in that pose?

Is this perceived as "low quality" because of the lack of text? What about the work the photographer put in to achieve the shots?

I just upvoted it instead :) . [see? that's how things are supposed to work. Agree. Disagree. Reach balance]

Super grey area.

It takes a long time to photograph a snake especially in the pose it is in and it is always dangerous sometimes you can be chased by animals, it also takes time to wait for a pass for the monkey and also luck, I do not add text to my photos because I think that a picture is worth a thousand words there are things in the world that can only be enjoyed and happen in a single instant.

So you'd like to police around? Just start a downvote trail on https://steemauto.com and feel free to do so. Maybe make an account for that, too?

I'd also like to assist you naming that account. Here are my suggestions:

What do you think?

This is a challenge now, 5 Steem for the Winner. What do I refer to?

  ·  4 months ago Reveal Comment

Next time, feel free to
Use your real account if you
Want to troll around.

                 - therealwolf

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

I actually anticipated your this response. Its not a troll and again its still a valid point, if you can't answer anything then you cannot simply rule it out as troll.

I still remember the last time I exposed your scam which you started with @smartfund, you were pissed at me first but then after getting few downvotes from whales, your whole tone changed and you became so humble and pious suddenly, LOL

Be realistic and clean up yourself first by having some guidelines first with your @smartsteem voting selling services and then talk about etiquettes of Downvoting.

By the way, I am still wondering why @ocdb (@acidyo, @anomadsoul) is still allowing you to sell profitable votes. I hope they look into your case too because you also fall into category of too much self-upvote considering the last 3 teaser posts of @smartsteem for so called updates, so you can just upvote them yourself and with your alts.

We are downvoting smartmarket profitable votes too, but yeah, get on your main account if you want to put some weight behind your words. Else you're just a coward.

Thanks for responding, I was not sure before that's why I mentioned it and its good to know that you guys are actually trying to cater smartmarket too, already the great work with others

I am currently a minnow (recently upgraded from plankaton) and you might have an idea that I cannot afford to speak freely and face downvotes from whales like Wolf.

Standing up to things you believe are wrong without hiding behind a pseudonym of a pseudonym is something to be proud about. And I don't believe in retaliating via downvotes just because I disagree with someone.

Look, your stance on the @smartfund idea was correct and it was the right thing for you to comment on it, just keep in mind that the tone makes the music. I'm not an evil person, just a human who isn't all-knowing and who makes mistakes and who learns from respectfully given feedback.

I don't think wolf is someone who would retaliate with downvotes based on someone speaking their mind about his services, or at least not auto-dv or some other stupid shit we seeing some people do lately.

We're still a long way from countering abusive downvotes tho, I have to admit. Can't even begin looking at that with ocdb yet as there's still so much profitable votes being sold just so the bid bot owners earn more ROI than honest curators. Once that is finally dealt with we'll be moving onto countering downvotes and breaking off voting rings.

Hard to tell where to start and where to stop. It would be interesting for me to read your opinion on SBI in HF22 and later. It seems to have all characteristics of a full-fledged upvote cycle while beeing popular.

  ·  4 months ago (edited)

I have to agree, been looking a bit at it and qurator but so much going on lately it's hard to keep tabs.

I don't have a problem with criticism, especially if it's done with respect. You, on the other hand, are an anonymous person, with seemingly the right intentions, but with a huge lack of respect.

Regarding vote-selling: this will be a topic of the past coming 20th October.

Regarding vote-selling: this will be a topic of the past coming 20th October

What did I miss again? If nothing, then don't bother.

Smartsteem stopped the bid-bot right after HF21 and on 20th October vote-selling (smartmarket) is going to be stopped as well. This does not mean the topic as a whole isn't something to look into anymore, jus that Smartsteem is evolving into a different direction.


Boom Haiku, the real wolf he just poetry slammed