I've been in the down vote debate for a very long time. I started out in the eliminate the down vote camp way back in the early days of steemit/steem. I witnessed the rise of the bots that would spider through Google grab random articles and images and repost them as their own. We had to deal with the arrival of mass amounts of spam. This is a decentralized system. We would like to keep it that way. Down votes were the way.
Then we also had the people posting articles and art as their own and reaping great rewards. They were actually pretty popular voting targets with some of the whales so when I say they were making big rewards they were VERY large at the time. Sometimes more than $500 for a post.
Then people began to find out the art was not theirs, and the articles were not theirs. Organizations like steemcleaners formed to combat plagiarism. They were pretty good about giving reasons for their down votes and you could talk to them if the targeted you in error and they would attempt to fix the issue. It was still people with power down voting. Many of us would delegate power to them for the purpose of keeping things clean as long as they were honest and honorable.
Then the great discussion about the reward pool arose...
It isn't yours. It is potential rewards.
This would be used to justify down votes. The claim was they didn't take anything from you. It was just the potential.
It didn't matter that you could see it. It didn't matter than one minute it might say $5 and five minutes later it could say $0.
That was just potential rewards. You didn't earn that.
What would be really interesting is that you would see maybe 50, 100, 200 people might have up voted something. There might be 1 down vote and the post was now $0.
You see there is something that is acceptable in Delegated Proof of Stake as long as you have a lot of stake. It is suddenly okay that one person has the power to cancel out the interest of 200, 500, 1000 other people.
If 100 people like something... so what. The powerful person might not like it, or might just dislike the author.
(Image Source: warriorprincess.fandom.com)
They also might be doing it to protect the rewards. You see the argument is if a post has the potential of say earning $100 of the daily reward pool that is shared by everyone if they vote it down to say $20 then that will put $80 back in the reward pool to spread around to other people.
In theory this can seem okay and I've even been okay with that because I've witnessed what happens when most of the same people keep getting the bulk of the rewards.
Hive is a careful balance. It is an investment of what is essentially stake holders / share holders. They are rewarded by up voting. The more power they have the more they are rewarded. Yet witnesses are currently giving a 3+% APR on Hive Power so they are also collecting interest. If they put HBD into savings that is earning 7+% APR.
For people that spent money for their power it is an investment. They expect a return. They actually are getting it.
However, this platform requires content. If you want people to stick around it needs to have variety and be good content. It needs to appeal to many different people. If all you post is a bunch of recipes that is going to be a niche crowd and many people will leave. If you only post travel stories and photos same thing. If you only post gaming same thing. If you only post scary stories, politics, history, philosophy, art, photography, creative writing, music, etc. the same thing. The truth is we want all of these things. Ideally we don't want people copying other people just because the person they are copying seems to get the most rewards from the powerful people. That creates a lack of variety.
If we do these things then hive becomes a very compelling place for people not yet using it to visit. If the people creating the content are rewarded and not silenced (financially) then they will keep creating. If the rewards are good then they will likely keep trying to improve the quality. If the rewards decrease they likely will reduce the amount of time they spend.
You see this is an ecosystem that is both the monetary investors, and the content creators. They work together.
If the interest being paid on power and HBD was not there then there would be more reason for investors to be trying to get the most of the rewards pie. They would do that by curating with their vote. As their votes are very powerful they would get a bulk of the curation rewards for the platform. Without the interest bearing feature that is the only way they can earn. With the interest bearing feature they also earn that way. WE ALL DO.
There is an incentive for people to power up to increase their ability to reward people and things they are interested in.
Where does that incentive go if someone else can decide that my vote has no meaning? If I want to up vote the "Pear tree sling shot guy with a really foul mouth" and their video or story posts and I am the only one why should my vote count for nothing? Why should my investment suddenly be worth nothing?
Why is it okay for the powerful to decide "That was not yours" on a whim...
This is a flaw in the system. When some of us challenge them and say... If you want to down vote spam, plagiarism, or abusive behavior (doxing, trolling, etc). then you likely won't hear much complaint.
If you want to down vote someone because YOU don't like the topic, or because YOU are pissed off at the author then that is an abuse of power. In any democracy we'd go out and deal with you as equals.
You are protected by the "Code is law" nonsense here so it is possible for you to become SUPERIOR to everyone else.
This is not a democracy. Though sometimes when convenient it is spun as such.
My vote and the vote of thousands of others all voting to YES to the same thing can be turned to a NO if the person that voted no has sufficient power.
I don't know of a solution to the problem that wouldn't create centralization of power. Yet I also know the system creates tyrants.
They can be friendly and they have the power to reward people greatly. Yet they can also be vindictive and decide people shouldn't be allowed to earn at all.
They will come up with excuses. Then all you need do is stumble upon one of their victims who it doesn't matter what they post they will drop their rewards to $0.
Their work is now worth nothing financially. It doesn't matter if 100+ other people liked the post and up voted it. Those 100 people. Their vote is meaningless now too.
In Proof-of-Brain community there is a proposal to change this for the secondary layer token proof of brain such that down votes must give a reason. If the reason is not for a valid reason the person will be warned, and then potentially muted as far as the proof of brain secondary layer is concerned. It wouldn't stop the oppression that can still occur on the main layer with hive, but it might spare people from being financially silenced as far as the proof of brain token is concerned.
Spam, and plagiarism are valid reasons to down vote.
They just require you provide a link as proof to back up the down vote.
I've seen this before. I was never a target. I saw this attitude and behavior destroy steemit. The system is the same here. Many of the whales here are the same ones that were whales there. Probably most of them. This behavior made that place toxic and eventually many people left.
I came back here thinking hive is better. It is. Yet that same sickness about "protecting the rewards pool" yet being very selective about when it is applied is here. I'd be fine with them saying they were going to downvote any post that made over $50 (or some other threshold) to bring it below that if it was done ALL THE TIME. I am not fine with them selectively deciding "That wasn't worth that much" and being very selective about it.
That makes them into the tyrannical gate keepers that decide what the rest of us are allowed to like and attempt to reward.
I almost think having the reward pool divided based purely upon number of votes rather than power of votes would be better. Yet it could be gamed by bots. If we could prevent the multiple accounts from compromising it I think that would more accurately reflect the interest of the community than having giants that can crush the interest of other people on a whim, or because they are angry.
The question is... why would you increase your power if you did not benefit.
You'd still be receiving interest. Perhaps we could make the curation reward % portion be based upon the power of the up voter. Yet that would mean the most powerful would get the most rewards for curating. I personally am okay with that. Some people may not be.
I simply don't want them being able to silence people, and cancel out earnings for anyone.
When it comes to the reward pool there would be nothing more accurately reflecting it than people being on equal grounds when it comes to voting for things they like.
I know this is likely very unfavorable to some. Especially those with power. I know powerful people have become very wealthy thanks to steem and hive. They likely won't want that to change.
I can tell you now that the rot which made steemit undesireable is growing here.
If you need an example check out @lucylin account over the past two weeks or so. Some posts have been dragged out of the $0 earning but you will see a massive amount of $0. This was not due to spam. This was not due to plagiarism. This was due to him speaking up about things powerful people didn't like. They decided he should not be allowed to earn a dime regardless what he did.
I can tell you when I wrote my posts the other day about "Code is Law" and Algorithms, as well as my post about Whether you should do a thing just because you can it was in response to looking at that account. On that day you couldn't find any posts that are currently there that were above $0. Not one. Since then there are a few.
Yet on Proof-of-Brain he has not been financially silenced
I despise hypocrisy.
I despise fair weather friends.
If you want to attack me. Feel free. I left steemit. I can leave hive. I have plenty to keep me busy.
If we can however, work as a community and remember that this isn't just the realm of stake holders. It is also the realm of content creators. The two must coexist. If we can do that I will happily stick around.
I think if that happens hive will be a good place for a long time.
For a moment one of those most actively attacking @lucylin began amassing a lot of POB tokens. Yet it wasn't enough yet. He may be easing off of the gas on the attacks. I hope so. It is for the good of hive and just the right thing to do.
However, since it is decentralized someone can buy in and purchase a lot of hive power and we may have to have this same discussion with new whales in the future.
Unless the code is changed... after all the powerful are fond of saying "Code is Law". Laws can be changed. So can code. Just because you can crush someone doesn't mean you should. Just because their post remains you can claim that you are not censoring them but this platform is based around potential for financial reward for content as well and you are censoring them financially.
Hopefully I am done with this down vote nonsense again... I was hoping it didn't travel here from steem.
EDIT: For the moment this is the last post I plan to write about down voting. Events could change that but I feel like I have stated all I had to say on this.
@logiczombie gave me what I consider an excellent and promising idea as a reply to another post. I edited this post to include it. I think it is one of the best ideas I've heard of yet since it would still deal with spam, plagiarism, etc.
The "adults" should implement a decentralized jury system.
ALGORAND implements a dispute resolution system where any transaction (post) can only be disputed (flagged) once, and when a transaction is disputed, 1000 random users are notified and if they fail to respond within a set time frame (say, 48 hours) their option is forfeit and it goes to another random user. A transaction can only be canceled (removed) if a 60% consensus is reached by the randomized jury. If there is no 60% consensus (even if it's a 599 to 401 split) then the transaction remains unaffected. There is no penalty for simply being disputed, there is no "held pending trial" status. There is a small incentive paid to jury members for their participation and there is an added bonus for voting with the majority if there is a 60% majority (and the votes are hidden from all participants until voting is completed).
My addition. For a jury to work all jury votes would need to be 1:1 for consensus. Stake Based power for a jury members vote would make the jury purely for show.
Here when you down vote based upon opinion you are effectively deciding what other people are allowed to like due to your stake. It is not like other platforms where you simply show you don't like something. The financial component changes that. It is more akin to you deciding you don't like anchovies so down voting the potential earnings of anchovies to $0 so people that want anchovies can't pay for them because you effectively remove their ability to pay and the people making anchovies eventually stop putting them on the shelf.
When you down vote here based upon opinion that is EXACTLY what you are doing. If you decide the reward is worth $0 and you force that to occur you are removing the ability of other people to pay for products they want. Simply because your vote is 1000 times more powerful than other people (or more) if 1000 people want that product... too bad you the 1 person has decided they can't have it. You will justify this by saying it is still there. Yet how long will it remain if the person producing it cannot afford to put the time in to keep it there. It can be quite the tyrannical move to down vote in this fashion.
I've seen people complain about weak down votes of this type such as the sunsetjesus one that latches onto many of my posts and other posts. It ends up being such a small down vote most of us ignore it. I've seen other people react to it.
That one is not so powerful that it removes the ability for a product to remain on the shelf so to speak.
EDIT 4: This might be a record for me. I don't know if I've ever written an article that had over 400 comments before.