Curangel downvotes and Hive

in Curangel2 years ago (edited)

Over the last couple of days I had to explain the concept of balancing downvotes quite a lot. Today I wasn't asked for an explanation, but had a whale on my doorstep who threatened to destroy the project because it's supposedly deterring investments. That got me thinking about the general role of downvotes on Hive.


@curangel provides its stake to delegators, who can leverage it on downvoting posts. It is used for spam, plagiarism, self- and circle-votes, and also to counter single (very) large and ongoing automated votes. The downvotes are monitored of course, and for nearly all submissions there is an understandable reason.

This doesn't mean that the people who received these downvotes automatically agree of course. Back with newsteem, there was a lot of talk about normalizing downvotes, establishing a culture where they aren't taken personally. And for involved parts of the community, I think that even worked out.

Unfortunately, people who didn't follow a discussion about it yet, or newcomers, still may take them as something personal. And while it can be explained to them, it may still leave the bad feeling of "why me". And yes, in the end that may deter one or the other investor, I understand.

So, the question I have now and for which I hope on a lot of input: how should curangel proceed with downvotes on Hive?
Remove "reward disagreement" from the list of valid reasons? Only self- and circlevotes? Farming of autovotes?
Only let vetted people downvote? Hand the tool over to a trusted group like steemcleaners?
Shut the downvotes off and focus on the positive curation?

I never intended to create a controversial product with @curangel. I'm willing to have discussions once in a while, but when the project gets threatened over it it's not worth to keep that part going...


Apart from a hardcore audience of a handful of (ex)Steemians, downvotes have remained a contentious issue. I think there's definitely an echo chamber and tunnel vision bias that has led to a few of us to believe that downvotes are cool, but it simply never was for a majority of users. I'd been championing downvotes since 2016, but I realized later that it isn't compatible with human psychology given how Hive/Steem is currently set up.

Especially for new and promising content creators that we would like to retain - this being the primary goal of many curation projects in the first place. Imagine being a new user and being greeted with downvotes, it's definitely not a good feeling for most people, and who can blame them for leaving the platform? Attrition rate on Steem has always been sky high, and all the downvote drama only led to more good content creators leaving. Those who say, "Good riddance to the easily offended" are missing the point - we need to create a community that welcomes all types of users, of all cultures and perspectives. That someone is easily offended is absolutely not a reason to shun them - this type of attitude will ensure Hive remains a hostile platform that'll never reach any significant adoption.

So, what I'd recommend is your first option. I.e. keeping downvotes exclusively to objective matters, where there's ample evidence of direct abuse. Remove all subjective downvotes, such as "reward disagreement" or "I don't like this post".

To be very clear, I still like the concept of downvotes, and I hope that we'll one day have a culture where downvotes are accepted, but that's just not realistic given where Hive is at today.

It's not been new users interestingly. Just people who are used to their regular high rewards, and where the downvote was an unexpected occurance.
I also find it hard to define abuse objectively. For me personally, high autovotes on daily posts already cross that line. I hope to come up with a more commonly agreed with list, but if it's based on that narrow criteria it makes more sense to find a dedicated anti-abuse team that wants to handle it and shut it down for the public.

Yes, it definitely make sense to have a spin-off anti-abuse team, and let Curangel concentrate on positive curation. Or simply support established teams like Steemcleaners/Hivewatchers, as you mention.

Hivewatchers, right, everyone has a new name!

This sounds workable!

...we need to create a community that welcomes all types of users,

I disagree, we don't need an army of Haejins (big and small).

Sure, like I mentioned above, obvious abuse cases need to be dealt with.

I'd agree that it's not worth tainting the good that curangel does over the downvotes. Disagreement over rewards was always a dodgy reason in my opinion. I get the impression you're leaning towards leaving it to hivewatchers and happily support that.

"Disagreement over rewards was always a dodgy reason in my opinion."


I always thought of that as one of the more legitimate reasons, as it speaks directly to what a downvote does mechanically. I can't say I've done it much for that reason, but when obviously low effort posts get huge rewards it makes some sense to me.

I'm pretty loose with the downvotes though, at least philosophically. Practically speaking the vast majority of my votes are upvotes.

I'm glad to see a diversity of opinion here.

Admittedly, sometimes it's pretty obvious when a post is over rewarded, but it can be hard to draw a line.

Yeah, seems like the cleanest solution right now

I think this is the direction I would go, for now. If in the future there are many more people here, then the decision could be reviewed.

Any powerful force here will be controversial. So far I am not finding as much to downvote as on Steem. We have had a couple of known spammers try it on, but they seem to be dealt with. There seem to be less vote sellers operating here. Those I have found are getting hardly any bids. That is good. We need to make Hive a more appealing platform where rewards can be fairly earned.

Follow down vote trails and hold the leaders accountable?
SFR needed more sp its entire span.

Overwhelming force may be the only solution to bully whales.

It reminds me of the people in school with that "I worked really hard on this so nobody tell me it's anything less than perfect or I'll cry" attitude. Downvotes are part of the feedback for content creators.

Youtubers probably do cry when they get downvotes starting out. You know what they do with that information? They adjust their content. Downvotes aren't just for the reward pool or the downvoter; they're important feedback for the content creator

That being said, yes, the easiest thing is probably to stick with objective flag reasons. It will help keep the peace, even if I think it's silly

Plagiarism is something I totally support the use of downvotes. Cycle voting is not gonna stop even if we do, and I think downvotes should be used for the following reasons exclusively.
Racism, hate speach, plagiarism,
The cycle voting could be really easily fixed but is there a will for that?

If you vote for someone that you already have voted for and has pending payouts from your vote your next vote value should be -50% stacking up eventually to zero. It will probably be a valid reason to stop the cycle voting or at least limit it to a degree and gives a chance for more engagement and more curation. Which is the most important aspect here.
Everything else probably is fair game if you take into account that everyone is doing it from what I have seen so far. I do tend to vote those that support me more than those that don't, unless their content is exceptional good. Something something game theory.
I also just upvote content that I know a whale will vote for it even if I get to disagree with the said content. Let's say conspiracy theories or fear-mongering in general which is something that people really support for some reason. I will upvote it cause it will return revenue to me so there is that.

I will add downvotes are not a tool to resolve into an argument, if people cannot handle different opinions they shouldn't be here in the first place. Expressing a radical ideology it will get controversial really fast happened to me yesterday. Just because I upvote someone that does not automatically means I agree, In that case I will say why I think he is wrong he is welcome to correct me, but when that someone claiming the journalism tag requests from me to stop commenting on his posts I will have to call bs and it is a valid reason to down vote.

I am not going to take a lot of space, I will probably make a post in the future about it but I will also downvote someone that is exploiting the reward pool constantly.

The cycle voting could be really easily fixed but is there a will for that?

It's not unfortunately. The only fix is the use of downvotes. Anything else can be worked around by rotating stake over the necessary amount of accounts.

You say yourself, you vote for the revenue. Exactly that's what we've been trying to counter. But of course people hate you for lowering their revenue.

If you cant win them join them as they say, I am not here to stand in higher moral ground, I just speak for what I have seen and experienced the last 4 years here. Let's say 3 cause I wasn't really active the last year on steemit. I will be here though and will try to support anyone that will come up with some sort of solution whichever way I can.

I do still vote outside of my own cyrcle and I do search for content outside of the trending page. Which trending page does not have the most important sorting parameter yet which is a)sort by votes and maybe if possible b) sort by comments. I don't see any dialogue happening at the top trending posts and without dialogue there wont be any kind of think tank formatting to get some ideas or proposals going.

Of course, it's the culture, and this was not meant as a personal criticism. I just don't approach it this way.

I know well enough to recognise the intend I can tell who is really concerned about the future of this site and your actions do speak volume, so don't worry about that.

I can be responsible with my downvotes and I do use them don't worry I do not abuse them, the well being of this community was and still is in top of my own personal gain of the extra couple of bucks I would be getting if I was to participate in the game theory aspect of things. But I cannot fight a whale not alone and hardly if I got the assist of other dolphins would make any difference. I think there should be a "Hivewatchers" thing that would had the stake to fight the whales face on but with great power comes great responsibility and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is hard to get people on board on this mentality. And sadly its been 6 hours since your post and I don't see any whales popping up to have a discussion for the matter. I am anyway I support your view of things and I understand that personal responsibility comes before collective responsibility. I hope you get the support you deserve but if I know you well I know you will go on heads on on your own whichever the case I will keep on supporting you as my witness as I do since day 1, You have never let me down.

I hope to see some whales jumping to this discussion soon. It is a very interesting topic. Keep safe man. I ll be visiting this post hoping for more engagement and more arguments.

Most of us post on a Blockchain because we can express ourselves as we want to. We should give this right it other people,too, that they disagree with us.
Don't feed the trolls - it's action and reaction. If you don't react to "serial downvoters", most stop quite fast.

I can express my self in myriad other blogs, I am not hiding behind my finger saying I am not here to make some earnings and It happens to be here because I stand behind the ideal of decentralisation at least most of us I want to think we do.

Downvoting is a tool but it need to be used wisely and with respect and not as a mean to abuse power and or silence the truth.

Frankly, I have had up to my ears with all the drama on Steemit, and now Hive. This drama includes downvote crap. Leave the downvote to individual users based on their own opinion of the post being voted on. Get rid of, or discourage bots altogether, just like for upvotes.

People get up in arms about upvote circles, but downvote circles are no different.

So tired of these agendas and grudges between factions. Receiving a downvote just because you upvoted someone that another faction dislikes or because the person that upvoted you is a target of these factions is crap and middle school stuff.

This chain is no more decentralized than Steemit. It will always be those with the coin that call the shots and smother it in BS like it is "for the good of the community". Just about done with this whole part of the blockchain.

Just not drinking the Kool-Aid of Steem or Hive anymore.

Do you thing @curangel and screw the whale, whoever they are.

There's no downvote-circles. I strictly need to speak up against this framing. There's nothing to gain from downvotes, and personal reasons were never accepted for curangel. Downvotes were also not given for who you upvoted or who upvoted you, it was only about stake.

And you clearly have no understanding of decentralization.

My apologies as this specific reference of downvote-circles were not directed at @curangel. Maybe I used the wrong term with regard to downvote circles. I was trying to refer to the cliches of folks more so than an organized circle.

With regard to my understanding of decentralization, yes I do understand it.

the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group.

How much SP does that whale have in total in your estimation? Is he capable of following through on his threat? Is this potentially a battle that should be fought on a larger community level to force some of the largest investors or miners to rather curate than post shit in order to farm their own votes? Why does not someone with > 500,000 HP understand that positive price action due to better user retention and encouragement of good content creators is a massively more effective way to increase the value of their own holdings than some pitiful farming rewards "earned" at a low price level? If any such stakeholder does not understand this matter, is there enough power available collectively to rein that person in - for their own good.

I've seen large stakeholders who must have bought STEEM probably with Bitcoin when STEEM was > $1 become very bitter at the price action during the bear market. Some of them may be trying to recoup their losses by farming. But that's a losing proposition. The only way forward is to focus on Hive fulfilling the original value proposition of Steem.

He wouldn't destroy it, but he can seriously influence delegator returns. Which is unfortunate timing, as we just started marketing curangel as an investment to the outside world.
Much more worrying to me is the prospect of a war being fought out on the back of all the people we vote. Our 2-3 downvotes a day may hurt retention (not that I'm aware of anyone stopping what they do because of us), when that escalates there would be 70-100 downvotes on small users, wonder what that'd do. And the whale in question is known to escalate. I don't really want to risk that...

Well, maybe downvoting can be left to certain groups dedicated to it and a lighter approach to it could be taken by @curangel. Good thing is that it's always possible to revise one's approach.

I agree. Aside from the delegator returns, there is a more serious impact on on the people you upvote. If he follows your upvotes and wipes them out (or takes more) it hurts the very people you are trying to help. Having someone come along with a large downvote on a quality post really hurts content creators (it has a bigger - negative - impact on motivation than a large upvote).

I think downvoting is not bad, in my own opinion. We know how the impact of when newsteem arrived yesterday. If someone threatened or complained about your downvotes. Maybe they just didn't understand or maybe they thought you're being unfair. But just let them complain I think because they never follow your every action you made in here.

Yes you should continue, just because there's backlash doesn't mean its a bad thing, if we just let people spam or plagiarise and get rewards from it we're no better than steem. Rather have those people milk steem than milk HIVE

I think, steemcleaners would be a better option, to do the job,because they have more expertise and information.

In its core all Downvotes are due to "reward disagreement", with specifications like plagiarism or others. Downvotes are important, I use them. But more important: when I get one, I accept it. It's not downvotes but flag wars which make a lot of people weary when the topic is discussed.

I think all downvotes should have a remark as to why. Esamples:

  • Downvoted for Plagiarism
  • Downvoted for excessive reward from pumpmeup account/bid bot
  • Downvoted for excessive self voting
  • Donwvoted for Vote for me I vote for you group.

Or similar short easy to understand reasons. I think the excessive rewards do need to be pointed out, not just Downvoted for rewards, the Author has no control in many cases as to who and how much a person votes on them. By pointing out the excessive upvoters instead of the post Author that may take some of the sting out, and at the same time let the excessive upvoter know their vote action was above and beyond what the downvoter felt was a justified reward.

I still think most of the issue with downvotes is that many times the community is not allowed to voice their opinion on the actual downvote. There are a lot of minuscule 15HP or less accounts that just go out downvoting randomly, by creating a system where a downvote needs to have a comment would solve that, even if it is just an auto comment.

I'm also thinking the same. Should integrate this to peakd or

I like this idea. As I mentioned in a comment here it can even be done on a separate website. I'd be up to helping manage people's issues even.

I am one of those that do not down vote very often. Plagiarism mostly. On steemit when the down vote was selected you used to get a pop-up that gave reason for down voting then you could click the down vote, it was a two step process. I was advocating a three step process in that a check box would simply be added to the pop up and a choice of why the down vote would need to be selected. Then a person could click and down vote, with full understanding a comment was going to be left on the post they just down voted. I felt it was a simple easy solution, but not many others did.

Yes, I'm the same way. I don't downvote at all really. Very rarely when someone says , "Hey, go check out what this person is doing!" . I've always said the pop-up idea was good and like you ,seems many people disagreed with us.

A comment will surely help!

I think the community really will be able to ask for and get some changes made, I listened in on the chat from the @hiveio post a few days ago, and even thought I am not a block chain tech person, it seems like the developers and some of the investors are willing to work on things they do not want to see, but the people want. (SMT conversation part). So I do hold out hope that we can get some of the smaller really annoying things taken care of as a community.

They are only small to the developers, and investors, not to the community at large, or that is my belief, it could change if people are not interested in seeing the issue resolved, then I will have to change my mind.

If I see no need to leave comments for upvotes, then why leave them for downvotes?

It just seems like another thing that makes it less likely that I'll actually go through with the vote, unless it's automatic I guess. Even still having to click an option for which generated message is friction.

I want downvoting to be just as smooth a user experience as upvoting.

Do you see an up vote as a negative action? Do people stand up and tell everyone in church I donated ten dollars in the collection plate? Do people point fingers and demand explanation of people who take money out of the collection plate?

I want to be able to determine if a down vote was justified. I like looking at and reading post. I see post that are down voted. I have had to hunt for the reason why was this down voted.

A lot of people were leaving steem because of the meaningless 15 SP down vote bot army. I do not want to see that happen here. last time I down voted something it was a two step operation, click the down vote button get the pop-up, click the yes down vote button. So one more simple check box, one more click, three clicks instead of two.

But I understand people are resistant to accepting responsibility for their actions, that people do not want others to have the ability to challenge the down vote, or to let the community decide that their down vote was not justified. people would rather have the negative actions be normalized so they do not need to face the consequences of their actions.

I am pretty sure that no change will be coming to the down vote system, people like to hate from behind closed doors. People do not want to face the possibility that others will see their actions as anti-social. It is all about saving face, never having to admit your actions have consequences.

I don't see an upvote as intrinsically good or bad, or a downvote for that matter. Upvotes can be used for abuse, and each downvote adds to everyone else's rewards.

I mean no disrespect, but this isn't a church. Though I've seen my fair share of churchgoers self adulate for their generosity. I've even known some to take covertly from offering plates.

There's nothing more valid than one's opinion to justify anything, an I'm not counting on that. I'd rather just leave the whole squabble of justification by the wayside and get on with life.

I do think we need to avoid demoralizing our users, and especially the new ones. I think bots generally diminish the relative impact of manual human users, which can be psychologically degrading (especially when they're designed for degrading people), but I don't think we should prohibit them or anything.

From my perspective it seems a matter of cultural direction.

Anyone with voting power can challenge any vote, up or down. There's not really any mechanical way of stopping the community from deciding to nullify any vote. If the opposition votes are strong enough it will be rendered ineffectual.

It's all under the inequality breeding backdrop of delegated proof of stake though, where you can buy influence. At least this sort of system means many get the chance to earn stake organically from miscellaneous contribution.

The natural consequences of any action will be there despite what anyone does. There are social repercussions for any action in a social setting. It doesn't matter whether you admit it or not.

Sure people like to hate from behind closed doors. People like to do lots of things behind closed doors. I like to pet my dog behind a locked one.

Applied cryptography is akin to a bunch of closed and locked doors, and I like the direction it's taking things in the world. This way we can have privacy and freedom, so long as we're willing to seize them.

Thanks for the discussion.

I appreciate it, and wish you well.

Same here, it is perspectives, differing views that make and build societies. Have a good week.

So, the question I have now and for which I hope on a lot of input: how should curangel proceed with downvotes on Hive?

I wonder if you have a anon. reporting website for people to explain their downvotes to other people ( if they so choose ) would help. It kind of gives transparency as to what is going on. I see every person who has a problem being downvoted as a trouble ticket.

They already need to give a reason for the review, and I'm available to explain. But that's not enough obviously. We're working on changes already, I think we found a workable compromise.

Ah, I guess I don't know how the mechanism works as I've never used it cool. I hope your workable compromise works out!

I have been "benefited" from his negative vote without any kind of explanation, because the detail is that he who gives it acts like a common criminal who, knowing he is more powerful, takes care of his territory from those he considers harmful to the business.
There are hundreds of reasons to give them and also not to do it but neither in steemit nor here have I seen that these are used correctly and the users, according to their voting power, end up saving themselves or abusing this tool, since it is of free use as a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a madman or a terrorist.
You want to do something better but you fall into the same mistakes that end up scaring away users who feel attacked at random with the simple excuse that you have to give them and for that there is a roulette wheel that ends up indicating who the winner of the prize is.
Everything is subjective, objectivity is simple hypothesis where the one who has enough power acts as a dictator ruler who does not need to explain his actions because the others are below and are simple pawns.
Neither in Steemit, where I've been for 3 long years, nor here, have I seen a negative vote against someone who has enough SP to counteract it or start a power struggle, it's always the powerful against the weak, a vulgar abuse that they try to disguise with rules or with obligations for the good of the platform, something like the blind law that always arrests the last step of the chain but with the bosses makes agreements so as not to get hurt.
To paraphrase an advertising slogan "it happens in movies, it happens in real life and it happens in Hive and Steemit.
Decentralization occurs when everyone has the same rights and opportunities, not when one group, in the style of a tribe, owns the benefits and the others are slaves to them.

Neither in Steemit, where I've been for 3 long years, nor here, have I seen a negative vote against someone who has enough SP to counteract it

You obviously didn't follow the downvotes of curangel. Why do people have to write such wall of texts when they don't even know what's going on?

Why do people have to make explanations that are an exercise in demagogic political rhetoric?
If I didn't understand then explain to me why my publication deserved a negative vote?
I am a professional writer with dozens of books published, besides being an editor of a publishing house and I understand the game very well and I also know very well the laws that have to do with the world where I have worked for more time if possible than you have lived and you explain it yourself in the post, you were threatened and you chose to save your skin and I ended up being a collateral damage.
That's a philosophy too cheap to buy.

Shut the downvotes off and focus on the positive curation?

This is the only option that I would not consider at all.
I can't really say what the best thing to do is besides flagging at all. I don't really think limiting downvoting decisions solely to "vetted" users is a good solution, although leaving it to hivewatchers (= steemcleaners) would probably be pretty good. They proved themselves very reliable over a long period of time with only very few cases where they didn't quite behave accordingly to the situation (in my opinion)
I could also see a solution where all delegators are able to "nominate" for flagging but each flagged is looked over shortly by a more experienced community member.
I'm glad I'm not in your position to decide this at the moment ;)

YouTube has downvotes, even ones that seem somewhat healthily used. Nobody seems to be worried about them, but I'm not very privy or aware of what goes on over there.

If we ever get many more users I think we might see more posts with both upvotes and downvotes. I think that would be a sign that downvotes are socially acceptable as well as healthily utilized by the community.

Personally, I would prefer curators to concentrate on promoting positive posts, rather than policing abuses. I think policing should be done separately.

The problem as I see it is that it is usually the little people who get hurt by "downvote wars".

If a whale follows curators and wipes out their votes it is the smaller accounts who feel that most. I have seen people who have had their quality post downvoted just because their post was upvoted by the "wrong person". When you are starting out, or don't earn much, those downvotes have more psychological impact than a big upvote.

I think that it is healthy that the ecosystem has more services that provide down voting. But if you want to include reasons such as "Blockchain tells me you’re circle jerking/selfvoting" or even "From my perspective this post doesn’t deserve that much value" you need to create a super transparent system. The downvoters should always sign that the action has been done by them and for which reasons. Also the downvoters should be those of a superb reputation in the system (oh how we could use a working reputation system right?:P)

But if you decide to go with the downvotes you need to accept that the service will be controversial – because human psychology and the effect of negative incentives on it.

I would argue that downvotes have improved the ecosystem a lot. But it would help if there were an official rule set on Hive in regards to downvotes (and other issues). In this way one could point to it and people can learn to adapt their behaviors accordingly. This rule set would be decided on by the community and would stay dynamic (it can change).

Hi. In our community of silvergoldstackers we have seen an old member leave due to repeated downvotes by curangel. One can indeed argue that his posts were nothing than a daily new picture of his vast collection but I oly wanna tell you that in discord we have discussed this with the members and most of them just wanna leave Hive as it is not worth investing time in a system where some feel free to bully others for whatever they feel is right. In the end this downvoting will hurt Hive. Do you agree or do we miss something?

...we need to get rid of this kind of BS, that's for sure..
Every post and comment downvoted (and the same on steem)
Purely malicious intent.

This idiot has driven people off (steem), he never posts,and is toxic for the platform..