The Downvote Debate - A Complex Issue Indicative of a Failure in Design

in LeoFinancelast year (edited)

I already left this as a comment on @selfhelp4trolls post The Downvote Debate : A complex issue in need of a complex solution, which I highly recommend reading, watching, or at least skimming, before moving on.

I've declined rewards on this post, as I will for all future posts from this account.

Somewhat related meme for the sake of having a thumbnail

On to the reply

Thanks for making a calm, clear-headed, and big picture look at what's going on, from your perspective.

I do want to be extremely clear that I am not against any of these folks specifically. I don't know any of these down-voters in any way except seeing a small % of their activity on this chain, and there's a reason that I have said nothing about their persons, their content, their lives, etc.

Just the ways in which they are acting as the rulers of Hive.

This isn't their fault. They were raised in Babylon, they live in Babylon, and most importantly this is the way Hive is designed.

Am I calling out authoritarianism, something that is obviously a spectrum, when the level we're seeing is [arguably] on the lower end of things (no physical violence)?

Yes, absolutely.

Because it is well over the level that I find acceptable.

Which is ZERO.

I'm an anarchist, specifically because every single bit of history, observation, theory, and metaphysics clearly leads to respect for sovereignty & free will (not controlling others, as you mentioned) is key.

I bought into the mythology spun by Dan and others about this being a different kind of system, and I've invested untold hours into this place and the communities here.

Recently I have been quite fully disillusioned (which is always a good thing) to this, had to stop drinking the Steem/Hive Kool-Aid (which I have served to many people), and had to completely let go of it.

That release, that letting go of any attachment, expectation, or giving a [email protected] about my blog, Hive, being a "content creator," and so on.

Which led to the most enjoyable (though manic) days of Hive interaction that I've had since at least the hardfork... but more likely since 2017.

Getting so many private messages, so many amazing comments (especially from so many people who don't agree with me, support me, or necessarily like me at all), and watching the people acting like dictators so perfectly lay out that behavior, over and over, to prove the point being made.

Rewards are the distraction - censorship is the point

The idea that this is about the rewards (for the people calling out downvotes, and the ones giving them) is ludicrous, and it would seem is being (probably unconsciously - actually believing it by most people) used mostly as a deflection from the issue of the centralization (which it highlights), and censorship.

The posts being down-voted aren't the folks consistently getting $20-30 for their work, never once appearing on trending or hot lists (regardless of quality.)

It's the posts that are going Hive Viral - that are up on the top of trending for people outside of that creator's community/followers to see.

That's when the posts are zero'd out - or close to it, in most of these situations.

Scroll through trending after one of these rounds of downvotes goes out, and you'll find that there's not a single thing "controversial" to be found there, unless someone has spent their own $HIVE to promote the post.

This isn't about over-rewarded content... Everyone involved agrees that most of trending is trash, and these folks often support it (smooth less than others for sure) - this is suppression of information that makes Hive look unappealing to statist mainstreamers, and causes cognitive dissonance for many whales.


Hive blockchain may be the most decentralized chain out there

This is absolutely untrue, from a technical standpoint (top 20 witnesses have full control) and from a current/political standpoint (1 stakeholder votes with enough to decide that top 20.)

As long as there is a built-in power structure, built upon nothing besides who has the most $, well we all know how that plays out.


I started designing (on paper, the logic, etc - obviously not code) a slightly tweaked version of Steem years ago when I realized that despite being some of the best tech around, the blockchain was already completely lost due to this intrinsic failure of money = governance. (Never mind the obvious issues of the Ninja Mine, StInc in general, ol' BS, plagiarism galore, scammers, etc.)

It seems that for the first time, there is actually quite a lot of energy & excitement for something like that, both from within Hive, and from various facets of the freedom movement, intentional communities, and so on.

Imagine the tech of Hive. Fast. Cheap/Free. Scaleable.

Fair launch.

P2P verification (allowing closer to PoB without KYC)

Voting power completely separated from $$, can't be bought or sold.

A very simple, shared set of values (free speech, personal responsibility)

"Down-votes" activate a notification for volunteers from people trained to resolve conflict, confirm sources, etc. depending on what area the disagreement occurs in.

Won't give away any more here, but I'll be dropping a piece on it soon. (and all my posts will be rewards declined for as long as I keep posting, since it's safe to assume that they will continue mass-downvoting my content)

This won't be competition for Hive, except to probably pull away many the journalists, activists, researchers, and others that the big stake folks don't want here anyway. Not competing for NFTs or games, not trying to get a big market cap or listed on exchanges.

Why feed the hand that beats you?

As to the idea of staying here if I "ever cared about it" - don't care one bit about a piece of technology, outside of how it can help free & heal people. Hive is proving that it is just digital feudalism, and the lords don't want my kind around, except for the value that we create for them.

Why the hell should we keep creating value for these stakeholders, who don't want us here, and do want to see us rewarded for our content (which means they are always staying ahead of the the stakeholders they disagree with by removing their curation rewards.)

I was on the phone with a friend yesterday, and after really getting into the core issues at play here and everything, he got pretty hyped on the idea of getting some of the big crypto-anarchist whales to come in and buy the stake to fight back...

If the freedom movement came in and dropped $20, 30, even 50 million dollars, it wouldn't make a dent. The big stake isn't selling stake - and the price increases as demand increases, and all we'd be doing is making money for them (and tons of others holding HIVE), without getting anywhere near their playing field.

The idea of Layer 2s being the solution has this ^^ same problem - it's just feeding them by adding activity and utility to their coin, and everyone has to buy in to use the L2. Plus, it's still on a chain where governance is extremely centralized, and we're not in the club.

Getting rid of us is good for Hive, funny enough

As I mentioned above, one of the things that we can all say is true, is that "controversial" content like calling out career pedophiles, corrupt companies & governments, eugenics, and the like is something that holds Hive/Steem back from being inviting to the mainstream masses, who only know the walled garden of Facebook or Twitter.

If they can get all of us undesirables without rewards, zero-repped, black-listed, off in L2 walled gardens, or off their platform completely - then Hive can finally get millions of users and shoot to $10, 20, or more.


If the freedom movement came in and dropped $20, 30, even 50 million dollars, it wouldn't make a dent.

Not so sure about this, 20M USD is around 13M HIVE at the current prices, and the biggest stakeholder has around 12. Its delegated, so the biggest HP holder, OCDB has around 8 to 9M HP.

We can argue that it will push the price higher and not be able to accumulate 13M, but if someone is serious about it, he will make the buying gradually in small chunks in a longer period of time, probably a few months. There are always 100k to 200k HIVE orders on Binance at one price level.

Furthermore I would argue that if you want to "fight back" here, you don't need 10M plus HP, a 1M or 2M will do it.... 5M will be more then enough, and you get to those levels in a weeks of buying.

As for the design itself I believe there is always a room for improvement, not sure what that would be yet, one option is always through stake and making tweaks, like having some sort of free protection once in a while... the other would be through decentralized reputation systems (reputation without stake and without KYC) although those are quite complex, not tested enough etc .... we might get there one day :)


Hive is a stepping stone to the Hive of the future.

I wrote about this yesterday - the future Hive is an anarchist and a vigilante:

My Vision of the Hive of the future

This is definitely something wrong IMHO, that one single account can downvote to zero the votes of other 400-600 accounts? madness! But hey who am I to say anything, I'm new here and I'm a broke ape lol but for sure I am enjoying the shitshow from the background! 😂

"calling out career pedophiles, corrupt companies & governments, eugenics, and the like"

This is why nobody gives a fuck what most of the conspiracy theorists out here have to say.. most of what you type of people do is to just share information that other people have made, saying "guess what i know!" based on the title of what ever is being shared. You never share actual solutions to the issues in front of us.. It's always just 1 doomsday news clip after another, always trying to "wake people up"..
Its not fuckin working, and your just pushing people away.

Add Gay Frogs, Travel Bans and Vaccine Passport, Re-Education Camps, and Global Currency destruction... and we're at least in 2021.

Don't forget mass-graves brought to you by fema, and Chinese (and or russian) troops amassing on the southern border.

It's scary how much Alex Jones stuff came true, really scary.

Like the crisis actors from sandy hook.. man that was scary AF.
You know no one really died!?
All the dead kids were placed there by the people behind PizzaGate..

You kno... the career petaphiles.

Thank God that one guy stormed the pizza parlor with his guns N gear to try and save those lil babies!
Too bad the lizard people were to quick.

What you're saying might be funny (as you attempted) if it wasn't so sad the way that you're trying to confuse the truth.

It's called PedoGate - If you're attempting to say that there are not pedophiles in power across the world, then you should probably learn some basic history (or current news... ever heard of Jeffrey Epstein of Ghislaine Maxwell?)

The whole "pizzagate" narrative was spun by the corporate media to distract from the thousands of pages of emails clearly showing human trafficking - according to the FBI's breakdown of pedophile code-words.

The "pizzagate" story is that 1 crazy guy went into this pizza parlor and shot up... their computers. Nobody was injured or killed... and then it was pushed 24/7 on the news for a few weeks - to where most people don't even know that pedogate was a thing.

Your attempt to lump in things like lizards & sandy hook (neither of which have I ever talked about - or any of the others being maliciously downvoted, afaik) is a clear attempt to straw-man what's being said.

I'm hoping that you're just going full troll at this point, but if you actually believe that corruption, abuse, oppression, and conspiracy don't happen at the level of these individuals, families, banks, foundations, and other projects that have literally run world affairs for hundreds of years (at least), then I don't really know what to say, except:

While your ignorance may be bliss for you... it's also feeding into the suffering and oppression of the human race.

Especially men with too much power start to get tipsy around very young girls. That's not new, we as a society just turned away from it. I don't think anyone would deny that such people still happen to exist among the political ranks.

Scroll back through my blog-roll and tell me if you think that's the case?

I'm all about staying #solutionsoriented

That's why I brought hundreds of people to Steem/Hive and pushed it as a potential solution.

It's possible to stay focused on the solutions, what we're building, and the world of the future, without ignoring what's happening now, and historically.

Shillany without any critical thinking provably does more damage than the doomers however there is probably more value in recognizing horseshoe theory in motion and meeting in the middle somewhere.

That's what I've been saying! We just need a few more uninformed shitheads trolling the comment sections and we can really duplicate that Twatter vibe.

The solution is to mute people like Kenny, and forget about them.

So far, I've only had to mute scripture spammers. I hope to keep it that way.

No, no, it's really important to mute (or downvote) anyone who disagrees with you, anyone who makes an argument you don't care to disprove, and anyone saying things that cause cognitive dissonance.

This is what the internet is for, safety from outside ideas.



No, no, it's really important to mute (or downvote) anyone who disagrees with you ...

At least at a first glance I disagree with quite some of your opinions, but that's not the point here (it's your full right to have different opinions than me and my full right to have different opinions than you). The point is that you are completely right that HIVE is very centralized and a big part of the flags is given due to different opinions or just as retaliation (but not to fight against spam or plagiarism) which I think is inacceptable and caused me to stop posting on HIVE.

The larger the mute list, the smaller the person.

I personally would love to see a change downvote feature of Hive.

Maybe something like YouTube decided to remove dislike counts and still allow people to dislike.

As you said it’s a complicated issue and it needed careful redesigning

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Yesterday I wrote a post For those who are confused over the payouts on Hive.

It should explain the downvote to those who still do not understand how Hive "income" works.

Thank you for letting me know.

Visiting your post to learn more!

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Nice to see alternatives coming up, and non coders users making sugestions and creating / projecting in different concepts, interesting to separate the votes from rewards.

Faith in humanity and adoption of hive would lead me wondering there as been alot of different phenomenons and this is growing pains of hive and as more active users come in (with more or less money) hopefully things would balance (see on the thousands the votes on reddit), if not there might be adjustments to the code of downvotes, it seems some easier than others, and then which is best.
But also agree with what you say about L2 and the audience in a way, but why would hive be like any other mainstream social media ? I don't know... cabals and things that must not be mentioned or speculated.

The centralized argument reminds me ura-soul made a sugestion about witnesses changes in the voting some time ago that seemed sense, among many others he and others have been sugesting / analysing, but you probably hit a spot there with DPOS.
There is need for more witnesses of course the normal "safe" would be 3 4 or 5x more ? Would be fair to say that a crypto of the old days (POW/POS) would have 1 to 5k nodes at least?, because of a bit higher DPOS (node) hardware requirements it didn't get the speed of adoption of other cryptos at least in nodes / witnesses and not being POW (slower rewards or lesser for mining in the beggining or short term), witnesses have to resort to posting or other way to pay for the costs, maybe not so much as an inexpensive hobby specially in the beggining or all the way trough now.

The ninja mine makes things hard to balance from the beggining but right now there is hive available on the exchanges and like you say someone could pick up the money and get in instead of accumulating with posting for example, but like you i dont see much productivity in fighting in some sort of big flag war, but (edit) they would bring more audience probably.

I think that with a balanced HIVE blog with rewards and there can be gifts donations directly, journalists and independent media would have at least a stable and light wallet and i think that many would become one of the tops of their crypto holdings. If they are "allowed" to, of course they can use the wallet and the text is uncensorable i believe, but if they are going to come in with an "handicap" alot just won't, and alot are probably eagering watching hive evolve, or not i don't know.. just wondering, glad that many are already here tough.

Anyway thanks for "snipping" this out of the discussion, keeping an eye on some of it and also left a comment on logiczombie megapost it's getting ridiculous long which is good i guess :)

What is the One large account that you say decides the top 20 witnesses??

I believe it is blocktrades, but it is also a mention because of the design, it could be any other one, but i think it can be changed in the code to defend against this, i seem to remember @ura-soul mentioning something to lower or eliminate this risk. But also needed more witnesses.
!gif take a stand

I think rewarding questionable content would be validating it. I don't think it would be good.

I am personally all-in for downvoting dangerous and life-threatening stuff, be it snake-oil quackery, bad conspiracy theories, flat earth bullshit and race theories.

There's one exception though: Satire and humour directed at all of forementioned.

Don't call it censorship though. All bad ideas published on Hive will still forever will be stored into the blockchain. There's some food for thought.

Wrong. I'm going to keep saying this until everyone on this platform understands the defintion of censorship.

Censorship Defined

The -->suppression<-- of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.

To not reward speech does not equal suppression of speech.

Freedom of Speech does not entitle anyone to get rewarded for their speech.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the ACLU article says nothing about getting paid for ones speech, does it?

They do not say, that in order for your speech to be free, you have to be paid for it no matter what, or else your speech is suppressed.

On Hive, speech is still free.

This is not about "rewards"

Censorship Defined

The -->suppression<-- of words, images, or ideas.

Downvoting a post makes it less visible, gets less views, gets less comments, also gets less rewards.

Suppression = Censorship.

Hive has censorship built into the protocol, called downvoting.

Many people have spread the word Hive is censorship resistant, it simply is "deletion resistant". Censorship is built in. If you keep getting hung up on that word, realize that that's the dictionary definition that Censorship = Suppression and has been that way for hundreds if not thousands of years. That is the real defintion and we aren't going to pretend the defintion was changed to mean something else.

Nobody is entitled to being seen on Hive.

When you start on Hive, you have no followers, and no voting power.
If you were not being suppressed then, you are not being suppressed now.

You already have your followers, and nobody has taken, nor is going to take them away from you.

I'm not sure how to respond to someone who denies what the historical defintion of censorship means. I guess there's nothing further to say.

Look, I'm all for freedom of speech. I just happen to think free speech absolutism can be either two things; hypocritical, or completely off the rails gullible conspiracy theorist.

  1. Hypocritical, if you use any of the following: Twitter block lists, adblockers, e-mail spam filters or public blacklists. (Just to mention a few things.) It is not absolute freedom of speech, if you agree to using these kinds of suppression.
  2. On the flipside of the coin, you'll be subjecting yourself to all sorts of quackery, scams, conspiracy theories and penis enlargement ads.
    If you believe in voluntary brainwash "on the gullible" by the mainstream media, try applying the same logic to your incoming e-mails (normally in the spam folder).
    Consequentially you'll be subjecting yourself to all sorts of security breaches.

If you don't censor any data from the information you consume, you'll be effectively teaching your brain to accept all kinds of lies as "information". And in the worst case scenario, you'll open yourself up to actual exploitation.

You may claim that you want to "be in control" of who and what you personally believe online. Good luck spending your life doing that instead of actually living it.

This isn't about "rewards" - as has been addressed by basically everyone except the down-voters themselves (who obviously can't admit the truth)

I just broke this down a couple comments above in a reply to you as well.

This is about rewards, not visibility, because nobody has any problems seeing your content.

Don't call it censorship though. All bad ideas published on Hive will still forever will be stored into the blockchain. There's some food for thought.

As has been addressed many times, censorship is not limited to deletion, but also includes suppression.

Like the zeroing out the rewards on posts that are trending, effectively hiding them from the [hive-scale] masses.

Most often being done by 1 person.

Outweighing the upvotes of hundreds of people.

Nothing of value is being suppressed though.

Take a look at whatever you are posting, and ask what you yourself out of your own pocket would pay for that if it was written by someone else.

Then call it suppression.

There are millions of conspiracy theory blogs out there that look exactly alike. Do you think they should all be rewarded for basically copy-pasting the shit the other blog is saying?

I say that would be validating making zero-effort blogs. That would devalue everything else that actually has value.

What I mean is, Zero effort means Zero rewards.

Nothing of value is being suppressed though.

Who decides what is of value?

One of my last posts as well as a chess post (a self-composed chess problem which cost me hours to produce it) got downvoted as retaliation for criticizing a top witness (a very big part of all downvotes is given due to different opinions or retaliation purposes).
HIVE is completeley centralized and dominated by early miners and former bid bot owners who, in addtion, vote each mutually as wtinesses and decide which proposals will be supported.
Furthermore, they lend each other their posting keys and delelegate stake to sock accounts to mask their actions.
I call that an oligarchy which is - if at all - only slightly superior compared to Justin Sun's monarchy.

(Apart from that I don't share the political point of views of many users who are complaining here, but completely share their criticism concerning the downvoting on and centralization of HIVE.)

I can only assume you are speaking of this chess related post written about a year ago, where you made quite substantial rewards, even after being downvoted for 0,169€ and 4,659€ by two accounts.

Where's your loss though? Remember, the money isn't really yours until it's in your wallet.

I'm not going to argue about centralization issues, since you don't really understand how the HP is spread.

These figures from mid-2020 show that the power distribution on Hive is clearly not centralized in whale hands only, but the middle-class actually controls most of Hive Power, and the whales do not.

For comparison, here's how the power was distributed on Steem before we migrated to Hive:

It doesn't really seem as bad as you are suggesting.

The biggest downvote on the chess post was removed from @theycallmedan after @themarkymark flagged it using his posting key.

Where's your loss though? Remember, the money isn't really yours until it's in your wallet.

Which loss? Did I write about any loss?
(Don't worry about my rewards, just check the value of my Splinterlands cards ...)
I said a big amount of flags are due to pure retaliation.
Concerning the "substantial rewards": @themarkymark who pretended to downvote this chess post because of the high pending rewards posts himself nearly every day very short posts (partly copying any news on crypto which everybody can read in the net anyway) and earns far more with these short posts (at least it was like that when I checked his account quite some time ago).

What about my last post without disabling rewards? Pure retaliation flags again.

Furthermore I had a soccer tippster competition where I upvoted the comments of the winners of the specific game days to reward the effort and keep motivation of the participants high. @usainvote (an anonymous account with a big delegation from @blocktrades felt he had to flag these comments). Another example where policing the blockchain without any communication and understanding what the flagged posts are about caused several users to quit HIVE.

Some centralized oligarchs make decisions here like "(Too) high upvotes of comments are evil.", while automated curation sniping without own effort is just so great ... and then decide who fits into their rules and who doesn't.

The graphics of @arcange doesn't illustrate the fact that many dolphin accounts are second or third whale accounts. How many single persons are behind the few whale accounts?
In my eyes HIVE is for sure very centralized.

In Splinterlands for example there are far more different stakeholders with "substantial" stake, so the economy of this game is far more balanced than the HIVE oligarchy.

"Which loss? Did I write about any loss?"

You did ask a question about who decides the value. Of course I would immediately think you are talking about Hive rewards.

"(Don't worry about my rewards, just check the value of my Splinterlands cards ...)"

Wow! You certainly have a lot more value there than I do.

About centralization though...

Who knows, I might be a whale. Or orca... I don't really care.

I've recently taken a "don't complain" policy on whales. They will cease to be of relevance soon enough. The fact of the matter is, they are not all "bad", and eventually those who downvote from spite, don't have enough HP to bully everyone.

In the past, when it happened to me, I managed to use the spiteful downvoting campaigns I was subjected to my own advantage. Though I have to admit it's easier when the reason for downvotes is akin to "you're being too friendly with someone I don't like".

If you only knew what accounts these guys own. What happened to bernie sanders? Which one of them is him?

HIVE is completeley centralized and dominated by early miners and former bid bot owners who, in addtion, vote each mutually as wtinesses and decide which proposals will be supported.

I left this fake immutable decentralized platform for all the liars and fake friends you get here. You missed one thing they all hide behind multiple unknown accounts. There is no person to hold accountable for their crimes against their fellow man.

They are a bunch children who only want to play games!

It is a cesspool of all the scum of the earth hiding behind memes and icons.

Taking posts that are trending, and deleting all their rewards so they disappear for anyone not following the author, is suppression of information.

This isn't a conversation about "rewards," that is just the excuse/scape-goat that these folks (who admit all the time that their priority is protecting their stake) keep using to avoid the conversation of centralization and censorship.

There are millions of conspiracy theory blogs out there that look exactly alike. Do you think they should all be rewarded for basically copy-pasting the shit the other blog is saying?

  1. The same could be said of 99.99% of content on Hive. That's the nature of "social media"
  2. There aren't even a hundred thousand active blogs on Hive much less millions, so your "millions of ...." is obviously not remotely true.
  3. This is a problem that the IW/DD community has a much lower rate of than Hive as a whole.

Taking posts that are trending, and deleting all their rewards so they disappear for anyone not following the author, is suppression of information.

By that same logic everyone who comes to Hive as a new user is being suppressed too.

Nobody is entitled to be seen on Hive though, and that has never been suppression, and never will it be.

The posts don't magically "disappear" though. They can still be seen by anyone.

For you to really be suppressed, you'd have to be disconnected from your followers.

Bullet points:

  1. I disagree. Hive is not Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, or Tumblr. We have social cohesion.
  2. Only pedantic assholes take obvious exaggeration literally.
  3. What?

As tcmdan says, we are the best option out there, most of the other coins have big problems with centralization, too.

Hive is a crab bucket, if we don't fight for a win, we lose.
I hate to see you go, it makes this win much harder.
The inflation will eventually level the field enough that the greediest will leave, this is already working.
At some point fleecing poor people here will no longer be worth their time and they will seek other games to dominate.
At that point those of us left can enjoy the promise sold to us by the potential of the hive.
Unless enough people don't stay for the eventual win.

Don't underestimate the 2nd layer. The chain is nothing compare to the frontends. You can have a zero dollar post from 2 years ago with billion of views and a vast influence. The fronts are what matters to the masses.