Hivewatchers provide consistent and scope-based anti-abuse services to the Hive ecosystem. Our prime focus is fighting fraud.
Fraud includes any form of deliberately misleading activity or deception aimed towards monetization or other malicious goals.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Fraud can be defined as:
1a: DECEIT, TRICKERY
specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
was accused of credit card fraud
b: an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : TRICK
automobile insurance frauds
2a: a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : IMPOSTOR
He claimed to be a licensed psychologist, but he turned out to be a fraud.
also : one who defrauds : CHEAT
b: one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
The UFO picture was proved to be a fraud.
In relation to Hive, Fraud refers to any and more of the following:
- Identity theft
- Identity deception
- Plagiarism (text, image, art)
- Malicious deception
- Phishing/malware links
What is Hivewatchers?
Hivewatchers first and foremost aims to be an educational project. Users who engage in one of the above activities get a comment on their post. The comment usually links to the original source of the content they have presented as their own. The comment offers a very succinct educational point. It also invites them to join the Hivewatchers chat and talk about it.
Users who engage in identity theft or identity deception are immediately added to the banlist (also known as a blacklist). This is because in identity-related cases, there is always an innocent victim who may have severe personal consequences if the perpetrator isn't stopped.
Users who either refuse to acknowledge that fraud is wrong and continue to carry on with it, eventually get added to the list as well. They must undergo an appeal process in which they post an apology to the Hive community (not to Hivewatchers) and showcase their abuse-free posts for a period of time. That time varies depending on multiple factors. During that time, we help guide that user if they have questions and connect them with other key community services as necessary.
For many users, that ask to come talk to us is the only time they get to chat with other Hive members. Often, they themselves have been victimized by those who have scammed or mislead them and ask for help. Many stay in touch long after their appeal is up or question answered.
Hivewatchers rely on the community to locate instances of fraud and report them. Community members submit their reports anonymously on our website at http://hivewatchers.com and, should their reports be accepted as valid and correct, receive a small payment of appreciation. We manually check every report to make sure it is within our scope and is accurate. The comments that Hivewatchers publishes are all manually triggered (although they are templated for consistency).
Hivewatchers was originally Steemcleaners. It was started in 2016 by @Anyx who, as a PhD student, was troubled by all the plagiarism and fraud he saw on Steem. He created @cheetah, a hands-off similar content bot, and then formed Steemcleaners with the help of @Patrice. Many people have joined in along the way and have spent time in the role of Steemcleaner. Those of us who are part of Hivewatchers now are not the founding members and cannot speak to the project's full history as some is beyond our knowledge.
When the Steem blockchain was lost during the hostile takeover that gave birth to the Hive ecosystem, Hivewatchers was born.
The Hivewatchers service is more complex and robust than it looks. This section is here for general information and is not related to this proposal.
- http://hivewatchers.com is a ruby site hosted alone on a VPS. It has a bridge that allows it to post directly to the Hive chain.
- The bot that writes the automated comments is hosted on an entirely different server and is hands-off. It is commanded only through on-chain interaction.
- The banlist/blacklist is issued on-chain through commands. They are then parsed and channeled through multiple redundancies to ensure that if any hacking occurs, the list is unaffected.
Additional servers and scripts exist for Cheetah and Spaminator but are not related to this proposal.
You may guess that fighting fraud is not always popular. We have gotten every type of threat and form of harassment. Most users are good people and the educational part of Hivewatchers is perfect for them. However, organized scammers are different. They enter the ecosystem with a clear intent to exploit, scam, deceive, and steal and they create approaches that can rival some corporate business plans to do so. When caught, the fight tooth-and-nail and resort to everything under the sun. Being a member of Hivewatchers is a thankless and dangerous job.
Type of Proposal: Hive service, non-tech operational and labor costs
Technology: Partial OS
Time and Commitment
Hivewatchers is a part-time job at best, full-time job during peak times. Complex investigations, particularly ones involving multiple victims and accounts, can take days. Helping users can take anywhere from a minute to an hour per person. Assisting another project can take an hour or over a day. Processing reports always takes hours. Maintaining the infrastructure takes time. It all adds up.
Average time commitment per 7-day week: approximately 40 hours divided between two people.
40 / 7 = 5.7, rounded up to 6 hours per day, every day of the year.
Previous Funding Model
When Steemcleaners were first created, the community decided to support the project through curation. Individuals outside of the project set up their own trails and upvoted Hivewatchers' posts and comments because they saw value in the project. Unfortunately, in doing that, funds were established as coming out of the communal reward pool.
This continued on Hive but we all realized that it is less than ideal as now, in present time, we have an excellent alternative in the DHF.
We are asking for 65 HBD per day. This ensures our current members and future members are paid for their time and dedication and the service can be supported.
Should the value of the HBD exceed $1 by a noticeable amount, we will refund any overflow back to the DHF.
Phase 1: Establishment
The project is 4 years old and this phase has long been completed.
Phase 2: Technical Maturity
The Hivewatchers reporting frontend platform, backend processing platform, list servers and all supporting technology have already been funded, paid for and donated by the team.
Phase 3: Evolution and Ongoing Operations
Hivewatchers must continue to operate as per normal while completing this phase. Included in this phase (but excluded from the above funding request) are:
- Documentation development hours (documentation is ongoing and will be released shortly in due course)
- Liaison hours
- Server, script, bot and site upgrades
- Related servers
This proposal is to fund the ongoing operations only. All additional task hours or costs will be donated out of pocket but the Hivewatchers team.
If unfunded, the service will remain with the current funding model and alternatives will be explored.
We are aware that many organized, malicious scammers are eagerly waiting for Hivewatchers to lose funding. However, we will remain committed to delivering our services to the Hive ecosystem in any case. We will never let anything prevent us from stopping an identity thief, among others.
Hivewatchers has been around for years in different forms and is always evolving. We appreciate your support, your feedback, your criticism, and your collaboration. Thank you for considering our funding proposal.