Thoughts on being muted by the #plantpower community. Do you think this is fair?

in #plantpowered2 years ago


Last month, I went through a very deep depressive episode, in which I am finally starting to feel more like myself again. I was planning on writing something in regards to that experience, with a conversation about the connection between spirituality and depression, and some natural healing methods that have been helping with recovery. But I have no idea if something like that would even reach anyone who is interested in these topics. Or even if anyone would feel like they got something useful from reading that post. After what happened today, I am feeling a bit too deflated to even try.

I spent two days creating a vegan recipe, only to have it shot down in the plantpower community. There is something so demoralizing about being muted over something that was not your fault. The hardest part about this situation is that I had no idea that a 'formal introduction' with my name and picture was required to participate, since this was not a rule that was stated anywhere in the community. At least anywhere that I could find before pressing publish. I had so much anxiety about posting this, not because I felt that I had actually done something wrong, but because of some questionable and rather contradictory elements that I have noticed on the platform.

This is the comment left on my muted post by @plantpoweredonhive

Greetings @fitbee, I see that you have brought a great post to our community, which is quite useful as a viable alternative to create a gluten-free flour with great nutritional value.

However, reviewing your blog, I see that you lack personal presentation. A presentation post is essential, so that you can make yourself known on Hive, which is why I ask you to prepare one, where you formally introduce yourself, providing information such as your name, how you found out about this platform, your interests, even your photo , in order to know more about you.

I hope that for your next post, you will share this valuable information with us. Greetings.

This was my response to the comment left by @plantpoweredonhive

Hello, I joined at the start of august with the original intention of using this account just for actifit and they did not ask me for an introduction. During this time, I have posted at least thirty little journals with personal thoughts and comments about my daily life, along with a few longer posts about figuring out the platform. I have been dreaming about writing for your community and also the gardening one for months, since the ideas that I have to write about relate to staying healthy and fit. I have wanted to share more about myself in stages but not all at once, and certainly not with a formal introduction post with my name and photo. I find that rather invasive and subjective and it is a personal choice, how to present myself on here, based on privacy and not wanting to share those things right away. I thought for sure this platform would be the last place to ask these things of me, like it is mandatory.

It does not mean that I am not a real person and my value as a potential contributor to this community goes down. The true intention here is for my upcoming recipes to be helpful and useful on their own, and not because of what I look like, and what else I do with my time. You can be assured they are all original and come from the heart. Your request goes against my preference to make friends before sharing super personal information. I can still be friendly and conversational, encourage other members and share personal experiences in the comments while building confidence. As I become more comfortable with posting here, I definitely have plans to put myself out there more. I just don't see how this is necessary in order to give away recipes. I completely understand if you would rather that I do not post in your community anymore in light of this.

To be completely honest, I feel extremely upset about this. I just came back from hiatus for mental health reasons and this was the first thing that I felt excited to talk about. I have read and re-read your rules for posting and did not see anywhere, that we had to formally introduce ourselves and release our names and photos. I realize this is probably an unwritten rule of etiquette that I missed, but even so where is the freedom to express ourselves as we choose, and at the pace we choose? I am not plagiarizing and otherwise following wider platform guidelines.

This was the @plantpoweredonhive response about an hour after my response

Until you make a formal introduction post on Hive, (choose the community you like), I will mute your Plant Power Vegan account. Once you introduce yourself properly, then I'll remove the silence.

It is important to validate yourself on the platform, and one way to do it is with a presentation post.

I would like to know how terms that were not expressed in the posting guidelines are being enforced, and why they are being done in such a cold hearted manner. Apparently I am not a validated person on this blockchain because I place some semblance of value on aspects of privacy and freewill. I will only be allowed to participate and become unmuted after I comply. I am not trying to be crude and disrespectful but how is this not totalitarian behavior? I had my heart set on being welcomed into this community, and it just cut me out out before I even begin. There is no basic humanity in this behavior, especially after my explanation.

I have seen that larger accounts on the hive blockchain make subjective decisions on what can and cannot be made visible here. This is true and even expected within mainstream centralized websites. But I really thought this place was supposed to be different. This goes beyond the need to prevent spam, or to curate content that fits into a certain topic. To place limitations on users that are based on a nonsensical whim, it goes against the entire purpose of having a blockchain in the first place.

While reading back into older articles, I got the impression this place had anarchist roots and is supposed to be censorship free. It is supposed to allow people more freedoms - away from corrupted centralization models. The blockchain is a beautiful idea, consisting of talented people from all around the world, all collaborating on a shared vision. So why are we modelling the communities here based on control tactics? Even while still grasping the concept of a blockchain, it still sounds like it is supposed to be something new and revolutionary. Today, it proved otherwise.

There is something fundamentally flawed about this place. But that is okay, because I knew that almost right away. I figured this is the sort of place that isn't all bad. There are redeeming qualities in everything when you look hard enough. I figured that when we find our niches, and write about what makes us happy, that is all that matters. The overall issues will work themselves out. Up until today, I believed this. And I was naive enough to think that all it took to make it here, was to seek out like minded souls.

I am still looking for that. I cannot express in words the severe loneliness and isolation, that I have been facing with a brave face these last few months. The pink bee in my logo is the true persona of this account, and the spirit of my intentions in everything that I do here. For the most part, I wanted to buzz around spreading light and love, along with some deep yet uplifting thoughts. Not this darkness and sadness and pain. But then again I wouldn't be a very authentic human being to hide and push down, how being abruptly muted has shaken me up. It hurts being ordered to do something that goes against the pace and timing of wishes that mean a lot to me.

Who decided that introduction posts would make sense on a platform that encourages a certain level of anonymity? And what kind of person decides to continue to enforce this principle, as the means to determine if someone is worthy of being accepted? I am truly trying not to let the experience of this one community change how I feel about all of them - but it did get me thinking. Hive itself is available to anyone to post whatever they like on their blogs, but then it somehow gets segregated off into these groups that have criteria. While some of these rules make sense, in order to create a peaceful and on topic community, others are just plain rigid and have no mercy for users that have a different approach.

At what point is it okay, to even attempt to infringe on basic personal freedoms? No matter where we go on the internet, we have the free will to choose how much information to share without being bullied into it. Refusing to turn into a cookie cutter content creator is my right. I will never understand the social desire to box, categorize and label everything into neat sterilized piles and then call that healthy behavior.

Before getting the wind knocked out of my sails, I was compiling a list of projects to create and write about during the coming fall and winter. These included sewing and crafting with recycled materials, along with more fitness journals, healthy eating tips and food preservation how-to posts, cooking and baking recipes, and more tea blend ideas including ones that I create for each chakra. Another thing that sparked my interest, and would have been unique to hive were conversations about my favorite mantras, and how you can help them resonate as a form of sound healing.

I just finished gathering all of the supplies to start journaling via hivegarden about growing indoor kitchen greens. At this point though, I really couldn't handle another rejection, and will not be participating. It may sound silly, but I have major tag anxiety. The fear that I will use the wrong one and get reprimanded in some way is terrifying. Even a kinder one would not be taken well in my current frame of mind.

Do these ambitions sound like the words of someone who has no value here?

Anyway, I will end this monologue with saying this was not written with hatred or malice. I am only seeking to be heard and understood. I know that my triggers are my own, and maybe some of you will think this is an overreaction. But who can judge how something hits? I take full responsibility for my reactions, and after this experience has been processed and purged, I will be sending out nothing but love. Getting upset over something is very difficult in the moment. But afterwards it does give us the opportunity, to learn more about ourselves. And also to resolve those triggers, and cut ties with the stuff that to longer serves us to hold onto.


I hear you, and I agree with you.

I choose how I take part very specifically here, as I too do not want to post pictures of myself, my family, or any specific identifiers. So I have chosen to remain fairly vague in my personal details. I have my own excellent reasons for this, and they are very personal. They are the same reasons I refuse to participate in social media anywhere else. And my own reasons and why they exist are a giant trigger for me.

Those reasons are why I was ecstatic to learn about Hive.

There are several communities that I don't take part in because of this. Some require posters to share on social media, so those communities are off limits for me. Some require photo verification. I even tried to wear sunglasses and use the sun to hide my details in one community that I very much wanted to take part in. That wasn't enough for them, and they wanted video verification 🤯 so I left that group. It's sad, because there are several communities that I feel would inspire more of my ability to write and to come out of my shell. But I can't cross that boundary.

I can tell you that there are many communities that won't ask these things of you. Each community is like it's own little social club, each with different rules. I would feel exceptionally put-off if I had received the response you did, and I wish it wasn't a thing. Tagging, muting, downvoting; all of these make me very anxious as well. I haven't found that many people that are willing to admit the same.

I hope that you can find it in you to continue on, to find communities that don't make these ridiculous requirements. You are exactly the kind of writer that I personally hope can fill this space.

I'm not a techie, or a social media cryptopreacher; I'm an average middle-aged human with lots of personal issues and trauma that hopes to find community and has taken a last ditch effort to look here with optimism. Maybe we should form our own annonymous community? 😊🦋

PS: I don't know if you read my #introduceyourself post, but here is what I did to remain mostly anonymous while still providing info about myself: My Intro Post. Maybe a post similar would be enough for verification? I've never seen that photos or specific identifiers are required. There's got to be a work-around!

Thank you! I feel so much better knowing this situation is relatable. Way too often, I find myself voicing something that nobody else agrees with. If only one person reads this, I am glad it was you. I have the same triggers about social media, and maybe some of the same reasons to keep certain personal details to myself. We should not have to defend this choice to anyone.

I am so sorry to hear that you got denied from a community too, and find others off limits. This is part of the reason why I believe all social blockchains are doomed for failure. The underlying mechanics are a step forward, but people have migrated the shitty social and societal problems with it. Then it becomes two steps backward and we are no better off than before.

Boundaries are important, especially when they relate to mental health. Having a safe space within hive where people can be themselves at whatever level suits them is important too. It blows my mind how some people can be so narrow minded. I will not be attempting to join another existing community because my self esteem will not let me. When it comes to writing, I place too much value on time and energy to waste it where it is not appreciated. There is probably a workaround to verification, but the fact remains that I would still not want to be associated with plantpower or any other community that treats people in this way.

I am also an average but not quite middle aged human with lots of personal issues and trauma that hopes to find community. I love that we have this in common. I came here to heal those parts of myself - that come from a very broken sense of community. So far that effort has crashed and burned. Just about the only thing that would give me a glimmer of hope to write again without fear is for us to create the space we are seeking. But not with the sole focus of being anonymous. I don't really see our preferences and values as trying to be anonymous - it is just a nice side effect to how we choose to show up here.

I have already re-prioritized the rest of this year to actifit posts only, so that is the only thing that I really have the bandwidth to stick around the hive blockchain for. Maybe I will feel differently in the new year about posting recipes and projects.

people have migrated the shitty social and societal problems with it.

Unfortunately, people have done that for millennia, we are just expanding into a virtual realm, I'm afraid. A safe space can only exist in a closed group and we have no closed groups on the blockchain.

I absolutely understand your anxieties, I've lived with them all my life. Sadly if you want to put yourself out there in any way, in our case through writing, you have to either develop a thick skin or find ways to deal with the things that knock your confidence. For me it helps trying to see the other side and understand where they are coming from. Most of the time these are good people trying to deal with things and advise on correct tag or community usage. Once I've gotten over the initial shock of being told I've done the wrong thing then I rationalise and ask for further advice. The majority of the time the conversation ends in a good way.

My definition of a safe space - in the context of the hive blockchain - is simply a community where you do not have to worry about the moderators muting you due to miscommunications or errors. Also, we have the freedom to approach the style of content creation in the way that we choose. Without being told to extend ourselves to match outdated criteria that is not very holistic. There are lots of ways to get to know a person apart from formal intros.

These two things are very achievable here, and certainly do not require a closed group. I realize that we all have different opinions, interests, outlooks and emotional states. Having a safe space isn't putting anyone into bubble wrap - we still have to be accountable for our own stuff. For me, it just means putting your best effort out there - and knowing that it means something. You are not just another cog in the wheel.

Hi, I hear you, but also see why this may have happened. The moderators in the communities often have to deal with scammers, plagiarists and farmers and one of the consistent factors with them are that they don't have introduction posts. This is why some communities will ask you for them. It's actually also a helpful way to connect with other users on Hive and may help you start to feel less isolated. You don't have to show your face, just be genuine. It's always a slow process when you come to Hive to make connections and get to know people.

The moderator from the community was actually quite nice and polite in their approach. Some can be very aggressive and rude.

I'm afraid actifit is also a bit niche and can isolate you from others who aren't actifit fans themselves, due to the amount of short content on there which some users see as farming. It's a little more accepted now than it used to be, but the short content style apps caused something of a stir when they first started up and it took some convincing that they were a valid option for Hive.

Thank you for your comment :)

I realize this post turned out a bit heated. My overall reaction was also due to previous observations on the blockchain that just weren't sitting right, and this unfortunately ended up being the breaking point. Regardless of how polite the triggering comments might look, I feel the lack of an explanation as to why introduction posts are necessary, it would have went a long way. I leveled with the moderator in my response, and was hoping to reach a compromise. Have a real conversation. It was frustrating to only get a robotic response that addressed none of what I poured out.

@plantpoweronhive - perhaps you could use this feedback on your communication style to improve on future interactions with new members?

I can see how moderators have their hands full with scammers, plagiarists and farmers. But if this all that you expect to see, that is a pretty sad outlook. When you end up treating every single person like they are doing something wrong, the good ones slip through the cracks. I had alot to offer going forward, and was really puzzled by the fact that my content itself was considered acceptable - it was not seen at all as being a scam, as theft or a repost, or a farming tactic - and yet I was still muted. This measure was a bit drastic for content that was deemed okay. It only makes sense to mute the actual offenders. Simply telling me that they want intros without the mute - it would have honestly avoided this entire thing. It would have been less shocking. I wouldn't have felt so forced into it - this way it is like my post is being held ransom!

Anyway, I am aware of the short form prejudice towards actifit, which is why I try to put more effort into formatting my posts, picking out daily affirmations and writing a little something personal or thoughtful that is unique to each day. That is the best that I can do.

what a douchey way to manage a community...

honestly, I can relate how that felt degrading but you really shouldn't be worried about that... just make a mental note that their specific community isn't a very welcoming place.

these "communities" only represent some moderated sub sections of this blockchain, and I am sure you'll find like-minded folks elsewhere who'll accept your authenticity by your interactions and not based on some formal #introduceyourself post or what-not.


I've been on this platform for quite a while now, I am using multiple accounts for my personal means as I see fit, I've never done any proper introduction of my irl identity whatsoever.

You certainly should be careful not to pick fights with whales who could flag you into oblivion around here, but you also certainly don't need to let anyone bully you into introducing yourself in any specific way they want.

You'll also have to accept if they don't want you there if you don't accept their rules... but who wants to be with those sheeples anyway... lol... I'm sorry, probably a bunch of really nice folks over there, just with an overzealous power tripping moderator...

Thanks so much for all of the upvote support! And most of all for the comment. I have come to the conclusion that submitting content into groups does not really matter for the bigger picture. The purpose is just to put it out there, and anyone who might be interested will somehow find it. Any other vegan related efforts will be placed elsewhere relevant or most likely just onto my blog or within actifit reports only - with generic food tags. And besides, nobody can stop me from visiting other plantpower member articles and leaving some good vibes there.

I will say that intentionally picking a fight with a whale will never be part of my agenda. But saying nothing is not my style either. True intentions are not often clearly seen by those who are power hungry. I guess it depends on their own filter of reality whether or not to flag someone into oblivion. It is true there is definitely some balance needed when it comes to standing up for yourself, and also not sabotaging yourself.

I am perfectly willing to have any of my opinions on this page changed over time, after new interactions and experiences on hive. And I have already moved on from wanting to be part of that group :)

well, I wouldn't underestimate the power of being part of a group, and especially here for the purpose of building upvote support and "curation" on your content communities will be an essential part... but you don't have to abide by arbitrary rules is what I am saying.

the experiences on this chain can be a mixed bag and the underlying economy is heavily skewed to say the least, but it's a great place to meet interesting folks, too...

anyways... let's be actifit friends (so that I'll get notifications when you post your reports) I'll gladly extend the upvote support that way and I've also enlisted you with @dustbunny to help with the teensy weensy rewards on comments, too.

Just when I think that something finally makes sense, there is always another angle to consider. As you have seen, understanding the social aspects of being part of a group does not come very easily to me. The way my mind works can be a bit perplexing to say the least. Even just trying to join in has mixed results. But I will take a break, then try again with other groups. There seems to be so much that goes unsaid here because most people have been here for quite some time. This is why I appreciate your thoughts and guidance. I would love to be actifit friends, thank you for the help in making sense of this :)

I've sent you a friend-request via You'll have to go to their site and accept the request, that'll let me get your notifications in the actifit app. I'm notoriously bad at touching base on hive itself, so those notifications of your reports going up will help me a lot. ;)

I had no idea the website has a friends feature, and that we could get notifications via the app! I accepted your request, and one other that was sitting there for who knows how

excellent... looking forward to your next report.

Hey. Apologies for not reading the whole thing... My eyes are really tired and I'm about to eat and go to sleep, but I did read the screenshot you included... I think it's unfortunate that they are requiring this of you, though it's also not that difficult to make an introduction post and I can see on some levels why they did that... That being said, there should be other ways for you to verify who you are without making an introduction post! Like, just having a conversation with you and asking you for those details instead of some rigid hoop to jump through.

Sorry you went through that, but hopefully you are able to find a solution!
The first thing I did when I joined this platform was make an #introduceyourself post and that's one of the main pieces of advice I gave to everyone who I had sign up here... So, in my opinion it's something that would be beneficial regardless. But, it shouldn't be forced on you if you don't wanna do it in such manner. There are other ways to try to verify if someone is genuine or not.

It is quite a long post, and the responses that I made below it go into even more detail as to why this was an issue for me. The situation was less about the actual introduction post and more about the principle. I would have been happy to come up with something on my own accord, and in my own time. But doing this on demand, without talking about it first felt wrong. It was the way in which I was asked, and the moderators lack of communication that prompted this post. I would not have minded verifying myself in some other way, but that option was not offered to me. The mute was being held against me, even though the article checked every box in the posting rules, and even deemed useful to the community. There are certain privacy concerns to think about as well. It would be a bit of a long shot, but I would be in danger were my real name, photo and location to be discovered by certain individuals in my past. It would always be in the back of my mind and cause stress, which is enough of a reason to refuse. And at the time, I doubted using a nickname and artistic less identifiable selfie would have been enough, and that is still most likely the case. It is not my intention to be difficult, but when someone orders me to do literally anything and it will not pass through basic reasoning - the immediate very strong reaction is to do the complete opposite. I wanted my first and future contributions to speak for themselves.

That "requirement" is no requirement, and it is NOT a requirement to do an intro right off, nor show a photo, @plantpoweronhi is giving you false information, and if they felt that way, they should have had it in their rules; they are the second community that has muted NEW Hiveans for various reasons. All this "person" did was take away your rewards unjustly for an excellent post for no valid reason without warning. That "verification" crap came from that other platform we all left in the hard fork, it is strictly voluntary to make an introduceyourself post; it is beneficial, but NOT a "law".
If you would like to write up an introduceyourself post, we will feature it in our Hey! Have Ya Met...? project, you know where to find us, but there is NO hurry, it is on your timeline, not mine; we have been working up introduceyourself posts for over 3 years, so I am very aware of what is "required" and what is not.