Creating an Anti-Abuse Project for Your Community

in #utopian-io2 years ago (edited)

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The @steemcleaners team seeks to empower the diverse communities that make up the Steem ecosystem to increase their resilience to abuse. By increasing their abuse resilience, communities will become stronger and be able to achieve their goals.

Abusers often target specific communities to exploit both the good-will of their members and the curation opportunities they present. Community leaders and members are therefore becoming increasingly concerned about abuse.

Numerous communities collaborate with the @steemcleaners team to fight abuse and many have voiced their desire to launch smaller, targeted anti-abuse projects within their communities.

Setting Up Your Community's Anti-Abuse Project

We recommend that you leverage the experience and expertise of the @steemcleaners team when considering the creation of your own anti-abuse project or initiative. Below are general guidelines that will assist you in formulating and preparing for your own anti-abuse project.

The @steemcleaners team is always at the ready to consult with you, collaborate with you, or assist you in whatever way we can.

Set Scope

Be sure to set your scope ahead of launching your project.

  • What type of abuse is most important to your community?
  • What type of abuse do you feel the most passionate about?
  • What type of abuse do you feel isn't abuse at all and you will ignore?
  • Are you familiar with all the types of abuse that are prominent in your community and on the Steem blockchain?

Image source and link to additional resources.

Set Timeline

We recommend that you create a timeline for when your project will start, reach maturity and conclude. You may also want to set an open-ended project and determine the conclusion date at a later time.

  • When will you launch it?
  • How often will you work on it?
  • At what interval will you report your results back to the Steem ecosystem and your community?

Select Team Members

Some projects are run by one person and some are run by a team. The size of the team depends on the project needs.

  • Select reliable individuals that can work together as a group without competing or arguing.
  • Make sure team members are familiar with the Steem ecosystem.
  • Team members should feel comfortable dealing with members of your community and the Steem ecosystem, no matter if they're talking to whales, dolphins or minnows.

Determine Financial Needs

Different projects require different forms of financing. Projects based on various bots will need a server paid for. Projects based on educating members may need funds to reward good behavior through contests.

  • What will your server cost?
  • What will your website and domain costs be like?
  • How much SBD/STEEM will you need to give out?
  • How much will delegation cost if you need it?
  • Will you need to remunerate your team members somehow?

Determine Collaboration

The @steemcleaners is the largest and most expansive anti-abuse project in the Steem ecosystem. We have the ability and desire to support community-centric and specialized anti-abuse projects where our scope matches.

The @steemcleaners internal Slack allows all team members to collaborate.

  • Will your project report abusers to the @steemcleaners?
  • Will your project have a two-way dialogue with the @steemcleaners?
  • Will you need the @steemcleaners to process the abusers that your project discovers?
  • Do you see yourself working with other projects, such as @steemflagrewards?
  • Are you familiar with all the other projects?

Setup Tools

Your project may need a separate channel set up in your community Discord or a new account registered.

Example of an Excel spreadsheet from a faucet abuse investigation.

  • Do you know how to register a new Steem account yourself?
  • Did you set up your server how you wanted?
  • Have you written the scripts that you needed?
  • Did you format your Google Drive, Excel spreadsheet, Dropbox, or anything else that you'd need to store and share information?
  • Who will manage your tools?

Outline Communication

Your project will likely need to report back to your community members somehow or to the Steem ecosystem in its entirety. It will need some way for contributors and for abusers to reach you or your team members.

The #phishing channel in the @steemcleaners discord enables phishing victims to reach the team.

  • Will you publish regular update posts/reports and reply to comments?
  • Will you be available to chat on Discord?
  • Will you accept appeals?
  • Will you follow up with abusers you made contact with?
  • Will you teach users via chat how to participate in your community without abusing?

Determine Readiness

This is likely the most important part of launching an anti-abuse project. All anti-abuse projects take a considerable amount of time and dedication. They also come with a degree of risk. Verbal abuse, malicious flags, retaliatory spam, doxxing, law suit threats, threats to family, death threats, etc are something every abuse-fighter or anti-abuse project owner becomes familiar with.

  • Are you prepared to deal with aggressive users?
  • What will you do if a user starts threatening or flagging you?
  • What will you do when someone gets mad at you and uses language you're not comfortable with?
  • What happens if you get on the wrong side of a whale?
  • Does your community support your anti-abuse project? (This is something you should ask yourself before initiating it.)

Useful Tools to Have On-Hand

  • Coherent clearly-formulated list of abuse definitions that fit your project: Those may including things like "submitting made-up reviews" on top of the standard "plagiarism" and "identity theft".

  • Discord, Slack or another communications method set up and its installation instructions for those who need them. Set it all up ahead of project launch and save yourself a headache.

  • Group or individual accounts to a Dropbox or similar file repository. For public files such as blacklists, GitHub works well. You should back everything up.

  • Contact list for collaboration purposes. The list should include members of the @steemcleaners team, owners/managers from other communities that may overlap with yours or from useful projects like DTube, other anti-abuse project team members, etc. @Steemcleaners Discord

  • Software required to operate and manage any servers or websites your project uses. If you SSH into your server to run your bots, you may need a copy of Putty and instructions on how to use it.

Example Project

The #Introduceyourself Tag Spammers Project ran for a period of several months in 2017. It was created by the @guiltyparties team. For the purpose of providing an example, we'll break it down below.

The scope of the project revolved around #introduceyourself (and subsequently #steemit)tag abuse. Every Saturday it ran a to pull a list of users who used the #introduceyourself tag excessively. The results were processed into a post, creating a transparent list of users.

The users that were abusing the #introduceyourself tag then had their blogs checked over and received a friendly reminder that what they were doing is wrong.

This is the friendly reminder that was posted in their comments.

The idea was that through awareness, abuse of the #introduceyourself tag would decrease week to week. The timeline was set in weekly intervals, with Saturday being the main day of action, and the project aiming to last no longer than 6 months.

To function, this project required the use of several tools: SteemData (now defunct), a small server to process the query and the written query itself, Excel to set up the metrics, and the friendly graphic. The financial cost was absorbed by the team.

Users that were commented on typically responded positively. All of the communication was done via comments. In cases where deliberate abuse or identity theft was found it was reported to the @steemcleaners team to support collaboration.


Greetings team @steemcleaners!

I enjoyed the list of questions in this post in regards to many facets of anti-abuse. Steemians who wish to join anti-abuse efforts should ponder on them before proceeding.

For those not interested in participating, the questions should offer some insights too. They outline the decision-making process which abuse fighters had to go through.

It is also comforting to know that @steemcleaners will offer consultations where appropriate. Furthermore, anti-abuse does not solely rest on the team's shoulders.

Individual communities can only flourish when they have sound quality control. When valuable content/services thrive, they add value to the Steem Blockchain.

Then, everyone benefits.

Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.

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Chat with us on Discord.

Thanks for your support and feedback, we hope that the post will be helpful to community leaders getting overwhelmed with abusers. We definitely see the need to focus on passing on our accrued knowledge onto the communities.

Thank you for your review, @enforcer48! Keep up the good work!

What is the difference between you and some regime acting without any ethical rights? There is no one controlling you. You are acting on content you do not read or even understand due to language. You do not read comments but give threatening answers to these comments. Your discord reaction is pure arrogance and far from being any kind of service. You expect after accusing people that they prove their innocence. This by far the biggest threat for any community! You are not willing to do any research beside your bots. Your service is going to be the end of steemit especially for acting on foreign languages. You expect the price of steem going up for treating people like scum. I have collected tons of evidences about the words I am posting here and I suggest anyone interested to follow their discord for some moments. This is the worst thing that could happen. A decentralized blockchain project taken over by a bunch of wannabes playing and building their own regime. I posted critical words on their discord and got downvoted blindly for any posts without breaking their self made rules. This is not cleaning, this is dictating. And you will get their revenge, independent of following any rules.

Prove your innocence or be lost! Remember my words when you are accused for your own content.


Mod hat off

Prove your innocence or be lost! Remember my words when you are accused for your own content.

That makes no sense. That will probably never happen. If it does, it would be quickly addressed. You can count on it.

As for your concerns, it is something that needs to be addressed by the @steemcleaners internally in terms of staffing, language support, etc.

It's a community-driven project, perhaps you would like to offer your language expertise?

As for the Discord interactions, I have noticed less activities from the volunteers and only see replies from a few of the Steem Cleaners to address issues that users bring up. That is an internal issue that they have to deal with, which include staff/volunteers with the required language skills.

What you fail to see is the number of legitimate cases where Steemians are caught plagiarizing, conducting vote farms, etc.

@steemcleaners cannot take over the blockchain through the delegations leased out by @ned. It's a big amount, but nowhere near enough to take over the ecosystem.

Decentralized does not mean there would not be individual pockets of centralization at small-scale. If you believe that, stop using all the dapps altogether. They all have their set rules for how they expect users to behave.

If anyone is telling you otherwise, as I can see from your upvotes, they are selling you something.

You are not above the law and you have to justify to a lawyer now. This is getting totally out of hand.

That's not how any of this works. You can't have it both ways. Either it's a decentralized blockchain, or it's just another social media outlet governed by existing regulations depending on jurisdictions.

Sounds good!....:)...

Thank you for your great project. We (Tasteem team) are really appreciated your great support. 👍

Really interesting reading for a casual Wednesday evening.. on the one hand I see lots of "good intentions" and on the other quite a bit of subjective right and wrong posturing.

This sticks for me to ponder more on:

Coherent clearly-formulated list of abuse definitions that fit your project.

Is there anywhere I can read more about these defined abuses as interpreted by the @steemcleaners perspective.

Also does this comment by @enforcer48 (funny name lol) confirm that @misterdelegation is in fact @ned the super private stinc-y ceo?

@steemcleaners cannot take over the blockchain through the delegations leased out by @ned. It's a big amount, but nowhere near enough to take over the ecosystem.

I'm just a curious creator.. snooping around. Thanks for serving the "greater Steem community" if that's the correct wording for anyone who's feeling abused here in any way.

Oh hey! Glad to see you are still around.

Yeah, someone jacked my user name @leonis, so I just settled with something random. It's a completely coincidence that I winded up working on the anti-abuse side of the blockchain. This account is not an alt.

And yes, @misterdelegation is @ned.

As for definitions of abuse, @steemcleaners have their own. I merely collaborate with them. I'm sure @guiltyparties, etc. could provide a more updated version for the benefit of the public.

Awesome! Thanks for the info and yes, funny coincidence indeed LOL!

Cheers for being super forthcoming with what seems not to be commonly or publicly known, for sure those interested in where some of that 50 millie goes, they can rest assured some of it has been spread around here. Do you know much about the @steemcleaners power down or is that "inside info"?

Those "abuse" definitions would be golden too if we can see that or even a dedicated layout out post one could use as a reference for any future encouraging, that will be really helpful for us all.

Good on you collaborating btw, it seems a lot of good-hearted people contribute to this project!


I'm personally from the @steemflagrewards crew. You've been into our Discord server before.

As for the power down, etc. you'd have to ask members of the @steemcleaners. I assume it's for compensations towards their members and those who reported abuse to them.

Yeah thanks.. seems the whole house is coming down right now.. so while it's been cool chatting I gotta focus on holding exit open for those who aren't even aware! 💩

Anti-abuse efforts are under appreciated on Steem. Thanks for all you do.

I just got flagged on my latest post!!! lol what the hell is this

Not sure what's going on. I've seen others get flagged today. Could be part of recent fights

I wish ppl would stop acting like kids and ruining the site.

They think they have power, but they are big fish in a small pond. This is another reason we need to boost the community so they have less influence.

ugh so annoying yeah I get likes sometimes from Bernie and someone flags them so ridiculous

You want to clean steemit. Start by destroying the vote bots..
The biggest existing spam..

It's one of those supply and demand things. The only real way to get rid of them is for people to stop buying their services. Once the market is gone, they'll stop.

That is. Never..?

Equally. I keep seeing many accounts grow, when they are accounts that do not respect the copyright of the images; they are mostly taken from any random internet site, and putting that blog as a source. Some in the last months in an excessive way.

In fact, even in projects that are later supported by "important people".

I do not know which is the exact place in which that should be reported; or ¿That is not a bad practice for the cleanners? Example of a user: exe8422 I do not know which is the exact place in which that should be reported over it. Or is that well done?

Surely there are many more..

There's a lot of plagiarists out there and unfortunately some "important people" think it's appropriate to enable scammers. We'll still flag them and remove rewards where it's within our scope. To report them, just fill out and we'll process it.

This really surprised me.. :O

Thank s! I will try to commit myself to denouncing people who steal images from other blogs. I have never liked that practice, and it is so popular here. :D

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Your bot, @mack-bot , is downvoting me. I'm not sure what is the problem.

I have nothing to do with the spam wars between users such as bernie sanders , markymark , and so on.

same!!! what the hell is it doing

hi why did my post just get flagged?!