My last post?
This post is to explain the current situation going on with @xeldal. If you follow me, you probably notice I rarely post these days.
As a general rule, I don't leave comments or respond to comment regarding my downvotes. This isn't because I'm an asshole and I don't care. The reason I have found no matter what I say, I am always wrong and they are always right. No amount of discussion will change this, so I just don't bother. Typically these discussions go on for ages and never come to a logical resolution.
I have been getting tons of notifications on F.R.I.D.A.Y. regarding downvotes and @xeldal upvotes most of which are comments that are various degrees of inaccurate and rather than respond to all these comments, I am writing this post to explain the situation and provide context and clarity to what is going on.
If you are completely oblivious, you can either ignore this post, or read more to understand. It's not really that interesting, but I think it's a good idea to get it out there so people know what is actually going on rather than make up their own versions.
Grab your favorite drink, and most comfortable chair and have a seat. I need to setup some context before we get into this.
I have been curating on this blockchain for years and have been voting over 200 unique authors a week with a similar 10% upvote from my accounts. Many of the people I upvoted were not popular and did not get large upvotes.
I 10% upvote ranged from $5-10 depending on the price of Hive. I felt this was a good size upvote to reward users I felt put in the effort regardless of how I felt about what they wrote about. I am not a big fan of dropping massive upvotes to a handful of blessed users.
I had my own mental algorithm that I used to decide who I voted for and who I didn't, but the biggest factor was my arbitrary decision on how much effort a user put in. I was not influenced by any third party on what I would vote on and asking me for votes was a sure way to not get them.
Another piece of context I would like to mention is a personal challenge I had when I got here. I am not an author, I have published some blogs and I do type a lot of content daily but not in the form of blog posts. When I got here, I decided I would publish something every day for a year. This was back in 2017 and something I continued to do long after the 365 days passed. For the longest time I used to joke I was publishing in a blackhole as no one saw or read it. I am no stranger to social media or marketing, and I know how long it takes to build an audience and how consistency is one of the biggest ingredients. Long after the 365 days one of the biggest reasons I continued publishing despite the obvious fact I don't really need the rewards is for a few reasons.
First, I wanted to set an example.
Second I wanted to provide more content for search engines and future users to make Hive more relevant to the outside world.
Finally, I a lot of the content I published was teaching in nature, either development or the technical aspects of Hive. Many of my most popular posts are things like my deep dive on Markdown, my posts that explain commonly misunderstood concepts on Hive like curation rewards, and my posts talking about things people really don't want to talk about.
Since I have been here I have spent an embarrassing amount of time fighting abuse and countering users taking advantage of the reward pool. I have discovered and broken bot nets with thousands of accounts and users who were farming hundreds of dollars worth of rewards a day. This in fact was a large part of what I did for the first 4 years here.
I know right now, these two things don't make a lot of sense to why they are important and they really are not, but I want you to understand I was a very consistent curator and content producer. I think most people know at least some extent of the anti-abuse efforts I have done, regardless if they agree or disagree with it.
So why is this my last post and what does this have to do with all the current chatter about @xeldal?
This account published 20+ posts a day in a similar style of this one. Basically a title, an image, and copy/paste footer.
While these posts are harmless on their own, when they get voted for over $100, it becomes a problem.
For example this post received a $84 upvote by @newsflash.
I stepped in and started downvoting these posts when I noticed consistent large votes on them many times a day. This angered @newsflash (aka Grumpycat, Transisto) in which he responded by downvoting everything I published to $0 and downvoting anything I upvoted as well.
At this point, I stopped curating and was forced to just upvote the hbd stablizer account so others wouldn't get downvotes because of this, and he wouldn't wipe out all my curation rewards because of his temper tantrum due to not being able to farm easy curation rewards without actually helping out authors.
This went on for almost a year where I couldn't curate or publish until. @newflash recently powered down his stake a few months ago and bought some HBD and sold some? Before this happened though, enter the current @xeldal situation.
About 9-10 months ago, I noticed the account @tdvtv publishing 40 posts a day and receiving $500+ across 30-40+ posts a day. Most of these posts are not his, many were duplicate posts, and most posts from other users who already received rewards for the exact same posts.
I started downvoting these posts, and as @xeldal (and his other account/friend @enki) was the largest voter, they responded in a similar fashion as @transisto and started to nuke all my posts and all my upvotes to $0. At this point I wasn't publishing much as @newsflash was already zeroing out all my posts and upvotes, but I would occassional put up easy posts as bait for them to waste their downvotes.
@kencode who runs the site that powers the account @tdvtv has contacted me on multiple occasions about these downvotes. At some point changes were made because of these downvotes to set many of the posts from the @tdvtv account to decline rewards if a user didn't claim the post. This prevented some of the problems with @tdvtv, but didn't stop @xeldal from trying to punish me for getting invovled.
Recently @kencode left some comments saying I am being unfair and I am harming users which he has been telling people for some time. He has accused me for being a criminal for downvoting these posts and how despicable I am.
I thought this was ironic as @kencode contacted me back in January expressing concerns that he feels the owner (Jeff, aka Dollar Vigilante) may be a pedophile and his wife and kids may be in danger and he is concerned. I told him to contact authorities and he said in Mexico there really arn't any.
Both xeldal/enki and newsflash followed my upvotes to the hbd stablizer, but since there are so many voters and posts, their downvotes really had little impact. But I am left with no choice and I am unable to curate freely.
For a full year I tolerated this malicious and childish behavior from two large whales who had no ethics or maturity. After about a year, I decided I would return the favor they granted to me and started to downvote their upvotes.
A portion of these large upvotes were on shitty low quality content. @xeldal was following some large curators and over time I believe his votes to these curators increased but for the most part I noticed they followed specific accounts and just ran on auto pilot.
Around April I started to counter these upvotes, and managed to reduce his curation rewards to below 2% APR, far less than the typical 8-9% of a quality curator.
Despite what most people think, I don't like downvoting. I don't do it because I enjoy it or for my benefit. I have noticed many believe I receive some sort of reward when I downvote, or those rewards go to me or increase my earnings. Even if I was posting, and I downvoted something for $100, I would likely see less than $0.01 flow back to my post due to the reward returning to the reward pool. 99% of the time when I downvote, it is for Hive and not for myself.
I have deep regrets of getting into anti-abuse in the first place, it has made my time here fairly miserable and has had no benefit to me. I don't have a proposal for it, I don't get paid doing it, and it has caused endless headaches. I mostly stopped doing anti-abuse awhile ago but I still downvote real obvious cases but I am mostly out of it. I will downvote abuse as I see it, because I still care about Hive and willing to stick my neck out doing so but I don't spend time trying to find it like I used to.
So here we are today, the situation is pretty much the same, but more and more people are leaving comments many of which making false accusations or don't know the full story.
I see no point and posting, every post and every project I work on gets nuked. I have no incentive to work on projects as once they are discovered to be mine, get nuked as well. I no longer have any choice in what I curate.
Lots of people have saying I am the bad guy here and my downvotes are evil and I am hurting Hive users. The fact I stopped voting users over a year ago, has prevented thousands of downvotes a month. I have little to no choice in what I can do, I chose to take it on the chin for over a year so no one else would be pulled into it. I have reached out to @xeldal and explain he and Hive users are the primarily ones getting hurt here.
You can take this and do what you want with it. I am getting endless notifications on F.R.I.D.A.Y. with comments that are completely inaccurate or unaware of why this is happening. I want no part of this, but I wasn't going to let users farm of duplicate and content that wasn't theirs. Especially at the scale it was happening.
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