Bid Bot.. Abuse?

in #downvoteslast year (edited)

How I see bid-bots and their 'abuse'..


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Image from Pixabay modified by @kharma.scribbles


  • 🛑 This post could not have been finished at a better time! 🛑

    • As soon as I copied it over to @steempeak I received my first blind downvote on my previous post for bidbotting.
      I'd rather be flagged for using a bid-bot than for plagiarism like @ninahaskin - whose excuse for not citing was because she was on mobile so had trouble finding the source? So how did she copy the source content? At least my content is original Plus, she's too busy giving out vindictive DVs even though she muted me?? 🤔_
  • And @OCDB what's your excuse? "Bots are bad for STEEM?"
    Well, It depends on who is using them you see. Again, blind judgement & asshole assumptions.
    • Not only do I power up my rewards but I am also quite generous with them, hosting contests and giveaways and putting bounties on others' posts, so if I use a profitable bot it's to help fund all of that - it goes right back!_
  • Odd thing is I was bidding and getting much more profitable bot votes without a flag in sight, but as soon as I used a few different bots to try them out the blind warriors decide it's time to fight. It shows me right there that the DVs were solely automatic trailing of the bots. Means nothing to me except that DV abuse runs rampant in #newsteem.

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Bot users can be ethical too.

.. Honestly, I guess as a person who uses bid-bots, @booster included, I have a biased view.. but my opinion of bid bot abuse is to use a profit-bot, like @booster, and buying votes on crap content, worse when more than 1 bot is used..

Crap content to me is anything that didn't go through at least a basic spell check and formatting process, obviously wasn't proof-read, bidding more than 1 STEEM for a meme, bidding for content that you didn't write/produce/create yourself nor added any original thought to it (worse if lacking attribution to boot), 'Facebook status' type posts and posts with 1 image that you took yourself and added one sentence..... that type of crap should not have votes bought for it - especially by the author.. Hell, most of it shouldn't have any votes period, I'm amazed at how people present themselves to the public when I find crap like that. Worse, we are essentially getting paid so if that's how people present themselves at work, oh Goddess, please help them!!

Not surprising though, I once managed a girl who after 8 weeks working with me being and tardy etc., she decided to miss 4 shifts in a row, then on the 5th shift had a serious conversation with me giving me an ultimatum that I needed to give her a raise because if she didn't make more money here (there), she would have to look for a 2nd job and then would have to drop some hours working for me...

Yeah, guess how that turned out for her?

Image from Pixabay modified by @kharma.scribbles




...but I do have an issue with the downvote trails of others.. not including trailing SC or SFR, that's a different and almost an 'authoritive' decision on the content being deserving of a flag..

..but following the upvote trails of bid bots in order to flag whatever they upvote, that to me is its own form of abuse.. bullying and taking rewards away from content that might potentially be amazing for STEEM and/or could very well be deserving of that bot vote. Regardless of how terrible economically bid bots are to the eco-system, blindly downvoting is disruptive socially and totally irresponsible - discriminating the person because they want to earn more for their post than that damn meme they saw yesterday, instead of discriminating and judging their content, which is our mining system, judging the person and punishing their content solely based on their actions is quite disturbing to me.

On the other hand though, if buying a vote is what helped to get their content noticed and their content turned out to be shit - by all means, flag away, and majority of instances where I see people whining (or rage quitting) because they got a flag due to a bot vote, their content deserved the reward adjustment and honestly they could just as easily say they got a flag because their content is shit instead of blaming it on the fact they bought a vote..

Unfortunately though, it's hard to say what the true intention of the flagger was, and I think the majority of those complaints come from DV's from blind flaggers.

I should also disclose that I do seek out abusers and report them to SFR and SC, I don't go on wild witch hunts but I have found a few plagiarizers, spammers and bot abusers who had their rewards removed to 0 because I initiated the first flag on the post.. Most I find from looking through the bid bot API's and checking out the previous rounds bids, but others I find accidentally because I was interested in them based on a comment or something they made but then I found out all they are posting is junk..
The important thing is that I do this manually and judge the content based on that content on its own. I don't look at post history nor do I care that you bought votes, what matters to me is what you bought votes for or the content you're presenting to try and earn rewards from.


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So my advice to people goes like this:

  1. Don't follow some other user's DV trail.
  2. When you leave a DV please have the courtesy to also leave a comment explaining why. Even just calling on @steemflagrewards and citing the abuse type is helpful to the author - not all mean to be or realise they are being abusive (that doesn't negate the fact that their post needs a reward deduction though..)
  3. IF you still want to participate in vote buying then stick to one or two bots and try to keep it down to one bot per post, especially when your post is new. Buying up a ton of bot votes within the first 24 hours is a sure way to get flagged.
    • If your post has 500 votes valuing 5.00 STU and if 5 of the votes are from a bot then I would not consider that bot abuse unless the content was terrible, otherwise who's to say that the post didn't deserve those bot account's votes? A post with a total of 12 votes where 5 votes are from bots totally screams abuse and greed though, no matter how amazing the content is, spread out those votes!
  4. ENGAGE! STEEM should not be about producing an income, it should be a place where you come to create and share your content. If you are already a content creator then why wouldn't you create content here? There are a lot of people here for the wrong reasons or who quit creating here because they stop earning, well why not just keep creating here anyways?
    • Networking and getting yourself out there commenting and curating other communities, chatting up and making friends in the Discord servers etc. should be another main focus of your time if you want to be serious here. Networking is super important because the more genuine followers you have that actually want and read your content, the faster and quicker you will grow!

Most importantly I want everyone to remember that progress happens in baby steps. As long as you keep getting people who comment on you, follow you, even if it's only one a day or once per post, that is progress and growth! Each time you claim any amount of rewards, especially SP, that's growth! Don't let the STEEM price or DV trolls discourage you - just keep on keeping on and STEEM on!

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So now I leave you with a comment I made the other day on poor @manniman dTube post here where he is talking about how some downvote warriors from @OCDB chased off creators of a good cause, simply because they used bots on their posts. It's a flippin DOG SHELTER! No offence to @OCDB at all, I think their curation initiative was a great thing to happen for STEEM and heck once they even featured me in a curation report, however I think @acidyo's "Down with the bid bots!" campaign should have been kept separate from @OCDB as a whole because now I feel I can't as strongly support their cause knowing how irresponsible they are about their downvotes.
(but hey, that's probably fair, because this post of mine may get me moved off their whitelist and on to their blacklist. 🤦‍ Oh well.)



Image from Pexels

The dumb ass thing is that people are DOWNVOTING automatically based on the author using a bot. Like shut the fuck up downvoters who do that!

It's not even the same as following a curation trail, here is my take on why:
STEEM is about being rewarded for content.  
People come here to create and hopefully gain some rewards for their content as a bonus.

In order to mine STEEM, we create content.
We also earn STEEM from upvoting content.

You can earn STEEM from downvoting, through reporting at steemcleaners   
- however you don't even need to downvote, you are rewarded just for reporting if it's approved.

You can earn SFR tokens by reporting to  
steemflagrewards but I don't consider that earning  
because you're not earning STEEM directly.  
However I do use steemflagrewards whenever I DV  
something, and I use @steemcleaners along with them  
whenever there's something drastic or the person has  
higher SP than me (which doesn't take much)

We don't earn from downvoting alone, going on a 
mission to downvote strictly based on using a bid-bot 
is the stupidest thing. You're wanting to downvote  
to put some rewards back in the pool but then you  
aren't doing anything to earn rewards or 'mine' STEEM  in the process  
(by mine, I mean content creation)..

Not only that, but joining a curation trail is not  
harmful, it promotes what is at the heart of the  
platform - earning rewards through creation and  
curation.   
You should be responsible enough to follow a responsible  
curator so you are not voting on crap content automatically.

The only downvote trail that could be considered  
responsible to follow would be @steemcleaners

Any other downvote 'trail' does nothing but alienate  and hurt the creator since I guarantee you aren't  
just DVing based on the content,  
you will be DVing based on someone else's opinion of the author  
and being judgmental towards the author or their actions.  
It is personal when you DV based on using a bid bot.

I am all for downvoting shit, I am all for downvoting
because someone used a bot for their shit.

Paid a bot 2 STEEM to upvote a post with a single
meme image and no thoughts or captions to go along 
with the image? Or worse, pay more than 1 bot for
that same post? YEP, downvote for bid bot abuse.


Paid a bot 1 STEEM to earn a little profit and gain
some extra attention on your usual, thought out, well 
formatted and original content? Or a post reviewing
something, or a post bringing attention to a good 
cause? (like this shelter) I WILL PROBABLY GIVE YOU AN UPVOTE!

It makes NO SENSE what-so-ever to downvote just because somebody
used a bot. If the content is decent quality and original, 
how does it NOT deserve the rewards earned from the bot vote?  
> @kharma.scribbles

Good luck and may the content deserving of downvotes shrink to nothing some day! Everyone should find one thing to DV each day!

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© 💋 «[Kharma♪Scribbles]»|2019|💋


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Tags: #downvotes #neoxian #palnet #newsteem #abuse #unpopularopinion #marlians #steemcleaners #steemflagrewards #kharmascribbles

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Thank you @kharma.scribbles.
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I advise against using any bid bots at all as a general rule, but some people are flagrant abusers, spammers, and plagiarists while others just look for an occasional boost to original content. I have far less objection to the latter.

I would like to see more curation efforts, and the various guilds have done a lot, especially since the last fork. I don't personally follow vote trails, up or down, because I prefer to manually curate 100%. I understand why some prefer to follow guilds with good manual curation policies though.

This post earned a total payout of 0.078$ and 0.059$ worth of author reward which was liquified using @likwid. To learn more.

What are bid bots?
Is bdvoter.com one? I would like to test it out never did it. Read an article yesterday about someone who became big with it and now fights it. Why?

Can you explain to me how this works. Step by step and I have another question.
If you buy vote so your post will payout, isn't that a lost of 50% of your investment?

Happy day, thanks for the info. 👍💕

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Yes, in fact bdvoter is right up there with @themarkymark's @buildawhale, @rocky1 and (but not limited to) @ocdb with massive delegations from @freedom.

Thank you for letting me know. @buildawhale still exists and if what is it for/in which way helpful?
I wish you a great Sunday.

So these all arebid-bots. I asked because bdvoter left me the comment they upvoted a post of mine but I never used them. I might have if I had understood how it all worked as I once started here. That was at a time I thought it must be possible to grow by writing, receiving upvotes and power up.
Thank you for explaining. I wish you a great weekend.



Hey @kharma.scribbles, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

I think there's a lot of #abuse on the Steem blockchain.

I think the main people being abused are the bidbot investors and the people who use them.

Hopefully eventually things will change. I think we need to get a bidbot on Steemleo so everyone can migrate.

I pretty much think the same as you regarding bidbots. I used to buy votes for others before #newsteem, but I've stopped doing that, because I don't want them to become a target of the "all bidbots are bad" crowd.

Like you said, there are still cases where you could say there is bidbot abuse, but you have to look at the content of the post and find out what it's all about in order to decide whether it deserves the rewards or if it's overvalued.

@ninahaskin been around for awhile and I'm sure that was an honest mistake. She often posts original content. As for the bidbot use vs. abuse? That goes a lot higher than @acidyo and @ocdb. It's politics and money, think about this -

Whales have resurfaced.
Curation has doubled.
Who loses curation when a post they didn't vote on goes from a dollar to 20$ because of a few bot votes?

Just saying. I get the organic bit they are preaching, but to force it down people's throats? They'll never get my witness vote.

Who loses curation when a post they didn't vote on goes from a dollar to 20$ because of a few bot votes?

I don't understand what you mean here, care to elaborate?

We can't force bid bots to stop selling votes so we have to try discourage buyers from purchasing votes. Honestly you should know why purchasing votes is unfair to everyone not doing so @enginewitty, and not just that authors get a profit and beat the curve but delegators to bid bots earning a lot more ROI than honest curators. Surprised by your comment here.

I do understand and since I was using them myself, I also don't. Let's say a few whales have voted several posts up to 30 or 40, and there's a 100 at a dollar. All those people bot their posts and now they're all at 30 or 40 too, effectively forcing the payout of the others down as it is a shared rewards pool. Least that's how I understand or isn't that how it works?

I see both sides of the argument though. If a person warrants some big votes because their content is great or they know the right people, then that's wonderful. Hope they continue to get that attention. It's what the platform was initially designed for (I think). So for a shitty post with the some link to a video and no substance to be worth more because of some bots? Yes totally unfair. Also, the true rep score is highly skewed and misleading to their followers or other eyes.

However.

A person may have put a good deal of time into a post or think the information is important and feels it needs to seen more. They may even have a decent following but their little organic 50 votes and dollar payout will not get them on the hot list, let alone trending. So they need to advertise within their budget and the best way to do that here was with bidbots. It was competition for promoted posts from Steemit itself and competition is healthy for any ecosystem.

I also think that if a person is being downvoted, it should be manually done to guage their post content and not triggered just because a person bought a vote.

Hope that makes sense. Sounded right in my brain😁

It does make sense and all our downvotes are done manually too. Advertising is meant to cost though, if it doesn't it will instantly get abused like it was for the longest time when there were no downvotes. So yes, if someone writes great posts and uses bid bots they should not be downvoted as hard but they should still not receive a ROI from the bid bot votes on top of the attention, if they receive other votes despite the bots because the content is great then it is worth it but over 90% of bid bot votes we have seen and downvoted have not been used for "promotion/visibility/advertisement" meaning they are usually a day or two late and the content is crap. They are just buying votes for the profit. Bid bot owners won't sell unprofitable votes for "promotion" as they know almost no one is interested in buying votes for it so they lure them in with the profit while they make both the bid and the curation and outperform honest curators in ROI.

I wrote another post about this recently but it's not really something you can put down in 1-2 posts as there are so many connected parts to it which all compliment each other. Anyway, it's a bit disappointing reading what people have to say about the downvotes when we're sticking our necks out to do what is best for the platform and to get the same authors curation for free instead of having to buy them but I guess it's just something new that not many understand completely yet why it is happening and might do better over time.

There have always been flags, just not a separate pool for them. Which makes me wonder why that separate pool was created. Were there too few flags? I didn't see a single downvote from any larger stake holders being handed out hardly at all prior to, except during various wars like with Grumpy Cat and Belly Rub. I didn't see any bot police then, which again begs the question, why was a separate downvote pool created?

I think a better solution would have been to eliminate bot usage from the protocols altogether so all the big vote sellers are forced to handle their books and customers manually. Not really possible perhaps at this stage, so instead, maybe the bot owners could take responsibility and have a review board for the things people are bidding for before a vote goes out? Blacklists are great, but easily manipulated and steered around. I'm sure other solutions are there too, but little dolphins don't get heard very often by closed whale pods.

The main thing is, and you guys do justify your flags - most don't - is a downvote has a negative connotation and incites bad publicity. I know people want to come to STEEM, but they won't the way it is right now.

Least that's how I understand or isn't that how it works?

No.
The value comes from pushing dozens off of the long tail.
The less popular are denied any rewards at all for that ego trophy/profiteering.

Buying/selling votes breaks pob.
The day may come that we force any stake built through their use to burn it, or dump it.
We'd do it today, if it was up to me.

Basically, when you purchase a vote (e.g. send 10 Steem to a bid bot and they return you a vote that will net you 5-15% profit after payout) is not only unfair to everyone else who doesn't buy votes (remember not everyone can buy votes cause there isn't enough SP for that), but at the same time you are giving a bid bot Steem which they on top of curation rewards get and send back to the delegators after taking a cut. If you don't buy votes they are forced to curate for free else their voting power will remain idle at 100%.

This now means that delegating to a bid bot is way more profitable than just curating which encourages everyone to do that again and not curate, this was happening pre-HF aside from some people and curation projects doing it anyway.

So the more people are buying votes, the less reason bid bots have to curate, the more reason stakeholders have to delegate to the bid bots and not curate and we're back to having no content discovery, no genuine curation and Steem being nothing but a proof of stake coin where content is just a placeholder for ROI that doesn't matter how bad the content is or not.

Instead we are attempting to get bid bots to just give up on selling votes for the higher returns, if they want to sell it should be about promotion and advertising which should not return a profit to the author cause that is unsustainable. So they will be able to buy votes and either decline rewards or sent part to @null or @steem.dao or get downvoted to unprofitability.

"Okay but they aren't curating me", well a lot of authors on Steem have had to work hard to get attention and curation and have not relied on purchasing votes to get there. Although we have plenty of curation projects looking for new authors that don't get a lot of visibility or rewards, we are hoping that the more stake is turned into curation only the wider their upvotes go.

Anyway, I admit I didn't read the whole post but I just want you to know that downvoting is not something we are doing out of fun or politics and spending a lot of time explaining it to people is not something that we prefer doing either.

This post has received a 3.13 % upvote from @drotto thanks to: @sbi-booster.

The people owning/running bots intentionally crashed steem with their profiteering.
I say burn them to the ground.

When you buy votes you are breaking proof of brain.
Breaking pob is destroying the platform.
I find that flag worthy.
But then, I was there when sfr launched, so I was flagging abuse before it was kool.
I had read the white paper, and knew flags were part of the design for a reason.

If it was up to me, we would get a daily report on the biggest sellers and flag them until they leave.
But, I'm kinda grumpier than most.