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RE: This is what a top HIVE witness does: self comment+voting and downvote-retaliation

Most don't have a clue or don't care. It's easier now than ever to get 'seed' capital to start farming from dapps and projects that upvote anything or anyone. A few thousand accounts, some nickel and dime upvotes, and you have the beginnings of the next @dart utilizing 20% - 30% of daily transactions.

Steemit Incs promise to streamline and onboard 15 million new users quickly throws up some red flags for me. I checked today and they still allow phone verification from google voice numbers. While not significant by itself, there are services that provide temporary virtual numbers by the thousands cheap.

The current block log file is about 250GB? This type of farming has a cost beyond the reward pool drain. At one time @dart was responsible for more than 25% of the votes daily on steemit. These groups ran their own automated bots for posting & voting. They have the skills to pretty much spam unchecked without removing the incentive to do so.