Steem Bot Tracker - Doing Our Part for #newsteem

in newsteem •  11 months ago 

Hardfork number 21 of the Steem blockchain is quickly approaching, and, in addition to the code changes to the blockchain rules, it has also brought about a community-based movement to improve the platform.

The updates to the Steem blockchain code will merely provide additional tools and incentives for change, but it's up to us - the community and the stakeholders - to utilize those tools and incentives to make that change happen.

Since vote selling services (also known as "bidbots") are at the forefront of these changes, we feel that we have not only an opportunity, but a responsibility to ensure that the vote selling services listed on the website are working to support the goals of the #newsteem movement rather than to hinder them.

Old Steem vs New Steem

In "old steem", vote selling services are primarily used by people who make the bare minimum "shitpost" and profit from it by purchasing votes that pay out more than they cost. In #newsteem, we want to see vote selling services used by legitimate content producers, brands, and business who want to advertise on the Steem platform. We want to see the profit from vote buying come from the increased visibility and exposure of the content rather than from the vote value itself.

Stopping the "old steem" use for vote buying is actually very simple - if buying votes is not directly profitable (i.e. you cannot purchase a vote worth more than you paid for it) - then the practice of purchasing votes for "shitposts" will stop almost immediately, and the only time it will make sense to buy a vote will be for those who actually value the added visibility and promotion the vote provides.

Luckily, HF21 will provide us with a new tool to implement this change - the downvote pool. Soon the vote selling services that have only been using their large pool of voting power for upvotes, will be able to start using some of their power to downvote without sacrificing their profits.

Going forward we will expect all of the vote selling services listed on the Steem Bot Tracker website to utilize their new downvoting power to help put a stop to the practice of vote buying for the sake of directly profiting from the vote itself.

How You Can Help

Even if you don't operate or utilize vote selling services, you can help bring about this change too! While stopping the "old steem" practice of vote buying might be pretty easy, getting enough people to buy votes for the right reasons will still be a challenge. If we can't meet that challenge then we'll eventually slip right back into the "old steem" way of doing things.

This is where you come in. Steem is currently comprised of a relatively small but very engaged and very targetted audience. There are tons of companies, brands, and content publishers out there that should want to reach the Steem audience - we just have to show them that we're here and that all they need to do to get our attention is to buy a bunch of STEEM or otherwise support the platform.

@coingecko and @metalpay are two good recent examples of this. Let's do what we can to support their products and show everyone the real value of the Steem community!

Steem Bot Tracker

Getting back on track a bit, the main point of this post was to say that after HF21, @aggroed and I will be expecting all of the vote selling services listed on the Steem Bot Tracker website to use both their upvote and downvote power responsibly and in a way that furthers the goals of the hard fork changes and the #newsteem movement.

We hope that the various services that are involved will see this as an opportunity to work together to improve things for all of us.

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I'd like to see in #newsteem:

  • bot owners being more proactive in removing votes from unworthy content
  • a global Whitelist (oracle?)

Do you think there could be a bot war? - Responsible bot owners start downvoting the bad content promoted by bots that don't care what they are promoting, leading to retaliatory downvotes on content voted on by the more responsible promotion services.

I don't condone removing upvotes unless the post is clearly some type of scam or plagiarism. Removing a downvote without a refund just due to quality of content is basically stealing - someone paid for a service and the funds were taken but the service was not delivered (on purpose).

Ideally with #newsteem people won't purchase votes for "unworthy" content in the first place because it will be a money-losing proposition due to the downvotes. So if this works bot owners won't need to remove votes or use a whitelist because the system will police itself.

As for a bot war, I find that unlikely since I think most of the bot owners are actually pretty responsible. If they don't care what they are promoting it's usually because they just don't care anymore and not because of any malicious intent.

Doesn't this just create an easy way for someone to gain immunity from bot downvotes: Just buy a small vote from most or all of the bots. The bots (in your vision) won't remove the vote and presumably won't downvote something they already upvoted (this would be the same as removing the vote).

Exactly. Lol. Matts post was basically pointless.

"Responsible bot owners" my ass...

Posted using Partiko Android

I don't really know how things will play out yet. The point here is just that there is behavior we want to encourage and behavior we want to discourage and I'm hoping we can work together using the new tools available to do that.

More specifically to your scenario - the bots are not the only ones who can downvote things. It only takes a relatively small downvote to wipe out the profits made from a significant amount of purchased upvotes, it's not 1-to-1 since the profit from buying votes is typically 10-20% at most.

More specifically to your scenario - the bots are not the only ones who can downvote things

Yes but the main point of your post was that bots, as long as they continue to receive large delegations and represent a large portion of the voting stake, should be playing an important role in downvoting. I question whether this will be the case in the model you laid out, especially over time as people realize they can immunize themselves from those nasty bot downvotes (which you want to encourage) by buying tiny votes from each bot (or at least the ones active in downvoting)

I think your approach needs some iteration here. Overall I agree on not knowing how things will work out, and the iteration can certainly come later.

The problem is not that shitposts are promoted. The problem is that any post can be promoted, while STEEM does not profit from this advertising. The only people profiting from it are delegators and bidbot owners, at the expense of the coin price. So it's not even clear if they are profiting from this compared to a scenario where they burn a percentage of the returns.

Having bidbots as a sink will help the price, make it more fair to everyone (since you get exposure only if you loose something for it), and will also make everyone feel better about seeing posts they are not interested in on trending.

How does it hurt the price? I would say that it does not hurt the price but actually helps the price. Delegators and bidbot owners are hodlers, which is a value. Inflation harms hodlers, but hodlers allow their stake to be reduced slightly in order for high quality content to draw more people to the Steem platform.

Bidbot owners and delegators are the ones invested heavily in STEEM, propping up the value of it. The content producers are not the ones creating the value of STEEM directly, but indirectly. While the direct value of STEEM comes from investors buying up STEEM and holding it. These people want as much of an ROI as they can get, logically. Bidbot services were a useful way of optimizing investor ROI, while providing a useful value (promotion) to content producers with the potential of gaining some percentage of profit on top of the initial investment. This is shared profits, which is good.

At least, this is what I believe to be reasonable. I can respect that you might disagree.

Thanks for your long replies.

Of course hodlers like to have a return, but I would say that most investors are first here for many other reasons, not returns on investment. Also, most people don’t even know about the possibilty of having that return before investing in steem.

If ROI was a great selling point, then why not increase the inflation to 100% per year and give it to hodlers and delegators? They’ll love the profit and buy more steem? I don’t think so.

What I was proposing is to reward delegators, but reduce their ROI by 20%, and burn that 20%. They still have a profit, but they also help burn steem :)

Posted using Partiko iOS

Fair enough.

I wonder what content/accounts the bots will be targeting then as it sounds like unless the work is scam/plagiarism, the downvotes will be few and far between.

Would you consider downvoting a content creator who produces ten posts a day, which receive next to no engagement, only to apply their own stake?

I DO condone vote removal and I find it amazing you think one person should earn the Steem from selling votes to shit posters and I in turn should downvote it.

If the bot owners set some standards and enforced them things would be much different now.

It's not right for someone to sell a service, accept money for it, and then purposefully not deliver the service. That is just stealing whether it's for vote selling on Steem or anything else. It's also not just as simple as asking the vote selling services to refund the payment for any removed votes, because while they can remove the vote they cannot get back the voting power that was used.

The whole way Steem is set up to work is that if the community feels that a post has more rewards than it should, they can downvote it. The problem was that in the past it cost money (in the form of reduced voting power) to downvote. With HF21, that will change, and it presents an opportunity to make changes to how vote buying and selling works on the platform.

It's very easy to yell at bot owners to "have standards", but people have been yelling about that for years and it will never happen. With the free downvotes we now have the opportunity to solve the problem from a different angle - take away the profit from shitposting and buying votes - so then it won't even matter if the bots have "standards" or not.

So, yes, I do think you and I and everyone who cares should use their new free downvote to downvote shitposts upvoted by bots. It only takes a relatively small amount of downvotes to counter all the profit made from buying votes, and once "shitposters" stop making money buying votes they will stop altogether and all will be well with the world.

I've been downvoting this entire time, without free downvotes.

Yelling about having standard.. .It's as simple as posting ... Don't use my bidbot to upvote 1 picture posts, or links from youtube. "It will never happen" is utter bullshit and a cop out.

Anyway here we are and it least it gets cheaper.

you're talking censorship, maybe move to China ? :) at least they're honest about what they call it there

I don't believe I am.

If content reaches sub zero rewards it is still possible to view this content. Censorship does happen on though, at Steemit Incs discretion.

  ·  11 months ago (edited)

It happens on (and other UIs which use Steemit's nodes as a back end rather than their own) not Steem. There has never been any content removed from Steem.

EDIT: Above comment was edited so this response no longer applies

Thank you for the clarification, I will edit the above.

  ·  11 months ago Reveal Comment

Do we have any service that would allow downvote trails? The bot owners could use the delegated stake to follow those.

The @steemflagrewards crew does run a flag trail service.

You can set how much voting power you are willing to use for downvoting.


For now, I guess I'll hit the trending pages and start disagreeing over rewards. A plug-in that tells me how much of the post payout is bidbots might help me shift focus a bit.
But yeah, gifting some of my downvotes to say steemcleaners would be cool.

Posted using Partiko Android

I expect downvote trails to become much more common after HF21 and that would be fine if the bots use those (assuming they are run well) to distribute their downvotes.

I don't expect the bots to sign up for these as it is likely that a lot of the targets will be overly rewarded posts - posts that have been previously upvoted by the bot. The owners do have their own accounts though I guess.

It would be interesting to see the impact of HF21. Would people truly use their downvote ability to downvote shitposts from all hierarchy of sea life? I commend that Steem Bot Tracker is doing due diligence to improve the blockchain. Maybe I might start looking at Steemit posts again if #newsteem proves to promote posts of quality/value.

Good luck with the HF, and no stones this time around please? We need our wizard In good health for Splinterlands.

I offer a very effective tool for reducing the amount of shit upvoted by bid bots. The Global Blacklist API that is available to all bots yet only a handful use.

This paints a much better picture of the fork than I have seen in many of ths comments on the steem blog posts, but of course those were just comments.
I really hope you're right about the change of the use of bots, as I felt like my posts hardly got traction, even when I used bots at first. Seems a bit better since i came back after a long winter offline, but still only have had a few posts get into the dollar amounts. That was mostly because the great work of @Steemskate, @c-cubed, and I think @carlgnash had something to do with it. But hopefully with the focus on curation will make that stuff more common. In turn, i plan to curate any longboard posts, since that is my own community I am focusing on bringing to steem.

Posted using Partiko Android

So why is it that the vote buying is not encouraged anymore. I get they are wanting it to be used as like an ad thing. But why is that?

Also is the steembottracker website still working. I have tried to use it but kept taking me to a page that said wouldn’t load when I tried to send a bid.


Posted using Partiko iOS

so ... "bring a friend and some money" with the masses for the middle classes and also PROMOTING the extra downvotes, are we ?

of all people ....

primary motive is not to keep the top 20 well-provided with caviar and champagne. If you create a system that has options and THEN you go policing and call cencorship curation because you thought from your millionnaire perspective "no one should be doing that" ?

You're in for a lifetime of patching

see, and i wasnt gonna react anymore but for some reason all the silent accounts start posting and they all got one message
"bring a friend and some money to save the whale" ...

sorry mate, much respect for your achievements, that's without doubt but i cant get with this salespitch that suddenly EVERYONE in the top 20 adapts

"we gladly took your money for four years" but now its time to move on from the masses to the middle classes, thank you come again, bring a friend bills need to be paid

that excuses thing timcliff was stressing in the same pitch ?

it goes both ways ... we need more stuff like steemmonsters to give incentive, not more downvotes to give incentive to flagwars and hate

good thing im forbidden from politics or this one would have gotten the VETO from the start on all sides mine

How about making people not only earn as much as they bought, but less. The difference gets burned. Also, some of the profits to delegators get burned.

If a bidbot doesn't do that, we all downvote it, with the help of other bidbots who respect this rule.

but it's about money and bid bot owners want really much of it ;)

They will earn less of a coin worth more. And if they don’t do it we can downvote them.

Posted using Partiko iOS

That sounds pretty authoritarian. Downvote them if you want, but it might be very unwise to do. They can just add you to a blacklist and you'll never be able to use their services. I believe after HF21, everyone will be forced to use their services in order to get over the new 20 STEEM threshold wall. Any posts below 20 STEEM in value are going to get hit with a penalty against the rewards.

So, yeah, HF21 just made bidbots a lot more essential if you ask me.

Haha. Aint that a sad sad afair.
Fuck it. Bring on the blacklist

Posted using Partiko Android

Nicely done Matt...

If you guys need any help with anything let me know!


Going forward we will expect all of the vote selling services listed on the Steem Bot Tracker website to utilize their new downvoting power to help put a stop to the practice of vote buying for the sake of directly profiting from the vote itself.

@aggroed and I will be expecting all of the vote selling services listed on the Steem Bot Tracker website to use both their upvote and downvote power responsibly and in a way that furthers the goals of the hard fork changes and the #newsteem movement.

What does this mean exactly, though? Aside from making buying votes not profitable from the bid on it's own how else are you enforcing/incentivizing this through the website? Not really sure if I missed something in this post.

It's purposely a bit vague at this point since we don't know how things will turn out after HF21, but I think that in general it will be fairly easy to determine whether or not a particular vote selling service is working to help combat the problems and make things better. Any that aren't will be just removed from the site as we don't want to promote those kinds of services.

Ah alright, that's great to hear! I'm hoping bot owners will work together to improve themselves as bid bots if done correctly can be good for all stakeholders and possibly give some of the best ROI's possible in an uptrend market.


Honestly, this means nothing. Keeping it vague means requiring nothing or just above that.
And how in the world are they going to fix the problem when they are the damn problem.

How many big bots have required you to be a whitelisted author to get a vote. Say curie voted or ocd voted. Outside ocdb i know of none.
Shitcontent that requires not a sliver of proof of brain drives bots.

Force bots to adopt a max total bid on a post (all bot votes combined) and a curie/ocd whitelist and then we can start talking about change.
Theres a requirement for you @yabapmatt to set.
Not something vague as "help".
What does help even mean.

How will the vote selling business affected by the new steem? Will there be less people use the service because they will only get 50 percent back of the amount they spend on purchasing vote selling service?

Reminds me of “with great power, comes great responsibility!” Definitely important we all do lur share of things to take this to another level!

Posted using Partiko iOS

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but what will happen for those bots that was made for business? Like they're made for those who want to earn bigger upvotes?

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can't use steembottracker bidbots cause of buildawhale blacklisted ! :(
they never exclude even if appealed

Hello! I am using brave browser. And I clicked on 'Shield Down' to download Steem Connect. After that, now I am unable to place bids on Steem Bot Tracker. Please can you help. Thank you.

Soon the vote selling services that have only been using their large pool of voting power for upvotes, will be able to start using some of their power to downvote without sacrificing their profits.

Haha. How will that work when the main abusers on Steem are those that buy bot votes.
Lol. The main use of bot downvotes might actually be vote buyers that dont have enough SP buying downvotes tp retaliate against those that downvote them.
Think about it.
If you can scare people away from downvoting you it might be a good tactic in the long run spending a few dollars to downvote them.

Posted using Partiko Android

I'm sure these types of things will happen, all i'm really saying here is we won't list services who aren't trying to help on the website.

"Trying to help"

What does that even mean?

Thats the most vague requirement you could have made.

Asking help from bidbots to stop shitpost promotion is like asking a tobacco company to stop selling ciggaretes.
Fyrstikken, a bot owner, openly and honestly said in his own words that Bidbots live from shit content. If there was no shit content his business would not do well.

And youre asking their help? The main actors in making steem look like a pay yourself scam.
What are you on about man?
I mean i love what youre doing for steem but you must be aware that bots and bot owners are nothing more then leeches.

They create a bridge between "no care" delegators that want to fill their bags and vote buyers that dont care about proof of brain or any other creator on the platform but themselves.
Bots create that link and sink their teeth in the transactions to feed off of them like a parasite.

And now youre asking them to do what? Curate what they vote? They cant do that and wont. Not vote the most obvious of abuses? They do that already, at least some of them do.
So what is this about?

Posted using Partiko Android

Fyrstikken is right, and we all know that, but it doesn't have to be that way. If there was enough demand for legitimate post promotion then bots wouldn't need "shit content" at all and would actually be more profitable as buying votes would cost more.

The details are purposely vague at this point since I don't know how exactly it will all work out, but I think it will be very clear overall who is "trying to help" and who isn't.

That's all that this is about. Maybe it won't work and things will end up just like they are now, I don't know, we're just taking HF21 as an opportunity to try to give it a shot and we're using potential "delisting" from the website as our only real leverage to try to get more bot owners on board.

Well then make a legit requirement. As it stands you just got $30 on a post that says nothing. Im considering flagging it, thats how unhelpful and pointless it sounded to me.
I gave you some legit options on Acids comment, start there.

All this seems is a bit like pandering and pretending you are going to do something that you dont even know what it will be, or will it even be anything just to ride the #newsteem train.
Well you know what? #newsteem means absolutely nothing if people are going to do nothing.
And with Bots having FREE flags i dont think you will delist them because with their millions of SP they could stomp SteemMonsters to the ground if they wanted to, if you rub them the wrong way after HF21.

You can downvote it, in fact I would encourage you to if you disagree with the rewards, that's what downvoting is for.

As for rubbing bots the wrong way, they have no effect on Steem Monsters. The game isn't reliant on the Steem rewards pool in any way so they can flag all they want and it doesn't matter to us.

Yeah well Matt, you know where most of the Steem that buys cards you take 5% from comes from? From the reward pool.
A greyed out Steemmonsters blog and greyed out Steemmonsters posts actually does affect you. Just to show you how profit hungry leeches react.
Actually Fryst came into Dtube chat last year and threatened Heimin when Dtube was implementing some change that he thought would have hurt Bots. So this indeed is possible and you arent immune to retaliation.
Just a point i wanted to make. We will see how it goes.

A greyed out Steemmonsters blog and greyed out Steemmonsters posts actually would not affect us in the slightest. Also the market fees are very small in the scheme of things and we put those all right back into tournament prizes anyway.

We don't use the Steem reward pool for anything meaningful so we really don't care about downvotes or SP. In fact I'm an advocate for getting rid of the Steem reward pool entirely.

  ·  11 months ago (edited)

The market for "legitimate post promotion" is currently tiny and would continue to be tiny even if Steem grew several multiples in size. (Perhaps a few percent of the amount of rewards taken out, if that, would be my rough guess at a ceiling.) "Eventually" it could be quite large, but then the value of Steem would likely be higher and the value of extracting rewards would therefore also be higher. It does not appear clear to me there is a sound model supporting the premise that "legitimate post promotion" via reward voting would ever make sense.

Nevertheless, bots are responding to incentives. If we want behavior to change that means changing incentives. That can be a combination of financial (such as with downvotes) as well as social-layer incentives.

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I don't think it's half bad to be able to buy a vote that will make a little more value than what was paid.

Being a small account, a few times I have used a bid-bot to purchase a vote for a post I felt deserved more than my vote could give it. (at 100% I still give a dust vote).. If I am bidding to only get a vote worth the same, I may as well have just transfered some STEEM to the author. I appreciate there being a service that provides a little more value for my value..

I do think that vote rounds should be a 24 hour cycle, and allow humans to look over the posts that have bids placed, and then 'vote' yay or nay on if the post deserves the bot vote.. majority rules - and the bid-bot owners - could set up a white-list on who's 'vote' counts towards.. the vote xD

But I know that adds a lot of extra work and don't expect anything like that to be implemented. It's a hybrid of manual curation and bot curation I think though, something I think should be explored perhaps in the future.

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Nice one matt! I always said bit bots were a step in the evolution of steem.. and now we start to see things shift in a very positive direction... i look forward to seeing how this plays out... x

Some people also use bid bots to artificially raise there reputation, so this should help that aspect as well

Posted using Partiko iOS

@yabapmatt, Now Bid Bots have huge responsibility because this Hardfork 21 is effective but it's sensitive too and adaptation of this change will be slow and gradual, if Bid Bots will not act responsibly then for sure it will be a hit back for the #Newsteem to most extent. Keep up the prodoctive work.

Posted using Partiko Android

I ha e definitely been out of the loop for a while. I was not aware that a hardfork was coming.

Posted using Partiko Android

You got a 80.00% upvote from @joeparys! Thank you for your support of our services. To continue your support, please follow and delegate Steem power to @joeparys for daily steem and steem dollar payouts!

Im really hoping to see a noticeable improvement, time will tell, its been a long time coming!👍👍👍💯upped and resteemed.

Well said @yabapmatt, I believe using boyh the upvotes and downvotes is going to balance the system in the #Newsteem ecosystem, the main point in this #Hf21 upgrade. Thanks for stopping by, @ I am @oppongk, your staunch witness in Steemit Blockchain!