I try to do my bit down voting abuse posts and comments, and since HF21 gave us a few free down votes, down voting on top trending abuse posts has gone up a bit. This is good, though it is not really working as good as the EIP fanboys would like to have us believing it would. As a small fish, I don't usualy go out of my way looking for abuse, but if by chance I run into it, I do use my power to flag, regardless of the size of the account I'm flagging.
There is always the chance of getting retaliated against, though it actually rarely happens, even when I down vote posts by accounts 100 times my size. But that is for down voting posts.
A few days ago I by chance ran into this post. I had seen posts like this before, but didn't give them much attention. The post was a heavily bid-bot-boosted advertising type post downvoted by me, @therealwolf, @holger80, @ausbitbank, @meesterboom, @centerlink, @funtraveller,@okean123 and @gangstalking. But there was more to this post than just bid bot abuse. The post is part of an organized reward-pool bleeding campaign organized by the same people who organized a campaign like that before.
Basically these guys create a scam token for the sole reason of getting people to participate in their self voting campaign. While down voting the post itself is good, the real reward pool rape is happening in the comments. They ask people to create a pledge comment. A pledge that whatever much their comment gets upvoted, they will transfer it to the scammers running this campaign in exchange for some quantity of their scam token. So now things became interesting.
Other than the other post downvoters who didn't down-vote any of the comments, I got one of the scammers on my trail, and he has been down voting all of my posts and comments into invisibility since. With high SP and low reputation, its annoying, but as most of the posts are Scot tribe posts anyway, I don't really care enough to back down. Instead, the downvotes are incentifying me to dig a bit deeper and have some fun making my own little pledge.
They don't quite seem to share my sense of humor, as to be expected from folks like this. Here is what I think is a single person flexing his SP muscles.
There goes the visibility of two more of my posts on steemit. Great, time for a new pledge.
So far I'm at 16/40 and if (as I anticipate) this same douche flags this post into invisibility, that will be 16/50.
So how do these guys operate? How do they stay under the radar with their reward pool draining operations? Well basically, they do high-powered last minute upvote on the comments. The pledgees send them all their proceedings, and in return these pledgees receive a worthless scam coin.
In an attempt to seem legit, they named their little scam project zerocash. But their scam tokens are in fact in no way related to the real zcash or the zerocash protocol.
But enough about this particular reward pool abuse instance. Lets get to the core of the problem. Trending is a great place for bigger fish to go hunting for bid bot abuse. It isn't normally a good place to look for comment based reward pool abuse of the type these fake-zcash folks are currently pulling off quite successfully.
These guys put themselves on the radar with their bid bot abuse, but apart from me, nobody seems to be down voting the real abuse going on there.
I believe if we want HF21 and the free down votes to become a real success, we will need a type of trending page for comments. I fear a lot of abuse of this type is staying under the radar. And while taking on bid bot upvoted posts with $50,- or more projected pay out is futile for minnows and dolphins, collectively aiding in anti abuse curation by taking on a few $5,- reward pool draining comments is something us smaller fish can do.
Yes, like me, you will likely get retaliated against by some douche protecting his investment. But I really feel that if we take the pain of retaliation collectively, we can make this broken EIP work despite the incentives these abusers create to keep it from working.
But how do we find these abusers if unlike these fake-zcash folks, they choose to stay under the radar by not using high-powered bid bot votes?
I think what HF21 really needs is a "trending page for comments". A way for minnows and dolphins to notice these last minute comment up votes.